Becoming an entrepreneur is a life-changing and liberating experience. There is an inherent freedom in entrepreneurship that draws people to leave their “9 to 5” to pursue the promise and excitement of running their own business.
But with that promise of freedom comes an even larger amount of responsibility and hard work. The biggest questions for those who decide to work for themselves is…how? What does it take to be an entrepreneur?
Where can we begin on our journey, and what are the processes which we can follow in order to have the most success?
The EOS, or Entrepreneurial Operating System, has helped thousands of entrepreneurs develop the vision, focus, and discipline to create success in their business.
EOS is based upon the book Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman. I read the book a few years back and was really impressed by how practical it was, and by its clear system for overcoming personnel conflict, profit woes, and slow growth and other hurdles businesses face.
Ever since I read the book, I thought it would be a great exercise to speak with a number of EOS experts and ask them to share some practical stories of how EOS works in real life.
So, we asked 15 EOS experts to share some success stories from their years of utilizing the EOS system, and they shared some really great experiences.
By the way… most of these people are certified EOS implementers who have been through an extensive training on EOS, and they work with companies to help them to implement EOS.
This is a truly critical role. They essentially come in to a business that is struggling and helps to turn it around. So if you are evaluating whether EOS can help your business, I highly recommend that you check out the experts below and contact them if you think they can help.
Here is what they came back with…
Nolan Duck, DBG Advisors
Please share a specific story/case study of a company or client that had a great breakthrough using the EOS system. In October of 2017 Eric Little, CEO of Crimson Building Company, asked me to help him “get a handle on” his company. He felt that the company wasn’t operating as smoothly as he wanted it to. I agreed to help Eric by using the book Traction by Gino Wickman as a guide as we implemented EOS or the “Entrepreneurial Operating System.”
I am an M&A Advisor and Coach and over the past fourteen years I have been working with business owners who wanted to do exit planning even if they weren’t ready to sell. I became an EOS Implementer in order to help these owners build the value of their companies so they could eventually capitalize on a lifetime of hard work.
The leadership team started by using a tool called The Vision/Traction Organizer (V/TO) which helped the leadership team clearly define who they were, where they were going and how they planned to get there. We worked through the Six Key Components of their organization and this helped the company gain a clearer understanding of where they were hitting on all cylinders and were they weren’t.
As a part of this process the company established a scorecard system that would help the company actually track where they were in real time. This process led to a realization that while they were very busy they weren’t making much money. They were doing $42,000,000 in gross revenue but had very little net profit. EOS helped the team come to a realization that a wholesale restructuring needed to take place ASAP. Eric Little said, “Without EOS we would have never realized what we were doing.” The process literally saved the company by exposing the dysfunctions that were hidden in the weeds.
Many business owners can’t see the forest for the trees. They are so busy taking care of 36,000 problems that pop up every day that they can’t focus on the key component that really drive their companies. EOS is a tool that fixes that problem.
Learn more about Nolan Duck, DBG Advisors
Mark Capaldini, Opportunity into Revenue
Please share a specific story/case study of a company or client that had a great breakthrough using the EOS system. The Burchfield Group was a specialized management consulting firm serving healthcare providers, employers, and unions working with pharmacy benefit managers (PBM’s). Mark Capaldini worked with Brian Bullock, Founder & CEO, for three years while the company rebuilt its sales and marketing processes, resulting in faster, yet sustainable revenue growth. In January 2018, the firm was acquired by AON, a public company.
Here is a public statement by Brian Bullock about my work with his firm. “Mark has supported our implementation of EOS for over two years as facilitator and advisor. EOS provides a good template from which to start yet requires supplementing with resources and methods that provide depth and breadth for any business. Mark helped us identify resources and methods specific to our business and helped us integrate them with EOS to provide a tailored operating system for Burchfield that outperforms standalone EOS.
Mark has also been a valuable sounding board for me and for other members of our leadership team. Our CFO and I meet monthly with him to review our progress in applying and refining our business operating system. He serves as a valuable sounding board for ideas, issue resolution and insight into a wide range of business issues.”
Learn more about Mark Capaldini, Opportunity into Revenue
Jamison West, Jamison West Consulting
Please share a specific story/case study of a company or client that had a great breakthrough using the EOS system. In my client’s words:
“We are a family owned (it won’t work for us we are a family business) small (it won’t work for us we are a small company) in a high churn business (it won’t work for us, we are unique and special)”
And it has worked…
Managed Sales Pros is a small business that has an incredibly driven entrepreneurial leader. Clear talent, clear vision, and easily discovered value set. The problem was that she had ideas and talent, but needed her team to understand her and execute against her vision in way that wasn’t easy for her to communicate, until EOS.
Team – Passionate and Growing
Profits & Cash – Way Up
Culture – Massive Shift to the Better
Goals are incredibly high, and feel achievable. The team is bought in, and a shift in mindset is obvious. Most importantly, the are living what I think is their most poignant value, they are growing the people they touch. Every one of them.
Learn more about Jamison West, Jamison West Consulting
David Bowman, Nexus Business Solutions
Professional EOS Implementer
Please share a specific story/case study of a company or client that had a great breakthrough using the EOS system. About 18 months ago, I was engaged in a routine networking conversation with Rick Baker the CEO of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce in Grand Rapids, MI. Rick had recently become the first CEO hired to lead the Chamber from outside the Grand Rapids community.
I asked Rick what his biggest vision was in his new role. His vision was and is both inspiring and aligned with principles contained within EOS with which he was familiar. We discussed how to leverage EOS as a differentiator in terms of the value it brings to the leadership and focus for the Chamber as an organization as well as how use EOS to become a noted leader in entrepreneurship by becoming a value-add benefit to its members.
We agreed on a two-prong approach of my guiding the leadership team of the Chamber on their EOS journey and my Nexus team-members partnering with the operation’s leader to create and deliver a set of EOS-centric programming opportunities that would provide the Chamber with a platform for what I referred to as “creating a great community, one great company at a time”.
The journey has taken the Chamber from an organization without a truly unified vision and understanding of who they were as an organization and no plan to get there, to one in which there is a carefully designed plan and absolute leadership accountability for how the journey they are on will get them there.
The Grand Rapids Chamber has become a highly focused organization. They have worked hard to create a structure that is perfectly aligned to where they want to go only with people who share their values and have the talent to achieve their vision. They have stripped the organization of politics, egos, in-fighting, and silo protective behaviors. They are on a mission and a path to “Create Great” in the Grand Rapids Area.
The Nexus team is very proud to be partnering to leverage EOS as their set of simple, proven tools that are getting results and impacting an entire community.
Learn more about David Bowman, Nexus Business Solutions
Mike Kotsis, GPS for Small Business
Certified EOS Implementer
Please share a specific story/case study of a company or client that had a great breakthrough using the EOS system. Watch this testimonial video from the Cherry Republic team: https://youtu.be/OZp1Ey7egEc
And this one from Dee Cramer https://youtu.be/K6dXo0lyFug
Learn more about Mike Kotsis, GPS for Small Business
Matthew Abrams, Matthew Abrams LLC
Please share a specific story/case study of a company or client that had a great breakthrough using the EOS system. I’m working with a biotech company that has grown 250% since I began implementing EOS with them 18 months ago. They have gone from “shooting from the hip” to “surgical” in the context of their strategy and execution.
Learn more about Matthew Abrams, Matthew Abrams LLC
Damon Neth, CXO Service Co.
Founder & CEO
Please share a specific story/case study of a company or client that had a great breakthrough using the EOS system. Realty Austin, the largest independent Real Estate Brokerage in Austin TX, with nearly 600 agents, has been using the EOS system for about 14 months and has seen incredible results. According to Jonathan Boatwright, Realty Austin’s Co-Founder and Visionary, EOS was integral in helping the company see the opportunity in acquiring one of its largest competitors in February 2019, Reilly Realtors LLC.
According to Boatwright, “EOS helped us clearly see how the companies fit together”, stating that the EOS tools formed the foundation for sharing the vision, communicating each person’s role and how each new person fits into the whole.
According to Courtney Lepore, Realty Austin’s Integrator, EOS has been a huge benefit to the business. “We can do anything now and we can solve anything now! Without EOS, the past 9 months would have been chaos. Instead, the team has come together, owning and solving their own problems.”
With the newly completed Reilly acquisition, Lepore is already seeing benefits. The other day, a key Reilly employee came in after reading Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business (the book that outlines the EOS Model), and stated after passing on a redundant meeting, “I get it! I don’t need to be in that meeting right now,” referring to the trust that is created by having clear roles and the right people in the right seats.
For both Boatwright and Lepore, EOS has created an undeniable transformation in their business. According to the team, Realty Austin went from being “disorganized”, with overlapping responsibilities and unclear roles to being crystal clear on who does what and how success is measured in the organization. “EOS has been tremendously helpful,” stated Lepore. The Accountability chart, in particular, has eliminated crossed lines and dotted lines, and the weekly Level-10 meetings have been “amazing, giving everyone a voice and creating a clear path to problem solving, keeping everyone connected and involved.”
Learn more about Damon Neth, CXO Service Co.
James Reid, J. Reid Group
Owner, Certified High-Performance Coach
Please share a specific story/case study of a company or client that had a great breakthrough using the EOS system. A national recruiting/staffing company knew it was one of the best in the industry, but just kept hovering at the same revenue year-in-and-year out. They felt stuck. They saw EOS as their ticket to scaling and eventually tripling their revenues in five years.
This company’s breakthrough came after just one EOS session – the owners realized they had a people problem. Specifically, there were two individuals that were killing the company’s culture. The problem was, these were two people who played a significant role in the operations and business development pieces of the business. As Jim Collins would say, they were in the right seat, but NOT the right people (i.e. their core values clashed with the company’s).
However, the owners and leaders of the business took a stand for their values and culture. They used a key tool used in the EOS journey (i.e. the People Analyzer) to objectively determine that these two individuals needed to be removed from the company.
What transpired next was a thing of beauty and a natural result of the EOS process – one employee resigned; one was fired. The leaders sent a clear message that, going forward, every decision would be for the greater good of the company, its people, and the clients it served. Soon thereafter, more employees started speaking out and being more transparent about how they felt about these employees negatively impacting the growth of the company and how excited they were about the future.
Although this company has only been three months into their EOS journey, they are already noticing a shift in the culture of the company and momentum towards their yearly goals…something they haven’t felt in quite a while. The company’s leaders are a true testament of “trusting the EOS process” and the early results they’re seeing in the People Department are a byproduct of it..
Learn more about James Reid, J. Reid Group
Damon Neth, CXO Service Co.
CEO & EOS Implementer
Please share a specific story/case study of a company or client that had a great breakthrough using the EOS system. Until Jeff Connally, CEO of CMIT Solutions, discovered EOS, he characterized performance at the company as “moments of heroic effort that were marked by wild swings of euphoria and struggles, and definitely not repeatable”.
Connally credits EOS for bringing clarity to the business. The People Analyzer made dealing with tough people issues much easier. And, Connally himself struggled with discipline and focus in leading the company. This all changed in early 2014 when he met Gino Wickman at a franchisee business owners event, hearing him speak about EOS and learning about the Entrepreneurial Operating System for the first time.
CMIT used a professional Implementer to teach and create the EOS tools and, most importantly, coach them through the implementation process, a practice they follow to this day. According to Jeff, once CMIT implemented EOS, “profound improvements happened”.
In December, CMIT was acquired by Craftsman Capital, a dallas-based private equity firm. “EOS was the main tool we used in getting the company ready for sale. EOS created consistency in results, which is what mattered most to private equity. It created a base for the next level of growth [for Craftsman] because everything is smoother and more predictable.”
Here is a link an article on the sale (does not mention EOS) that was published in Austin Business Journal: https://www.bizjournals.com/austin/news/2018/12/24/austins-cmit-solutionsbought-by-dallas-private.html
Learn more about Damon Neth, CXO Service Co.
Stu Wolff, Wolff Leadership
Please share a specific story/case study of a company or client that had a great breakthrough using the EOS system. I was an EOS client of Gino Wickman, founder of EOS, for nine years. I doubled my business for five years back to back until I sold my company to a national industry leader at a premium of +20% over industry standards for valuation.
Now I am a Professional EOS Implementer sharing this common sense business operating system with other Entrepreneurs.
Learn more about Stu Wolff, Wolff Leadership
Zach Hoskins, DuckettLadd
Director of Business Development
Please share a specific story/case study of a company or client that had a great breakthrough using the EOS system. I was brought onto DuckettLadd to be an internal implementer. They tried to implement traction without an implementer and ended up having some issues along the way. I came in and implemented it internally and now we implement for other businesses. The biggest and most impactful case study I have is coming in and internally implementing traction for DuckettLadd.
Being able to truly take them through the Vision Traction Organizer to ensure that each leadership team member was onboard for the vision was powerful. Once we all agreed and were on the same page we proceeded to share the Vision Traction Organizer with the team members. Seeing the team members buy-in and have an understanding of where the company is going was great. Creating the open, honest, and transparent culture by sharing the inner details of plans, goals, and issues was a game changer.
Learn more about Zach Hoskins, DuckettLadd
Sara Stern, Family Business Minnesota
Certified EOS Implementer
Please share a specific story/case study of a company or client that had a great breakthrough using the EOS system. For one of my first clients, there were three brothers running the business. One of the brothers had been the President for awhile, then a different brother stepped up and took his turn, right around the time we implemented EOS. Their scorecard — one of the foundational tools of EOS — was a great tool for them. They were having a terrible time recruiting people. When they looked at the number of applicants per week applying to work for the biz, they identified a way every single week to implement the appropriate messaging to market & employees, and it made a huge dent in running at full capacity. They got way better applicants and constantly stream of people they needed. It completely transformed the company. Brought accountability to the team and visibility to the leaders.
With another company, a husband and wife team had been co-running it. After looking at the accountability chart whcih is talked about in Traction, they realized that one of them was the visionary and the other was the integrator, or the person who kept the trains running on time. Once they got clear on that, the visionary could stop feeling bad about not participating in monthly financial reviews and be better at the visionary work and their people stopped having to report to 2 people. There became a single source of decision making. It took so much chaos out of their biz because their internal decision making was much simpler.
Here’s one more story… with another business, they were getting ready for the 3rd generation to take over the business, and they didn’t want to JUST put the older son in charge, like their family had done in the past. So they created an accountability chart, which made it crystal clear who should run the company. It was actually the middle daughter who should run it. The Dad became the long term visionary, out in the world most of the time providing advice. The other 2 kids found great jobs. It made a huge difference.
Learn more about Sara Stern of Family Business Minnesota.
Becoming an entrepreneur is an exciting and rewarding endeavor, but requires a level of hard work and discipline which can be an overwhelming experience for many. It is important to have the right tools and strategies in place in order to attain and maintain consistent success as an entrepreneur.
Hopefully the stories and accounts provided here can act as inspiration for those who have taken on the entrepreneurial path, and provide a roadmap to success by way of the powerful EOS concepts.
John Corcoran is cofounder of Rise25 and a former White House Writer, speechwriter, an attorney, author and lead generation expert.
Rise25 helps B2B businesses to generate more qualified leads, referrals and strategic partners.
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