000 Inspiring Greatness – Shelley Rogers Story

Welcome to Inspiring Greatness where we interview incredible Entrepreneurs with inspiring stories.  Regardless of whether you are an experienced Entrepreneur or thinking of starting a business, everyone loves to hear about what an entrepreneur endures and how they have overcome numerous obstacles to achieve their own success. This podcast series will share their stories to inspire you!

This episode will give you a little bit of information about the podcast and what you can expect for the future as well as tell you about me, your host (Shelley Rogers).

I’ll be interviewing amazing Entrepreneurs each week, and then on Fridays I’ll be summarizing the best take away tips and lessons from the week with the Golden Nugget Round, getting you inspired for the weekend.

I’ve embarked on a journey of growth and reconnected to my purpose in life by inspiring personal greatness with my newest venture Maxum Corporation.  Reflecting on two decades as an entrepreneur, I realize time is limited.  Maximize every day, make decisions as if you only have a limited time to be great!

Episode 000 - Show Transcript:

Welcome to Inspiring Greatness where we interview incredible Entrepreneurs with inspiring stories.  Thanks for joining me today.  Regardless of whether you are an experienced Entrepreneur or thinking of starting a business, everyone loves to hear about what an entrepreneur endures and how they have overcome numerous obstacles to achieve their own success, I will be sharing their stories in this podcast to inspire you!

Today I want to give you a little bit of information about this podcast and what you can expect for the future as well as, tell you about me, your host. 

Every seasoned entrepreneur has a story to tell about how they made it happen, and each one has its own unique successes and failures.

I will be interviewing the most inspiring Entrepreneurs from around the globe, and sharing their remarkable real-world stories. In the process of doing so I hope to pass on some of their insights and lessons learnt to you.

But before we begin, I want you to get involved. If you would like to connect with me and share your comments, you can contact us on Inspiring Greatness Facebook Page. Send us your thoughts, reviews, or questions. Or maybe you know an entrepreneur with an inspiring story, if so we’d love to hear about them.

Also, never miss a podcast by subscribing to us @ Inspiring-Greatness.com.au to be added to our mailing list. If we inspire you, please give us a five-star rating on iTunes, it will help us reach more people and inspire more entrepreneurs!

Our interviews will provide you an episode each week, with a summary on Friday of the Golden Nuggets that came out of the interview or questions from our listeners. Our interview format will be similar each week, so you’ll know what to expect. So for you this means that if you don’t get to listen to interview that week you can download our Golden Nugget Friday episode of Inspiring Greatness to receive the best of the best inspiring tips and tricks to accompany you on your drive to or from work, your daily workout, or any activity that you think could use an added dose of inspiration. 

Each episode will start with a brief introduction of the inspiring Entrepreneur, then we dive right into SHOW ME the money! Which asks how they make Revenue, followed by Inspirational tips, words and habits.

In the next part of the interview guests will share their Stories, including their Ah-Ha moment. This is so powerful, the pivotal defining moments for Entrepreneurs. Listening to these stories can help us learn from their lessons, and from this gain real world insight and inspiration to make things happen. 

There’s also rarely an entrepreneurial journey that doesn’t have ups and downs, and these moments of failure can often provide the biggest learning opportunities. Our Entrepreneur will go into detail about their worst moment as an entrepreneur. We’ll look at what happened and the actions that were taken immediately after that assisted our Entrepreneur in overcoming the obstacle.

Then, finally we end with questions that I call “Inspiration Information,” where I ask what our guest sees as their biggest strength, and their greatest weakness, and also what inspires them right now. I feel these questions will provide answers from which every entrepreneur can learn and grow. We’ve had some amazing and original answers, and I can’t wait for you to hear them.

Now that we’ve shared some details about the show, I want to share with you what motivated me to launch Inspiring Greatness podcast.  2015 I was at a conference in Queenstown New Zealand and had the pleasure of listening to Warren Rustand who spoke about taking your life to the next level.  Warren runs a 2.5-Billion-dollar company with 17,000 employees in USA, and so you can imagine how difficult for him to take time out of his schedule, but he did in order to inspire other Entrepreneurs, and he’ll be doing it again right here on Inspiring Greatness.  You can listen to Warrens interview on episode 001 next.  Warren’s message at the conference was impactful, and provided a life changing formula for becoming a high performing individual, as of tomorrow.  He stated that there are two days that matter in life: The day you were born, and the day you figure out WHY you were born! 

Warren created a quote for himself to live by each day which is: 

“Success is relevant only when one compares against one’s own capacity for that success.”

Success is relevant only when one compares against one’s own capacity for that success.”

Take a moment to process, What Warren made clear to me was that it does not matter how successful anyone else is. What really matters is that you are performing at your highest capacity for success. Warren went on to say that the average person only has 672,000 hours roughly 28,000 days.

in their lifetime. Don’t waste it living someone else’s life, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, and be your best self every single day!  Maximize every day, make decisions based on the idea that you only have a limited time to be great. 

Warren inspired me to complete my personal vison statement which is posted on my office wall, this statement led to the creation of Maxum Corporation, where our goal is to Inspire Greatness in Entrepreneurs. I am very excited to launch the Inspiring Greatness podcast. We hope to inspire 5 million Entrepreneurs across the world.

Why a Podcast? I have only recently become acquainted with just how useful and productive adding podcasts to your daily life can be. I spend a lot of time in the car driving and on a lot of flights. Podcasts allow me to choose topics that I want, where I can learn and be inspired.  Learning should be a life long journey, and podcasts have become a way for me to fit more learning into my day. And not to mention that they’re free! Radio has been a way of sharing information for over 200 years now. Podcasts are an innovative communication tool that has grown exponentially, with subscriptions to iTunes podcasts going from 25 million to 75 million in the last five years. We want to take advantage of Podcasts as a communication tool, and use it to inspire entrepreneurs and share their stories.

Being an entrepreneur myself, I’m passionate and interested in hearing other Entrepreneurs stories. I think there’s something so inspiring in someone starting with an idea, and taking action to make it into something great. It’s that part of the story – from when an idea starts to how it comes to life – is what is so astounding to hear about.

These stories are what I want to share with the world through Inspiring Greatness. This podcast series will be a hive of ideas, with something for everyone to learn from, or to be inspired by. Perhaps a story you hear might just give you that bit of inspiration to make the leap, and bring that idea you’ve had to life. Or maybe your business is a few years old and you’re at that next hurdle and want to inject some new and original ideas to help you grow? This is what we’re here for.

I want to start by sharing my own Entrepreneurial journey. But before I begin, I just want to make a few things clear. I want this show to be in service to other Entrepreneurs – established or aspiring. The point is not to impress, but to inspire. I’m looking to make a difference to other entrepreneurs, by sharing their stories. I know that when I was an aspiring entrepreneur full of ideas, a lot of inspiration came from the journeys of those that had made it happen.

I hope this inspired you, and now I hope you enjoy my entrepreneurial journey here is my story.

I’m a small town girl from Canada, who ended up completing an acquisition and becoming a publicly listed company in the USA. There’s a lot in-between those two things, so here goes… I grew up in small town called Whitecourt, with a small family just my parents and my older brother. I did not particularly like school besides sports and was certainly not a straight A student...  I grew up in a loving home but with very little money.  My father owned a small construction company and worked long hours despite his health concerns.

The year after graduation when most of my friends went to University or travelled the world I worked three jobs to save enough money to pay for my post-secondary education. I saved $10,000.00 bought some furniture and off to College I went.  Unfortunately, my father did not see me graduate as he suddenly passed away at age 50 when I was 21 years old. I was heartbroken, there was so many things unsaid, so many unachieved milestones I wanted to share. I desperately wanted to hear my dad say he was proud of me which never got to happen. He would always be telling me, “Shelley, nothing comes easy, and you have to work hard for it!” But I was a stubborn, however some of his advice made a difference in later years, and I like to credit him with inspiring my absurd work ethics and determination to make a difference.

And so I started my first business when I was 19, selling Mary Kay Cosmetics to help pay my way through college.

At age 22, I had completed my degree and began working for Imperial Oil. This was short lived, and I only lasted a year - it was clear this young Canadian girl did not fit into the big corporate world. I decided then to follow my entrepreneurial spirit, relocating to Calgary where I started a company called Admincomm Warehousing. The company refurbished & recycled telecom equipment, which was something I became passionate about as extending the life of a product through our reuse program made a positive difference to the environment. 

Seven years later there was a fork in the road with the decision to stay as a private company or expand.  I made the big decision to go public. Subsequently, we acquired a company in Silicon Valley, expanded to three locations in Canada, opened a facility in Mexico City, and completed a Joint Venture in Chile. One year later revenue had escalated. However, bumps in the road were to follow as despite an increase in revenue, our company was dismal at integration and implementation of our business strategy.  

                My defining “Aha!” moment happened late one night when my six-year-old son asked me, “Mommy, mommy, mommy did you get the money today?” I replied, “No son, I didn’t.” My once successful company had become yesterday’s news, and was slipping ever faster.  Valued employees were leaving for greener and more dependable pastures. We had run out of cash and our investors were scared. It was an incredibly stressful time; I’d drained my once bottomless energy by spending endless hours at the office, ended my marriage, and my two young children were being raised by a nanny.  Beneath the daily “game face” I put on for employees and customers, my emotional and physical health were shot. I was devastated. When I was young my father would tell me, “Shelley, nothing comes easy, you have to work hard for it.” But in this instance, it didn’t matter how hard I worked, I just couldn’t fix this on edge situation. It truly was terrifying, and I came to really understand that it’s not about how hard you fall, it’s about how quickly you can get up!

So I just want to stop here for a second, and share with you some practical lessons learned on my journey regarding raising money – something that many Entrepreneurs know can be a major factor in the success or failure of any business venture. I have identified only 5 but seriously I’m sure I could develop a top 50 list:

  1. Money itself does not solve anything, SALES do!
  2. Never lose sight of the importance of squeezing every bit of value out a dollar. Get concrete measurable returns from every investment in the company.
  3. Funding from Venture Capitalist runs the risk of corrupting the lean/mean efficiency of the business and changing the culture that brought you success. If you aren’t hitting your numbers they won’t hesitate to interfere with your strategy.
  4. Get as much money from the VC in the first round, bridge financing only adds fuel to the fire if you get into trouble.
  5. Listen to your instincts if required to hire a specialized team to assist in transitioning your company to public entity make sure they share your core values!

So returning to my story: at this low point, when everything was going wrong, I realized that my losses both financial & emotional were worthless unless I understood why. Sometimes failure can be a gift, providing lessons that prove invaluable for the future.

Once healed, I realised that my losses both financial & emotional were worthless unless I understood “WHY”. Sometimes failure can be a gift, providing lessons that prove invaluable for the future. So, I started again, a small private company, low overheads, an experienced loyal team that allowed me flexibility and balanced lifestyle to be active part of raising my children. 8 years later I sold this company to my biggest client.

 

Through the continual experience sharing and support of EO, I discovered my personal purpose of helping others achieve greatness and recently started my new business Maxum Corporation, helping entrepreneurs achieve their own greatness through coaching and storytelling.   

 

And so, one year later I started TopFlight, a private company with an executive team that shared the same core values, and vision.  This company allowed me a balanced lifestyle without having incredible stress.  The interesting part is even though my revenue was considerably lower than the public company my net income was nearly the same!  Eight years later we sold to one of the largest independent leasing companies in the world.  I often get asked the questions how did you execute the sale?  Did you hire a broker?  No broker, I simply approached 2 of my largest customers and a client who expressed interest and started a closed bid process.  The 10-month process was very time consuming with again more learning lessons.  I will share my top 10 with you.

  1. Start with the exit strategy in mind and work your strategic plan backwards.
  2. Keep hitting your numbers: show growth month after month, year after year, or have a very good explanation as to why not.
  3. Strategize, Visualize and identify potential buyers well in advance.
  4. When negotiating the sale price your chances of achieving higher multiple will occur if prior to sale date say min 1 year ensure you are not working in the business, you are working on the business, your team generating revenue, and you are not the companies Intellectual Property.
  5. Highlight the value for the buyer look for synergies and win-win opportunities.
  6. Build demand for your company: have at least three very keen buyers the more the merrier.
  7. Indicate your price and start a bidding war.
  8. The highest price may not necessarily be the best option, focus on ongoing success. Make sure both company’s vision and values align.
  9. Communicate clearly and spend the time needed to implement successful integration strategy.
  10. If requested to work for the new entity with an earn out clause make the time frame short (e.g. max 1 year). Ask yourself am I willing to walk away from the earn out payment; in other words, get the sale price you want in the purchase agreement, treat the earn out is a bonus.

The most important lesson that I have learn by far is to stay focused on what is matters. In building a corporate empire I lost focus on what was truly important – happiness and a balanced life. I learnt that money does not equate to happiness. The significance of being aware, and I found this really made a difference in my life, being aware of what your personal purpose in life is so important. Staying focused on my personal purpose really changed my life for the better, helping me keep my priorities straight and stay inspired. 

I am so grateful for the many once and life time experiences and inspiration I have gained by being an engaged member of the Entrepreneurs Organization for over a decade. They’re a global organization with global network exclusively for entrepreneurs.  I highly recommend you get connected with an organization like EO that surrounds yourself with other leading entrepreneurs where by you grow through peer-to-peer learning, and provide connections to experts.  Speaking of once in a lifetime experience I can think of two significant events that have changed my life.

The first was in 2012, when I attended the EO Queenstown University conference where I met my soul mate Matt Rogers.  Both of us EO members, Matt living in Australia and me in Canada.  I now reside in Australia, and we married July 2014.  

Secondly, as I mentioned in the beginning of today’s podcast, a game changer for me was meeting Warren Rustand, who inspired me to discover my personal purpose that I strive for everyday… Put in words, this is to

-              Celebrate each moment engaged and thankful for life’s gifts and friendships. 

-              Live an authentic life with integrity, compassion & honesty. 

-              Maintain infinite love for my husband, valuing my marriage & raising responsible respectful children. 

-              Stay committed to daily physical & spiritual discipline. 

-              Create positive impacts and inspiring personal greatness around the globe. 

-              And finally to be a part of something bigger than myself, enabling others to reach their potential.

I’ve embarked on a journey of growth and reconnected to my purpose in life by inspiring personal greatness with my newest venture Maxum Corporation.  Reflecting on two decades as an entrepreneur, I realize time is limited.  Maximize every day, make decisions as if you only have a limited time to be great!

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