The road to success was more of a roller coaster for me. I knew from a young age that I wanted to be successful and wealthy, but I didn’t have a plan to get there. I pursued several business ventures through college and in the years following graduation before finding success in print and direct mail.
Through the mid-2000’s business was good. My efforts had paid off and I was making more money than I could’ve ever imagined. Our company had one client who was giving us 50% of our business and 30 other clients giving us the other half of our business.
We were pumping out million pieces of mail each month! I had finally found success – or so I thought. So at 32 years old I allowed myself to settle down. By 2006 I had a house, a wife and a one month old son.
It would soon all come crumbling down.
When the recession began, we went from $13.5 million in sales to 3.5 million in less than 18 months. We lost our major client and most of our other big clients.
I worked 12 hour days and drank for two hours each night. I didn’t eat healthy and I avoided church, family and friends. My relationships suffered. I had nowhere to turn.
Fortunately, I was able to use this period in my life uncover a few false business principles that I previously thought were true.
The False Principles
- Success comes to those who work the hardest for it
- Confidence equals competence
- The harder worker beats the more intelligent one
- Profit equals direct expense plus more
- More sales will fix everything
- Bidding up vendors on price will make you money
- Those who can do and those who can’t teach
- C players can be turned into A players – and they’re cheaper
- What you don’t like you can assign to someone else
- Honest business men and women don’t need professional liability insurance
- God is for church and home but not for business
- The bigger your company is the more money you’ll make
- The bigger the client the more money you’ll make
Realizing that those principles were false was the first step in my evolution into becoming truly successful in business and in life. The real growth came only when I applied that new understanding.