This article was published in the Spring 2022
Cory Pinegar, CEO, CallForce
My life as an entrepreneur began with a one-dollar investment. I was working at software company Weave when my now business partner Kasey Henson and I were approached with a once-in-a-lifetime offer. Weave leadership asked if we would be interested in taking over their Recall Solutions division--they needed it off their books quickly--for one dollar. With no strings attached!
We were truly in the right place at the right time. At just 22 years old, our eyes bright and tails bushy, we optimistically spent that dollar. The same day, Weave laid off 30 percent of its workforce.
Recall Solutions' annual revenue was roughly $150,000 and Kasey and I knew we had our work cut out for us to boost both impact and profits.
The funny thing about this story is that I was only working at Weave because someone liked the way I cleaned closets. In all seriousness, I was a broke college student getting paid a couple of bucks to clean one of Weave's closets of old conference phones. It was well after normal work hours when I was approached and offered a job as Weave’s office manager. Fast forward through several promotions and helping the business reduce hundreds of thousands in unneeded expenses, and that's how I arrived at the right place at the right time—the big one-dollar moment.
I don't think we were given this opportunity because we were geniuses or the absolute hardest workers in the business. We were just incredibly lucky.
That's one of the big reasons I believe you just have to be open and ready to put in the work when an opportunity presents itself.
Recall Solutions became CallForce, and we grew the business from just 35 clients to over 2,000 dental practices that use our services to boost patient engagement and revenue. Kasey and I had the energy and excitement to grow this business that was started in 2008 and actually helped fund what Weave is today.
I discovered that being a leader isn't about telling people what to do and making sure they do it. Rather, it's about providing a vision and environment that allows team members to develop and deliver outstanding results. That's what builds employee loyalty and boosts performance. When the right people are doing the right things, all you have to do is ensure the system keeps running like a well-oiled machine and continues to meet objectives. The problem-solving aspect of being a CEO is to observe when the system goes awry and requires direction and adjustment–even if it requires starting an entirely new business. It might seem a bit hyperbolic, but I actually did just that in 2021.
CallForce—along with the majority of American businesses—was experiencing a pandemic-induced drought in talent. I experimented with hiring international talent sourced via Brigham Young University's Pathway program.
Satisfied with the outcomes, I started remote staffing company Teem to help others do the same without the hassle of doing the complicated research to understand the legalities and fair compensation in various countries. We pay all talent within their country's top 20-to-30 percent standard of pay, which helps us impact lives internationally and challenges the narrative that international labor is exploitative.
Looking back to the one-dollar decision in late 2016, I never thought I'd one day be in the position to be a successful CEO who gets to impact the lives of so many through my work. By implementing traditionally unconventional models, such as a fully remote workforce, we help improve our employees’ quality of life. We’re simply treating people well and doing what's beneficial for them.
I will always be grateful for the opportunity to be where I am today and will never take it for granted. Still in my 20s, I look forward to continuing to evolve as a leader and entrepreneur seeking opportunities that meet the needs of businesses.
And it all started because I agreed to clean out a closet.
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