Sharing stories of entrepreneurship: vision, growth and people.
I'm the founder and CEO of O2E Brands, the banner company for 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, WOW 1 DAY PAINTING, You Move Me, and Shack Shine. I'm a strong believer in ongoing personal and professional development, and I like to show others how to use goal-setting to take the lead in their own business. As someone who is passionate about people, I've created a corporate culture where we are building something bigger, together.
In a buyer's market, job seekers have to be the world's best salespeople. You have to spark an interest, craft your pitch, and prove the worth of your top product: you. If you can't sell yourself as the best and brightest for the job, you'll never close the deal. Not a natural sales person? That's OK.
We always seem to find the time to check in -- but we rarely take the time to check out. So give yourself and your team the freedom to take a total technology blackout and get some unplugged Facetime with your travel companions. Trust me: everything back at the office will be exactly as you left it.
As someone with ADHD, who grew up with reading difficulties, sitting down with a book was never my go-to pastime. I preferred hands-on learning over classroom education -- so when I traded in my textbooks to run my own business, I don't think anyone was surprised. But even though I believe experience is the best teacher, there are always opportunities to learn from the experts (whether you're in startup or 30 years into your business).
For our COO Erik Church, it's a five-hour flight. He lives in Toronto and works in Vancouver, putting 2,000 miles between home and the office. From his perspective, his flights offer him a rare luxury he'd never find at the office: 10 hours a week of focused work, free from interruption. He believes anyone can do the same.
There's no big secret to success in business -- it's all about attitude. Approaching entrepreneurship with optimism means you can bounce back when ideas flop, and in general, you bring more energy and enthusiasm to the workplace.
Public speaking is linked to career success: It creates a perception that you're an expert in your field and it can be an opportunity to motivate people. I used to be terrified of speaking in public too, but was forced to overcome my fear so I could network with other entrepreneurs and promote my business.
Although the firing process should be like ripping off a Band-Aid, it's still important to be respectful -- no one should be surprised they've been fired. Employees should be made aware of problems and given a chance to correct them. It's just good business sense.
One thing is clear from this year's presidential race: Donald Trump has built an incredibly recognizable brand. He's stamped his name on so many things -- from buildings around the world to steaks for sale at The Sharper Image -- that some American voters associate him with wealth and success.
Many things go into building a successful company -- awesome people, vision, and strong systems, to name a few. But the biggest and best companies get to where they are because their leaders make time to prioritize one thing: thinking. I mean taking time to ponder issues, develop strategies, and plan for the future.
n the early days of 1-800-GOT-JUNK? my hiring decisions were based on convenience: Are you my friend? Do you have a pulse? Can you drive a truck? I was desperate for bodies and hired almost anyone who came along. Hiring this way worked in the short term, but ended up being a disaster.
Everyone is talking about millennials: How do they work? What do they want? How do we hire them? How do we keep them happy? All these questions are for good reason: in a decade they will make up three quarters of our workforce.
Distractible. Energetic. Impulsive. These are some of the words often used to describe me. They're also common descriptors for well-known execs like Richard Branson, David Neeleman of Jet Blue Airways, and Ikea's Ingvar Kamprad. That's because we all have ADHD.
Being friendly doesn't mean sharing every secret or disregarding competition. After all -- you're both after customers in a crowded marketplace. Just realize that strategically aligning with the competition can make your business better. McDonald's needs Burger King; FedEx keeps UPS on its toes. Healthy business rivalries help stave off complacency and will make your company stronger in the long run.
We made the mistake of overlooking the "fit factor" before, and morale and productivity plunged. It was difficult to turn it all around. Now we prioritize compatibility during the hiring process -- we want people who work hard and play hard together. Attention to culture fit has not only made our company a better place to work, it's boosted our ROI.