The 'OnGuardMan' has nearly 40 years of experience implementing security systems (Intrusion and Fire Alarms, Video Surveillance, Access Control, Monitoring, etc). He began his career working for his father's company, Hoosier Alarm, while attending Lawrence Central High School, Indpls. IN, in 1983. He served in the US Navy along with several local alarm companies prior to joining Guardian in 1999. Career positions include the following: installer, central station dispatcher, sales, and sales management prior to founding OnGuard Security Solutions in 2011.

Kirk has personally secured 1,000's residential and commercial properties across Indiana over the past 30-plus years. OnGuard installs and services both business and home alarm systems, video surveillance, access control, and anti-kick, and door hardening systems. Our purpose is to 'professionally protect precious people and property' so that his clients have 'no worries'.

To learn more about OnGuard, you can do so by visiting www.WeAreOnGuard.com or by calling 317.572.5777 or you can connect with Kirk on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kirkbooher/

Transcript

hello this is coach tim campsall and i'm your host for the self made is a myth make a difference together show where we are talking with successful business owners to hear their stories of the journey to building their business and because we know that success in business is not something that we can do on our own we recognize the folks that helped us to excel i'm excited to have a fellow business owner from indiana with us today my guest is a third generation boomer in the security business each with different companies that's cool we're going to dig into that a little bit he enjoys hiking and walking and tennis and bicycling and oftentimes with an audiobook and he's most proud of his family and his faith his faith first his family second it is a pleasure to welcome kirk to the show today hey tim uh you've done a fantastic job with this series so kudos for you i can tell you're putting in the time and effort surrounding yourself with great people so it's a it's a privilege to uh be amongst uh a lot of these people that have gone before well thank you so much i appreciate that well kirk let's start with having you introduce yourself um tell us a little bit of your personal story wherever you're born where do you live about your family and and uh things like that yeah so my first name is kirk uh you know it's not kurt but k-i-r-k so you know i've always been a star trek fan so you know like captain kirk you know and you know kirk's got a lot of great qualities he's very bold and adventurous and and i'm not always that way but i've been trying to channel that so that's one of those people you know uh out there that you try to take the best and and leave the rest and so um i've been in indiana since i was uh two years old so i'm getting ready to turn 55 this week and so 53 years as a hoosier and uh so and then this coming year uh 2023 will be my 40th year in the electronic security industry wow i started off working for my father in high school when i was 16 as a helper or a gopher and go for that yeah often in damp crawl spaces full of spiders and snake skins and we're up in attic with that itchy installation but it was a great way to learn the business and um so yeah i've been doing that for a while uh born and raised here in indianapolis went to lawrence central high school out of high school i went to the u.s navy i was an interior communications electrician so i learned the theory and operation of electronic components which definitely helps me in what i do we're a technology company and it learned me to hurry up and wait i love that what about your family kirk so yeah i'm married uh to uh married up uh my lovely wife jill um we've been married uh since uh 2000 uh so june 10th will be our anniversary there so 23 years and we have three daughters and live in uh fishers indiana awesome and what are your daughter's names uh so the oldest is bailey uh she is single and works in sales and marketing for a high-tech company in chicago called sixth sense really cool organization she's learning a lot middle daughter ali is a dental hygienist working for one of my clients the indie racing team indie dental team and then my youngest daughter is a senior at heritage getting ready to go play lacrosse at calvin university up in michigan wonderful so kirk is there a funny story that your family likes to tell about you that you'd be willing to share with us today oh wow a funny story my family like to tell me you know i i think you know the funny story is is my jokes are all dad jokes you know and uh you know uh you know when my kids were young you know i was cool now that they're all you know in their 20s and teenagers i'm not quite so cool

no that's i don't have anything specific but uh you know one of these days i'll be cool again there you go right with the grandchildren anyway that's right so tell us how the how'd the business come about at what point did you have the confidence that you could run your own business well uh for about 20 years prior to starting my business i started business in 2010 so we just celebrated our uh uh you know 2011. i'm sorry we celebrated our 11th birthday as an organization and um so part of that i was a straight commissioned uh salesperson uh pretty much my whole career prior to them so i was about 20 years out hustling and that really taught me well to ride the roller coaster of uh business and realizing that there's a lot that we can't control a tim we can't control the economy we can't control if somebody says yes or no yeah but what we can control is our is our attitude and our action and when we uh when we master those things to at least a decent level that does give us a lot of security and so i learned that and realized that those are two things i can control and um so that has given me a lot of confidence in going from a commissioned salesperson to a business owner awesome well congratulations on your 11 years that's fantastic so kirk tell us a little bit more about the company what what do you guys do how do you help folks and what's the best way for people to be able to contact you well i think the best way i can relate to that is is we're in the business of making an honest living at a crime that's preventing it of course yeah not getting it yeah

so uh you know as a young boy and i loved uh superheroes and comics and things like that so you know we we kind of consider ourselves as uh glorified crime fighters using our electronic uh surveillance and tools and smart locks and things to deploy and so um you know through that you know we've one of our key mottos you know with our team is there's a superhero and everyone including you tim you got many superpowers and so you know my job as a business owner is to elicit those super powers and help get people in the right seats you know on the plane we don't ride a bus we go on a plane but so we are commercial and custom residential security integrators so we bring in a variety of technologies that ride on the internet of things and cloud and hardware and so electronics and technology and trying to deploy that so it's simple easy and powerful powerful for our clients and so uh you know we work in several verticals that's one of the strengths of being a small business up is that we can be flexible you know we're we're kind of like a pt boat not a big aircraft carrier right so

that's uh so our electronic security guard integrator and uh so our our website is we are uh on guard we are onguard.com you can find us there and uh happy to serve and any kind of ways that uh people need smart electronic security awesome so we will make sure to post the contact information for on guard security solutions um along with this video when we put it up into social media so that folks listening you can reach out to kirk and and learn more about how his company can help you great so kirk um share a story of where somebody pushed you or inspired you that you could do it um even maybe when you didn't think that you could and the impact that that person had on your business

well um you know there was a uh we were deploying a system actually in the um in a a large um vip situation and um it uh it wasn't working as expected and um you know i really uh um you know my techs were working very diligently to figure it out and um i was i was kind of at my wit's end and to him i said a prayer and um and i made a phone call and the phone call i made was to one of our manufacturer's rep who was a sales guy but he's very involved he gave me a hint of information that i was able to apply and i shared my lead tech and he said oh that's not going to work and i said hey what do we got to lose yeah and we did it um and bam it lit up and it worked and um so it's a combination of of faith and and effort and communication and just reaching out uh to this particular individual uh tom he uh he gave me the the clue that i needed to solve the mystery and so uh that's one example that's awesome so what's um been in business for a long time and obviously your family's been in business for for a long time too so what's your biggest learning as a business owner over the years yeah um business learning that's a great thing you know there's there's a lot of things uh you know when we're talking about you know going from being a solopreneur to a business owner and building a a team right and team is a special word and you know there's an acronym i like to use with team and that's t for trust having to go to trust your team um and and you need to you know set them up to succeed but you know you you're going to get burned sometimes but you got to trust them because that's the only way to succeed and then e for empathy you know you need to empathize with your team and walk in their shoes and see things from their perspective it's not all about me empathy then a for accountability and having systems and processes checks and balances and the m for uh meaningful you know you need to be on purpose and have a mission and meaningful and and work together so you know when i think about uh you know that being a very important thing and then uh borrowed from marcus lemonis from the prophet you guys don't watch that show it's it's great but people process and product and people first and that's you know you can't do everything yourself um that's uh that's a misnomer you have to rely on yourself and you you have to count on yourself but you can't do everything yourself that's that's a lame existence yeah there are so many folks that i talk to of who have grown successful businesses but then if the business plateaus and they don't really know why and it's it's like what you're saying is what ends up happening is the business has outgrown the business owners capacity and all the things that help them to get there are no longer seem to be working but it's simply that you know the business has overgrown their capacity and then it'll shrink back below and then up and down basically plateauing and and to get to the next level it's it's what you've just said right we've got to have the right team to be able to to delegate and trust giving those tasks to and we've got to have the processes in place to be able to manage the team love that there's definitely a quality of life of quality of business and um you know there's nothing wrong with being small and there's nothing wrong with being big but it's being just right for your environment right and so you know my father was a business owner and he was a very diligent he was the king of networking he was a fabulous networker um and knew everybody everywhere you know every time we went to dinner he was saying hi to people and you know he was involved in sertoma the rotary um antelope club the columbia club you know what club and and um you know that's one thing that he really really did well and so you know working with other people and networking and trying to make connections to other people i think is one of the best things that we can do um and so i try to be a connector and a problem solver within and without our business i love it you never know where a a coffee conversation might lead i i love that perspective of being you know open to meeting new people and and making connections that's awesome so kirk we know that business success doesn't happen in isolation so tell us about one of your biggest challenges during the years and a fellow business owner who helped you get through that sure well one comes to mind when uh you know i started the business and um it was just me that when i first started it you know 5k and the desire to uh go out on my own and and my wife uh bless her heart supported me in that and uh so i started and uh um after a while she i took uh sympathy upon me she know that i'm not best on the back side of the business so she helped me with the books and the finances and all that and um you know when you work with your spouse it's a different kind of relationship and you know boundaries are important and tim uh i thought i would be the problem with the boundaries you know but actually i was working all day so i would come home and then she'd have all these questions and like oh i didn't want to interrupt you but i need to know about this and this and this and this and and you know she has a bachelor's degree from kelly school of business and the masters and she's a really smart person and her management structure is very corporate and my management structure is more entrepreneurial um fly by the senior pants i have to say things don't always compile but so after about five years you know she went back to her career and i needed somebody on the back end that i could trust and so i was in a small group a cbmc group and i met a gentleman there i named sean and he had a small accounting financial like a fractional cfo and we hit it off and he came in and he really helped me a lot in transitioning going from quickbooks desktop to online with some software integrations with ppp and everything through covid and and everything so i gotta get props to sean and the fact that he really helped me during that transition and still with us and and today we're launching a a new business called v response which is a virtual services business and it's going to be based over in pakistan and we're going to provide virtual services seo sem lead generation virtual things so that's that's pretty cool where that relationship has gone and and it's been wonderful yeah that's amazing and and i again love the fact that that came from a group that you were part of where you made a connection and and build the relationship from there absolutely so i also loved the the story about your wife so i i coach a number of um husband wife couples uh who are also the the business owners and um the the fun part about that is the whole idea of opposites attract are have been proven to be correct time and time again and the way that i describe this to to the my clients is hey that we need each other right our opposite our our spouse tends to be our opposite and that's because we need that other perspective to to complete us right to give us a full rounded perspective and we also need that in our business because you know we don't if there are we have we all have blind spots and if we've got somebody who thinks and sees the world differently than us then they're able to to help us identify those blind spots but it can be both a a blessing and a frustration right where we you know the the tension or the rubbing of somebody who thinks different than us you know if we allow it it can it can be harmful to the business but if we embrace it it's incredibly powerful in terms of helping us to see things that we may not have seen on our own for sure you know as a as a salesperson and as you know you you you present and you listen and you present and you listen and as a as a business owner you know it's a lot more about listening and and uh you know that's hard uh because a lot of times it's the business owner that has the drive and the one that's you know been i've been the sled dog for a long time pulling the sled and to a certain extent still am so it's a work in progress but um you know as you build a team and learn to listen and um you know try try to surround yourself with people who who aren't going to be yes men right and they're going to create an air of authenticity so like in the book principles there's a great you know a lot of good stories there about creating an atmosphere for authentic extreme authenticity so you get good feedback yet you know keeping it professional and and helpful too yeah and to your point about you know being the the pulling the sled for the number of years it's really hard for for all of us as business owners to to go through that transition right of you know we als most of us started out as solopreneurs and and we built a a business that was big enough to be able to hire employees and and then to let go and trust our employees to be able to do the job as well as us right it it takes a lot of effort to to train them and get those systems in place but also the faith of you know i just have to let go right and trust that what i've created and the team that i've brought on place is going to be able to to take over and um there there can be a lot of freedom when we do start to let go right and and not have to worry about all those parts of the business anymore yeah you know like many businesses including ours i kind of see it as a three-legged stool right so we have the we have the ops part of it the fulfillment we have the finance part of it and the sales part of it right and my key role has been in the sales and you know nothing happens until something gets sold right sales is the oxygen that every business needs right but you know at the same time you have to have fulfillment in the op side and then you know the administration and the finance side of it is also critical you know through that three-legged sole so when the customer sits down it's stable and comfortable and it's well built right and so i've kind of focused on the sales side of things and have you know team members who are helping me on the finance and the ops because those aren't my strengths but it's been really difficult for me to let go of the sales part of it and i haven't solved that quite yet you know i figured that would be the easiest because that's what i do but yeah you know um it's probably also the hardest to let go and um but um yeah so that's you know the components of a business and you know writing a systems and procedures for those three different legs and finding the people to uh to plug in there right and and i think what you're saying i i hear this a lot and it makes sense is that the thing that you're the expert on tends to be the hardest thing to let go because you have 40 years right of experience and expertise and there's no way right that a new hire is going to be able to come in and just take that all off your plate right it's going to be a process of of training them right and transitioning that knowledge and um and a slower build to be able to to backfill you versus an area that you're not an expert in like the finances right that was probably easier for you to let go because like well i don't you know i don't know what i'm doing so i hire somebody who does right exactly and uh so you know we've uh you know i designed uh i think you know a lucrative complaint because we do have a recurring revenue component in our in our business and uh you know so but yeah it's a great time to be in this industry because the technology is has caught up to where we can do you know some really amazing things like virtual security guards and um you know automated systems that work together and and have true synergy in the deployment and the execution and the management of of the systems you know when i first started everything was analog and now it's so much digital and internet things it's been you know as somebody who's 55 you know when i was in school computers were just coming in you know when i was in high school we started working on word processors like in 10th grade before that it was a typewriter yeah you know and um so i'm of that generation where some of my technicians you know were born with these things in their crib yeah and you know just my nine-year-old you know i had a nine-year-old niece over here for christmas and i you know gave her my ipad and she was just you know and uh it's so you know and recruiting and finding those guys and and so that's kind of cool to see these 20 year olds just they're like whizzes it's pretty amazing so kirk as you think about the next three to five years what are the biggest challenges you see that you'll face in getting to your goals and who are the types of people that you're going to need to help you solve those challenges well you know as as new as technology is you know some things never changed him you know as you know there are principles and action and and um you know it's like maybe in politics they say it's the economy stupid right it's the money we're experiencing a lot of inflation now right nobody likes that it's the economy and in a business you know money is very very important too but it's really not that it's all about the relationship right it's about the quality of a relationship so it's so it's just continuing to build those relationships and finding quality people and training them on the technology you know early on in my business i was hiring people just because they had experience but they weren't the right fits for us and um you know i you gotta work and kiss a lot of toads to find some

frog men and women you know some seals right and um but you know some things you know there's there's there's no replacement for experience you know you can read all the books you want i read a lot and you can go to all the lots of education but there's there's nothing like experience and but it's great when you can borrow from other people's experience yes so that's a good thing about this show tim tim is that we get to learn from other people's experiences and you know i love to listen to biographies and people's stories because you can glean a clean something there you know that can save you a lot of pain and time and get there quicker for sure absolutely you mentioned something i want to expand on because i think it's important for everyone else listening is the use to it higher based on experience but learned that you need to to shift and hire based on you know people fit in your culture and so the mistake a lot of businesses make is you know we put a job description together and we we post the job description and look for people who who have those skills and experiences but the problem with that is if they're not a good strong cultural fit right it doesn't matter how much experience they have is we can teach um skills we can't teach a cultural fit so if we bring a a bad cultural fit into our organization it could be toxic to the rest of the employees right and bring everyone down so you know in everyone's interviewing process we want to make sure that we're identifying are these people going to fit our culture right do they match our values and our beliefs and then if so then do they have the right skills and experience or can they be taught um and so i'm sure kurt you've had experiences where and you mentioned it right where we you brought on a bad you know a bad cultural fit and then it's it's more hassle than it's worth right right and you know sometimes you just don't know until you know right i mean you want to take you know you know like they say higher slow and yeah fire fast fire fast you know and we tend to do the opposite and but you know that's where you know having some tools in place having a coach to help having that third non-biased person to help in that process and i've used that in the past and i've not used it but you know i've had successes both ways and failures both ways but it is nice to have that non-biased person to help you make those decisions those key decisions and um you know so for us you know it's identifying a purpose so our primary purpose is professional protection of people first and property second you know our mottos have no worries because we are on guard and then lastly you know i mentioned earlier having a superhero in everyone um you know finding that those qualities and and and you know honing them and empowering people to operate in those areas but ultimately we have to be the brand we have to be the evangelist and as the business owner we have to we have to walk the talk right you know and that's where the litmus test really is and um that's where the rubber hits the road and i don't know what president said but the buck stops here yeah and um however you know it's it's that paradox where yes you're accountable but you know as you expand and grow with the team you know it's amazing um it takes a lot of the burden off yeah yeah i i like the the walk to talk analogy right it's oftentimes if if our employees aren't doing something that we've you know expected of them right it's easy to to blame them but then if we really look in the mirror it's like oh well i've i've stopped or i've stopped doing it right yeah that yeah so that what kirk's doing there is you know point point at somebody as if you're blaming them for something right and then look at how many fingers you have pointing back at yourself so we can't control other people but we can control the way that we train other people or hold other people accountable or the the model that we're setting for them so when we don't like something that we see happening we always have to look in the mirror and say okay what can i do differently i take to get a different outcome and the walk to talk is great right if we're not doing the things we're asking our team to do how can we ever expect them to do it absolutely and being humble and authentic and when we make a mistake being quick to admit it take ownership and do something about it right and there's a plug a great book uh extreme ownership by jocko willock and leif uh erickson i think but an extreme ownership you know it's such a great leadership book because it's you know if like one of my technicians goes out in the field and let's say you know he's putting a job in and his ladder isn't quite tall enough you know and he can't get the job done that's not his fault that's my fault because i didn't equip or empower somebody to to do something about that and we're always going to come across issues but how do we problem solve and how do we fix it and trying to give people the uh the capacity to make those decisions and do the right thing go buy the right ladder go do it the right way you know don't don't do something precarious or dangerous and um you know so it's um a lot about you know being um resourceful but yet you know be quick to to take ownership for the accountability because um you know most likely it's because we didn't train them properly we didn't equip them properly we didn't put them in a position to succeed now once you have then you've you've you know it's like once you know shame on you twice you know one shame on me twice shame on you yeah right you know it's a point to where uh you know that's when you need to have some accountability and actionability but more times than not people want to do the right thing they just need to be in a position to succeed i think yeah you mentioned training them and setting them up for success so um little known fact is we only retain about five percent of something that we are taught on the first time through so uh a lot of examples i hear as well i hired somebody and i had them shadow me for you know two or three weeks and then they went out on their own and they they weren't able to do the job well again right back to you know kurt you have 40 years of of expertise right in your in your head and so again i love what you're saying is we've got to we've got to acknowledge that if we just you know have them shadow us and they're only going to retain five percent if they take notes while they're shadowing us it goes up to 50 and then if we've got the the training on a written down in a manual or a video or something like that that they can refer back to later when they forget because they will forget right or we've got regular check-in meetings with them right on a weekly basis that they can come to us and ask their questions then the the probability of them retaining that knowledge significantly goes up to you know the statistics are if they fully participate in the learning experience then it goes up to about 98 so 5 to 98 is a huge you know difference in terms of efficiency of an employee if we take if we it's the slow down to speed up idea right if we take the time to properly train people and give them the the the documents or the manual or the video that they can refer back to we we get a ton more out of our new employees then um than if we just have them shadow us for a couple weeks for sure and it's a process and we have to be patient you know and and the bottom line is but if the person has the right motivation they have the right attitude and they communicate we have to communicate with them and expect them to communicate with us and have those open lines of communication then you know a mistake can be a learning opportunity right but um at the same time you know it's it's having open lines of communication a team that works together because you know in our small business of seven full-time team members we take on some enormous jobs with lots of technology and challenges and the only way we succeed is by working together as a team that's a fact and because you know the group is a lot smarter than any one individual even if that individual has 40 years it could be 40 years of doing it the wrong way i mean sure yeah yeah i i like that idea of um communication and and creating an environment that where it's safe to communicate right so um i've i've heard examples where the business owner is so busy right doing the do that they don't have time to listen to what the team's saying and so now the you know the team's not getting all the things we're talking about right in terms of that feedback and and that you know correction when they're doing something wrong so so building in that time to have that communication and and make it safe too our employees are going to make mistakes so we have to make it safe and okay for them to say hey i i messed up right and like they have to hide it right and you want to create an atmosphere where it's it's safe and authentic and you don't want them hiding their mistakes you want them say hey what did i learn from that mistake how do i help another team member avoid that you know and having processes and communication platforms to help you know and that's um you know one thing i think we've done well is we built this business on the cloud and used communications and you know having you know obviously we all have these right and these are great communication devices um and but you know we use like slack for example slack is a really great communication channel and um you know to share information to go back and look at it and you know that's one one resource and um you know we're in the information age and just try to make that stuff accessible and but you know it's about empowering people so that they make their you know right decisions and ultimately this is really simple but for us you know number one is it good for the customer i mean is it good for him is it the right thing to do that's numero uno and number two is it good for the company right is it gonna is it is it you know we don't have to make money a hundred percent of time but we need to make money most of the time right right without profit we go out of business right that's not good for the customer right that's not good for you as the employee right so we need to make a a respectable a decent profit and so it has to be good for the company but it has to be good for our image our safety our brand our longevity right and then third is it good for you as the employee and does that doesn't mean it's easy or is it comfortable but again is it the good and the right thing to do and if that answer is yes yes yes go do it you don't need to call me for that right yeah love it but if you're unsure think about it and if you're still unsure call a manager call up here call me call somebody but if you're insured don't do it yeah right no it's wrong no questions asked right and i think if you have that type of philosophy and you teach that um you don't have to you have to micromanage a whole lot less right yeah very fair so kurt if you um if i ask you to pick three people in your business journey uh your business owner journey that you're most grateful for being there uh as part of your business growth who are those three people and how they help you sure well i've already you know uh because they're important to me i've already mentioned several but number one is my father ken booer who you know taught me what it's like to be a uh a hard-working thriving entrepreneur and um number two is my wife and for supporting me and uh encouraging me to do do the business and then giving me the freedom to do what i need to do and then um you know third is is my team you know it's a group of people who you know this morning you know i got up i've made some phone calls and done some things on this call but i seriously am not you know i'm not stressed out of what's going on because i've got a team out there and so that makes a big difference and lastly it's just the mentors and the people in my life and my satellite you know and you know we're all blessed to have you know great resources here whether it be audible kindle books whatever i mean there's so many great things to learn you know i was there's a guy on social media the other day that was saying he's gonna go to school he's like you know 40 50 years old he's gonna go back to school to learn about his business because he's failed a few times and hey that's great but that experience is going to teach him a lot and you know we have the world's best teachers right here i mean the old university on wheels yeah and so you know when you're like for me when i'm cutting the grass believe it or not is probably the most most productive things i do because number one i get the grass cut number two i'm pushing so i'm getting some exercise and number three i've got an audio book so i'm learning that's right you know i paid 14 bucks and i've got like a great teacher speaking to me you know and uh so um but you know there's a lot of things there but ultimately um you know that's that's been a help to me and and um you know so i used to say if it's if it's to be it's up to me

and that's partially true but really it's better if it's to be it's up to to we oh i love that yes so kurt you've been blessed with some incredible people uh in your business owner journey who have helped you along the way if they were all here on the show with us today what would you want to say to them

um you know

i'm going to say you know um god's not done with me yet you know patience

you know it's a it's a process and every day is a new day full of grace and um you know i'm a rather thick headed stubborn guy and that's one reason i'm successful but that's one reason i'm not as successful as i could or should be so um you know um i haven't thrown in the towel i'm still learning and be patient i love it kirk it's been a pleasure speaking with you today uh thank you so much for being on the show hey thanks for uh interviewing and doing what you're doing tim i wish you the best success and we'll see you around awesome thank you to everyone who tuned in thanks for listening to the self-made is a myth show with coach tim camsell be sure to help us spread this movement by liking the show and sharing it on your social media to join our movement go to be mad together dot com okay folks that's a wrap make sure to pay it forward and i'll see you all next time take care peace