911. Authenticity–What You See Is What You Get
“The hardest thing I’ve found people have answering is ‘what do you really want?’ I had to answer that for myself because what I thought I wanted, what I thought would fill the emptiness of that five-year-old who had lost everybody important to him, was things–was money, was toys, was houses, was whatever. What I really found, what I really get to with my clients, is helping them define success related to something that matters to them. And more often than not, it does not have to do with material items. For me, success is doing what I want, when I want, with whom I want to do it, as often as possible.”
Todd Palmer is an executive coach, keynote speaker, renowned thought leader, author, and CEO who is committed to helping business owners tackle their obstacles and clear their path to success. As an entrepreneur and active CEO, Todd knows the struggles business owners face regarding people, cash, strategy & execution. He took his company from being $600,000 in debt, to making the INC 5,000 as one of America’s fastest-growing companies (an astounding 6 times).
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
“I had a young son to raise so I left a teaching position I loved and joined Olsten, the staffing company, where I thought I’d have more opportunities. While there I saw a need in the marketplace that wasn’t being filled by Olsten or the smaller entrepreneurial staffing company I joined after a year at Olsten. These staffing firms focused mainly on clerical work, and I saw a large need from companies that needed skilled trade professionals: welders, high-end machinists and other similar roles that the more traditional staffing firms were not interested in serving. I was 27 at the time, in 1997, and was so fascinated with this opportunity that I wrote a business plan that a friend who was 15 years older agreed to invest in—once I got realistic about the start-up budget I needed! Because I would pick people up at their home or drive them to the suburbs from the city because many people didn’t have vehicles, I met a huge need in the marketplace and was profitable within 90 days.”
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
1. Teach yourself how to be self-reliant (without completely pushing away help). When I was around 5 my father unexpectedly died at the age of 45. My mother went from being a stay-at-home mom to having to return to the workforce. At the same time my brother left home for college and my sister married and moved away too. My feelings of abandonment were profound, but I learned at this very young age some basic lessons of self-reliance. It was very much creating my own world, like entrepreneurs will do in their businesses. I created that in my own personal life and became my own visionary of what I wanted to accomplish.
2. Open yourself to mentors and their advice.
We moved from Detroit to a farm in mid-Michigan because my mother remarried. The much smaller school environment allowed me to know my teachers very well, and they encouraged me to focus on my writing skills, which led to a scholarship at the local community college to write on the newspaper.
* After 2 years at the community college I enrolled at Eastern Michigan University. While there my interest in writing faded, as my fascination with teaching increased as I took more communications classes. My advisor encouraged me to teach at the university level and helped me to obtain a coveted teaching position at my former community college while I was still an undergraduate—a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
3. Learn and accept what you do not know. After 9 years running my company in 2006 with the 2008 recession in the offing, we hit some major rough patches that placed my company in jeopardy. I hired an experienced coach, with deep and broad financial experience, who helped me make a series of extremely hard decisions that essentially saved my company from bankruptcy.
4. Define what you really want and your definition of success—for yourself. The hardest question that my clients have answering is: “What do you really want?” More often than not it has little to do with the outer manifestations of success—money and things—as I’ve learned over my entire life and career. Success for me is doing what I want, when I want, with whom I want, as often as possible. I help my clients figure that out.
Connecting With Todd Palmer
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