Willing to Fail: A Conversation with Brian Scudamore and Joe Polish – Genius Network Episode #153

Episode Summary

Are you afraid of failure? Learn how to shift your mindset and be willing to fail in today’s episode of the Genius Network podcast with Brian Scudamore. 

In this episode, Brian Scudamore, the founder and CEO of O2E Brands, the parent company of 1-800-GOT-JUNK, shares the value of turning failures into gifts. He’ll lay out what he does in the face of overwhelming opposition and break down how he connects with successful and difficult-to-reach people with authenticity and transparency. He explains why finding something you love then committing to it is backwards, and he’ll reveal a simple trick to truly “go dark” when you take time away from your Business. 

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Here’s a glance at what you’ll learn from Brian in this episode: 

  • His Entrepreneurial journey from zero to his first million.
  • Why he wrote his new book “WTF?! (Willing to Fail): How Failure Can Be Your Key to Success”.
  • The biggest difference between running a single operation and running a Business that scales.
  • The story of how he got into the junk removal Business and founded 1-800-GOT-JUNK?
  • What being in the junk removal Business has taught Brian about clutter and owning “stuff”.
  • Brian shares the biggest challenge with starting three new brands (and why he started them).
  • “I Felt Shattered”: One thing you must do in the face of overwhelming opposition if you want to succeed.
  • How Brian transforms his failures into GIFTS and how YOU can turn failures into gifts, too.
  • The most important lessons Brian has learned about finding, hiring and nurturing the right people.
  • How Brian deals with con artists, scoundrels and situationally ethical people.
  • Brian talks about some of the most important “First Dominos” in his life and Business.
  • The way Brian became friends with Fred DeLuca (Billionaire and Co-Founder of Subway).
  • Brian tells Joe his approach when he reaches out to connect with well-known people.
  • A 3-step criteria Brian uses to ensure all his meetings are effective and results-focused.
  • How to disconnect, take time off and rejuvenate without getting pulled back into work.
  • The mission and purpose behind O2E Brands (And how Brian grows his companies).
  • A surprising reason why “Transparency” is an integral part of O2E Brands’ culture.
  • Brian reveals one of the most important keys to creating a successful franchise.
  • The reasons why Brian wants to stay private and doesn’t want to sell equity.
  • One of the simplest (and most effective) ways to get free PR for your company.
  • The Driven Entrepreneur: What makes Brian tick (and why it’s NOT money).
  • Find something you love and commit to it? WRONG. Do THIS instead…
  • How to use money as a positive vehicle to contribute and help other people.
  • Brian shares the biggest value he gets out of being in Joe’s Genius Network.
  • What Brian is most excited about right now in his Business and in his life.


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Show Notes

  • Brian believes Business is about changing people’s lives. 
  • He had new problems and fires when trying to scale; he needed smart people. 
  • He was resistant to writing a book; he realized it was for people, not for himself.
  • He was inspired to get into junk removal at a McDonald’s drive-thru. 
  • He dropped out of college to pursue Business in junk removal.
  • Learning comes from discussion and who those discussions are with.
  • Don’t be afraid to call people and connect with people who are where you want to be.
  • Brian was told his Business wasn’t franchise-able; he fixed it and came to the same experts.
  • They created a platform that encouraged franchise owners to join the team.
  • Ask questions then create answers for the next time around. 
  • Be protective, agile, and adaptable – and ask smart questions. 
  • Failure’s a gift and you learn from it.
  • Walmart took 25 years to get to 7 stores; you have to get the recipe right and it takes time. 
  • Brain was mentored by Fred DeLuca, the founder of Subway. 
  • Help those that need help in the same space; that’s how everyone starts. 
  • Failure is part of the path of success. 
  • There’s a difference between being willing to fail and being reckless.
  • Trust that the challenge and struggle will bring you to a better place. 
  • Brian’s failures helped him straighten up, especially in the case of his marriage.
  • Brian decided that he was going to be impeccable with his word.
  • His commitment to his word has added trust and transparency to the Business. 
  • The key to creating a successful Business is finding the right people.
  • They have 250 franchise partners across their brands.
  • Junk is things you don’t need that you want hauled away. 
  • What Brian’s learned about owning “stuff”; you don’t need to buy and collect things to be happy. 
  • Brain is a creator and believes in putting money into other communities. 
  • Brian’s brands take something that is ordinary and makes it exceptional.
  • It’s all about finding and keeping the right people; take the time to find the right people. 
  • People in senior positions go through 10 – 13 interviews, on average. 
  • Brian has two direct reports but he interfaces with everyone. 
  • Meetings suck, but they don’t have to; have them set up with a Purpose/Outcome Agenda.
  • Brian’s Friday Free Day and vacations when he “goes dark”.
  • Brian and Cameron Herald worked together but Brian had to let him go; there couldn’t be two “Ready, Fire, Aim” leaders.
  • What Brian hopes to achieve with three brands; he created them when he saw the opportunity and it fits because it’s home service. 
  • Staying private vs. going public: “Slow and steady wins the race”. 
  • Brian likes owning the vision and it forces growth through a steady pace when you stay private. 
  • He loves growing Entrepreneurs and building brands; he finds it fun and too big an opportunity to not see through. 
  • Brian needs less, not more, and is very organized.
  • The “two in a box” model: Two people make decisions, a visionary and an implementer. 
  • The role of mentorship: He has a MBA – Mentor Board of Advisers – that he can call on.
  • When reaching out to someone, do your research and find a connection that is shared. 
  • Brian is most excited about finding more franchise owners.
  • Perfect the recipe before you try to franchise. 
  • Don’t worry about the idea of loving what you do; commit first.

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