A Tale Of Two Team Members by Josh Lannon

A Tale Of Two Team Members

One of the hardest parts of owning a business is knowing who to trust. When that trust is broken, you have only yourself to blame.

It took a big leap of faith to follow our dream of opening our addiction and treatment center, Journey Healing Centers.

We were quickly met with opposition trying to find capital (which we did). It took painstaking time and consideration to locate the best facility for our guests (which we did). And, it tested our patience and resolve to prepare the facility to open our doors (which we did).

But the one thing we weren’t prepared for was the difficulty hiring the right staff.

Over the years as an advisor to Robert and Kim Kiyosaki, Robert would always tell us that business would be easy, if it weren’t for people.

I completely agree.

Split Focus

In my previous post, I mentioned that I was now spending the majority of my time preparing our new facility in Utah.

While our investment capital was dwindling, we had two major goals to focus on:

  1. Obtain a business license, and
  2. Complete our team by hiring the best personnel for various aspects of our business

I don’t know if I was delusional or what, but neither of those goals seemed too hard to accomplish. I was wrong.

To help us with our marketing, we hired a former work associate of mine from the nightclub business, Charles. His experience in sales and marketing made him a perfect fit our our Director of Marketing position. After all, if we didn’t start attracting guests, we wouldn’t have a business.

The second thing we needed was help with securing a license. We leaned on a friend and fellow practitioner of martial arts that I had met back in Las Vegas. He was looking for a career change and was interested in helping out. He already had experience with the licensing process and made a comment that he was “friends with the licensing guys.”

We thought it sounded like a perfect fit. We were wrong.

Tale Of Trust

Lisa and I assumed it would take a few months to secure the licensing we needed. We had enough experience working the government agencies to expect anything less. But after a few months, Lisa and I felt we needed to head up to Salt Lake, UT and see what was really going on.

Though I had already spent a lot of time getting our 15,000-square-foot facility ready, the only thing I ever got from Richard was that, “Everything’s fine with licensing, don’t worry, I’m handling it and we should have it in no time.” With everything else on our minds, this lapse in judgement cost us untold tens of thousands of dollars. Our business almost died before it got off the ground.

We couldn’t take care of our second focal points, accepting guests, without a license. Our hands were completely tied. It was time for Charles and I to take matters into our own hands. But first, we had to change.

Time For A Change

Charles and I moved up to Salt Lake, permanently. Lisa conducted business from a distance and made the journey to collaborate with Charles and I when she could.

Upon arriving at our new home, Charles and I met with the licensing authorities to discover our “expert”, Richard, not only angered his “friends” at the license board, but had been lying to us for months. We were up against a compliance challenge because the federal government considers addiction a disability, therefore were considered vulnerable adults.

In addition, government entities in Utah also had strict requirements which we failed to meet to obtain a license. We knew we faced some tough battles because of Spencer’s warnings, but Richard’s lack of know-how and follow-through pushed us back even further.

We trusted both Charles and Richard. One proved his worth over and over again. The other kept us from opening our addiction and treatment center withholding the truth about obtaining our license.

It has been a long time since we broke ways with Richard. Since that time, we moved on from Utah and Journey Healing Centers down into the Lone Star state of Texas to open our Warriors Heart addiction and treatment centers.

Though it’s tough to admit, we learned some valuable lessons from our painful experiences with Richard. As a business owner, you have to trust your team members. However, you owe it to all of your team members to hold everyone accountable for their actions. This includes part-time specialists and full-time executives.

If you want to read more about our story, grab a copy of our book The Social Capitalist.

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