Monty Hamilton shares the principles and strategies he used to start his career, launch Rural Sourcing, and grow the company up to 1,000 employees. Find out why business always boils down to relationships, why the key to solving client problems is to appreciate those problems, and discover the framework for growing both a business and your personal skills.
Mo asks Monty Hamilton: Take us back to the moment when you realized that growth was great and it was something you wanted to focus on.
- Monty landed a job at Arthur Anderson Consulting out of business school, where he got his start learning how to program in COBOL. Business process reengineering and strategy became part of his day to day eventually. It was there that Monty met the group of guys that would start Clarkson Consulting with him in North Carolina.
- Business development came into the picture after Monty realized that if he could sell work where he lived, he wouldn’t have to travel far from his new family. His success became a matter of landing new work, so he decided to become good at it.
- Business all boils down to relationships and solving problems. Monty realized that going into a relationship with the goal of making a sale was counterproductive and so committed to a mindset of helping instead.
- You've got to spend an adequate amount of time appreciating the problem. If you can help a person identify and paint the picture of how gnarly their problem is, then you’re in the right room.
- Appreciating the problem starts with listening and asking good questions, and then discovering whether the issue is a symptom of the problem or if there’s something deeper.
- What are the upstream and downstream effects of the problem? Who else is impacted by it?
- What’s in it for the person you’re talking to if you can help them solve the problem? How will it help their career?
Mo asks Monty Hamilton: What is your personal definition of business development?
- Growth is simply about relationships. Being valuable to someone is intrinsically rewarding.
- Over the course of Monty’s career, the Give To Get mentality became a core part of how he built the business. Fundamentally, it’s about whether or not you can create a truly authentic and transparent relationship with someone while helping them.
- Don’t focus on what you’re going to get out of a relationship. Instead, focus on being around interesting people that you can also learn from.
- When you’re networking, throw away the title and industry and try to get to know a person’s story. In addition to being more effective at developing business, getting to know someone on a personal level is what makes life more enjoyable.
- Once you land the first meeting, do your research and invest some of your personal time and energy into making their business better, regardless of the end result.
- If you’ve got something valuable and you deliver that in a highly personalized and warm way, you’ve got a chance to meet anyone.
- Come in with some interesting, customized, tailored questions that show your ability to help and bring perspectives that the client could benefit from. The goal of the first meeting should be to secure the second meeting.
Mo asks Monty Hamilton: What’s your favorite science, step, or story from the GrowBIG Training or Snowball System?
- The blueprint of Monty’s business is think big, start small, scale up.
- Rural Sourcing started out as a 10 person organization and has since scaled up to 1,000 employees, with the future goal of 3,000 employees and 30 centers all over America.
- It’s a growth mindset that can be applied across a 10,000 person organization, but it can also be applied to your personal life. Great intentions can be sabotaged if you try to do too much, too fast.
- Recognize that, as an individual, you will never be able to do it all. You have personal limitations and must be able to recognize those limitations to unlock your business’ potential.
- You’re not going to be perfect on day 1 or day 10,001. The goal is continuous improvement. With that mindset, you can do better, you can get bigger, you can do more.
- Being willing to reinvest is critical to knowing where you can add value and where someone else can add the value that’s missing.
- To scale up to the next level, you need to understand your strengths and your weaknesses, and to know that you need to ask your peers, colleagues, bosses, and people you can trust to give their honest opinion.
- People are usually happy to give you feedback, and when you find someone willing to give it to you because they want you to be successful, you may have found a great mentor.
Mo asks Monty Hamilton: Tell us a business development story that you are really proud of.
- Monty’s proudest moment occurred three years ago, when they sold a stake in Rural Sourcing to Bain Capital. It took building the right relationships and getting people to believe in the mission, vision, and story of the organization.
- Monty brought them into the center in Alabama to give them a feel for the culture and the organization beyond the numbers. After visiting the center, Monty and the crew from Bain Capital had their flights delayed, so he had the opportunity of spending five hours in a rental car with them.
- No matter how well you practice and prepare, there are always going to be curveballs thrown your way. If you can take them in stride and play your hand well, you can come out the other side and you will win more than you lose.
- The part of the story that Monty was most proud of was his confidence in himself and his ability to be authentic with people that could have been intimidating. Being confident and authentic is what allows you to perform in business development situations, whether that’s selling your business or selling the next deal.
- When you’re authentic, the other person knows exactly what they’re buying. It’s much worse to pretend and end up delivering subpar results.
Mo asks Monty Hamilton: If you could record a video and send it back to your former self, something around business development or growth mindset, what would it say?
- Monty would tell himself to not settle. Looking back, he can see that he didn’t always have the abundance mindset he needed to grow past barriers.
- He would also say to take more risks and that it’s okay to fail.
- The third thing would be to enjoy the journey more and be less fixated on the end destination.
- The pandemic has made celebrating the journey more difficult, but also more precious at the same time. You have to be more intentional in creating those moments.