I received the below note recently from this fellow who said he was concerned for my well-being. I sent a reply and I thought the whole thing was entertaining enough to share. This was our literal exchange although “the name has been changed to protect the innocent.” The funniest thing is Radio Shack really did turn me down for a job many years ago.
Each month, I hear from a few people who do like what I write, and of course a few who don’t. The Offended, Appalled, etc. etc. etc. send me various expletives and send “Remove.” The insults roll like water off a duck’s back and I always respect their request and remove them. I almost never write a reply. My Mom and Dad taught me that contrary to the popular saying, you fight fire with water, not with more fire. I don’t have a big “get even” streak in me, but this guy was calling me unsuccessful and after working so hard to be successful, well… I guess it struck a chord.
I remember distinctly this one day, when I was first starting my company, Joseph Michaels International, in 1990. Gerald Craig and I, we just gave it our all. (Hope you’re well G!) 7 in the morning till 7 at night, then we called it a day. Well, after taking the elevator down and saying goodbye to Gerald, my new employee, I went down to Costco and Office Depot and bought some business machines, furniture, pictures and a coffee maker and other stuff we needed in the office. I went back to the office and back to work. I hung the pictures that night, set up the business machines and got ready for the next day. I put a few more hours in and before I knew it is was 3 o’clock in the morning. You get these rushes of energy all the time when you’re first starting up a business. And so it was for many years. I worked, I ate and I slept. That’s what most business owners do to become successful.
This guy could have called me any name in the book, but calling me a failure, well I’ve worked too hard for that one. I’ll admit I was tempted to tell him to, “go burn in…” well…let’s just say, south of the equator. However, he did inspire me to write this reply and share it with all of you. So he created an opportunity for me. I’ve been working hard to develop a condition of reverse paranoia, thinking everyone I meet is out to make my life wonderful. This was my way of telling this fellow thank you. I’m a success. I’ve already succeeded. I will continue to succeed and I’ve earned my success Bubba!
From: “Bubba” <Bubba@goofball.com>
To: “Joe Pelayo” <email@example.com@josephmichaels.com>
Sent on: 10/03/2001 07:45:00 AM
Subject: Re: Joseph Michaels International October update
>I don’t know how you ever made any money in the recruitment business
>but I doubt that you will again in the future. You and your
>”associates” better start looking for a job at Radio Shack.
> And this moronic idea of keeping us informed of you idiotic personal
>life is what caused me to write such a disdainful response.
Thanks for writing Bubba,
Yes I’m 33 and I own 3 homes here, so I guess I have made some money in the recruitment business. I dropped out of high school, but I make more money now than my entire family combined, they all have 4-year degrees. I didn’t want you to lose sleep worrying about me making money, so I sent you the below article. I did interview at Radio Shack many years ago, but they didn’t want me. No bullshit. Havagood day. Joe
Small Business Insights
From the October 10, 1997 San Francisco Business Times
Twenty-Year-Olds Can Make Millions
I always thought I could make it on my own,” said Joe Pelayo, who launched Joseph Michaels Inc., a San Francisco accounting placement firm, when he was only 22.
Many business owners have harbored entrepreneurial aspirations from an early age, but Pelayo acted on those impulses sooner than most. A self-described “total rebel” as a teenager, Pelayo passed on college in favor of making money. He took a job at a large employment agency, but chafed at the company’s strict, structured corporate culture.
“I don’t function well with rules,” he said.
After two years, he quit and joined a small employment firm in Oakland, where the atmosphere was more in sync with his personal style.
“In that environment, I flourished,” he said. “At the age of 21, I earned over $100,000 in personal income.”
In 1990, Pelayo founded Joseph Michaels (his middle name is Michael) with $15,000 in savings and personal credit. He started with one employee, and by the end of the year, his staff had grown to eight. Joseph Michaels focused on accounting because that had been Pelayo’s specialty in his former jobs. To get the business rolling, he sent letters to 500 former clients and followed up with phone calls.
Today Joseph Michaels has revenues of about $2 million, a database of 40,000 clients and candidates, and a client roster that includes Foster Farms, Sony, Sega, Cisco Systems and Coca Cola’s Oakland regional office. The company has turned a profit and increased revenues every year since its inception.
“Somehow we out-muscle the competition,” Pelayo said.
Pelayo has used technology to give Joseph Michaels an edge. He invested in a shared database, so all the recruiters have access to the latest information on every client and candidate. He uses broadcast fax and e-mail as marketing tools. Once a month, he sends fax and e-mail updates to 10,000 contacts.
When screening candidates, Joseph Michaels combines an in-depth personal interview with a video interview, where the candidate is taped in a three-minute, three-question session. The videotape allows all the recruiters to get a sense of the candidate, Pelayo said. The company also has a video on how to interview for a job, which it provides free of charge to any unemployed accountant. According to Pelayo, the tape improves a candidate’s chances of getting a second interview or job offer by 40 percent.
With temporary and temp-to-permanent employees, Pelayo offers clients an on-the-job trial program called GoToWork. Companies essentially get a candidate for one eight-hour day gratis, regardless of whether the person works out.
About 85 percent of the time, Pelayo said, the client retains the candidate and ultimately hires the person on a permanent basis.
Joseph Michaels also has an on-the-job screening technique for hiring its own employees. Pelayo calls it a “working interview.” He has candidates work on a recruiting assignment for about three hours to see how they perform.
Pelayo considers himself a power networker. He is active in Pinnacle, an organization for the nation’s top recruiters, the Institute of Management Accountants, where he is past president of the East Bay chapter, and the Young Entrepreneurs’ Organization, where he is president of the San Francisco chapter. He said YEO has been an invaluable support network.
“It’s a group of peers who can relate to you and an informal board of advisors.”
Among the personal attributes that have contributed to the success of his business, Pelayo ranks determination high.
“I don’t think I’m the smartest guy in San Francisco,” he said, “but I might be the most persistent.”
If you’re hiring temporary or permanent, we can help! Call us at 800-786-1099. Be well, and may the wind of the economic recovery be at your back.
Joe Pelayo, C.P.C.
Joseph Michaels International
Global Recruiting Solutions
One of the top 75 Recruiters in the United States ~ Recruiter Life Magazine