It is probably appropriate at this point to share a very important message from our company.
My partner Dave and I are two very different people –
I am black. Dave is white.
I am a Democrat and Dave is a Republican.
I pursued a formal education path that included a BA, MBA and Juris Doctorate. Dave pursued a Tool & Die apprenticeship under a German Master.
I love basketball. Dave can take or leave basketball.
Dave loves hockey. I can take or leave hockey.
The next move for my wife and I shall be to a rancher close to the city. The next move for Dave and his wife will be a rancher as far from the city as possible.
Despite all of our differences, it was the pursuit of business that brought Dave and I together. I read an article a couple of years ago that stated that business is the only remaining institution that people [Americans] trust. I think that I agree with those sentiments. I think that the “great game of business” provides an incredible bridge for people with all kinds of “differences” to come together for the common noble purpose of the pursuit of profits.
In actuality, the more time that Dave and I spend together it becomes more and more apparent that we are more alike than different. We obviously are both human beings, so from the standpoint of DNA we are 99.9% the same! We are both Americans that love this country and we are both Christians that love the Lord. We are both husbands and fathers, and the list goes on and on.
We need to celebrate our differences. I know that this is an overused phrase, but that doesn’t make it any less true. At our company, EBITDA Growth Systems, Dave and I share a vision to substantially increase wealth creation amongst small to medium-sized business owners. We also share a mission to double the profits of our client companies within three years. We have been incredibly successful because we have been able to leverage one another’s uniqueness (differences) to deliver a particularly potent professional services offering.
Obviously, celebrating differences applies to more than just business success. Celebrating differences applies to every walk of life. We are infinitely more alike than different, but the areas where we differ should provide a source of tremendous strength for our businesses and for our communities.
Let’s begin by acknowledging the tremendous amount of risk that is associated with starting a new business or purchasing an existing business. Virtually anyone that you come in contact with on a daily basis has an idea for a new business. Very few people, however, have the resolve to actually pursue their idea(s), particularly if they are already gainfully employed. A willingness to accept the reality that you wake up every morning unemployed is the first in a long list of risk factors that make entrepreneurs special.
So, the question becomes why would anyone take on such a risk? In my estimation, there is a two-fold answer to this question.
First and foremost is the allure of pursuing the “American Dream”. Let me provide a prospective. Ticketmaster was an IAC property back in the 2000’s, and they were a Management and Leadership Development client of mine at that time. I was invited to attend several worldwide conferences during my tenure at Ticketmaster and I remember distinctly a presentation by an international demographer that hypothesized about why people come to America. This demographer suggested that Frenchmen go to Germany to find a job; that Germans go England to find a job and that Englishmen go to Spain to find a job. And then he said, “but people don’t come to America to find a job, they come to America to chase the American Dream”.
Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Dankoto spoke to the second part of the answer in the The Millionaire Next Door. In the book, Stanley and Danko wrote: “… self-employed people are four times more likely to be millionaires than those who work for others.” Of the non-retired millionaires surveyed, they found that two-thirds of them were small business owners. In fact, they found that most American millionaires (about 80 percent) are first-generation wealthy. In other words, it is reasonable to assume that you may generate out-sized profits in exchange for the risk associated with an entrepreneurial venture.
At EBITDA Growth Systems, our brand promise is that we will double the profits of our clients or we will return their fees. We have never had to write a check and return fees because we have a robust repeatable system that virtually guarantees our success. This enables us up to commit all our efforts, energy and resources to helping our clients realize a favorable risk-return calculus.