My position as founder of Proforma involves managing a network of more than 750 franchise owners, each dedicated to providing quality e-commerce, printing, and promotional solutions. Making the right choices is one aspect of business that I have emphasized both in my own career and in the values instilled in the independent franchisees who have turned Proforma into a $350 million-a-year enterprise.
In my experience, many individuals sense that they are not making the best use of their talents, but are reluctant to explore the right path for them. One of the major barriers in the way of achieving their dreams is pride, coupled with fear of failure. Choosing to continue something in which you already have competency, and with a level of success, is comforting and rewarding. However, this may not reflect the best use of one’s entrepreneurial capacities.
Prior to establishing Proforma, I held an auditing position with the firm that eventually became Deloitte Development LLC. Leaving this very respectable position to start Proforma was tough at first, as I found myself toting a large briefcase around, engaged in impassioned sales calls with often reluctant customers. Somehow, I had the sense to put this blow to my pride in perspective. I told myself that I would be very proud standing in the line at the bank someday. The only way to that point of business success was to stop worrying about being proud from 9 to 5. By focusing on larger goals, I gave myself a fighting chance of success beyond the confines of an auditor’s desk.
With Proforma distributor members, I recommend a motivational tactic of writing down how much money they want to make, and in what year they plan to achieve it. I encourage them to place that card in a prominent spot in the wallet, so that it is accessible, and integrate methods of achieving these monetary goals into every business transaction and personal enterprise. One franchisee utilized this method, setting such goals as earning increments of $100,000, $250,000, $500,000, and $1 million. I am pleased to say that that individual is now working on the $1 million portion of his financial goal outline. Success is not without its moments of hard work. In this respect, maintaining motivation is like going to the gym: painful at first, it becomes a habit and daily necessity once you get into an established rhythm.
About the Author: Experienced business leader Gregory P. Muzzillo established Proforma in 1978, with only $200 and a clear vision of the goals he planned to achieve.