Build Operational Systems for your Business with Jamie Irvine

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We’re going to be talking to another super interesting entrepreneur sharing his story that you’re going to find interesting and it really relates to so many people that I meet. A lot of the things that I hear from people of why things won’t work or how their situation is different or whatever, I think you’re going to turn those excuses on their head today as we talk to my friend.

Before we do that, I want to just remind you a little bit about the podcast. First of all, if you’ve been a regular follower of the podcast, and there are hundreds of you out there that I know have written to me and have made comments and wanted to have conversations, I want to first of all come back and say thanks for your patience. It’s been five weeks since the last podcast and that’s completely on me. I’ve been traveling around the country and around Europe and speaking and vacationing. Even now, I’m spending the month of July at my home at the beach. I just got back from two weeks in Europe and before that five weeks of traveling and speaking. I haven’t been really awesome about putting out the podcast. I’m thankful that you showed back up and that you’re listening and that you’re subscribed. If you’re not subscribed and you’re just one of the casual listeners, I encourage you to go to Stitcher or go to iTunes or just check out my website on a regular basis, Click on the podcast page, you’ll be able to see this podcast, all the previous podcasts, the show notes, transcripts, links, ideas from my guests, it’s a great place to go. Go over there and check it out.

Remember, this is the podcast where I’m trying to introduce you to people and ideas to help you take control of your business. Rather than being the most critical employee in your company, you’re the owner, you’re the director, you’re the chairman of the board, you’re leading the business, you’re as involved as you want to be, but you also have the flexibility to start other businesses, take personal times, spend time with family, do whatever else you wanted to. Because the business doesn’t own you, you own the business. We’ve got a great example of a real world, a very common situation in entrepreneurship with a very uncommon result.


Listen To The Episode Here


Build Operational Systems for your Business with Jamie Irvine

I’m really excited to introduce my guest, Jamie Irvine. Jamie is a Canadian entrepreneur. He is a guy who’s got an interesting story. Rather me telling the story, I’m going to let Jamie tell the story. Jamie, welcome today to The Unshackled Owner Podcast. I’m glad to have you with me.

Thank you so much for having me on. I’m excited to be here as well.

We’re going to have a fun conversation. You were working, you were out there in the business world and then you decided to make an entrepreneurial jump. Is that right?

Yeah, I was a sales professional and I always worked in sales but on the business development side of companies I work for. It was coming up to 2009 and I had an entrepreneurial moment where I decided that I wanted to start my own business.

You’re working, you’re in sales, you go, “I’m producing so much. I’m making so much money for this company. I have all these bigger ideas that go beyond just selling this stuff. There’s more I want to do.” What was that initial thing that you thought you wanted to bring to the world?

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I was making enough money that I had enough runway to be able to start my own business.

That’s exactly what happened. I was doing so well in sales. I was making enough money that I had enough runway to be able to start my own business. I had this dream of becoming a business consultant, of working with businesses to help them with their sales, their marketing and their business development. I actually quit my job. I had a very good job and people were losing their jobs in the great recession and I went ahead and quit my job January 4th, 2009. I started a consulting company with a business colleague that I had worked with for many, many years. It was the dream to work in boardrooms and work with teams and one day to develop that into being a keynote speaker and maybe even an author. That was the dream and I was going to go for it.

You want to be Brian Tracy, Zig Ziglar. You wanted to go out there and make your mark, make your name, be on the big stages and be helping businesses.

I love that you said Brian Tracy because one of the books I read was The Psychology of Selling and that transformed my sales career. That’s exactly who I was trying to emulate.

Brian is a guy that I’ve known for a number of years. As the matter of fact, for those of you that know about my prison story and how I ended up going to prison, the very first guy who invited me back on to the stage after I got out from prison was Brian Tracy. He has spoken at my events in the past. He’s a great guy. That’s why I thought of him. It’s no wonder that with a great role model like Brian Tracy, you thought, “I can go out and rock the town.” How old were you at the time?

I just turned 30.

You’re 30 years old. You’re full of enthusiasm. You’re feeling good about yourself and you said, “I’m going to go out there and become the next Tony Robbins, Brian Tracy. I’m going to be a leader.” You started that business when? Do you remember what month?

Yeah, I quit January 4th, 2009, but I gave them a month’s notice because I wanted to do right by the company that had treated me so well. I started the business February 4th, 2009 with my partner.

You started this company in Feb of ’09, what was the result of that?

The result was that in less than six months, my business partner actually decided that this was not the business he wanted to be in. We had a very strong relationship and a good agreement. We opened the shareholder contract and followed the contract and he exited. We’re still friends to this day. What that did is that it took half the seed money and that was gone. My wife and I decided we were going to carry on because this was my dream. Within a few months, by June actually, we were completely out of money. All of the seed money was gone.

From February to June, you’d run out a runway?

I had run out of runway because we were supposed to have about eight to twelve months depending on what revenue we could create and when half of that seed money walked out the door, it just cut that in half. All of a sudden it’s late June 2009. I remember because we had $700 in our bank account and we had a $1200 rent payment due in two weeks. We were like, “What are we going to do?”

Most first time entrepreneurs, they’ve done most of their business planning just with a basic little handheld calculator. They said, “If I can get three people in a month or three people in a day or a week and they’re all going to pay me $750, that means that the first month I should make is $8500 and the next month I should renew half of those. That makes $12,000. Within a year I’m making millions of dollars.” That is a typical misguided, naïve way of looking at how business is going to work. It almost always costs four or five times more than you think it’s going to and it takes two, three, four times longer than you think it’s going to take. Unfortunately, in your case, Jamie, you ran out of runway; the prospects, the business partner, that all evaporated, like can happen. You had a house payment due and you have $700 in the bank. What did you do?

It was the middle of 2009, nobody was hiring. Going and getting jobs wasn’t even an option. The business that I had been working for that I quit had closed all the corporate locations in our province in the time between me leaving and this time. There was nothing to go back to. I did whatever great entrepreneur does. When the first business doesn’t work, you start a second one.

You started another business in the summer of ’09. What was that doing? Was this going to get you on big stages as well? Was this going to get you a radio show? What were you doing?

It was as far away from my dream as you can imagine. It was a contracting business that specialized in exterior building cleaning which really translates into cleaning people’s gutters and washing their windows and washing the siding of buildings and being dirty and brutally physically demanding work. It just was as far away from my dream as possible. The only thing that was connected to my dream was I was still an entrepreneur.

You had $700 and you had a house payment coming up. Believe me, I had a business failure back in ’91, ’92 and I went from having multiple locations, dozens and dozens of employees, being on the newspaper, being interviewed and all that to I contracted with this video store. They were these discount cards; you pay $20 for this card and you get discounted rentals and popcorns and stuff. This was in the ‘90s when we still had things called videotapes. Really, it went from being very, very hot shot to knocking doors trying to sell these video coupon cards. The reason we did that was because we had no money. We didn’t invest in a bunch of infrastructures. How did you start? Were you just borrowing somebody’s ladder and climbing up on the gutter? What did you do?

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While I was in that meeting, they phoned and cancelled.

I had generated some clients. Actually, one of my clients had hired me to do some marketing, and he was in this business. It was actually a faithful day because he came to my home office and we had a meeting in the morning. He was just tired and didn’t want to work that day and I had an appointment with a potentially large client that was going to get us through the summer. While I was in that meeting, they phoned and cancelled. We ended the marketing meeting with this guy. I got the message that this big client had cancelled and I was just totally devastated. I looked across the table and I said, “What are you doing this afternoon?” He looked back at me and he said, “I don’t want to go to work today.” I said, “I used to work in a shop and I’m not afraid to put on some clothes. I’ve got to get out of here. I’ll just come with you and help you.” While I helped him that afternoon, we made a deal and he said, “I’ve got more work in some areas than I can handle at certain times of the year. I’d be happy to subcontract it to you. I’ll loan you the equipment. You just have to figure out how to get it to the job site.”

Later that day, my wife and I were driving and I guess it was fate because a guy wheeled out a trailer as we were driving by his house and put a “For Sale” sign on it. I stopped and the guy said, “I want $700 for it.” I said to him, “I can’t give you $700 because I have to insure it for the year. I can only give you $550 because after I pay the tax and insurance, it will come to $700.” I told him my story and I threw myself at his mercy. He goes, “That’s way below what I wanted it for it, but for you young kids, I’ll do it.” I wish I knew where that guy was because I’d love to be able to tell him what happened.

Think about the investment he made in you. It’s interesting. It’s that divine right timing. You could have gone home and just have been frustrated and angry. Your body could have just set back and said, “Whatever.” It could have all ended. But you said, “No. I’m willing to roll my sleeves up and get my hands dirty.” Then you also stopped. Opportunity came in front of you but you also stopped and talked to the guy and were transparent enough to give him your story. It’s funny how being transparent will engender confidence and even people wanting to make an investment in you, if they think you’re not trying to be phony. I really have to give you credit because most people that I know are so worried about their image that they don’t want to be as vulnerable as you had to be with that guy on something as simple as a trailer. You bought this trailer for $550 and you went and insured it. Then what happened? You just started right away?

Yeah, I started right away. I made $1200 in the first week, so I had enough money now to pay for the house payment then I made enough for food. As the summer went on, I kept going with my first business. I wasn’t giving up my dream. I did both concurrently until the end of that calendar year. That was really humbling because I remember going to offices, doing a pitch. I actually got a couple of customers. I was working with those customers and then I would run home, throw on the work clothes, hook up the trailer to our SUV and then go off and clean someone’s gutters or do something in the afternoon. We did this for a while where we were doing both. The idea was we’ll make a bit of cash on the side, we’ll pay our bills, extends our runway and we’ll get through 2009 and the recession will come to an end and things will pick up in the business community and I will carry on with my dream. I wasn’t going to give up.

The humbling day came when one of the ladies who was the HR Executive at a place I was pitching also responded to one of our ads. I was at her office earlier that week in a suit doing a great pitch and they actually hired us. Later that week, I showed up at her house in my work clothes to clean her gutters. The look on her face and the look on my face, I wish I could have seen it, it was quite comical. She understood what was going on in that moment. She was so genuine and she was so kind to me that she actually patronized both of our businesses and she never told my little secret to the executives of her company.

I bet you know where she is still, don’t you?

Absolutely. Penny, you’re the best.

You’ve got to make sure you put it on Facebook. Penny should listen to this story. It’s really amazing isn’t it? At least nobody I know just started off successful. They all started in doing something humbling like you’re describing and I love the fact that you didn’t give up on the dream. Just because you were making money with the gutter cleaning, power washing business, you were still going out pursuing your dream, but you had the humility to keep doing it. It’s like Mark Cuban saying that he had to eat ketchup packets while he was trying to get his business going because he kept getting them for free from McDonalds and that was what he would eat. Crazy, crazy story. You get this thing going. I assume at some point you started getting your own equipment or did you always stay as a joint venture with this associate?

We were a standalone company but he was just a general contractor that would send us work. Eventually, I bought the equipment from him. What happened is in February 2010, I hit a burnout stage because remember, I’m doing both.

Where are you living? You’re in Canada, in Alberta, right?

At the time, we were in the Vancouver area in British Columbia.

You’re in Vancouver, British Columbia. I used to have an office downtown in Vancouver, British Columbia. I know that the winters, while they’re not the same as being up in Calgary or someplace, it’s a lot of rain, it’s a fair amount of snow, not buried in snow but it’s cold if you’re on the water, it’s rainy. That’s not ideal weather to be doing in the kind of work that you’re describing.

It’s the one part of the year that there’s almost no work at all. From about December 15th until the end of January, there’s virtually nothing. It was February when I just hit that burnout stage.

You’d started in the summer, money all of a sudden was flowing back, you were feeling good, you had your trailer, you started to buy your own equipment from the guy, you got through towards the holidays and all of a sudden it dries up. Of course, it always has to dry up around the holidays, doesn’t it? You’re probably feeling pretty dejected by the beginning of February, not only from the work but from the lack of work.

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It would run well for a bit in spurts and then it would be very difficult.

It was a combination because at the time too we had a couple of clients on the consulting side. One of the deals was going well and the other one wasn’t. It just felt like an engine that was misfiring. It would run well for a bit in spurts and then it would be very difficult. Honestly, I wasn’t feeling proud of the contracting company. I hated the work. I was embarrassed that that’s where I had ended up and that’s what I was relying on to provide for my family. When I hit to February, I just hit this wall and it’s like, “I’ve got to do something different.” I remember it was a Friday morning. It was almost a year to the date of starting our first business. I woke up on the Friday morning and I had coffee and I sat down at the kitchen table and I looked at my wife. I never said anything, she just saw my face and she goes, “What?” I said, “I’m done.” She goes, “What are you done?” I said, “My dream died this morning.”

You just said, “I’m not proud of what I’m doing and I really hate this double identity that I’m trying to play.” You were feeling bad inside. It’s hard to be out pitching and being a business expert when you thought, “I’m really just a gutter cleaner and I’m sucking at that right now. There’s no money.” In the hero’s journey, you’re in the cave at that point. You’re in the dark, you’re groping around, there are monsters coming after you and that’s a sucky way to feel. Your dream died. What did your wife say to you in that moment?

“Are you sure?” I can’t believe this but all these years later as I said that, I’ve teared up. It still hurts to this day. I said, “Yeah, I’m sure. I have a contracting business that’s growing without any attention being paid to it at all and we have a consulting business that although it’s my dream, it doesn’t seem to matter to anybody else. It’s nobody else’s dream. It’s only mine. Nobody else wants me to do this right now, because if they wanted me to do it, they’d be hiring me. Whereas we have this business that if we put all of our efforts into, maybe we can do something special with it.” She said, “Okay. I’ll support you in any decision you make. If you’re sure, let’s do it.” I said, “I’m sure.” Anybody who knows me knows that when I make a decision, that’s it. By Friday of that evening, the corporation was completely shut down, all contracts were terminated and it was done. The reason I did it on the Friday is because I needed the weekend to recover so that I could go to work on Monday and be clear headed because a lot of the work we did was dangerous. It was at height three, four or five stories off the ground. On Monday morning, I woke up, “This is my new life. I’m a gutter cleaner. But I’m still an entrepreneur, so I’ll take it.”

Here we are now into the winter, early spring of 2010. First of all, did you grow? Did you get to a place where you had employees working for you or was it just always you? What did the business look like as it started to progress with full energy?

Because of how frantic the work is at the end of 2009. It Vancouver it rains very heavily between October and December. We actually hired two construction workers who had been laid off in the great recession. They were at their breaking points in December 2009. I hired them and I said to both of them on the day that I hired them, “If I have work, you have work. If I don’t have work, there’s nothing I could do.” I knew that January period where there’s no work from about Christmas to the end of January was coming. They said, “That’s better than what we’ve got now.” They took the job. By the time that I said, “I’m doing this full-time,” I was able to retain those guys through that period and it was now getting into February and things were starting to pick up. By March, we were flat out, all three of us. There were three guys working and my wife was working along with us, it made a crew of four.                  

You progress on, you go through 2010, you’re making money, what did you do? When I was a young guy, my first business, the recycling business that we had back in the early ‘80s, we figured out how to consolidate down our routes and so we would spend Monday and Friday cleaning gutters and power washing and hauling stuff to the dump and doing those what we just call odd jobs, what you had made into a business. That was never really my thing. I wasn’t trying to build that business into something because we were building the recycling business into a 5,000-customer a month business. I built systems. What did you do to make your gutter cleaning not just a once a year or a one off? Somebody’s gutters are full now. What did you do to start turning it into not just odd jobs but into a business?

We started just by focusing on the product that we would deliver to our customers. I spent most of 2010 just focusing on creating operational systems for my guys so that they did the job the way I would do the job. The trailer got hooked up and got checked before we pulled away so we didn’t lose the equipment. The tools got put away in the proper spot. The methodology of how we did the job, we started to analyze it and said, “We got trading from and an industry person, but can we do it better? Can we do it differently? Is there something that the customers are complaining of us?” We started analyzing those things and that was part of why we were growing, is that people were liking the result that we’re able to give.

There’s another twist to my story and why I’m so grateful that at the beginning of 2010 I started focusing on that. Fast forward to October 15th, 2010, I had a workplace accident where I fell off a building twenty feet up and I landed on a pile of landscaping boulders and I shattered my pelvis and punctured my abdomen. My wife was working with me that day. She was like a Baywatch babe. She’s running across the back of this building as I’m screaming on the ground. She’s tearing her sweater off and putting pressure on my wounds as I’m bleeding. It was a Thursday, I believe. Later that evening when I was going into surgery, the doctor came and said to my wife in the ER, “You need to make necessary preparations,” which is the doctor’s speak for, “Prepare for the possibility that he’s not going to make it.”

I go into surgery and the lights go out, the masks go on and the lights go out and the last thought I had was, “This could be it. You might not wake up. The darkness comes and that could be it, game over. My entrepreneurial journey has killed me.” But I’m here today, so I survived. But I was in bad shape. I had to walk with a walker. It took me six months to recover. Because we had focused on building operational systems, the entire time I was in the hospital and I was recovering at home and going through intensive physiotherapy, my two guys showed up for work every day and took the truck and trailer and went to work. My wife started running the operational side of it, answering the phones and doing estimates and things like that. That allowed me to have six months off and recover. If I hadn’t made that decision in February 2010 to just focus and if my wife and I hadn’t focused on building operational systems, we never would have made it through that tragedy. We had great personal support and even people made gifts and donations to us personally to pay our bills, but the business would have died. Because we had done that, the business survived so that when I recovered, I had something to go back to.

Now you know why Jamie is on the podcast today. This is the exact idea of being an unshackled owner. You build a business, you build a system, you build a culture, you hire the best possible people you can and you organize yourself so that if something unexpected, you didn’t go to work that morning expecting to be in surgery that night. All of a sudden, something comes that you didn’t expect but the business can keep going. Even with you and as bad as shape as you were, your wife could still organize the jobs, send people out on the jobs and you still had revenue coming into your family, is that right?

Yes, that’s right. The first three months I was in no shape to do anything. It was just basically recover. The last three months I was going to physio every day. I went from having a walker and learning how to walk on stairs all over again to then having crutches and then I was walking around with a cane and things were getting better. I had a bit more energy. Then my wife and I, we just used the opportunity to pour ourselves into developing the rest of the business, developing the lead generation, developing the operational systems of when a customer asks for an estimate. How do we get that information to them quickly? How do we make the business better? When I was able to work again in about six months later, the business really had gone through a whole transformation that nobody had yet seen. Very quickly they realized that we had done something different because the business grew and grew every year like clockwork by actually just over 25% for every year we owned it after that.

You said, “Every year we owned it after that.” What happened? Because I know that’s not what you’re doing these days? From $700 in the beginning of ’09 to going full-time beginning of ’10 to, was it the end of ’10? Is that what you said when you had the accident?

October 15th, 2010.

In that short time, in six or seven months, you’d built something that could work even in your absence. Then you came back, you revolutionized it, you built it even further 25% growth. Then what happened? What was the punch line of that story and this particular story of the gutter cleaning business?

The punch line is that we had been living in the Vancouver area for a long time. Our family is all in Alberta, which is about 1,000 kilometers or 600 miles away. We were seeing our family once a year at best and it was time for us to move home. We have aging grandparents, we have parents and aunts and uncles and brothers and sisters. The whole family is there. The punch line is that in the middle of 2015, we decided to move home. That’s what we did. We packed up our stuff and we left. Our business continued to run like clockwork. It was running exactly as we had designed it to run. It was producing revenue for us and of course, by this time, the oil commodity prices had collapsed and where we moved to Alberta was in a recession. It was great for us because we had a great deal on a house but there was no work or any income to be generated those first few months we were there. Because we had revenue coming in from out of province, we were fine. We did well. That was exciting to actually test it to that degree. Up until that point, we had never really left for longer than a holiday.

You’ve done this, you’re now in Alberta and the business is running fine. You had an opportunity to sell his business. Most businesses never are able to be sold because they’re not able to operate without the founder. In this case, Jamie and his wife had built a proven process, a proven model. It worked when he was in the hospital, it worked when he was in recovery, it worked when he was in a different province, like a different state when he left the rainforest of Vancouver and moved out to the prairies of Alberta. Somebody wanted to buy the company. The opportunity came for somebody to buy the company. That was something you chose to do?

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I was very motivated now to payback the kindness that was shown to me at a moment when I was in a bad way.

It was. In part it was because it was the individual who loaned us the equipment in the first place. Now he’s in his 50’s. His body is starting to give out and he was really starting to question what was he going to do now, because when he can’t do the work anymore, then what? I was very motivated now to payback the kindness that was shown to me at a moment when I was in a bad way. We made a deal that allowed him to purchase our business for the operational systems so that he could overlay the operational systems that we had created on to his business and thereby provide an opportunity for him to retire and actually have a retirement income. For me, it was not just that I was getting to sell my business but I was getting to give back to someone who is now in need. The tables had turned. It was a wonderful, wonderful merger acquisition deal that was profitable for us and was very beneficial for the owner of the company that acquired us. I am very happy to say that that business is growing now at a rate of three times. He has really done well.

It’s a great story. The reason that I wanted to have Jamie on and to tell you the story is, it’s possible to have $700 to your name and still get going if you have the guts to do it. Don’t just do crazy things. I see some people do things where they sell their car and they’re living in a van down by the river so to speak and they don’t really have a good opportunity. You had an opportunity, it was not at all where you wanted to go, but you said, “I’m going to take care of my family. I’m going to do what needs to be done because if I do it right, I’m may be able to go ahead and pursue my vision down the road. Right now, I’ve got a family to support, I’ve got bills to pay, I’ve got rent.” You did the courageous thing, which was you jumped into something that you didn’t see yourself. From hotshot salesman to wannabe business consultant, national speaker and so on, to gutter cleaner, was not the path that you had imagined.

Yet, that was the path that came before you, so you were able to take a whole big basket of really sour lemons and turn them into an amazing lemonade first for you and then for somebody else and that business continues to run. This is the story of the unshackled owner. This is the story of you don’t have to be glamorous, you don’t have to be wealthy, you could be in a traditional business, you could be in a labor business, you can still create operational systems, culture, clients, mechanisms, you can build your employee handbook, “This is how we do it here.” If you just have the courage to do that, it separates you from almost everybody else.

Now, I have business owners coming to me and saying, “How did you do it? Teach me, help me.” I get to be on great podcasts like yours and speak publicly to people about my experiences, about what I’ve learned. I even have had the opportunity to talk to people who I consider to be my heroes. I’ve actually been able to have a conversation with Michael E. Gerber, the author of The E Myth series which was a very influential in helping me systemize my business. I have been able to do things now that I didn’t even dream of all those years ago. People now talk to me and they take me seriously as a business owner and an entrepreneur because I now have lived it, I’ve done it successfully and I’ve learned so much. When I think back to 2009 when I was trying to consult, I had business experience but I didn’t have the well-rounded experience I now have. It’s just wonderful because I’m getting to live the dream I had back then now. I had to go through that process. I had to learn, in some ways the hard way. Look at what I get to do now. I haven’t given up on my dream. It’s just that I had to go through a path that was unexpected but I was willing to do it.

You’re so much more qualified now to do the thing that you wanted to do rather than just the hotshot sales guy coming out thinking, “I can just step in and start telling people what to do.” I’ve got my guest today, Jamie Irvine, who’s been telling us a wonderful story of all kinds of challenges, all kinds of reasons that he could have given up but he didn’t. He took risks, he did work that he wasn’t in love doing, but he turned dirty work that most people want to avoid into a successful business that he was able to successfully grow, and then sell and set himself up beautifully for what his long-term dreams are.

At this time, what we love to do is go back and say we want to be unshackled owners. We need to have the keys. We need to know what are the keys to open the locks that get us unshackled. I have some questions I like to ask my guests. I call them the golden key questions. I wanted to do that with Jamie right now. Jamie, let’s start hard. I know that you got to where you are through all the challenges that you’ve overcome. We want to help people avoid mistakes. If you could look back and do something differently, re-orient yourself, if there was something you could have gone back and changed now that you’ve learned more, what would that have been?

I didn’t start my entrepreneurial journey until I was 30 because I didn’t live a purposeful focused life. I was too busy partying as a young man. I would go back in time, I would grab the 21-year-old version of myself by the shoulders and I would very strongly encourage that foolish young man to surround himself with the best people he can find in business and to work under their guidance, mentorship and coaching for at least five years. Then take all of that knowledge and that community and use it to immediately go into an entrepreneurial venture.

For the young people listening, I want to just say Amen to that. I know that when young people come to me and want mentorship or help or want to talk about something, I’m much more open it seems like to younger people who seem to be purpose-driven than I ever am to people who are much older. I’m like, “What have you been doing for the last several decades?” I love that you recommend that. Jamie, you mentioned The E Myth. What’s a book you would recommend to people to read if they want to be able to make that leap or they want to upscale what they’re doing now?

I think you have to educate yourself in every aspect of your business. Beyond just getting the foundation that something like The E Myth series provides you, you’ve got to look at different aspects of your business. I recommend Social Selling by Timothy Hughes. Also to really get your focus around how to impact others, I recommend The 100/0 Principle by Al Ritter.

That’s one I have not heard of. That’s a new one for my library. Is there a quote that you think about a lot or have it post it on the wall? What’s a saying or a quote or a song lyric that you love?

I hate that it comes from Sheryl Crow but it’s my favorite one. It’s, “Not having what you want, it’s wanting what you’ve got.”

You had to live that, didn’t you?


You really did. That’s in some ways very, very close to your heart, I bet. I’d like you to tell people final words of wisdom, final things you could share with the audience here. Our listeners that are both successful in business and also people that are trying to figure out those things so they’re getting legs under them or maybe they’re just hoping, trying to get the inspiration or the moment or the right opportunity to make the leap from the job to the entrepreneurial world. If you have any counsel for them, and whenever you’ve given us your final words of wisdom, tell us how can people reach you if they want to talk to you directly?

Your business idea, no matter how profound, sucks if no one will buy it. Before you make the entrepreneurial leap, make sure that people will pay for whatever your idea is. Make sure that there are so many customers that it can be like shooting fish in a barrel. Because even in a circumstance like that, it is still extremely difficult to build something from nothing. Really stay focused on why you’ve started this business and focus on those customers. Then systematize your business so that it will operate without you because without that, you have nothing to sell.

You’re starting to talk to people and give some mentorship yourself. If somebody wants to reach out to you, talk to Jamie and see what you’re up to or keep up with you, how can they find you? How can they follow you? I’m on LinkedIn and Twitter, @JamieLIrvine.

It’s been so nice having you on the program today, Jamie. Thanks for being here. Thanks for sharing your story. Folks, whatever your dream is, whatever the thing is that you want to do, I know it can seem daunting sometimes, I know even when you’re successful, the world sees you as successful, it can feel like the business owns you. It feels like you’re making it up as you go along. You’re wondering “We’re doing it now but will it still work next week and next month and next year?” You don’t have to be by yourself. Finding a coach, finding some help, finding a community will go a tremendous long way. Our guest today, Jamie, talked about different mentors and people that he followed, he read, he was impressed by, people that touched his lives at key moments. You need to surround yourself with people. Don’t just live inside of a vacuum of your office, your home office, your truck, wherever you’re working from. Get out, mix it up with other people and really try to get involved.

If you want to become one of my tribe, if you want to become one of those people who has made a commitment to, “I’m going to be successful. I’m going to be unshackled. I’m going to be wealthy. I’m going to be able to go spend a month in the beach house. I’m going to spend an amount of time I want in Europe,” and do the things you really want. If you want to be part of that tribe, write to me or join The Unshackled Owner freedom call. If you’re really ready to grow a business to something that can make you a ton of money, come and learn about The Unshackled Owner intensive. We’re changing lives. We’re changing fortunes. We’re helping grow the country, the economy, and giving people who have the guts to do the work and opportunity and the exact formula to do that.

This podcast is to give you inspiration and ideas and books and case studies to get inspired. Nothing will change in your life until you roll up your sleeves and you start for yourself. With that note, go out, make it a great day, be back here, share the podcast with your friends, tell people about it. Let’s spread the word, let’s build a world full of unshackled owners. I’m Aaron Young and I’ll be with you again next week right here. Take care. Bye-bye.

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