We were lucky to catch up with Amy Clary recently and have shared our conversation below.
Amy, looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. What do you think matters most in terms of achieving success?
What if I were to tell you that I draw a mouse really, really good. And, then ask you to invest millions of dollars into my little mouse drawing, would you do it? But, look, this mouse is no ordinary mouse. He has a mouse “friend” that looks just like him, except she has a bow and long eyelashes and it’s not quite clear if she’s his girlfriend or friend or wife or what. And he has a pack of rag tag friends like a duck you can hardly understand, a dog who walks on all fours and doesn’t talk and another dog who walks on two legs and talks. Now would you invest in my mouse?
What if I told you that my mouse would one day be the most recognizable symbol on the planet and just the mere hint of putting mouse ears on something would just solidify my point exactly.
You would have had to be crazy to invest in such an idea, but yet, Walt Disney said, “Either you see opportunity or stop signs, and I don’t have time for stop signs!” He built an empire on a little mouse drawing. Quite arguably the biggest commercial empire in the world.
What does it take to be successful? Seeing opportunity and not getting bogged down by stop signs. This is the key to success. You must have a vision and believe so strongly in that vision that you don’t let folks stop you or discourage you.
Amy, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
I got my start in staffing 21 years ago when the dot.com when dot.bomb and everyone was laying folks off. Somehow, I managed to get a job with an agency and back then, the training was that they handed you a phone and a phone book and said, “Make placements, you’re quota is $10K this month!” I had to go buy my own recipe card box and index cards to put my leads in and just start calling businesses out of the phone book and ask if they were hiring. None of them were.
At 90 days in, the big boss called me in her office to fire me as I hadn’t made a single placement. But, as luck would have it, I had a few things brewing that I knew were about to close. I begged her to let me keep my job but told her to lower my base salary and raise my commission. This way, if I didn’t make money, they would lose much money and they would only pay me if I made them money. Well, I went on to become the top producer company wide. So, I guess that they are pretty happy that they didn’t fire me that day.
After about 3.5 years, I decided that I was making a whole lot of money for someone else and I met a guy that really wanted to start a business. He was an Electrical Engineer so the thought of starting anything along those lines was way to aggressive so we decided to start a staffing agency, and thus KeyStaff was born.
Can you tell us the story behind how you met your business partner?
I met my business partner at a wedding. He was the best man and I was an invited guest. When we decided to start KeyStaff, we wanted to make sure that we could trust each other, after all, starting a business is like having a child together.
We decided to start a “practice” business. So we started a curb painting business called “Curb Side Service.” I did all the marketing and he did all of the back office and we both painted curb numbers on the weekends together. We started off in just our neighborhood and got a few calls. We moved to the next neighborhood and got some more. After a few weeks, we started getting busy painting curbs all weekend and then we got a call from a builder who was putting in a new neighborhood outside of town. They needed to locate each plot so that the bricks and lumber and sheet rock could get dropped off at the right spot. So, they asked if we would pain the entire neighborhood. Keep in mind that this is Texas heat in the summer, 105 degrees plus. So there we were painting curb after curb. Then they asked if we could paint stop bars in front of all the stops signs. Well, of course we could.
Then the police department called and said, “We can’t seem to find houses when crimes occur or when an ambulance is needed on the east side of town, will you paint the numbers in these neighborhoods on the East side of town?”
Well, we both decided that we didn’t want to paint curbs our whole life. Neither of us had missed a painting day, he never missed an invoice, I had brought in more business than we could handle and we decided it was time to get KeyStaff rolling.
We’d love to hear a story of resilience from your journey.
- Website: www.keystaffinc.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amy.s.clary
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amy-clary-6492571/
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_RJqGt_hIvy5FPStbz9GtA