Michelle Micalizzi, Artist
(All Rights Researved)
My muse this week is Jerry Levinson. Jerry owns Carpets of Arizona and he serves the communities of Chandler, Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe, and Phoenix. They carry a fine selection of flooring options including carpet, hardwood, laminate, tile, luxury vinyl tile, plank, and Hunter Douglas window coverings.
WHY JERRY QUALIFIES TO BE ONE OF THE 2017 FEARLESS THIRTEEN.
Jerry and I met through John Waters. John is a top notch business coach and the owner of Waters Business Consulting Group. John also was one of the Fearless 13 in 2016. The tiles of his painting was appropriately The Rollercoaster Ride. We met for lunch about a year ago now and I was impressed with his innovative approach to marketing and relationship building with his Home Seller’s Dream Program.
The day that I reached out to Jerry via email to invite him to be part of this project became a serendipitous encounter, as we happened to run into one another at the Arizona Marketing Association monthly meeting. I love it when an item from the proverbial To Do list happens organically. I was delighted that Jerry wanted to be part of this year’s project.
I really love Jerry’s sense of humor and how he incorporates it in the form of a play on words for his business names and tag lines is clever. For example, Blind Devotion, was the name of his window treatment company and Carpets of Arizona’s tag line is, “We are a small family-owned business, no one over 5’6.” He takes this claim to a literal level when you visit his showroom that has two doors; one door is for those under 5’6” and the other is for those over 5’6”. He chuckles as he says that he takes great pleasure in watching his customers choose from which door to enter the showroom. A sense of humor is one of Jerry’s genuine qualities. He makes people laugh and he has fun laughing at himself.
The three biggest things that impress me the most about Jerry are:
- His sense of humor.
- His ability to tolerate risk.
- He has set big goals and is bound and determined to achieve them.
Jerry took a few minutes out to answer the five Art of Fearlessly Doing Business Questions.
WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM JERRY ABOUT BEING FEARLESS?
1. Know Your Customer
Jerry recognizes that his flooring industry largely focuses on carpet cleanings and discount pricing. In reality, he has found that his customer is more interested in the quality of the flooring they purchase and excellent customer service. Jerry and I both know that no matter what your business, the first goal is to take care of the customer well so that trust and reputation are established, which leads to consistent sales. Businesses that do not take care of the customer are not successful.
2. Take Care of Your Customer
Jerry studies other successful businesses and he understands that a happy customer is your best asset. Happy customers come back and they refer their friends. People like to laugh and Jerry insists on laugher in his business both from himself and his employees; he takes great pleasure in creating a work environment that cultivates laughter. He understands that happy employees take better care of customers, and as a result, customers are happier too.
3. Be Bound and Determined
Jerry is relatively new to the flooring business, which is an industry that is not for the faint of heart. Every day he has to put forth his best effort and he operates with tremendous risk. In spite of grossing more than 200K last month, his cash flow and dealing with lenders remains forefront in his mind. The only way to make it in business is to be resolute and determined to win. Jerry has a goal of being of grossing 5 million by August of 2020. That is the goal he envisions each day as he drinks his one 5-hour Energy drink and goes to battle armed with his sense of humor and a strong will to succeed.
4. Build Relationships
Jerry’s Home Seller’s Dream Program invites home sellers to install new carpet into homes and then pay nothing until the house sells. One would think that this program sounds a bit outrageous, however the facts speak to how it is an ingenious approach to sell more carpet. From this creative method, Jerry is able to honor his primary goal with this program by creating stronger relationships with realtors. It really is a smart way to grow his business by building lasting relationships simultaneously with his client and the realtor. This is the kind of out-of-the-box thinking that cultivates not only good business but also a great network.
5. Fear Pushes you to Take Action
Jerry has learned that fear is not necessarily a bad thing when he states “Fear drives you to do things that you wouldn’t do if all was ok.” He goes on to say, “ You make a call, you do another ad. ” The point being is that fear makes you take action. When your back is up against the wall, you jump through hoops to make it through. Continued action is what will get Jerry to his 5 million dollar goal.
Another thing that I find endearing about Jerry is that he tries to not take himself, or the struggle for business success, too seriously. Given that sensibility, he does admit to not sleeping and being challenged sometimes with shutting his head off at night. We admitted to one another that we could be better at just letting the rollercoaster ride be what it is. Jerry and I both know that for the long-term, one has to learn to sleep and know that tomorrow is another day to take action.
Thank you so much Jerry for taking the time out to be one of the Fearless 13! I look forward to seeing you again at the Art of Fearlessly Doing Business Art III opening on May 5th at Fearless Art Works at Spanish Village in Carefree from 6-9PM.
Note from the Artist
JERRY’s ILLUSTRATION’S STORY:
I could not escape the idea of the magic carpet. It might seem like an easy out for the idea for this painting but I kept looking at the idea and then I reflected on Steppenwolf’s song, Magic Carpet Ride. The idea of being a dreamer on a carpet ride. Well, that is Jerry. He is a dreamer. I believe all entrepreneurs have to be dreamers. In this panel the houses that represent his happy home sellers and buyers are set below.
The character on the carpet is in part a character I drew twenty-five years ago in New York City. The title of the drawing was “Laughter.” Interestingly, the idea of throwing your head back in laughter is one of the many drawings I destroyed two summers ago as part of my choice to shred forty-four years of journals. Although a seemingly drastic decision, it was one that freed me to create this project. I remember the drawing photographically, and knew I had to create it again. The beauty of the effort this time meant that it was for the world to see. This is Jerry on his magic carpet ride, laughing his head off or it might be him screaming at the top of his lungs in frustration at one of the many complications of business ownership. I guess it depends on the day!
THE ART OF FEARLESSLY DOING BUSINESS III – OPENING
Fearless Art Works at Spanish Village
7211 E Ho Rd, #17
Friday, May 5th
FUTURE EVENTS: Fearless Art 2017 Schedule
SPREAD THE WORD: Event FLYER.
THIS WEEKS BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS
Feel free to email me and suggest a book that you have found particularly helpful!
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Michelle Micalizzi is a creative entrepreneur. She balances her businesses mind and creative skills in all that she does not only professionally with her business Fearlessly Deliver as a Visual Journalist, Curator & a Business Executor but in her life. Her strong belief in community and collective engagement lead her to found the Art of Fearlessly Doing Business and Fearless Pop up Projects. Michelle’s latest exciting endeavor the Fearless Art Works is an art gallery and a space for good works of all kind that connects Art + Community + Business! You can work with Fearlessly Deliver by either accepting an invitation to participate in a Fearless Art Project or by applying to be a custom business project execution client.