Local Leaders Sharing How They Became…

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The legendary book , Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill is read by more business people than any other book. Napoleon Hill didn't come up with the great ideas in the book instead he profiled the lessons learned from successful leaders. On this site, you will find successful leaders in our own community - sharing their professional secrets which led them to their Top 100 status. They live and do business in the Treasure Coast so they face the same economic challenges that we all face. Learn and grow from their stories!


TreasureCoastTop100.com: Scott Fay, CEO of Rood Landscape

There are many landscaping companies in the Treasure Coast but what makes Scott Fay’s landscaping business a premier company? He attributes the success to building a culture where his people are truly “living” the values. This didn’t happen by accident. Scott is taking intentional steps to build culture and success.

Watch this video to learn:

  • How to create an intentional company culture even when no one is managing
  • How to live your culture beyond hanging signs on walls
  • What did John Maxwell teach Scott about his business
  • The secret to achieving success…it boils down to having these 2 mindsets

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TreasureCoastTop100.com: Charles Bender, Founding CEO of Place of Hope

Charles founded and is running a very successful non-profit organization that serves abused children. We caught him as they break ground for their new headquarters in Hobe Sound. He has a sharp business mind that is transferrable to any business.

Watch this video to learn:

  • How to launch any organization from scratch
  • Why having mentors is important to your success
  • Bust through roadblocks by following these tips
  • The secret to getting more customers or donors to buy into your product or service

TreasureCoastTop100: Carol Houwaart-Diez, CEO of United Way of Martin County

Carol moved to Florida to take the helm of the United Way of Martin County. The organization is thriving and doing so much good for the community.

Watch this video to learn:

  • Top ways to generate leads that don’t require cold calling
  • How to lead your team so everyone is working together towards a common goal
  • When times are tough, here’s the secret to staying positive
  • A success tip for entrepreneurs


www.TreasureCoastTop100.com: Christina Lambert, Managing Director at Productive Power and City Commissioner of West Palm Beach, FL

Christina is bridging the gap between the business world, government, and her community. She is following her vision and achieving so much success in her double role.

Watch this video to learn:

  • Her top 2 secrets to getting more done
  • Avoid this networking disaster to increase sales
  • Her insightful advice for entrepreneurs


TreasureCoastTop100: Pat Stracuzzi, President of Patrick Stracuzzi Real Estate Team:

Pat Stracuzzi is the President of the 28th largest RE/MAX company in the nation and the 44th largest in the world. In fact, last year his team helped over 300 families find a new home and closed over $100 million worth of real estate, making them one of the most recognizable real estate companies in the Treasure Coast.

Watch this video to learn:

  • The secret to changing your mindset to overcome seemingly impossible challenges
  • Some unique ways he and his team deal with stress or issues
  • How to delegate and only do what you’re best at

Celebrity Viewpoint: Lessons I Learned From a Man Who Walked the Moon, Buzz Aldrin

I recently had a once in a lifetime chance to meet an American hero, Buzz Aldrin. Half a century ago, he was among the first along with Neil Armstrong to walk on the moon.

He shared some of his life lessons and I want to recap 5 of them for you.

Lesson #1: Failure IS an option. Imagine if failure were not an option for this space program then they would have never gotten off the ground. For his Apollo 11 mission, they had estimated a 60 percent chance of landing successfully on the Moon. If you want to do something significant then you must be willing to fail. It is not the end of the world when you fail. Most people learn more from their failures than successes which helps them achieve even more. Get out of your comfort zone and take risks. Failure is a sign that you are alive and growing.

Lesson #2: Keep your mind open to possibilities. Ponder what might be possible, not just what is expected. Innovators approach the world differently. Innovators don’t always fit the norm. They tend to have personality traits that others might regard as quirky or weird. If you know someone like that, help nurture them. He went on to say that average people tend to maintain the status quo, unsuccessful people think merely about surviving. Innovators think about what might be possible.

Lesson #3: You become like the people with whom you most often associate. Surround yourself with the people you want to be like. If you walk with the wise, you will become like them. The closest friends in your life with whom you spend the most time with will have an enormous impact on you, either positively or negatively. Choose friends who will bring out the best in you.

Lesson #4: Write your own story. Buzz has always been self-motivated and self-sufficient. He worked hard and achieved his goals. One of the keys to a successful life in any field is learning to take responsibility for ourselves rather than waiting for someone else to do something for us. You have to discover and pursue what truly excites you and is meaningful. If you don’t know what this is then ask yourself, “What gives me the greatest sense of joy or meaning or pleasure?” Pick an amazing dream and go for it. Don’t merely make a living, make a life.

Lesson #5: Maintain your spirit of adventure. You don’t have to go to the moon to seek adventure. You can just have an adventurous spirit. Find joy in little everyday things. Keep moving and stay active. Be fascinated with life and have a sense of adventure. This will keep you feeling young. At the age of 86, I would say he looked pretty amazing!


TreasureCoastTop100: Karin Torsiello, President of Behavior Basics

Karin Torsiello has an innovative company that has grown from just a handful of employees to now over 60. The growth has brought about its unique challenges. Watch this video and learn:

  • The secret to creating a high growth company
  • Biggest mistake she corrected to stay on track
  • Without these items, you will have a tough time being an entrepreneur

Celebrity interview with Mike Wolfe from American Pickers

Sitima was one of 12 IT business owners in the nation who was recently invited to a mastermind session with Mike Wolfe from the hit show, American Pickers. In this exclusive interview, Mike tells Sitima about how his passion for creating an experience using his TV show has catapulted his retail business into the stratosphere. Watch this video to inspire you to think “out-of-the-box” for your business!


Celebrity Viewpoint: Winner of Multiple Super Bowls, Mike Ditka

If you do not know of him, “Da Coach” was one of the best football players and coaches ever. He has won multiple Super Bowls as a player and as a head coach. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1988. Today, he shares his drive and team-building skills with others. In his presentation “ACE” – Attitude, Character and Enthusiasm, he shared the lessons learned in a life of commitment and attention to the fundamentals – resulting in victory. He delivered a powerful presentation that highlighted the key characteristics people need to achieve their personal and professional goals. Here’s a breakdown of “ACE”:

Attitude - You control this. You can choose to have a great attitude or not.

Character - What you believe in, what you’ll die for. This is the fabric of your being.

Enthusiasm - Be committed and get excited!

I asked him how he motivated his team and his answer may surprise you. He said I don’t motivate anyone; they have to come to the team already motivated. He also went on to say that the best players weren’t the ones with tangible talents…its more what was in their hearts. Your heart and will to win is what will make you successful.


Celebrity interview with Jeffery Ma, CEO tenXer

Sitima talks to Jeffery Ma. Jeffery was a member of the MIT Blackjack Team. Hi story is the basis for the main character of the book Bringing Down the House and the film 21. During his time as a professional blackjack player, he and his team had a business of counting cards to win. Since then he talks to other business owners about the importance of using data to make all decisions. He believes that if you make data driven decisions, you will always win!


Celebrity Interview with Tony Horton, founder of P90X fitness programs

Sitima was brave enough to participate in a P90X workout session led by the man himself, Tony Horton. Later in the day, Tony shared his business success stories with the group. Sitima got a chance to catch up with Tony personally and ask him some questions. Watch this interview to learn how Tony has taken his exercise program and gotten national with its popularity. He also shares with Sitima what he believes is the secret ingredient to be a successful entrepreneur.


Celebrity Viewpoint: Mark Sanborn, Author of the book “The Fred Factor”

I had the awesome experience of meeting and listening to Mark Sanborn talk about how to be a FRED: how to get everyone In your organization passionate about making a real difference to your customers. Here are my notes:

  • We have to create an Extraordinary business because that’s the only way we will not be just like our competitors. People are born to want to be extraordinary but they become cynics over time because they were disappointed. So once you decide to be extraordinary, you have to create simple systems that produce remarkable results. The process has to be created and taught to our team. The benefit of doing this is huge…your business will become more lucrative.
  • No one stays the same and gets ahead. You have to constantly create value.
  • Be fully immersed in the moment. Don’t day dream. Don’t waste any moment in the day.
  • Its always about the Service:
    1. Start with commitment – People do business with us because of who (each of us)
    2. Work with Passion - You have to have passion and then processes to back it up. How do you figure out your passion? Answer what I would do for free, what irritates you and then come up with a fix, what interests you
    3. Get Creative – We should be ingenious but then teach our clients to become more ingenious. Ask clients the total value audit and ask them what else should be on the list that isn’t. get creative with the team by asking, sharing, brainstorming, give team ideas of what to do. Ie. Pizza delivery businesses increased market share by giving out lollipops. The kids then begged parents to get pizza from them again.

Celebrity Viewpoint: Bill Rancic, First Winner of the Hit TV Show The Apprentice

Bill Rancic, winner of the hit TV show The Apprentice, talked about how anyone can become their own personal success in both business and life, using his own experiences as a self-made entrepreneur.

Getting back to basics, he shared insights about his own path to The Apprentice — his work ethic, top business strategies, and lessons learned competing on the show, and working for Donald Trump. From valuable lessons learned as a budding ten year old entrepreneur pitching pancake sales; to starting his own small business to pay for college; to launching an on-line cigar company now worth millions — Bill proved you don’t need to be a Harvard MBA to be a success in business.


Celebrity Viewpoint: Superstar Sales Trainer Tom Hopkins

Tom specializes in coaching people on selling the invisible. He told me that people can become successful at selling by mastering the fundamentals. The fundamentals he is talking about are:

  • Product Knowledge – Prospects must perceive me as an extremely competent expert adviser as soon as possible.
  • People Skills – Marketing/Prospecting, initial contact, qualification, presentation, addressing concerns, closing the sale, getting referrals.
  • Attitude, Enthusiasm, Discipline & Goals

He also cautioned against speaking too much during the sales meeting. The fewer the words the better if you want o close lots of sales. HE also says to get in the habit of asking a question at the end of a sentence that demands a ‘yes.’ This must be used naturally and become a speech habit. For example, ask, isn’t it?, doesn’t it, shouldn’t it, don’t you agree, can’t you, haven’t you? So ask, “Having a highly competent IT service available to you 24/7 would give you great peace of mind, wouldn’t it?”

Lastly, when you met a person, radiate the goal of helping them to like you, trust you, and want to listen to you.


Celebrity Viewpoint: Lou Ferrigno – Actor, Bodybuilder, and Participant on Player on Celebrity Apprentice

Lou has an incredible story to share. He was born with hearing and speech disabilitites. He knew he couldn’t do anything about his disabilitites, so he began to focus on things that are under his control. He started working on his body and won Mr. Universe titles. He was also on the hit show, The Incredible Hulk, and then we was a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice. The man has overcome many challenges and now he goes around the country talking about his life lessons. His determination and his will to win is something we all need to emulate.


Celebrity Viewpoint: Nido Quibin

Nido is one of the most inspirational person I have ever met. He came to this country with couple of dollars in his pocket and now he is a very influential and wealthy person. He has many businesses including the job of running Highpoint University. He focuses on being the best in class no matter what the business is. He wants us to sell a Godiva service instead of a Hershey service. 3 Questions you must answer:

  1. Why should I do business with you
  2. How easily can someone imitate what you do?
  3. If I were in the marketplace to buy what you sell, would I buy it from you?

He wants us to lead an Extraordinary life because its something we can choose to be. He reinforces that when you can do a common thing in an uncommon way, you can command the attention of the world.

Here are 4 takeaways on his advice on selling:

  • Your company’s future sales and profits will be in direct proportion to the depth and quality of your prospect file.
  • Sell every feature and benefit as though it were exclusive; for if your competitor fails to bring it up, yours is exclusive in the eyes of the customer.
  • Values are perceived as being equal by the customer unless someone explains the difference.
  • You and your company are no better than your most marginal competitor, unless you have the ability and the know-how to sell and interpret the difference.

Celebrity Viewpoint: Sean Stephensen, author of “Get Off Your But”

I had the privilege of meeting an incredible motivational speaker …Sean Stephenson, author of “Get Off Your But.” Sean is only three feet tall, but put a microphone in his hand and he becomes a giant. Born with osteogenesis imperfecta, which stunts growth and causes bones to break under minimal pressure, Sean has faced several challenges and overcome many obstacles on his path to becoming a successful author, psychotherapist, and motivational speaker. He works with many celebrities, presidents and he has appeared on Oprah and many other talk shows.

Before his 18th birthday, Sean had survived 200 bone fractures. Confronted with the mental choice of accepting his disorder as either a gift or a burden, Sean found an inner strength to focus on what he could do instead of what he could not.

Some highlights I jotted down:

  • It all starts with a vision for your life. Know what you want.
  • Happiness comes in 3 parts...health (keep your body healthy), wealth, and relationships (have great relationships with family, friends, lovers, employees, etc.)
  • Go do something new. This will help release a chemical in your brain called dopamine. This chemical makes you happy. So plan a trip, start a new activity with your spouse, etc.

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