How did you start out?
After graduating from Springfield College with a degree in Sports Management, I worked a couple of jobs that didn’t allow me to progress based on my efforts and performance. I wanted to be successful, I wanted to be an over achiever – however, I needed someone to teach and show me how to excel in a professional environment. I was fortunate to get a sales position with a company, whose owner was very involved in the day to day running of the business and I worked with him for two years. He taught and showed me everything he knew from sales, leadership, client management and finance to recruiting top-level talent. It was a great partnership; looking back, that time was invaluable for the experience that I gained professionally. After two years working together he moved away from Boston and I started my first business at the age of 25, and have never looked back.
What one thing made the biggest difference when getting started?
Having a great mentor! Once I decided that I wanted to own my own business I knew it was going to be important to surround myself with successful people. I didn’t have much experience when I started out but I was eager to learn as much as possible to ensure my business would be successful. I was lucky enough to be able to have two fantastic people who gave me great advice, support, and constructive criticism – I still keep in touch with them today. It is important to always be learning, and you should find new mentors that you can learn from no matter what stage of your career you’re in.
How do you handle setbacks?
We all have issues that we need to deal with personally and professionally. I’ve always tried to look at things positively and objectively – step back and look at the situation. If I can change the situation or how I am dealing with it then I do; if I can’t change the situation then I change my attitude towards that situation. I have never met someone that is successful who dwells on the negatives or on the things that are not in their control. It is important to take responsibility rather than looking for who or what caused the setback and try to take steps to overcome those challenges. Set-backs will always happen when starting a business but I truly believe it’s the way you bounce back from them that determines how successful you and the business will be.
How did you create a big jump in revenue for your business? What are the key factors that assisted with that?
Increasing sales requires a consistent strategy. Setting realistic goals of what can be achieved is essential, to do so it’s important to have extensive knowledge of your market. Knowing your competitors and understanding your unique selling point will help you with finding your niche and will help you gain confidence to push forward and grow.
It is important to recruit the most talented people to your team. I am only one person. My success, as well as the success of the business, will be determined by the team we assemble. If you recruit and train a highly talented team that over-achieves and delivers on their targets, it’s hard not to grow. When working with a sales team it’s important to build their confidence, not only in the product or service they are selling, but as individuals. It is also important to be very clear on the standards and expectations for the individual, and the company goals to be achieved. Foster positive competition and provide performance-based rewards for your team.