From the Zoo to the Wild—Chris Lalomia, President, The Trusted Toolbox

Do you have an organizational chart? When is the last time you looked at it? Chris Lalomia shares with us how this simple tool of an organizational chart made his transition from the zoo to the wild much more effective.

 Chris Lalomia is a successful entrepreneur and change leader that has built on his experience working with the largest companies in America to start his own business from scratch.  He brings his unique style to leadership to build a culture of professionalism to the blue-collar world of home renovations.  He left the corporate zoo and ventured into the entrepreneurial wild and started The Trusted Toolbox: Home Repair and Projects in 2008.  YES, he started a business right before the Great Recession, so timing the market is not his strength.  He survived through that time and has grown his business into a multimillion-dollar handyman and remodeling company which has won numerous awards in Atlanta, GA.

If you are ready to talk about franchising your business you can schedule your free, no-obligation, franchise consultation online at: https://bigskyfranchiseteam.com/ or by calling Big Sky Franchise Team at: 855-824-4759. 

   

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (00:01):

You’ve worked hard to build your business, and now, it’s time to grow. Welcome to the ‎Multiply Your Success podcast. I’m your host, Tom DuFore, CEO of Big Sky Franchise Team and a serial entrepreneur.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (00:14):

Today’s episode, we’re in for a treat to talk about how to go from the zoo to the wild, from the zoo to the wild. Our guest, Chris Lalomia just released a new book called From The Zoo To The Wild. He shares how he went from what he refers to as the corporate zoo of a corporate position into the great wild of being an entrepreneur. It’s a fantastic book with great information, and he’s got just a clever, witty, funny way of expressing things. So you’re really going to enjoy the interview.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (00:49):

We’re going to open our episode today with this question, which relates to your organizational chart. When is the last time you looked at your organizational chart? Do you have one? That might even be a better question for some of our entrepreneurs listening in. But when’s the last time you looked at it and looked at the people on it, their positions, who’s where, what, other positions you might be looking to create or fill, or maybe reassign duties. If you haven’t done it in a while, I think it’d be a good takeaway from today’s episode to go ahead and do that.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (01:28):

Today’s guest is Chris Lalomia, who’s a successful entrepreneur who, after many years in the corporate world, realized he was not fulfilling his dream of starting and running his own business. It may sound familiar to some of you. For the past 12 years, he’s run and built what is now a multi-million dollar home renovation business.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (01:47):

Chris is not only a great businessman and entrepreneur, but he’s just a great person as well. I’m so thankful and grateful to have him on the episode. So let’s jump into my interview with Chris Lalomia.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (02:00):

My name is Chris Lalomia with The Trusted Toolbox here in Atlanta, home repair and projects and renovations.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (02:05):

Chris, thank you so much for being here. I’ve had the, in my opinion, great fortune of having known you now for several years, and being around and watching you grow and do some amazing things with your business. For someone who’s maybe not as familiar with your business, I’d love for you to talk a little bit about The Trusted Toolbox and what you do.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (02:24):

Yeah, here at The Trusted Toolbox, we have 15 handymen that worked for me. They do everything around the house from drywall repair, to wood rot repair, to fixing that punch list around the house.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (02:33):

We try to put a professional wrapper on your handyman that you usually would expect coming into your house. Our guys will show up in logo vehicles. All of our guys are background checked, and we go through continual training. So we try to provide those home services for customers, with a professional service.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (02:48):

One of the things that I love about your background is your story on how you ended up into entrepreneurship. As luck might have it, you just finished a book From The Zoo To The Wild.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (03:04):

Check it out on Amazon, to our audience listing in. We’ll make sure we include it in the show notes here.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (03:11):

Talk to us a little bit about your journey and how you came to where you are.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (03:15):

When I was 17, I said I always wanted to run my own business. I had worked in a machine shop in Michigan and said, “I really want to be that guy. I want to be the one who runs his own business.” I was challenged at the time by my father to say that, “You got a wish. You better write it down, because wishes and hopes are only granted in Disney and the movies. You better have a goal and you work for it.”

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (03:37):

So I wrote it down at 17, and then I went off to basically not do that. I went off to college, got my masters in mechanical engineering, went to work in manufacturing, and then ended up in consulting in, of all things, banking. But I really was the fix it guy working in the corporate zoo.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (03:54):

I enjoyed a lot of success, and I got intoxicated with it, and I got to do a lot of really great things. I worked with some great companies. But I picked my head up at 35 and said, “Wow. That piece of paper that I still have with me, I wasn’t doing.” I was working for somebody else.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (04:08):

I had that job. I had the corner office. I had the Mercedes. I had the custom suits. I had 400 people working for me. I realized I was miserable. I wasn’t doing what I had always set out to do and what I think I was meant to do, which was run my own business.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (04:23):

So I came home, threw my tie down, told my wife, “That’s it. I’m out of here. I’m leaving.” She said, “Whoa, whoa, hang on there, Sparky. Before you go off, you better have a plan.” So I decided to work on the plan.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (04:38):

I took about a year to come up with what was I going to do, how was I going to do it, and then launched The Trusted Toolbox as a professional service of home services, doing home repairs and handyman work, in April of 2008.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (04:53):

Wow. April of 2008. What was happening at that point? That seems like a pretty memorable time period.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (05:01):

Yes. If you go back to April in 2008, you’ll know that people were saying that there were some problems with these things called these mortgages, but they were Alt-A mortgages that other people had. You didn’t have. Nobody told me there’d be a real estate recession that would throw us into the great recession. So I started my business literally three months before the wheels came off. I watched the entire economy plummet right in front of me when I started my business. In terms of timing, I don’t have any.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (05:30):

Wow, well, great attitude about it now. Probably was not funny when it happened. Share with us a little bit. Here you are. You open this new business. Basically, now, you’re a retired corporate employee, now self-employed, running your own business, and, literally, the economy just tanks. The wheels fall off the bus and here it is. What did you do? How did you respond?

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (05:59):

That’s a great question. I sold the Mercedes and bought two white vans, wrapped them, put myself in one van. I’m pretty handy, so I started on the handyman, but I did everything. I was building my processes. As it really started to go down at the end of ’08 and the beginning of ’09, I was able to grow up to three or four handymen. It slowed my growth and it did help.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (06:20):

That being said, there were a lot of sleepless nights on the couch going, “What have I just done to myself?” I learned something that I think all entrepreneurs need to have, and that is you have to be optimistic, and sometimes blindly optimistic. You have to be optimistic, and you have to have to have perseverance. So I learned that about myself, but it was tough. Those first, I would say it took about four years to really get the engine rolling.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (06:45):

Wow. Tell us about the book here. I love the title of the book. We were talking a little bit about your story. What led you or compelled you to actually write the book? I know a lot of people talk about it, say maybe one day, or I might, but you’ve got such a … For those, I’ve been fortunate to know Chris for several years now, and he’s got a great sense of humor, really fun guy to be around. Talk to us about the title and where the idea for the book came from.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (07:17):

Yeah. From The Zoo To The Wild. I feel like I was in the corporate zoo. It starts out with me here in Atlanta. We had a famous gorilla at the time at the Atlanta Zoo called Willie B. To give away the first chapter, that’s how it starts. I was strolling my daughter and my son through the zoo. I looked at this guy who was supposed to be the king of the jungle and the big gorilla. I looked at him, and he was in this four by four cube, and he had plexiglass walls and a tire, and he was sitting on this tile floor. I looked at him and said, “You think you’re really the king of the jungle, huh?”

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (07:50):

I started walking away going, “Oh my gosh. That’s me. That’s who I think. I’ve had people tell me how great I am, and ‘You’re doing great things. You keep going. You get back in that zoo, and you keep running those people.'” I started to realize that … For me, it was an epiphany. That was that, as Tony Robbins talks about, that gut moment where I went that’s probably … I’ve got to go. I’ve got to go off and start.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (08:14):

I wrote my book because I felt like I did a lot of things right in terms of planning, and I did a whole lot wrong. I wanted to make sure I shared some of those stories with people, because it is the American dream, but the joke always has been, I’m living the dream on the couch, and it feels like a lot of nightmares.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (08:35):

But that’s why I wrote the book, to give people a perspective on what it’s going to take to really run a business, and the gut checks you have to go through, and how you got to get ready for that journey into the entrepreneurial wild that you and I both enjoy now.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (08:48):

It is wild. It is fun. It’s exciting. It’s exhilarating, but it’s also filled with rumbling, bumbling and stumbling, and scraping your knees.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (08:57):

Yeah. There’s no doubt about that. Are there any quick talking points or highlights that come out of the book, to just highlight a couple of points as maybe a checklist item for someone who’s, whether thinking about starting their own business, maybe buying a franchise, or clients that we work with that are now thinking … that are franchising their business.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (09:24):

Yeah. I do have a couple talking points. I think everybody needs to write a business plan. That’s in my book, and I’ll talk about that in the book. But I talk about it doesn’t need to be that A paper. You don’t need to polish that turd, and make it perfect, and have it all there. What you do need to do is have it down on a piece of paper, and then find people who are willing to talk to you about it.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (09:43):

Now, nobody wants to do mentoring, because that’s just called free consulting. But if you find people who can give you some advice, and give them a little bit, and be interesting to them, by using the business plan, I was able to flesh out a lot of issues that I didn’t see happening before I started my business.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (09:58):

So a business plan and finding a mentor group that you can engage with with specific questions and make yourself interesting and authentic. Don’t just say, “Hey. I’ve got this idea. What do you think?” because then everybody goes, “Well, that’s a great idea,” but they don’t give you any details.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (10:15):

Yeah. That’s great advice. Great advice. I love that. Well. This would be a great time, as we’re talking about some of the content in the book, to dive into part of the formula for the show here, where we talk about this idea of misses, makes and multipliers. We start with a miss or two that came along the way. Is there a one or two you’d like to share, and something you learned from it?

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (10:37):

Yeah. There’s not just one or two, but I did think about this a little bit, because you told me about it before the episode started. Probably my biggest miss was … One of my greatest strengths is my passion for people and leadership and development, which also leads me to, you’ve heard the phrase from consultants hire slowly and fire quickly.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (10:57):

Well, in the real world, here I am, I didn’t do it. I did not identify toxic employees quick enough. They have cost me a lot of time, energy, and eventually money. Recognizing what a toxic employee is doing to you and your business is huge. That was probably my biggest miss was holding onto, in three different cases, because I can’t just learn it once. I’ve got to have it beaten over my head three times. It, every time, has set me back a little bit.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (11:26):

Yeah. Well. I think that’s a chronic challenge for so many small businesses out there. I cannot exclude myself from that either. Been in that situation. It’s a tough position to be in, when you’re a small business and that person might be fulfilling a role.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (11:47):

If you terminate or fire that person, now, all of a sudden, you’re back in the van, or back doing the sales, or back providing customer service. You’re like, “Oh goodness. I’ve got to take another step back to go two steps forward.” Sometimes we don’t want to take that step back.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (12:06):

No. It’s hard, because you’re trying to move on and move up. You’re trying to be, and The E-Myth does a great job of talking about that, the entrepreneur, the manager, or the technician. You feel like you’ve got to go back into another role that you didn’t want to fulfill.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (12:18):

In my case, it was the best sales guy I had in my company, but he became a toxic employee. I let it happened. Yeah. We finally parted ways. You’re right. I went back out and had to do the sales again. I had to step back in, and I couldn’t do the growth. I had to do the sales until I could hire somebody who I felt comfortable with again.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (12:36):

Yeah. Yeah. Well. How about a make or two? You’ve had a lot of success, as I’ve followed you and seen what you’re doing. For those of you aren’t familiar with Chris, you got to look him up on LinkedIn, and get on his regular updates and videos that he’s sending out and sharing. He does share some amazing content. So what about a make or too along the way?

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (12:57):

Yeah. Probably my biggest make was staying true to what I had in my business plan. It’s still in a red folder. It said I was going to stay in the home repair and renovation business, and I wasn’t going to venture out too far.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (13:08):

A couple of good makes, as they say, sometimes the best sale is the one you didn’t make. I had a chance to get into some apartment maintenance contracts, and I pulled back from it. At the time, it looked like a lot of money, and it looked like it was going to be the next shiny object, and I was going to do it.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (13:24):

Again, I bounced this off somebody who I trusted. He said, “That’s not really what you said you were going to go out and do. You better go back and reread what you had said.” After further reflection, I turned down that opportunity.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (13:36):

As it turned out, it would have been a bad fit, and I would have been distracted from growing the business. So here I am, 13 years later. As they say, “You’re an overnight success.” It just took me 13 years.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (13:50):

Yeah. It is funny how that happens. You started, and then 13 years passed. Magically, the blood, sweat, and tears, and challenges, and ups and downs all along the way, get forgotten or conveniently overlooked by someone looking in, right, as they’re observing from the outside.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (14:11):

Right. Exactly right. People could look at you and go, “Wow. Look. You’re so successful.” I’m like, “Hang on. It’s taken a long time. I’ve lost a lot of hair over it.” If you haven’t … You can’t see this on the podcast, but yeah, I’m a bald guy. Wasn’t when I started.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (14:28):

Well, well, great. Well, thanks for sharing that. How about a multiplier that you’ve incorporated into your business, personal, professional, that you’ve used to help you in your growth?

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (14:38):

Yeah. Two things there. One is people. People is the greatest multiplier in the home services space, but identifying those roles and responsibilities, and charting the path. So people was the one. That’s an easy one.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (14:51):

I’ll say that the second thing I did was I created a functional org chart before I even started my business. You’ll see it in the book. I filled every role, just like you did when you first started. You’re the president, the CFO, the chief marketing officer, the major sales guy, the fulfillment guy, the person who’s going back and taking out the garbage at the end of every Friday. But I had those roles defined.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (15:13):

What I found was, I took the time to go ahead and get the operations manual down. So at least it was written, so I could expand to the level we are now. That was hard to do, because sitting down and having to write something is a boring mundane task for an entrepreneur who’s out there moving and shaking, and is a little bit attention deficit disordered. That’s me.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (15:37):

Yeah. Well. Look. For me as a, I would say I’m that outsider looking in, just observing you and your business, I’d love for you … To me, a multiplier that I’ve seen, I’m just going to fill in the blanks, I’d love for you to talk about this, has been your training, the way you train.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (15:54):

You mentioned your staff and your team, but the training that I’ve heard you share at networking groups, and that you’ve talked about, is really top notch. It is superior. It’s excellent. So I’d love for you to talk a little bit about that, and how you train.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (16:10):

Especially anyone in the services business knows that, literally, you cannot fulfill your contracts or serve your customers if you don’t have a person going to their home or to that business to do it. I think you’ve done a phenomenal job of being able to train and coach people. Would you mind sharing about that?

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (16:31):

Yeah. I love that you said that. Thank you. That means a lot, because training is very important to me. It actually was a whole chapter in the book, and why I even started another company called the Home Service Institute.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (16:42):

One of the beautiful things about working in the business I’m in is that the guys I work with are WYSIWYG, what you see is what you get. This isn’t corporate America. There’s not an ulterior motive. There’s not an agenda. If they come into your office and they say they need more money, guess what? They just need more money. Whether you agree with them or not, and can give them more, that’s a different story.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (17:00):

But in the corporate America, there was always an agenda. There was always a what’s in it for me, let’s do it back and forth.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (17:06):

In our training, we do a lot around speaking their language and getting them interested in what we do. Because as owners, we want them to treat our customers like we would, but what they need, as a technician in the field doing things each and every day, is to have an easy transaction where they can feel fulfilled as an artist, doing something right and get rewarded for it. And yes, reward is financials that they can take care of their families and their commitments.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (17:33):

Yeah. You’ve done such a great job. It’s one thing that I really admire and look to you as just an expert in authority on that. Talk about Home Service Institute and what you’re doing there.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (17:47):

Yeah. That’s been a big one. I realized that training was important, but it was up to me to do everything again. I was doing all the training. We do trainings on Wednesday mornings, because in the beginning of the week, things are crazy in the home services world. If I try to train them at the end of the week, the weekend hits, and everybody forgets what they heard. So we do it Wednesdays. But I was doing it.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (18:07):

What I did was I began to delegate my training out to my operations manager, and I used to sit in the back of the room. Now, I started to digest it. At that point, it hit me that I’m in the training business now, and I’m really not in the handyman business anymore. I’m not really in the bathroom remodeling business. It’s the training.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (18:26):

By giving these guys the training, and showing them the benefits of if you just listen to our training and what we’re talking about, I can get you into the transaction, work with the customer, then you can get rewarded. I can fulfill your need of an easy transaction. You can feel good about what you did as an artist and feel rewarded. If you listen to what I’m saying, and I can speak your language, and I’m coming through to you and making sense, then they see the benefit in it.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (18:50):

What we do in training is we’ll do it consistently. We always train around customer service, something around our operational processes, and lastly, we do something technical. Because if I don’t give them a technical skill or something that we’ve learned, how to set a garbage disposal a little bit quicker and easier than somebody else, or how to shim a door without having to take all the door off, which are all tricks that we learned here, then they’ll listen to that. Just call your customer before you get there, which I used to say for years.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (19:18):

We’ve been doing this now for three years and it’s been phenomenal. My retention rate is better. My reviews online and my online reputation has gone up. My guys, who we have a bonus system in place now, three quarters of them make bonus, where before I started this, only 25% used to. So we flipped it all on this year, which is great.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (19:39):

Wow. Is the Home Service Institute, is that within your current company? Is it a separate business? How does that work?

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (19:48):

The Home Service Institute is a website. It’s thehomeserviceinstitute.com, where you can, at the lowest level, just subscribe and have access to our videos, which will give you the customer service component with some talking points.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (20:00):

Because as busy business owners, I don’t have time to come up with clever ways to talk to my guys about customer service. So we’ve done that. We’ve come up with these 10 minute videos with talking points that speak their language. It’s something that’s usually of interest, and usually a little bit of a history topic.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (20:16):

Then we translated it. We translate our business want into their customer technician need. The customer has a need. The technician has a need. It’s really been able to hit.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (20:27):

So by just signing up at a pretty low rate, we’re hoping that people join this community and become part of it. Then we can all share customer service success stories across home services.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (20:39):

This is open for any home services business, anywhere around the country, or even around the world, if it’s all online.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (20:46):

Right. This could for anybody doing anything for people’s houses. The hard part is that we all have similar skilled trade technicians. We don’t have time to do the customer service training, because we’re so focused on how do you turn that wrench better, or how do you cut that wood better, or how do you set that hot water heater. But by having this, it becomes part of a culture that really will start to improve your tenure, improve your customer service. As an employer, you’ve got guys who are out there doing things that you want done, that fits into their need.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (21:20):

Amazing. Well, I love how you’ve taken what you’ve learned from your own business, and figuring out how to make this work, implementing it, and seeing your retention increase, seeing the quality of the service that you’re providing increase, through online reviews and the rating, and happier technicians, happier guys out in the field. That’s amazing. And now offering that to any other home services business.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (21:47):

Yeah, we think we’ve made it a really easy entry point. It’s not a lot of money. We start out at 5.95 for a year subscription, because we think it takes about six months to really start to see the benefits. But after a year, then you can cycle through.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (22:03):

We’ve developed 16 videos. We’ll have up to 24 videos, and then we’ll be able to offer culture training services and other training services to help people implement this in their own business. We think it’ll be something that will be really worthwhile to companies all across the nation and worldwide.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (22:19):

Absolutely. Well. I think this is something for our audience that’s currently maybe a franchisor or is expanding. I hadn’t thought about that, but if you’re looking for something to help support your existing training, to add value to your franchisees or to your extended network of operating territories, this seems like a great solution to help fill in some gaps, especially on the customer service. This is always a need in the home services business.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (22:49):

So brilliant, brilliant, brilliant idea on coming up with this and putting it together. Not surprised, with knowing you and seeing what you’re doing. That’s amazing work.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (22:59):

Well, I appreciate that. Yeah. Actually, two of the companies we’ve signed up already are part of a franchise system. They’re just some of the bigger in their own franchise systems. As you have a franchise system out there, usually you build it to get up to scale. Once you’re up to a certain size, sometimes a franchisor can’t help as much, because they’re working on the other two thirds of the organization.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (23:20):

So we’ve been involved with these guys. I think it is a good fit, because that way, as a franchise team, you don’t have to worry about this piece. It’s really, again, it’s a low barrier of entry, because I’m just trying to build the community up as big as we can, because I think it’s worthwhile.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (23:34):

Amazing. I love it. Well, thank you for sharing that. We’ll list the link in the show note. homeserviceinstitute.com, right? That’s the website?

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (23:42):

Yeah. thehomeserviceinstitute.com.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (23:45):

thehomeserviceinstitute.com.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (23:46):

[crosstalk 00:23:46]

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (23:46):

Yeah. Perfect. Well, look. The last question we like to ask every guest, Chris, is what does success mean to you?

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (23:56):

Success means to me. That’s a great question, because I thought it was a destination. As we’ve learned, really, it’s a journey. Success, to me, is allowing me the time, financially, to do things I like to do personally. But what I find is I really like doing is I like working on my business.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (24:12):

So success, to me, is seeing other people succeed. I really get excited about watching others grow and grow with me. So success, for me, especially at the point I am now in my career, is being able to give back and see other people succeed along with me.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (24:27):

Amazing. Well, as we look to end here, Chris, was there anything you’d like to share with the audience that we haven’t had a chance to get across?

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (24:36):

Yeah. The other one we talked about early on was, back to the book, if you read it, you’ll find out that one thing I did was I was in engineering and machining all my life and then consulting. Next thing I know, I put my shingle out and I became a retail business. I didn’t realize I was a retail business.

Chris Lalomia, The Trusted Toolbox (24:52):

When you work with the variables of the general public and the consumer population, you’ve got to make sure that you got your business together and your processes together, because boy, they can come at you from all different ways.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (25:04):

Well, thank you again, Chris, so much for being here. I’m so grateful for your time. Let’s go ahead and jump into today’s three key takeaways.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (25:12):

The first key takeaway that Chris mentioned was you have to be optimistic, sometimes blindly optimistic, when you go into business for yourself. As an eternal optimist, as I would refer to myself as, I think optimism is sometimes often overlooked in how powerful it can be. So being optimistic about what’s coming in the future, and I think that could apply to any aspect of your life, or whether you’re an entrepreneur or not.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (25:45):

Number two is every business or everyone in business needs to have a business plan. I loved how Chris shared and talked about his business plan, how he stayed true to it. He had opportunities that he said no to because they were not aligned to his business plan. And how he had some advisors or mentors that helped hold him accountable to his own business plan.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (26:11):

Key Takeaway Number Three is really what prompted the opening question for the podcast today, which was talking about creating a functional organizational chart. If you haven’t done it, make sure that you do. If you haven’t reviewed it in a while, a while meaning if you haven’t looked at it in a year or more, it’s been too long. Take a look at it. Pull it out. It’s probably something you should look at quarterly, at least annually, as you’re growing and developing your business.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (26:42):

Now it’s time for today’s win-win. Today’s win-win comes from when Chris said success is seeing other people succeed along with him. Success is seeing other people succeed along with him. I thought that was fantastic.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (27:02):

It’s something and a great perspective for you to be thinking about as the leader of your organization, how are you bringing people along with you? Are you providing opportunities for them to accomplish their dreams? Remember, their dreams are not your dreams. Their dreams are not your dreams. Their goals, or what success means to them, is not necessarily the same thing that success means to you, as the leader of the organization.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (27:30):

That’s our episode today, folks. Thanks for tuning in. Please like. Please subscribe. Share this with anyone who you think will benefit. We look forward to having you back next week.

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