Article by Adam Mendler, CEO of The Veloz Group
I recently went one on one with David Cutillo. David is the CEO of Infinity Health Advisors, doing business as BeBalanced Natural Weight Loss Centers, with 25 franchise locations in 7 states.
Adam: Thanks again for taking the time to share your advice. First things first, though, I am sure readers would love to learn more about you. How did you get here?
David: My background has been in sales from the time I was a teenager. I was always the most relational and people-oriented in my family, which served me well in offering products/services that were somewhat conceptual—products and services that required some explanation. I started in health insurance sales at 19, and moved into sales management, spending 20 years with that company, then was asked to be part of a start-up marketing firm. I came on as their National Marketing Director, and traveled the country, offering their unique concept to real estate firms everywhere. I had the privilege of being a big part of a start-up going from zero to a $15 million/yr company within 5 yrs, and now a $43 million company.
After leaving this company, I looked at my sister’s small local business, where she was offering a system/natural solution to the two biggest issues women face as they age—Stubborn Weight & PMS/Menopause symptoms…another unique concept, which definitely took some explanation. I bought the rights to franchise this concept, and BeBalanced Natural Weight Loss Centers has 25 locations in seven states and growing.
Adam: What experiences, failures, setbacks or challenges have been most instrumental to your growth?
David: I felt like I was an excellent communicator, and I found that everything went smoothly with prospects on appts each day. However, the interactions with co-workers and management was more challenging. Generally, people are often too blunt, unintentionally saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. My problem was that I often didn’t get my point across, because I didn’t want to upset anyone. By talking in circles, I spared people’s feelings, but this inhibited growth, in people, and in the business. Over time, I learned how to be more direct, in a constructive way. When you are carefully and calmly direct, you end up gaining the respect and appreciation of the person, even if they don’t love what they are hearing.
Adam: In your experience, what are the key steps to growing and scaling your business?
David: As the business owner, I see success as starting with key qualities…qualities you’ll need to start your business and grow it. You must have courage to make big decisions—be willing to take risks, that is your first step. Second, you need determination. Without it, you will not have the discipline it takes to weather the ups & downs. And lastly, you need to have Vision/Leadership. This will give you the ability to manage a team of people effectively and inspire them to have goals for the business that align with yours.
Adam: What do you believe are the defining qualities of an effective leader?
David: To be an effective leader, you must inspire. This is the key to all real accomplishments. Too many business owners feel that they are the “best” at so many duties within the business. They may well be, but to build a business, you need a team, and to get your team to be effective, you must inspire them.
Adam: How can leaders and aspiring leaders take their leadership skills to the next level?
David: I’ve always believed that “leadership” is something that can be learned, which is probably why there are so many good books on the subject. A business owner has a responsibility to be a good leader, so initiative should be taken to grow into it. You can do this by continually learning through leadership books and having at least one leadership mentor.
Adam: What are your three best tips applicable to entrepreneurs, executives and civic leaders?
David: Pick a business or cause that you truly believe in. Without belief, it will be too difficult to stay motivated through the good and bad times.
Find a more experienced person to be your mentor. There are so many aspects to being a business owner/leader, and you’re usually too close to it to always see things clearly.
Focus on the people. Business owners and leaders are often too focused on what they do great, or what their business does great. But to truly be a great and successful company, you need people. Dedicated and inspired people. Without them, great ideas and great leaders will go nowhere.
Adam: What is your best advice on building, leading and managing teams?
David: Always be sharing the “why” with your team. By effectively sharing the reasons and purpose behind their jobs, you will not only make them feel important and needed, you’ll inspire them. And inspiration is the key to getting people/staff to do their jobs and do them well.
Adam: What are your best tips on the topics of sales, marketing and branding?
David: With sales, you should be passionate about what you offer, but unemotional about the numbers. It’s always a game of numbers, and the sooner you fully accept that, the more effective you will be. Marketing and branding are big subjects, but I highly advise any business to never underestimate the power of local, organic marketing, as it is key to building your business and your brand.
Adam: What are your best tips on the topics of stress management and weight loss?
David: Physical exercise is a great tool to manage stress. However, when it comes to weight loss, it’s not about exercise, it’s all about your food and your hormones. For men and especially women, hormones play a big factor. The best way to start is to gain balance. Hormone balance. Insulin is a hormone, and it needs to be balanced, in order to maintain your health and weight.
Adam: What is the single best piece of advice you have ever received?
David: Be humble. It is a powerful character trait. Like leadership, it can be developed. Humility helps you have a clear vision, with pride clouding your decisions. You will have more effective relational skills, be a better problem-solver, retain your integrity, and most importantly, you will gain the respect of your team, and that is where leadership thrives.
Adam: Is there anything else you would like to share?
David: I would only add that if you are a business owner or executive in a business, and you truly care about your job, you will be “humbled”. We all have a certain level of pride in us, but that’s why we need an attitude adjustment for business leadership. When you really look at what it takes to make a successful business operation, you are amazed and humbled, realizing how valuable each team member is to the success of the business.
Own a rewarding business!
If you have ever considered owning a rewarding business that is helping to change the lives of others, BeBalanced could be the right fit for you! To learn more visit our franchise section today.
Adam Mendler is the CEO of The Veloz Group, where he co-founded and oversees ventures across a wide variety of industries. Adam is also the creator and host of the business and leadership podcast Thirty Minute Mentors, where he goes one on one with America’s most successful people – Fortune 500 CEOs, founders of household name companies, Hall of Fame and Olympic gold medal winning athletes, political and military leaders – for intimate half-hour conversations each week. Adam has written extensively on leadership, management, entrepreneurship, marketing and sales, having authored over 70 articles published in major media outlets including Forbes, Inc. and HuffPost, and has conducted more than 500 one on one interviews with America’s top leaders through his collective media projects. A top leadership speaker, Adam draws upon his insights building and leading businesses and interviewing hundreds of America’s top leaders as a top keynote speaker to businesses, universities and non-profit organizations.
Follow Adam on Instagram and Twitter at @adammendler and listen and subscribe to Thirty Minute Mentors on your favorite podcasting app.