How I doubled my profit and cut my stress in half (lesson for all business owners)

One quick promo before we jump in:

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Not sure what a cost seg is? Check out this thread.

How I doubled my profit and halved my stress

I owned a pickup and delivery storage company called Storage Squad from 2011 to 2021.

10 years in the trenches building a difficult business.

At the beginning it was all stress and very little money. But one mindset shift in 2013 changed everything and it all changed to more money and less stress.

I was sitting in a bar in Ithaca NY in 2013 with my business partner.

The bar was called “Loco” on Stewart Avenue and is still around today. It was peak season for us and we had just finished a long day of moving boxes.

Things were stressful and the operations of my storage company company weren’t necessarily going that well. A lot of delays, missed appointments and irritated customers.

We were exhausted.

And I was playing victim.

I sat there with my partner and blamed the world. Our employees aren’t listening. Our customers are entitled. The economy is making it really difficult to lease warehouse space. The labor market is brutal right now. We can’t find anybody who wants to work hard. Our crew leaders are messing up the invoices. The university was doing a horrible job of managing traffic and getting people access to the dorms during move out.

On and on and on.

My partner finally looked at me and had had enough.

“This isn’t working. Next time you hear me complain about something I want you to tell me that it is MY FAULT. We are the ones who own this business. We hire everyone and tell everyone what to do. If things are bad, its because of us.”

From that moment on he didn’t let me complain without telling me that it was MY FAULT.

That year in 2013 was the most stressful year in business. We did about a half million in revenue at colleges and made about $100,000 in all-in profit that year and it was the most stressful year of my life.

We took ownership.

We decided that it wasn’t our employees fault. Or the economy. Or our customers. It was OUR fault.

And this mindset shift changed everything. Once things were recognized as our fault we took action to improve them.

We made the job simpler for our employees so they could do a better job. Instead of having our drivers also make schedules and determine the price of all the items for storage, we got those two things off their plates by hiring specialty employees to make all the schedules for all of our locations. They also took photos of the order and moved along.

These employees were college kids. Attending Ivy League and Big Ten schools. It wasn’t them being idiots. It was our systems and processes.

It was the way WE were running the business.

With the changes in place they got way better at their jobs. We stayed on schedule more often. Our customers were happier. Our employees were happier.

And the next season Storage Squad did 3x the revenue and 3x the profit but with ½ the headache.

The next 5 years saw a similar trend of more money and reduced stress. And this lesson has stuck with me every since.

A few more takeaways this week:

Writing is the world’s most valuable skill.

I use the written word daily to manage my companies, sell myself and my ideas, and build key relationships.

My friend David Perell is hosting a free writing workshop this week on March 13th. Check it out HERE. I guarantee that you’ll learn something.

I was able to track down a high-profile tech CEO to run one of my companies. We are thrilled!

This tweet went viral and sent a TON of customers to Shepherd.

Here’s a tip if you send emails to your fans.

I’m buying a company and will be raising $20 million. If you are a family office or UHNW and you typically invest 7 figures + into businesses, please reply to this email and we can chat!

If you aren’t quite 7 figures but want to see the deal if I release it to other accredited investors, get on my list here.

I firmly believe real estate is best to get into once you’ve made some cash doing something else.

Entrepreneurship in it’s simplest form:

Onward and upward,

Nick Huber


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About Me

I started the Sweaty Startup in December of 2018 because I believe the Shark Tank and Tech Crunch culture is ruining the real spirit of low-risk entrepreneurship.