The Peter Principle: How to Go from Crisis to Quadrupling Profits
Who would have thought that one of my best employees resigning would be among the most valuable leadership lessons I needed to quadruple profits. Or that it would become the catalyst for me selling my business.
Don’t believe it? Let me explain.
I started my small business fresh out of college in 1991 at the age of 23.
Other than a three-month gig, I had never really worked for anyone or had a formal job. I’ve been self-employed my entire life. And for the most part, the leadership lessons I’ve learned over the years were through “on-the-job” training.
Unfortunately, I started the business on a shoestring budget. So by my sixth month in business, I was down to my last few hundred dollars. Literally days from closing the doors.
I managed to hold on, month to month, for at least the first couple of years, barely eking out some positive cash flow.
In the early years, I looked after everything from sales,to marketing and accounting, to technical support. I even cleaned the toilets. I regularly worked 70 to 90 hours a week for the first five years. Often sleeping in the office and rarely, if ever, taking a day off.
Fast forward many years later (October 2017 to be exact) and I had successfully closed on the largest transaction of my life when I sold my 50-employee business to private equity.
Now in the fortunate position, at the age of 51, I’m living the life I imagined when I was a young and somewhat clueless 23-year-old entrepreneur.
Those early years growing the business were challenging. Not only because it was hard to find sales and cash flow was so tight but, most importantly, because I had never really managed anyone other than myself.