The Success Story of High Point University
Is it possible for a small business to grow exponentially in size and revenue within just a decade? You might think that this is impossible, but wait till you hear the inspiring story of High Point University President Dr. Nido Qubein. I remember one winter, High Point University faced a great challenge over winter when the roads had been covered with six inches of snow. Just imagine: the roads are closed, delivery trucks can’t get to the school with normal food deliveries, employees can’t get to work, and the employees at the school can’t get home. Plus, the 3,900 hungry students are looking to be fed, constantly. Dr. Nido Qubein and his staff took the challenge in stride, and by 11:45 am, while the entire rest of the town was closed, they had the program back on the path. Kids were being fed, roads were being cleared, students were being taught, and they still even found a way to get us from the hotel to the campus so we could meet with Dr. Qubein and take our much-desired campus tour.
Inspiring Management Story for Business Owners
We visited High Point University expecting to see excellence in action. One thing you won’t find written about Dr. Qubein is his heart. He took the challenge of rebuilding High Point University, his Alma mater, over the option of certain riches in his business career numbering at about $30 million dollars. Yes, he was wildly successful before High Point and still earns an extraordinary living from his income stream, which was 17 at last count, but the point is, he decided it’s time to give back. For 10 years, he toiled 12-15 hours per day, dreaming, planning, selling those dreams to academia, obtaining buy-in, and working the plan. This included building 61 new buildings. That’s a tall task considering he had less than 100 acres of land to work with, so what did he do? He purchased more land, one house at a time. Over ten years, he managed to amass over 300 acres of land and he grew his revenue from $30 million to over $200 million.
When he invested $1.2 billion dollars in the building and restoration project, he only borrowed 13% of that money. How is that possible? Donations, that’s how. But, the question we should be asking is: How is it that a small school in North Carolina was able to accomplish all this in under 10 years? You might say “luck”. Dr. Qubein will tell you that luck, in his opinion, is defined by “who” and not “what”.
Who is Dr. Qubein?
The first “who” we need to begin with is Dr. Qubein himself. What would inspire a self-made man who understands how to make a product, market a product, and manage the business in such a way that it would provide him with income, to take a position with a regulated compensation? Dr. Qubein will tell you it’s his closest friends that finally decided it for him. They told him flat out, you’ve made enough for yourself, it’s time to give back. He was 55 at the time when he made this decision.
Who are the people that helped build Qubein’s ‘empire’?
The second “who” is the vast army of relationships that Nido gathered along his journey. Before getting married he enjoyed going on dates, but none of these old girlfriends had bad things to say about him. He treated everyone, even his enemies, with respect and dignity.
There are two very powerful lessons to be learned here. First of all, at some point, you’re going to feel the need to give back. And, if you master the art of business, where Richard James is an expert, you’ll be better prepared to do just that. Because the truth behind charitable corporations is that they are still corporations.
3 Tips to Manage Your Practice
While High Point is an institution of education and a nonprofit organization, it’s first and foremost a business. It has to generate leads, convert those leads into campus tours, convert those tours into applications, convert those applications into paying students, and deliver such an amazing experience that they refer their friends and become lifelong alumni donors?
- Measure your goals. The cool thing is, Dr. Qubein always measures milestones and business goals. He can tell you his average student acquisition cost and his value per student, including attrition. He knows how many applications he has and how many will convert into students. And he knows how much each student’s parent is worth to the school in donations.
- Nurture relationships. Because Nido took special care of the relationships that he’s built through his career, he was able to pick up the phone, make some calls and raise millions of dollars, instantly. Yes, you may not have the need to raise funds for your current business. But you may decide to launch a new practice area or invest your money in additional business or real estate, and it’s my experience that people, not things, are the grease that makes the wheels turn. Anything you want to accomplish will be accomplished through and by people. As Earl Nightingale famously said, “You don’t believe me, next time you go fishing, be sure to make your own fish hooks.” Never burn a bridge. Rather, find new ways to build them.
- Master your calling. What do you believe you are being called to do to give back? If it in any way requires fundraising, lead generation, and conversion, my suggestion is, practice your passion. Learn it cold, in your own business, the way we teach it. Because, as I just found out, one of the finest institutions in the world uses it to create extraordinary results. And last, with whom are you cultivating and nurturing relationships with and with whom are you investing most of your time? These are the questions at the core of the greatest leaders I’ve ever met. These are the questions I ask, our superstar clients ask, and what you need to ask yourselves.
Need Help from a Law Firm Management Advisor?
Growing your small law firm will require not just your investment, but also your dedication as a manager. Lawyers often encounter challenges in managing their law firms as the management side is not really taught in law schools. This is where the services of business management consultants become valuable. There are many different management training programs and consulting available out there, but if you are a practicing lawyer, wouldn’t you prefer working with someone who has been working constantly with legal practices and attorneys?
To get the best consulting service for your law practice management, consider someone who is an expert in legal systems, such as Richard James, our law firm management consultant. If you need help auditing your business, looking out for things that can be improved, or how to boost your efficiency, you can schedule a 1-on-1 consultation to get your customized practice growth plan.