Brian Young has owned Home Painters Toronto for 28 years, but it took him almost 20 years to come to terms with getting off of cold calling and into online marketing. In fact, it took a literal punch to the face to get him to question the way he was running his business. Brian chats with Scott and director of content Carey Ballard about hitting bottom, making it through the Great Recession, and winning the Small Business ICON award in 2015.

Curious about ICON? Check out what’s in the works for 2017.

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Check out this and other episodes at smallbusinesssuccess.com.

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  • Michael Macdonald

    I was so happy to see Brian win the Small Business Icon with Infusionsoft Such a great guy! – Aside from the obvious points that Scott and Carey picked up on – That section on sending the one email – Start with something small so can see the ‘Quick Win’ – So important. You see so many people start with a huge idea in mind, and then it takes so much time to get it done because you need to learn whist creating, and change bits here and there and often never gets finished.

024 – A Profitable Punch to the Face – Brian Young Transcript

Brian Young: And the – and the breaking point was, um, 2011 I think I might have told you guys that, um, I got – I cold called a house that was a Newmarket, Toronto, just north of Toronto and, uh, that client was upset for me, uh, canvasing his house in dinner time. And long story short we shoved each other and he punched me in the face and we swore at each other and everything, but that was like, “You know what? This is – this is – I – I’ve had enough. Man, I’ve got to do something.”

Carey Ballard: That was Brian Young for Home Painters Toronto talking about his 80 percent rule and how a literal punch in the face helped him turn his business around. Keep listening [music playing].

Scott Martineau: Welcome everybody to this episode of the Small Business Success Podcast. I’m Scott Martineau, co-founder of Infusionsoft.

Carey Ballard: And I’m Carey Ballard, director of content marketing here at Infusionsoft filling in for Clate today.

Scott Martineau: Yes. And today we have on with us Brian Young from Home Painters Toronto. Brian, good to have you.

Brian Young: Thanks for having me. Pleasure being here.

Scott Martineau: Yes.

[00:01:00]

We’re, uh, we’re excited. I’ve heard your story. I don’t know how many of our listeners have and I’m very excited for them to hear. Uh, why don’t you maybe just start and tell us about your business today, what do you do, who do you serve, uh, how many employees do you have? Give us kind of the rough – the rough stats.

Brian Young: Sure. Sure. Uh, we’re Home Painters Toronto. We run our residential, commercial, uh, painting business in Toronto, Canada. We specialize in residential and we have roughly 40 subs and about 10, um, staff on staff and that’s how we run things.

Carey Ballard: Wow. How long have you been in business?

Brian Young: Um, 28 years if you wanna count my student painter years. So it’s been a long time. So I’ve got a lot of pain to talk about.

Scott Martineau: A lot of pain and a lot of paint. That’s great.

Brian Young: Yeah. Yeah. Exactly.

Scott Martineau: Well, maybe, uh, maybe just to start why don’t you tell us about that transition from being a student painter to actually having the crazy idea to start your business. What happened?

Brian Young: Sure. Well, I started as a student painter back in 1987 and I just – I didn’t even know anything about painting, but I wanted to do – run my business.

[00:02:03]

And it’s always been my dream to run my business and so I did it on campus for roughly two years. And then when I graduated, um, later on back in 1991 I didn’t have a job. So I – I – all I knew was painting. So I just thought, “Why not just keep doing what I’m doing?” And I was pretty successful in – in university doing it. So I just thought that was the best way to keep my – keep everything going ’cause I didn’t – you know, the job market at the time back in 1991 was pretty bad. So yeah. So that’s how I got started.

Scott Martineau: So your degree – what was the degree?

Brian Young: In economics.

Scott Martineau: Economics degree.

Carey Ballard: Yeah. An economics painter. I love this.

Scott Martineau: Yes. Clate has an economics degree too.

Brian Young: Nothing – unfortunately nothing helped – nothing helped me and well, at least practical wise in the university, but it did, you know, built some character and taught you to be focused and everything, but it was a good experience.

Carey Ballard: All right. So you’re in school and then you pick painting as your – as your side business. So why – why painting?

[00:03:00]

Brian Young: Uh, like I said, they – I just wanted to run a _____ business and my friend actually did it the summer before. So I was like – and he showed me back at the time I think he made roughly $10,000.00 or $15,000.00 in the summer and back then that was a lot of money. So I was like, “Yeah. I’m all in,” ’cause I was – I mean, I think I had worked at McDonald’s. I was making like $3.50 an hour at the time. So back then the minimum wage wasn’t very high. So I was like – I’d be willing to do almost anything to make money at the time.

Scott Martineau: The bar was set really high.

Brian Young: [Laughs] exactly.

Scott Martineau: So you – so a second ago you just undermined the entire education system. You said, “My degree really had no application to starting a business.” I’m not saying you really meant to undermine it, but isn’t that interesting?

Carey Ballard: Yeah. Well, entrepreneurs are very self-starting. They just need a little guidance sometimes, right?

 Scott Martineau: Yeah. Well, and I think – I mean, I think it’s relevant just to say that educational systems are not really built and I think we are seeing some really interesting innovations today, but they’re not really built – hadn’t been built to help people start and grow a business, right, Brian?

 [00:04:03]

 Did – now maybe if you searched a little bit harder is there anything you found in your education that actually helped or was it really like, “Hey, we’re out here and starting over, school of Hard Knox”?

 Brian Young: The only thing that actually helped me was the fact that I – I met a lot of cool people in university and I networked through them and if it wasn’t for university I wouldn’t have gotten involved in Student Painters ’cause you had to be a university student at the time. So I would say it’s good for, uh, networking, building relationships. Um, it helps you I guess in terms of your, um, stability and your, uh, staying focused because it does require you to be focused, but in terms of actual practicality, nothing. I would say zero.

Scott Martineau: Yeah. I don’t think that really helped. I think there’s still a dean somewhere whose entire worth of life has been destroyed.

Carey Ballard: Maybe not [laughs].

 Scott Martineau: I don’t think that helped either. Just made that worse.

Carey Ballard: Well, all right. So – so while you’re enjoying networking and at least getting some practical education while you were in school –

[00:05:00]

When did you – how did you market? Was it a part of the program or did you start learning yourself when you were on the job?

Brian Young: Well, Student Painters taught me how to market great back in like – this was pre-Internet days. So we were basically cold calling, lawn sign distribution, and direct mail. That was our three main ways to market. So no e-mails. We didn’t have cell phones back then. We used pagers. And, um, so that was how we got in touch with our customers and I just got really good at pounding the pavement going every night, three to four hours a night, just knocking on doors and soliciting business that way.

Carey Ballard: Wow. So how long did you do that? How long did you run it that way?

Brian Young: Roughly – well, I – I – actually 20 plus years, but in terms of doing it effectively maybe 10 from pretty much 1991 to around 1997 to 2000 it was pretty effective. And then come – as soon as the Internet starting taking over people got websites and starting marketing online and I saw this happening, but I didn’t really wanna adapt to it ’cause I was such a good cold caller and I could just close jobs on – on the spot.

[00:06:00]

And to – to me the Internet was still an unknown then. I was a little bit fearful of it. I was like, “No. I don’t wanna have to be dealing with all these web analytics stuff and all that kind of stuff.” So that was a tough transition for me to embrace this new technology and I really fought against it for – it turned out to be close to 20 years. I just fought it and fought it and fought it. Eventually, uh, my – it was just killing my business though because all my competitors were taking marketer away from me. And when I did get a client they were always low balling me and would think I was the lowest painter on the block ’cause I wasn’t innovative enough and I couldn’t market my business properly. So that was a really, really, really tough, long, drawn out, [laughs] painful duration that I’m still having, you know, side effects today with my cycle. That’s my cycle.

Carey Ballard: [Laughs] it takes a long time to get over that, doesn’t it?

Brian Young: Absolutely.

Scott Martineau: So what – what finally pushed you over the edge then?

Brian Young: Well, it was a few things. It was my marketer dying.

[00:07:00]

It was a combination of clients just constantly avoiding me, telling me – giving me the lowest price on the block. I was always the – the low painter on the block and it was just frustration. I was just unbelievably frustrated and ticked off to the point where I was just like, “F you,” to the world. I was like, “I got to change.” And the breaking point was 2011 I think I might have told you guys that um, I got – I cold called a house that was in Newmarket Toronto, just north of Toronto and, uh, that client was upset for my canvasing his house in dinner time. And long story short we shoved each other and he punched me in the face and we swore at each other and everything. But – and I was like, “You know what? This is – this is – I’ve had enough. Man, I’ve got to do something.” So I just started going online and figuring out how to, uh, like how to market your paint business better. And one thing led to another, I finally found myself a coach that got me focused –

[00:08:01]

and I did a whole bunch of other things from there. And since then things have been going pretty crazy in a good way.

Carey Ballard: That’s amazing. I think you’re the only person that can say an assault went that good after the fact.

Brian Young: [Laughs] I kept thinking of going back to his house and painting it for free ’cause that was the most profitable punch I had ever had.

 Carey Ballard: The profitable punch. I love it.

Scott Martineau: Did you have a lot of punches?

Brian Young: I had a number of other things, but not punches. I had people slamming the door on me, calling me names, screaming at me, um, chasing me down the block, but no assaults.

Carey Ballard: In 20 years of chasing and 1 punch.

Scott Martineau: Wow. So I – there are a couple new details. You said he shoved you and you shoved him back.

Carey Ballard: Yeah. I picked that up.

Scott Martineau: So this a – this is a full on altercation.

Brian Young: I actually didn’t shove him back.

Scott Martineau: Oh, okay.

Brian Young: I kind of just held my ground. I was like, you know, “Dude, what’s your problem?”

Scott Martineau: You’re like, “All right. I’ll give you 25 percent off. Come on.”

Brian Young: It was – I was saying he had rotting wood and he was upset about that. So I was like, “But, dude, your living room is rotted. I mean, your – your window is rotted. I mean, what are you gonna do?”

[00:09:00]

And he’s like, “Who the hell are you to tell me this?”

Scott Martineau: Holy cow.

Brian Young: Yeah. Flashbacks of the past.

Carey Ballard: This is when your psychologist says you might need to get rid of some of that, huh?

Brian Young: Exactly. That – exactly. I’ve gotten it – I’ve gotten rid of a lot of it though.

Scott Martineau: But it sounds like your frustration was growing as well. You’re sitting there seeing the world change. You had finally developed a system that was working and it was time to change.

Brian Young: Yeah. Absolutely. I – I resisted it for such a long time and I’d seen other people do it and my whole theory was – you know, they’re doing it, they’re not that much smarter than me. Why can’t I do it? So I just started – I just got off my little ego thing and said, “I’m gonna sit down and, uh, you know, take on what’s necessary to change,” ’cause that’s what was definitely was necessary, something like that.

Carey Ballard: Yeah. So in our podcast we always ask the question, “What is your low point or when was the day that you wanted to quit,” and I would guess that a punch is probably up there at the top.

Brian Young: Yeah. That was definitely in the top three if not – no. That was the number one actually.

[00:10:00]

But it was – it was a 10 – it was a 10, 15 year drawn out paint at that point and, um, but the main thing that got me through it was the fact that I believed in myself and I believed that if someone else can do it then I can do it. And I don’t know if you guys have ever watched Rocky, but I watched that – I must have every scene memorized down to a tee and whenever I would have a bad day I would just turn on Rocky, uh, and that would just keep me going. I’m thinking, “If this guy can do it from Philadelphia and _____ his whole life then, man, I have nothing to complain about. I can do it.”

Scott Martineau: What are you saying about people from Philly? Come on, Brian.

Brian Young: Well, he was an underdog in Philly. So that was –

Carey Ballard: That’s true. He was.

Scott Martineau: That’s true.

Carey Ballard: I love that.

Scott Martineau: That is fan – so I’m – I’m interested in those first few steps. ‘Cause going from – you couldn’t have a less online business, right?

Brian Young: Definitely. I didn’t even have a website. I didn’t –

Scott Martineau: I saw – I saw this – sorry, total tangent. I saw this little ad with these two people. It looked like it was back in the ’50s probably. They were sliding on this zip line, two people.

[00:11:02]

It says they met on line. Anyway, sorry. So yeah. What was that like? Right? ‘ you’re like having to learn a whole new world. Did you just go at it alone? Did you hire people? What did you do?

Brian Young: No. I – I didn’t know anything about anything. So I needed someone to help me and so I just – like I said, I went online, starting Googling how to improve your sales and painting. One thing led to another, um, I came across a website. It was Chet Holmes International. I went on. They had some kind of a contest. It was some kind of a lead magnet saying, “If you wanna increase your sales.” So I went on. I ended up getting hooked up with a coach. His name is Mike Torgerson. Um, the first thing we did though, we – I mean, ’cause I tried some of the other things here and there, um, a little bit of here and there and online stuff, but it just wasn’t working. And the reason why, ’cause my psychology wasn’t right. I wasn’t – I didn’t believe – first of all, I didn’t believe it could work for me.

[00:12:00]

I had this belief. So we worked on a bunch of imaginary kind of more fundamental even before we worked on the tools and that really – once I got the belief going, once I got my mindset going then that was the key. And then of course all the tools were just tools for me to get there.

Carey Ballard: Yeah. That’s fantastic. You’re fortunate you were able to overcome that honestly. I think that’s a really big hurdle a lot of people don’t make it over.

Brian Young: It was because, like I said, at first I didn’t believe it could happen to me. There was part of me that said, “I’ve been doing this so good for 20 years.” I still wanted to stick to my old ways and then when I would try something it wouldn’t work for – you know, you try it for one week, it doesn’t work. Of course it takes time. And then I would say, “No, it doesn’t work.” So it would just justify my belief. So I had to change my belief system in terms of what I thought was possible and what could happen and we worked on everything like – well, they said, “Brian, I know that this couldn’t happen right away, but what if we could even get to here? What if we could get like 50 percent of what you think and then could you work on that?”

[00:13:00]

I thought, “Well, maybe we could work on that.” So it was like little baby steps, um, and then as we got the little – like the little winds then – then things just kept exponentially growing from there. And then as soon as I got a couple wins I’m like, “Holy crap. This is like – this is gold. I’m ready to go all in. I’ll spend whatever necessary to make this happen,” ’cause I was unbelievably cheap with my marketing budget too. Before then I’d spend roughly less than $1,000.00 on my marketing budget. So like he – he actually convinced me, “Brian, we got to at least start with something.” So we started with five percent on my sales and then now, God, I don’t even know what we’re spending. But the bottom line is I’m spending a lot on sales, but my ROI is just great in terms of my – what I’m investing my, um, marketing resources in. So it’s great.

Scott Martineau: Okay. This is – Brian, thank you for sharing this. This is fantastic. I wanna just back up a little bit. So I’m confident that a very high number of our listeners have been sitting in various stages of what you had to go through and maybe still today they’re sitting there saying, “Man, I feel like I should be more advanced, but I’m not.”

[00:14:01]

And I think – I just wanna call out the things you just talked about. Number one, you identified this as a mindset problem. I think it’s fantastic. Um, you know, you go from saying, “Well, I tried that. It didn’t work,” as if the concept of online marketing is under trial, right, and a little small test is gonna help you decide that it’s never gonna work for you. I think it’s fantastic. Maybe – maybe share with us – on that point share with us what was the one thing that you stuck with long enough, you fought through, maybe optimized the strategies that we’re using where you first saw it and you’re like, “Oh, wow. This could actually work.”

Brian Young: Right. Well, the first thing we did was I was a bit of a perfectionist and a bit of a control freak before pre-Internet.

Scott Martineau: Not anymore, right?

Brian Young: I’m not – well, still a little, but I’m working on it. I’m still working on that. But I’m letting go as the months come on. So anyway, so I was a bit of a control freak. I was a perfectionist, which is your number one –

[00:15:00]

let’s say it’s the number one thing that’s gonna kill you as an entrepreneur if you’re a perfectionist ’cause nothing is ever gonna be perfect and it’s gonna inhibit you from following through with what you should in order to get there just ’cause you say, “Oh, this won’t work.” So if you believe – first of all you have to get over being a perfectionist and that’s the first thing. And so I believed in the 80 percent rule. I call it the 80 percent rule whereas, “Okay. I know that won’t happen 100 percent, but what if it could happen even 80 percent or even 60 percent?” So I got to the point where I could say, “Okay. Well, I could see that maybe happening like 60 percent.” I’ll give you an example. Like even hiring someone to match colors for my, um, my clients. I was like, “I wouldn’t want that to happen ’cause God forbid if the wrong color were to happen then we got to repaint everything for free.” So I would say, “Okay.” You say, “Okay. I know no one can do that 100 percent as good as you, but if we can get someone 80 percent as good as you would you let them do it?” I said, “You know what? Eighty percent I’m willing to do that,” ’cause I was spending two to three hours a day at paint stores just making sure colors were perfect.

[00:16:00]

So – so I got them to do little – little things like bite size chunks like that and then once they got – once I could find, “Holy crap, this guy is actually doing it in some cases better than me,” ’cause he could spend all the whole day there at $15.00 an hour meanwhile I could go out and get more sales. So I would say the 80 percent rule was the first thing and what was the other thing? I can’t even remember what I was talking about.

Scott Martineau: Well, I was curious – I was curious how – and maybe apply that to the online marketing, what was the first thing you did to take this very offline business online in the first success you saw?

Brian Young: Oh, um, I would say – I would say believing, like I said, that you don’t have to – anything has to be perfect and then trying something. And this is the other thing, I refuse to send out e-mails ’cause I was worried that my customers would be upset. So I was worried about that and, um, how to respond. And so Kelsey, my, uh, ICP at the time, he would say, “Brian, I know you got to do something though. You can’t just sit there and have Infusionsoft doing nothing.”

[00:17:00]

So we eventually sent out a simple e-mail, something as simple as, “Are you ready to book,” or something like as opposed to like some three page –

Carey Ballard: Yeah.

Scott Martineau: Right. Right.

Brian Young: Yeah. Yeah. Something as simple as that and I couldn’t believe my first appointment – I remember this to this day – it was 7:00 PM and I got my first appointment client calling me saying, “Yeah, Brian. Good to book for, uh, do that appointment the next day?” I’m like holy crap. This is just an appointment ’cause normally I’d have to physical call the client, butter them up, make them feel comfortable with me, and then book the appointment. And then I was like this guy actually called me for it. So this is the first time in my life I didn’t have to actually physically do something that would normally take me like anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes. I was like, “Holy crap. If this could happen then I can get them to do other things.” So it kind of built that muscle or that trust factor in terms of making myself more congruent with what’s possible.

Scott Martineau: Love it.

Carey Ballard: I think it’s so fascinating that you have – you were so, in your business model, when you just said, “I was afraid to send somebody an e-mail,” but you were totally okay calling them, going to their house, knocking on their door –

[00:18:02]

Scott Martineau: Insulting the state of their wood.

Carey Ballard: – and I would never – like in my mind I’m the exact opposite. I don’t even like to pick up the phone. If I can’t text you or I can’t e-mail you I don’t wanna talk to you most of the time. It just tells me how ingrained that style of your business was for you.

Brian Young: Absolutely. It was like – it was like something that I had been stuck with for so many years. And like I said, entrepreneurship is really about building that muscle, that trust muscle, that delegation muscle, letting go of – of all those things that you once had to do everything yourself and then believing in 80 percent. So if someone can do it 80 percent as good as you then let’s make things happen.

Scott Martineau: Yes. I love that. I love that you’re – I love that you’re creating these psychological almost trick – not tricks, but you’re – you’re – you know how to speak to your own psychology and your – your helping yourself along and you made up another 80 percent rule. You know, there’s like 80/20 rule and then there’s Brian’s 80 percent rule.

Brian Young: Absolutely. And I even _____ my stuff –

Scott Martineau: And I – and I think it’s general – I think it’s great general advice as well because you are definitely not the first entrepreneur that’s had the challenge of –

[00:19:00]

white knuckling every problem in the business and feeling like they can’t let go of it because nobody else could ever do it.

Brian Young: Absolutely. And even my stuff now, my leaders and I’m trying to, um, ’cause they don’t wanna do anything either. They wanna do everything themselves. Like dude, you got like 30 people answering to you. There’s no way you’re gonna be able to do it all yourself. You got to start letting this stuff go.

Scott Martineau: Yeah. Eighty percent rule. Love it.

Brian Young: So the first thing I do is I say, “First of all, are they doing 80 percent?” And then they say, “Oh, yeah. They’re doing 80 percent, but this. What about this? What about this? What about this?” “Okay. Dude, stop, stop, stop. Eighty percent is great. Let’s celebrate. Okay. Now let’s go on and then once we’ve of course accomplished that then you’d of course build on that and get another 80 percent above that.”

Scott Martineau: Yes. Fantastic. Love it.

Carey Ballard: It’s amazing to me. So you started – when you were writing the business for the first 20 years was it just you? Were you doing all the sales, all the marketing, all the painting?

Brian Young: I did absolutely everything except for the painting because I was terrible at it. So the only thing I couldn’t do was the painting because I was below average painter and that’s being generous. Uh, so I had my own painters.

[00:20:00]

I had anywhere from four to eight painters and the rest were – I did everything from, um, like I said, matching colors to my accounting. I wouldn’t even wanna spend money on my accounting. I would do all the information. So I would just have to send it to my accountant and he’d look over the numbers, make sure everything made sense, and then of course – yeah. So I would do everything. I was as cheap as heck. I didn’t wanna spend money on anything. That’s the other thing.

Carey Ballard: The cheap perfectionist [laughs].

Brian Young: Yeah. Exactly.

Carey Ballard: I like this. So okay. Now you have – how many people do you have working on your team?

Brian Young: Um, 40 subs as I said before and, uh, over 10 staff which is actually increasing as we talk.

Carey Ballard: That’s amazing. I mean, that’s a huge role shift for you is what I’m getting at. Did you – did you struggle with that at certain periods, not just the 80 percent, but the being responsible, all of that?

Brian Young: Absolutely and – and, um, the other thing is just like I have no idea what I’m doing. Still I don’t know what I’m doing. So, um, if I didn’t, um, spend time and – and resources investing in programs –

[00:21:00]

like Strategic Coach Daily program, which I’m part of and the Momentum Program I’d be dead because I’ve never done any of this stuff before in my life. Uh, I’ve never even – I don’t even know what the hell – like how do I run a meeting? And so this was our first meeting was just a few months ago and I was like sitting there. I was like, “Um, how’s things going guys?” And then one thing led to another and we got going. But I mean, at first I didn’t know what the heck I was doing. There’s no, uh, at least any books that I’ve read how to run a meeting.

Scott Martineau: Well, that goes back to what you were saying about your education. There are just – there are just things that you kind of get to learn when you’re out there in the wild and not that there’s no places to learn that, but there’s definitely not a requirement that you have all that checked off before you go out and start a company, right?

Carey Ballard: No.

Brian Young: Well, especially when you’re growing. We are growing at, um, like we’re at – actually since 2012 we’ve grown 800 percent. So I – I’m used to going backwards. So going forwards was huge. Like I was like, “What do I do now?”

[00:22:00]

Um, I have too many leads. I have too many employees. I have too many managers. I have – I don’t know what to do with them all. So yeah.

Scott Martineau: We have a word for that. We call those high class problems.

Carey Ballard: That’s right [laughs].

Brian Young: Yeah. I keep telling my people that. “We’re all killing ourselves. What do we do here? What are” – I said, “These are – guys, a year ago would you guys have wanted these problems?” “Of course.” “Okay. Let’s relax. Have a positive focus.”

Carey Ballard: I love that.

Scott Martineau: That’s great. So tell us – maybe take us to the other end of the spectrum. What’s the high point? What’s the time when you’ve sat back and just felt the most satisfaction for what you’ve created?

Brian Young: You know what? There’s a couple. The first one was, as I said, that phone call from a client realizing that what I was doing there’s a better way to do it. That was the first little, tiny thing. It wasn’t even a job. It was just set up an appointment and I remember to this day holding that Blackberry and talking to the customer. Then I’d call Kelsey. “Hey, Kelsey. Someone responded to the e-mail.”

Carey Ballard: “It worked. It worked.”

Brian Young: Yeah. So that was like huge because I didn’t – I had a belief system that said this could not work.

[00:23:01]

Carey Ballard: That’s amazing.

Brian Young: So that was the first thing. And I would say the most recent was doing the Icon thing last year ’cause I had never spoken in front of – I didn’t even – I didn’t like speaking in front of a hockey team ’cause at one point I coached a hockey team. I didn’t like speaking in front of ten people. So yeah. So speaking in front of 3,000 people and telling them my story was just – it just blew me away in terms of what was possible and what humans could do if they really put their mind to it and, uh, and the other thing was is like –

Scott Martineau: For – for our listeners Icon is our – it’s an annual event that we put on, Infusionsoft puts on for small businesses to come and we have – every year we have a competition where businesses that have demonstrated remarkable growth get to get up and share their story and that’s where I first met Brian and you did a great job, by the way.

Brian Young: Thank you. Appreciate it.

Scott Martineau: Yeah. So sorry. Keep going. I just wanted to give that context.

Brian Young: So anyways, so I had never done anything like that before, but the thing that kind of drove me to do it was the fact that I’d been through –

[00:24:00]

like 20 years of serious, serious pain and I’d found the solution to my problems in, you know, roughly two or three years and I was like, “I have to let this out and I have to help other people that are having this problem. And if I can even help one person in that room then this was all worth it.” So I really – I kind of just stepped outside myself and said, “This is something I need to do just for the betterment of mankind and for that matter myself. I mean, since then the relationships have developed, uh, since actually, to be frank, since then we’ve doubled our business since Icon, so.

Carey Ballard: That’s amazing.

Scott Martineau: Fantastic.

Brian Young: Thanks to that. Thanks to you guys.

Carey Ballard: Well, I think you did all the heavy lifting on that part. And it sounds like you’ve changed – I think your staff is probably benefiting from this revised version of you as well. You’re – you’re coaching them to learn from your mistakes, which is pretty impressive.

Brian Young: Absolutely. It was funny. I was just giving one of them a review yesterday, um, and I was asking her how are things going and then I was a little bit worried. I said, “Are you sure things are going _____?”

[00:25:02]

And then she said, “Brian, since last year you’ve improved so much,” ’cause I was a real pain in the ass to deal with. So I still am sometimes, but I’m not as much of a pain in the butt to deal with. So yeah. ‘Cause I’m a little – like I said, I’m letting go of that – that, you know, that controlness and that micromanaging part and I’m slowly building that muscle to let go and that has been going really, really good and I’m trying to improve every day on that.

Scott Martineau: So what is that like for you to go from, you know, like, “Hey, I’ve got to be the one to match the paint”? By the way, is your – is your color matcher better than you now would you say?

Brian Young: They are amazing and every time I have a problem with color I just delegate it and I just – it’s almost like, uh, it’s kind of like a therapeutic thing where you just got all this stuff inside you and you just let one thing go at a time and you just feel like so much is left off your shoulders and it’s like – it never stops ’cause you’re always delegating, but the more things you let go and the more you can empower your people the more it just does for you psychology too as a person.

[00:26:03]

I find it’s – I’m a lot more at peace when I’m busy. I’m not as stressed out. It’s – it’s a real, good psychological thing.

Scott Martineau: And what have you seen from the team you shared with the gal that you were just having a review with? But what are they – are you finding them rising to the challenge and feeling excited about taking it or does it feel like you’re dumping stuff and they don’t want it?

Brian Young: You know what? I’m really – um, I’ve actually segmented my business so well that I’m trying to keep people just focused on the big three and then whenever it becomes more then I’m saying, “Listen, if I’m like throwing more at you to the point where you can’t take on your big three then tell me and I’m gonna offload it to someone else.” So that’s why we’re building our team. We’re kind of making it up as we go. So I’m realizing that certain jobs are one person jobs. Certain jobs – this is a three person job. There’s no way one person can do it. So we’re building the business that way as we go and based on things like big three and making sure that people aren’t like doing more than that.

[00:27:00]

‘Cause I find that when people try to do more than that you end up getting everyone doing everything and then when that happens everything doesn’t get done right properly or just gets done haphazardly. So that’s what I’m trying to focus on is keeping everyone focused on their big three and not going beyond that and when they do, let’s hire another person for that job.

Scott Martineau: Love it.

Carey Ballard: That’s perfect. Now I was gonna say you – you’ve obviously acquired quite a bit of, um, critical reflection of yourself.

Brian Young: Absolutely.

Carey Ballard: Okay. So what would you say is your best characteristic that has helped you get to this point? I mean, you’ve been in business for a long time. You’ve been hugely successful and truthfully in a short amount of time in the end here. So what do you think gave you that ability?

Brian Young: I would say, um, you have to have belief in yourself and even if you have no idea what you’re doing, which is still happening today, you just have to have faith that it’s gonna find its way. It’s gonna – if you keep persevering, if you keep going at it, if you keep putting your nose to the grind stone –

[00:28:00]

asking the right questions, eventually the answers are gonna come and if that means reading more books, taking more seminars, watching more Rocky movies, do what you have to do and eventually you will find a way ’cause persistence does beat resistance if you just keep constant pig headed determination is what it comes down to.

Carey Ballard: I love it.

Scott Martineau: Ah, so great, Brian. I love it. I love that you’re – I love your vulnerability and just admitting that you’re making it up every day because I think we all are to a certain extent. We just don’t like to admit it. And I love your philosophy of 80 percent. I think it’s a great tool for us to help let go. We talk a lot about how leadership is an exercise of relinquishing control and it’s so hard. For some reason I like the tools you’ve given us. I love that you’re starting small and just taking those little wind and using that as a momentum to get to the next one. It’s so great and congratulations for getting your business to where you have.

Carey Ballard: Absolutely.

Brian Young: No problem. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.

Carey Ballard: You bet. Thanks for being with us today. This was awesome.

[00:29:00]

Brian Young: Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Scott Martineau: All right. Thanks, everybody for listening today. We’re gonna call that a wrap for this episode of the Small Business Success Podcast. Have a great day and go do great things in your business. Thanks for listening and don’t for get to rate us, write a review, and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and if you’re looking for more ways to grow your business check out our knowledge center at learn.infusionsoft.com. That’s learn.infusionsoft.com [music playing