One of the most sought after speakers on sales and mindset coaching, Aguilar has used the same skills, knowledge, and experience he passes on to others to run Xavier Dean Realty and Dean Aguilar Group. He is the CEO of Digital Muse, a brand consulting agency that focuses on social media execution. The other two establishments are Real Estate companies. Aguilar has been through hell and back in terms of business experience. He not only survived the economic recession in 2008, but he also scaled his business to $500,000 from a mere $37,000 in just 12 months. Such rare entrepreneurial fetes set Aguilar from the rest and positions him as an authority and resourceful mentor in business growth. Here’s how he build his business to half a million in less than a year. There are valuable lessons for everyone in this read.
Finding the Sweet Spot and Leveraging It for a Good Leap
From his first days as an entrepreneur, Dean always understood the benefit of carefully analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the business. After identifying and taking advantage of the strengths and addressing gaps, he is always on a growth spurt. However, it is the former he is more interested in. He calls it “finding the sweet spot and leveraging it for a good leap to even better days.” He says, “The very first thing I leveraged when I made 37,000 was investing everything I had on online lead sources.” Paid traffic for leads was the thing at the time, and he knew the internet was changing everything, and he had to get in front of that movement. “I invested in Zillow years ago, which led to a complete explosion in my business,” he adds. As they started to become the number one website in the world for real estate, Dean was also growing alongside them. With every closing, he purchased more and more market share in different zip codes. In the end, Dean ended up hiring a salesperson to scrub those leads daily, an assistant, and a buyer agent.
Something Had to Give, and It Did
Talking about 5 Sacrifices Every Entrepreneur Must Make, Jayson DeMers says that “The rigors of entrepreneurship demand sacrifices, and if you don’t make those sacrifices, you’ll never be able to succeed.” Of the five sacrifices in DeMers’ list, Aguilar made all. He sacrificed his stability, income, work/life balance, comfort, and sleep. Aguilar’s sacrifice was, however, a business strategy. He says, “I reinvested everything I had sacrificed. No vacations, not go out, I spent nothing on new clothes and other expenses. Instead, I reinvested.” As a result, Aguilar scaled as he needed. He only hired when he was maxed out and did not fall for the “shiny object syndrome.” “I did not even purchase new gadgets or tools for real estate,” he stresses.
Morphing Obstacles into Learning Experiences
The second biggest hurdle for entrepreneurs is in hiring employees. The biggest is cash flow management. The situation was not any different with Aguilar. He says that the most significant business challenge he faced was hiring and developing the right people. He, however, turned this obstacle around into a learning experience. “I learned that, kindness and liking someone does not make them a good agent. I fell into this trap frequently when starting. I hired badly and waited too long to fire,” Aguilar recalls. After analyzing the effects of his mistakes, Aguilar, together with his mentor, came up with a 25 point interview process and checkpoints. That is when it all turned around.
In summation, Dean Aguilar got to where he is by always taking his past mistakes and challenges as learning experiences. The most important thing this practice has impacted is what he does next when adversity happens. “Instead of saying I’m never doing something again, I develop a plan or process to repeat a previous mistake but make amends before the actual mistake happens,” he says.