Jamie Irvine is a Sales Professional/Entrepreneur who is passionate about building businesses that work without the owners involved in operations and developing a turnkey, intelligent, culture development system that radically improves employees lives.
Your Big Idea: Successful Entrepreneurs have One Big Idea. Follow JLD’s FREE training & you’ll discover Your Big Idea in less than an hour!
The E-myth Series, Awakening the Entrepreneur within, Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everybody to take action and The 100/0 Principle – Jaime’s Recommended Business Books
PipeDrive – Jaime’s Recommended Business Resource
3 Value Bombs
1) Building a business is not like buying a lottery ticket. You need to build your business one step at a time.
2) Write down your goals and prioritize them by assigning them a value—that’s the only way you’ll ever realize them.
3) If you can find a way to systemize the production of a product or provision of a service, you’ll 10x your income overnight and dramatically reduces your workload.
(click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.)
[01:35] – Jamie has an amazing ability to visualize the big picture
[01:59] – “Inspire other people by transferring enthusiasm”
[02:43] – We have fallen victims to the following myths: the myth of the entrepreneurial giant, the myth of passion, and the myth of doing something big
[03:30] – Jamie explains the myth of the entrepreneurial giant. Any prominent organization is built by a team of people, and not just one man.
[04:10] –We need to refocus and think about helping other people
[04:42] – Building a business is not like buying a lottery ticket. You need to build your business one step at a time.
[05:32] – Worst Entrepreneurial moment: Jaime started his first business in 2009. He was swayed by statistics and his business folded up in a few months after his partner decided that he wanted to move in a different direction. He was left with $700, which he started a new contracting business with. While on the job, Jaime fell off a twenty-foot-high roof and almost died.
- “You never know what’s going to happen”
[10:55] – Entrepreneurial AH-HA moment: Induction of systemization into the contracting business, which enabled Jaime to step back and let employees execute their work in a flawless manner. Systems were the reason Jaime’s competitor ultimately purchased his business from him.
[13:20] – Jaime suggests penning down your thoughts on a piece of paper.
[17:00] – The Lightning Round
- What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur? – “I wasn’t leading my life intentionally with purpose. I was too busy partying as a young man”.
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – “Plough your own field”.
- What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success? – “I write down my goals and assign them a value, and I prioritize based on the most important to the least important, and I review them every single day”.
- What is your number one goal today? – “My number one goal today is to add value to your audience and I think I am achieving that”.
- Share an internet resource, like Evernote, with Fire Nation – PipeDrive
- If you could recommend one book to our listeners, what would it be and why? – The E-myth Series, Awakening the Entrepreneur within, Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everybody to take action, The 100/0 Principle
[18:33] – Systemize your business so that it can operate without you; that will give you something that you can sell.
Jamie: JLD, let’s light it up.
John Lee: Whoo. Jamie’s a sales professional and entrepreneur who’s passionate about building businesses that work without the owners involved in operations. And developing a turn-key intelligent, culture-development system that radically improves employees’ lives.
Jamie, take a minute. Fill in some gaps from that intro and give us a little glimpse of your personal life.
Jamie: Sounds good, JLD. Like you said, I’ve been a sales professional since 1997, and been adding value and making businesses profits since then. I’ve been an entrepreneur at heart my entire life. But I started my first business in 2009. And I’ve had ups and downs. Business failures and business success. And one of those successes was taking a company with a $700 investment, turning it into multiple six-figure and then being able to actually sell it.
So, that’s kind of my professional side. On the personal side, I’m married and I have a 13-year-old daughter and a little shiatzu dog named Baby.
John Lee: One thing that I kinda wanna talk about, Jamie, is your personal area of expertise, today in 2017.
Jamie: I’m gifted with the ability to see in pictures. When I think about things, I actually see pictures. I see moving pictures and still pictures of it. So, I have this ability to talk to a person and start to develop a big idea, maybe a vision of what we wanna do with business. And I can see it in this moment how it’s gonna work. I see a lot of the details. But how do you translate that into actually making a living?
Well, I’ve done that over the years by inspiring others to get involved in what I’m working on and to help me create that vision and make it a reality. Now, this comes really sales at its core, because it’s just transferring enthusiasm from one person to the other. And that’s how I convinced my wife that quitting my job and starting a business was a good idea. That’s how I’ve convinced customers to buy business partners to do business with me.
And now that I’ve sold my company, I’ve been mentoring other entrepreneurs and just loving every minute of that.
John Lee: So, Jamie, what’s one of the biggest mistakes that you find us as entrepreneurs making when it comes to an area of your expertise? What’s something that we should know that we probably don’t? Because you’re the expert. We’re not.
Jamie: I think that we all at one time or another have fallen victim to a lot of the myths around the entrepreneurial journey. And I see that coming down in kind of like three components. One is the myth of the entrepreneurial giant. One is the myth around passion. And the other is the myth around doing something big.
And we can really quickly go through that. JLD, I’m gonna say a name of a couple entrepreneurs. You tell me the companies, okay?
John Lee: Okay.
Jamie: Easy one. Henry Ford.
John Lee: Ford.
Jamie: Sam Walton.
John Lee: Walmart.
Jamie: Steve Jobs.
John Lee: Apple and wait a second, wait I have the other one. Oh, Pixar.
Jamie: Yeah. That’s right. That’s right. So, we get focused on these big-name people and they’ve done amazing things. And we’re very, very much enamored with them. And we wanna emulate them in our businesses.
The problem is, is that we start to believe that they built these global brands on their own. JLD, did you build EO Fire complete by yourself?
John Lee: Not completely, no.
Jamie: No. You had a team. You built a team around you to make this thing a global brand. And so, did all of those people. So, imitating them, emulating them is a good thing, but don’t get sucked into the idea that you have to do everything yourself. And I see that over and over and over again.
Another area is in passion. People focus on what they’re passionate about, what they’re interested in. The problem with that is, think about what you were interested in when you were 10, 20, 30 and beyond. Every few years, our passions and interests can dramatically change.
So, you need to refocus and be passionate about helping other people. If you get passionate about doing something significant in other people’s lives, that passion will take you through to the end and will actually last.
And finally, doing something big, doing something great in business, it’s not like buying a lottery ticket and that one action leads to a $50 million payday. It’s not like that. What you have to do is you have to start small. You build a prototype; you build something excellent that works. And then you replicate it. One becomes two, two becomes four, so on and so forth.
And by putting each brick in place, one piece at a time with a great team and being passionate about helping others, you can actually build something that’s significant and that will really become great.
John Lee: Fire Nation, that was like a four-minute master class on building a team. I hope you took that to heart.
Now, Jamie, let’s talk about your journey. What was the worst moment that you’ve experienced thus far as an entrepreneur? Break it down for us.
Jamie: Well, as I said, I started in 2009, my first business. And my dream was to become a business consultant. And I fell victim to the statistics. And that first business that I started ultimately failed very quickly. Within a few months, my business partner decided that he wanted to go in a different direction. We’re still friends to this day, so that went well because we had documented everything.
But it left my wife and I in a bad position because all of a sudden, half of the investment money was gone. We soldiered on because it was my dream. It’s what I wanted to do, but ultimately within six months of starting that business, all of our money was gone. All of our hard-earned invested money. We had $700 left.
And in two weeks, we had a $1200 rent payment. And so, we were in a pretty bad position. And it was in 2009. No one was hiring. So, going and getting a job wasn’t even an option. You would think that this would be the lowest point for me. But it actually wasn’t.
Like I said, I’m an entrepreneur at heart. So, what we did is we started a second business with that $700. And it was nothing that I wanted to do. It was a contracting business, exterior building cleaning, physically demanding, dirty work, cleaning people’s gutters, all that kinda stuff.
And for several months, I was pretty despondent. I was pretty upset with how things had gone. I couldn’t believe that with all the preparation that went into starting that first business and having a dream, that it fell apart so quickly. And now, here I am. I wanted to be this business consultant. And now I’m cleaning people’s gutters and things like that.
Things actually got worse though because as that went on, I fell into a bit of a depression. And on October 15, 2010, I was working on-site. My wife and I didn’t wanna go to work that day. We were tired. We were frustrated. But we had to get the job done. And we went to work and it was just a little after 2:00. And I’m working on a building, 20 feet up, and I got my rope stuck, my safety line.
And I couldn’t move. And I needed to reposition the line. So, I did what you’re supposed to do at that point. I stopped work. I unhooked. And I went to move my line. But as I was moving on the roof without a safety line on, I stepped on a piece of metal that wasn’t attached properly and I fell off the roof. And I fell 20 feet and I landed on a pile of landscaping boulders. I shattered my pelvis. I punctured my abdomen.
My dear wife was like a Baywatch babe that day. I remember rolling on the ground screaming and seeing her running towards me, tearing off her sweater and applying pressure on the wound to keep me from bleeding out.
And later that night, we actually – that’s when we hit rock bottom. The doctor came into the Emergency Room and said to my wife, “You need to make necessary preparations,” which is doctor-speak for “prepare for him to die.”
John Lee: This is a cliff-hanger. What happens?
Jamie: Sorry. I get a little emotional talking about it.
John Lee: Does he survive?
Jamie: Well, I’m here talking to you.
John Lee: Oh, that’s right. Okay.
Jamie: Years later. So, I survived the surgery and now I am left where I have to relearn how to walk on stairs. I needed to use a walker. And then through rehabilitation I progressively got better. But it took six months. And so, this was it. I mean my entrepreneurial dream was alive in the sense I was still an entrepreneur, but what I wanted to do, I wasn’t doing. The job I was doing, I pretty much hated. And now, my body is broken, I almost got myself killed.
John Lee: Wow. I mean, Fire Nation, next time you have a bad day, let’s put things in perspective. And sometimes that’s what life is, is putting things in perspective. I do love that phrase, “This too will pass.” You know, it works for both the good and the bad.
When things are goin’ great, guess what? I hate to say it, but this too will pass. And when things are going horrendously, this too will pass.
So, Jamie, what do you wanna make sure our listeners get from your story?
Jamie: You never know what’s going to happen. And there were two reasons why we got through that worst moment and that series of terrible moments. One, we had an amazing support group, personally. So, on a personal side, you have to surround yourself with amazing people.
But on the professional side, that business was not even quite two years old. But we had taken necessary steps to implement a business development system. And we had a couple of employees. And so, while I was recovering, our business was able to survive because those employees were able to follow the system and keep the business going while I recovered.
If those two components had not been in place, I shudder to think where we would have been.
John Lee: Man. Incredible. So, Fire Nation, I just want you to keep that in mind. Perspective can be everything at those kinda times.
Now, Jamie, let’s talk about one of the greatest ideas you’ve ever had. I know this is kind of an abrupt change from that very emotional story that you had, but let’s talk about one of those “ah-ha” moments. What was that idea that you had, you’ve been able to implement and create the success that you’re now standing on today? Tell us that story.
Jamie: I believed in systemization. I believed in building a business that works. But until I went through that experience, I hadn’t lived it yet. And once I lived it, I became very focused on taking your business and creating a set of systems that allows you as the business owner to take a step back and just let your business produce the predictable results that you intended that business to produce.
And I became very focused on what the customer needs and wants, how to deliver that guaranteed, the same way every time. And then to build my team in such a way that I could leave and they could continue on and produce that predictable result. That low point, to being able to sell my business a few years later, and the reason I was able to sell my business is because the company that bought it, a competitive company, wanted our system.
So, that’s the big “ah-ha” moment for me. Because you never know. I mean let’s face it. People get cancer, they have car accidents, they get sick or not even depressing stuff like that. What if you just want to take a vacation?
John Lee: Yeah. I was gonna say, what if you just one day wake up and you’re like, “I don’t love this anymore. I wanna shift in a new direction.” Yeah. There’s any number of things that could happen.
Jamie: Absolutely. And so, that was for me, my big “ah-ha” moment. And I have learned over the years how to implement that in a progressively better and better way. And after I sold my business, I was able to take those lessons learned and help other entrepreneurs. I’m so excited to say that I’ve helped six people start their own businesses and they’re all doing very well.
John Lee: Nice.
Jamie: I’m able to work with corporate companies now and be able to introduce this philosophy and idea. And amazingly, these companies with all this revenue and money and power behind them, and they haven’t even done the basic things I’m talking about here.
And so, I’m very excited about being able to bring this message to the world.
John Lee: Now, just real quick. I don’t wanna dwell on these, but do you have a couple resources that you just love implementing within businesses? I’ve heard of things like Sweep Process or a sauna, there’s Slack. Are there a couple that you really love? That you think are key to making these systems and automations just rock solid?
Jamie: You’ve gotta start low-tech. And so, the simplest thing that I teach people to do and recommend is just start with a piece of paper and a pen. Get some of that stuff out of your head. You’ve been doing this over and over and over again. You know. You know how this business is supposed to work. You’ve been doing it. So, just start by writing that stuff down.
But then from there, I think that using a lot of the software that’s available, if you talk to them, a lot of these people have software engineers that work either on spec or on contract for them to go beyond maybe the initial offering that they offer to the marketplace. That’s where I found the real success. Getting those people to work for you.
And it sounds like, “Wow. That must be really expensive.” But surprisingly, it’s not. Really, a lot of these systems can be customized for your business in such a way that it really only costs you maybe the cost of one employee’s revenue for the month. So, it’s not horrendous and your business can implement a customized solution that fits your needs.
Because I’ve personally struggled with the one-size-fits-all solutions.
John Lee: Fire Nation, if you think value bombs have been dropped thus far, you just wait until the Lightning Round, which we’re crushing when we get back from thankin’ our sponsors.
Jamie, are you ready to rock the Lightning Round?
Jamie: Let’s do it. Let’s hear some thunder.
John Lee: What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Jamie: I wasn’t living my life intentionally and with purpose. I was too busy partying as a young man.
John Lee: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Jamie: Plow your own field.
John Lee: Share a personal habit that contributes to your success.
Jamie: I write down my goals and I assign them a value. And I prioritize based on the most important to the least important and I review them every single day.
John Lee: What’s your No. 1 goal today?
Jamie: My No. 1 goal today was to be able to add value to your audience. And I think I’m achieving that.
John Lee: Ah. Check that block, Jamie. Share an internet resource.
Jamie: I don’t hear a lot of entrepreneurs using a lot of sales tools. So, I’d like to recommend Pipedrive.
John Lee: Yeah.
Jamie: I think it’s an absolutely fantastic visual resource. And I think that if you’re an entrepreneur, you’ve gotta be very focused on sales. This helps you to keep your deals prioritized and moving forward.
John Lee: Yeah. Andrew Warner of Mixergy loves Pipedrive. Great tool. And Jamie, one book and why.
Jamie: I can’t give you one. But I can give you a series of books for new entrepreneurs. Read the E-Myth series. It’s the “E-Myth Revisited,” “Awakening the Entrepreneur Within,” and “Beyond the E-Myth.” And if you’re an established business owner, I highly recommend “Start with Why,” by Simon Sineck I think his last name. And the “100/0 Principle,” by Al Ritter.
John Lee: Mm. I haven’t read that last one. Jamie, let’s end today on fire, brother, with a parting piece of guidance. The best way that we can connect with you and then we’ll say good-bye.
Jamie: Systemize your business so that it’ll operate without you. And that will give you something you can sell. And you can find me on LinkedIn and my website, www.jamieirvine.ca because I’m a Canadian. And I would also like to offer a gift to your audience, JLD, if that’s okay?
John Lee: 100 percent.
Jamie: I’m building out a free download that is gonna teach some of these core principles that we talked about. And I’d like to be able to offer that on JamieIrvine.ca/EOFire. So, you can download that free resource. And then also, once you download that free resource, I wanna give you four videos where I’m gonna talk about how to actually implement it. Because personally, I hate it when you download something and it kinda tells you what to do, but doesn’t tell you how to do it.
John Lee: Love it all. And Fire Nation, you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You’ve been hangin’ out with JI and JLD today. So, keep up the heat. And head over to EOFire.com. Just type “Jamie,” J-A-M-I-E, in the search bar. His show notes page will pop up with everything that we’ve been talkin’ about today. These are the best show notes in the biz. Time stamps, links galore. And of course, head directly over to JamieIrvine, that’s I-R-V-I-N-E.ca/EOFire for your free gift.
And Jamie, thank you for sharing your journey with Fire Nation today. For that, we salute you and we will catch you on the flip side.
Jamie: Right on, John. Thanks.
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