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Small-Business Success Stories

Small Business Month happens every May, but we think small-business owners should be celebrated every single day. Why? Well, for one thing, they’ve got unbelievable grit and determination. But also because small businesses are the backbone of our economy. They create jobs, make our lives better with cool products and services, and keep the economy humming.

Here are the small-business success stories of four business owners we’ve gotten to know and love through EntreLeadership. Each hit roadblocks while growing their businesses through the 5 Stages of Business, but they all pushed through and kept tackling new mountains. They’ll inspire you to take new mountains too. So get ready to be moved by their hard work and never-give-up spirits.

Josh Bradford — Co-Owner, Altitude Energy

Dr. Christy Bock — Owner, Cornerstone Educational Solutions

Cory Ryan — Owner, Pro Electric

Troy Brown — Owner, Troy’s Wrecker Service

Business Success Stories

Josh Bradford — Co-Owner, Altitude Energy

Keenesburg, Colorado
Stage of Business: Peak Performer

Stealing a page from lots of other visionary startups, Josh Bradford launched a high-voltage power line company in his garage back in 2015.

“Like a lot of young companies, it was a little messy,” Josh said. “The left hand didn’t know what the right one was doing, and we spent a lot of time chasing our tails.”

Now he and his team of about 95 linemen are chasing better things—like the opportunities they’re getting for work all over the country. Already they’ve contracted their power line services in 17 states, with more on the horizon. The team works long, hard hours to light up the world after storm outages and voltage conversions.

“There’s nothing more rewarding than turning the power on to a community after they’ve been in the dark for days,” Josh said. “It’s always a great feeling when you close a fuse, and the town is cheering for your guys.”

Josh credits the company’s growth to developing their mission, vision and values, and getting everyone moving in the same direction.

“Before we even hire someone, we’re clear on where we’re going, why it matters and how we’re getting there,” he said.

Josh and his leaders are crystal clear with current team members too—on what they value and what each team member is responsible for in their everyday work, aka their Key Results Areas (KRA).

He realized while attending EntreLeadership Summit in 2023 that his team needed a North Star to follow. At that point, Altitude Energy was at the Pathfinder stage of business, meaning they struggled from a lack of direction. Most days felt like a game of Whac-A-Mole, with Josh tackling one problem after another with no real momentum. The EntreLeadership System gave him practical templates so he didn’t have to waste time and energy figuring out things like how to write a mission statement or KRA.

Now, Altitude Energy is at the Peak Performer stage and enjoying a better profit margin with a leaner team.

Josh’s next hurdle is refining the hiring process and building the company’s apprenticeship program to keep up with all the growth.

“If we want to transform the electrical industry—and we do—we need to have the best team in place at scale,” he said. “Investing in our people is investing in their success—and our future. We can’t wait to see what we look like in three, five or ten years.”

Dr. Christy Bock — Owner, Cornerstone Educational Solutions

Upland, California
Stage of Business: Trailblazer

Dr. Christy Bock has a passion for helping kids succeed in the classroom . . . and in life. She began her career as a school psychologist in 1998. One of her main responsiblities was to evaluate students with special needs and develop individualized education plans to help them learn.


You probably thought running a business sounded fun—until you realized it would actually run you. Discover the EntreLeadership System—the small-business road map that takes the guesswork out of growth.

But Christy soon realized the standard education evaluations used for struggling students weren’t thorough enough to answer parent and teacher questions so they could best support the children. Without the right plan, students often fail in school. Then trouble follows them into life when they’re trying to find a job, get advanced training, or live on their own.

To help change that, Christy did what any Type A problem-solver would do—used more in-depth evaluations and made the results easier to understand.

“I wanted parents and teachers to have a practical road map they could really use,” she said. “Then more kids could succeed.”

And so Cornerstone Educational Solutions was born in 2008.

Christy kept working full-time in schools but also oversaw a few other psychologists who served as independent education evaluators using her model. Cornerstone grew like wildfire, which sounds like a good problem to have. But going from a lone woman with a mission to the head of a multistate educational assessment service was a crazy, exhausting ride for more than a decade.

“I was absolutely on the treadmill, day in, day out,” she said about her business. “I did everything—all the things I’m really, really good at, and all the things I was really, really bad at.”

In 2022—then 100 psychologist contractors strong—Christy thought back to when she and her family used Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps a decade earlier to get out of crippling personal debt.

“We were a Ramsey family through and through after that,” she said. “So I wondered if the EntreLeadership System could help me manage my business better too.”

That’s when she “threw a bit of a Hail Mary” and went to EntreLeadership Master Series in Nashville, Tennessee.

For nearly a week at this exclusive event for small-business owners, Christy absorbed a ton of practical business advice from Dave and his executive leaders.

“It was amazing!” she said. “I took furious notes and finally started developing a workable action plan for my business.”

She walked away nervous about applying all she’d learned but ready to make her first hire: an administrative assistant. Then she could plan the business’s next steps and have room to grow.

Within just a few years, Cornerstone has bolted from Treadmill Operator to the Trailblazer stage of business. Its 200 contractors serve in 13 states, and the company’s net revenue has doubled. Christy said EntreLeadership’s Desired Future Dashboard and Daily Top 3 especially keep her focused on what to do next to reach her goals.

Since starting in educational psychology, Christy has seen student difficulties related to anxiety, mood disorders, trauma, dyslexia, and other disorders skyrocket. She’s passionate about expanding her company’s reach to make sure every student with special needs gets an education plan tailored to them. And she’s also passionate about something else that hits close to home—helping her contractors dig out of debt and change their families’ legacies.

“I get texts regularly from my psychologists telling me they just paid off their car or credit card or even their student loan from their side income with Cornerstone,” Christy said. “It’s an unbelievable blessing to watch them change futures for students and for themselves.”

Cory Ryan — Owner, Pro Electric

Redmond, Oregon
Stage of Business: Pathfinder

Cory Ryan’s family-owned business has a long and growing list of happy customers. He and his team built it by delivering reliable residential electrician services. But getting the business off the ground in 2019 came with plenty of bumps, bruises and downright exhaustion.

“I’d work in the field for 10 hours a day and think I was done, just to start my second job doing payroll and scheduling when I got home,” he said.

That’s a struggle a lot of business owners face in the Treadmill Operator stage of business. The thing is, you don’t want to camp out there for long.

 “Losing all your personal time will burn you out fast,” Cory shared. “I knew I had to get my nights and weekends back.”

At the brink of burnout, Cory forced himself to slow down and work on his business, not just in it. He made some good hires and put systems in place, like following a budget and developing other leaders to share the load. And finally, he began to catch his breath.

“Now, I’d tell any business owner it’s okay to step back and think through what you’re trying to achieve and how you’re going to get there,” he said.

With more head space, Cory is clear on Pro Electric’s mission to power dreams of homeowners—literally. He and his team wire, repair and replace anything you see in a home that’s powered by electricity.

Cory is proud to report he’s graduated from the Treadmill Operator stage to the Pathfinder stage of business. Just what does it mean to be a Pathfinder?

“It means I’m finding my footing,” Cory said. “Since I’m better at delegating and managing my time, I can focus on leadership and things like role clarity and what’s going on with my team.”

Being part of an EntreLeadership Advisory Group has been a game changer in taking back his time.

“I have 10 other business leaders and a coach holding me accountable. That’ll get you moving!” Cory said. “I know I’d still be doing the same things without this group.”

The real test of owning his business (instead of his business owning him) came in 2023. Cory took four weeks off for surgery and recovery and his business survived him being gone.

“The business didn’t miss a beat,” he said. “And I’m back stronger and more ready to power more dreams.”

Louisville, Kentucky
Stage of Business: Pathfinder

Troy Brown started his wrecker business in 1989 as a one-man team in a two-car garage with a 1972 Chevy Wrecker he bought for $1,500 cash.

“I was building from nothing,” he said. “But I’d grown up around cars thanks to my grandparents’ work with used cars—and I loved it.”

He loves helping people even more. So the ultimate joy for Troy is rescuing someone in need of a tire change or tow.

“Let’s be real, those are low moments,” Troy said. “Nobody wants to need a wrecker service. But when you do, you want help from someone you trust.”

With that in mind, when he hires team members, he asks himself, “Who would I want to help if my mom’s car broke down?”

That level of integrity and his company’s reputation for going the extra mile has served Troy well. Today, Troy’s Wrecker Service sits on seven acres and has a fleet of 12 vehicles. The company’s 20 or so drivers and dispatchers will tow or haul your car, motorcycle, boat, farm equipment, luxury vehicle—heck, they’ll even haul your small plane. All with a commitment to quick, professional service.

The company’s motto is “We pick you up when you're down.” But the truth is, Troy was the one needing a lift for himself and his business a few years back.

“I was like, ‘Man, I’m tired of this,’” he admits. “I didn’t know what to do next to grow my business, and I didn’t have a clue about building company culture or taking care of myself.”

Just days later, an ad for EntreLeadership popped up on Troy’s Facebook page.

“Hands down, clicking that ad was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”

Troy knew a little about Dave Ramsey, “the money guy who built a big company from a card table in his living room.” So when he realized the EntreLeadership System was Dave’s road map for growing a business, he dug in to learn more. Come hell or high water, he would apply the tools, principles and coaching to fix his business.

In the Pathfinder stage of business, Troy is focused on improving communication top to bottom and developing as a leader so his business can scale. And it is!

In 2017, he added a salvage yard. Then in 2023, he quadrupled its revenue in 10 months when he hired 10 folks and took over the book of business from another salvage yard that shut down.

“I never could’ve done that without EntreLeadership,” he said. “I’m just an ol’ country boy from Kentucky, but now I’ve got a plan. I also understand that fixing my business had to start with fixing me.”

Troy’s not just becoming a better leader for the people on his team, he’s becoming a better husband, dad and grandpa. And that kind of personal growth is priceless.

“When you run a 24/7 business, you can miss out on a lot of birthdays and family time,” he said. “My family sacrificed so much. Now I’ve got people in place to help so I don’t miss the things that matter most.”

Next up, Troy’s sights are set on building the biggest towing business in Louisville. But that’s not all. In a line of work that can have a bad rap, he wants to be known for going above and beyond.

“We’re not first responders in the traditional sense, but we can take a note from them,” Troy said. “And when we show up on the scene, we can serve with all we’ve got to make a difference. Goodness always comes back to you.”

Success Beyond National Small Business Month

Like you’ve just heard in four business success stories, getting stuck is normal. But staying stuck shouldn’t be. The EntreLeadership System is the road map that takes the guesswork out of growth. It’s helped thousands of business owners move through the 5 Stages of Business, and it can help you go the distance too.


What’s Next: Celebrate Your Own Success

We love celebrating the everyday impact of business owners. But we really love helping business owners overcome challenges. Learn how you can solve the right problems at the right time in the right way.

  1. Explore the EntreLeadership System.
  2. Download our free EntreLeadership System Getting Started Guide.


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Ramsey Solutions

About the author


Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners. Learn More.

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