Hello, my name is Gary Evans, and I’m an entrepreneur. I start out that way because I feel it’s important to acknowledge that in ourselves. And also because I sense many of us are here for various reasons, yet if you find yourself here – claim it, make a science of it, discover the art in it and… Enjoy it!
At times throughout my entrepreneurial experiences, I have not always attained the above statement. In fact at many times, I probably was not fully aware it was even possible.
I started in business at the age of 13, because I was 6’2″ and hung out with my Dad at auctions on Sundays. I liked the atmosphere and quickly learned the lay of the land – when you would and could make money and when not. It was basically EBay live and the spirit still exists alive and strong with Auction Hunters and Storage Wars. I was chosen by the Auctioneer to hold up the items – I was the gopher and became pretty intuitive with what to grab next in sync with the auctioneer. So that was my job, but I also made extra money by buying items and re-selling via the auction. Sure I’d love to say I made my first million this way, but I didn’t. I learned a lot about human nature, buying and selling and got my first taste of being an entrepreneur.
Fast-forward a few years of following in my father’s footsteps and cooking for a living. I started out in small restaurants, eventually becoming a partner with my Father and Aunt in a small Mom and Pop restaurant at the age of 18. I learned a lot fast as due to many circumstances I became the main operator with a little help now and then from my partners. Great experience, although I don’t recommend working for three months straight (seven days a week) without a day off and going to the local barn dance on your first night off.
I decided to advance my skills in the kitchen and become an apprentice chef (Yes, Gordon Ramsey’s did and probably still do exist in the industry). Fast-forward some awesome experience with top chefs and venues to starting and operating my first real business enterprise as a Catering and Event management company. This was a high acceleration into my true creative abilities. I slept on average about 4 hours a night because I was so wired I couldn’t sleep and didn’t require it for about the first three months. I knew I was tapping into a higher state of creative consciousness and I loved it. I had so many alliances in the industry, everything I thought, I was able to put into action real-time and it flourished.
Like most entrepreneurs, I was always eager to learn everything I could about business and soon felt a calling to move from hospitality management to the corporate world to round out my skill set. The change to corporate training and development, HR outsourcing and quality management was educational to say the least.
I also became aware of certain skills I was not good at. Rugged individualism was my modus operandi (a phrase coined and used by Dan Sullivan ~ Strategic Coach), that I would become aware of 15 years later.
In retrospect it’s easy to see now what I was missing then and the core list is: Systems, clear strategic thinking and plans, and the leverage of a strategic, tactical team. And this has been the case in every other business I have had and enterprise I’ve been involved in strategically growing. In total I have personally had five solo businesses. (DemGen is the fifth, adding a partner early on with complimentary skill sets is a big part of why we are still here 7 years later.) Out of the previous four companies, 3 were profitable, yet were too reliant on me. Regardless, I had created a job for myself and it was a great learning experience. I have also been involved at a strategic level with some shoestring start-ups to significantly financed ones.
So this brings us up to today. What have I learned and how can my team and I add value to you and your business? Back to the basics I learned at age 22 and over and over again throughout my professional life… If you are missing some essential strategic thought processes in your business, don’t have it systematized and/or are lacking in “A Team” performance. I suggest you have a conversation followed closely with action with someone like us. Be brutally honest with yourself! If you have a viable business and you KNOW you are missing a few essential pieces ~ make the commitment. Go from Good to Great as my friends from results.com say, “The difference is in the execution.” Or as we say – implementation.
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