Brian Scudamore

CEO, 1-800-GOT-JUNK?

After nine years of building my business to $1 million in sales, I thought, “Now what?” I couldn’t envision growing the business beyond Vancouver.

So, one day, I sat on the dock at my parents’ cottage and said, “Rather than all this negativity, what if my business could be much bigger? What would that look like?” I wrote down all these bold thoughts on two sides of a sheet of paper, which I called a “painted picture.” I didn’t allow myself to ask how or even whether I could do them.

I wrote down things such as: “In five years, we’ll be in North America’s 30 biggest metro areas and I’ll be a guest on Oprah.” Then I shared my painted picture with everyone in my company. That separated out the people who thought I was crazy—whom I told, “Great, there’s the door.”

The painted picture wasn’t “This is where we’d like to go,” but “This is where we will go.” Everyone focused on achieving it; and if we didn’t know how to make something happen, we’d sit down and find a way.

We achieved all of it, including a show in which Oprah helped families declutter. I had told everyone “I see myself giving Oprah a hug”—and in the green room before the show, I hugged her. It was just what I’d seen in the painted picture.

Return to The Turning Point—past and present PROFIT 500 leaders reveal how a single tactic or decision can make all the difference

Photograph by Jennifer Roberts

Readers Choice

Specific guidelines on what you’ll get for your money, and which types of reps are worth the extra spend

Loading comments, please wait.