This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Todd Randall. Todd is a serial entrepreneur. He is an 8-time CEO and business coach from rural Florida who has built businesses in in everything from gyms and spas, to construction and wholesaling. Todd still owns 4 businesses running all of them remotely doing over $6 million a year in revenue.
He is the founder of Beachview Coaching and uses his experience to train business owners how to create sustainable businesses. His specialty is helping small business owners create the lifestyle they desire from the success of their business instead of creating a 100 hour/week job for themselves. Oh, if that is not enough, Todd owns a horse farm in Florida and flies around the world playing polo in different countries.
It's rare to find an entrepreneur with the diverse experience of Todd and I’m excited for him to share his lessons with you.
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Todd is a classic example of an entrepreneur who didn’t fit the mold. He started out as a pharmacist and worked for 10 years at McKesson throughout the world. But, after a decade he wanted to have a bigger impact and ended up buying a franchise. He used his hobbies as an excuse to create his lifestyle. He’s a grinder and has worked himself into his diversity of businesses, but has kept his focus on having the lifestyle he wants.
Talk to us about your businesses. What are they?
- He started with massage therapy franchises.
- He then branched into gym franchises.
- He owns a wholesale business for construction supplies – it came out of left field that he acquired because he enjoys home projects.
- He also has a fence business.
- He’s sold several businesses, one for about $8 million.
How does someone build their business to support their lifestyle instead of being beholden to their business?
- Making sure you want to have a business is the first thing.
- You must understand the skill sets needed to run each business and hire and promote high performers to run the day to day.
- It is like being a conductor in an orchestra. But, you have think that way from the beginning.
- Know the lifestyle you want ahead of building the business to create it.
Do you have any businesses where you’ve outsources to VA’s?
- The coaching business because it is virtual.
- It is harder to do with brick and mortar.
- Todd uses tools like Upwork, Freelance and others.
Any best practices on scaling and running a business a well?
- Scaling is all about delegation.
- Coming from being an employee, you are trained to work employee hours and many entrepreneurs that come from being an employee just work like that as an entrepreneur.
- An entrepreneur needs to learn to empower and get out of the way. Don’t be a bottleneck for decisions.
- One example Todd gives is when he had an employee come to him frustrated because the employee was always waiting on Todd for decisions. When they talked, Todd found that the employee was capable of making the decisions – maybe even better ones that Todd, so they put together a process to allow the employee to do so.
- You don’t need to make all the decisions in your business – in fact, you cannot scale if you have to. Find great people and let them be their best.
At the 12 min mark, Todd talks about his 5 pts for empowerment.
- Trust - It is important to spend a lot of time interviews selecting for character and trust (good judgement)
- Patience – You must set reasonable expectations and allow time for people to grow. Use mistakes to teach.
- Escalation Pathways – List out the situations or events that trigger the owner to be involved.
- Transfer to Coach – You must foster a culture of learning and growth through imperfection.
- Build Redundancies – You must do everything possible not to be a bottleneck. Processes and systems must be created. You also need to have trained backups for key positions.
What challenges come up with multiple businesses? What have you learned to do that well?
- Running a business is a set of skills that can be learned like playing a sport or other things.
- Necessity is the mother of invention – as a business owner, you will learn by trial and error and needs that must be fulfilled.
- Dive in and tackle your biggest challenges, but you must delegate to have the bandwidth to do this.
- Businesses have to be run with heart – at their core, businesses are people. Help people thrive. And don’t worry if you suck at those skills! Most entrepreneurs do to start!
- Get help earlier and often.
Advice for those that want to follow a path like yours in leadership?
- Lead with compassion.
- It all comes down to people.
At the 29 min mark, Todd talks about how he had imposter syndrome when it came to entrepreneurship because he prefers to do it for having the lifestyle he wants vs. striving for more in some cases. His business is exactly the right size for what he wants to do.
How did you come to know exactly what you wanted?
- Todd can think of a couple instances.
- The first was when he was still at corporate working overseas.
- It was right before the collapse in 2008. He has worked on a billion-dollar business plan with a company in an engagement that he led. When done, his company wanted him to come back home. He decided to take a month off and hang in the south of France.
- It was one of the best months he ever had in his life and it didn’t cost a lot to do it. It made him realize how easily he could have a great life and changed his direction.
- The second was 5 years into his businesses when he had 3 locations. He had an opportunity for adding a 4th. He invested in the 4th business and got caught. It had issues and ended costing him most of his money and cashflow at the time.
- He decided he was going to make it out – and it took getting rid of his fancy beachfront condo and nice car. He sold it all and rented a trailer. He figured out what was important and focused there.
- This helped get out of being capital constrained and get out of trouble and after about a year, things were back to normal and thriving for all 4 businesses. He then sold two taking some money off the table.
Best advice on how to exit a business?
- Some cliches hold up.
- Think about and prepare for it years before you are ready.
- Plan in advance. Plan, plan, plan.
- Know your business value and when it is at its best.
What has traveling around the world playing polo taught you about how to succeed and run a better business?
- It really accentuates that business is a set of skills.
- People come from extremely different walks of life and figure out how to do it. It’s the same as entrepreneurship.
- People everywhere are curious by nature and they dig in and figure things out and create opportunities. You can too.
Best Quote: Running a business is a set of skills that can be learned like playing a sport or other things.
Todd's Misfit 3:
- Nobody cares what your goals are in comparison to them. Make your goals yours. Take time to sit down and be very honest about what is important to you.
- The world is full of people. Study them and appreciate them. The minute you release yourself from being the center of the universe, the more you will learn and grow.
- Exercise your body and mind. Physically tax yourself each and every day. It is great for your mindset.
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