Donnie P., entrepreneur and author of “How to Catch a Mouse with No Cheese: Real World Lessons and Experiences from an Entrepreneur,” realized early in his professional business career that he was equipped with the necessary drive and determination that would allow him to start a business from the ground up without any money. Immediately upon graduation from Southern University A & M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Donnie assumed every role that was required to most effectively run a business by becoming an expert in the areas of finance, sales, marketing and operations. Today, with nearly 20 years of experience, Donnie is also a Franchisor of A Caring Home Care Services business and develops business platforms that uplift others.

Donnie firmly believes that when starting a business you have to have the end goal in mind. Always have a level in mind at which you’ll cash out and move on to the next opportunity. Start a business, find a way to add value, and have an exit in mind. Use each successive business as a building block to the next one.

Donnie’s story takes him from a counselling business right out of college, then to a product business – pecan candy – then starting his home services business. He grew the home services business to the point where he could franchise in 2012, and sold his first franchise in 2013. Donnie is now selling franchises with a end goal of listing on the stock exchange (an initial public offering, or IPO).

Starting the business from scratch, Donnie used word of mouth and three basic principles:
working at it every day
being on time
answering phone calls whenever they come in.
Each incoming phone call could be an opportunity! It takes drive and motivation to start a business but you can do it!

Donnie’s worst moment was hiring a family member that didn’t go so well. The relationship ended with the police arriving to take the family member away!

Donnie’s tips for automating in the early days are:

  • outsource your accounting as soon as you can
  • outsource your staffing – have someone filter the resumes and do the inital interview for you
  • always have an attorney
  • outsource your marketing but be careful – this can be expensive.

5 principles to succeed in business:

  1. Faith – in yourself and in your creator
  2. Truth – honor your handshake agreements and always tell the truth, because everyone in business talks to each other
  3. Self-awareness – know what you are good at, and what you aren’t. Discover this by pushing your comfort zone – trying new and different things all the time. But step incrementally outside of your comfort zone, not one huge step!
  4. Self-discipline – keep your eyes on the end goal, on the prize at the end and don’t let distractions take you away from that. [Something I’m experimenting with at the moment is writing down my goals for this year every day -Michael]
  5. Service – live a life of service to other people.

Donnie’s number one piece of advice for franchisees is to have discipline. Stay inside the system because that’s what works!

Get in touch with Donnie at AuthorDonnie.com and buy the book How to Catch a Mouse with No Cheese: Real World Lessons and Experiences from an Entrepreneuron Amazon.

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