Recently, Custom Home Exteriors CEO Stephen Scoggins sat down for an interview with Adam Mendler, creator of the Thirty Minute Mentors podcast.
They discussed Stephen’s powerful story – how he went from homelessness and despair to running CHE, a multi-million dollar exterior remodeling business in Raleigh, North Carolina. Adam also asked Stephen to share the core values and philosophies he developed in that process and what advice he would give to anyone trying to achieve success.
About Adam Mendler
Adam Mendler is a business thought leader and strategist. He has interviewed over 300 business and cultural leaders, including CEOs, celebrities, athletes, admirals, and generals on his podcast. His articles have been featured in several major media outlets, including Forbes.com, the Huffington Post, Business Insider, and Inc.com. He’s also the CEO of the Veloz Group, an international conglomerate that builds, buys, and operates technology-based businesses. Adam has a diverse background in private equity, sports management, and even in advising a successful U.S. presidential primary campaign.
Adam’s interview with Stephen is featured in his blog, which you can check out here.
The interview began with Stephen explaining how he went from homelessness to success in entrepreneurship. He explained that he owed much of his success to his first mentor, Steve Myrick, who was his father’s employer. He recounted a particularly powerful interaction with Mr. Myrick when he was 16, and Mr. Myrick told him the real difference between the rich and the poor: the way they think. “[The poor] focus on today, and I focus on tomorrow and the years that follow,” said Myrick. “They seek to be served and I seek to serve.”
Stephen’s big break came years later while he was working in construction for Myrick. While on the job, he overhead the siding crew planning not to show up the next day. Stephen went to Myrick and offered to take over the job himself, despite not having any funding, equipment, or team. Myrick accepted, and the rest is history.
Passion, Market, & Monetization
A major theme of the interview was opportunity analysis and strategic thinking. When Adam asked Stephen how one can know when a business is worth pursuing, Mr. Scoggins first cited passion. He said that if you don’t have passion, you won’t be able to push through the trials that come with any endeavor. Second, Stephen mentioned the need for a market with a defined customer and a real problem that is being solved. Finally, the third metric is careful financial planning. This involves a clear understanding of the costs and whether or not the business can make money.
The Qualities of Effective Leaders
The Custom Home Exteriors CEO emphasized humility as a quality of great leaders. He shared that one of his major breakthroughs came when he became willing to admit when he was wrong. This help him overcome his bruised ego, and it inspired loyalty and trust in those following him. He also cited the importance of sharing the credit:
“Great leaders don’t need credit to feel complete as a leader; great leaders simply create great leaders. They don’t push people down or aside because they are intimidated by their potential; instead great leaders put a spotlight on it and allow others to shine.”
3 Tips for Leaders
When asked for the three best pieces of advice that he had for leaders, Stephen said the following:
- Listen – Your employees should be seen as partners. Letting them have a voice will build trust and give you new perspective.
- Measure – Take the time to assess your plans and be patient with deadlines.
- Act Last – Don’t move before calculating your next steps carefully.
The Cycle of Innovation
Stephen emphasized innovation as crucial to a businesses’ success. “It is always better to try and lead a market rather than follow one,” he said. Mr. Scoggins then went on to outline what he called “the cycle of innovation”. It begins with an idea and then proceeds to beta design and testing. From there the results must be measured, and adjustments need to be made to replace or reinforce the existing design. Only after this cycle has been thoroughly exercised is the new innovation ready for release.
Follow Adam Mendler
Learn More From Stephen Scoggins
If you’d like to learn more about Custom Home Exteriors CEO Stephen Scoggins and his thoughts on leadership and success, check out The Journey Principles Institute, an organization he founded to help people become the person they were meant to be.
Want to see how Stephen’s unique approach translates to real world results, schedule a free consultation with Custom Home Exteriors. You’ll experience the difference for yourself.