I’ve learned a lot from my wife, Sarah over the years; one of those things was how to make love the foundation of everything that I built.
On my 30th birthday, I was celebrating at the Palazzo Hotel in Las Vegas. Sitting in the lobby with Sarah, tears falling into my Basil Hayden on the rocks, I couldn’t ignore for another moment that my life wasn’t going as planned. I’d been a bartender for about a decade (which was killing my soul), my acting career wasn’t taking off (despite my best efforts), and there I was, trying to muster any positive thoughts about where my life would go from here. But all mental roads led back to the same place — nowhere. This wasn’t how life was supposed to go, and I had to do something about it.
Around that time, I dipped my toes into the online business space to see if I could make some extra money. I was seeing minor success, but the venture still wasn’t fully viable. On a good month (when the gods were smiling upon me, luck was on my side, and everything fell just right) — I made about $500.
One day while at work, my boss chewed me out in front of my customers and the other employees; all I wanted to do was tell him to screw off. He was wrong — I knew it and everyone watching knew it. But I bit my tongue, took the abuse, worked my shift, and went home.
A couple weeks before, Sarah was fired from her cocktailing job, and we were living off of my bartending income and the few dollars I was bringing in from my online business.
“I think I can make this online thing work,” I said to her. “I can probably at least make what I’m making as a bartender.”
She wasn’t so convinced, until I told her what happened at work with my boss and how the interaction made me feel like a complete coward.
Something in her shifted the second that sentence left my lips.
“You gotta quit,” she said. “My man is not going to be in a situation where he feels like he’s being a coward.”
It was Sarah’s love for me and her belief in my ability to create a business that would support us that changed my life. If my belief dipped, I had hers to borrow. She was so certain of me that I couldn’t do anything else but make the leap and take the risk — even though we had everything to lose.
The next day, I went to work and put in my notice.
How love became the guiding force of the business
When I opened the doors to my business, I knew that I wanted to do things differently. If I was going to do this, I had to go to bed at night knowing the work I put out into the world was making a massive difference in the lives of others. I was not okay with someone handing me money and their life not changing. That’s when I knew my focus had to be on client results.
If I was going to love my business — if I was going to love the work that I shared with the people who needed it, then nothing less than consistent client results would do. Because the truth was, if I wasn’t doing good in the world, then I wasn’t honoring my clients or my core values. It was in devoting myself to world-class client results that allowed me to expand the business from rock bottom nothing to bringing in over $83 million dollars in revenue to date.
Instead of first investing in a sales team to grow, I asked clients where they were struggling. Through those inquiries, I discovered what was keeping clients from getting even better results, and then I poured my resources into closing those gaps. Not only did it yield better results for clients, but it created more sales for the overall business — which allowed me to grow the business with integrity rather than just chasing profits at the expense of quality.
Hiring from a different perspective
My goal in hiring went beyond increasing sales. Instead, I hired team members that supported my clients in ways I couldn’t. I didn’t just hire people for their expertise, I hired people that would grow my clients’ results — and it was the best decision I could have made.
My clients required experts in mindset, emotional intelligence, and identity in order to get the most out of their experience; but it was apparent to me early on that not all experts are created equal. If I was going to build this company to serve at the highest level possible and make the greatest impact, it was going to require a team that cared as deeply as I did — but not about the success of the business. They needed to care about the clients.
By creating a culture that’s completely dedicated to the clients and their results, referrals were made, testimonials came from every direction, and the business grew. This was all because the clients could feel the love Sarah poured into me that I was able to amplify and pour into their potential to create incredible results.