Robin Crow, author of Evolve or Die – Seven Step to Rethink the Way You Do Business, was the Featured Speaker at the MHI Congress and Expo in Las Vegas, Thursday, April 28. His theme was the solid example of companies that have successfully reinvented themselves by adapting to ongoing events as they occur. Following are some of his comments as noted by MHMSM.com Publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.
The Crow Company and Dark Horse Recording have worked with many recording artists, including star performers Michael W Smith, Scott Hendrix, Faith Hill, Neil Diamond and Tim McGraw. Consumers do not buy CDs like they used to; they prefer downloading for free.
Faith Hill and Scott her producer/editor make a typical hundreds, perhaps thousands of vocal takes to compile the final recording you hear. After one week in the studio, Scott was talking about the deli sandwiches that Robin made. They ran long on the planned five weeks, and needed two more weeks in the studio. Robin said, “Before Neil Diamond comes in, but we have to raise my rates $75 a day.” Faith said, “No problem, the sandwiches alone are worth it.”
This was a paradigm shift for Robin, who realized he was not in the business of hi tech systems, but in the business of serving people and exceeding their expectations. To this end, he created Raving Fans. Serving food to famous people was only one way he exceeded the expectations of his clients.
When Tim McGraw did his last recording at Dark Horse, he booked all the facilities. Not just the studio, but the log home and other facilities. He brought along 35 people. Faith and Tim live only six miles away, but six nights a week they would stay at the studio compound. Tim brought firewood. Flames reached two feet, four feet and then six feet.
Robin didn’t have much money. He had been let go by RCA, and was too old to rock and roll, too young to die. But he had a vision and he could visualize the next step.
“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” ~ Thomas Edison
Robin traded future studio times for labor, ran up credit cards sky high and raised $134,000 in cash on credit cards. Once his building was up, banks took interest and he raised several million from the banks. A decade later, his business is solely in serving.
“We find ways to reinvent ourselves to serve our customers.” His business is “more like a guest resort that serves our customers. The best bonding experience is working your tail off, let young see the work ethic. Let the youth take pride of it.”
One son is video editing for the company. The other son is a world class chef who sometimes gets involved.
When asked, “What were your failures, how did you overcome them?” Robin replied, “Just don’t stop.”
He doesn’t consider himself the smartest, but he is really persistent, putting one foot in front of the other.
The studio was hurting, but his speaking engagements were really, really good; three of four income steams were hurting, but six months turned it all around. He received 132 rejection letters before getting signed by the RCA studio. “Getting a job is full time job until you get employment,” he says. “Jump and it will appear.”
Success is people and priorities. A leader leads by example whether he means to or not. Bryan Tracy, for instance, is slow to hire, quick to fire. Some leaders do not have enthusiasm; persistence or whatever is not in their DNA.
Get people who are hungry and want it – that’s the best team we have.
If someone is ordering a home – if they do not know how to solve all the steps involved, make sure they know you are trying to take care of it.
We he spoke for ATT last week, he noted that it is eight times as expensive to find a new customer as it is to keep the existing ones. So bend over backwards to make sure the customers know you care.
His book, Evolve or Die, presents a seven-step challenge:
- Do whatever it takes to EXCEED EXPECTATIONS.
2. Commit to daily MEASURABLE IMPROVEMENT.
3. Develop an ACCOUNTABILITY MATRIX – take responsibility.
4. Revitalize Your Organization through MULTIDIMENSIONAL THINKING.
5. Create a Culture of SHARED SACRIFICE.
6. Transform your Business Philosophy to a TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE (Profits. People. Planet.)
7. Dedicate Yourself to a Lifetime of MAKING A DIFFERENCE.
He has a list of relationships and sends a Quote of the Day to everyone; that’s 20,000 people who get the Quote of the Day, twice a week. Add value to people’s lives. This might not have sex appeal, but every word is real.
Exceeding expectations. You are not a winner or loser, you are a chooser. Be the miracle. Then decide. Will you be a force for good, and for God? Step out on faith or give into fear. Will you bleed, will you lead? Will you keep going when the cold wind blows?
There is no better way to be a winner than to exceed expectations. Go the extra mile.
You were not born a winner or loser. You were born a chooser. You are the miracle. # #
Robin Crow, The Crow Company, www.robincrow.com