Blinds.com founder, Jay Steinfeld, bootstrapped his company — with only $3,000 in 1996 — to a sizable competitor of the big box shops like Home Depot, who acquired the company in 2014.
Jay was an early adopter of this thing called “the internet” and transformed his small retail business into the world’s #1 online blinds retailer as well as the leading e-tailer of hard-to-buy custom categories of home goods. Jay intentionally designed a successful exit to Home Depot that included him staying on to run Blinds.com for an additional six years after acquisition.
Jay is a passionate advocate and frequent speaker on how company culture and authentic core values drive profitable growth. Throughout his journey, Jay identified four principles that guided his decision making in every aspect of business and life which lead to his continuous happiness and success. He calls them the 4Es: evolve continuously; experiment without fear of failure; express yourself; and enjoy the ride. Jay just packaged up his experience and the 4Es into his new book, Lead from the Core: The 4 Principles for Profit and Prosperity which was just released.
He thinks business owners need to stop asking themselves how little they can do for their employees before they quit and start wondering how much more they can do, and why this is a smarter strategy. This is an amazing episode that shows how caring for the people in your company will scale your business to heights you never thought possible.
JAY STEINFELD founded and was the CEO of Global Custom Commerce, which operates the world’s number one online window covering retailer Blinds.com. Bootstrapped in 1996 for just $3000 from his Bellaire, Texas garage, Global Custom Commerce was acquired by The Home Depot in 2014. Jay remained as its CEO and later joined The Home Depot Online Leadership Team. After stepping away from these roles in early 2020, he has increased his involvement on numerous private company boards and serves as a director of the public company Masonite (NYSE: DOOR).
He also teaches entrepreneurship at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business and supports numerous charities. Jay is an Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year and has earned a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Houston Technology Center. Active as an industry speaker on topics including corporate culture, core values, how to scale a start-up, and disruption, he has more than 100 published articles. Jay is passionate about adhering to his core values, which he calls the 4Es: evolve continuously; experiment without fear of failure; express yourself; and enjoy the ride. They have helped him make every business decision that led to his success and have turned into his new book, Lead from the Core: The 4 Principles for Profit and Prosperity.He also sings in the same barbershop quartet of which he’s been a part for nearly fifty years. He lives with his wife, Barbara, in Houston, Texas, has five children and seven grandchildren whom he proudly refers to as his seven start-ups.
07:20 - “I was doing as much online with those two people (with me doing virtually nothing) as I was with my store and I was working seven days a week in my store. I mean, what was wrong with this picture?” - Jay Steinfeld
14:30 - “Evolve continuously and that means you have to evolve and you have to evolve everything around you: processes, advertising, whatever it is in business. You have to get better.” - Jay Steinfeld
17:56 - “When you’ve got people who are themselves, and are free to talk, they can just be much more creative. They can solve problems much more easily because they try things that, in other organizations, they might not have tried.” - Jay Steinfeld
25:15 - “If you have core values and this is what’s making you tick, then you have to get rid of the things that are not making you tick.” - Jay Steinfeld
29:30 - “It was such an incredible outcome to building something with consequence by helping people become consequential.” - Jay Steinfeld
31:15 - “You do not need to gut your soul to build a business. You do not need to be harsh. You don’t need to be a jerk. You can be kind.” - Jay Steinfeld
34:25 - “But why are people wanting to leave in the first place? Because you’re not providing them with what they need.” - Jay Steinfeld
54:11 - “I don’t think you have to actually think about your business to get it to someplace, so that then you have the choice of doing what you want.” - Jay Steinfeld
54:22 - “I was just incrementally improving myself and my people, and the business did as well. As a result, that gave me the choice.” - Jay Steinfeld
54:43 - “But my definition of success is being in the process of improving and improving everything around me. So I can be successful every day.” - Jay Steinfeld
www.JaySteinfeld.com (author website)
www.JaySteinfeld.com/thebook (to download first chapter for free)
https://www.linkedin.com/in/jaysteinfeld/ (LinkedIn profile)
Reach out to me if you have questions about the boot camp!
Scott Fritz is the author of The 40 Hour Work YEAR, a short read about his POD model. Scott gives talks on his method of exiting a business that is both beneficial to you and healthier for the business. He shares the triggering events that led to this life-changing system. Some would say Scott’s story is impossible but his approach is logical and actionable. If you are considering exiting your company but you are too tied up in it to make it a reality, Scott has a method that you really need to know. What you will learn: Scott’s presentation Transition, Position, Acquisition. Why he wrote The 40 Hour Work YEAR. Scott’s “mirror moment” and what he did about it. The Transition Plan out of the business, the beginning. How to create a culture of intrapreneurs. How 9/11 slowed things down. What ego really means in business, and getting past it. Scott’s rule of thumb for engaging his employees to step up. The #1 metric that Scott considered the most important. Scott’s “weed-eaters” and how it improved the business. The importance of an organizational chart. The POD model and how it works. Why your culture could be the problem. The team that helped Scott exit. The types of buyers that approached Scott. Scott’s 3-step process to Angel Investing. Scott’s final thoughts. Takeaways: Start thinking about transitioning out of your business. Reframe how you view your business. Look at it as if you are working out of it. You'll be happier and more successful. Links and Resources: GEXP Collaborative Growth Connect The 40 Hour Work YEAR by Scott Fritz Scott Fritz on LinkedIn Scott’s email About Scott: Scott Fritz currently oversees acquisition funding and strategy for SGI Property Management. SGI operates in 3 states and ...
Day traders and entrepreneurs have more in common that you might think. Maceo Jourdan and I take a deep dive into how market trends control both, and what lets the smart entrepreneur and trader know when to get in . . . and when to get the heck out as well. We’ll even go into how a mistake cost him $8 million and what you can do to avoid a similar fate. This episode is for you if you’re looking to be more market-savvy and find the right trend to hitch your wagon to. What You Will Learn In Today's Podcast Interview What entrepreneurs can learn from day traders (and what that means for your bottom line). The incredible value of data and how to apply it successfully to your business for growth. How entrepreneurs kill the value of their companies by not understanding true value. Why Maceo waited to jump into the financial world and started a newsletter first. Wal-Mart’s profit model and how it can work for anyone able to work on a larger scale. Why you should look at trends first and capital efficiency second. The importance of building in a buffer when making important decisions in emotional circumstances. How Maceo recovered from a mistake that cost him $8 million. Where to find small, concentrated pockets of value to capitalize on. The effect the internet has had on market trends and value. Why day traders understand business valuations better than first time entrepreneurs. How Maceo grew a company from a $25,000 loan to $50 million in revenue. The cost of being unaware that you’re running a job, not a company, and what to do about it. Why Maceo says your business is not your baby. Are You Growing The Value of Your Business Take ...
ITR Economics’ senior consulting advisor Alex Chausovsky speaks to me today about the current and possible future U.S. economic predictions. We discuss the slow down on its way during the 2020s and the chance of depression in the 2030s. Alex explains why he believes these trends are possible and what a business owner can do to be prepared. Alex explains how ITR gets their data and what services they offer their clients. These services include consulting, market forecasting, and public speaking. What you will learn: My visit to the Vistage Summit. Welcome, Alex Chausovsky to the podcast. Alex’s business background. ITR Economics’ mission. How ITR collects their data. The current state of the economy and what to expect in early 2019. The economic slow down of the 2020s. The economic crash of the 2030s. Why recession cycles are predictable. How trade policy affects the economy. The 3 factors that drive an economy. Why immigration is important to the U.S. The industries that are suffering at the moment. The reasons a depression or recession happen. Why timing is everything. Recessions are times of opportunity. How other global economies affect our economy. The steps that can extend government programs such as social security. How healthcare contributes to the problem. “People behave the way they are incented to behave.” Alex’s parting thoughts. Takeaway: You need to build your business to sell. Think ahead and plan for economic downturns, upswings, and be a step ahead of any predictions. Learn to be nimble and adjust with the economy. Links and Resources Big Debt Crises by Ray Dalio GEXP Collaborative How The Economic Machine Works by Ray Dalio Summary: Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World–and Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling Prosperity in The Age ...