I founded BizHack Academy based on the belief that every business has a unique story to tell, and I’ve spent my career learning about what makes every up-and-coming company unique. I’ve heard dozens of stories recounting family traditions and memories, belief systems and goals for success from hundreds of business owners around the world. Even after years of listening to these stories, the emotion that these professionals share with me never grows old. I always seem to gain a new perspective with each conversation I have.My conversation with Yoel Gutierrez, owner of the Mosquito Joe franchise that serves the community in Miami where I live, was no different. While I can usually pinpoint a general reason why a business owner chose their area of work, I had trouble deciphering the story behind Yoel’s time with Mosquito Joe. Miami is a hot, humid city where pests run rampant in the summer months. Out of every industry and franchise, why would he choose the pest control business?I was curious to know the driving force behind all of the time, energy and resources he had poured into his franchise over the course of several years. As we talked, I asked Yoel this question: What drew you to your work with Mosquito Joe? Joe briefly paused after I asked that question, as if he had never taken a moment to fully consider what underlying motivation sent him to work every day. We sat for a few more seconds and I watched the gears turn in his head. He didn’t have an answer.
Helping Small Business Owners Understand Their Own Motivations
As part of training small business owners through BizHack Academy, I help them nail down a personal motivation for the work that they do. I’ve spent hours with a variety of businesses as we unpack the personal backgrounds and beliefs that have gotten them to where they are. I spent time with Yoel doing a similar deep dive into his childhood, his family and what he prioritized in his daily life. Yoel began to tell me about his father. Yoel’s father immigrated to the United States and owned a small business, just like Yoel does, with two business partners. However, Yoel’s father ran a residential construction company that worked to build homes for people in their community. As a child and young adult, Yoel would go to work with his father and witness the positive impact he had on families who he was able to build homes for. Yoel’s father built their family up from nothing and gave his children everything they needed to be successful in this country. As a young adult, Yoel looked forward to the day where he would inherit his father’s company and continue the family tradition of owning a business where he could work for himself and give his family a better life. Unfortunately, his father passed away unexpectedly when Yoel was only 16 years old. Almost overnight, the Gutierrez share of the business was sold and all of young Yoel’s dreams for a future as an owner of his father’s company were destroyed. Before Yoel even had the chance to graduate high school, the family business his father had worked so hard to sustain was gone. Yoel was devastated without the guidance and support of his father, and felt lost once his professional future was no longer guaranteed, he told me. However, he knew he still wanted to be a business owner and carry on his father’s legacy in some way. This is when Yoel began to look into franchise opportunities in his community, eventually deciding to pursue business with Mosquito Joe.
Linking a Personal Story to a Business Story
As Yoel poured out the story of his family to me, I began to see a link between the path his father prepared for him and the path Yoel eventually ended up taking. Was it a coincidence that he was helping local families have a comfortable place to call home, just as his father did?At this point in our conversation, Yoel began to cry. His personal motivation for running Mosquito Joe had always been in the background. Yoel had just never taken the time to fully realize the underlying factors that led him to serve the same families his father had once served.
Yoel’s Mosquito Joe Story
Now, Yoel’s Mosquito Joe franchise is one of the top three best-performing in the nation. Yoel has found immense success and community as he strives to continue his father’s legacy and live up to the goals and aspirations he always had for himself. At the end of the day, Yoel’s small business is about way more than pest control. It’s about giving families in the Miami area a comfortable, safe, and enjoyable place to live their daily lives. He’s doing exactly what his father always hoped for.
How Business Stories Drive Small Business Marketing
Stories like Yoel’s are why I decided to pivot my career into the business of helping small businesses tell their personalized stories. This business story, informed by the story of me, adds a deeply personal and trustworthy layer to the traditional marketing that companies around the world already use. Marketing is about more than making a sale—it’s about making a connection and building trust and comradery between you and your customers.The business story that drives small businesses around the world is the foundation of all successful digital marketing, a lesson I’ve taught to hundreds of businesses and have continued to learn on my own as I connect with small business owners. While Yoel’s story is unique, it also is reminiscent of numerous other stories I’ve heard. After all, as small business owners, we’re all motivated by the encouragement of and connection to our fellow human beings. Each one of us garners joy from the privilege of serving our communities and contributing to the world around us. Our businesses are about more than making a profit, they’re about making lives better.