What I’ve Learned: Bill Groener

What I’ve Learned: Bill Groener

Posted 6/23/2017


Vice President of Sales of 4Wall Entertainment


Treat everyone like a valued customer. The “client” or “customer” can include a wide range of people, from those making the purchases, to those influencing decisions, and even the people in your company. All the people working under you are your customers, and you are selling them your ideas. They all need to be given the right kind of time and attention, because it isn’t just one group that needs attention but everyone together who provides the greatest potential for success.

There’s a responsibility to your family and friends, not just to your business. I remember one time when my wife went in for a doctor’s appointment and she asked me to pick her up since I wasn’t traveling. But I was very busy, so I suggested that she have a friend pick her up. She made me very aware that wasn’t the right way for me to be dealing with the situation.

You can’t do everything by yourself. I take a lot on myself and hold myself responsible and accountable for a lot, and that’s good and healthy, but I do believe there’s a point where you have to come to grips with the fact that you need other people. You’re part of a community, and it’s good to know and recognize you need the support of other people.

You can’t judge people by what you first see. It’s easy to make decisions or judgments about people at a very shallow, surface level, but you really have to get under the surface and find out more about what’s going on if you want to have a significant relationship with people. My son struggled for a long time with depression and other mental health issues that challenged him a lot in his life, and it helped me see that you need to really work to see what you can do to help in a situation.

Be aware of where you are looking for approval. I lost my father to cancer when I was a freshman in college, and in my career I’ve been trying to seek approval from someone in business the same way you’d get it from your father. This got me thinking about my role in the company and how I could perform better, but it also probably contributed to me overworking.

Marriage is a partnership, and you need to work together. You won’t always agree, and you might get annoyed, but you work through it. It’s the long-term relationship that’s important, not an individual thing that happens on any given morning or day. I really saw this after my son died by suicide when he was 19. Only with my wife and I working together were we able to get through that.

Unless you can enjoy what you’re working for, what’s the point of doing that work? A lot of people my age can struggle a bit with the millennial generation because they tend to be so much more focused on work/life balance while I think people my age are more focused on work first and other stuff second. My daughter helps me with this. She’s getting ready to go off on a trip, and I struggle to take time off. It can be frustrating, but I have respect for people who have that balance.

Don’t give up. There are times when things seem overwhelming, but if you just stay with it and put in a dedicated amount of focused time to work through a problem, there is a time when there’s a breakthrough. It’s like a huge weight is lifted off your shoulders when you finally see that light at the end of the tunnel. Some people give up on that process too early and say there’s no solution, but if you stick with it you will ultimately find the path through.


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