Evan Lalka: Austin, TX Is Exploding in Every Single Way and the Mindset of the People Here Is the Same. Everyone Just Wants To Grow, and Growth Is What Our Business Is About

Evan Lalka of L.A.K.E. Enterprises, Inc..

Tell us about yourself?

My name is Evan Lalka and I am 31 years old and originally from Carmel, IN. I am a father of two beautiful little girls and an entrepreneur.

The word I would use to most describe myself is, driven. I went through high school and college working as a server and/or bartender. People are my specialty. I can talk to anyone, relate to anyone, and engage with anyone.

I thrive in people facing environments. I have spent most of my life filled with this deep sense of dissatisfaction; of never having enough. This ambition and this drive is what has propelled me to where I am today.

I finally got sick and tired of working the restaurant scene and I felt like sales was the next logical step for someone that could talk to a brick wall if needed.

So sales it was, and I proceeded to work in quite a few different sales industries, from car sales to medical sales, and even some door to door sales.

I really enjoyed the competitive drive that came with sales, but unfortunately my values didn’t always align with the company’s I worked for.

That misalignment is what drove me towards entrepreneurship. I felt like I could create a better business, with better values, a better culture, and ultimately get better results. That is how L.A.K.E. Enterprises, Inc. came about.

Here, we value progress above anything. You don’t have to be the best, you just have to do YOUR best. Always. No matter what. Here, we value development. We don’t just teach our people the professional skills, but rather, we teach them how to grow personally as well.

We teach our employees how to create morning routines, how to write down their goals, how to become more intentional with life.

We get them reading books and listening to podcasts to help develop their mindset, all while we hold them accountable to hitting their life goals.

I could talk for ages about the things we value in my company, but that is what most describes myself, the never-ending pursuit of being better than I was yesterday.

What lessons has being an entrepreneur taught you? 

First and foremost, that GRIT is the most important thing anyone can develop. I am fortunate that my life experience is different than most and I have undergone much adversity over the years.

Looking into my past one would find that I’ve been through much hardship, most of my own making, but that hardship led to a much improved and much stronger me.

That grit, that ability to never give up, that ability to keep moving forward no matter what is what has helped me in entrepreneurship the most. Anything worth anything in life is not going to be easy, but is always going to be worth it.

That is the lesson I have learned over and over and it is the lesson I am passionate about teaching others. Also, entrepreneurship has taught me the importance of always doing what your business needs you to do at any given moment.

Sometimes my business needs me to be in the field, still doing sales, on the front lines with my people. Other times my business needs me to be in the office, managing and recruiting to help grow the company.

Then there are times my business needs me to go on vacation and enjoy life so that my top people can gain experience in leadership and running the show. If you’re always willing to do what is needed then you can never fail.

If you could go back in time to when you first started your business, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

Accountability is everything. I have always hated the aspect of leadership that requires you to be hard on people. I am always able to see the best in people and I genuinely want everyone to succeed and hit their goals.

However, you cant want something for someone more than they want it for themselves. Sometimes you just need to sit people down and honestly tell them they are not living up to their potential or company standards and then you must hold them to doing more.

The three pillars of our business are systems, standards, and competition.

A lot of entrepreneurs find it difficult to balance their work and personal lives. How have you found that?

Yes and no. Work/life balance is a fallacy. Everyone wants to live an amazing life where they get to travel the world and never look at price tags and have the freedom to do what they want, when they want.

Well I have always said, “if you want to live an unbalanced life, then you must live an unbalanced life.” Which means, if you want this unbalanced life full of enjoyment and no work, then you must first start living an unbalanced life full of work and less enjoyment, and through time the scales will shift.

However, that doesn’t mean that its all about work all the time, but its just first starting with reframing your perspective on it. Once you do that, then it’s about mastering time management and Google calendar. The way I found success is as follows.

Mon, Wed, Fri is all about my significant other and my kids. When I get off of work on those days they have my full attention and we can do whatever they want. Anything. Even if I’m tired I will find a way to stay up and stay engaged and give them my sole focus.

Then Tues, Thurs, Sat is my days to go above and beyond with work and do the things I need to for my business to succeed. Then Sunday is always date night. Having an intentional schedule is the easiest way to handle multiple things.

Give us a bit of an insight into the influences behind the company?

This company is all about the growth and development of our people. We are passionate about teaching people professionally AND personally so that they can learn the skills, build the mindset, and acquire the confidence to become entrepreneurs themselves.

This growth is influenced by anything and everything that can bring about progress.

What do you think is your magic sauce? What sets you apart from the competitors?

The way our company is structured. It is very different than most any other. For starters we have NO SENIORITY. How long someone has been here is irrelevant.

Most company’s reward tenure. We reward effort. The people that are showing up with great attitudes, going above and beyond, setting a great example, and are getting results, are the people that will be rewarded and recognized, whether they have been here two weeks or two years doesn’t matter.

Next, we ONLY promote from within. We are about REAL leadership, and hiring someone into a leadership role makes zero sense to me.

We want our leaders to have grown from the bottom and actually understand how the company works, and that have real relationships with the people they are leading. Lastly, we are a strictly merit based business.

This means that at any given moment someone can decide to show up every day and do their absolute best, ask questions, push themselves outside their comfort zone, and do what it takes to succeed, and that person will be rewarded by making more money, growing faster, and being given more opportunity.

These standards are what set us apart. Everyone here is TRULY in control of their own growth and opportunity.

How have you found sales so far? Do you have any lessons you could pass on to other founders in the same market as you just starting out?

Sales by definition is the transfer of energy. If your people don’t have energy then they won’t make sales. It is your job to motivate and provide an environment that is conducive to building their energy, making sure you teach them the skills to succeed, and then turning them loose to hit their goals.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced so far in your business, and how did you overcome it?

The biggest challenge by far was COVID. We started in 2021 and moved the company from Charlotte, NC to Austin, TX and the whole process was long.

Then just dealing with trying to keep everyone safe while still growing and pushing towards our goals was a challenge.

What we found was being adaptable and learning how to pivot quickly is what led to success and here we are thriving more than ever before.

What do you consider are the main strengths of operating your business in Texas over other states in the US?

I love the freedom and the people. We have found such great people to work with that are motivated to be better and to grow alongside the city that they are in.

Austin, TX is exploding in every single way and the mindset of the people here is the same. Everyone just wants to grow, and growth is what our business is about.

Are there any disadvantages of operating our business in Texas?

None that I have found so far. When we do, we will overcome.

Texas has a pretty diverse population. How have you found the quickly changing demographics have impacted your business? Have you got new opportunities? Managed to expand your business into new areas?

The diversity is amazing. Our company culture is unmatched. We do weekly team nights where the whole office gets together outside of work and everyone brings their families and we bond over food and drinks or a night of bowling or mini golf.

So the diversity has brought a uniqueness that is unmatched. In our business we don’t care what your background is or where you come from, all we care about is that you’re wanting to grow and willing to do what it takes to become better every day.

I’ve found that everyone has that ability inside of them, its just a matter of if they’re willing to unleash it.

It is often reported that, in Texas, politics and business are intertwined. Have you noticed this? Has it impacted your business?

It has not much impacted our business. We have been able to operate in all ways that we would like and we have not had to deal with any restrictions. So from my standpoint things have been fine.

With rising prices across Texas (and the US as a whole) have you been impacted? Do you have a plan for dealing with inflation going forward?

This is something we are being proactive about. I sat my team down and said look here, life is becoming more expensive and the last thing I want is anyone to be stressed about money.

So I feel morally responsible to hold you all to a higher standard so that you can make the money you need to not just live, but thrive. From that, we raised our minimum production standards, got more intentional with training, and from that we have people making more money than ever before.

Our team here won’t need to be worried!

What do you want to accomplish in the next 5 years with your business?

My goal in the next 5 years is expansion. We are looking to open up 5 more offices in the next 5 years and we are in a position to do just that.

We are still at the beginning stages of what is possible. We will have our second office opened up by February 2023.

And finally, if people want to get involved and learn more about your business, how should they do that?

They can check us out at our company website, FaceBook, Instagram, and/or twitter. We are always hiring as well!

Follow L.A.K.E. Enterprises, Inc. on Twitter or Linkedin.

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