Identifying Your Big Hairy Audacious Goal, A Founder’s Story with Eric Maas
Eric Maas is the CEO of Complete Weddings + Events. A serial entrepreneur from an early age, his drive has fueled his rise from DJ to owning his own franchise, to operations director at the corporate support office, to his current role as CEO. It’s been Eric’s vision that scaled his family’s franchise to see the growth and success the company experiences today. Complete Weddings + Events is now in over 190 units across North America and is consistently named as one of Entrepreneur’s Top 500 Franchises.
Tell us about your childhood and where you grew up
I grew up on a lake in Waterloo, NE, a small town about 30 min from Omaha. I loved being out in the country and being able to spend time on the lake. I spent most of my summers playing baseball, boating, and fishing. In the winter, I’d play basketball and even hockey on the lake. I also had a three-wheeler that I wrecked multiple times a year.
How did you get started as an entrepreneur?
I got an early start in entrepreneurship than most. There was a tennis court by our home growing up and I would charge people $1 per game to be the ball boy. I also would buy a case of coke and put it on ice and sell it on hot summer days at the park. I loved the idea of being able to hustle for money, and I found ways to do just that as I was growing up. My journey as a business owner started when I was 21. I became a franchisee for Complete Weddings + Events. I loved developing relationships with other people in the industry and being able to control my own success, and my passion for business ownership really grew from there.
What is one business lesson you would tell a startup founder?
I always tell business owners to define their why. Identify your BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal), and what you want the ultimate outcome of the business to be, and then make it a priority to find the right people you will be bringing along with you on that journey. I find the most rewarding thing in running a business — especially a franchise concept like ours — is seeing your staff or franchisees attain personal growth and reach their financial and personal goals because of the overall influence of the company. Not only do they succeed personally, but they find ways to use that success for a greater purpose.