My good friend Greg Johnson (no relation) is about to embark on a pilgrimage across Spain and Portugal. The route is called Camino de Santiago, and is traveled by hundreds of thousands each year. He won’t know where he will sleep on any given night, until he gets to a village or small town along the way. Many of the locals don’t speak English, so Greg has written down simple phrases to ask where he can find food and lodging. Many times it will be a hostel — a community facility where dozens of weary travelers can bed down for the night.
His upcoming travel made me think about how being a pest management professional (PMP) is its own special journey, too. Many of you have either started your business from scratch, or are a second- or third-generation PMP. Hiring employees, attaining new customers and learning just how to stay afloat and grow your business have all been interwoven paths on this journey. Along the way, there have most likely been “tour guides” — people who have helped you, giving you bits of wisdom and advice that have been instrumental in your success.
As the old saying goes, if being in business for yourself was easy, then everybody would do it. Just like Greg’s journey of not knowing where he will eat or sleep along the way, none of us know what might be around the corner for us. We’re not sure who our next great employee might be, or when we’ll land our next big client, but we continue in business because we love it and look forward to the future.
We also don’t know who may come along to share wisdom and guide us along the way. You may even be that someone who helps a friend or competitor, giving them insight on how to take their business to the next level.
I have learned so much from others about business. Whenever I have been asked to share information, I find it’s often a two-way street. In other words, networking with peers in our industry is essential. You don’t have to go on this journey alone.
Contributor Ray Johnson, a past president of the National Pest Management Association, president of Sevierville, Tenn.-based Johnson Pest Control and founder of ACES for Business, can be reached at email@example.com.