Team vs. Company PART 2

October 18, 2007

I’ve spoken with a few people regarding yesterday’s post and they told me I should have included more on how and why Mindscape has implemented this “team concept” within the company. Through these conversations I see how it could be helpful to explain how we arrived at this point so here goes….

I am a firm believer that that most efficient way to improve is to allow past experiences be the teacher. And if you learn from those lessons, you can succeed much faster and less painfully. When I was only a couple years out of high school I got married and had my first child. I didn’t last too long in college and therefore settled for a job making very little money. I figured working for a few dollars an hour was barely providing me with enough income to keep my family fed and the lights on, so I knew I needed to find something else. The pain of being broke all the time prompted me to look at many different opportunities. I didn’t have a college degree nor any “trade skills” so my options were limited.

After about six months of searching I found a guy that was extremely successful in my eyes and I asked him if he’d teach me to do what he did. He had a distribution company and marketed products throughout the United States. The idea that someone thought enough of me to spend their time teaching me how to improve my financial life was extremely exciting to me! He had only met me a few times yet he was willing to potentially waste his time on someone like me. Wow!

I made the decision to work my hardest and do everything he told me to do so he wouldn’t be wasting his time. Over the course of the next two years I built a network of sales people across the country which were producing over 1/2 million dollars a year in sales. With this experience I realized one of my first lessons in my early business life.

It is much easier and quicker to succeed by being “dumb enough” to follow a proven system, than it is to figure it out on your own.

Shortly after the second year in business the supplier decided we were making too much money and decided to change the commission structure. This reduced our income by close to 70% and devastated the morale within my organization. I spent the majority of the time attempting to keep everyone positive and working so our income didn’t completely evaporate. Soon after this point we found a different supplier and moved on. The original company was out of business in less than a year.

I was amazed at how we all worked so hard and were so devoted to the success of this supplier and they didn’t seem to appreciate it or even recognize it. It was as though the management figured they were the reason the products were flying off the shelves. They got greedy and their egos got the best of them. This was lesson number two.

Never forget who is responsible for your success. Most importantly never let the responsible parties forget how much you appreciate them!

When I started in the Internet world I did so with absolutely zero knowledge of what it took to design a website, or how to write one line of programming code. This may seem like an incredibly stupid thing to do since I didn’t have the ability to do any of the work within the company … and it probably would have been if I didn’t learn this lesson.

I started in this business determined to find the best people I could possibly find and reward them as much as possible for the work they produced. I did this knowing full well THEY ARE THE REASON we would succeed and that I played a very small part in that success. I also made a decision I would never allow my ego to get the best of me and do what the management from the supplier did.

I believe every single person in a company makes a contribution toward the success of a company and any person in a leadership position that loses focus of that FACT will soon be facing failure.

I received a comment on the post yesterday which mentioned how they believed when companies started to implement a “team philosophy” there could potentially be internal competition between the employees. I believe this could be the case if the implementation of this philosophy was simply a gimmick used for motivation. If this philosophy is something the leadership and team members are passionate about and completely “buy in” to, this competition won’t exist.

If you are going to build a team instead of a company and everyone vows to set aside the battle of egos and focus on the success of the organization, which is going to ultimately benefit them financially, and give them an incredible quality of life, these issues won’t exist.

I know this may sound like some “polly anna-ish” fantasy, but it can work! I often want to pinch myself as I feel this reality every day at Mindscape. We have an atmosphere of people coming up with new, exciting ideas almost every day! It isn’t any one person that makes Mindscape successful. It is each and every member of the team and EVERYONE KNOWS IT!

Great ideas and contributions need to be RECOGNIZED to create the energy to come up with the next idea! These ideas don’t just work with companies of our size (11 team members). I met with a company earlier today which has over 110 employees and does over $60,0000,0000 in sales. They have the same culture and the team members leave each night with a smile on their faces ready to come back each day to make another contribution.

I am sure there are many people who feel this is all simply a fantasy and that is fine. Those of you who believe it might be possible and give it a try will be extremely happy you did.

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2 Responses to “Team vs. Company PART 2”

  1. tne4all Says:

    Hello Pete
    First off, I want to thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my latest post. Your comment is both welcome and appreciated, and I totally agree with your thoughts about mindset when it come to any worth while endevor. After reading your latest post here on your page, I must say. You are like a breath of fresh air! I mean, someone that “truely believes” that the success of any venture is not solely due to only one persons efforts. Your right, success is a result of EVERYONES efforts! Efforts of the janitor or the guy in the mailroom is just as important part of the overall formula as the CEO or the top sales person. Every effort from every person involved is just as important as the next. Sharing your personal story about how you got started in business was a pleasure to read. Alot of people out there should take your story and do what they can to make it their own. You chose not to reinvent the wheel. You found someone that had what you wanted to have and made it your passion to learn everything it took to get it. I mean, you can probly count on your fingers how many in the last hundred years have chosen to reinvent the wheel and actually pulled it off. Microsoft, Fedex, McDonalds, and a few more have managed to do it. The easier road is to do what you did, find someone that is already successful at what you want to do, then do exactly what they are doing and you should be able to expect similar results. I honestly tip my hat to you.
    Wishing you and yours all the best.
    PS I haven’t yet, but I will check out your website soon.
    Till then, keep up your passion, it is a great fit for you.

  2. Pete Brand Says:

    Thank you very much for your kind words! I believe over time more companies will begin to adopt this way of thinking due to the challenges popping up due to the “traditional” way of doing things.


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