Gene Slade went from racking up credit card debt to snagging three Inc. 5000 Magazine awards for one of America’s fastest-growing companies. Now, as CEO of Lead Ninja System, he’s sharing his blueprint for achieving explosive sales growth without sacrificing personal life. In a candid interview, Slade offers a lifeline to overworked professionals in the HVAC, plumbing, and electrical industries, revealing how they can boost their income while reclaiming precious family time in a male-dominated field.
The Importance of Carving Time for Yourself
Part of Slade’s mission is to help other professionals carve out time for their personal lives. “Running my own company had a massive impact on my ability to be there for my family, and it cost me a marriage,” said Slade. “Now, I’m not sad about that marriage ending, but I am sad to see so many sales guys working 60 to 80 hours a week, when they could be getting a lot better results in less time. That’s something very close to my heart, trying to help them not have to work constantly.”
His desire to help others is also what led Slade to codify two decades of sales experience into The Lead Ninja Mastermind, which brings together business leaders dedicated to mastering the art of salesmanship. Members invest $1,000 per month or $10,000 annually in this non-subscription-based model, unlocking access to methods that help them achieve record returns.
Slade elaborated, “One of my favorite success stories is a rep that went from 2.7 million to 5.4 million dollars in sales. But I was not as excited about that as I was the fact that he took the last ten weeks of the year off to have a baby with his wife and stay home with them.”
It’s stories like these that keep Slade doing what he loves: Helping families spend more time together while increasing their income.
Free Time Will Come Once You’ve Mastered Your Field
According to Slade, work-life balance is a moving target that you should not expect to hit when you’re first starting out. During those pivotal rookie years, you should instead be working constantly to rise to the top of your field.
“I suggest putting in your time while you’re young, ideally with no kids,” said Slade. “Go out there and become the best at what you do. Get into the top one to five percent of people in your industry.”
Over time, the more you illustrate your competence, the more others will be willing to grant you flexibility. “When you get to that upper level, you’re so valued by your boss that you can make your own schedule,” said Slade.
Focus on Self-Improvement and Helping Others
Slade maintains that the key to success, and subsequently working less, is to continue to focus on self-improvement. Once you’ve mastered a skill, find another to improve upon.
“Don’t ever stop growing,” he said, “Because in life, you’re either growing, or you’re dying.”
To unlock more free time, Slade also suggests optimizing every client interaction.
He explained, “You’re only ever going to be worth about $30 to $40 an hour strictly relying on your two hands. But if you can learn how to talk to people, learn how to listen, and help them get the things they want or need, you can have anything in life that you’ve ever wanted.”
This is another cornerstone lesson for Slade, that by helping others, we help ourselves. “In my experience, that’s the ticket,” said Slade. “We live in a country that is performance-based. You eat what you kill. So you’re paid in proportion to the value you’re delivering to society.”
To Accelerate Your Success, Find a Mentor
As he was coming up, Slade wished he had discovered the importance of finding a great mentor earlier. “That mentor should be someone that is already succeeding in your field. You’re essentially paying them to compress time for you. Instead of spending six, seven years learning from your own mistakes, you can spend a few months learning from theirs.”
Per Slade, it was only after he found a great mentor that his business really took off. “Best advice I can give anybody — pay people that know how to do what you want to do,” he said. “And it doesn’t matter what they charge you, because the return will be absolutely magnificent.”
If you’re seeking mentorship in the world of sales, consider joining Slade’s bi-weekly live coaching sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9 AM EST. Tailored to individual needs, participants receive real-time guidance from Slade, allowing them to overcome challenges and celebrate victories in a group setting. The company also hosts quarterly conferences for those wishing to participate in person. The next conference is taking place at the end of October in Orlando, Florida.