Everyone wonders how we did it.
My first year of pioneering North Carolina was 1979. I had researched population centers to find the ideal place to expand from Atlanta and for a variety of reasons Greensboro, NC, fit the bill. I’m planning to do a Weidel Academy video on how I went through that process. Let’s just say it turned out well, but I didn’t know that it would at the time.
My first goal was 200 recruits.
I wanted to find out if I was good enough to make $100k per year. I wasn’t interested in doing it through sales because that wouldn’t really get me anywhere. It would be an insecure $100k because it would be all on my back to do it again and again. I wanted to build an organization that would generate that kind of income. That would give me security and also the best chance to keep the income growing. The other thing was that there was no way I was going to spend the rest of my life prospecting.
I knew it took quantity to find quality.
I learned that all great teams are run with a very few key people at the core. But you can’t pick winners. You can’t pick the tall kid out of the crowd of tall kids who will actually turn into a basketball star. You can’t pick the piano player out of a room full of piano players who will turn into a concert star. You have to give them a chance to prove themselves and if they have star quality it will show up. It’s the same way in building key leaders.
I knew I would have to conduct a talent search.
Just like they do on American Idol, I’d have to have lots of tryouts, put the best candidates through their paces and see who came out on top. I knew it would take time. I also knew that the more candidates, the better my chances for finding some stars. I decided 200 was the number to go for in year 1.
I failed to get 200 but I did get 56.
Out of those 56, I got 17 pretty good part time people and 2 very committed full time people. My full-timers weren’t very good, but they were committed. The thing about committed people is they can get good in a hurry because, unless it’s a physical skill like playing an instrument or a sport, most things can be learned fairly quickly with concentrated effort. My full-timers got very good very fast because we had a big game plan for my second year in NC, 1980.
In 1980 we went for 1800 recruits.
I had a new game plan. I had copied it from someone who had exploded in our business and was located in Houston, TX. This was someone who I had always beaten before I moved to NC and I was convinced I could beat him again. In 1979 he figured out how to rapidly compound his team and exploded to 1800 recruits. It took me all year to figure out exactly what he was doing. I felt if I did what he did there was no reason for me not to recruit 1800 people in 1980. So we went to work.
The first step – we had to start the year with a bang.
We had to turn things around fast. Every explosion needs a trigger. Anytime you want to do something you have to have a program for making it happen. I needed something to launch in January. I found it while reading a book on Andrew Carnegie. The technique he used to grow his steel production could be adapted to what I was doing. We installed it and our results took off. I cover exactly how this worked on my Weidel Academy video.
I found that sometimes all you need is something simple to trigger big results.