As these are the early days of Summer 2020 it’s not clear if COVID-19 is in the first act of its devastating story or somewhere past intermission. Nevertheless, I thought it would be a good moment to check in on the graduates of Birthing of Giants Fellowship Program to see how they were faring during this extraordinary time and how their work with Birthing of Giants had played a role.
Watch the webinar: 4 Birthing of Giants Success Stories in the Time of Covid-19
All of the individuals and CEOs profiled in this story are graduates of Birthing of Giants Fellowship Program, an intensive 5-Day boot camp for entrepreneurs that teaches entrepreneurs how to create stronger businesses by focusing on sales, financials, management and capital markets. Some of them have continued to participate in our Gathering of Giants Program, a 2x a year “reunion” where the Board of Experts delivers an ongoing benchmarking, goal-setting and accountability program.
A few of them have gone through our “acceleration” program where Birthing of Giants Board of Experts members become board members for their companies for a period of time.
Because Birthing of Giants focuses on “Financial Model Transformation” (see research on birthingofgiants.com and article on Forbes.com), the most common outcome from Birthing of Giants Fellowship graduates that do the work is growth in revenues, profits, overall management strength and exit value.
Here are a sampling of stories from Birthing of Giants Fellowship Graduates:
After One Week All the Pieces Fell Into Place
Chris Roth of National Technical Institute, Las Vegas, NV
Graduate of Birthing of Giants Fellowship Program, September 2019
Chris Roth started Climate Control Experts, a Las Vegas-based heating-ventilation-air-conditioning (HVAC) business in 2012. By 2019, Climate Control Experts was so successful, the private equity companies were actively pursuing Chris. A few years earlier, Chris had launched a technical training school to help find enough tradespeople to support his growing HVAC business. Chris attended Birthing of Giants Fellowship Program in September 2019, five months before the COVID quarantine.
By the end of his Fellowship Week, Chris had decided to sell his HVAC business (which he did for eight figures) and focus all of his efforts on his trade school. Good thing he did because the trade school is perfectly positioned for the coming economic retrenchment that has come about from this health crisis.
Chris credits Birthing of Giants Fellowship Week with helping him see how all the pieces made sense. “I couldn’t see the entire chess board until the Birthing of Giants Fellowship Week but the program helped me put all the pieces together. Ever since then, it’s been amazing.”
Chris Roth graduated from Birthing of Giants Fellowship Program in September 2019.
Learn about Chris’ amazing journey at our video training, “The Perfect Business Model.”
From MoneyMaker to Moonshot
Greg Theroux of Heritage Building Maintenance, Des Moines, IA
Graduate of Birthing of Giants Fellowship Program, September 2017
Greg Theroux of Heritage Building Maintenance has been building his janitorial services company since 2011. Heritage Building Maintenance employs over 300 professionally trained cleaners to maintain buildings throughout Greater Des Moines.
“Greg has built a fantastic business but one that’s not easy to operate. With commoditized pricing and a transient workforce, the only way he’ll double his revenues in this business is by also doubling his headaches.
That’s why Greg began transforming his financial model. He wanted to turn his “money making” business into a “moonshot,” one that would be valued by the capital markets as a multiple of revenues reflecting the huge growth potential of his business, not as multiple of earnings which most commoditized businesses tend to be. To do this, he needed to find a market that would pay a premium for what he does and could scale a lot. That led him to discover a microbial cleaning solution. Then, he developed a specialized way to apply this viral disinfectant throughout a commercial space to ensure complete coverage and long-lasting protection.
Greg was already seeing an astounding 100% close rate before Coronavirus hit. Now he can’t keep up with demand. Greg recognized the limitations of his original business and went about changing it. His new business is on track to having its best year yet.”
Greg said “Birthing of Giants, The Gathering of Giants and The Acceleration Program have made all the difference. I knew there was a better way to build Heritage beyond Des Moines, Iowa but now, thanks to Birthing of Giants, I am executing on a global opportunity.”
Greg Theroux attended Birthing of Giants Fellowship Program in September of 2017 and is currently a participant in The Gathering of Giants and our Acceleration Program.
Greg is also a graduate of our Oxford Innovation Conference for American Entrepreneurs, Moonshots & MoneyMakers.
Careful What You Wish For—How Success Can Become a Threat
Amit Kapoor of First Line Technology, Chantilly, VA
Graduate of Birthing of Giants Fellowship Program, September 2019
First Line Technology is Amit Kapoor’s manufacturing company for first responders products. It’s no surprise that business shot through the roof when the COVID pandemic arrived.
Excerpted from Forbes Magazine:
“Amit first heard about coronavirus while on a business trip to Singapore in early January 2020.
‘It’s nasty stuff,’ his clients told him. When he returned home, he briefed his team. ‘I hope I’m wrong. I don’t want to be right. But if these predictions are right, it’s not good.’
Since then, First Line Technology has been all hands on deck. Even his corporate team is now on the factory floor, getting products out the door and on to waiting trucks. And yet his concerns for his team’s safety trumps the demand for increased output. Machines that usually have two people operating them now have one in keeping with social distancing guidelines. Each machine is disinfected between every shift.”
Doubling in size overnight may be an entrepreneur’s dream but it can quickly become a nightmare. Over-allocating capital for short term returns can be devastating just a few months down the road. Birthing of Giants Board of Experts and other Fellow graduates have been advising Amit on how to grow intelligently and avoid being over-leveraged.
“It would have been easy to get caught up in the moment and just focus on grabbing all of the business. But they helped me take a breath and look down the road, making this a real business-building moment, rather than a market share land-grab. Knowing they are only an email, call or message away from helping you refine your ‘moments like this’ strategy.
Amit Kapoor attended Birthing of Giants in September 2019.
97% Loss of Revenue Overnight — And Then A Pivot
Dennis O’Donnell and Eric Griffin of Mobile Outfitters, Philadelphia, PA
Graduates of Birthing of Giants Fellowship Program, April 2018
Selling globally through malls when there’s a COVID quarantine meant a nearly overnight 97% loss of revenue for Mobile Outfitters. That’s the bad news. The good news is that this 13 year old company based in Philadelphia that manufactures smartphone and tablet protectors used this massive disruption in their business to elevate some anti-viral products that were languishing at the bottom of their project list up until 2020.
WIth the guidance of the Birthing of Giants Board of Experts, co-founders Eric Griffin and Dennis O’Donnell began a massive pivot that focused on their amazing network of entrepreneurial sellers and tap into emerging technologies. The analysis was challenging. Any plan they put in place had to focus on their strengths and resist temptation to pivot too much towards distribution channels they really knew nothing about.
“An overnight loss of nearly all revenue certainly hit our business hard – but we view this as the exact type of challenge where an entrepreneurial mindset can win out. Working with the Board of Experts, and utilizing the toolset Birthing of Giants provided, we have been able to restore clarity and a path back to profit.” said Mobile Outfitters’ Dennis O’Donnell.
Dennis O’Donnell and Eric Griffin are graduates of Birthing of Giants Fellowship Program in April 2018 and are part of the Acceleration Program.