Put in the time for success or success will never find you.
Nick Zamucen is the founder of Bio-One Inc., the first and only successfully franchised crime scene cleanup company. He has changed the game when it comes the crime and trauma scene cleaning industry, with franchise locations in 38 states and continuing to grow at an exceptional rate. His expertise has been featured in several TV and movie crime scene recreations. He was also named “Top 40 CEOs under 40” by Business Diversity Magazine in 2013. You will very rarely find a franchise at 100% success rate but Nick Zamucen managed to do just that by going through a thorough screening process with everyone who wants to get involved with the business and extensively educating his franchise owners. Nick’s core belief is that “Success breeds Success” which is why he spends so much time training his partners and franchise owners. He instills the belief in his business partners that it is not about individual success but collective success.
Nick Zamucen is also a published author having written books titled “Maverick Franchise: How a Tight Budget, a Desire to Help, and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage” and Flip It: The Real Book of Flipping Houses. He is an award winning serial entrepreneur, having businesses in many different industries. In addition to the dedication and hard work he puts into his career he is also very invested in his philanthropic efforts. Nick is a firm believe in helping others, which is why a fundamental value at Bio-One Inc. is “Help First, Business Second.” He started a 501(c) called Project Penny Pickup about 10 years ago. This organization supports his initiative to help the homeless. He is also has been involved in Feeding America and Excelsior group. Excelsior’s mission is to help children gain skills through proper education and support to change their circumstances.
Nick Zamucen is continuing to pursue his entrepreneurial ventures and is opening up his next big brand soon.
Where did the idea of the Bio-One Inc. franchise system come from?
Need, the need for uniformity, the need for standards, and the need for people that wanted to get into the bio industry to actually have a shot of being successful entrepreneurs. The bio industry was a “good ol’boy” network that kept most out. Bio-One Inc. has changed that by putting people in front of profits. Our company motto is “Help 1st, Business 2nd” and Bio-One Inc. executives hold that standard for franchise sales and franchisees as well.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I look at myself as a corporate team coach. While I stepped away from Bio-One Inc. almost a year ago to create my next venture, I hired a complete executive staff to replace me. As a serial entrepreneur my talents are best spent innovating and creating new and exciting concepts, but I still need to mind my investments, which are mainly the companies I own. I try to foster growth and encourage self reliance to my executive team. I hire talent and let them do the job I hired them to do. Spending individual time with my executive team is paramount in my book. If you wanted to make all the decisions, why did you hire a team? Micromanaging never works, coaching and counseling always does. The best way to be productive is encourage others to be better, smarter, and more diligent in their own respective jobs.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Long days and nights. There are no shortcuts to success and there certainly isn’t any overnight successes. The most important thing in creation is just to start moving towards the goal. Don’t wait until you think everything is perfect or the right time because it never will be. There are so many times I’ve heard, “Man, I thought of that five years ago”, or “I had that idea! I could have been rich!” Woulda Coulda Should’ve….that’s all that is. Take some action and DO SOMETHING NOW or someone else will.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
The amount of young people, “millennials” that don’t want to work the 9 to 5 life. They want to create, feel the sense of “pride of ownership” and not work “for the man”. The amount of innovation that is going on today is amazing. Daily I’m not only impressed with the younger generation, but I truly applaud the guts that they have to go against the “status quo”. These young innovators (can’t call them entrepreneurs, they usually have the idea’s, not the business yet) will change the way the world works and develops, faster than those centuries before them. It’s an exciting time to be alive.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Focus. In a crowded cafe’, a jungle gym indoor park, or the cold silence of 3 o’clock in the morning I can focus on what needs to be accomplished. I can get more done in four hours then most people can in 12. To be robotic and meticulous is an asset as an entrepreneur. Flick the switch and get to work, because someone out there (possibly me) is outworking you. Put in the time for success or success will never find you.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Embrace your past, there is no reason to lie about it. I grew up extremely poor from an abusive household of a single mother. My mom was an alcoholic, drug dealing, bartender who unfortunately put her need for the best shoes and purses over food on the table. I would lie and say my mom was out of town, that’s why I couldn’t have friends over or she works all the time and I had to take care of the dogs as to why I couldn’t go out with my friends. In reality, I was ashamed of my house, my mom, and where I came from. Now, I embrace that, all those struggles made me who I am today and the drive to continue to better myself daily. You can’t blame your past without also giving it credit for who you are today. It takes light to brighten the darkness.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on?
All people can change, good or bad. The best can turn rotten and the worst can thrive beyond the greatest expectation. It’s all about personal accountability. I’ve seen it, I’ve lived it. The ability to change doesn’t come down to environment, or money, or accomplishment, it comes from the desire to do so. I’m not saying your environment or money or one’s accomplishments don’t have influence on change, it certainly does, but the influence is normally fleeting. The commitment and desire to do something bigger than yourself in a consistent manner or direction can fuel change for a lifetime. Don’t you do more for your children or those you love then you do for yourself? I bet you do. Find a greater purpose, your “WHY”, and you can change tremendously in an instant.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I live in a beautiful state of mind. I don’t focus on what’s wrong, I focus on what’s great. I am very intentional about being in the moment. Here’s a little story from last night. I was in a restaurant with some friends and I asked how the waitress was doing, she said :”fine I guess”. I asked her, “are you not sure? What’s wrong?” She said, nothing’s wrong, I’m just not at your level, I’m basically normal. Everytime I come over here you guys are laughing and carrying on.” Isn’t that interesting? We were “laughing and carrying on” and to her this wasn’t normal. Living in a beautiful state and enjoying life will get you looked at funny or judged sometimes. I guess it’s more socially acceptable to just speak quietly and don’t laugh out loud. Who wants to be like most people? Most people are not happy with their life, me, I live in a beautiful state and I invite you to do so.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
Hire strong people, not “yes men”. As an entrepreneur, and a successful one if I can say so myself, I tend to think my way is the best and I’m always right. As much as I hallucinate this non-reality, I’m not. I’ve been shown by people that I’ve hired that I’m not always right and other people have very good idea’s too. I tend to quickly prejudge technology and how necessary or not it may be for certain situations. On more than a few instances, I’ve been proven wrong by a younger mind who explained the advantages I couldn’t see because I didn’t understand the technology fully. You need to hire people who can stand up for themselves when they’re right and fight for their idea’s.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I lost a little over 750K on a business startup that I decided I was going to let someone else run. I left the crazies to run the asylum, never a good idea. I invested in a startup with very little operational control, in an unproven system. Needless to say, there were no cooks in the kitchen and I was left holding the bag with a lighter bank account to show for it. Some teaching moments are more painful than others.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I was recently at a child’s morning birthday party and there was a mobile pancake company there. They made pancakes for all the children and brought juice, it was a very cool little setup. It got me thinking, why just pancakes? This company could have cooked hash browns, sausage, bacon, eggs, french toast and so much more, He could have put pots and pans on the flat cooktop and made sauces for eggs benedict and more..this guys was thinking small, as unfortunately most small business owners do. This concept could certainly be franchisable and sold as a “lifestyle” franchised concept. There you have it ladies and gents, a portable flat top pancake and more franchisable concept. I hope you make a billion!
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I purchased my son an Indominus Rex Dinosaur toy from the movie Jurassic World. He’d been asking me and his mom (my wife) for months about this toy. I kept saying no because it was $100 and he is only 5, too much for a small stupid little toy. Then my wife said to me, “how many times have I heard you say to either people you work for or your franchisees, it’s not about you, it’s about them?” Well, I bought it and he was over the moon, still is. There’s a reason I’m in love with Molly, she’s the best person I know.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
I think the one thing I use the most is an app called WhatsApp. It’s very popular and I’m sure many people reading this use it or something like it. It allows me to communicate with my staff and franchisees across the world in realtime. We can text, send video and I can help, if needed, in a matter of moments no matter where I am in the world.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Think a Second Time by Dennis Prager. Dennis has a way of asking you to look at an issue from another side. While I certainly don’t agree with every position he takes or some of his political stances, I appreciate his ability to be rational and pragmatic about highly charged issues. I read this book back in the 90’s but his approach to life and its challenges are timeless and relevant. I highly recommend it.
What is your favorite quote?
Why be a servant to the law, when you can be its master………..Bohdi ’91
The 100 Best Books For Entrepreneurs
Sign up for our emails and we'll send you a list of the 100 best books for entrepreneurs, which we compiled by analyzing over 3,000 interviews.