5 Things They Didn’t Teach Me In Business School

This post is dedicated to business owners that are in the trenches today making it happen.  Cheers my friends!  If this post helps you, share it with another owner.  I’m for you today!

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What Business School Taught Me

Step 1: Create a business plan

Step 2: Secure capital needed to accomplish business plan

Step 3: Accomplish your business plan through creating 3-5 years strategic plans

What Owning A Business Taught Me

Step 1: All of the stuff above doesn’t work

I have personally started 4 companies:

  • College Load Out: In college, me & a buddy, created a moving company for sorority girls. Turned over to partners.
  • The Change Group: A church bookkeeping company. Sold.
  • MAG Bookkeeping: Another church bookkeeping company. Sold.
  • The Rocket Company: A coaching, consulting & e-learning company. Active.

Here are a couple of learnings from doing business in the trenches.

1. Your gut is better than your business plan

Every business plan I’ve written just never held up in the real world.  Mike Tyson famously said, “Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth.”  This is my view on business plans.  I’ve learned to lean into my gut & just try things.

2. Pivots are crucial

If you are in love with your current business, beware.  I meet so many people that are so in love with their idea that they don’t listen when the market is saying, “this sucks.”  So, in every company, I’ve spent the majority of the time working a plan & then pivoting.

For instance, when I started The Rocket Company, it was a high-touch consulting company.  Over time, I saw that it would be hard to scale that & reach a lot of new customers so we transitioned to an e-learning company.  That pivot grew our revenue by 1.6 Million in 24 months.

What’s your gut saying about your next pivot?

3. Reading people is more important than reading books

Reading people is huge.  Understanding why they tick & what they want.  Reading a potential staff hire or customer is invaluable.  The emotional IQ of the business owner matters as much or more than their business smarts.

If you don’t do well with people, you will rarely do well with business. 

4. Recurring revenue is where it’s at

I’m 33 years old & if I had to say the biggest lesson I learned in business is this one.  Sell it once, get paid daily.  Our company is currently moving further into this.

We are using our e-learning platform as a way to help churches, but now we want to integrate into the everyday experience of the church. So we are building the most user-friendly donation platform this space has ever seen.  Again, we are pivoting to meet the market demand.

5. Have fun always

I’ve almost lost it all & we’ve almost gone out of business.  My advice is this… Quit taking yourself & business so serious.  Yeah yeah yeah, I know… your livelihood depends on it.  That’s great. But being stressed & miserable about money all the time is just a sucky way to live.

Our team loves to party together.  Everyday in our offices we turn up rap music & dance.  We have an endless supply of rocket shooters we shoot at each other.  When guests come to the building, we ambush them as they enter.  Why?  Well… What’s the fun of being all stiff & boring?  Everyone likes to laugh & have a good time.  Enjoy your life today!

What is a lesson you would want to share with others?

 

 

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The 5 Words That Left An Amazing Legacy – A Tribute To Debbie Lovoy

Debbie LovoyToday, my family attended a funeral for Debbie Lovoy.  Debbie was like a second mom to me and so many others.  Debbie died at the young age of 58 & it was such a hard loss for so many.  Just a few weeks ago she was in our living room jumping up and down during an Alabama football game with us & now she is gone.  Debbie is the mom of one of my best friends Louie Lovoy and I remember sitting in their living room processing life decisions so many times growing up.  She was amazing to me. 

I wanted to write this post to reflect on what I heard today & share it in such a way that would extend her legacy as much as possible.  The words below have the power to change your life & the lives of those around you.  They aren’t my words, they are Debbie’s.

When I sat and listened to Debbie’s friends & family speak about her, there was a common theme.  This theme was extremely simple but profoundly powerful.  Her legacy was built on a few words that she said her entire life to others.

“I am proud of you.” 

Debbie spent her life telling people these powerful words.  She genuinely just was proud of people.  She spent her life looking for reasons to believe the best in people.  The best part wasn’t that she was proud of people, it was that she actually told people this.  With her kids, she always looked for ways to be proud of them.  With her grandkids, she was constantly telling them she was proud of them in the little things and on a consistent basis. She walked around daily & was looking for reasons to be proud of others.

The legacy she has left from these five words is amazing & here is what I’ve learned & maybe it will help you as well.

1. What You Look For In People, You Will Find

Debbie looked for reasons to be proud of people, that’s why she told so many people this.  Everyday she woke up seeking to see the goodness of others.  She was on the hunt for positives and always could find some way to say, “I am proud of you.”

As I process this, it challenges me to wake up tomorrow & just find the good in each & every person I meet.

2. Being Proud Isn’t The Same As Saying It

It’s so easy to be proud of your team, kids, spouse, or friends and never verbalize it.  Today, I learned the power of the spoken word.  Debbie literally walked around telling people encouraging things about themselves.  Listening to her son, daughter, granddaughter, husband & friends today talk about how many deposits of belief she dropped into their life was truly inspiring.

As I sit here tonight, I feel challenged to make sure that every single person I meet knows a reason I am proud of them.  Thinking it isn’t enough, saying it is where the power is.

3. You Can Only Be Proud Of Others When You Aren’t Focused On Yourself

Debbie loved to take pictures.  I looked back at her Facebook page & I noticed something… She isn’t in most of them.  In a world full of selfies & selfishness, Debbie lived focused on others.  She was a behind the camera kind of person trying to always capture that perfect shot.

As I processed this, I started to see that the way Debbie could be so proud of others was because she wasn’t full of herself.  Every person I talked to today talked about why they loved Debbie & it was simply because Debbie was always talking about THEM, not herself.

This amazing lady spent her life behind people & the camera trying to find the best angle to help them see their true value.

I will miss Miss. Debbie.  I’ll miss being able to call her when I needed some advice.  I’ll miss being able to watch Bama games with her.  I’ll miss her taking awesome pictures that captured amazing moments.  I’ll miss her laugh.  I’ll miss her smile.

But the one thing I will not ever miss out on is knowing Miss. Debbie was proud of me.  She told me time and time again & I am forever grateful for the investment of those words into my life & the lives of so many others.

 

 

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