BIO: Kizzy Parks helps service-based small business owners learn how to win profitable federal government contracts using her powerful CTC technique.
STORY: Kizzy learned of a $40 million opportunity to provide training and curriculum development across the federal government. She put everything else on hold and focused on preparing her business to win the project. She spent $600,000 on various business resources because she was sure she would win the project. The government didn’t put the project up for bidding to her disappointment, so she never got it and was left in debt.
LEARNING: First, sell your product, then build it. Understand your advisor’s motivation and always think through and question advice given before you apply it.
“You have to think about the intent behind the people who are cheering you along. What are they getting out of it?”
As a kid, Kizzy Parks would clean golf balls in an alley behind her friend’s house and resell them through a fence to the nearby golfers and use the money to buy snacks.
She always knew she’d become an entrepreneur and earn an advanced degree in psychology. Her entrepreneurial spirit meshed well with her inquisitive nature as an adopted child who always wanted to meet her birth family, which she eventually did. She started K. Parks Consulting over a decade ago and during that time earned a Ph.D. in psychology.
Today, she owns and operates multiple businesses, and she has won more than $50 million in government contract awards. Through her business, GovCon Winners, she helps service-based small business owners learn HOW to win profitable federal government contracts using her powerful CTC technique.
Worst investment ever
Kizzy came across a $40 million opportunity to provide training and curriculum development across the federal government. At that time, Kizzy’s company provided work to the incumbent. But the word on the street was that they wanted to work with somebody else, but her mentors and advisors told her to go for it.
Making sure she was ready for the win
Kizzy spent money on all types of resources on business development so that she could win this work. She even hired a business developer who kept pushing her on to go for the bid. Kizzy put everything else on hold and concentrated on winning this project.
Kizzy started looking for facilitators and curriculum developers, and it was just piles upon piles of cash being spent toward this $40 million opportunity because she thought, well, why not? What is $600,000 compared to 40 million?
Kizzy believed that she could do this because she was already doing the work. She was ready to take over the job from the incumbent.
The disappointing outcome
After all the work she’d done and all the money she had spent building her business readiness for this government project, Kizzy found out that the federal government decided to go a different route. They weren’t going to put up the opportunity for competition.
Kizzy ended up with team members that she didn’t need and $600,000 in debt.
Do not build before you sell
It may seem like the right thing to do is to build the perfect product first before you start selling. However, if you want to succeed, sell before you build. This allows you to test the market before you create the complete product.
Understand your advisor’s motivation
When someone is advising you, know what their motivation is. This will help you adjust what you’re hearing from that person. Think about the intent behind the people cheering you along or encouraging you to take that leap or get involved in that opportunity. What are they getting out of it? Some may just be advising you because they will get compensated for convincing you to take action. Others may simply be wanting to help you succeed.
Think for yourself even when receiving advice
Just because you have mentors, advisors, or coaches, you still have to stop, think, and question decisions. Don’t just take every piece of advice that you get and act on it. Think about it first, then decide. A good mentor, advisor, or coach will encourage you to think and not just push you along a line.
Do not put all your eggs in one basket. Make sure you have multiple revenue streams.
No. 1 goal for the next 12 months
Kizzy’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to win another Guinness World Record. She recently set a record for the most skips of a rope while wearing flip flops in 60 seconds. She jumped 182 times. Her next goal is to throw a football 60 yards, and she just hired a throwing coach who was a quarterback for Notre Dame to help her set this record.
“Everything is possible regardless of where you are in life.”
Andrew Stotz 00:01
Hello fellow risk takers and welcome to my worst investment ever stories of loss to keep you winning in our community. We know that to win in investing, you must take risks, but to win big, you've got to reduce it. If you're not already in our community go to my worst investment ever.com right now, to join and receive five free benefits first, you get the risk reduction checklist that I created from all the episodes. Second, you get my weekly investment research email to help you increase your return. So you get a 25% discount on all a stocks Academy courses. And fourth, you get instant access to our Facebook community to get to know guests and fellow listeners. And finally, you'll get my curated list of the Top 10 podcast episodes fellow risk takers This is your worst podcast host Andrew Stotz from a stance Academy and I'm here with featured guests, Kizzy, punks Kizzy, are you ready to rock? I'm ready to rock. Let's do it. I want to introduce you to the audience. Ladies and gentlemen, listen up as a kid Kizzy parks would clean golf balls in an alley behind your friend's house and resell them through a friend through a fence to golfers and use the money to buy snacks. She always knew she'd become an entrepreneur and earn an advanced degree in psychology. Her entrepreneurial spirit matched well with her inquisitive nature as an adopted child who always wanted to meet her birth family, which she eventually did. She started k parks consulting over a decade ago, and during that time, earned a PhD in psychology. Today, she owns and operates multiple businesses, and she has won more than $50 million in government contract awards to her business Gov con winners. She helps service based small businesses, business owners learn how to win profitable federal government contracts using our powerful CGC technique. Kizzy, take a minute and fill in further tidbits about your life. Tell us something about your life.
Kizzy Parks 02:25
Yes, I have something to tell you. You know, I'm just gonna jump right in here. Okay, go. Oh, so, you know, there was a time when there was a $40 million opportunity for $0 million opportunity with the federal government to provide basically training, curriculum development across the entire federal government. And at that time, we provided work to the current incumbent. Hmm. But the word on the street was that they wanted to work with somebody else. So I put in all types of resources. I gave my director of learning arrays, I paid for some woman to make her lunch, which was ridiculous. I spent all of these resources on business development, to really position ourself so that we could win this work. And we started to look for facilitators and curriculum developers, and it was just piles of cash upon piles of cash upon piles of cash being spent toward this $40 million opportunity because I thought, well, why not? Right? What $600,000?
Andrew Stotz 04:08
nothing compared to 40 million,
Kizzy Parks 04:10
nothing. But then, in all of that excitement, right? Because I was only in business for not even 10 years. It was a few years at that time. So super exciting. It was going to be life changing. Couldn't believe it? I thought, Oh my gosh, we can totally do this, right, because we're already doing the work. We can take it over, we don't need them. Then we find out that the federal government decided to go a different route and that they weren't going to compete the opportunity. And so I ended up with a team member that I didn't need $600,000 in debt and zero $40 million project.
Andrew Stotz 05:16
And I didn't even give you They didn't even give you a million.
Kizzy Parks 05:21
No, you got nothing. They didn't even read competed opportunity. So no one received anything from that project.
Andrew Stotz 05:30
And um, can you remember the day that you kind of realized this is gone?
Kizzy Parks 05:38
I do. It was. It was after many, many meetings, all different types of meetings on strategizing and getting the documents together. And it just came up that they weren't doing it. And I just thought, Oh, my gosh, why did I build it first? Why did I do this?
Andrew Stotz 06:04
And we know you. Were you in that meeting when it hit you? Or did you walk out? Or was it that night? Or when was the moment that you really hit you?
Kizzy Parks 06:12
It really hit me. It was I think it was a phone meeting. And it really hit me like this is not happening. I'm like years of thinking about this, and strategizing. And working on all these efforts, it's for nothing. And I was all for nothing.
Andrew Stotz 06:35
And how did you feel at that moment? Or what in your moment, in your quiet moment.
Kizzy Parks 06:40
I was very angry, I felt very defeated. I also questioned why I had certain people on the team. Because there was no reason to really have them. I was very disappointed with myself. Because I shouldn't have built anything out. I should have trusted myself.
Andrew Stotz 07:03
Well, let me ask you, what lessons did you learn?
Kizzy Parks 07:07
The biggest lesson was to not build it first, the biggest lesson was to do the reverse, which is get them to try something out or to want to work with us as opposed to spending and getting into debt for an opportunity that just didn't come to fruition.
Andrew Stotz 07:34
And just one question, why did you do it that way? You know, did you know this, and you went against your best judgment or you just knew and you're just thinking, this is what you got to do. You got to spend to get the big one. And this is huge, and we're gonna win it.
Kizzy Parks 07:53
It was like a combination of both Andrew It was like, I didn't know. And then the suppose and mentors were really pushing me. There was a person on my team that was being paid for business development. So she of course was pushing me for more hours, right. And then my the mentors in my circle pushed and encouraged and I felt like, um, you know, like, if like a kid getting ready for picture day, your parent picks out your outfit, and you don't really want to wear it, but they're forcing you to wear it. Because it's picture day and you just go along with it because you have to because you're a kid. That's like how I felt I felt like this doesn't feel right. It was itchy or scratchy. It wasn't normally how I would dress anyways. And that's how I felt my situation. It was very similar. It just didn't seem right. But I thought, well, this is what these experts are telling me to do. So I guess this is what you're supposed to do.
Andrew Stotz 08:55
Did you ever have a moment like where in your gut or your intuition that said, Wait a minute, which I really do this? Or did you just pretty much say look, I'm just following what these guys say? And it seems like good advice.
Kizzy Parks 09:12
In the beginning, I thought okay, this makes sense. We're going to run with it. Because the protocol behind this was all coming to fruition like it was the government was doing what they normally would do. But then there was this moment when things changed. And this one company I was working with really started to take control and involve all these firms. And I was like wait a minute, this. This isn't right, because the way that this work, it needs to be managed. You don't need to involve 20 chefs and a little mini kitchen you don't need that. So my intuition started to go off and but I was in so I just kept going Nope.
Andrew Stotz 10:01
Well, let me summarize a few things that I take away from this. The first one is, sell first, ladies and gentlemen, do not build, first sell first. And I know it goes against everything that people want, because you want to do your business because you've got such a great idea and all that. But Ladies and gentlemen, you've got to sell first. And it just, it is so critical. The second thing is, you know, you mentioned about the mentors and kind of pushing. And ultimately, you know, you are trusting those mentors. But I think that, you know, an important thing for all of us is that, we have to think for ourselves, it doesn't mean we don't get advice. It doesn't mean we don't follow mentors. But just because you have mentors, advisors, coaches, whenever you still have to stop and think and question. And really, a good mentor or coach is someone who encourages, if somebody is just pushing you along a line, you know, it's something I think you can push back a little bit. And then the last thing is, things change. And there's a lot of people that will bring you down the golden primrose path or whatever they call that, where everything looks golden. And then at one point, something changes, you know, new person comes in or, or they change their idea, they go a different direction. And in your gut, as you've just said, you go Wait a minute, is that happens in any deal? You have a right to stop. And, and go with that intuition and say, wait a minute, sorry, I have questions here. Wait a minute, original, we started here. And then you know, that is those are the three things that I take away? Is there anything you'd add to that?
Kizzy Parks 11:52
I think the other thing to add to that, too, is you really got to also look at who's giving you the advice, because one of the individuals, she was a contractor. And so I should have known that, of course, she's going to push me because she wanted to increase her billable hours. So you also have to think about well, what is the intent behind the people who are cheering you along? or encouraging you to take that leap? Or get involved in that opportunity? What are they getting out of it?
Andrew Stotz 12:34
Oh, great, you know, in, I'm involved in the Chartered Financial Analysts, society, and Institute across the world, we call it CFA. And I was president of CFA society in Thailand for two terms. And we have a code of ethics and one of the codes of ethics is reveal conflicts of interest. It's not to eliminate conflicts of interest, it's to reveal them. And the benefit of that is that, you know, once you understand someone's motivation, then you can make an adjustment in what you're hearing from that person. Now that, you know, their motivation, or at least part of their motivation. And, and so, first of all, you know, you want to work with people that reveal their conflicts of interest. But you also want to just identify people that around, you know, what are their potential conflicts? You know, another way of saying is, who benefits? You know, who benefits and who benefits from this advice. So, I think that's the last thing that I would take away is to, it's okay, it's okay to think about the conflicts, to ask questions about the conflicts to reveal and discuss the conflicts. You know, and as you do that, that will help you make better decisions. So that would be my little thoughts on it. I wonder now, if based upon, you know, you've helped so many people, and you know, so much now about government contracts, based upon what you learned from this story, and what you continue to learn what one action would you recommend our listeners take to avoid suffering the same fate?
Kizzy Parks 14:18
The one big action is you can't put all your eggs in one basket. When it comes to government contracting in I would say the unless is, if you're the incumbent. Hmm. So if we would have been in the incumbent, there would have been business intelligence that we would have had, but because we weren't, we were considered an adjunct on that effort. We didn't have any key insider information, but you want to make sure you have your multiple revenue streams. So you don't get into that situation.
Andrew Stotz 14:57
Fantastic. All right. Last question. What's your number one goal for the next 12 months?
Kizzy Parks 15:04
Well, my number one goal is more fitness oriented. I just set a Guinness World Record for jump roping. So
Andrew Stotz 15:17
top level Oh, hold on, tell us what you did.
Kizzy Parks 15:21
It was for most skips of a rope while wearing flip flops in 60 seconds. No way. So I jumped 182 times.
Andrew Stotz 15:36
Oh my god.
Kizzy Parks 15:38
I know. So my next goal is to throw a football 60 yards
Andrew Stotz 15:46
with your left hand or right hand,
Kizzy Parks 15:49
right hand. My right hand and I just hired a throwing coach who was a quarterback for Notre Dame.
Andrew Stotz 16:01
Wow. Well, we look forward to that success. All right, well, listeners, there you have it another story of loss to keep you winning. My number one goal for the next 12 months is a little bit less ambitious. It's to help you my listeners reduce risk and increase return in your life. To achieve this, I've created our community where you gain the five free benefits I mentioned earlier, just go to my worst investment ever.com right now to join us. As we conclude Kizzy, I want to thank you again for coming on the show. And on behalf of a starts Academy I hereby award you alumni status for turning your worst investment ever into your best teaching moment. It's not the Guinness Book of World Record, but you're in it now. Do you have any parting words for the audience?
Kizzy Parks 16:52
Oh, my parting words. I always say to people that everything is possible. I'm a very upbeat, positive person and I just impart that to you because maybe it's something that you need to hear today and just remember everything is possible regardless of where you are. And thank you for listening. I really appreciate it.
Andrew Stotz 17:09
Well, that's a wrap on another great story to help us create, grow and protect our well fellow risk takers. This is your worst podcast hose Andrew Stotz saying. I'll see you on the upside.
Connect with Kizzy Parks
- How to Start Building Your Wealth Investing in the Stock Market
- My Worst Investment Ever
- 9 Valuation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
- Transform Your Business with Dr.Deming’s 14 Points
Andrew’s online programs
- Valuation Master Class
- How to Start Building Your Wealth Investing in the Stock Market
- Finance Made Ridiculously Simple
- Become a Great Presenter and Increase Your Influence
- Transform Your Business with Dr. Deming’s 14 Points