May 24, 2017
Building a good relationship with your clients and employees comes down to respecting and trusting each other over the long haul. We talked with Gabriel Richards, Founder and CEO of Endertech, about putting love and respect as core values and the positive outcomes he’s gain with this mindset.
Who was Influential in Your Life?
Boy, there are so many admirable people in the world and in my life, but I’ll limit it to three. In life, my parents are my heroes. They are dedicated, selfless lovers who have shown me what commitment means, what patience means and how personal relationships are the most important things in life.
In business, my late Uncle Earl. He’s a bold, independent man who showed me what was possible with self-employment. He was an entrepreneur from Phoenix who built the state’s largest electronics recycling operation.
What Advice Shaped You in Life and Business?
The advice that shaped who I am as an entrepreneur would be: “love thy neighbor.” Love, in my opinion, is the foundation of all good things in life. When we keep a loving respect for others at the heart of what we do, we tend to receive that respect back and earn long-term relationships. This approach also tends to lead to great solutions. When we love our clients, we put ourselves in their shoes and see things from their perspective, which guides us to act in their best interests. Finally, this approach leads to great work environments. When we (tough) love our employees, we focus on harmony and the conditions that bring about mutual success.
What are Some Lessons Learned?
All of my biggest mistakes have been related to poor hiring decisions. It’s been covered over and over again in business literature and I echo it: Be patient and careful when selecting your employees. First, have a multi-layered process to filter out the chaff and conserve your time for testing and interviewing the best possible candidates.
Second, profile your candidates’ work styles with an assessment that will give you insight into their personalities. You have such limited time to get to know them before you make a hiring decision, so you’ll want any tool you can use to help identify how a person approaches work and personal interactions.
Lastly, when you do make that offer, accompany it with expectations. Lay out a vision for your new hire, clarify the criteria for success, and set a schedule for regular review during their probationary period.
How do You Organize Your Morning?
First, any mission critical communications, be it with clients or employees. Barring that, I keep a to-do list on the side of my calendar, organize it by priority and bang out those tasks top to bottom.
What Advice do You Have for Startups Scaling Their Business?
This might not be popular advice these days, but what has worked for me is scaling growth with profit. Profit is the indicator that your business is doing something right. If you finance excessive growth through debt or external investment rather than by reinvested profit, you may be masking reality, which could lead to pain.
What is Your Next Level Advice?
Create a vivid vision, give it a three-year horizon and really imagine what your life is like, what your business is like and what your environment is like in vivid detail. Then work backward to how you can get there, increasing detail and focus until you have an action plan for “this quarter” that you can further reduce to “this month,” then “this week,” then “today.”
Diligently maintain a weekly schedule of review toward your progress and hold yourself accountable.
How do You View Success?
Success is not a destination, it’s a state of mind. I’ve already achieved success because I am generally happy. I’ve achieved some goals, I’ve failed at others; there are challenges, there are highs and lows, but overall I’m doing what I want to do on a daily basis and I have a healthy family life. Really, what more could a man ask for?
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