We had the good fortune of connecting with Leslie Stroud and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Leslie, what’s your definition for success?
When is it enough? Is it when the to-do list completed or the tasks are done for the day? Is it when your email inbox is empty? When and how do we find success? Success eludes us until we define it properly. The truth is, we only find success within ourselves. My husband and I have been small business owners since 2009 and now run, assist in and operate 5 small companies. We’ve seen our ups and downs. We’ve seen massive failure, to the point of nearly closing doors (digitally, in our case), and had many years of scraping by, month-by-month. We’ve also seen some big wins, especially in our 10th year and later as the reputation started to sell itself on what we deliver and who we are as people. One thing I do know: success isn’t about the bank account balance. While that is critical to pay the bills, it is NOT success. As we traveled around the world full-time with our five children, I found one thing to be consistent worldwide: life is about relationships. Happiness is found in relationships. No matter the country, no matter in income… we all find ourselves in the relationships we have with others. This doesn’t change when it comes to business. We’ve had times when being honest is tough. Admitting that you’ve failed a client and refunding the money hurts your pride and deflates you. However, that honesty, over the years, has lead to greater business. Success, for me, is all about how you treat people. Be it your employees, your clients or your vendors, how you treat people is most important. We’ve been burned in the past and try to quickly forgive. We’ve tried to be patient with clients who are in a rough spot and try to carry their emotional burdens with them. We’ve been blessed to have staff that are so patient with us and all our short-comings. We are FAR from perfect, but have learned through hard lessons that the people are most important.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Our main business, StroudInc, centers around my husband, Chris Stroud. Over the years delving into internet marketing when it really wasn’t a thing yet, Chris found ways to help companies grow. Back in the early days on our marriage, Chris was unhappy with his career and already tired of “the grind”. We brainstormed about what he really would want to do if he could pick anything, His answer was, “I want to grow companies”. As a young couple, that can be a difficult goal to define. Where do you go to find that career, exactly? No degree or official training can be found for this niche. However, we put our trust in God and eventually found our path to doing just that. Through the years, his expertise led him to gain the knowledge he still uses today to evaluate businesses and see how they can grow rapidly online. In 2009, as our personal life felt like it was falling apart, we decided anything was better than what we were doing. We filed for a business and started working from our small apartment with our toddler daughter in tow. We now partner with dozens of cool companies, from Kodiak Cakes to Cozy Earth Bedding, and help them grow their online business. We have an amazing team of people working with us and several other consultants also leading the charge. In 2020, our business-to-consumer clients earned over $87 million dollars. How fun to be a part of that amazing growth!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
While I don’t currently live in Denver (we are preparing to live abroad for a year in Portugal!), I’ll always think of it as home and I”m so proud to be a Denver native! When friends come to visit, I love to take them to: * Garden of the Gods for some beautiful hiking. Have dinner at Rudy’s in Colorado Springs for some amazing BBQ. * A concert at Red Rocks (when Covid isn’t preventing that) * Bonnie Brae Ice Cream and a walk around Wash Park * Drive up into the mountains! My favorite is Breckenridge. I love riding e-bikes around the bike trails, stopping for some cookies on Main Street, and enjoying some gorgeous scenery. * In the summer and pre-Covid, we sure love the Cherry Creek Arts Festival
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My shoutout goes to the amazing staff we’ve been blessed to know and work with over the years. Some of our staff have been with us for over seven years now and it’s been such a joy to live our lives and work together for so long. We all work to live, not the other way around!