Keys To Success

The Storage Business Owners Alliance (SBOA) is committed to serving as an educational resource for self-storage owners and operators, to allow them to become more knowledgeable in the industry. One of the ways the SBOA aims to do this is by providing weekly Keys to Success with self-storage industry leaders. You can check this page weekly to see a new Key to Success or by subscribing to the SBOA newsletter here.

October 12, 2021: Ian Burnstein, President and Co-Founder of the SBOA

“I always tell my kids to follow three simple rules:

  1. Be nice
  2. Work hard
  3. Do what you say you are going to do”

October 5, 2021: Jim Mooney, Vice President of Operations at Freedom Storage Management

There are a lot of reasons for success. For me, my go to one is always continue to learn. There are opportunities all around us to learn about our industry. Surround yourself with smart people and be humble. Listen to what they are saying. As my mom would say there might be a better way to accomplish that. I have taken that mindset to heart and why I always attend AND participate in conferences both State and National. You never know where the next great idea will come from.”

September 28, 2021: Daniel Higuera, Chief Operating Officer at Storage Star

“My most important keys to success would have to be tenacity, diligence, and my ability to adapt to new ideas. The world is constantly changing, and you must be open to new concepts, or you will stay stagnant. Another very important key to the success of Storage Star is getting staff to have the “buy in”. Meaning, if they believe in what we are doing they will work even harder to achieve the goals set before them. This is also obtained by knowing your staff’s strengths and promoting from within the company. My team believes in me the way I believe in them, and this is something that is very difficult/impossible to replicate.”

September 21, 2021: Raheem Amer, Senior Vice President of Operations at Devon Self Storage

“FOCUS: Just like a magnifying glass on a newspaper. To make a success of our lives we must learn to concentrate all our efforts on the undertaking in hand until it is finished.  GRIT: Have the drive, stamina, and determination to push through any challenge or obstacle thrown your way.  CONSISTENCY: It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives…it’s what we do consistently that defines us.  At the end of the day…success is truly accomplished when you achieve it WITH PEOPLE. So, build strong roots and do not alienate your people while you are striving for success….”

September 14, 2021: Charles Gardiner, President at KO Storage

“As it relates to real estate…Location, Location, Location.  The 3 keys I have found to be a successful operator in any business is “Staffing, Staffing, Staffing.” It’s always the problem. It’s always the solution. I will never reach the success that I desire without the resources and collaboration of a great team!! I have been blessed with great teams comprised of great people.”

September 7, 2021: Ashley Compton, National Director of Self Storage Group at Colliers

Early in my career I was told that if I keep my client’s interests first, everything else will fall into place. I try to carefully listen to my clients’ goals and craft a marketing strategy that best accomplishes their needs. I feel I have built a strong brokerage practice over the last 17 years with a reputation of being a straight-shooter, working tenaciously for my clients, and consistently delivering better than expected results.” 

August 31, 2021: Tony Goff, Director of Operations at True Storage 

“I’d have to say my keys to success would have to be, being a gregarious person. I thrive off of people. And Knowing the difference between being a “manager” vs. a “developer” of teams. People make any business, you MUST take care of your Team, by developing them into superstars. That will always shine down to your customers.”

August 24, 2021: Rick Beal, Co-Founder at Atomic Self Storage

“Any success I’ve had in my life I can attribute to always questioning the way things are done. Never assume the current way is the right way… always ask why. Always ask how it can be better and never stop asking that.”

August 17, 2021: Jane Sauls, Broker at Sauls Storage Group

“Believe it first and Believe BIG! Putting legs on my prayers and getting after it every day. Consistently doing the little things right and always doing what’s right. And never taking myself too seriously.”

August 10, 2021: Mitchell Feldman, President at The Feldman Companies

“People think I’m lucky. The reality is, the harder I work, the luckier I get! The key to success is putting forth massive effort on a consistent basis. There is no other way.”

August 3, 2021: Phil O’Hara, Director of Operations at Delta Self Storage

“For me the keys to success are easy and challenging at the same time. Most importantly is to set goals and hold yourself accountable to them. Secondly, aim above your current skill set to challenge yourself to grow. The last key to success is to get out of your comfort zone and stop being complacent!”

Are you in the self-storage industry and want to share your keys to success? Email us at and put “Keys to Success Submission” in the subject line of the email.

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