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Luke Sample co-founded BookProfits (along with Jon Shugart), a training program and software that helps entrepreneurs leverage part-time book trades for full-time profits.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? In what ways does that relate to what you do now?
Well if we go WAY back, when I was very young I wanted to be a “garbage man”. They had the coolest job to me which was standing on the back of the truck while it was moving, and tossing in bags. Who doesn’t want to do that?
As I grew older I started to take up a deep interest in the sciences. Combining that with a desire to have a large direct impact on other people’s lives I began to work toward becoming a physician. I was a double major in college (Cell Molecular Biology and Chemistry) and was prepared to go to medical school.
Just before heading off to medical school some of the side businesses I had started during my time in college began to take off in a big way. I found that I was having a life changing impact on my customers lives helping them achieve their goals, quit their day jobs, and become financially free. The same type of major impact I was hoping the medical field would bring.
It was then I decided that I could achieve my goals with business, and specifically businesses that solve problems for others with software or training or both. After impacting the lives of thousands now, I feel I made the right choice.
What steps do you take to ensure that your organization’s activities are in alignment with the company mission, core values, and vision?
Our vision is to empower 5k+ entrepreneurs to become financially free. Financially free through using our software, tools and training – and replicating the business models we personally use and have used to achieve total financial freedom for ourselves.
The main step we take to ensure we are accomplishing that goal is quite simple. We have a customer success board. When it is time to make a decision within our company, we simply take that idea to the customer success board. If that idea is one that will directly impact the success of our customers in a big way, or quickly, that idea goes to the top of the board.
If that idea isn’t one that directly impacts our customers and helps them put more money in their pockets and achiever financial freedom, that idea is either dropped or goes WAY low on the priority board.
We feel that as long as we focus 100% on creating success for our customers and community, the success for our company and us personally will follow without even having to think about it.
In other words, if we only focus on ensuring the success of our customers, our success as a company will follow automatically.
Name two organizations or well-known business people you admire and explain why.
This is a tough one as there are so many, but first I would have to say what Jeff Bezos has done at Amazon is extraordinary. I can’t think of another company, as recently as Amazon has, that has directly impacted the lives of SO MANY people. If you take a step back and just think about how they have changed buying a consumer good it’s mind blowing. In major metro areas pretty much any product you could possibly want or imagine you can have on your doorstep in 2 hours. Think of nearly anything, and after a few button presses it will be on your doorstep in two hours. That is incredible to me. Even in very rural areas you can have anything you want in 1-2 days. It’s life changing for huge numbers of people.
The second one I would have to say is Elon Musk. He is a bit controversial but what I admire about him is his willingness to tackle huge and seemingly impossible problems. No problem is too big to try and solve for Elon and he has had some success solving problems most others wouldn’t even dare to attempt. I admire that fearlessness of going for solutions to giant problems.
What are YOUR main performance indicators? How are they measured and echoed throughout the business?
Our performance indicators are quite simple. We focus on customer success and organization success. What makes that very simple is one usually follows from the other.
As I mentioned before, we focus primarily on ensuring successful outcomes for our customers. As long as we are doing that, the success of our organization follows.
To be more exact, what is the percentage of customer that becomes successful and meets their personal goals and what is the trendline for that. It better be high and going up steadily or something is going wrong in the organization.
What are your top three priorities for the business?
1 – Customer Satisfaction.
If our customers aren’t satisfied, the business isn’t going to be around for much longer. We always ensure that we are doing everything in our power to not only meet the customers’ expectations, but far exceed them. This includes our training program for book trades.
2 – Customer Success.
Satisfaction alone isn’t good enough because we want them to not only be happy, but be successful. If we have happy AND successful customers, everyone wins.
3 – Sales.
Without driving sales we aren’t making much of an impact. The more sales we drive, the more people we are helping become financially free, happy, and successful. We could have the greatest products and systems in the world, but if no one knows our products exist, we can’t help them. To make money online, this is key.
How do you fight complacency and mediocrity?
I have to say this is something that I believe I fight naturally. Even as a young one I was never one to be satisfied with mediocrity. If I’m going to do something, I’m going to be the best there is at it. I think this is inherent in my personality so I don’t really have to strategize on that.
For the Book Profits organization I think for the most part the same is true. Because our leadership at the top are all of similar make up, and being second best or mediocre simply isn’t an option, I think that trickles down to all levels of the company.
What has been the most impactful lesson you’ve learned as a business leader?
As generic as this sounds, it’s don’t give up. I can’t count the number of times I was successful just because I didn’t give up. If I would have thrown in the towel on the 13th attempt instead of trying until the 26th attempt, I wouldn’t have achieved the results I achieved. Simple but true, don’t give up.
What’s the most critical piece of business management and leadership advice you would give your younger self?
For the most part, employees don’t think like entrepreneurs. You can’t assume even the best trained employee is going to solve problems like a true entrepreneur. Use systems, protocols, “cookbooks” for employees and leave the creative problem solving to the entrepreneurs of your organization.
How do you create leadership opportunities within the organization?
Jon Shugart and I have a very small team and like to keep it that way. As such we don’t create lots of departments and specific areas of the business where there are assigned leaders. Instead we let the leaders float to the top by assigning responsibilities. As the cream rises or someone takes a specific interest in an area, we release more duties to that person in that area. In doing so, what we end up with are people focusing on areas of the business they want to and are good at instead of us trying to parse that out for them.
About Luke Sample
Luke Sample is known in the internet marketing, entrepreneurial, and software spaces for online marketing business owners. He is the founder and creator of several different products, software tools, and training programs.