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Business Strategy & Experience Advisor. Sold my last service business after growing it to $10MM in annual revenue. More at servicezealot.com

3 reasons big companies make bad early-stage customers.

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Who doesn’t want a big customer with a big appetite? It looks like easy money and a sure-fire way to grow your business. The holy grail of business wins is landing a massive customer. A company with impressive brand recognition and deep pockets.

At least, that is what social media and business books love to portray. Yet they do little to highlight the dark side.

Sure, you will likely grow, but it won’t be all sunshine and rainbows. Why? Because big companies eat little businesses for breakfast. Probably, not on purpose, but due to critical needs that don’t align.

What are you to do, if you want to punch above your weight class?


5 things I wish I knew when starting my entrepreneurial journey

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Photo by Matt Duncan on Unsplash

I knew I was a terrible employee, but I didn’t yet know why. The lure of “being my own boss” was powerful. Even if the fear of failure loomed when I thought of my wife, three kids, and the mortgage.

Can you relate? That irrational fear of walking away from a consistent, “guaranteed” paycheck. The thought of finding your own medical benefits. The weight of your choices affecting your family. The threat of failure.

That’s where I was a decade ago.

I knew entrepreneurship was for me, yet the anxiety of failing my family loomed larger than life. …


Here are 5 questions to ask yourself before sharing equity

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Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

Building a business alone is hard. Shoot — the building is hard period. That’s why it’s so common to have partners. Yet not everyone should be a partner.

My first big foray into business was a consulting firm, or a ‘service business’ as I typically refer to it for more mass appeal. I started with two partners. We were naive and made a ton of mistakes but managed to find more success than setback so we grew quickly. …


Opening new doors can dramatically alter your perspective

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Photo by Doug Kelley on Unsplash

A small town of 8,000 people, in its heyday, surrounded by dairy farms and Amish communities. That’s where I grew up.

My earliest memories are of the trailer park we lived in until I was in junior high. I recall the bus rides to school, stopping at houses, and thinking how rich they were to live in a home without wheels.

Then in junior high, engaged to a farmer, my mom moved us to a dairy farm in a new town and new state. I now lived in an even smaller farming community yet had upgraded to a genuine farmhouse.

The dream was to get a college education, work for the biggest employer in the regional city, earn a mid 5-figure salary, start a family, and buy a home. …


Unlock the secrets to providing peace of mind for customers

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Photo by Ronny Sison on Unsplash

Service businesses are easy to start but notoriously hard to build into multi-million dollar companies. Most exist as 1–2 person operations and never hit seven-figures in revenue.

Don’t get me wrong, that’s not bad if it fits their lifestyle. But I’m not talking to that person here. I’m talking to you. You want to build a lasting empire. Something that makes a difference and provides a superior customer experience.

Up until today, you’ve been eager to attract as many customers as you can. Offering an assortment of services, across a range of industries. The very definition of “full service”.

And you bill your clients by the hour. Customers insist on this form of payment given their other vendors operate that way. It’s also simple for you to produce revenue. You work a million hours and you make a million dollars. It’s a tried-and-true approach. …


Capitalism works, but we’re ignoring much of its potential

There is a movement within the US to embrace socialism. Yet, it’s a symptom of how we’re failing a generation due…


Just start writing and kick that anxiety to the curb.

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Photo by Brad Neathery

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was knee-high to a Junebug. Most of my early forays entailed grueling essays on topics I’ve long forgotten. But creative writing was what made me light up. The written word has played an impactful role in helping me unpack my thoughts and experiences ever since.

This became clear following high school when — sparked by some catalyst that now escapes me — I began journaling. It kicked off an introspective journey that led me to pursue creative writing as a minor while I pursued an engineering degree.

Writing was in my future. I was convinced of it. Yet two decades later, albeit with a wonderful family and career, I had made zero progress on that particular dream. I blamed it on a lack of time, but the real culprit was my insecurity. What would I be qualified to say?


An opinionated perspective on how we’re failing our kids

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Photo by Gift Habeshaw on Unsplash

While up late last night, unable to sleep, I turned on a podcast to lull myself into a dream state.

In this instance, it happened to be Business Casual, and the topic was “How to Solve The Student Debt Problem.” The guest was Jeff Selingo. A higher-education expert who has written about the student debt load for longer than my teenage kids have been alive.

About nine minutes into the conversation, Jeff made a connection that immediately jolted me awake. It was about graduate school costs, but that’s not what shook me.

He called the four-year bachelor’s degree “the new high school diploma,” and I about choked. That was my observation, yet I had never stopped to unpack my thoughts before. …

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