Starting life on a ranch, dealing with the care and maintenance of both 350 heads of cattle and many complex farm machines, serial entrepreneur William De Temple learned a way to get stuff done. To this day, he’s showing us that he hasn’t slowed down. If anybody out there knows anything about ranching and farming, William says they know that the cash is extremely scarce. He recounts how he decided to get entrepreneurial at the ripe old age of eleven, trusted his gut and invested in himself to have grown and monetized four rapid growth companies and turned around numerous financially distressed institutions. William takes us down the road of his illustrious journey.

Growing And Monetizing Rapid Growth Companies with William De Temple

My guest is a business expert who has done what very few have. He’s founded and grown, not one, not two, not three, but four rapid growth companies and took two of them to over a $100 million in revenue. Here’s what I know. If you’ve done something once, you can do it again and again. My guest has proven this to be true over and over again. Starting life on a ranch, dealing with the care and maintenance of both 350 heads of cattle and many complex farm machines. He learned a way to get stuff done. To this day, he’s showing us that he hasn’t slowed down. Welcome, William De Temple to the show.

Thank you, Mitch. It’s great to be here.

It’s great to have you, William. Full disclosure, William and I have been building a new enterprise together. William, readers want to know how did all this start for you?

Mitch, as you already mentioned, I grew up on a ranch. If anybody out there knows anything about ranching and farming, they know the cash is extremely scarce out there. At the ripe old age of eleven, I got so frustrated. I decided I need to go get a business so that I can make my own money. I got a paper out. When I got that paper out, there were 44 papers on the route. Over the next few years, I grew that business to 186 papers on the same stretch of road. I sold everybody and kept selling them until they bought.

I gave up that route and went on and did many other entrepreneurial things all the way through school. When I graduated, like most people, I went out and got a job. It didn’t take me very long after getting that job to determine that the job wasn’t for me. This restricted amount of income you can make, being paid by the hour, the controls that they put on you and all the things you had to meet their requirements on were extremely frustrating. After a couple of years, I said, “The heck with this.” I went out and I founded my first company.

FTC 131 | Rapid Growth Companies

Rapid Growth Companies: If anybody out there knows anything about ranching and farming, they know the cash is extremely scarce out there.

 

How long were you in that first job for?

I was in that first job about two and a half years, somewhere in that neighborhood.

What was the first company that you started?

The first company I started was called Aggressive Marketing. I started it as an import-export company. I was importing toys from a lot of different countries. I would contact the consulates. They would give me the list of the different manufacturers. I would contact those manufacturers back. At that time, it was pretty much all by mail because there was no internet. There were no fax machines. There was no email. Most of it was done by mail. I’d write to them. I’d ask them for their catalogs. I’d get their catalogs. I’d go through the catalogs.

Generally, they’d send some samples of products with a catalog. I would go through that stuff and look at the toys that I thought would be salable in North America. Over a period of probably eight or nine months, I built up a list of products that I like, toys that I liked that I thought would be saleable. I put together my own catalog. I went out and I started by selling to mom and pop toy stores. You got to remember this is back in the early ‘70s. I don’t even know if Toys R Us existed at that point in time. It was a lot of mom and pop toy stores. Department stores are still a big source of things. That’s where we started. It was an incredible adventure.

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Think about everything you learned starting that first business. Here you are a young guy working for two years, starting your own company. What I’d love to ask about is what went through your mind as you knew that you needed to get out of that job and start a company. How did you decide on that?

I’d been entrepreneurial since I was age eleven. Consequently, I was accustomed. I did a lot of things that made me a lot of money. I was in control of myself and control of my life. I had total control. The restrictions that I was put on by working, the hours that the employer dictated and being paid what the employer dictated and all the rest of the stuff was extremely frustrating to me. I knew I had to do something that was going to be liberating to me. I’ll tell you the story behind that. I was watching the Johnny Carson show late one night. Johnny Carson had a guest on a show by the name of Milton Levine. For anybody that doesn’t know Milton Levine, he passed away a few years ago. Milton Levine was the inventor of the ant farm. Did you ever have an ant farm?

Yes, I did.

He was the inventor of the farm. He was on Johnny Carson’s TV show, telling the story about how he invented the ant farm and how he became a multimillionaire selling ant farms all over the world. That he was holding live seminars to teach people how they could too build their own business. I turned around and I registered for that seminar. I’ll tell you the story behind that. That seminar was $500 for two days. You got to remember this back in the early ‘70s. My rent was like $95 a month at the time. That was a huge frigging investment. I went to that seminar with the intention of learning everything I could possibly learn. I learned a great deal of stuff.

One of the things that resonated with me was the whole concept of toys because I come from a fairly large family. I’ve got four siblings myself. More than that I had thirteen aunts and uncles. On an average, there are about five kids per family. I had 80 or 90 cousins. I was in the middle of that age group thing. Everybody was having kids. I’m looking at this and I’m watching how, not only do the parents buy for the children, but the aunts and uncles buy for the children, the grandparents buy for the children and all this other stuff, and of course, the friends, the neighbors and all the rest of the stuff. It was like, to me, I took a look at that and I said, “If you come up the right product, you got to be able to sell stuff and make money.” I decided toys was going to be a great industry to get into.

FTC 131 | Rapid Growth Companies

Rapid Growth Companies: I brought in venture capital because I needed more capital than what I had because technology was so expensive back then.

 

That’s a very intuitive decision. You didn’t do any market research outside of your own family and you trusted your gut. You invested in yourself $500, five times your rent to take this course. That guy selling the ant farms was one of the original information marketers to have had that seminar. That’s probably where a lot of this stuff started. I wasn’t aware of seminars like that back then. Were there many of them or was this the only one that you’d ever heard of?

It was the only one I ever heard of. It was a great seminar. It’s led me to build all my companies and doing all the things that I’ve done.

Let’s get to some of the other ones. What happened after Aggressive Marketing? What was your next company?

My next company was Sais. It was an automotive aftermarket company. After I sold Aggressive Marketing, interestingly enough, Aggressive Marketing got acquired by a very strategic buyer. We got paid a lot of money for it. I didn’t have any intentions of selling Aggressive Marketing. They offered me so much money, I couldn’t turn it down. I twiddled my thumbs for a little bit. I tried to figure out, “What am I going to do?” It turns out, I had a few relatives that were mechanics. They had ideas of products that mechanics could use, farmers could use and things along that line. Since I knew that market fairly well, I started up Sais, which was automotive aftermarket products. Again, I ended up with seventeen different patented products from my friends and relatives. I licensed a bunch of stuff and grew the next company which was automotive aftermarket. It was another fun thing.

First of all, your family has been the source much of your inspiration, which is amazing. With this new company, Sais, how long did you own it for?

If you don't know how to build $100-million company, you need help. You can't do it yourself. Click To Tweet

I only owned it for about four years. The reason that I sold it when I did was because I was in a coffee shop. I was talking with a gentleman that I was trying to do a contract with. I overheard these two box boys in the seat next to us talking. They got off the graveyard shift at the supermarket and they had spent the whole night changing price tags in the supermarket. I was listening to their groaning and complaining and all this stuff. I thought, “There’s got to be a better way to do that.” I started doing some research into it. I was still running the automotive aftermarket business. I thought, “There’s got to be a way we could do electronic shelf tags and put some stuff together.”

We went like one around. It turned out again one of my cousins was in the supermarket business. He was a pretty senior executive with a supermarket chain because again, with a number of aunts and uncles I had, there were pretty big age groups between the oldest aunt and uncle and the youngest people. He was a pretty senior executive and I met with him. I talked to him about the idea. He said, “If you can build something like that, there’s a massively huge market for it.” I turned around and I hired an automation technology consultant from the retail industry to help me put together a plan to build and develop that product. We did. We designed it. We patented it. We built it. We took it out. We did a tremendous amount of stuff with it. It was going like gangbusters.

In the process, I’d invested nearly all of my personal net worth into that company. I brought in Venture Capital because I needed more capital than what I had because that technology was so expensive back then. We brought in a big chunk of Venture Capital and took that company to another level, a whole new level. It was fantastic. We did great. We grew that company to over $100 million in over not quite four years. We hit a $100 million in annual revenue. It’s $68 million in the third year and about $100 million before we hit the fourth year.

What was the name of that company?

That was REST.

FTC 131 | Rapid Growth Companies

Rapid Growth Companies: There was this big chaos that took place in the telecommunications industry. There was a great opportunity to build an electric contracting company that was specifically serving it.

 

You sold the Sais Co., the automotive aftermarket company after only four years. You immediately dove back in with REST because of this idea. William, do you see the pattern here? I know you do. I’m hoping for the readers to see the pattern here. This is what I’m hearing. Number one, we’re dealing with a guy here who invests in himself, who is open to opportunities, who is guided by spirit if you don’t mind me saying that because after all, you ended up in that coffee shop for a reason. The reason was to overhear those two stock boys talking, which led you to create REST. This is a combination of an individual, who feels as if he must act, number one, take action. Number two, be guided. Number three, invest in himself. Number four, hire consultants or coaches in this case when the time is right to get you to the next level. Do I get that right?

Yes, you do. There are some things I’d like to share. The reason we achieve the level of success we did on the revenue with that company was when I started that business off, I said, “I know very little about the supermarket industry.” I knew quite a bit about the retail industry because everything I’ve been selling had been into retail. As a matter of fact, with the toy business, ended up that one of our biggest clients were supermarkets. We made a lot of plastic molded toys. We had them in these cellophane bags with little paper wrapper at the top and they would go on the pegs.

They were selling for $0.97, $0.99. Parents, aunts, uncles, everybody would be buying this stuff up for kids when they were going over to visit or do things. That turned out to be a huge product for us and made us a ton of money. I had a lot of knowledge and experience about the retail industry. One of the things was I knew about the various levels of competition between different types of stores. What I want to do with this company is I want to explore the market out. With this consultant that I’ve hired, he was connected with all the major supermarket chains throughout the country. We said, “Let’s pick the fifteen largest supermarket chains and let’s go talk to their CEOs or presidents, whoever we could get an audience with.” It was at the highest level we could get to. “Tell them about our vision for these shelf tags and all the rest of this stuff.” Because I wanted to do more research, I wanted to understand what they would be willing to buy. I was scared because this is going to be a huge investment. I’d never done technology before. I wasn’t sure about a lot of things.

He managed to schedule our meetings. We met with a number of the CEOs. We met with some presidents. We had some executive level executives that we met with as well in the total of fifteen chains. At the end of the day, basically what we did with them was we said, “This is what we want to build.” We had this wishlist of, “If it could do these things, what would be the most important items that you would want this shelf tag to be able to do?” The next question we had to them was, “What price point would you be willing to pay for this shelf tag?” We put this whole questionnaire survey together. All fifteen of them gave us results back. We went back to all fifteen of them and we asked, “We would like you guys to partner with us as alpha testers and beta testers.” What happened was we ended up with ten out of the fifteen stores that agreed to do that. Maybe six or eight months later, one of the stores, a Midwest store chain, a plane crash killed the whole executive team. That store dropped out. By the time, we got to alpha testing, we were down to nine chains.

We had nine chains that all tested it in two or three stores each. We had a great alpha test. It was incredible. We went on to do some beta testing and then we were ready to start selling. What happened was we married these people to the whole process. By the time, we got through the design and development process and everything else, and too ready to start sales, they were all salivating over what they had helped design. Because we had spent about three years designing it, right on out the door, we hit $68 million of orders in a few months.

It doesn't matter how great your concept or your product is, if you don't have a team to execute, the investors are not going to invest. Click To Tweet

William has been telling us a fascinating story about how he has founded four rapid growth companies. William says, “Get your customers to help you design your products and be your first customers.” William, this was your third company. Why did you sell that company? It sounds like in a sense it was going gangbusters straight up.

We’re going right through the roof.

Why did you sell it?

I didn’t sell it. The venture capitalists decided the company was growing so fast that they needed a more seasoned executive to run the company because I was the only in my 30s at that time. They didn’t think I could handle it. They forced me out.

Like most VCs, after they force you out, they probably then crash the company. That’s the VC model.

FTC 131 | Rapid Growth Companies

Rapid Growth Companies: When you are president and CEO of the company, you’ve got stuff pulling and pushing at you from every direction. You need somebody you can share ideas with, complain to, and have them give you some guidance and help.

 

The trouble is it wasn’t the VCs that crashed the company as much as the CEO that they brought in to replace me. Unfortunately, they did a very poor job of doing their due diligence on the man. He had some issues with drugs. He alienated all the customers. I would get phone calls from the customers. They were upset. They were not happy. I was mad, angry, and frustrated because I had a ton of my own personal cash invested in that company. The way they were driving the company, I was going to lose all my money too. Unfortunately, I did. I lost a tremendous amount of money at that time.

It’s an amazing learning experience. I know that it was horrible to lose that money. The life experience that you get from an event like that is indelible. It stays with you forever. It’s what you use to get up in the morning, stand on top of, and then move to the next one. What was the next company?

The next company I built was a service business. The service business I found an opportunity. We’re doing a bunch of different things. We’re in the 1990s now. The internet is starting to take off. Ma Bell got broken up by that little upstart. I think it was MCI. This big chaos took place in the telecommunications industry. There was what they used to call CLECs and LLECs competitive exchange carriers and incumbent exchange carriers, ILECs, the incumbent exchange carrier. There was all this stuff going on and through some of my contacts I found out that there is a shortage of installers, electricians, and everything else. Growing up on the ranch, we learned to fix, repair, and build anything and everything there was. I had done a lot of work. I decided there is a great opportunity here to build an electric contracting company that was specifically serving the telecommunications industry. That’s what I did. I started that up and grew it. We’re doing so great at it. We ended up taking the national. I was licensed in 37 states, as I recall, as an electrician.

It’s funny because you and I finally have an intersecting moment here because it was during that same time that I was selling semiconductors. One of my product lines was a custom semiconductor manufacturer. I had gone into a company in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who had an auto dialer. This was a box that you probably know all about that companies would bolt onto the wall and redirect all long-distance traffic away from the local company and to a third party. In that process, I had many meetings with the vice president of engineering and convinced him to take the box that they were building.

They had a whole manufacturing facility and they were selling millions of these boxes. I convinced him to work with us to build a custom integrated circuit that would condense this entire 12×18 inches cabinet filled with electronics down to a 4×4 inches printed circuit board. He then bought into it. We started to get orders. That was for me, the moment in time when my base pay, which was at the time, about $2,000 a month, went to $34,000 a month in commissions after we started shipping that box. It was because of that exact thing that you discussed. That’s the deregulation of Ma Bell and the breakup of the carrier. It’s amazing that we were in the same industry momentarily back then, but you are a founder. What happened to that company?

So many companies get into so much trouble when they start becoming successful at any level. Click To Tweet

We grew it and scaled it. We sold it. We’re coming up. It was December 1st, 2000. There’s this big company out of New York that saw this huge opportunity in the telecommunications industry. They were buying up companies left, right, and center. I was sitting there looking at because I’d been working in this industry all through the ‘90s. I saw what was going on. We had the dotcom bubble at that time if you recall. The dotcom bubble was so huge, I thought something is going to break here. I didn’t know what the end results were going to be. These guys were again offering a ton of money. Having lost the prior company and basically went back to ground zero starting over again, I thought, “I’m not taking any chances. I’m going to cash out while I can cash out.”

I sold this to that East Coast Company because again, I was based in California and walked away from it all. About eight or nine months later, the whole market was collapsing. I was very happy to be out of it and doing other things. After that was when I got recruited by Venture Capital to fix investments they made that weren’t going as well as they wanted. In the process, I’d raised Venture Capital, but I’d also raised Angel Capital prior to the Venture Capital. I’ve done all these different things and also I’ve been CEO of public traded companies, post-Sarbanes-Oxley, etc.

Again, it’s how you acquired so much of the skill you have in particular on how to raise capital. Let’s talk a little bit about what you’re doing. In fact, what we’re doing now. Describe what Antirion is. Antirion is the name of your company. Tell us about Antirion.

As I finished saying, I’d spent most of my career in Southern California. I’ve traveled extensively around the world doing things and always because I’m looking for ways to grow businesses. I have had this knowledge that there are a lot more people in the world than what’s here in the United States and Canada. I’ve always looked off outside the country too for customers and found that there are big opportunities out there. When I was in California and I was doing all this stuff and having a ball working with Venture Capital, I was in seventh heaven. My family, my wife’s father was having health issues. He was located in Florida. We moved from California to Florida to look after the family.

For the first few months, everything was fine because we doing all this family stuff, but then I wanted to figure out what to do. I started looking for Venture Capital firms. There weren’t any. I started to check out the Angel networks in the state and compared to how California’s Angel networks are set up and how they operate. There were doing the best they knew how, but they didn’t have the integration. California has its own infrastructure, its own ways of doing things. That’s why California grows like crazy. I was like a fish out of water. I’m trying to figure out what to do with my life. I was calling up a bunch of my executive friends from back in California and talking to them, saying, “I’m trying to figure out what to do and everything else.”

A few of them suggested, “You’ve been building companies for over 40 years. You’ve got so much experience, knowledge, and wisdom. Help other people grow their companies. I pondered that for a while and I thought, “Why not? Let’s go out and help other people learn how to scale and grow companies to $100 million and greater.” I launched Antirion in 2012. We’ve been growing it ever since and helping out companies from all over. We’ve got clients down in Australia, all over North America, Europe. It feels so great being able to give back and help others achieve great success.

Do you specifically help companies that are very large and scaling rapidly or do you work with smaller companies? Talk a little bit about the types of companies that you’ve been involved with.

We’ve worked with companies anywhere from an early stage, say $1 million in revenue or so all the way up to we’ve got clients that are over $100 million in revenue. We put together a business model that was designed to help companies at different levels. We have what I refer to as a stair step model where we work with companies under $3 million, companies under $10 million, under $25 million, under $50 million, under $100 million. Our goal is to take them from wherever they’re at to the next level. If they’re under $3 million, our goal is to get them to $3 million. Once we get them to $3 million, we’re going to take them to $10 million. When we get them to $10 million, we’re going to get them to $25 million. When we get them from $25 million, we’re going to go for $50 million and then for $100 million. We’ll go to $250 million after that.

You've got all these challenges coming at you from every which direction. Without a great team, you're never going to succeed. Click To Tweet

It’s all about helping them understand what they’ve got to do because it’s the old story, you don’t know what you don’t know. If you don’t know how to build $100 million-company, you need help. You can’t do it yourself. One of the reasons why I got in this is one of my old buddies reminded me. He said, “William, your very first company, you had a friend of the family come over and say, “You need a business coach.” He introduced you to the first business coach that helped you grow your company.” I stopped and thought about that because I realized all the way through every one of my companies, I had business coaches working with me in every single company.

When you are president and CEO of the company, you’ve got all this stuff pulling and pushing at you from every direction. You need somebody that you can sound off to share ideas with, complain to, and have them give you some guidance and help. That’s basically what Antirion is all about. We make sure you understand what good corporate governance is. We make sure you learn what the eight primary internal practices are that every company must have to achieve success. I don’t care what type of business you’re in. These are rules that are absolute because no company can achieve that success we’re talking about without them. There are the four primary external practices every company must have to achieve massive success. You’ll never make it to a $100 million without the four primary external practices. When you put all these pieces together, it’s a slam dunk to build $100 million-company.

I know readers will read what you said, and go, “Yeah, right. For him, it’s a slam dunk. I’ve been stuck at the same place for the last three years.” Embedded in this long conversation, there are some very powerful information and some keys. I wanted to point them out. William talks a lot about the eight primary practices and the four external practices. What he means, and I’m interpreting for you, William, are that these become what I would call cornerstones of your business. As you know, any building built without a solid foundation is bound to topple or worse never get built properly. I think that’s what I’m hearing. That’s what you talk a lot about. In fact, that’s what you’re going to be speaking about in the business event that you’re holding on February 27th in Fort Lauderdale. It’s a private event. It’s for people who would love to learn more about this. Would it be okay if I invite readers to that event?

I’d be happy to have them.

If you’d like to attend this event, get in contact with William directly. William, one of the skills that you’ve developed, in fact, to a very fine art, is the skill of raising money. Could you give us some pointers about what it takes to raise money and how someone might go about starting that process?

Thanks for asking it. Everybody wants to raise capital for their business. They think they can throw stuff together and get investors to jump on board. The fact of the matter is investors invest in a couple of different things. Number one, the most important thing they invest in is the management team. Number two is they have to believe it’s an investment grade company. To become an investment grade company, there are certain things you have to do. In the business world, it’s very clear and it’s very easily understood. For many entrepreneurs that have never raised money, they have no idea what an investment grade company is. They’ve got holes all through their presentation. It’s not difficult to do. Again, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re not going to do it right.

What would be one of the things that they could do almost immediately that might plug up at least one of those holes?

It’s having a management team. It doesn’t matter how great your concept is, how great your product is, how great it is, whatever it is you want to build. If you don’t have a team to execute, the investors are not going to invest. The investors investing in the team. A solopreneur is not going to be able to do everything. If the investor can’t vet the other executives in the company and feel confident that you’ve got a good strong team together, they’re not going to invest. If you’ve never built a team, they’re going to be leery and skeptical of your ability to build a team. You’ve got to be able to pull a team together. There’s got to be clear leadership. This is a given.

Another one of those things where I see all the time, I see entrepreneurs get a bunch of buddies together and they all decide they’re going to be saying there’s four of you and they’re all going to take 25% ownership. That’s no leadership. There’s no leader in that team. There has to be a leader that’s driving the business is going to control the business. That leader should be the person with a brilliant idea. When he brings on other team members, those team members should not be equal partners because they’re not.

It would erode his ability to lead because then there’s this requirement that everybody has to vote. It makes making decisions almost impossible. Is that right?

Absolutely. I’ve seen so many companies get into so much trouble especially when the company starts becoming successful to any level, then everybody’s ideas on where the money should go, how, who should get what, and everything else. It becomes a horrific nightmare. That’s what scares investors.

FTC 131 | Rapid Growth Companies

Raise Capital Quickly

William, I understand that you’ve put many of these lessons into a book that you’ve written. The book is called?

It’s called Raise Capital Quickly.

Would it be okay if I disclose what you and I talked about before the show started?

By the way, you do know that this book sells on Amazon for $97?

I had no idea.

We sell it on Amazon. It sells for $97 a copy.

Readers, do not go to Amazon and buy this book right now because William has agreed to give readers of this show a free copy. All you need to do to obtain that free copy is to write William and ask for it and say, “William, I heard you on Mitch Russo’s show Your First Thousand Clients. I would love a copy of your book,” and say, “Thank you.” William will send you a digital copy of the book. William, what email address should people use?

The best email address is the WelcomeTeam@Antirion.com.

William, this has been fascinating and I feel like we can continue this conversation for hours. I want to ask you a question. This is a great question that helps me and readers understand more about you. It’s a question about what you care about. Here’s the question. Who in all of space and time would you like to have one hour to enjoy a walk in the park, a quick lunch or an intense conversation with?

Mitch, it’s a great question because I’m writing my newest book right now titled You Can Build 100 Million Dollar Company and the subtitle is With Lessons from 15 Founders of $100 Million Plus Companies. The fact is nearly all of these founders are billionaires because they built their $100 million company. I’ve had the opportunity to meet with and interview so many of these people. As a matter of fact, Sir Richard Branson, I have had personal conversations with him. I’ve been at his house on Necker Island. I’ve enjoyed some great times. I am scheduled to go back and spend more time with him. He’s one of my idols. The person that I would love to sit down and spend time with, it’s such a hard decision, but it would either be Warren Buffett or Bill Gates.

Both great choices. I’ve heard Warren Buffett before, but you’re the first person to mention Bill Gates.

As far as I was concerned, he’s one of the biggest pioneers out there.

He’s one of my idols as well. William, we have the grand finale, the change the world question. What is it that you were doing or would like to do that truly has the potential to literally change the world?

We’re doing it. When I decided I was going to create this coaching company because that’s what Antirion is all about. It’s a coaching company. There was this book I read. It was called The Coming Jobs War. In that book, they talk about the fact that they go through all this stuff going on in the global economy and all the other things. The most amazing thing was that I got out of it is how few jobs there are out there and how people are desperate for good jobs. That was one of the things that turned me on because I thought I built a $100 million company, a couple of them.

I’ve had thousands of employees in those companies. If we could get more than $100 million companies out there, we would create more jobs and help solve some of the unemployment problems. That was one of the passions that drove me to want to share my experience, my knowledge, my wisdom and help other people grow $100 million companies. I decided to get a hold of a bunch of the executives that used to work for me, with me. We got together for a four-day brainstorming weekend on how I could put all these pieces together. I flew back to California. We sat down and we went through a whole bunch of stuff. We talked about what it was I wanted to accomplish, how I was going to do it, etc. What we did was the first thing we came up with was the tagline for our company.

FTC 131 | Rapid Growth Companies

Rapid Growth Companies: Our passion is helping the entrepreneur achieve greater success by learning how they can take any company and scale it to $100 million.

 

The tagline is, “Bridging entrepreneurs knowledge strategies and profits.” We’re sitting there looking at that. We said, “What are we going to call the company?” I said, “I liked the first word. I liked this idea of bridging. I’ve been able to help people bridge what they need to know.” I said, “Let’s see if we can find a URL for a bridge that we can use for the name of our company.” We started this massive search looking all over the world for bridge names where the URL was available. We found this bridge, Rion-Antirion Bridge. The Antirion Bridge is located in Greece. It spans the Gulf of Corinth. I was fascinated by it because I learned right off the bat, the Gulf of Corinth is where two tectonic plates meet.

There’s constant seismic activity taking place. The bridge is 1.8 miles long. The Gulf of Corinth is constantly expanding. It’s growing an average of five millimeters a year. Some years it will grow even more because of the tectonic activity. It’s got all this crap going on around it. They wanted to build this bridge. They knew they had to be able to design it to deal with the expansion. They sent divers down to the sea floor to see what type of bedrock was down there to put the pylons on to hold the bridge up. When the divers came back they said, “There’s nothing but rubble down there.” After centuries and millennia of all of this tectonic activity, there is no bedrock. There’s nothing but rubble down there.

The engineers put their heads together and they said, “What we’re going to do is drive 200 hollow steel pipes underneath each location where the pylons are going to go.” They laid down meticulously flatbed of gravel. The pylons were all prefabricated. The pylons were lowered down and placed on this flatbed of gravel. The whole idea is when the earth shakes, rattles, and rolls, the gravel almost like ball bearings. The pylon sits there on top of it and all the shake, rattle, and roll, goes underneath it. These pylons, because of the way they were built, they have to stick 168 feet above the bridge deck.

The Gulf of Corinth has found ranges on both sides of it. They often get 70, 80, 90 mile per hour wind storms blowing down this channel. They had to design the pylons and all these state cables and everything else so that the harmonics would not bring the bridge down. They’re all specially designed to deal with the wind harmonics. The other thing about this bridge is the roadbed that people drive on. This is the only truly suspended bridge in the world. The roadbed is held up by the cables and that they’re not attached to any of the pylons. As a matter of fact, there are Jackson dampers that prevent the roadbed from touching the pylons. That’s again so that when there’s tectonic activity, nothing goes awry. The other thing about this bridge is it’s a major shipping lane that goes underneath the bridge. There are big supertankers coming through there. They had to design the bridge to be able to withstand being hit by a supertanker. I’m reading the story about this bridge. It’s resonating with me because it’s like building a company.

You’ve got all these challenges coming at you from every which direction and without a great team, you’re never going to succeed. If they didn’t have a great team designing and building that bridge, it would have never succeeded. It’s a magnificent bridge. I want everybody to understand there was a lot of passion behind the name that we chose for Antirion because we’ve got a lot of passion for what we do at Antirion. Our passion is all about helping the entrepreneur achieve greater success by learning how they can take any company and scale it to $100 million.

The bridge story is an illustration of how to construct something that no one’s ever done before in a place no one ever thought of with a technology that’s been completely unproven. It sure sounds to me like a startup. William, I want to thank you for being on the show. This has been an incredible experience for me. I know readers are going to love getting to know you. I’m going to invite readers to absolutely get a free copy of your book and take a look at the Antirion website. It’s Antirion.com. I’m sure that William would love to chat with you if you think that his experience could benefit your company. William, thank you so much. I can’t wait to talk to you again soon.

Thank you very much for having me on, Mitch. I appreciate it. I look forward to talking to you again soon too.

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