The core value of running your business, should be the same as the values you run your household with.
Tommy Dault grew up in a small town in Michigan. If we really want to split hairs this town resides in the Upper Peninsula, so basically Wisconsin! He is the middle child of three and the only boy. He grew up in a modern middle-class family. He took vacations with his family every year. He had a comfortable house and childhood. By the age of 19 he knew he could have and do so much more, and he wanted more. So, at the age of 19 he started his first company, and from there continued to start eight more over the years. A total of 9 and more to come!
I recently interviewed Tommy Dault, to ask him about his success story. What advice or knowledge he could offer to others who want to start up their own companies, or how to make their company successful. Currently Tommy is the co-founder of US Alternator, US Generator and US on Demand.
Tommy started US Alternator in September of 2021. It started out with Tommy doing marketing with residential generators. Making anywhere from $400 to $700 per residential generator he sold online.
When Hurricane IDA hit New Orleans in the fall of 2021, Tommy got his first lead for a 100kW commercial generator. He went on to search, buy and re-sell to this client. And from that point on US Alternator was born.
When I asked if he had ever had a company fail, he went on to answer in a way you may not expect. He said yes, every one of them has been failing at some point, whether it be by the minute, hour, day, week, month, year, or decade.
What does failure mean to Tommy though? For example, this past Tuesday Tommy had a hand on, in person, marketing meeting, that consumed his entire day. “I’ve got about 55 items on my to-do list that need to be done by the end of the week.” Today, being Thursday, “I have this interview with you, then I have a 3:00 meeting. Then I am going to head out of the office around 4:30 to go pick up my kids and then I’m off tomorrow. Was I successful during the week or did I fail? Well, I came up pretty short, I have 55 items that I had to get done this week, that were on my plate to get done, and I didn’t get them done.” I asked him, are you taking this as you failed personally, because you didn’t get all your items done? Or are you looking it as failure that hurt the business? His answer was “neither it’s just feedback. There is no such thing as failure. It’s all about perspective. If I fail to call you back on time.” I interrupted him saying that’s not a failure. His reply to me was “You don’t see it as failure, and that’s what makes it all about perspective.”
My next question for you is how do you deal with your fears and self-doubt? “Fears right now are minimal. At this point my fears are not getting to where I want to be versus the fear of what people think, say, or do. Self-doubt you must prepare for every morning. Right now, I specifically prime myself every day and I do that with Tony Robbins. He has a 17-minute priming video that I listen to every morning. To eliminate self-doubt, you have to prime yourself. This means priming your mind for the day, crushing it, and at the end of the day you do feedback. What did you get done, what you didn’t, what can you improve tomorrow? This also goes along with the routines I set and follow. On top of watching Tony Robbins every morning, I then set and use those goals throughout my day. I try and do this at least three times a day and anywhere in between.”
So how do you stay so disciplined? “Goals. It is crystal clear what my goal is, and so discipline becomes easy when you know what your goal is. And then checking in on that goal on a regular basis. For example, from a personal standpoint, I meet with my wife every week on Wednesdays. This past Wednesday we talked for about 90 minutes on all topics of life, finances, marriage, kids, society, spirituality, health and physical fitness. Now you must understand that you will never be good in all of them. There is always a peak in one and a valley in the other. You must continue to check in. Just like you check in with your goals.”
As we close this interview, I want to ask you one final question:
What is one thing you would tell anyone about starting up a company, or how to continue to grow your company? “The SUCCESS of you company will be in choosing the right people. Getting the right people makes a company thrive. Also, making your company’s core values the same as the values you set in your home. Oh, and businesses are a lot simpler than you would think. Go out there, find something, and sell it for more than you bought it. Make your goals crystal clear and remember that the only thing standing in your way is YOU! So, get out of your way and accomplish great things.”