The year is 1994. I am barely 22 years old, with a newborn daughter and a wife, and I am terrified. Terrified of how I am going to support my new family, terrified of what the future holds. Terrified of working tireless hours just to get by. Lately, I have been thinking and praying about something. Something crazy, something that I have always dreamed of, but not yet had the courage to attempt: I want to start my own business, and I wanted to focus my business on the aggressive, dog-eat-dog world that is the automotive industry.
You see, my father had become quite successful in this business. I felt like if I could just work hard at it, then I would be pretty much set after a couple of years or so! I was young and naïve, I had no idea that to accomplish such a task would take everything out of me. To me, the concept of a leader was just the person that hires people and tells them what to do. I did not yet understand the true meaning of a leader. Looking back today, I smile at the thought of it. A young guy who had almost no experience, but who had passion. The Dave that was in 1994 was hungry. He did not WANT to succeed, he HAD to succeed. He needed this to work. This was his last shot, his last hurrah.
To be honest, I had no other alternative. So I set out to chase this crazy dream, and today, almost 24 years later, I am still chasing, but from a much better starting position. After all of this time, I have learned how to do things and how not to do them. All of the success and failure, all of the people who have come and gone, every situation that I have been faced with was for a reason. I believe that God works in mysterious ways, and has taught me how to lead in an effective manner through these ups and downs that I have faced. This book is my way of jotting these instances down, and applying them to others who are involved or otherwise interested in becoming a strong, effective leader.
Leadership in any industry is not an easy job. It is stressful, and you are always on the clock. But every team needs a leader, and if not you then who? There is a finesse to being a leader, but there is no set path to follow. To be a solid leader, you will have to learn much of it on your own. But I believe that if you incorporate some of the aspects that we will discuss in later chapters, that you will have a much easier road ahead of you than if you simply go on your own and learn the hard way as I had. This book, and these stories and concepts in it, will be for you to learn from my mistakes, and for you to strengthen the parts of your approach to leadership that may need a bit of refining. These stories and ideas are purely from my heart and meant to help you in your quest to lead others. Whether you are looking to become a better leader of a small group, or looking to start your own business from the ground up, I believe that you will be able to find ideas in these pages that you will be able to utilize to your advantage in whatever it is that you decide to do in life.
In this book, I will help to teach you how to inspire rather than discourage, how to teach with actions rather than tell, how to help rather than hinder, and how to lead before you become lunch!
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About the Author
David and his wife of 24 years, Diana, started iPD from their bedroom in Tampa, Florida and have three children ranging in age from 17-24. They went from dialing local dealers from their house, to now working with more than 600 companies annually. iPD is now one of the leading direct marketing firms in the U.S. servicing a multitude of industries. Based out of the greater Tampa Bay area, iPD has been in business, and expanding, for 22 years.
In addition to being the CEO of iPD, Villa is a published motivational speaker. He specializes his training in the arenas of sales, leadership, and team building. Villa is also a host on “Auto Dealer Live,” a weekly radio show where dealers go to discuss relevant topics in the automotive industry. Villa is also an Amazon best-selling author and editor in chief of iPD’s “Dealer Solutions Magazine”.
As lead trainer for iPD’s “Serial Sales Pro” Villa’s passion is the see individuals unlock their God given potential and utilize their talent in its fullest.