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The Man Who Turned a Part-Time Job into a Billion Dollar Business

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Today we have an amazing story about a guy who started out just looking for some extra income with a part-time job but ended up turning it into a billion dollar business.

Click the player to listen to this episode of The BIGG Success Show Podcast. Below is a summary of our discussion.

Jim McCann started out as a social worker, which didn’t pay so well. So, in the early 1970s, he got a part-time job in a floral shop to earn a little extra money. In 1976, he took the plunge and started his own flower business.

Let’s go to The Professor’s Whiteboard as we break down 5 lessons learned from the part-timer who built a billion dollar business.

Whiteboard 1056 - part time job to billion dollar business

Jim McCann started out as a social worker, which didn’t pay so well. So, in the early 1970s, he got a part-time job in a floral shop to earn a little extra money. In 1976, he took the plunge and started his own flower business.

1) Always look for opportunities

Jim could have looked at the situation of needing a part-time job as a negative. Instead, he found his BIGG opportunity! The key is to have a grasp on your current situation with a positive outlook, have a willingness to explore new ideas, and trust that things will work out well.

Jim did well in the business, but his one little shop didn’t make that much money. So, he opened another one. Then another one. By 1983, he was running a small chain of fourteen stores.

2) Scale smartly

He only succeeded moderately. But it was enough to think he should try another store. And then he did it again. You may only jump from A to F, not A to Z.

And Jim was ready for an even bigger challenge!

He had an epiphany, one day while getting ready for work. He was listening to the radio as he shaved when he got his BIGG idea: He would build a nationwide flower service!

To support that vision, he thought he needed a memorable toll-free number. He found a company for sale that owned 1-800-FLOWERS. What a great phone number! So he decided to buy them.

3) Don’t be afraid to go for it all

Once or twice in your business career you have to be willing to bet it all. We’ll translate that as you’ve got to be willing to make a BIGG move when an opportunity presents itself. That’s what is going to take you from F to Z.

BUT buying this company was a terrible mistake!

The company had filed for bankruptcy. It was no longer an operating company. In fact, its only asset was the phone number he wanted. But Jim agreed to assume all the liabilities as well. He figured that they couldn’t have any significant debt since they were no longer an operating company.

This is how he got burned!

Once Jim owned the business, he started uncovering the extent of the debt. It was over $7 million! He nearly lost everything he had worked so hard for the previous ten years. His friends told him he should just give up and file for bankruptcy.

4) Don’t skimp on due diligence

When you buy a company, you want to get access to all of their financials. You’re going to talk with customers, employees, vendors, landlords, financiers and the like.
But Jim made up his mind that he would persevere!

He realized that he would have to scale up bigger and faster than he had planned. He used his original company’s assets and good reputation to borrow even more.

It took about five years to get back on his feet, but he did it!

The Professor & Mary-Lynn have an interesting conversation about due diligence. Learn more about this process starting at 7:15. Click the player about to listen.

5) Cover your assets

One of the biggest reasons businesses fail is because they don’t have access to capital. Cash is king, but capital reserves are worth gold. Protect your borrowing capacity and watch your profit margins.

Jim’s next move was to establish an early internet presence. That increased sales even more!

He took his flower company public in 1999. Last year, 1-800-FLOWERS recorded sales of nearly $1.5 billion!

Jim McCann turned a part-time job into a billion dollar business.

Jim’s story proves you can build a significant business  even if you are just trying to make a few extra bucks from a part-time job. The key is to just take action and do something that moves you towards a goal. It leads to BIGG success!

signatures: George & Mary-Lynn
George “The Professor” & Mary-Lynn
Co-Founders, BIGG Success

Sources

Stop and Sell the Roses, by Jim McCann

1-800-FLOWERS

Jim McCann: My Biggest Mistake, August 1998, Inc.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/forcedn/biggsuccess/01065-071321.mp3

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Strapped for Cash?

money-in-handA recent trend report from TrendWatching highlighted the increasing number of people who are supplementing their income with a part-time business. This report is full of resources that will help you find your opportunity for some spare cash.

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It’s no wonder that so many people are jumping on this bandwagon. We’ve seen increases in our health insurance, our property taxes, and more. It sounds like there’s more to come.

The three-income family

Isn’t it interesting, though, that just a few generations ago, most families got by on one income? Then we added a second one in the household with more and more women joining the workforce.

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marylynnI don’t think it was purely a financial decision. It was also about fulfillment for many women, but it certainly helped the family’s income.

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Now a number of people can’t get by on two incomes. They need three or maybe more. If you find yourself in this position, it may be good to ask if all the obligations are really worth it.

Is that life on your own terms – being weighted down by the cost of things you thought you wanted? With careful analysis, you may realize they’re not so important – especially if you find you can’t enjoy life because you’re working so much.

So if you feeling that you need a third income, it might pay to look at your obligations to see if there are areas where you can cut. Spending time finding ways to reduce your obligations might get you further faster than spending that same time trying to make some extra money.

This new trend is about something more important than income.

Many of us now realize more than ever how much we want to be in charge of our own lives. The TrendWatching report mentions that people fantasize about being their own boss, even if it’s just for a few hours a week.

Bigg success is life on your own terms. You’re the entrepreneur of your life whether or not you’re an entrepreneur in the traditional sense.

Some people want to be the boss all the time. According to this new report, that trend is still alive and well. But more and more people are finding ways to be the boss at least part of the time.

They have the security of a full-time job along with the freedom that being in charge gives you part of the time. Freedom with security … what a great combination!

When you find fulfilling ways to make extra money in your spare time, you’re getting synergy working in the five elements of bigg success. If you make the right moves with that extra money, you can accelerate your journey to bigg success, to life on your own terms.

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Would you like more tips and tools to live your life on your own terms?
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Turning $3 into a multi-billion dollar business

One way that people are making extra money is by selling their expertise. Another way is by selling, or renting, assets. One clever example of this is ParkingSpots.com, which helps people rent their extra off-street parking spaces.

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georgeI heard Michael Krasny tell his story of the founding of what became CDW. Most of us have probably done business with them. They do a great job. Back in 1982, Michael had a used computer he wanted to sell. The Chicago Sun Times was running a special on classified ads – 3 lines for 3 days for $3. He ran an ad and his phone started ringing off the hook. He realized he had a business here. He was right – within about ten years, the business he started from that classified ad became a Fortune 500 company. Michael Krasny became a multi-billionaire, recognized on the Forbes 400 as one of the richest people in the world! Now that’s bigg success!

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You never know … your idea for making a little extra money may turn into the next Fortune 500 company!

What do you do for extra money?

Share that with all of us by leaving a comment below. You never know … you might earn a little spare cash!

Thank you so much for reading our post today.

Do you think you don’t have enough spare time to make any spare cash? Please join us next time to see how one group people found the time.

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00366-040609.mp3

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(Image in today's post by penywise)