Hello everyone, I’m Doug Thorpe, your host, and today I’m excited to share with you a fascinating conversation I had with Stephen Halasnik, a seasoned entrepreneur who has built multiple successful businesses over the past 30 years.
Meet Stephen Halasnik: The Entrepreneurial Journey
Stephen has an impressive track record, having built seven companies, two of which made the Inc 500 list of fastest-growing companies in the US. He currently owns three of these companies, actively managing two, while the third, a commercial real estate business, is run by someone else.
Before embarking on his entrepreneurial journey, Stephen worked for Xerox for eight years. He always had a vision of starting his own company, and at the age of 30, during a recession, he decided it was the right time to do so. He continued working for Xerox for a year while secretly laying the groundwork for his own company.
The Art of Managing Risk in Business
Our conversation took a deep dive into the topic of managing risk in business. Stephen emphasized the importance of strategic thinking and planning for the future. He pointed out that many business owners get caught up in day-to-day operations and fail to work on their strategic plans or understand their numbers.
Stephen is a firm believer in taking calculated steps and not making huge gambles without testing the waters first. He also highlighted the significance of acquiring clients inexpensively and understanding the competition. His expertise lies in marketing, lead generation, and acquiring clients for his businesses.
Navigating Through Challenges: Personal Experiences
Stephen and I shared personal experiences where we had to navigate through challenging situations. I talked about a business idea that looked great on paper but failed to resonate with customers on an emotional level. This highlighted the need to mitigate emotional risks in addition to financial risks.
Stephen shared three examples from his own entrepreneurial journey. In one instance, he needed expensive equipment for a digital printing business but didn’t want to invest without testing the idea. So, he outsourced the work to others until he saw positive cash flow. In another example, he identified a problem in storing employee credentials and wanted to create software to solve it. However, he discovered that the market wasn’t interested in the solution, saving him from a costly investment.
The Importance of Pivoting and Adjusting Business Strategies
Stephen and I emphasized the importance of being open to pivoting and adjusting business strategies based on market intelligence. We cautioned against getting too locked in on one idea and stressed the need to listen to the market and make necessary adjustments.
Running a Business: A Perspective
Stephen shared his perspective on running a business. He admitted that he has never been in love with any of his businesses, as he approaches them from a more objective standpoint. He shared an example of his second business, which was financially successful but had an expiration date due to external factors like 9/11, the year 2000 bug, and the outsourcing of work. He emphasized that no business lasts forever and advised entrepreneurs to consider potential disruptions in their market.
Building a Sustainable Business
We also discussed the importance of building a sustainable business that can operate without the owner’s constant presence. I shared an example of a veterinarian who couldn’t sell his practice because it was too dependent on him. We stressed the need for businesses to be able to function even if the owner is not present.
The Challenges of Letting Go
Stephen and I discussed the challenges that entrepreneurs face when it comes to letting go of their businesses. Stephen mentioned that some founders struggle with giving up their businesses because they see them as their “first child.” However, he shared his own experience of having a business coach and making the decision to give up a business that was losing money.
Connect with Stephen Halasnik
To connect with Steven and learn more about his current business, visit his website, financingsolutionsnow.com. He also shared his personal email address, email@example.com, for any questions or inquiries.
I hope you found this conversation as enlightening as I did. Remember, you can also watch the video version of this show on my YouTube channel, “Leadership Powered by Common Sense.” Until next time, keep learning and keep growing.
Doug Thorpe Social Media:
Small business owners will hit an invisible wall that can stall the growth of the company. The key reason there is a wall is that owners need to shift from manager to leader. The question is, how to do that?
Doug Thorpe. Doug is a coach for CEOs and Senior Leadership Teams with 30 years of leadership experience. He is the president & CEO of Doug Thorpe Group. Doug is also a podcast host.
He helps owners understand the ways they need to reshape their thinking and attitude to make a successful break through the wall.
Learn how to move from Founder to CEO.
Doug Thorpe LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dougthorpe/
Doug Thorpe Website: https://dougthorpe.com/
Doug Thorpe Podcasts: https://podcasts.dougthorpe.com
Doug Thorpe Twitter: https://twitter.com/dougthorpe_com
Doug Thorpe Facebook: https://facebook.com/headwayexec
Doug Thorpe Instagram: https://instagram.com/dougthorpe_com