Mike D’Apolito believes that to be successful, you have to surround yourself with successful people.
But he says it goes deeper than that.
For your business to be truly successful, you have to align the goals
of your employees with the goals of your company. At Beverly Hills
Weight Loss & Wellness, the company started in 1998 by D’Apolito, the
common goals include creating a compassionate environment in
which to serve customers.
When potential franchisees contact D’Apolito, the company’s president and CEO, about opening a Beverly Hills Weight Loss location, it’s
their compassion for customers and their passion for the weight-loss
industry that drive D’Apolito’s decision about whether to pursue their
relationship. Their financial standing is second on the list of importance.
D’Apolito’s philosophy has grown Beverly Hills Weight Loss to a 50-employee company with nearly 20 franchises in five states along the
Smart Business spoke with D’Apolito about how to find the right
kind of people to help your business succeed.
Q: When it comes to employees, what are your priorities as a
It’s important for a leader to be flexible. My priorities would be
to create win-win situations in all arenas of a company. That’s how
you get the most out of people, by showing people that you are
flexible, willing to listen, you have an open-door policy, and you’re
willing to create a win-win situation for everybody involved.
You try to put yourself into the other person’s shoes, in their situation, and try to see the dilemma or the goal or the challenge from
their point of view. If you can do that, you have a better understanding of the chemistry of the situation. After the natural process
takes over, it’s easier to come up with that win-win.
It’s easy for me because I came up from the bottom. It’s easier for people to walk the walk, and I’ve done pretty much just
about everything in my company, so it’s easy to put myself in their
shoes. If I’m in a situation where I don’t have any experience, I put a
little more weight on the people I’ve hired and who have expertise in
that field to obtain that understanding.
Q: How do you find people who excel in areas where you might
The old adage is that you surround yourself with successful people in order to be successful. But there is more to it than that. I
agree with that if you surround yourself with successful people,
you become successful. But at the same time, you have to surround yourself with people who have likewise goals, who are family-oriented, who have compassion. Those are the key ingredients
I look for in people.
When you find the basis for a good background, a good, moral
person, and they have the education and the knowledge that you
need to grow your company, then it creates a long-term relationship.
Q: How do you gain a read on someone’s potential through the
By listening. If you sit back and let people talk, and you listen
long enough and get past the initial stage of their fear and of what
they think you want to hear, then their true self comes out. It’s a
natural process. Once their true self comes out and they open
themselves up, it really becomes easy to choose an effective candidate.
As long as I’m willing to have the patience to listen, and as long
as I have interest in them, eventually it will come out.
Q: How do you make sure your franchise operators are focusing on serving customers and
not just the bottom line?
Every day I’m reminded everywhere I go that people in this country are overweight, and I understand that it’s not just a physical
thing, it’s emotional. Once you understand the physical and emotional sides of the business, it’s easy to stay in that mode and be
Once you’re compassionate for your clients, the money will
come. I tell my franchisees, particularly new franchisees, this all
the time. Everyone is so money-focused, but I tell people to step
back and take care of your existing clients.
If you help them lose the weight, the money will come, the referrals
will come. It’s about stepping back and realizing the need you are filling for your customers.
Q: What are some important things to remember about effective
The most important thing is the old adage: ‘Keep it simple, stupid.’
But it really works, because when you’re dealing with a high quantity of people, you are always best to bring your ideas to the simplest
You can relate it to people and always have steps that, if people
have concerns or questions or comments, that they can have
access to people who understand what we’re trying to accomplish.
HOW TO REACH: Beverly Hills Weight Loss & Wellness, www.beverlyhillsweightloss.com or (877)