success

Preparing for Success

By Steve Jones

As the CEOs of a $24 million company, my partner and I were constantly grinding, always looking for new ways to grow and achieve success. By the end of 2002, we had taken the business from $24 to $48 million in just two years. While it had previously taken us three years to double the revenue, we’d managed to accomplish that same staggering achievement in almost half of the time. As a result of this incredible period of growth, we were able to absolutely shatter the goals that we had previously set for ourselves within the deal we had structured with the owners.

The thing about explosive growth was that it attracted attention and fed additional expansion. The more that property managers heard about what we were doing to revolutionize the delivery of customer-based security services, the more they wanted to be a part of that movement as well. Our sales department was doing an incredible job, but now our phones were ringing off the hook with property managers beginning the call with, “We’d like to talk to you about security.”

We continued acquiring new customers at that pace of expansion and by 2004—three years ahead of an ambitious goal we had set for ourselves—the company’s annual revenues were in excess of $60 million.

We had accomplished everything we had set out to accomplish in half the time we’d allowed ourselves. The irony was that this success created some serious difficulties for us with our partners.

When we hit that $60 million figure, our owners were ecstatic. “That’s great! The company is now worth more than twice what we were originally planning to sell it for. We’re glad we listened to you back then not to sell, but now it’s definitely time to sell.”

My partner and I couldn’t believe what they were telling us. We had worked so hard, sacrificed so much, and now that we were only approaching the threshold of the true potential of the company, the two guys who hadn’t had any involvement in that growth wanted to sell it out from under us.

My partner and I insisted, “No, our deal was that we got to develop the company until 2007. The $60 million was the qualifier for us to assume a 40-percent equity interest in the company, but the term of the deal was for seven years.”

For a deal that had been reduced to writing by lawyers but was still largely governed by handshakes, relations became momentarily tense. Fortunately (for everyone), we were again able to salvage the deal. My partner and I had done what everyone else had said was impossible. We had made our goal. And for the first time in my life, I had ownership interest.

Success. I had prepared for it and worked for it and, I have to tell you, it was every bit as sweet as I’d always thought it would be.

 

For more on how you can hyper-grow your business and achieve the success you want, check out my book, No Off Season: The Constant Pursuit of More.

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