Rick Cottrell

Get into a habit of personal and professional development. You can always learn something.


Rick Cottrell is CEO of BizResults.com. He uses his significant entrepreneurial experience and extensive research about the science of business to help entrepreneurial business owners and their leadership teams “supercharge” their businesses. He helps them break through the ceiling and get to the next level.

His accomplishments include:
Developer of the original SalesForce.com.
Ownership in 12 Entrepreneurial businesses and counting.
One of the Top Authorities in Business Performance Modeling and Analytics.
Highlighted in the Wall Street Journal, HBR and CEO for his work in the Customer Experience/CX space.
Has spoken and presented, internationally, on numerous topics related to business acceleration and growth.
Experience in numerous industries including manufacturing, automotive, e-commerce, hospitality, aerospace, construction, logistics, retail, printing, financial services, and more.

Rick is an Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS®) Implementer whose firm delivers proven systems with simple, practical tools to help companies become more profitable, scalable and create more value.
These tools will absolutely help any entrepreneurial business owner and their leaders achieve more profit, predictable growth, business value and freedom to work on their businesses instead of in them.

Where did the idea for BizResults.com come from?

The idea for my current company came from my experiences as a multi-business owner. I felt that small to medium sized businesses really did not have access to the tools they needed to help them “get to the next level”. I never did. It frustrated me, so I had to do it myself. I made it my crusade to find the systems, tools and business disciplines to help my businesses, or any business, reach their maximum potential.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

My typical day has time for a quick clarity break, a 30K foot view of where I am, where I want to be and confirm/tweak how I am going to get there. Then it is about focusing on completing my priorities – compartmentalizing as necessary. To make myself productive and on point, I use EOS’s Vision/Traction Organizer. It is a tremendous tool that goes a long way toward maximizing productivity and realizing goals.

How do you bring ideas to life?

First of all, not all ideas are ready for prime time. I collect a list of ideas, then assess viability and vet as best as I can. After that, I involve my “Dream Team”, people I trust and respect to help me determine if any idea has “legs” now or in the future or do they just go into the “out there” pile.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Business intelligence that can be enhanced with AI or machine learning. I am excited about the opportunity that predictable growth models can bring to business, including small and medium sized companies. That is why we are spending significant time trying to develop that type of platform.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

The concept of “Who Not How” developed by Dan Sullivan. Think of it this way – people get stuck when they focus their efforts on how to get things done instead of finding the who that can do it better, faster. It took me a while to develop that habit, but, when I did it was life changing. It gave me significant additional time to work on growing my businesses instead of working in them.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Have patience. Entrepreneurs are constantly “pulling the trigger” before they have all the facts and think about what needs to get done. I have wasted tens of thousands of dollars making mistakes because I didn’t have the patience to think things through. I am absolutely positive that I would have been able to achieve my goals faster if I became a little more thoughtful before I “pulled the trigger” on decisions.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

I get weird stares when I tell people that getting to where you want to go, no matter how daunting it may seem, is never about “IF” it can happen – it is always about “How” it will happen.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Get into a habit of personal and professional development. You can always learn something. It is amazing to me how many entrepreneurs and business leaders don’t do the things that will help them develop and grow. For example, instead of listening to First Wave on Sirius when you are driving in to work, listen to a business book or other resource that will help you develop a skill or improve a weakness. If everyone doesn’t have access to a digital library of some sort and uses it – shame on them.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Have No Regrets! Either you are in or you are not with your business. You have to pick. I use a term with all of my clients – “Just Trust Capitalism”. If you have a product or service people will buy, then, go for it – No Regrets! Too many entrepreneurs hit the ceiling because they are afraid of progressing, taking chances, just getting to the next level. The only barrier to increased success is themselves.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

There have been many and most of them had to do with straying from what I was good at and love to do. One year, I wanted to start selling my own brand of leather furniture. At the time we sold major brands of leather furniture and the margins were strong. I wanted a piece of the action. So I spent thousands on setting up import relationships, shipping logistics, manufacturing sources, branding, etc. Everything was great until I received a phone call telling me that the dock workers at my port of entry went on strike and the containers could not be landed. Every day would cost us thousands of dollars until the strike was over, which wasn’t expected for at least 30 days. Well that wasn’t going to work, so we ate the cost of shipping back to the port of origin, paid a hefty restocking fee and lost our shorts on the deal. Moral of the story-stay in your lane, if you are good at something stick to it.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Online leadership development programs for small to mid-sized companies are lacking today. A great business idea would be to create a self-serve/on-line leadership development process that can be connected to a behavior/skill assessment that focuses on areas of needed development for up and coming leaders. In general, leadership development in most of the businesses, I visit with, is non-existent. You just can’t run a great business without a great leadership team.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

It wasn’t quite $100, but, recently I purchased 8X6 multi-color Post It pads to illustrate ideas. I put them all over my office walls and it helps me to compartmentalize and visualize my thoughts and goals.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

I like Slack as a real time, private communication tool for taking group conversations off-line.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

First of all, I am a digital book junkie – I listen to books at 1.25-1.50 speed and can get through 1-3 per week depending on length. I am fascinated by goal setting and habit formation for success. One book that I recommend to all of my clients is: The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. It talks about getting you out of your comfort zone and gets you thinking about “what could be”. Very good to read or listen to.

What is your favorite quote?

Jim Rohn said – “Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.”

Key Learnings:

  • It’s about the “Who Not How”. Think of it this way – people get stuck when they focus their efforts on how to get things done instead of finding the who that can do it better, faster.
  • Have patience. Entrepreneurs are constantly “pulling the trigger” before they have all the facts and think about what needs to get done.
  • Get into a habit of personal and professional development. You can always learn something new to apply to your business and your team to improve performance.