My story: I’m a lifelong student of business with a quest for “How to” and “Why Not.” I have an undergraduate business degree (BBA) from Eastern Michigan University, a Master in Perseverance (MIP) from the streets of life, and a PhD. from the University of Hard Knocks. It’s been quite a journey, and I want to share the highlights with you!
At 12, I started a lawn care (cutting, trimming, weeding, and fertilizing) business for the local neighbors and shoveled snow for those same neighbors-customers in the winter. Quickly, I expanded my services to include painting garages and the trim around the brick houses lining the neighborhood streets.
During the four years I ran this venture; I could stash some money in the bank and finance the purchase price and rebuild-restoration costs of two cars. A fully-restored 1954 Chevy coupe became my daily driver, and a 1929 Ford Model A sedan was a multi-year full-body off-restoration. This excellent father/son collaboration turned into a lifelong friendship.
Where did that drive come from? My “Determination… Perseverance… Compassion.” It resulted from the core values my parents instilled in me from an early age.
My dad was a World War II veteran, and my mom was a farmer’s daughter. They did an excellent job of being great role models and showing my younger sister and me how to love and respect others, how working hard won’t kill you, and having fun. They spoke openly about the importance of continuing formal education and the value of good old “street smarts.” Their actions did speak louder than words!
Starting a Business – A Self-Assessment Checklist
Owning a business is the dream of many Americans… starting that business converts your dream into reality using this Self Assessment Checklist.
Athletics has taught me to persevere when times get tough and that success does not build character; failure builds character. Athletics has also allowed me to work outside of my social group and build relationships with individuals I otherwise would have never met.
Research shows that one of the significant benefits of athletics for young men and women worldwide is that they have a higher chance of succeeding in all aspects of life through the skills acquired while playing sports. There are incredible correlations between successful people and the skills they learned while participating in athletics, such as the ability to work to hone their skills over a long period, the ability to show up and play on game day, and the ability to be prepared to compete. This list can go on and on.
For people who have played a team sport, one important learned skill is the desire to be better every single practice, game, and day for themselves and the entire team’s benefit. Whether it is an individual sport or a team sport, playing athletics at a school lets student-athlete feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves. This can give many of them a reason to come to school, leading to making memories that last a lifetime.
In my senior year, I had the honor of being named a Co-Captain of our football team. The experience taught me how to be a mentor and a team player, lead others, and help them improve. What I learned from this early-in-life opportunity would become foundational for my later-in-life training and development work.
Audio interview: Groups, Teams, and Leadership
Brian Sullivan of Hottalk radio 1510 interviews Terry H. Hill from Kansas City. Listen to this lively discussion about groups, teams, and leadership. Learn where you can receive supplemental training to assist your entrepreneurial journey.
It was not my first choice of school to play football… As Virginia Tech was my dream school. Unfortunately, Tech’s offer was not as good as Eastern Michigan’s.
However, by the end of my freshman year, Eastern became where I belonged. In large part because it was a Midwestern-based college that offered me an opportunity to join a fraternity. Not just any fraternity but the number-one fraternity on campus. At that period in time, it was the oldest active independent fraternity in the United States.
I found my new home on Emmet Street, where sixty (60) like-minded young men with similar backgrounds band together to form a tight-knit brotherhood called the Arm of Honor Fraternity.
As a social and athletic organization, we fielded teams and participated in numerous intramural sporting events, and we consistently won the annual Intramural All-Sport trophy. Socially, we were no slouches either, winning the all-campus Greek Sing and hosting lots of “hall parties” with live rock and roll bands… no DJs for us! I can’t help but mention all those beer kegs for the thirsty brothers and their dates. Great fun was had by all.
Being elected as our fraternity president — the Commander — was the frosting on the cake of my college career. This position allowed me to understand what it was like to run a company. Organization, efficiency, and communication skills are necessary for any business environment, and you can develop these skills in a fraternity/sorority. Plus, the opportunity to learn and hone various other skills needed to lead an organization. i.e., leadership development, accountability, conflict management, decision-making, financial management, goal-setting, interpersonal, meeting, organizational, presentation, problem-solving, risk management, and teamwork skills.
How to Fine-Tune Your Leadership Skills Program
If you want to succeed at work, in any social setting, or in life, you cannot remain another face in the crowd. You must stand out, get noticed, and influence others. In other words, you need to be a leader at some level.
This Video Training Course will help you fine-tune your leadership skills to become an outstanding leader. This video training course is divided into seven (7) individual training video modules supplemented with Training Exercises and a downloadable Guidebook.
As participants, we were required to work a semester as a full-time employee of the Detroit Regional DoD Office of Procurement and alternate a semester as a full-time business school student. I was employed in the program for two years as a Management Analyst.
Unlike my dad, whom I see as a role model, I considered my boss at DoD, Ed Nader, my first mentor. Unlike a role model you admire and model your behavior against, I wanted business world instruction and guidance. I found them with Mr. Nader’s help. He took a sincere approach to understanding me better and, in turn, helped me look inwards to try and understand what motivates, drives, scares, or annoys me.
As a Management Analyst, I was responsible for conducting time and motive studies of government contractors– workers responsible for manufacturing “land vehicles”-mainly military tanks and trucks. I worked in the field between the Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant (DATP) in Warren, Michigan, and the Diamond Reo Truck Plant in Lansing, Michigan.
Time Study is the original technique of work measurement. At the basic level, time studies involved breaking down each job into parts, timing each part, and rearranging the parts into the most efficient work method. Direct time study is the technique used for measuring repetitive work, i.e., work that follows a defined pattern and method. Every task you do, except for thinking, requires some movement. Movement is critical, whether typing code, plugging in a pressure washer, or sketching and building a plan. It’s why’s the time & motion study is applicable even in the modern environment.
Step-by-Step Time Management Plan
The techniques and methods outlined in this guidebook will help you understand why time management is so essential for everyone, not just entrepreneurs, for being more productive and finding success, as well as help you to start to put a time management system in place so you can accomplish more in less time.
Those little brown boxes, AKA corrugated shipping containers, were and still are considered commodity products. Investopedia defines a commodity as “a basic good/service used in commerce that is interchangeable with other commodities of the same type” — a product people need but has no qualities that set it apart from another.
To become a top corrugated container salesperson, I needed to learn quickly:
My six-month formal corporate sales training lasted 45 days as I was assigned to a sales territory in central Illinois. I would be a substitute territory manager for a gentleman who needed emergency back surgery. His recovery was planned to be four to six months.
So, my sales training was on-the-job, face-to-face with existing and prospective customers. To support my on-the-job training, I relied on numerous telephone conversations with my sales manager Clarence Perry who became my second business mentor. Plus, my self-study of the teachings and writings of Zig Ziglar- Motivational Speaker, Tom Hopkins-International Sales Trainer, and Thomas Watson, Sr.-IBM’s founder and first CEO.
In five months, I finished my substitute territory manager assignment and was assigned to a permanent sales territory in Kansas City, MO. From my on-the-job training and self-study, I created my sales development program that I would use in my early sales career and later published it as a sales training program to train other people in successful sales techniques.
The Rolling 12 Client Acquisition Program
Learn a time-tested systemic process that enables sales professionals to effectively and efficiently fill their sales funnel continuously with highly-qualified prospective clients/customers that become raving clients/customers — fans that tell others about you.
This video training course is divided into six (6) individual training video modules supplemented with Training Exercises and a downloadable Guidebook.
Learn the ins and outs of the five-12 steps to produce a continuous flow of new clients!
THE NEXT PROGRAM BEGINS MONDAY, JUNE 5, 2023
I accepted a position as a territory manager with the industry-leading manufacturer of corrugated shipping containers.
At the time, it was like winning the trifecta of opportunities – First, we could return home to Michigan… Second, my wife was on cloud nine. She got her old teaching position back—third, this new company offered me much more earning potential.
Using my Rolling 12 Client Acquisition System, I grew an under performing sales territory into a top-tier nationally ranked territory. My efforts and the efforts of other top-tier producers were acknowledged at the company’s Annual National Sales Conference at The Doral Country Club in Miami, Florida.
Beyond the cash bonuses and decorative award plaques, I found the most profound gift to be the book Jonathan Livingston Seagull – an icon—a phenomenal bestseller celebrating the strength of the individual and the joy of finding one’s way.
This is a story for people who follow their hearts and make their own rules…people who get particular pleasure out of doing something well, even if only for themselves…people who know there’s more to this living than meets the eye: they’ll be right there with Jonathan, flying higher and faster than ever they dreamed.
I found Jonathan Livingston Seagull thought-provoking—exploring self-perfection and pushing oneself to the limits. I have read this book numerous times!
After a series of lengthy after-hours exploratory meetings, three (3) of us (one of my best friends and his brother-in-law) decided to partner up and pool our experiences plus energies to grow a dormant specialty office products dealership. Initially, we decided to “moonlight” this venture while holding down our day jobs to maintain financial security through the early years until our revenues became predictable.
During our four (4) years of working together, we managed to reposition the business from an office product dealership (buying and reselling products) into a specialty press-sensitive label manufacturer.
Your primary products were alphabetic and numeric color-coded labeling systems. Our products were used for financial, education, insurance, and medical record file systems. We needed to establish a dealer distribution system to sell our products beyond the State of Michigan effectively.
This dealer expansion plan would require additional capital investment and time commitment from the three (3) partners. After a series of heated meetings, the three (3) partners agreed to disagree, and we decided to dissolve our relationship. My best friend and his brother-in-law would buy out my interest and continue to operate the business on a moonlighting basis.
How to Discover and Capitalize on the Best Opportunities
Opportunities are everywhere!
The way for you to recognize them is to open your mind and ears and listen to what is being told to you and comprehend that message!
In this audio course, you will learn about opportunities; that may not be evident. And, since they can present themselves in various ways, you need to be open to recognizing them. Failure to do so means failing to recognize them – and you’ll miss out on many.
My leap of faith into solo entrepreneurship demanded that I let go of everything safe, comfortable, and proven. So, I committed myself to becoming a “full-time” entrepreneur versus a “moonlighting” entrepreneur. It forced me to get “outside the box” in the most significant way possible.
To better position me to create, renew, solve, and change. When thinking “outside the box,” I called upon my sense of vision and imagined the best possible outcome. I use “outside of the box” thinking to position my activities favorably. Ultimately, by thinking “outside of the box,” I gained a more significant competitive advantage.
Fortunately, I found and purchased an established specialty record management dealership with numerous longtime customers in southeastern Michigan. The deceased owner’s family had no choice but to try and sell the business. It would end up being a win-win for both parties.
During a few months of due diligence, I worked and fine-tuned my new company’s Vision-Mission Statement, Unique Selling Proposition, Elevator Pitch, and the all-important Buyer-Customer personas.
Sitting down to craft a well-articulated vision-mission statement helped me to better understand the impact of my efforts so that I could do my best work. Research studies have found that companies with employees with a strong sense of purpose and clarity around their work exhibit higher future financial performance. No surprises there.
Next, I created a written Unique Selling Proposition. My USP describes what you do, states the results or benefits people receive from your product/services, and explains how you differentiate yourself from your competition. The USP summarized my company’s unique features, benefits, and value it provided that no other competitor can.
Followed by the creation of my written Elevator Pitch. The Elevator Pitch – my 30-second commercial was a brief, persuasive speech that I will use to spark interest in what my organization did.
Finally, creating Buyer-Customer personas helped me better understand my users’ needs, experiences, behaviors, and goals. The process of creating personas helped me step out of myself. It helped me to recognize that different people have different needs and expectations, and it also helped me identify with the buyer-customer I wanted in my business.
Over the next ten (10) years, my team and I expanded the original dealership business into a multi-state office and storage products distributorship. Then into a manufacturing business that produced specialty pressure-sensitive labels and mobile and stationary filing and storage systems.
Through some creative thinking and financing, I sold the business to a senior-level employee so that I could embark on a new venture.
Great Things Happen:
I believe great things happen when you understand that your employees are more than a group of stakeholders—they are the lifeblood of your enterprise. Spend the money it takes to hire talented individuals. Share the vision and goals of your company with them. Invest in your human capital and build teams that encourage cooperation and open communication so that they can perform to the best of their abilities.
Key Takeaways from this venture:
At the time – little did I know – what I learned and the experience of crafting these various documents would become the foundation of information used to create a series of interactive workbooks plus an eBook about starting and growing a business:
How to Create Your Vision and Mission Statements
A vision is a concept of what the firm really wants to be. It captures the imagination of the company and provides a focus for efforts.
A firm’s mission describes what the business does and what customers it serves. A mission is more specific than a vision in that it establishes the guidelines for how the business fulfills its vision. The information and worksheets in this publication will help you build and maintain a vision for your business.
Create Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Your USP describes what you do, states the results or benefits people receive from your product/services, and explains how you differentiate yourself from your competition. Your USP summarizes your unique features, benefits, and value that no competitor can provide.
This Workbook helps ensure your USP focuses on your customers’ wants and needs. It describes your customers’ main benefits from doing business with you. Your USP sets you apart from your competitors!
Create Your Powerful Elevator Pitch
This interactive Workbook provides a foundation of valuable information and a step-by-step blueprint to help you create your own uniquely powerful Elevator Pitch – Your 30 Second Commercial.
Your Elevator Pitch – Your 30 Second Commercial will be a brief, persuasive speech that you will use to spark interest in what you and your organization do. You can also use your Elevator Pitch – Your 30 Commercial to create interest in a project, idea, or product – or yourself.
How to Build Your Buyer Personas Workbook
Why create buyer personas?
Buyer Personas help ensure that all activities in acquiring and serving your customers are tailored to the targeted buyer’s needs.
That may sound like a no-brainer, but it isn’t as simple as it sounds.
People naturally gravitate toward businesses they know and trust when choosing a product or service. And the best way to build trust is to show genuine understanding and concern for the other person – in this case, your customers.
I authored a book, The Entrepreneurial Blueprint for Starting and Growing Your Business, based on the knowledge I gained from the trials and tribulations of my entrepreneurial journeys
There is never a complete guarantee of success, but arming yourself with the valuable information outlined in this book will help you to get off to a winning start. Follow the simple step-by-step entrepreneurial success techniques described. Apply the principles to your business and dealings in a thorough and self-critical manner, and you will undoubtedly improve your chances for success.
This eBook version is available for immediate download after purchase.
That is the same plan I originally created on my drive from Ypsilanti, Michigan to St. Louis, Missouri for my first after-college job!
The plan was simple and straight forward with just five (5) milestones:
First… work for a large Fortune 500 multinational company.
Second… learn the ins and outs of the lifeblood of any organization—sales.
Third… start, grow and sell a successful small business.
Fourth… monetize my experience and knowledge through consulting and training.
Fifth… live in Sarasota, Florida, and work with entrepreneurs globally.
Since the Florida spring breaks during college, the sunshine state is where my wife and I wanted to live!
Before it was fashionable and the world was accessible via the Internet, I embraced work-life integration where there is no clear-cut divide between work and home. Instead, both work and life are intertwined in a way that allows me to live the lifestyle I want to live without sacrificing of achievement or success.
No need for buildings… manufacturing equipment… delivery trucks… nor employees. A portable business that I can take with me and work from anywhere in the world to provide expert advice to help businesses improve their performance.
Walla… T.H. Hill Associates, a small business management consulting agency, was founded!
The key to your entrepreneurial success is your ability to plan, implement, execute, measure, and adjust. It is very difficult to do all of these things on your own. T.H. Associates, your team of professional general business advisors, help you architect your business future, chart a course, develop strategies, and provide you with the resources necessary for the successful implementation and execution of your plans.
An operational and advisory support staff…
The ability to contract a support staff of remote—freelance workers via an online talent platform like Elance, Odesk, and ultimately Upwork. These Work-for-Hire agreements lower labor overhead that free up capital to be used in more mission-centric areas.
Institute for Independent Business, IIB is an international accreditation organization headquartered in the UK that has trained and accredited over 5,000 senior-level business advisers around the world. The IIB has created a global network of business advisers who share a common code of ethics, and professional standards, and who work together to assist business leaders to grow their businesses.
The Wow Factor… Unique Business Calling Card
My motivation for writing and self-publishing my first book, How to Jumpstart Your Business was not to become part of The New York Times Best Seller list… Quite the contrary, I simply want a truly unique business calling card to distribute at networking events and give to prospective clients at our introductory meeting.
It definitely produced a “wow factor” that set me apart from the competition.
How to Jumpstart becomes an entrepreneur’s most valuable business reference book since it pulls from the practical, everyday work experiences of many successful entrepreneurs and business owners. How to Jumpstart Your Business is truly a collaboration of the knowledge and wisdom of former and current colleagues, clients, and associates of its author,
Notes… Notes… And More Notes…
I have been an avid note-taker for years. Writing everything down allows me to make a side-by-side comparison of ideas. When priorities are unclear, note-taking helps me to process more tangibly. Note-taking provides me with a source file for future reference.
All my note-taking has been and will continue to use pen and paper. Handwriting forces me to take shorter, straight-to-the-point notes. Using paper also allows more flexibility: underlining, circling, connecting elements with arrows, and doodling, offering a more comfortable note-taking experience for faster reviewing when referencing my notes.
My Cornucopia of Knowledge.
I’m a pack rat when it comes to my used spiral-bound notebooks. They date back to lecture notes from my college days, thoughts and observations from my cooperative work-study program, and my daily journals of the sales development program I created and used in my early sales career
As an entrepreneur and business owner, I have used journaling extensively and the habit has been integral to my achievements. For forty (40) years, my daily routine of jotting down ideas, capturing observations, and highlighting my thoughts about how to monetize the volumes of information is the foundational source for our training and development programs.
The act of taking a business idea and fleshing it out on paper not only makes it tangible and real, but also allows for the growth and expansion of that idea, plus the process to determine the monetary feasibility of an idea or not.
Dedicated Publishing Group within the Organization
In today’s fast-paced world, technology has made it possible for people to learn anything, anywhere, and at any time. To leverage this continual trend, we have assembled a team to focus solely on publishing relevant and timely pieces of educational media that help people stay well-informed about changes and trends in the market.
Whether starting and operating a business, leading people, or companies, building a brand, engaging customers, or investing for the future, the educational media published by The Seaplace Group help individuals achieve success both in business and in life.
The Seaplace Publishing Group creates and provides a comprehensive suite of quality off-the-shelf educational media — Articles, Assessments, Checklists, eBooks, How-To Guides, Interactive Workbooks, Special Reports, Online Training Courses, Online Training Workshops, and Quizzes that focus on the world of entrepreneurship.
Each publication aims to provide actionable solutions to help entrepreneurs excel in all ventures they take on. All training and development content is electronically delivered for ease of access and affordability.
We firmly believe that our amazing publications fill the entrepreneurial educational needs void with entertaining, inspirational, and intelligent content that is truly educating the entrepreneurial world.
Today what excites me is working with organizations with inspiring entrepreneurial leaders who want to create real change and embrace transformation.
I’m excited to work with entrepreneurs who want real change beyond the buzzwords.
I’m inspired by leaders who embrace change personally, often transforming many parts of their lives. I’m optimistic about future leaders’ impact on the world and how coaching, consulting, and training can help them achieve their potential.
The traditional small business consulting model of onsite visits for weeks and months is out of sync with today’s global business culture. Clients want access to the best people, on their terms, from anywhere in the English-speaking world.
BusinessGuru-TerryHHill.com offers Virtual Consulting as a Service (VCaaS).
Since 2008, I have embraced and worked remotely to give clients the advice and support they need, when they need it, from enthusiastic and committed professionals – all delivered virtually.
Our VCaaS engagements can provide support with coaching, consulting, and training for specific projects, for people in a startup role, and for anyone involved in growing and expanding a small business in the digital transformation age. If a project or your business is going off course, our consultants can quickly get you back on track.