We’ve launched Secrets of Success, a new weekly interview series here at Web.com’s Small Business Forum. I’ve asked some of the smartest, most innovative, most successful people I know to share their insights and success secrets.
Meet: Mike Agugliaro, the co-owner of Gold Medal Service, New Jersey’s largest home services company. In the last 10 years, Gold Medal Service has grown from making less than $1 million a year to annual revenues of more than $20 million. Through his ServiceKey business, Mike now gives workshops (the “$23 Million Dollar Contracting Business Blueprint”) and offers coaching and mentoring services to help business owners take their businesses to the next level and beyond.
Rieva Lesonsky: What did you want to be when you grew up?
Mike Agugliaro: I wanted to be a doctor, but that was not in the stars. I was on my own at just 15 years old, so I didn’t have the financial resources to achieve that dream. But, I took away two key lessons about achieving goals: take action and focused action. In the end, I make a lot more than most doctors and serve over 130 employees.
Lesonsky: Why did you start your own business?
Agugliaro: I had watched my boss do business and I knew that I could do it better. It was time to play by my own rules and do business differently. I have now been an owner of Gold Medal Service for over 20 years, I have increased our revenue from under $1 million to over $23 million, and we’re on track for over $25 million in 2015.
Lesonsky: Did you experience a pivotal moment on your way to success?
Agugliaro: The day I decided to “do it different,” I was exhausted, burnt out and knew that I could do better for myself and my family. That day, I went from electrician to business owner, and took on the “I can, I will, I must” attitude.
Lesonsky: What’s the best small business advice you ever gave and/or received?
Agugliaro: The best business advice I’ve ever given is, “Challenge and understand what your limiting beliefs have cost you.” The best advice I have ever received was from Kevin Nations, a professional mentor and motivator, “What and who are you serving by playing so small?”
Lesonsky: What’s one “best practice” more entrepreneurs should be embracing?
Agugliaro: As an entrepreneur it is essential that you take the time to understand the best practices and inner workings of marketing and sales, and you have to do the work to learn how to be a good and successful business owner. Skills business owners need include management, operations, leadership, sales, marketing, goal setting, and communication. To take your business to the next level, you have to take yourself to the next level.
Lesonsky: Do you have a small business prediction for the rest of the year?
Agugliaro: My prediction is that the tide is turning. It is a great time to be in business. But even [when] it’s not a great time, good business is always available to win, you just have to find and pursue it. Wealth is not difficult; it is just different.
Lesonsky: Do you have a favorite book?
Agugliaro: Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich is by far my favorite. It’s a great motivational and developmental read, especially in regards to developing financial stability. My second favorite is Acres of Diamonds by Russell H. Conwell.
Lesonsky: Is there a quote you find particularly inspiring?
Agugliaro: “If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.”–Bruce Lee
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Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva, and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.