We were lucky to catch up with Asa Leveaux recently and have shared our conversation below.
Asa, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today Let’s jump into the story of starting your own firm – what should we know?
The first step that I took in order to create my firm, Leveaux Executive Solutions, was to get clear about why it should be formed in the first place. I have found, through my work as a business coach for the past decade, that many people start businesses, firms, and agencies for no other reason besides to stroke their ego. The next step was to become intimate with knowing who the agency was going to serve. I’m not talking about demographics such as middle-aged women with 2.5 kids who reside in the American southwest. What I’m referring to is pondering about what crosses their mind at 3:14 am, what secret joy they wish they could experience in the next 6 months, and what type of car they drive now down to the make, model, year, and why that is true.
A key challenge in establishing my firm was the acquisition of directors. I believe that who you align with can have real-world rewards and consequences regardless of the acumen you possess. We currently have 9 directors but it took countless conversations with individuals to have the team that now exists. The one aspect that helped with the team formation was that I was crystal clear on what a good fit for the firm, including me, looked like in regards to KPIs, personality traits, and proven results.
If you are a young professional desiring to start your own firm I would like for you to engage in due diligence by understanding the market that you will serve. You can do this by obtaining market research reports that are usually catalogued by NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) code. Once you’ve done this create a one-page executive summary that combines the market research, statistical data, business vision and multi-year projections.
Asa, 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 was entrepreneurial from a very early age. At nine years old I was selling candy in the church to the other kids in attendance. It was here that I learned a valuable lesson after one of the kids saw my success, offered a partnership, and then casually ran off with my idea, inventory, and money. I began a lawncare service when I was fourteen that was able to generate $100 a day which was a significant payday for me. Going door-to-door allowed me first-hand experience on how to create a deal, overcome objections, and pitch in a concise way. Life offered many different detours to my entrepreneurial desires that looked like co-creating my son, spending twenty years in the military, and bouts of depression. When I was twenty-two I went all-in on my dreams resulting in owning a large daycare center, a retail store inside of a shopping mall, and a commercial janitorial company. I know what it is to make six figures in your twenties. However, I also know what it looks like to lose everything in your twenties. Those series of losses bought me something that sets me apart from those in my industry and provided something money can’t buy…resiliency.
Resiliency is what I am most proud of in my entrepreneurial career. Not the Forbes article. Not single-handedly bringing the Shark Tank casting call to Oklahoma City. Not even providing results for past clients like T-Mobile, Mercedes Benz and Volvo.
How did you build your audience on social media?
The way that I built the audience that I have on social media as though participating in virtual events since 2014. In 2012-2013 I was introduced to Lisa Nichols who is featured in the movie, “The Secret”. During my time with her, I learned how you could gain more exposure. The details that she provided made sense to me and I didn’t know enough to provide a rebuttal so I simply did what I was told. At that time, I accepted every request to be a presenter or a guest. No matter the topic, I showed up promptly and ready to fully engage without attempting to take the spotlight from the host or moderator. I am still reaping the benefits of virtual stages that I utilized nearly a decade ago.
Alright – let’s talk about marketing or sales – do you have any fun stories about a risk you’ve taken or something else exciting on the sales and marketing side?
I remember the first time I sold my coaching services for $25,000.
At the time I was in Dubai simply because I love traveling to Dubai. I, at that time, only had a $5,000 offer. I received an email confirmation from my scheduling tool about a discovery call. I had not spoken to anyone that week in regards to my services because I know how to compartmentalize my business and personal life while on vacation. Once I began the call with the person that booked a time I learned that they had done a simple google search for “queer business coach”. They were also queer and desired to work with someone who understood them on a more molecular level. Once I assessed where they were and where they desired to go in life and in business, I offered my $5,000 package. The response that I received after I made my offer was a “no”. The reason why is because they desire to be supported in a way that I had never considered previously. However, I asked more clarifying questions and listened intently and on the spot, created a package exclusively for them which they promptly agreed to while on the call. I can still remember sitting in the hotel room after the call, looking at myself in the hotel mirror and saying, “did I just make $25,000 in thirty minutes?!”. The truth is I had and I was forever changed.