Podcast

Episode 1: You Can’t Achieve Success All by Yourself, with Steve Cunningham

THE KEY TO BUSINESS SUCCESS

Today we’re speaking with Steve Cunningham from Pivot Point Family Growth Centers.

I am super excited to get going today to give you the key to business success from people that have learned how to build a successful business, but guess what? They haven’t always been that way and they certainly weren’t able to achieve success in life just by themselves. There’s trials, tribulations, challenges they’ve gone through to get to where they are today, and I have Steve with me. I’m really going to take you through some of the most challenging things that he’s been through. But before we get there, I want Steve to do a little bit of an intro of who he is, and who Pivot Point is as a company, and maybe where that started just so, as a listener, you get an idea of how long Steve’s been around and how long their business has been around, and what’s taken to get where they are today. So, I’m going to hand it over to you Steve. Just give a little bit of a background of Pivot Point, as itself, maybe a little bit of a background of yourself.

Sure. Fantastic, thanks Colin. Yeah, Pivot Point was a fantastic dream that came to life about 14 years ago when I started to reach out to the needs of parents who had children with autism or other problems. So, in British Columbia, there were a lot of changes 14 years ago, in terms of how funding was provided to parents who had children with autism and other diverse abilities, and that created an opportunity to meet those needs for those parents. So, we got started with just a few families, and now we’re up to several hundred, 400, almost 500 families now.

Wow.

All over the province.

Fantastic. So, give me a little bit about your background. So, in terms of the listeners listening to this podcast today, and for those of you that don’t know where British Columbia is, that’s here in Canada, right on the West Coast. It’s the most western province of Canada, and of course we’ve got listeners from all over the globe listening to this podcast. So, brilliant. Give us a little bit of your background. What gives you that expertise in terms of really giving services to these families with kids that have autism or maybe some of their family members, the adults, that have autism?

That’s a great question, and it’s always fun to be able to tell that story. My journey actually began way when I was a child at summer camps, when my family life was going through a few little struggles here and there, and I had an opportunity to run into some really powerful male role models at summer camps. These older teens and young 20s people who would teach me how to rock climb and canoe and kayak and build campfires, really inspired me to become a better person, a better version of myself than the path I was following when I was younger.

So, within a short while, I started working at the summer camp, and that gave me a lot of exposure to working with different children of different abilities, and really my whole working career, from my teens through my 20s and 30s and 40s, has been in service of children and their families around diverse abilities, behavior needs, autism, down syndrome, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, learning challenges, kind of the full spectrum. So, I’ve been doing child youth care work. I’ve done teaching assistant work in the public schools. I’ve become a clinical counselor, so I have a counseling degree in counseling psychology, and had worked for an agency for several years before this opportunity opened up here in the province of British Columbia, and I learned how to start a successful business 14 years ago.

Beautiful, man. Now, one of the key things I’d love to dig right into, and it’s just something that came into my head as you were talking, is that counselors, people that really want to serve people … I even went through some of this myself when I learned what it takes to run a successful business, as I started Make Your Mark, and of course this podcast is called The Brutal Truth. So, I don’t want you to hold back on anything.

One of the keys to business success for me is we love to give and love to serve and what have you, and I’m sure somewhere along the lines we might have had some challenges around even charging for your services because your heart is there to serve people. Of course, probably have a lot of listeners out there that are serving people in some way or form, but probably not charging what they should be charging, don’t know their own self worth, what have you. Can you speak completely open on maybe some of the challenges you went through? Maybe about how you overcame those challenges to charging, maybe what you should be charging, or even making money in an environment that people think you shouldn’t be making money?

Absolutely. As you asked me the question, I’m starting to smile thinking about that. There are a lot of triggers that come up for me around that. When I was first figuring out how to start a successful business, like many new professionals out of university, I was suffering from what is known as the imposter syndrome. You go through school, you get the degree, you have the training, and you step out into the real world and think, “Wow. Does anyone know that I haven’t done this before? Do I really belong here? I don’t fit in. Everybody else seems to know what they’re doing, and I’m just getting started.”

So, early on, it was really difficult for me to charge a higher rate for my counseling services, and I had to start to compare myself to others and realize that maybe I can provide a meaningful service, maybe I can deliver something that’s of value to people, maybe I am coming from the heart and trying to meet the needs genuinely, and therefore, it’s on par cost-wise with what other people are charging. That’s absolutely been an important barrier for me to overcome. That was fairly early on in the business.

Let me ask you something. If you went back to when you were figuring out how to start your own successful business with what you know today, would you charge what you’re charging today then, in the beginning? In the beginning, you felt like you couldn’t charge what you were worth.

Yeah, you’re absolutely right. It’s about … I felt like I wasn’t worthy of that higher rate, and so, it took some building of my own self-confidence to realize that the service that was being provided was valued at that rate. So it was working on myself first to be ready for the proper billing rate.

how to start your own successful business with Steve Cunningham

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“Charge what you’re worth from the beginning.” - Steve Cunningham Click To Tweet

HOW TO START A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS

Yeah, and I think many of the listeners are thinking when they were trying to figure out how to start a successful business, “Wow. I should have charged what I was worth right in the beginning.” The big thing is, you should be charging what you’re worth up front. The challenging part is we always seem to think we’re not worthy of it, we don’t deserve it, or what have you. So, really great point, thank you for that.

So, let’s get into a couple of key things that you’ve learned along the way to achieve success in life. Pivot Point’s now 14 years old. I’ve been really privileged enough to see you grow and grow into different areas of British Columbia here in Canada, as you’ve expanded, but let’s go back right to the beginning as well. What were some of the key things that, if you had to start Pivot Point over again, what would it be that you could say, “Please don’t do this,” or “Get your thoughts in line,” whatever it is.

That’s my important thing for all our listeners is get this brutal truth. Because if you don’t get this, you bumble along and you fumble and you trip and you fall and what have you. That’s why I brought these amazing people on to serve you. So, what’s … give me one or two, maybe a couple of keys to business success we could have a discussion about of what you would do differently if you had to start Pivot Point up again today.

You bet. That’s an excellent question. Really, I see two different sides to the same coin on that question. It really has to do with the use of others. So, I was very fortunate with Pivot Point that we were growing quickly in the first few years and there was enough revenue to afford to lean on others to reach out for accounting support, legal support, some marketing support, and some administrative support. If I had not reached out to others and invited others into the business, then I would have been trying to do all of those things myself. That’s not my background, and I very likely would’ve steered it off course not knowing better. So, the first key to business success for me was really learning to lean on others and trust in others to help guide me.

How To Start A Successful Business with Steve Cunningham

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“Learn how to lean on others to help you in your business.” - Steve Cunningham Click To Tweet

WHAT IT TAKES TO RUN A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS

Which really comes down to — and it might sound like a really callous word — but it comes down to leverage. At the end of the day, you’ve got to leverage other people. There are only two kinds of leverage, other people’s time, other people’s money. So, in that sense, you’re leveraging other people’s time, and if you heard one of the keywords there, and listeners if you want to write this word down right now, the most important word I think you can ever learn when building a team, having people, contractors, employees, whatever it is, is the word trust. If you cannot have that trust in people, then guess what? You’ll probably never get to where you want to be.

Steve, the saddest thing I hear from so many people is, “I never want employees. I want everyone to be contractors, not employees.” For me, what Steve’s saying to you is you’ll never get to where you want to be if you don’t have a team around you, or with you. I don’t even like the word, they’re working for you, because they don’t work for you. You work together as a team.

So, really understand this, listeners, it’s all about that trust. If you cannot trust people, well then how are you ever going to get to be able to go on vacation and lie on the beach, have some fun, whatever it is, and your business keeps on running. If it’s all about you, while you’re lying on the beach, guess what happens? Your business is closed, because while you sit there doing nothing and enjoying yourself, your business is doing nothing. So that leverage point, that’s one of the golden nuggets from today. So, give me something else, like another little piece of maybe brutal truth or what have you for our listeners around what you would do differently now that you understand how to start a successful business today.

Well, it’s really an extension of that same idea, and I really love the focus on trust. You’re absolutely right. Ironically, what I would do differently, is trust more. So, although I was lucky and brought in a number of people that kept me from ruining my business myself by doing all the things that I didn’t have the skill to do, they helped me stay on track. I now look back, after 14 years of business, and realize, I could’ve been where I am now in half the time.

Wow.

The business could be two times, three times, four times bigger if I had just reached out to other people and learned some of the other aspects of the business, the marketing, the sales, really how to build proper business systems. I wish I had started that pursuit much, much earlier.

HOW TO START YOUR OWN SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS

Wow. My company, Make Your Mark’s been around for 13 years, and I look back at it and I go, “Wow. There’s certain things I would have done differently.” I think my one thing, what would’ve got me to grow quicker would’ve been trust as well, if I had trusted people in the beginning. I don’t trust people. I trusted myself, but then, I always thought, “Well, I have to be the kingpin. I am the one that’s the specialist. No one can ever do things as good as me,” what have you, and then I heard a statement from someone that said, “Well, Colin, there’s cemeteries full of indispensable people.” You’re not the only guru on the planet, not the only great person.

So, just digging into it a little bit more, around saying you’d trust more. If you’re going to trust more, where do you see yourself going, and what does “trust more” mean as you grow forward now into the 10 years as you take Pivot Point to the next level?

I think, for me, it really looks like bringing in people who can help determine how to run a successful business in a much larger way. So, I’m now at a place where the business has grown. I’ve grown alongside with it, and it fills up about as much space as I created in my own mind for it, but I need some help to radically expand my mind, again, so the business can fill that space as well.

So, I need some help to double the capacity of my head so the business can double in size, so to speak. That’ll certainly be the first part. That really comes down to marketing systems, sales systems, and the rest of systematization of my business. There are pieces that work, but they don’t work nearly as efficiently as they could or should, and they’re not ready to scale substantially.

So, I know that other people have some expertise that I can rely on. I can bring in that guidance, that coaching, that executive business coach, and help me see the areas of running a successful business that could be enhanced, and therefore, expand my brain so the business grows into that space.

What It Takes To Run A Successful Business with Steve Cunningham

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“When you expand your mind, you expand your business.” - Steve Cunningham Click To Tweet

HOW TO BUILD A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS

Well, here’s the thing. What Steve just said is you expand your mind, you expand your business. You might be thinking you want to do it by yourself, and run along and do things completely on your own. What a great nugget, Steve, because I think as you listen to this, you start, you might think, “Well, I don’t really need to expand my brain.” I can tell you. The more you expand your brain, or your mind, and the more open you are, more open your heart is, the more open your mindset is, the more you grow.

I think a lot of people out there are really super stubborn. They believe they can achieve success in life entirely by themselves. That they don’t need to learn from somebody else. Even for me as a business coach, or as I call myself, the business Sherpa, the big thing for me is I also have my own personal mentors that mentor me, guide me, what have you, because you know what? We do get stuck in the rut. We do get stuck in the rut and our business keeps on churning over, and we’re like, “Well, I’m actually happy with a 10, 15% growth per year, when you could be growing quicker if you wanted to. Of course, hey, growing quickly takes cash. You know that. It can drain your cash flow really quickly as well.

At the same time though, I really love about it really expanding yourself in order to expand your business. I’ve seen that for my own personal side.

I want you to be just completely transparent with our listeners today. What do you see as your biggest challenge going forward?

That’s a great question. In some ways it boils down to, you don’t know what you don’t know about yourself. So, for me, I think I’m fairly confident, and I got into a place in the business where I knew I had a lot of things that I needed to fix. I knew I had a lot of things that could be improved, and I just wanted to go do that work. Nobody knows the business like I know the business.

So, I’m the right one to go do that work, year after year after year, trying to get caught up. So, for me, maybe that’s the stubbornness, but it’s really been the challenge that I need to face is my capacity to submit to others and have that guidance to help me get through the areas where I might be disorganized, or help me to learn about better delegation skills or better leadership styles that are more effective with my staff, to help me to find the right marketing approaches or the right marketing leaders within my business, to promote, or to make significant changes in areas of my business that are slowing me down. Sometimes you need to pivot and make a change away from the structures or the systems that you’re holding onto. So, that’s been the challenge, is learning to let go of certain things, and learning how to build a successful business into something new when maybe I was just a little bit stubborn and wanted it to be a certain way or thought that was the best way.

Absolutely. Isn’t it funny how the company name is Pivot Point, and of course, we are talking about the clientele pivoting, maybe seeing things differently around autism, but now it’s actually come back to you and said, “Guess what? There’s a reason why your company name is Pivot Point.”

Absolutely.

Sometimes you have to pivot. So, looking at where the company’s going now, I’ve seen this as Make Your Mark’s grown. I’m sure you’ve possibly seen it as Pivot Point’s grown as well. You have around 170 employees, and your team is growing quickly as your number of families grow. Have you experienced as you’ve grown that you don’t have control over all the finances the way you used to have? Where maybe, in the beginning, you could control just about every cent of the company and expenditure, but as you’ve grown, you’ve had to maybe stand back and watch people spend money the way you would never spend money, or put expenses in that you would never put in.

I used to say in my office that I wish our employees and team at Make Your Mark would treat my money the way they treat their own money. Well, sometimes, you don’t want people treating your money the way they treat their own because some of them aren’t really good at treating their own money well. So, have you experienced as you’ve gone through, some really interesting growth around maybe expenses and that kind of stuff that you don’t really have control over? Maybe now you can control every hundred dollar expense, but you cannot control down to the cent anymore.

Right, exactly. I think the idea of how to start a successful business was a struggle earlier on in the first several years. Cash flow was so tight. Our margins are just so incredibly thin, but I knew that the business could become profitable and stable if we could just get to a critical mass and create enough efficiency in how we handle all the rest of the administrative details of the business, but early on, yeah. That was really, really tough.

It’s funny when you talk about letting other people trust, or trusting in other people to handle money a particular way. There’s actually a number of people in the business where they would respond to a situation in a way that was almost better than how I would’ve responded.

Oh, that’s cool. Wow.

So, I started to identify that feeling inside of me when one person, I can think of her in particular, she is just really, really careful with money. So, she handles all money in her world more aggressively and carefully than I would have. So, I would’ve spent $5, no, she’s going to fight to buy that same thing for $1. So, I’m going to let her make all the purchase decisions.

That’s a wise man.

And it felt wonderful to let her do that. Sometimes I have staffing issues where I think, “Well, maybe that’s not such a big deal, maybe I can tolerate that or I can allow that minor infraction. I’ll just let it slide,” but I have someone else who manages HR who says, “No way. That’s not acceptable.” So, I let that person handle those situations from their value base. So, building a team, I’ve realized that I’ve actually built a lot of assets, people who are doing things more aggressively or with more detail or with more passion in that one area, than I was able to do myself.

Wow. So, that’s really, if you think about it now as you duplicate and as you grow, because I mean really, at the end of the day, you only serve four to five hundred families out of a whole bunch of systems processes, duplication happening. So, would you say one of the key things, and maybe you can even add a little bit to this, around your key to business success and the duplication has been, well now … You used to do everything in the beginning. So you were this giant pie, and each slice of that pie was all the little different aspects of the business you ran, and you were good at them, but you maybe weren’t exceptional at them. It’s what it takes to run a successful business.

Exactly.

Maybe there’s a certain piece of that pie that you’re exceptional at, but now you’ve gone out and found people that are exceptional at the slice you’re maybe average at, that they’ve now taken what it takes to run a successful business to the next level. So as you duplicate, and then you start to realize, “Wait a minute. I’m not duplicating me.” I think it’s the biggest myth out there on how to achieve success in life and how to find the key to business success. I’m going to go duplicate myself. No, the way you duplicate yourself in my understanding, and the way I look at it at Make Your Mark, is that you have all these pieces in the beginning that you pretty much, some might even be average at, and then some of them you’re exceptional at. So you keep the ones you’re exceptional at, because that’s probably what you love doing, and you go find other people that are exceptional at what you’re average. 

Exactly.

Can you speak to that a bit?

Yeah, absolutely. You’re right, I started out as the first regional manager. We now have nine of them, and I’m happy to say that they’re all much better at it than I was. They’re wonderful people, and they come in with vision and passion and leadership, and a history in the social service sector. So, they bring a tremendous amount of heart. Our regional managers, spread throughout the province of British Columbia, are managing the staff that have been hired into that local regional area, and meeting with families and supporting their needs to make sure that our staff are actually delivering exactly what it is that our client families are looking for.

So, yeah, I started the systems. I started the paperwork. I started working through that work, and meeting parents from my heart, and loved being in that position early on, but there’s just no way as a business owner I could stay in that position forever. So, it was an interesting journey trying to hire the first and the second and the third regional manager, and some have left, and we’d hire some more, and some would leave, and we’d hire some more. So, over the 14 years, we’ve probably hired more than 20 people into the position of regional manager, and along with that comes an incredible growth of my understanding of what that position is all about.

So, now, when I interview, I can see very clearly who has the skill set, who has the passion, who is common-grounded and can deliver what that position needs, and sometimes I can see people who might have most of those assets, but who need a little bit of coaching and guidance from me to bring those extra few pieces of their character into the role. So, that’s just one segment of course. There’s many different staffing positions in the organization, but it’s been an amazing journey watching that best regional manager. What makes the best regional manager or what makes the best behavior consultant or what makes the best marketing manager? Whatever the position happens to be in the business, what does this business need most and what are the best qualities that bring that out? It’s certainly not just credentials. It’s so much more. It’s the passion, the heart, the character. Is that individual able to embrace the company values? It’s all of those things and the credentials to do the job well.

how to build a successful business with Steve Cunningham

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“What makes a great employee? It's certainly not just credentials. It's so much more.” - Steve Cunningham Click To Tweet

Yeah, that’s so fascinating. Everyone thinks that you go out, you look for “employees” or look for team, and it’s just so easy. You find great people, and off you go. I mean, I love what you’re bringing to the whole thing of values because, yes, the credentials can be there. Everything can be there, but you know what? And some of you might be listening going, “Yeah, I’ve hired,” and you might even think of this, I’ll ask you, how many of you have worked with really, really people who are awesome at what they do, in terms of their skillset, their job, their functionality, but they really irritate. They irritate you completely. The big thing for me is, if you’re thinking yes, that’s a situation, well they don’t really share your values.

Steve and I’ve had a lot of time to chat about this, and it fascinates me how many people keep people on board who don’t have their values. That person, even though they’re good at their job, that becomes a cancer in the organization. In fact, the people that are excellent at what they do but also have your values, eventually leave because of that one cancer. Keeping them is a key to business success.

I’m going to talk about some of that on future episodes as well, because I want really people to understand that sometimes it is. I’ve talked about the brutal truth. You’ve got to do things sometimes that you’re not happy doing in your business, but you know it’s the right thing to do. Sometimes, as you grow, what I see happening is you have all these employees coming on board, sometimes you have to go through a few of them to learn, as we grow … I know I’m growing every single day, and I’m sure Steve’s growing every single day. So you learn about this, and eventually you say, “Well, I’ve been through 20 regional managers to get really nine awesome ones.” Well, that’s not being rude or disrespectful to people. We learn as we go, and I also call it the H-factor. It doesn’t matter what their resume looks like, and what their tentative values are, there’s still the human factor that comes into it that shows up somewhere along the line.

Absolutely, Colin. As you’re speaking, I’m thinking of all the different restaurants and businesses that I’ve been in over the years, and they could have everything perfect. It could be beautifully designed and every business system working flawlessly. The product, whether it’s a meal or a service, or something I’m purchasing, could be exactly what I need. But if that staff member who delivers it to me doesn’t have a smile, can’t connect with me with just a little bit of kindness when they take my order or when they put the product or the food on the plate in front of me, there’s something missing, and I think we all resonate with that.

So, you’re absolutely right. It’s not just credentials. It’s the human factor, and I’m so proud of the staff in Pivot Point. It’s been such an incredible journey of joy for me to see these, some very experienced and credentialed professionals, and other times people just starting into their careers, but coming in and trying to create a space for themselves. Seeing their passion grow, and seeing them get excited about making a difference in the lives of children and families, has been just phenomenal. That is really what it takes to run a successful business is all about. The skill in behind the training and competency and experience that people bring to the work, is absolutely foundational. You have to have that, but it’s their passion. It’s the twinkle in their eye when they make magic happen in the lives of children and families, and they feel fully alive, that’s when I know I’ve got the spark that my business needs to go on and be successful.

Wow, awesome. So, now I want to really put you on the brutal truth path.

Sure.

So, 14 years in existence. You have 165, 170 employees. You have four to five hundred families that you serve, what’s the one thing, even with all this experience, that you say, “Wow, I suck at this right now and I need to improve it.” What would that be? And you’re like, something that’s like, “Wow. I cannot believe after 14 years, I’m still not doing this the way it should be done, and I wish I could improve it, and that’s what my next goal in the next 12, 24 months to improve is.” So what’d you say? Maybe suck’s a hard word. Maybe it’s a challenging word. Let’s be honest with the listeners. We’ve all been in business for a long time. There are still things we need to learn and that we might not be so fantastic at, or in fact, if you asked our employees, they’d say we completely suck at.

Yeah, for sure.

So, what would that be that you’re going to learn or do in the next 12, doesn’t matter, 6, 12, 24 months, that would really take your business to the next level and that you could share with people and say, “Don’t follow my footsteps”?

Well, the problem is I don’t know what the solution is necessary.

Ah, that’s interesting.

We’ll see where that goes, but really the area that I hold my business back the most is with follow through and little details. My business is large. I’ve got a lot of clients and a lot of staff, and a lot of areas that are growing quickly in the business, and there is so much to do, and my ability to stay on top of dozens and dozens of email daily, dozens of text messages, and hundreds of documents that need my revision or my involvement, dozens of people every week that I need to interact with to support them in moving forward with their pieces of innovation in my business. It really boils down to my ability to follow through with those small details.

So, I often get buried under the small details. I feel like I’ve got 10,000 Post-it notes sitting on top of me at any given time.

So you’re like most of the listeners out there. You have a to-do list that is way longer than your week.

Yes, absolutely. So it’s my inability to follow through with certain tasks sometimes, so it gets bottle-necked. So, I’ll get started working on something, and I need to devote 10 hours to it, but I can only get 6 or 7 hours in. It’s not quite done, but it’s got a good start, but something else comes up. So that first project gets set aside, and I’ll get started-

Little bit of squirrel syndrome.

Absolutely. I get started on something else, and then that gets set aside. I now have dozens, or maybe even hundreds of little projects, some small, some really big, some that would require 100 hours. Where am I going to find 100 hours?

So what do you think a solution to this is? Many of us, and many of you listeners out there, there’s stuff that we don’t know we don’t know. So if there’s one thing you maybe do know, what do you think it would be in order to get those projects completed? Maybe a small solution to this.

Well, I’m really hoping I can follow my own advice in terms of finding somebody with a skillset that’s stronger than my skillset in that area.

Ah, beautiful. Okay.

So, I think a strong executive assistant. Somebody with strong background in project management would be great. There’s definitely people who are very diligent, awesome follow through, and they just work, work, work, to get things done. If I can have that support at my side, I think I can stay organized and we can be an efficient team moving forward. So, hopefully that’ll work.

Great man. I’m going to give you a piece of advice from my side. I’m going to give it directly to Steve here is that, I’ve had over the last five years probably five executive assistants. The one thing I’ve learned, and that’s why we have the show called The Brutal Truth of Colin Sprake, is because I will share with you at all transparency on who I am, listeners out there, is that I decided to go out and hire junior executive assistants, people that have been around three, four years, who thought they were executive assistants, but yet, they weren’t really executive assistants. I could be doing administrative work for you, or what have you. I’ve just hired in the last four or five months an executive assistant that I paid more money to. She asked me for more money, 25 years of experience, deserves more money, and I was like, “Okay, you know what? That’s … Wow.” Pay another 10 grand a year more.

She started with me. I’ve traveled for a month. I saw her for the first two days, and then after that, I traveled pretty much for the next month, and she just jumped in. I mean Joanne is spectacular. She jumped in, and she knows what it takes to be an executive assistant. She doesn’t need hand-holding, babysitting. Jumped in, got going, checked the emails, and all of a sudden, started getting things just working like a machine at the office.

So, for any listeners out there, even back to Steve, really understand that you get what you pay for. We keep on thinking, how do we get executive assistants that are 50 grand a year, 60 grand a year? I now pay my executive assistant more than that, but the key reason why I do that is because she is at a level and has the experience, and I cannot stress this enough. If I had known this my own learning experience with employees and teams, is if I’d known that, I would have hired her, an executive assistant with 25 years experience, five years ago.

Exactly Colin, and that goes back to what we were saying earlier about putting trust in the people and finding people who have a skill that is beyond your own. If I had done that over the last five or ten years, my business would absolutely be way bigger and way more successful than it is today.

That 10 grand extra may be for an employee, might have added two million to your business.

Easily.

But now it’s like we hold down the 10 grand.

Easily.

We’re pretty smart people aren’t we? We’ll still … 10 grand to get to 2 million?

Yeah, it’s kind of crazy. It really is. So, for me, that goes back to that point of seeing how to build a successful business for where it’s going, not where it is today. So, very often I was trying to hire people who would fit in with the business right now, but that’s not necessarily what I need. You said you’ve hired some executive assistants who had a little bit of experience, but not a lot of experience. They don’t have experience being executive assistants in massive organizations, but that’s where you want to be.

The Key To Business Success with Steve Cunningham

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“See the business for where it’s going, not where it is today.” - Steve Cunningham Click To Tweet

So, that’s the same for me. I need to envision my business twice the size that it is right now, and then hire an executive assistant who has that kind of experience to bring my business forward.

Exactly. It’s like hiring an athletic coach who’s going to teach you how to run 100 meters in under 10 seconds, but yet, that person is not a true athletic, sprint coach. They’re a long distance coach who’s never, ever run under 10 seconds themselves, even under 11 seconds, and now you’re saying, “Well, can you guide me to do what they’ve never done.”

Exactly.

I think that’s one of the keys to business success. I know where that’s in Make Your Mark, right now. We’re looking at getting a Chief Operating Officer in, but that person has taken a business from a multiple eight figure business to a nine figure, even a ten figure business. That’s what I’ve learned over time now, hire the people that have got experience with where you want to be, not where you want to go to, and take them with you, drag them with you. Have them drag you to where you want to be because they’ve actually got that experience. They’ve been there.

Bingo.

Cool. Beautiful. What a great conversation today, and it’s been my privilege Steve to have you on the air with us. Now, if people wanted to get a hold of you or connect with you, maybe they’ve got children with autism or they just, yeah, want to learn more about Pivot Point Family Growth Centers, give us a little bit of information where our listeners could plug into you today.

Absolutely. I think the best place is really to reach us online. Pivotpoint.ca. There you can learn all about our services to children, youth, and adults with autism and other diverse abilities. You can learn about our educational services like our community classrooms, our mental health services, our transition planning services. There’s quite a range of services that we provide that are all accredited and industry best practice services. So, come visit us at pivotpoint.ca and find out what we do.

Fantastic, Steve. What a great conversation today, and thank you for just being completely open, honest with our listeners because we cannot get to where we want to be if we put fluff around stuff all the time. We have to serve each other, help each other, and get to the next level. So, thank you for listening today. It’s been my privilege to have Steve Cunningham with me today, and see you very soon. Next week we’ll have our next show coming up, and I cannot wait to serve you, and really get into more brutal truths with amazing people that have helped me and mentored me as well as being part of my community here at Make Your Mark. Thank you so much Steve. Thank you listeners. Have a great week ahead, and remember, implementation is everything.

 

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