An entrepreneur since childhood, Jim Pack is no stranger to the hard work, vision and leadership it takes to make companies thrive. He currently uses his experience and drive as Chief executive Officer of Rock Solid Internet Solutions, a company that provides important logistical software to ship packages around the world. Jim credits his love of starting and leading companies to his entrepreneur father, who inspired him down the path to being a self-starter and strong salesperson. Jim added education to his years of experience in the form of an undergraduate degree in economics from Brigham Young University and an MBA from the University of Michigan, and he’s led several companies in various industries to greatness over the years.
Be Prepared to Put In the Work
Jim believes that success in business to having a realistic view of what it takes to build a company; namely, putting in long hours of work. Many companies start out with their leaders showing great energy and enthusiasm, and then they fail soon after because those leaders thought they would see results much faster than they did. “Entrepreneurs see successes in others’ achievements, but that’s only the tail end of the process. You don’t see them toiling for years before that happens,” Jim says. It takes working hard in the trenches to see success, and understanding that is key to realizing your dream. If you don’t have the stamina for hard work, chances are that you won’t be successful.
Get Things Done, Even When You Can’t
As someone with a history for helping companies thrive, Jim knows that sometimes you have to take chances to make things happen even when it seems like that’s an impossible task. He’s had to take big risks and make big changes in his companies, including firing more than 100 people, trying to fund companies during an Internet bubble burst and more. Even when it seems impossible, you have to find a way to make things happen to keep your company successful.
“As an entrepreneur, you have to do what you just can’t do. Make big changes, take risks to better things,” Jim advises. Talk to mentors, think outside the box, put in more hours–but do what you need to do to figure out ways to get things done to keep your company growing.
Have a Culture of Opportunity
Surround yourself with people who see problems as opportunities, and you’ll surround yourself with solution-oriented go getters who better your company in the process. “There are no companies without problems,” Jim says, “But the difference between a problem and an opportunity is perspective. An opportunity for improvement is the definition of a problem.” Thinking like this keeps spirits high and optimism alive, even in difficult times.
“Everyone has challenges–individual challenges, interdepartmental challenges, corporate challenges, challenges of personal skill and ability–but when you treat challenges as problems, you distance yourself from them. If you treat them like an opportunity, now it’s something you can embrace,” Jim says. A team that sees opportunities eliminates politics and blaming, making them stronger and more effective. As an entrepreneur, Jim says,“you don’t want to have a bunch of problems, but you do want to have a bunch of opportunities.”
When you’re hiring staff, Jim has a philosophy that hiring scholars over students is paramount to success. This isn’t a question of the level of education as much as it is the approach to it. “Students are great–they take notes, devour all that’s taught and get good grades,” Jim says. “But scholars do primary research, create knowledge where it didn’t exist and share it.” The initiative of a scholar is preferable in employees over the drive of a student because those people will help your company grow and learn along the way. If your business is full of people who act like scholars, they will be increasing its value and its corporate knowledge over time. These scholar-types are forward thinkers and planners, and they may see opportunities you didn’t to increase your success overall.