By Marc Beauchamp
I’m honored to have the opportunity to contribute to the Street SmartsSM column for the next term. This industry has given me and my family so much. I just hope I’ll be able to give back in some small way to The Green Sheet readership. What a ride it’s been over the last 25 years. I’m thankful to Kate and The Green Sheet team for providing this platform to share my thoughts and learnings on the business.
Like many of us, this merchant services industry found me by chance. Shortly after being discharged from the Marine Corps, I was working as a part-time credit manager while attending college. One day I came into work and found out the company had been taken over by a competitor, and the majority of the employees were laid off instantly. This was the first major distinction I made in my business life: I realized there was a difference between working for someone and working for myself.
At the time, I didn’t have the money, experience or confidence to go out on my own, so I did the next best thing: I got into sales. Over the years, I sold computer networking, insurance, human resource management software, payroll services and eventually ended up as a finance manager.
At 30 years old I had become the number one finance manager in the country, but there was one problem: I was working 10 hours a day, six days per week. This is where I gained a key insight that led to a second distinction: that I was trading time for money. I realized I’d never be able to earn the type of income desired and have the freedom to be with my young family unless I made a change.
It just so happened a friend of my father’s stopped by the office and shared details about this new opportunity where he could work business hours, no weekends, and was making a whopping $336 commission per $49 monthly lease he sold. He said he was writing five to seven deals per week with preset appointments. With dollars signs in my eyes, I went in the field with him for a day.
Shortly after that, I turned in my resignation to embark on this new journey. My wife was four months pregnant, and both of our extended families thought I was absolutely crazy to leave a job making over six figures, especially since we had very little savings in the bank. Have you ever made a decision that you knew was right, but the tribe told you it wasn’t possible?
My instinct told me that this was where I needed to be. I started at my kitchen table, went to work for the company of my friends, and quit one month later to open my own sales office. I’ve never looked back. I found a business that created recurring revenue, great upfront commissions, provided flexibility. And I could leverage myself through others. I was in heaven.
As the years have passed, I’ve had the opportunity to work for myself, consult and train for over 10 years, and then run a very large ISO with thousands of sales partners. Today, I’m once again involved in training, content development and personally investing in various payments related opportunities and POS financing projects. I’ve had the opportunity to see what many of the industry thought leaders have done to build great businesses and what they’re doing to address the challenges and competitive pressures we are all facing.
I’ve made too many mistakes to count, but over the years, I think I’ve been able to learn from these mistakes and come out the other side a better man. My hope for this column is to share industry commentary, trends and insights, but also the systems and tactics that have helped me grow not just in business but as a human being.
My initial contributions will address building a foundation for your life and payments business. I will specifically be addressing six domains; purpose, possibility, planning, power, production and profit.
I really want to share, at least from my perspective, what I feel are the driving mind sets and behaviors that when diligently practiced can set anyone free from the chains of mediocrity.
Mediocrity doesn’t always mean underachieving; it means settling in and giving into inertia.
Mediocrity comes from the Latin word medius, meaning middle and ocris, meaning a rugged mountain. Literally, it means to settle halfway to the summit of a rugged mountain. It’s a compromise of abilities and possibility; an arbitration between the drive to excel and the biological urge to settle for the most comfortable option. It’s choosing the easier, softer way.
I’ve seen this mediocrity raise its ugly head in my life as well as almost every client I’ve had the privilege to work with. It’s not whether it will show up in your life, but more importantly: What will you do about it when you succumb to it?
I want to start with sharing my viewpoint on these areas and the importance of mastering each area so you can produce results beyond what you thought were possible.
I’m excited about this opportunity and welcome any comments or feedback you have for me throughout the year.
Editor's note: We are delighted Bankcard Life founder Marc Beauchamp signed on to write Street SmartsSM for the coming year. His expertise and enthusiasm for training others to do well in a diversity of payments-related specialties is inspiring. Knowing how satisfying a career in payments can be, Marc didn't want to just rest on his own laurels; he wanted to give a hand to others seeking to find a satisfying career of their own. Writing this column fits right in with that ongoing mission. Please welcome Marc. We're certain you'll find value in what he shares this year.
Marc Beauchamp is author of Survive and Thrive in the Merchant Services Industry and founder of Bankcard Life, a community for payments professionals. He is offering a free copy of his book to all payment professionals at www.bankcardlife.com/greensheet. Marc welcomes your comments and feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Green Sheet Inc. is now a proud affiliate of Bankcard Life, a premier community that provides industry-leading training and resources for payment professionals. Click here for more information.
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