This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS - See his portfolio and get alerts BEFORE every trade. Learn more NOW!

Fastsigns CEO Catherine Monson: Five Traits to a Successful Career

How has your managerial style and ethics influenced the culture at Fastsigns?

Monson: Throughout my career, throughout my adult life, I have studied successful people. I have had the opportunity to be mentored by some amazing executives. I've had the opportunity to meet some very successful CEOs and presidents. And what I have found is that there are five common characteristics of successful people. It doesn't matter if you're talking about being successful in politics or successful in business or successful in saving for your retirement.

The first is positive mental attitude. I believe that positive mental attitude is learned. It is a discipline. It is the easiest thing in the world to be negative. Maybe some people have a sunnier disposition than others, but every successful leader is positive.

The next is goal-directed behavior. In a business, that would be having a business plan. One of the best ways to be goal-directed in your business is to have key objectives and an action plan and a budget on what you want to attain.

Then the third one would be self-motivation. Successful people will make two more sales calls in a day. They'll make the time to coach one more employee. They'll check on one more customer. Whatever it is, rather than saying, "OK, I can be done and I'll put that off until tomorrow," successful people just tend to be more self-motivated. They make things happen.

The fourth one will be a sense of urgency. I love success quotes and positive quotes and I try to feed my mind with that every day, and one of them that I love is Thomas Jefferson's, which is, "Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today."

And then the fifth characteristic is never stop learning.

How does that change the culture here? I try to always be positive and when I see any of my management team not being positive , I pull them aside and say, "Guys, remember, nobody wants to follow a pessimist. Nobody ever built a statue to a critic. You need to be positive in how you deal with people, in your outlook about the business, how you deal with franchisees."

I also bring that goal-directed behavior. We were a company that didn't really have a business plan. We now have one every year for four years. We didn't necessarily communicate what the business plan was to the entire team. Now every month I go over the business plan and where we are. We didn't even share the company's financial statements with anybody outside the executive committee and every month in our company meeting, part of the never stop learning, you've got to understand that if a company brings in $100,000 of revenue in month one, they don't have $99,000 of profit in month one. What are all of the things that go into that?

We have a long central corridor in our office that we call Inspiration Hall and it is filled with quotes about positive mental attitude and planning and self-discipline and all of those things. What I'm trying to do is feed the minds of my entire team about what it takes to be successful. That's kind of how I've tried to filter it through into the culture.

I'm assuming that trickles down to the franchisees as well.

Monson: Absolutely. In fact, I have spent a couple different convention speeches and different columns in our regular newsletter talking about that philosophy, coaching franchisees. At our upcoming convention next month I'm doing a seminar on how to develop a success culture in your business and so that same philosophy, not only do I use that in dealing with my teams of my employees, the 100-plus people that are here, but also the 500-plus franchisees out there.

3 of 4

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AAPL $129.38 0.22%
FB $79.61 -0.18%
GOOG $573.65 0.40%
TSLA $199.54 1.10%
YHOO $42.63 -3.40%

Markets

DOW 18,203.37 -85.26 -0.47%
S&P 500 2,107.28 -10.11 -0.48%
NASDAQ 4,979.5690 -28.5270 -0.57%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs