Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in coaching but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tim Barry, CEO of TJ Barry and Associates, located in Fort Worth, TX, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I typically work with CEOs, Presidents, and Business owners who are generally happy with their business but call me for three things: a) their salespeople keep dropping the price to get new business (kills margins), b) their leaders struggle to motivate their teams to provide consistent results (kills cash flow) and c) their HR departments wrestle with hiring High Performers (kills margins and cash flow). The good news is that I specialize in all three of those areas!
Tell us about yourself
I started my first business when I was 14 years old, cleaning houses in the 'rich' part of town. It afforded me to pay for my private high school education. I worked 60+ hours per week through college operating 3 AB Dick offset printing presses and graduated with an accounting degree. I didn't get to experience college life, but I paid cash for DePaul University and had zero in student loans (heck yeah!). Instead of going to work for a Big three accounting firm, I chose a startup tech company. From there, I earned a 30% ownership of that firm and sold out so I could take the cash and start three construction companies. I am a serial entrepreneur and LOVE to help other business owners achieve their goals and dream. It still keeps me up at night! People have asked me: Do you love winning or hate losing more? My answer is simple: I HATE losing way more than I love winning. My expectation is that I'm going to win because I am thorough, committed, and focused. When I win, I'm like, "cool, that's good." But when I lose, UGH!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is improving and changing my clients' and my employees' lives. I teach and preach "work/life balance" and make sure that I exude that attribute. I work hard and achieve my goals, but I won't compromise my wife, kids, or family. This isn't a cop-out. I do really well, and I could do better, but the cost to my quality of life and my marriage would be higher than I'm willing to pay. My team and my clients have seen me help shift culture for good, so I'd say that is the most important accomplishment I've had as a business owner.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
My biggest challenge has always been between my ears. It's easy to feel great about yourself when things are good, but there are 'seasons' that a business can go through, and I have struggled with those failures in the past. The reality is that ALL learning comes from failure. Nobody gets it right on the first try, so it's best to embrace failure as part of the road to success. Learn from it, then get back to focusing on achieving results. Too many business owners ruminate on failure for too long. My advice is this: when you are driving your car, you've got about 32 square feet of glass through which you can see the road ahead of you. Now there is also a rear view mirror, but it is only about 32 square inches......live your life according to that ratio.
In business, you should be focused on the road ahead and put that pedal to the metal. It's OK to glance at the rear view mirror, but don't stare at it too long, lest you crash into the upcoming tree while you are distracted.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals for yourself and for your business. Revisit them daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually.
- Focus on disciplined execution of the Top 10 Sales Behaviors to grow your business
- Be humble. Surround yourself with people that are smarter than you and give them the freedom to do the job you hired them to do.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Executing the winning behaviors is where a successful business starts. Even if you don't 'feel like it,' if you just exercise, your body releases all kinds of endorphins into your blood which make you feel amazing. When you do this consistently, your technique improves, and it becomes easier and easier to achieve that result!
The same thing happens in business. Most people struggle with hunting for new business, so they avoid it. But if you execute a plan to do the prospecting behaviors EVERY DAY, you feel amazing when you are done.....and you get better at it, making it easier and easier to win!
Get R Done!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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