When we first left the corporate world eight years ago to embark on our entrepreneurial path with One Horn Transportation, my business partner/husband Louis and I realized that there were no more “departments” to support us in our endeavor, we were it! So as two MBAs having worked for Fortune 500 companies, we set out to learn what we didn’t know how to do firsthand. We also decided to create a business culture where we would be happy to go to work every day, since we hadn’t been thrilled with the “big corporate” environment. With one additional employee, we created our org chart and filled in our own names almost everywhere. What we didn’t know how to do, we learned how to do. Now that we own a freight brokerage with over 20 freight agents, I thought it would be fun to share this knowledge with freight agents in my upcoming blogs, to help them improve their operational efficiency and personal effectiveness.
As our business growth and success has been built on the foundation of improving our own operational efficiency and personal effectiveness, to this end, we read a lot of books in search of those nuggets of learning that will improve our performance professionally and personally. The Millionnaire Next Door, The 4-Hour Workweek, and The E-Myth Revisited are among those which significantly impacted our embarking upon and successfully pursuing our entrepreneurial path and helped us transform our company from an asset-based carrier, which in our business is a trucking company that owns tractors and trailers, to and agent-based brokerage, where we subcontract the physical movement of goods to outside carriers.*
During my quest to educate myself, I also discovered a subculture of informal board of advisor groups for entrepreneurs who often discover it is lonely at the top. When facing certain management-level challenges, you can’t turn to your employees for help, so where can you turn? The most valuable group we found is EO, Entrepreneurs’ Organization, a worldwide group that offers the opportunity to join your own Forum, a fixed group of 6-10 people who meet monthly to address individual issues in a strictly confidential and safe environment as well as periodic learning events to help members run their businesses and lives better. In addition to EO and the Wharton Club of NJ, other seminars and webinars have exposed us to ideas on how to grow, change, and reinvent our business over time. I will also share learning from these sources that will help freight agents succeed.
In my next blog I will write about how we leveraged technology to apply some great nuggets from The 4-Hour Workweek to operate our business from the beach in North Carolina and the ski slopes of France.
*Click through for full references on books that inspired us: http://onehorn.com/agents/get-inspired
– by Cheryl Biron, President