THE ROLLERCOASTER RIDE: John Waters, Owner of Waters Business Consulting Group, LLC

Fine Art by Michelle Micalizzi
(All Rights Reserved)

My muse this week is John Waters. John owns Waters Business Consulting Group, LLC.


John and I are very like-minded professionals. We believe that every action has to have a purpose and should tie back to some kind of metric. In order to grow, every business needs a definitive ACTION plan and that plan needs to be worked. John is committed to helping his clients stay on track. He is a closed lipped friend who has been there and he understands that sometimes being the boss of your own business is not for wimps. One has to be a disciplined warrior to achieve success as an entrepreneur.

John and I met at an entrepreneur specific networking event about five years ago. I have since forgotten who hosted it, but I vividly recall meeting John. We have kept in contact over the years not knowing that we have a mutual friend Aaron Witsoe, Co-Founder and COO of Welding is Natural (WIN). Shortly after I started Fearlessly Deliver, Aaron and I met to update each other on our latest endeavors. In our conversation I asked him for introductions to any top notch Business Coaches that he knew because they are my ideal referral partner. I execute the projects that a savvy business coach suggests that the clients implement to take their business to the next level. That is how Aaron and I found out that we have John Waters in common. John and I continue to meet every six to eight weeks. Water seeks its own level. (Pun intended)

The three biggest things that impress me the most about John are:

  1. He is a Business Coach who has run more than one successful business.
  2. He is a numbers and metrics guy. Every action he asks his clients to take is supported by data.
  3. He believes in taking massive action to maintain and achieve success.

In a Nutshell….

John has had nine successful businesses. He practices what he preaches and continues to acknowledge that there are lessons to be learned every day. He is humbly confident about his clients and his own success.


John took a few minutes out to answer the five Art of Fearlessly Doing Business Questions.


1.) Open Up and Talk

Many business owners do not have an objective person they can talk to about their dreams and their concerns. Having an outside party who is not dependent upon whether you win or lose is a smart move for most business owners, especially once they reach a certain level. I coordinated the Leadership Development Program for IDX Systems software while I earned my Masters in Administration. I was exposed to a multitude of leadership information in that position that many do not have access to until they are in a C Level position in a big corporation with many direct reports and responsibilities. What a blessing! John has been there too. He knows how big companies do it. One of the ways they develop their leaders is through intense direct coaching. If you own your own business you do not have the luxury of an HR department or if you do, you are in charge of it and the last place you are going to open up is there. John offers an invaluable service to his clients that help them to take their businesses to the next level so they can achieve their dreams.

2.) The Roller Coaster Ride is Real!

John skipped over the fear of starting a business when he created Waters Consulting. He had already had nine businesses under his belt, so what was there to be afraid of when you have taken a 7.5M company to 45M? John, however, quickly learned that starting a solo-preneur business that is service based versus product based is a whole different animal. He went from, “This will be easy” to “This sucks” to “WOW we are flying” to “What have I done?’ Welcome to the roller coaster ride of working for yourself. When you are starting with 7.5M it is hard to imagine what starting at 0 looks like. Well John knows what it means to be on that rollercoaster ride and as a result, he is an even more effective business coach than before.

3.) Success Can Be Your Biggest Enemy

Once we start to fly and we have a full pipeline we can get complacent. We have some good clients in the gate and we are happily chugging along. As fortunate might dictate, right about the time that you are counting your earnings you could abruptly lose your biggest client. When that happens you realize that you cannot fall back on your laurels. One must always be building relationships and filling your pipeline so that you do not create an environment where you are holding clients hostage so that you can pay your bills. A steady pipeline ensures, that should one of them decide to leave, you are not left with a short fall or worse yet a tail spin. The services business that John and I are both in has a longer incubation period than product based businesses. You have to be foremost in a client’s mind so that when a need arises, people reach for your card or hit your number on their phone. It is our role to keep other businesses moving forward.

4.) Experience is the Best Teacher

When we are in school we take plenty of classes that teach theory. When we work for a secure company we collect a dependable secure paycheck that probably has a ceiling but is predictable. We sleep soundly each month knowing that all the ACH’s coming and going from our accounts will be covered. As an entrepreneur, you are on your own and the master of your own destiny and everything gets very real. You cannot read about that feeling, you have to experience it to fully comprehend it. John immediately learned that lesson when he started his business and began to fly without a net. As I said before, that has made him a far better coach because he has experienced the ease and comfort of a bigger company’s success and the unpredictable volatility of a smaller venture as well.

5.) Take Action – Make Mistakes

My friend Stony has a favorite saying when it comes to life, “Get off the couch Bitches!” Now that is perhaps a little vulgar for the average bear but I like it. I believe in Tony Robbins comment, “Sometimes a curse word is the only way to drive the point home.” John tells his clients, “Do not just sit in analysis paralysis. JUST DO SOMETHING. DO ANYTHING. TAKE ACTION!” Get yourself moving in any direction, even making a mistake is better than inertia. You want your actions to line up with the big picture as much as you can but sometimes it does not even matter. Get yourself unstuck and just do something no matter how small or wrong and start that ball rolling again. Once you are back in motion, it is easier to get back to the plan.

Thank you so much John 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 Opening on May 14th at the Walter Gallery from 7-10PM.

Note from the Artist

The Rollercoaster Ride. Yes, every business owner pays for his or her ticket to get on the ride and they ride it every day, all day long. There is no getting off the ride once you own a business, it’s 24/7! One does not clock out anymore like they did when they were an employee. Smart business owners learn how to manage the stress of their reality so it does not undo them, however, the business is ever-present when the buck stops with you. Of course the riders in the seats are light bulbs, the universal image of an entrepreneur for me.

It also struck me as I started to look at images of roller coasters that they are shaped like bell curves. The roller coaster ride not only signifies the every day twists and turns of a business owners emotions, but it also represents the real time data that every business owner must truly analyze to move their business to the next level. A bell curve is the most common type of distribution variable that represents a normal distribution. The German mathematician, Karl Gauss, invented it so that he could use it to analyze astronomical data. I find this fact kind of amusing so I added stars to the sky to symbolize the original purpose of the bell curve. Since Gauss, the bell curve is used by many organizations to evaluate performance for employee. productivity and a product’s life cycle. The curve values are interpreted as, the left side of the curve denotes low performance or the introductory phase of a product, the middle represents average performance or the growth and maturity of a product, and the right side indicates the best performance or the decline of a product. Metrics are very important to John in the work he does with his clients. It is important to know where aspects of your business are on this curve in order to make informed and smart decisions. The use of an up close and far away perspective is also significant to me. There are things happening in your business of differing importance all the time. Every day you ride the wave and deal with the matters at hand.

The Art of Fearlessly Doing Business!

Press Viewing (by invitation only): Friday, May 13 6-8PM
Opening: Saturday, May 14th 7-10PM
Conversation with the Artist: Saturday, May 21 7-9PM
Closing Reception: Thursday, June 9th 6-9PM

10% Proceeds donated to the Arizona Consortium of the Arts

 Walter Art Gallery
6425 East Thomas Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85257

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