Howard Partridge has a phenomenal life by his own design and systems in place, but it hasn’t always been like that. Originally from Mobile, Alabama, Howard grew up on welfare living with his mother and six siblings crammed into a 600 square foot shack. The roof was so bad that every time it rained, they had to get out every pot and pan to catch the leaks. Single most of the time, Howard’s mother managed to take care of everyone on a meager $100 a month. Needless to say, Howard’s life was pretty difficult. His mother had been married three times and at 18, Howard was kicked out of the house when he had a fight with his stepdad who told him to never come back. As it turned out, that was the one of the best things that could have happened to Howard.
With long hair past his shoulders and a quarter in his pocket (just enough to make a phone call), Howard and his buddy “bummed up” $39.95 to buy a bus ticket from Mobile to Houston where Howard’s favorite sister lived with their birth father who had left when Howard was a year old. Having only met his father twice since he left, Howard called him and informed him that he was moving to Houston and arriving the next day. Fortunately, Howard’s dad picked him up when his bus arrived and changed his life. As it turns out, Howard’s dad and stepmother had a successful design firm and from them Howard began learning about the finer things in life.
Howard got a job waiting on tables and was making about $500 a week but he didn’t make enough to save any of it. During that time, he met Denise who in 1984 would become his wife. Denise’s was from a big Italian family in New Jersey and that is where she and Howard were married. Like most Italian families, Howard and Denise received money as wedding gifts and they were delighted to rake in $3,000. While in New Jersey, Howard met a friend of Denise’s family who was 23 years old (the same age as Howard) and was driving around in a red Mercedes SL convertible. That really got Howard’s attention. He wanted to know what the friend did and if it was legal!
As it turned out, the friend owned his own business. With the $3,000 in cash that Howard and Denise had been given at their wedding, Howard emulated the friend and began his first business working out of the trunk of his car.
In 1987, about three years after he got married, Howard had a spiritual awakening. He reflected, “I still wasn’t working smart but my wife said I had the potential. The “Holy Spirit” just came over me and I gave my life to Jesus Christ. It came completely out of nowhere. When I was 15 years old, I started smoking pot and I became addicted to marijuana but when I came to know the Lord, that addiction that I had tried to quit many times and couldn’t was completely and utterly broken. I was delivered from it. It was just broken and all of a sudden I had my mind back and it was like this weight was lifted off my shoulders. I could actually think clearly for a change. That really was the turning point of my life.”
Howard elaborated, “When you have a spiritual awakening, you start looking at all parts of your life. I felt like I got my mind back and all of a sudden I wanted to be more successful and to just understand life. It’s a wonderful world and I want to understand everything that I can.”
Even with his epiphany, for 13 long years, Howard struggled in his business making every mistake an entrepreneur could possibly make. Eventually, he was able to get up to about $30,000 a month. He had a handful of employees and was making a decent amount of money but the problem was that he was working 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Howard’s staff wasn’t empowered because he didn’t have any systems and he didn’t understand leadership at the time. Therefore, nothing could happen in Howard’s business unless he was involved with it which basically made him a slave to his business. Even when he was on vacation, he couldn’t get a break from his business. He would spend half of his time on the phone dealing with issues.
Then Howard got wise. He started educating himself as he searched for ways to improve his business. He learned about the “E-Myth”, a book penned by Michael E. Gerber. After reading it, Howard spent a week on the beach in Destin, Florida (his most favorite place in the world) just thinking about his life and rewriting his destiny. He realized that he had to extricate himself from his business if he was ever going to be able to work on his business. He knew the answer was to have systems in place so he invited two of his competitors to join him.
The first thing they did was become organized. Howard was over marketing and sales, one partner was over operations, and another partner was over the administrative office. In addition, Howard started building turnkey automated referral systems and hired staff to handle sales, service, and data entry. Last but not least, each partner moved up to a management level and trained someone to replace them so that they wouldn’t have to be the one doing the work all of the time.
Together, they were able to go from $360,000 a year that Howard had been doing and increase it to $500,000 a year. After that, they went to $2.8 million a year. During that time Howard started Phenomenal Products which eventually became one of the biggest sources of conflict between the partners. Frequently traveling and doing things that left his partners tending to the business, Howard spent a lot of money and built up debt without showing a return of investment. Howard joked, “I learned from one of my mentors that vision plus vision equals division! Even though each vision might be right, they still were quite different from each other.”
After having a partnership for eight years, Howard bought out his partners because each of them had a different vision of what they wanted from the company. After learning how to be fiscally responsible, Howard became debt-free and was able to pay his partners off in five years.
Because Howard became so successful when he found a way to take himself out of his business so he could work on his business, he decided to share it with others. He started doing some association work and sharing some of his philosophies (his business systems). Every time he shared his knowledge, people really liked what he was saying.
Then Howard decided to write some manuals on how to generate referrals, how to organize one’s business, and how to sell, etc. Another big hit, Howard started selling them. In addition, he started doing seminars without knowing how to do seminars and it just grew from there.
Fast forward, both of Howard’s businesses are extremely profitable. His service company does over $3 million in business per year. Howard has now taught thousands of people around the world how to free themselves from being slaves to their businesses by incorporating turnkey business systems. Speaking, writing, training, and teaching are Howard’s passions as long as it benefits business owners. Howard has written two books, “7 Secrets of a Phenomenal Life” and “The 5 Secrets of a Phenomenal Business”. Howard delights in being able to give business owners back their lives! In fact, he loves giving so much that he has a website, www.HowardPartridge.com, where he offers a lot of free resources.
Over the period when Howard bought out his partners and to the present, he began developing himself as a better leader and he also started developing his people as leaders. He began studying and was able to meet Michael Gerber who wrote the book that changed his life. Then he met Zig Ziglar and John Maxwell and started learning from them. In addition, Howard would bring them to speak at the conferences that he started doing. Presently, the Howard Partridge Round Table Conferences have some of the world’s top business authors speak at these events that are held three times a year.
In addition, Howard spends his time coaching and teaching others to implement his proven systems. He does weekly group coaching and also one-on-one coaching. He has a membership website where all of his training is located and members can download it. Every week on Tuesday mornings, Howard does live training on a webinar.
Howard has many success stories of those he has helped “free” from being slaves to their business. One of these people is John Browning in Nashville. He had been doing about ten thousand dollars a month when he joined Howard’s Round Table but now makes ten times that amount each month and is also coaching in Howard’s program.
Another phenomenal story Howard likes to share is about a lady by the name of Azure Grillo who lives in Austin and has a spa. When she first joined Howard’s program, she had a very small staff and a lot of employee challenges. As much as she tried, she couldn’t get her employees to do what she needed them to do. They had their own agenda including coming in late. As she started learning Howard’s systems and committing to them, eventually all of her employees were let go or left because they weren’t up to running the kind of show that was required.
Then Azure started rebuilding and doing some of the marketing strategies that she had been taught in the program. One of the referral marketing sources that she was calling on had another spa that did related but different services. It was one of the top companies in Austin. The owner asked Azure if she was interested in buying her business. Azure answered, “Well, if it’s free!”
At the time, Azure didn’t have any money to buy it but, long story short, through the processes that she learned from Howard’s program, she was able to acquire that business and is doing tremendously well because she has become a phenomenal leader and is developing her team including taking them to a Round Table Conference.
Howard has a total of forty team members. Some are part time and others are coaches who are independent. As a certified Zig Ziglar legacy trainer and an independent, certified John Maxwell coach, Howard teaches his leadership team the vision, the mission, and the purpose. After teaching them about personal development and goal setting, he encourages them to pass on what they have learned to the rest of the team. As a result, almost everyday Howard has some sort of education program for his employees. The personal development program that is given to his team covers all seven areas of life. They also share camaraderie by celebrating holidays, birthdays, and also going out together such as to a ball game.
Always appreciative of his phenomenal success, Howard believes in giving back to the community. At the last Round Table Conference, they raised $21,000 for “Operation Give Back”, a program run by a group of wounded warriors who care for the families of fallen and wounded heroes.
Howard’s personal goal is to go global and have ten thousand business owners really understanding and having real freedom by experiencing a phenomenal life because they’re learning how to build a phenomenal business. He would like to develop a youth program where he can help young people become entrepreneurs but more importantly learn and understand they have value and purpose. Howard shared, “You don’t have to be rich and famous to have meaning to your life. You don’t have to be an athlete or an entertainer. The Lord has a plan and I feel this is my life work.”
Over the last two and a half years, Tom Ziglar (son of Zig Ziglar) and Howard have traveled all over the world, including Australia and the United Kingdom. They have coaching members in 7 different countries and in 54 different industries and still growing. What they found is that it’s hard for people to travel and they needed to find a way to duplicate them selves. They have a number of people who have come through their program who know the material, know the mission, and also have a passion to help small business owners. So their goal is to have 200 local tribes worldwide that have 50 business owners each that would meet locally and in person.
Everywhere Howard goes, he asks business owners to remember why they wanted to own a business – “Was it to make a lot of money, be your own boss, chart your own course, and have a little more free time?” He concludes, “The brutal reality for most small business is that you feel like a slave to your business. You have very little family time because the business ends up consuming your life 24/7 which causes major stress…and with no real freedom, you feel like you have a job instead of a business. If you feel like that you need to get in touch with me!”
One would think after reading all that Howard does that he might still be a slave to his business but you would be wrong. He now takes uninterrupted, leisurely trips spending time with his wife on the beaches of Destin, Florida. He also has time to take his mother on trips to exotic destinations. With systems in place, Howard truly has a phenomenal life.