On January 12th, 2011, it was a cold and snowy winters day in Scotland when my family arrived at Glasgow International Airport, waiting to board our flight to Florida. My wife Sarah, our two boys Callum (7) and Rory (4) and myself were ready to begin our new life in Tampa, Florida.
This is a short story with a little background of my life so you can understand how I got to where I am today. The step that led us to immigrate in the first place was my wife’s job. It was a very good job and included green cards for the four of us. Although I wanted to move more than my wife did, we decided to go for it. It’s my goal to inspire you through my journey and be less afraid of change. Let’s get started.
I had done lots of different jobs for local government in Scotland. where I had lived my whole life before moving to Florida. I started off pushing a lawn mower but then had opportunities in the consumer department, customer services, GIS mapping, until I found my forte working as an Economic Development Officer. I was a late developer, largely due to the fact that I left high school with no qualifications, hence starting with grass cutting. I realized I wanted and needed more when I almost got made redundant from my grass cutting job. If I had lost that job, my prospects would be slim elsewhere, either working at a bar or driving a taxi. This was a major turning point for me and was time to check my game! I wanted to broaden my employment prospects, therefore I enrolled in night school to achieve my high school qualifications in my mid 20s. This gave me the confidence and belief that I could aim even higher. I then spent six more years studying part time at night school while promoting myself with my full time jobs I mentioned above. It was a long slog, but I finally graduated with my BA (Business Administration at the University of Paisley- now University of the West of Scotland) on the 21st of November in 2001. Who would have thought? There was matter between my ears!
The best job I’ve ever had was working in the economic development department with the local government. I felt like I earned the right to have good job where I was an important cog in the wheel of the local administration. I wrote, presented reports to committees, responded to consultations as well as helped businesses and local groups access and gain funding from external sources.
This all opened up the opportunity to move to a slightly bigger league, where I applied for and got the job of Stakeholder and Partnership Manager for the South of Scotland with Scottish Enterprise, Scotland’s Economic Development Agency. Then, my wife got offered her position and we moved to Florida. What this meant for me at the tail end of the last big recession (2011), was that I was effectively unemployed. What would I do in the land of opportunity? It was scary as we weren’t sure it was the right thing to do, especially by taking our young kids to a new country and me being out of a job. I describe it as so exciting and so scary, both at the same time. It was a whirlwind of emotions.
When we arrived in Florida, I began looking for jobs! Insurance companies wanted me, but I knew nothing about insurance let alone in another country. I learned that USA is a lot different from my home country of Scotland where I lived my entire life, so I decided I would be an entrepreneur. I figured it couldn’t be that hard, especially because I studied in this area as a part of my business degree, but I was wrong! It was tough! I went into the floor cleaning industry which included carpet, tile & grout. After attending training in Arizona, I took the equipment I had bought along with my van, and let myself loose in the Tampa Bay area. It turned out that I was very good at floor cleaning and also made some money. It was looking very successful. Turns out though, that business theory is a lot different from actually running a business. I had to deal with HR, sales & marketing, accounts and employees too! I made mistakes, but kept it going for six years while doing other work. I then decided to invest in becoming a Franchise Consultant. I researched and helped other people that wanted to be in business for themselves with the partnership of a franchise system. Though this was tough too and resulted in only 1 closed deal in 2 years, I still had a belief that I was learning. I was being taught during these tough times that from every failure or lack of success, there was also good that could come from it. One of those good things that came from it was learning about the many franchise models out there. I was particularly interested in one of them, Schooley Mitchell, North America’s Largest independent cost consulting firm. When I looked at this model, I realized that I had some good experience through my work in Scotland with economic development. I was helping people and businesses, but in this case, helping them both to reduce costs with no out of pocket expense. I love helping people and so I reached out to Schooley Mitchell and have continued working there since October, 2016.
At this point you might be wondering what happened to the floor cleaning business. My first thoughts were to sell it, but then I made the decision to keep the business. I worked at Schooley Mitchell during the week, and over the weekends I cleaned floors. I did it this way for two reasons: one was to pay my royalties to Schooley Mitchell while I grew my cost consulting practice, and the other was try to keep some kind of value in my floor cleaning business in order to sell it.
I did both expense reduction consulting and floor cleaning for the first year at Schooley Mitchell, paying my royalties until my practice could stand on it’s own two feet. I signed 35 clients in my first year and won rookie of the year at our franchise conference. I guess through trial and error, stumbling and falling, I finally began to experience real success. I could now concentrate 100% of my efforts on my cost reduction work. I closed down the floor cleaning business, sold my Jeep Liberty and trailer and bought a Ford Mustang. I ended up keeping the machine and tools at my home and if you’re wondering, my floors at home are VERY CLEAN!
I have been doing cost reduction consulting with Schooley Mitchell for almost five years now and going strong. My wife has a really good job a Citi Bank and my kids both assimilated well into our new society. One just started at FSU (18) the other just started high school (14).
Since that snowy day in Glasgow in 2011 there has been sweat, blood and a lots of tears. It has been a rough ride but I’m still going. I like to say, “life is a bitch and then you die,” but what this means is that no matter what the pitfalls, you can experience growth on the inside. Is it scary? Absolutely! Fear is not a reason to not do stuff or try new things, it’s just one of many hurdles you have to jump through to get there. You can do it. Look where I started and look where I am now. If I can go from pushing a lawn mower to where I am now, anyone can!
William has Nominated (N) or Introduced (I) the following:
Never give up. Never think less of yourself as I am living testament that no matter your circumstances or background you can embrace change, live, learn and grow. Don't let fear control you. We all have fear and doubt. I believe in going for it.
Richard Branson once said, "accept the opportunity now and worry about how to do it later."
My business card
Business Expense Reduction Consulting
As North America's largest independent cost reduction consulting firm, we look for savings for businesses of all shapes and sizes in specific areas. There's no out of pocket costs for our services and we only represent our clients, not any of the vendors that pay for services. We know what your peers and competitors are paying and it's our job to know this on your behalf.
Engaging us with our knowledge of what your peers and competitors are paying will result in one of two outcomes:
We will confirm that you have the best possible services and prices (free)
We will save you money (Fees are based off of savings found)
My typical customer
If you're a business of any kind and have costs in any/all of these categories, we can help:
Small Package Shipping (courier envelope to 150lbs) - Average savings 28%
Telecom (everything telecom including phones, cell, internet, vehicle tracking devices and ELD) - Average savings 28%
Utilities de- regulated states (electric, gas and fuel, including vehicle fuel cards) - Average savings 28%
Waste (garbage, recycling, shredding, hazardous, medical, anything) - Average savings 35%
e-Signature - Average savings 55%
CC Processing - Average savings 28%
William McKissock - Expense Reduction Specialist with Schooley Mitchell
Visit my website: https://www.schooleymitchell.com/wmckissock/