Post written by Jason Terry, Entrepreneur | Social Coach | Web Developer | Scuba Instructor | Guitar Player | Cruise Traveler | Lego Collector
I knew I was going to work with Mic after a long conversation at the Blue Moose Bar & Grill in Prairie Village a few years ago. (A lot of blue going on around here, must be fate.) We talked about business. We talked about life. And there were so many things we agreed on, especially not settling for status quo. It was an invigorating conversation and I saw potential in Mic that he hadn’t yet realized about himself.
I remember when Mic started working with me that he had some Big Questions:
1) I have never done consulting and I am completely switching careers… will people listen to me?
2) I don’t want to be an annoying, pesky sales guy… will I be able to sell?
3) Can we make this work for me financially?
Mic genuinely cares about people and helping them get to “happy.” Sure, we help people with web and social, but Mic invests in the people he works with on a personal level. I have seen so many cases where Mic has helped a client through a hard personal time that really has nothing to do with our professional relationship with their company. I saw this in him when we first met and knew it would allow him to become a great consultant.
Mic asks a lot of questions. He even warned me about this early on. He told me that he would ask a lot of questions, but once he got it, he wouldn’t forget it. That has been true 99% of the time except when it comes to the Google Chrome Browser. (Inside joke about editing content in WordPress) Seriously though, once he understands something, he runs with it and usually ends up making it better. That ability is a core part of being a consultant and can’t be taught.
When Mic first started with Blue Gurus, he didn’t have much of a business network in Kansas City. His experience was with big corporate which tends to put you in a relationship silo within one company unless you are in sales. After a couple of years of working with our clients, going to networking events, doing speaking engagements and more, Mic has developed a substantial network. And that is starting to turn into referrals.
Mic was worried about hard core selling. He didn’t want to push a product or service on someone that they didn’t need, and he had no interest in calling someone dozens of times to stay on their radar as a prospective client. He didn’t want to be perceived as a “sales guy.” From day one, I explained to Mic that what we do isn’t selling. We help people. We help them create websites, get their blogs out every week and train their teams to use LinkedIn more effectively.
In 2013, Mic sold website projects, LinkedIn training projects and signed up blog retainer clients. And he doesn’t think of himself as a salesperson… he is just helping people.
The first couple of years were rough because we focused on selling project work for Mic. We talked about how I had a steady stream of clients and billable work and needed to figure out how to make that happen for Mic. The answer was in doing on site blogging retainers and Mic starting his own peer advisory group.
The answer to Mic’s question about making this work financially took a couple of years to answer with a YES, and for many months after his first year, the concern was that it might be NO. It took a lot of patience from Mic and persistence from both of us to get there. I think most small businesses go through this at some point, and that is where they really struggle. Not having the patience to get the result you know you can achieve!
Watching Mic grow so much personally and professionally over the last 4 years has been exciting, tiring, rewarding and humbling. He has worked so hard to get to where he is at now and I have so much respect for Mic and his journey.
Which leads me to his transition to Teacher…
Mic has taught me a lot since we started working together. Time management for my personal peace of mind. Pricing what we do appropriately. Relationship tips. And more.
For the last 3 months, Mic has been helping his wife Missy Johnson launch a corporate event planning business called MJMeetings. Missy is a rock star in the event planning world, and known nationally for her industry knowledge and abilities.
I have been in the loop on a regular basis, including helping Mic create her new website at MJMeetings.com. I have gotten to watch Mic help Missy answer the same questions he had when he started working with me 4 years ago.
How should I handle accounting? Where can I get a logo created? What about business cards? A new website? What’s the best way to get the word out that I am available to help people with their corporate event planning?
In just 3 short months, Mic and Missy have gotten all these things accomplished and more. This week, they are at PCMA, the Professional Convention Management Association’s educational event in Boston making connections with old friends and sharing their story. Missy already has a couple of great opportunities to help big companies with their event planning in 2014.
It is so cool to see Mic being a mentor to Missy through this significant transition, just as I was to Mic a few years ago. We have come full circle and it makes me so happy to be a part of their journeys. This is the stuff that gets me out of bed in the morning to go to work!
Have you been a mentor to someone that has gone on to do great things? I would love to hear your story in the comments area!