This is the story of Jack Spooner. Although Jack is being heralded as a genius by some, in the eyes of most entrepreneurs is nothing more than a stupid kid.
Every business person worth their weight understands that the economy is bad so this is no time to be starting a new business. Jack Spooner apparently doesn’t understand economics. Perhaps it’s because he’s only 13 years old and doesn’t read the paper or watch news on television. Perhaps he is not hooked up to any entrepreneurial networking groups like Linked In or Facebook. Perhaps he just doesn’t understand the culture of the business world for a generation of Millennials.
Whatever the reason, Jack recently decided to open up a lawn services business in Parkville, Missouri, called Yardwork Paradise. Here are the important facts he did not consider.
1. It’s the wrong time to start a business. With the economy in a drastic downturn even well established businesses are struggling to survive. Many have stopped doing those important things such as employee development, launching new products, or looking at strategies for growth. Instead they have circled their wagons, just as the pioneers did, because they don’t like what they see in the distance.
2. In order to keep employees you have to give them huge paychecks. Jack can barely afford minimum wage. Despite this low-wage is been able to retain his employees. He does this by developing a strong bond with them. The supplements the paycheck with extra money for a movie or other entertainment. He has made a strong connection to his employees and because of this they are engaged with his vision.
3. You must focus on one core product. Jack has also failed to focus on core product. In this case his core product is yard maintenance. Conventional wisdom is that in tough economic times he should focus solely on yard maintenance. Yet Jack also offers power washing. That’s totally unrelated!
So how did Jack get to be so successful? How is it has grown his business to the point that he has four employees and is increasing his sales regularly?
Jack took a path that many adults have strayed from — a path to his dreams. He had a vision of his company and his vision was surrounded with a halo of success. He focused on that vision. He saved money so he could buy lawn equipment. He developed a slogan for his business. He took extra care with his first customers so he could build a strong reputation.
Despite any opposition Jack moved toward the horizon.
Stupid? Definitely not!
Naïve? Probably! Yet Jack’s naivety provides a powerful life lesson for all of us. It is so difficult to remain positive when all we hear is bad news. However if we can remain focused on our dreams we can achieve success.
Millions of people around the world have listened to the YouTube video of Susan Boyle. A simple looking middle-aged woman from a small village in Scotland that shocked the world with a powerful song sung for British television’s “Britain’s Got Talent”. People talk about how great her voice was — every note perfect. Others talk about her looks — curious about a makeover. Some focus on the judges and audience — low expectations were turned to utter surprise. Yet few focus on the song itself — about how a young girl had dreams but life got in the way.
The three facts mentioned above are only facts if you allow them to be. For those who choose not to believe them there nothing more than myths that dreams.
Don’t let life destroy your dreams. Be like Jack Spooner. Be a success!
Rick Weaver is an accomplished business executive with experience in retail, market analysis, supply chain enhancement, project management, team building, and process improvement. He has founded Max Impact (http://www.getmaximpact.com), a leadership and business strategy development company, and MBC Global (http://www.mbcglobal.org), a global commerce and education organization. Rick has also written “Life’s Leadership Lessons”, a blend of real-life stories where people, events, and things have provided insight into outstanding leadership.