Raymond Kishk is the founder of Interstate Air Conditioning & Heating. In business for more than three decades, Interstate Air Conditioning & Heating provides professional HVAC services in NYC. Bringing a true passion for the industry, Raymond Kishk's company has been featured on CBS, Fox, ABC, and NY1 news stations.
Since starting my company, my goal has been to revolutionize my industry (mechanical contracting). Fast forward a few years, and by tailoring our services to the unique needs of each client, we have become leaders in our field. Although today we're proud of our success, this growth has not been without challenges. Over the years, I've had to learn a lot about what it takes to make a business succeed.
As a young entrepreneur who owns multiple multimillion-dollar businesses, I credit my success to three important things that I have learned over the years.
1. Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.
If there is one thing that I would tell anyone who is considering starting a business, it is this: Do not be afraid to take risks. There are no guarantees in life, and there are certainly no guarantees in business. Yes, you may fail. You may even fail multiple times. Some of the biggest names in business have failed mightily. The difference is that they picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and tried again. You will never know what you could have achieved if you never took the risk.
At Interstate Air Conditioning & Heating, we began to grow rapidly in the early stages of our business. Through analyzing our books, we noticed that the profit margins from our biggest client (more than $1 million a year) weren't where we wanted them. We'd taken that contract when we were smaller and the numbers made more sense. So we took a risk and didn't renew the contract, in hopes of finding new, more profitable clients. It paid off: Following that decision, we saw tremendous growth and increased success.
2. Surround yourself with good people.
No one can do it alone. It's simply not possible. I did not found my companies on my own--I have some great people working with me. Even if you're a sole founder and not a co-founder, you need a strong support team. Operating a successful business today is challenging, and you cannot keep your finger on the pulse of everything, so you honestly shouldn't try. Instead, surround yourself with good people, be willing to take advice from experts, and don't be afraid to delegate.
I know that project management isn't my strong point, which is why I delegate the management process to skilled project managers. They manage better than I can, allowing the company to handle much bigger projects and enabling us to grow our revenue. Surrounding myself with good people has been the key to the success in my business. We want to be the best, so we hire only the best.
Conversely, be aware of the negative forces in your life. Do you have naysayers who are constantly telling you that you can't do something? Are you receiving poor business advice from the people on your team? Be cautious about the people who surround you and with whom you choose to do business.
3. Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right.
Your thoughts on your own success are a self-fulfilling prophecy. If there is one thing I've discovered over my years in business, it's that my chance of success ultimately comes down to whether or not I believe in myself. If I don't think I can, then I can't. And conversely, if I think I can, then there is no force in this world that can stop me.
When I was first getting my business off the ground, a prominent retail chain wanted to give us 100 locations. I was advised not to take the contract, as many people felt that it was simply too big of an undertaking considering that we weren't yet a well-established company. But my mindset was all about making the company big. I closed the deal and put in the effort to make it work by quickly hiring the appropriate people and making the appropriate plans. To this day, that same retail chain is a client of ours.
Too many people I know had great ideas but never did anything with them because they thought they couldn't make it work. Maybe they had bad experiences in the past or they thought they weren't educated enough. Whatever the reason, if you think you can't do it, then you're going to be right. Your mindset is everything when it comes to succeeding in business. Get your mindset in a positive direction, and there are no limits to what you can achieve.