Here’s a spoiler for you: you’ll have challenges in your career. You will have trouble in your life. And you’ve probably overcome a lot of both already because of the way you approach work.
I started bfac.com in 2006 on a leap of faith. Then in 2010, I left a successful broadcasting career to run the company full time, and I ran it on a shoestring budget out of a home without a backyard or garage in Mississippi. To make matters worse, Mississippi isn’t known for it’s tech innovators. When I met with companies about how they could utilize a texting app to increase revenue, I was received with a lot of skepticism.
In that struggle, I had to learn about sales. I didn’t really know anything about it before! Over time, my philosophy of sales has come to mean building a relationship with someone about something you actually believe in. I really believed (and still believe!) that texting and mobile apps could be agents of change for businesses to build relationships with consumers.
To be successful in business and sales, you have to have a great work ethic. I believed in our product enough that I made a plan for us to get out there in front of organizations even though they were skeptical.
Our first taker was a restaurant. We equipped them with this technology and it transformed their income. All of a sudden we stated growing, reaching healthcare and retail sectors. We developed an app for the National Guard of Mississippi, which then became the number two recruiter in America.
Pepsi, Toyota, and Ozarka became clients, as well as Saks Fifth Avenue and Dell. We reached out to nonprofits and churches, and started seeing growth in that market, working with The Salvation Army and United Way.
Today bfac.com has 160 employees. We’re in 20 markets and have two freestanding offices. Our headquarters are in Mississippi, and our operation center is in Oklahoma City. It’s been amazing to see where struggling through challenges took us as a company.
What I enjoyed about the growth of bfac.com, though, is that it grew out of what really looked like failure. No business is perfect. Nobody has a 100% close rate, but if you have a great work ethic, you can get to where you need to be.
Life is not about avoiding obstacles—obstacles are going to be there, even when you’re doing the right thing. The great thing about sales is that you get to determine your own path to success. It’s about communication and building relationships. If you believe in your product, you believe in yourself, and you have great work ethic, you’ll go far.