Robert Grant is a serial entrepreneur, artist, publisher, producer, and musician known as O’Mega Red. He has about 10 years of experience in the payment processing field. Now he runs it through his own company. He has been CEO of Stay Grindin for 15 years+, which is an independent Music Company. He is regularly adapting and always looking to connect people together. Plus, he served our country in the United States Air Force.
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Table of Contents
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Robert Grant: Financial freedom and getting fired from every job I ever had and having a deep passion to be able to help business owners in local communities thrive! I also started to understand more about what passive and residual income was once I had some success in the music business. Royalties are how artists get paid from their musical intellectual property. I wanted to diversify my portfolio so I entered into corporate America with my stay grindin’ mindset.
Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up?
Robert Grant: When I first started in sales I had no relationships and was new to Buffalo so I had to do a ton of cold calling and just going door to door. The constant rejection was mentally exhausting. I would probably only get 1 out of 10 leads to actually come to fruition. And my lack of relationships really made it difficult, so I made that a priority and shifted my focus to networking and building trust with people in the community.
What are the most common mistakes you see entrepreneurs make and what would you suggest they do?
Robert Grant: The most common mistake I see is people staying set in their ways, not being open-minded to new concepts, and becoming early adapters. I think it’s important to be flexible.
I think it’s also a mistake to view your competition as the enemy instead of learning from them. There is plenty of space for everyone to sit at the table and eat. You can always learn from other businesses successful or not – they have something to share if you are open to it.
Has the pandemic and transitioning into mostly online shopping affected your company positively or negatively?
Robert Grant: The pandemic has impacted me positively. For my consulting business online shopping was just an extension of the e-commerce solutions I was already offering. Restaurants were struggling the most with this concept and had to quickly adapt to curbside and take-out. It also helped me dive deeper into that industry – specifically around virtual terminals and billing and the shift to contactless billing.
With everyone being home during the pandemic it fueled a lot more streaming and online shopping – so my music business thrived. I also sold a lot of merchandise promoting my brand Stay Grindin Clothing (shameless plug). As I mentioned earlier, being flexible to new solutions helped me adapt my businesses quickly during the pandemic.
What is most important to your organization—mission, vision or values?
Robert Grant: I believe in all (3): Mission, Vision, and values. Without a vision, you can’t execute your mission, and values are the foundation. For WNY Consulting my vision is to create a sense of community and help small businesses thrive together. My mission was to treat small businesses as partners. I really enjoy collaborating and working with small businesses.
I like using my network to introduce them to new resources and boost their brand recognition in the community. When working with large companies, I find I can add value by offering new solutions to help them be more efficient and scalable. Customer service and technology are what drives my business, but honesty, transparency, and integrity are my core values.
For my music label, Stay Grindin’ my vision is to create an inclusive culture that believes in achieving their goals – no matter how big or small. As long as they get up every morning and get on their daily grind to achieve these goals they are part of the Stay Grindin’ family. Stay Grindin it’s not just a label, it’s a way of life.
You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success?
Robert Grant: Trusting the process – I genuinely believe that every opportunity good or bad is part of the growing process. I’ve always learned from bad opportunities, taken the lesson from them, and moved on. I’ve also seen what success looks like, and I’ve taken that experience and built on it over and over-trusting the process. Having both major and minor success has taught me that both require consistency.
Holding myself accountable – sticking to my word. When I tell a client or partner I’m going to do it – I do it. I 100% believe in underpromising and over-delivering. I’ve worked with a lot of people who lack follow-through. I’ve learned to seek out relationships and strategic partnerships with people who can match my drive. I often find myself involved in mastermind groups because I find they are like-minded when it comes to holding themselves accountable.
Having high emotional intelligence – This really helps me with networking. I love meeting new people everywhere and I’m always enthusiastic when I meet new people; whether it’s on a plane, concert venue, restaurant, or at a networking event. Finding a mutual business interest or connection can be difficult if you’re just thinking about yourself and just your business goals. I start the conversation more with personal interests and goals.
How important do you think it is for a leader to be mindful of his own brand?
Robert Grant: Your brand is not only a reflection of yourself as a leader but of who you are as a person. It’s so much more important now with social media to be self-aware of how you are representing yourself.
What’s your favorite leadership style and why?
Robert Grant: I lead by example, I roll up my sleeves and get in the trenches. I would never ask someone to do something I wouldn’t do myself. No one wants to invest in you – if you don’t invest in yourself.
What advice would you give to our younger readers that want to become entrepreneurs?
Robert Grant: It’s going to suck in the beginning. There will be tears and long nights and no sleep – but trust the process. At times no one will see the vision except you but you can’t be mad when they don’t see it you have to convert them into believers by bringing your vision to life. There will be people that come in and out of your life, maybe for a day, a week, a year – but always for a purpose and that’s ok. Listen to what people say, but watch what they do.
What’s your favorite “business” quote and how has it affected your business decisions?
Robert Grant:“I’m a good friend, but a shrewd businessman”
Some people I thought were my friends then changed when we did business together. I’ve come across a lot of takers and not enough givers and I’ve learned to do business where it can be mutually beneficial.
Mike Weiss, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Robert Grant for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Robert Grant or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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