Sixteen years ago, Andy Frisella, “The MFCEO,” and his business partner, Chris, started a company called Supplement Superstores with $12,000 they earned from striping the stripes on parking lots and now do annually over $100 million a year in business. He started this podcast basically for three reasons.
Andy’s main motivation here is to help people realize what it takes to A) be successful. B) stay self motivated and C) hopefully for people to give back to others as well.
In this episode, he talks about how to be an ethical entrepreneur.
In "Be an Ethical Entrepreneur," the third conversation of The MFCEO Project podcast, Andy Frisella, “the MFCEO” of Supplement Superstores and 1st Phorm International, talks about how to be an ethical entrepreneur and "do the right thing" in business. From “giving what you want to get” to “treating your team well,” doing the right thing is a good thing--and good for business.
A lot of people don't really think about what it means to be an ethical entrepreneur. They don't really understand how important doing the right thing is in business. In fact, a lot of people think that to be successful in business and in life, it's about not doing the right thing. It's about stepping on people. It's about taking advantage of people. The reality is that’s a stereotype that's perpetuated on unfounded facts. Andy literally had this lesson pounded into him from the time he was about five or six years old by his mom. In this segment, he tells a funny--but poignant--story of how he and his mom went grocery shopping, Andy stole Mountain Berry Kool-Aid, and what his mom did when she found it.
Andy was lucky enough to have parents that instill the principle, "Do the right thing no matter what," in him. He feels that the entrepreneurs who are truly successful understand what that means in the business setting. The people who are truly successful always ask “What is the right thing to do?” and they do it. Ethical entrepreneurs are successful entrepreneurs.
Andy is a firm believer that what you put out comes back to you. Some people call it karma. Andy doesn’t know what exactly to call it. He just knows that what you put out comes back. He feels like when you do the right thing for people good things happen. He’s seen that far too much in his own company, and far too much in other people's companies, to know that “giving what you expect to get” is how you build great things. It's something he lives by, something he believes. You may not believe it. If you don't, good for you, but Andy can promise you this: if you put bad shit into the world, you're going to be one of those people that has bad shit constantly happening to you.
Ethical entrepreneurs are good bosses to their employees. If you have a good team behind you, you can accomplish so much more. But if you want to have a good team, you have to treat them right, otherwise, they're going to come to work and show up for a paycheck instead of coming to work, and basically go to battle with you to accomplish something great.
It's the same for their customers. Treat them right. Don’t make your focus just getting a fucking sale. Don’t just try to sell people shit. Do what Andy teaches his guys at his company to do: when a customer has an issue, they don't just resolve the issue, and they definitely don't do it begrudgingly. They do it with enthusiasm. They're happy to take care of customers. It's about losing the attitude that everybody is trying to take from you, which is ironic because the people who have that attitude are the same ones that are trying to take from everybody else. You've got to change your mindset.
Now a lot of times, customers bring issues to your attention because they care about you. If you treat that person who has brought an issue to you because they care about your business, and you treat them like they're trying to fucking scam you? Think what that's going to do to your business over time. It’s not going to be good.
Do the Little Details
If you're not willing to do the little things, if you're not willing to put attention to detail, if you're not willing to take pride in the things that you do on a daily basis, no matter how fucking small that is, you're never going to make it.
In this age of social media, being an ethical entrepreneur isn't an option. It's a necessity because people can't lie anymore. If you lie in your marketing, people are going to find out, and they're going to find out today. They're not going to find out six months from now. They're not going to find out two years from now. They're going to find out today. So if you aren’t the real deal, if your company is not authentically what you say it is, people will find out. And if your product or service sucks, but you try to lie about it, they will find out. And if you treat your employees and customers like shit, but try to cover it up, people will find out. It’s not fucking rocket science: be who you say you are and tell the truth about your company and what it offers.
Andy: “I don't care what you say, who you are or anything, you will never be able to convince me otherwise. Yes, that's my opinion, but here's the reality, if you don't do the right fucking thing by your customers, you don't do the right fucking thing by your employees, you're not going to be successful. it's not going to happen. You've got to do the right thing. You got to treat people right. If you don't, you're going to be broke."