Bill Defeo has over 20 years of experience in conceptualizing, launching and operating successful small businesses. As an IFC certified Business Coach, Bill has met great success in mentoring others. He believes that coaching cannot be effective with a cookie cutter approach. Instead, Bill relates to his clients as individuals and builds coaching programs unique to the current challenges and business goals of each client.
A popular public speaker, Bill travels to cities throughout the U.S. to speak to professionals and business owners about communications skills, building successful business systems and the importance of breaking out of routines.
A firm believer in the power of giving, Bill is the CEO and primary facilitator of Work Your Net, a professional networking organization based in Gainesville, FL. Each week at Work Your Net, hundreds of business owners gather to acquire new knowledge from premier speakers, discuss ideas and strategies for business growth, and share contacts and referrals.
My path has been a journey of learning, discovery and sharing knowledge. It started when I was 21 years old, a stranger gave me a Zig Ziglar book to read. Back then, I had no idea who Zig Ziglar was and I had no real interest in reading the book. That stranger changed my life.
People often think that success in sales is all about the product, about knowing how to “wow” people with features and benefits, having good bargaining skills and being a fast talker. The truth is quite different. While it is important to know your product, the real key is to know people. Success in sales comes from listening to customer’s needs and then genuinely seeking to provide the right product or service to fill that need.
Being a salesman was great, yet after a few years of traveling and closing deals I started to crave something different. Living in Florida provides many opportunities for outdoor adventures, so I built a business around this.
Jet Tour Adventures was my first flight as a business owner. Customers chose from a variety of tours of the Suwannee, Santa Fe and Ichetuknee rivers. Days were spent in the sun and on the water. Nights were spent with equipment maintenance, budgets, bookkeeping, sales forecasts, and marketing plans. It was entrepreneurship in its truest form.
My next adventure in business was land based: a flooring store. I took everything I learned in the Jet Tour business and applied it to building a system. Building a business system is very different than just opening a business. Think of the difference between franchises and independent businesses. According to national statistics, less than 20% of independent businesses last more than a year. On the other hand, over 70% of franchises make it to year two (verify stats). The variable is having a system, a well-researched and planned set of procedures, policies and strategies that govern how the business will operate. Solid systems lead to successful businesses.
With my system in place, my flooring store flourished and over time it became self-sufficient. My involvement was needed less and less, so I began to spend more time networking in the business community. Networking groups provide fertile ground for sharing ideas, brainstorming and even mentoring others. I found that I had a talent for coaching others to success and five years ago I became certified as a Business Coach.
Understanding the power of coaching and networking, I brought these two important concepts together and founded Work Your Net, a professional networking organization based in Gainesville, FL. Each week at Work Your Net, hundreds of business owners gather to acquire new knowledge from premier speakers, discuss ideas and strategies for business growth, and share contacts and referrals.