What does integrity mean to you? Why is integrity important? And how do your business systems and your team members support the integrity of your business? These are some important considerations that determine the success of our businesses.
Today Dr. Sabrina interviews Andre Ong. Integrity is key to building trust in today’s business environment. While many of us entrepreneurs are mindful of our own integrity, we may not be paying enough attention to the important role our systems and team members have in supporting the integrity of our company. Gaps in our systems can inadvertently undermine our company’s integrity with our top clients and customers.
Andre is a huge advocate for sharing The Pumpkin Plan and Profit First with entrepreneurs. Dr. Sabrina asks Andre to reflect on what he’d have done differently if he’d been introduced to these two books early on as an entrepreneur. Andre shares some hard-hitting school of hard knocks lessons from his experience. Andre and Sabrina also discuss what it's like to partner with your spouse in running your business, and what Andre has learned that enables his wife and him to work together successfully. Tune in now, to hear Andre's words of wisdom.
Andre Ong is a serial entrepreneur with no hope of breaking the habit. He and his wife, Angela, have worked together since 2001 when he offered to help her pass her Real Estate exam because he needed an angle to date her. They were married in 2002. Having both been previously married, Andre now has four children, technically step-children, but he's not a very technical sort of guy. He also has seven grandchildren, ranging in age from four months to thirteen years.
Past endeavors include managing foreclosures, managing and supervising maintenance for rental property, and working with real estate investors (which is sort of like being an agent with Men in Black). He was a military chaplain while working into financial services, where he currently focuses his energy, but because of compliance, we can’t say much more than that. He and Angela also founded a non-profit to work with Service members and autistic children (they have an autistic grandson) along with Diverse Management Solutions, a company that allows them to provide services and wisdom to other entrepreneurs.
He and Angela have fully gutted and renovated 3 homes. The first one was renovated while they slept in a tent on the deck for a few months. He’s also a horseman and has incorporated equine assisted learning as part of his work with Service members.
Oh, and he has 2 masters degrees. So he’s a nerd, too. He brings together a scholarly nature (inherited from his father, a nuclear and chemical engineer) with his experience in the trades and business to the people he assists today.
- Andre is a huge fan of Profit First and Pumpkin Plan and he gives these books out at every opportunity, to help other entrepreneurs.
- Andre gives some tips for making a husband and wife team work well.
- Andre defines integrity.
- The fine line between personal and professional integrity is becoming blurred in our culture, especially with how much social media can impact a person's employment.
- Being mindful of the way that your personal life impacts your business.
- Andre shares some thoughts about how our business systems and processes demonstrate integrity.
- The image that you portray from the beginning to the end in your business, and even the words that you choose, have to be consistent.
- Trust is the foundation of what we're trying to get to in our business. And consistency builds trust.
- Being mindful of your clients' low points and pulling them through.
- Dr. Sabrina shares some powerful questions from the book Never Lose A Customer Again, by Joey Coleman.
- Using an action plan, and regular check-ins, to keep your goals in sight.
- Andre talks about the process of developing your process.
- The difference between the official truth and ground truth.
- Why you should ‘re-onboard', or start over, with your current clients every two years.
- The importance of developing your own character, and that of your employees.
- Coaches also need coaching.
- Dr. Sabrina explains her concept of ‘Veggies First'.
- Holding people able, rather than accountable.
- Andre talks about his non-profit, and equine-assisted learning.
- Andre discusses his other non-profit company, Diverse Management Solutions, which provides services and wisdom to other entrepreneurs.
- What Andre would have done differently, had he known about Profit First and Pumpkin Planning when he first started his business.
Links and resources:
You can find Andre on LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/andreong
Books: Never Lose A Customer Again by Joey Coleman
Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott
Fierce Leadership by Susan Scott
The Pumpkin Plan by Mike Michalowicz
Profit First by Mike Michalowicz