A few years ago, life was good.
Not great, but good.
I travelled all over North America delivering keynote presentations to sales and leadership teams. Usually, in fancy locations like Las Vegas or those high-end resorts overlooking championship golf courses.
My friends would tell me how lucky I was. I admit, my ego and bank account did enjoy this life.
Two problems though:
1) I had to play within the “rules” of the client. You know, don’t say this, the CEO is in the audience, don’t swear, but make them “feel” good.
2) There was no follow-up or accountability for the audience to make real changes and apply what I was teaching.
I felt a combination of good, “look at me on the stage and having guys holding signs at the airport with my name on it.” and disappointment, I really wanted my work to matter and for people to take action on what I was teaching.
The problem was that I believed this was the ONLY way to get paid.
After 18 years of being in business for myself, I finally had the courage to join a program exclusively for entrepreneurs that already had a level of success.
I was terrified. I was sure I was going to be the dumbest person in the class.
I joined, met some really kind and smart people, and started to feel like I belonged.
One of those people owned a paving company.
After bonding over the love of hockey, beers, and business we became good friends. So much so that he invited my wife and me to fly to his hometown to take in a hockey game together.
Two weeks before the trip, he asked me to share a few pointers on how his sales team could utilize Linkedin.
He wrote down a few notes when I asked him “Would you prefer if I taught them when I come to visit you?”.
He answered with a resounding YES.
Two weeks later I woke up in the hotel before my presentation to the paving guys.
When it hits me, “I don’t know anything about paving!!!”
I panicked. I shared this with Kevin en route to his office.
He responds “That’s great because the last thing I need is another paving expert in my life.”
I start the session by telling the guys that I know nothing about construction or paving, but I know a few things about putting more money in your pockets.
The session went well. Like off the charts well. Like I could show up 100% as me, swearing and all.
Kevin tells a friend, who tells a friend.
I started coaching people in construction and fired all my old corporate clients.
My clients keep growing their companies without working 24/7. They are humble, kind, and eager to learn. I LOVE working with them.
Now, I am proud to say that 100% of my clients are family-owned.