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Feb 7, 2018

Mike Willingham, VP, and COO of iPawn Arkansas and president at Willingham Diamonds speak on using leadership to influence persons to be their best self and work towards their dreams.


[00:24] Mike is an entrepreneur, passionate about leadership, investing and pawnbroking


[00:46] VP and COO of iPawn Arkansas, president at Willingham Diamonds and serves as a board member of National Pawnbrokers Association


[01:07] His true passion is influencing younger men to realize their leadership abilities


[01:54] Mike started pawnbroking with a friend of his, where they used items from their garage


[02:34] Mike currently has 2 stores


[02:46] Before August 2017, Arkansas had no regulations regarding pawnbroking. The law now states interest of 25% per month with a holding period of 30 days


[03:21] Mike pawns jewelry, general merchandise, boats, cars, RVs and much more


[03:29] He opened his first store 8 years ago


[03:47] Finding passionate and ambitious employees is one of the hardest situations Mike has experienced


[04:44] He pays above-average wages, gives employees health care, free gym membership, and other benefits, just like a large corporation would


[05:25] Employees are kept active and also marketing themselves and the company (while they wear iPawn shirts)


[06:49] Why is personal branding important? Your employees are going to make more money, which means you are going to make more money.”


[08:17] When you become a better leader, it challenges your team to want to become better leaders


[09:44] If you don’t let salespeople set their own goals, they’re gonna set them much higher than you would usually


[09:22] Leadership in its purest definition is influence


[10:53] Becoming a better leader improves your bottom-line


[11:36] People set goals, but don’t have a plan for achieving them


[13:23] You must commit, by investing time and money, to anything you want to become great at doing


[13:44] Mike read and became involved in mentorship at to become a better leader.


[15:43] If you don’t have enthusiasm about what you’re doing then you’re wasting your time.”


[16:58] Mike started Willingham Diamonds from something that he loves to do


[17:38] He separates the pawnshop and Willingham Diamonds so that each entity makes its own profits


[18:39] Mike used events that would lead persons to his social media pages


[19:27] You must use social media as a platform to educate, not just sell


[20:18] Even if you utilize different styles, leadership can be portrayed at home and at work


[23:05] Your staff can determine whether or not you get business based on their customer service


[25:53] Lack of vision and know-how can prevent a pawnbroker from building their staff to make themselves better leaders and improve the viability of the pawnbroker


[27:03] iPawn core values:

  • Create remarkable experiences
  • Embrace and drive change
  • Excellence in every role
  • Little things are important
  • Honest is best


[28:40] In the pawnbroker business, we’ve become so transaction-oriented that we don’t pay attention to our customers. Forming a relationship with the customer can upgrade them to a client


[30:20] Employees are the backbone of your business


[30:42] Training employees gets them to where they need to be in the business


[31:02] The TTS report focuses on emotional stability, making decisions, leadership potential and best-fit job roles for employees


[32:12] Be Obsessed or Be Average’ - Grant Cordone talks about sales and leading people


[32:33] ‘Smart Business Management”...


[33:08] Invest in your staff and invest in yourself. Pay your staff more money, give an opportunity to earn more money


[33:32] Contact Mike at:

  • iPawn Arkansas on Facebook and Instagram
  • Willingham Diamonds on Facebook and Instagram
  • Mike Willingham on Facebook