Here at the Telluride Venture Accelerator, our mentor network is often touted as our special sauce. For good reason, too! Being here, nestled in the San Juan Mountain range in Telluride, we are fortunate enough to gain access to some world-renowned individuals. One of those individuals is Norm Brodsky.
Norm had launched seven successful businesses, including three Inc. 500 companies – by the time he started writing Street Smarts column in Inc. in 1995. His past companies include Perfect Courier (3 time Inc. 500 fastest growing private companies). A request from a customer looking to store some boxes prompted him to call several records-storage facilities in the area. Their responses convinced him that the industry offered great promise. He proceeded to launch CitiStorage out of a rented warehouse in Long Island City, N.Y., later moving it to the Brooklyn waterfront where he began building warehouses of his own.
This last Thursday, we were fortunate enough to have Norm come speak to our current cohort of companies. He spent an hour and a half, speaking to our teams on business strategy, tips and tricks as well as things not-to-do! Some great quotes from Norm are below.
1. "Build Like Your Business is Going to Last Forever." Don't take short cuts. Be patient. Create value.
2. "Build as if your going to sell your business." Know what is going to create value vs. growth in your business. Be thoughtful about who you are targeting and working with right from day 1, even if you don't end up selling. Sometimes you can turn your potential acquisition targets into your greatest advisors by getting them to tell you exactly what would be of value to them.
3. "If you don't ask, you don't get." Never stop asking. Be clear, and always have an ask for anyone you work with or talk to.
4. "The one question you should ask yourself every day is, "What were our sales yesterday?" The number one metric of business performance is and will always be sales. Never forget it!
A huge thank you to Norm for spending his time with us!