When people ask me how I got to where I am today, I immediately think of the amazing people I’ve contracted over the years who have influenced my life in a powerful way. A flaw of mine is that I lack patience.
Unlike many entrepreneurs, I didn’t want to go the traditional route to earn my first business million…meaning twenty hard years of busting my butt. I wanted it before I was 40, while I was young and had the energy to oversee a business of this size. So rather than wait and put in my “time,” I invested in my education as well as personal and business development. I grew myself and when I had a team, I focused on growing my team. Here are a few examples of my learning history:
Burt Dubin: Burt was the very first person I hired when I was a speaker developing my brand. I had no staff, it was just me and while I was passionate about teaching people how to sell, I didn’t have a name for my program, cool packaging or an effective way to position my systems- I was just out there speaking, making it happen and literally flying by the seat of my pants. When I hired Burt, I was very green into my speaking career and the $5K I spent was terrifying because at the time, it was a huge investment. Yet I took a chance, hired Burt and it was one of the best decisions I ever made.
Alan Weiss: Years later, around 9 pm one evening I was freaking out because one of my speaking clients asked me for a full services proposal to train, coach and white label my training systems for their organization. Clueless as to how to price this program I decided to pick up the phone and call Alan. I had heard of him before, he had a great reputation and was big into consulting at the time. He actually answered the phone at 9 pm and after I pulled myself off the floor, I hired him to consult and teach me how to write proposals- for $9K. Again, I was still early into my career and didn’t have $9K to spare but I pretty much emptied my bank account with the confidence that this knowledge would translate into revenue and…it did!
BBI: Growing stronger day by day, year by year and with lots of other great coaches along the way, Bild & Company surpassed its first million. I never believed the saying that making your first million is the hardest thing you will ever do- but the truth is, once you pass it- growing beyond a million is easy (compared to that first million). If you’ve done this you know exactly what’ I’m talking about. Once we reached this landmark things grew quickly. You will notice I didn’t say easily. Running a business of this size was a whole new ball game. Additionally I had clients and employees all over the nation. In my gut I knew that I needed infrastructure to support our growth. Yet you don’t know what you don’t know- so I did some research and made the biggest investment ever into my business, it was over $200K. There were no guarantees that the team I hired would get results but I liked our action plan and dove in 100%. This was an incredibly tough time because many of my employees were uncomfortable with the consultant we were working with, didn’t like outsiders telling them what to do, or being challenged on the way they did their job. I’ll never forget it- this is was what I call a Game Changer. Looking back I can say with confidence, although difficult and expensive, I more than doubled my investment. We had the tools, resources, infrastructure and more- to continue our rapid expansion and most importantly ensure that our work was world class for our clients.
Sue Youngs: My phone line to the universe, ha! I’ve used Sue on and off for over a decade. I’ve never met her in person or seen her picture- but she has made the most positive impact on my life more than any other person I’ve worked with in professional development. She challenges me to think differently, to reflect, trust my gut and take action despite my fears. She is a rock star and I imagine I’ll still be using her when I’m living in an assisted living community (if she’ll still have me) myself. Whenever I’m feeling pressured, stressed or uncertain about big decisions I set an appointment with Sue and she steers me in the right direction to press on with confidence.
Norman Vincent Peale: The man who I say, “Raised me!” If you’ve never read The Power of Positive Thinking, then do it tomorrow. This book forever changed my life and set me on the course that would become “a life that exceeded my wildest expectations.” Norman taught me how to focus on the things I wanted, versus didn’t want, to change my thought process and have faith in my ability to do anything I set my mind to. I’m actually re-reading Stay Alive All Your Life, another great book of his right now! While I never met him and never will, I owe a huge debt of gratitude to this amazing author.
Savor the Success: I belong to an amazing group of women out of NYC, all entrepreneurs with sizable businesses who challenge me like no one else. We report in on our goals every Monday and Friday, we meet every three months in person and go out of our way to help one another 24/7. I joined this group two years ago and prior to this experience was incredibly lonely and isolated as a female entrepreneur. While I pay handsomely to be part of this amazing group, it’s worth every penny. I’ve landed a book agent, launched a million dollar brand, meet with people I would otherwise never have met- such as a producer from the Diane Sawyer show and an Oprah Editor- both who gave me invaluable feedback- and more…all unexpected surprises along the way. Most importantly I’ve made friends for life that I know without a doubt has my back.
Why do I open up and tell you all this- Because success is not an accident. Some people will pretend that their accomplishments came easily and others are too modest to tell you the price they paid for their success- yet I am a big believer in training and education and showing people what’s involved in creating something really amazing. The truth is- if you get a feel for how I built my company, you might get inspired to further build yours. You might just pull out the Power of Positive Thinking tonight rather than watch that regular television show, go buy a book with strategies to become a better leader or make the decision to invest in yourself, your team or your company in an effort to up your game.
I can freely talk about this because I walk my talk. When I’m on the phone with a client finding their needs and working to build value in regards to our services here at Bild & Company I can honestly say “I’ve been in your shoes!” and I know how scary these decisions can be. Hiring a firm to grow your occupancy, rebrand your company or build a marketing plan is not easy and there are never any true guarantees. So how do you know when it’s time to pull the trigger and as they say, “Just do it?”
I have a formula I’ve used for years that takes the pressure off and makes my decisions much easier: I ask myself the following question- Can I live with the worst case scenario? What will happen if I invest this money and we don’t get results, can I live with that loss? If the answer is no, then I don’t take action. If the answer is yes, then I do. It’s that simple. While it would be great if we all had a crystal ball, the truth is that most high reward opportunities come with the potential for risk. We are in such an incredible time of change as healthcare (as we know it) is completely re-invented. Looking at our amazing industry of senior care, I’ve not seen this much innovation in over a decade and it’s incredibly exciting but there is still much work to do (Kudos to all of you leading the charge)!
If you want to explore next steps for your organization, brain storm ways to increase the performance of your team, tell the core story of who you are- what I call the human side, prepare for the changes coming down with the ACA or simply inject immediate cash flow through census growth training, reach out to our amazing company CEO Seth Garber at SGarber@TraciBild.com and we’ll jump on a call with you to discuss how you too can up your game! Remember- no risk- no reward!
Written by Traci Bild, Chairwoman Bild & Company.