This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur Brian Scudamore. Brian is the founder of O2E Brands, the banner company for 1800-Got-Junk, WOW One Day Painting, You Move Me, and O2E. O2E Brands offers franchise business ownership opportunities in the home services industry. The company currently has over 250 franchise owners throughout North America and Australia.
I’m sure you’ve heard of Brian’s companies as they have been featured everywhere from CNBC, FOX, Entrepreneur, Fortune, Forbes, INC, and in addition to that, they’ve won numerous awards including:
- CEO of the Year
- Canada’s Top Small and Medium Employers
- E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year
- Startup Canada Entrepreneur of the Year
- Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Culture
- And many others
This year Brian published his first book, a best-seller called WTF, Willing to Fail: How Failure Can Be Your Biggest Key to Success. It’s the principles of this book and what Brian’s learned about building successful businesses that I’m excited to explore in this episode.
@BrianScudamore on Instagram
Get WTF on Amazon
Everything started with Brian trying to pay for college because all his friends were going, and he wanted to be able to do the same. He had to talk his way into college and try to find a way to pay for it. Brian’s parents couldn’t afford to send him. He was in a McDonald’s parking lot where he saw a beat up old pickup truck filled with junk that said “hauling” on it. He had $1000 in the bank and put $700 into a beat-up truck, called it the Rubbish Boys, and within a week, had a business going.
He had vision for something bigger and started knocking on doors, drove down streets and offered to haul things for people, and that business model became 1-800-Got-Junk. And 3 years into college, it had grown so much and was learning more about business running one, he left and went full go at it.
At the 6 min mark, Brian explains how after 22 years into building 1800-Got-Junk, they had sold out in North America and Australia, so he decided to start another home service business, WOW One Day Painting – which is now doing over $30 million.
Can you share the system or set of principles that you consistently use to build these businesses?
- The # thing is the ability to see things differently. To see a beat-up truck in a McDonald’s and see a larger vision.
- Seeing what others do not see is the key.
- Taking a risk, doing something that has never been done before has to happen at some point.
Tell us about franchising….
- It took 8 years to get to $1 million in revenue in 1800
- That time helped Brian to figure out the proven recipe/model that can replicated to scale.
- If you have a business that you want to franchise, you should have at least 5 years under your belt to show that the recipe works and is repeatable, proven, etc.
- You must know your business intimately inside and out to franchise properly. It is a different world that a partnership. You can’t afford to get it wrong.
- Leadership is critical to succeeding in any business, especially franchising. What does it mean to you to be a leader?
- To be a leader you have to followers. Otherwise, you are not a leader, you are a loner.
- You have to people following your vision, passion, and path that you are taking them down.
- It starts with vision. The painted picture. A clear vision of what the future will look like.
- Take out a sheet of paper and fill it up with everything you want and believe is possible.
- Put it in writing and share it with others.
- Leadership is having a clear compelling picture of the future – not necessarily how to get there, but a good idea of what the future looks like.
- Everything begins with and follows a vision. To truly lead, you must develop your vision and share it with infectious passion.
- If you want an example of a painted picture, Brian is happy the share theirs. You can get it by messaging him @BrianScudamore on social.
What are some of key element that are part of a vision?
- It’s the vivid picture you see in your own brain.
- You must take it from your head to a clear, concise, understandable, written form.
- It’s not so much what’s in it, but who it connects with and getting them to be a part of it.
- The power is in the ability to see something and be able to articulate what you see, people start paying attention in making decisions into what is important in the daily role in their business.
- A good vision will separate those that are with you and not onboard very clearly and that is good, as you want the ones who are on board to be a part of it with you.
WTF has become a huge best-seller. Can you share some of your favorite and most important lessons from the book?
- You must work with the right people for you and your business.
- A company or brand is only as strong as the people you empower.
- You can do tremendous damage to your company just by having one wrong person on your team. Brian had to let go of a leader who was running the business, an ex-Starbucks president, that just wasn’t a fit and it almost sunk to business. They had to re-build and Brian had to get over his bad decisions.
- Going through the experience taught Brian to be grateful because it led him to the President he has in charge of things today and the brand is doing the best it ever has.
- Be grateful for your missteps, but realize you have to keep going after them to see the benefits of going through them down the road.
Why are people so afraid to fail?
- No one likes to get hurt, physically, or emotionally, or the stress of not succeeding
- Being a leader requires courage and stepping up and owning it.
- You must know going in that you are going to fail and have missteps and not be afraid to admit them, but have the courage to overcome them, learn from them, and keep going, etc.
- People aren’t afraid to be vulnerable and that keeps them from truly growing. Be open, be vulnerable, wear your failure and share it with others. It is how you grow.
- What makes things incredible and creates success that everyone wants to be a part of is the ability to keep going despite setbacks and push through – to be relentless in pursuit of the vision.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned about life in going through your journey?
- Gratitude – being grateful for everything you go through, the good, the bad, etc. because it will lead you on the path to success and fulfillment in your life.
- Brian tells the story of how he went through the Starbucks exec situation and how it caused him to look closely at himself and ultimately do what needed to be done to find the right person.
- Every failure is a chance for gratitude. It is a chance to look at a situation that is seemingly bad and find the one or more things in it that can be a gift – sometimes in disguise.
What other habits have you put into your life that you have found are very helpful to success?
- Brian starts his day by putting down in a note on his phone his #1 thing to be intentional about. The one thing to keep in his mind.
- Brian ends his day with gratitude. When he lays down in bed, he thinks of at least 5 things he’s grateful for.
- “It’s like magic…”
What is the best advice you can give to an entrepreneur just starting out?
- Many don’t have a clear direction. You need to have a vision and painted picture for those that will come along with you to follow.
- New entrepreneurs can get scared writing down the vision because they start thinking about how they’ll get there. Don’t think about the how or the possibility of things, just get the vision out of you. Just dream.
- When you are done and read it – if it gives you chills, you are on the right track.
- You won’t get it right the first run-through…and that is OK.
- Entrepreneurs need to think what the future looks like, put it in writing, and don’t worry about how they’ll get there.
- Find the direction….
What does O2E stand for?
- Ordinary to Exceptional
- The name states the purpose and what drives the business
Best Quote: “To be a leader you have to followers. Otherwise, you are not a leader, you are a loner...”
- Have a vision, a painted picture, of what your future looks like.
- Find your daily keystone habit, the #1 thing that if you do every day, you will get closer toward your vision and painted picture.
- There is a massive difference between building a living and building a life. Be driven to build a life. Drive your passion forward and share you purpose with others.