Winning with a Big Competitive Entrepreneur Personality
Starting Young with an Entrepreneur Personality
Leonard has a natural entrepreneur personality. He was eight when he got his first job trimming flowerbeds for his father. Edging flowerbeds turned into mowing lawns. Mowing lawns turned into a paper route for a small drug store in Lubbock, Texas. For a couple of hours a day, he tucked circulars into his neighbors’ mailboxes. When he realized that his pay depended on the number of mailboxes he delivered to, he signed up for another route. And another, and another. Soon after, he was making $300–400 a month on his morning bike ride to school. In hindsight, he knew that his drive to work came from a need to earn. He learned early on that if he wanted something, he “just had to go out and get it.”
By a twist of fate, he found himself working for another pharmacy while in university. In between classes, he advised patients on their medications and sold cigarettes from the back office. He reveled in being able to teach his customers on a daily basis. The shift to a degree in pharmacy was easy. When he graduated four years later, he returned home armed with business ideas for the industry.
Keep Business in the Family,
Leonard’s family started buying dying pharmacies one after another. They reorganized them and ran them like businesses instead of the corner store. The work was not always easy. But they tackled each problem head-on, one at a time, until there weren’t any left.
The Affordable Care Act was introduced in the summer of 2010 and drained the pharmaceutical industry of millions of dollars overnight. Leonard spent the next few years looking for solutions, but none of them worked. At one point, they were $7 million in debt. The Lynskey family implemented the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) in late 2018. By 2020, all of their pharmacies were in the green.
and Systematize Operations
EOS is an operating system that encourages rapid growth for small and medium business enterprises. It “makes challenges more manageable and solves issues before they become problems.” Leonard was 50 when he traded his pharmaceutical empire to implement EOS for other companies full-time. Here are his best lessons:
1. Successful entrepreneurs execute their vision with discipline and accountability. When Texas Medicaid called to inform him of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, Leonard called a company meeting immediately. This showed that he was willing and eager to find solutions as soon as possible.
2. Smart entrepreneurs get smarter people in the room. When Leonard realized the company needed better sales, he opened a position for a sales representative. When he found a good candidate, he gave clear directives and trusted the person to do the right job. Oftentimes, the best way is determined by a group of experts instead of a single person. Leonard makes it a priority to empower his employees to make the best decisions.
3. Follow the 80/20 rule. When talking to employees, strong managers should listen 80% of the time. The remaining 20% should be spent asking questions. Similarly, when talking to clients, successful entrepreneurs should listen 80% of the time. The goal should always be to find out what clients want and need. Selling a product is secondary.
Leonard Lynskey can be reached through 214-668-7761, lynskeymanagement.com, or LinkedIn. Like most successful entrepreneurs, he would be more than happy to talk business over a good cup of coffee.
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