An adventurous 16 yr old kid, John Burch entered the United States Air Force and quickly realized that he was meant for other professions after his four year enlistment was up. He opened his first Martial Arts School, which was ranked one of the top two in the country, and was shocked since he had no college education in business. That school success bred a second location and thing were booming… little did he know he was the highest paid slave. Unable to continue the growth, due to burnout, he sold his businesses. Not deterred, he studied why his passion seemed to turn on him. Why did the thing he once loved feel like a chore? He spent the next several years documenting his success but more importantly his failures. In addition, he became an expert at what others did in his situation. He became an expert on experts. When John was pestered by a friend to look at their business, a small consulting firm, he decided to test what he knew. His position was to take the small business and not just make it bigger but to make it a device (business) his friend could use to make slightly more money but have massively more free time. And, it worked. It took about 6 months to get it dialed in but it worked by reducing his work hours, building a system of support and giving him more free time while increasing his profit. When other businesses, in the US and around the world, began to hear about this and contact John it became clear… he needed to build a seminar and other tools (here’s a link for a company he partnered with to coach a group of trainers ) for them to get exposure to these ideas. To date, John has trained over 100 businesses world wide and does ongoing mentoring for two dozen each month.
What are you working on right now?
I’m working on ways to empower as many small/medium size business owners to either create a system that supports them or enhance and improve a system already in place. This requires both building bigger dreams and building better standards to build a better quality of life. The empowerment I’m talking about isn’t just being a cheerleader on the sidelines… Mostly, like 99% of the time, it’s introducing tools and methods then holding a person accountable to those dreams, standards and future they aspire to.
3 Trends that excite you?
1) The internet continues to allow for tracking performance of… everything. And the tools are getting more user friendly to support people because of the low barrier to entry level testing.
2) Hostility in the marketplace… nothing is better to clear away the posers than volatility. The real entrepreneurs will be left standing.
3) Niche is the new big. Small ideas could gain traction and 999 crazy passionate fans will generate a modest fortune if done correctly.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I know what I’m good at and I focus on doing that first when getting up. This is before answering the phone or checking email, which I only do a couple times a day. This is the time to accomplish something regarding my business driver… other items are low priority to get responded to or are redirected to another person on my team. Maybe an intern. I’m also great at synthesizing information… nothing gives you a better view than to stand on the shoulders of giants.
What is one mistake that you’ve made that our readers can learn from?
Early on in my entrepreneurial career I made the mistake of confusing my success of energy with success of a system… Now I get an idea and early in the development stage I look to see if the idea supports a system. If if doesn’t, I abandon it.
What is one idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
The benefits of this suggestion will be noticed in the quality-of-life-improvement area… boycott TV… As a collective, choose to ban a TV network to show advertisers who is really in control. This is just for a designated time not for ever.. heck, I’m a fan of TV shows like House. And I’m not against ads, just bad ones. Let’s send a message to the ad agencies that if they are going to borrow some of our valuable time they better be very entertaining.
What is the greatest enjoyment of what you do?
I love seeing someone I’ve mentored or trained “get it.” The moment the light switch goes on inside… Now, I’m not talking about when they comprehend what I’m saying but they are actually doing what I’m saying and are happy with their results. I smile like I just won the lottery.
What is the hardest thing you had to overcome?
I had to get over myself… seriously. I realized at some point that a rough life, childhood, blah, blah, blah is no reason to be a drama queen. Here’s the truth I’ve found – everyone has it rough. It’s a level playing field. Now get to it.
Email: [email protected]
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.