Breaking Through to the Other Side
We help companies create, drive, and maintain high performing cultures, with a proven system that’s straightforward, practical, and easy to use. Most importantly, it simply works.
Why choose us
40 years of experience as an entrepreneur, trainer, and consultant.
A current member of the board of directors for the March of Dimes as well as many other industry organizations in SW Florida throughout the years.
- Chair Collier EDC Excellence in Industry Awards
- Small Business Leader of the Year Award from University of South Florida
I am originally from the Cleveland, Ohio area. I moved to Cape Coral in 1980 and have subsequently worked and in lived in Fort Myers, Tampa, and am currently in Naples.
I was very fortunate to have, on both sides of my family, entrepreneurs that I could learn from. On my father’s side was the commercial and residential lighting industry, which is described below.
On my mother’s side of the family, my grandfather owned a wholesale poultry processing plant that worked primarily with local grocery stores. I was able to work with him as a teenager, actually, it was my first job. I saw a different part of life that I never knew existed and to this day appreciate the lessons learned.
Both businesses were so different that Sunday evening dinners were often raucous with many “you don’t understand our business.” And another saying, “it doesn’t matter, all businesses are alike.” Often with the reply “Bull S..t.”
After graduating Ohio Northern University with dual degrees in Marketing and Economics, I joined my father’s business. He was a Manufacturer’s Representative in the residential lighting business representing many different lines of lighting fixtures covering a 6 state territory. I had been working with him during my teenage and college years prior to joining him. As a teenager, I was working as a salesperson selling low-voltage landscape lighting and crystal giftware. Both very different products with a different set of prospects. Not knowing it at the time, I was learning many valuable lessons. During this stint, I met some amazing people that taught me lessons that at that time I didn’t understand. Today, I invoke those stories for others to appreciate. Some are outstanding.
My father was fortunate to retire at a young age. On a trip to Florida (where they retired), my mother came to me and said, “We need to go out to have dinner and get a drink. I need to talk with you.” I asked, “What’s up?” You’ll see.”, she replied.
At dinner, I finally asked, “What’s going on?” I really did not want to hear the answer. She paused, took a sigh, then a swig of wine and finally said, “Your father is driving me crazy. You need to find something for him to do!!” And that is when the real story begins.
We started a wholesale/retail lighting showroom business. We eventually expanded to 4 stores with about 65 associates at our peak. It was during that growth that I learned my most valuable lessons. I was ill-equipped to manage the business the way it needed to be managed. Yes, we could sell. Yes, we had great teams and associates doing amazing work. The challenge I was facing was how to manage it because I was doing everything by instinct. My financial background was weak. I needed help and started looking for it.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t easy to find. One person, who I will be forever grateful to introduced me to a variety of programs: leadership, management and sales, which I clung on to like a baby to its mother. Over time I sold portions of the business and went into consulting, training and development. During that time, I realized that were two things I needed to do:
- Deliver to small and medium-size businesses the people systems and performance management systems needed to succeed. Larger business because of their resources could do this in-house or even bring in high priced consultants. Businesses like mine could not afford it and desperately needed the help.
- Deliver sustainability. Companies invest millions maybe billions of dollars in training and development. How much of it is really implemented and if implemented, how long does it last? That frustrates the “you know what” out of me. If it is not sustainable (and there many reasons why this happens) then it is not worth buying it. Don’t buy, invest!! Get a return!!
This is a huge question. All businesses have their own issues, but, for the most part, they are similar. Here are some of the most common issues, though certainly not all of them:
- Culture development – It all starts here.
- Revenue Growth
- Hiring and Integrating
- People skills
- Communication skills
- Coaching to success
- Performance Management
- Recognition programs
- Retention (see all above)
- Process development that does not strangle.
- HR Compliance – This is big and tied to process.
- So much more
To be quite honest, all of us in the consulting field have access to the same information, training, insights etc. What it comes down to your relationship with the consultant. How comfortable do you feel with the person you are working with? Is the communication good? Have you established the necessary guidelines that manage the relationship and expectations? Do you want a ‘yes’ person or someone who will honestly challenge you? How comfortable are you with their methodology? Is the solution they are recommending sustainable and does it help solve the issues?
Think about what you try to do to differentiate your company from your competition. Will your consultant treat and work with you as you do with your customers? In other words, I want to work with my client the way they want be worked with, rather than the way that is best for me!
In my opinion, I am pretty good at accomplishing those things. I may not be fit for everyone, but I may be with you!