Helping Entrepreneurs Succeed

The writer of this blog Ravi Patel, President and CEO, Patel CFO Services was interviewed by Fred Arnold on his show “Out of the Rough” on SCVTV, Santa Clarita, CA.

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Published in: on September 14, 2012 at 5:25 am  Leave a Comment  
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About C-Level Reflections

Ravi Patel has over 35 years general, financial and operational management experience in C-Level executive positions with multi-sized companies in diverse industries.

Having substantial experience in leading and consulting with entrepreneurial companies, Ravi utilizes this blog to share useful management thoughts to hopefully assist Entrepreneurs in growing their companies.

Ravi is the President and CEO of Patel CFO Services (www.PatelCFOServices.com) that provides financial and entrepreneurial consulting services .  He can be reached at Ravi.Patel@PatelCFOServices.com

Published in: on April 10, 2010 at 2:07 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Lessons for Entrepreneurs from MLK

Having celebrated his birthday yesterday, it is interesting to review what lessons Entrepreneurs can learn from Martin Luther King (MLK).

Dave Kerpen wrote an article on Inc. on January 19, 2004 listing seven lessons from MLK that are still relevant today. Here is my summary:

  1. Dream big – if you don’t dream big, you can’t achieve significant things
  2. Persuade without power – don’t be a “boss.” but be a leader through the power of persuasion
  3. Give people something to believe in – have passion in your Vision so people are compelled to adopt it
  4. Embrace fear and be courageous anyway– be honest with people about the challenges but have the courage to face them anyway
  5. Get everyone involved – Entrepreneurs can’t do everything themselves. They need to have other people involved to build their company.
  6. Create a sense of urgency – have a bias for action to get ahead of competition
  7. Inspire people – without inspiring leadership it merely becomes a job for your people. Have them motivated to fulfill your Vision.

These are lessons that Entrepreneurs can definitely learn from and adopt.

 Ravi Patel

http://www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on January 16, 2018 at 4:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Should You Seek Success?

Success is a journey, not a destination. – Ralph Arbitelle

Entrepreneurs get into business to be their own boss and make money. Most of them want to be successful which seems like a reasonable expectation or goal.

Success has to come to you; you shouldn’t be seeking success!

Being successful is process of achieving your Mission and Vision. One needs to first work on the specific, established, periodic goals of a business and accomplish those well. Meeting goals is a more reasonable short-term objective; while fulfilling your Mission and achieving your Vision are the proper long-term areas of focus.

If you do all that, success is a natural process; you don’t have to seek or strive for it.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on January 9, 2018 at 4:23 am  Leave a Comment  
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Set Realistic Expectations

As you start the New Year, be realistic in your expectations.

Entrepreneurs get into business with an idea that they hope to develop into something really big.

As they put together their Annual Plan, they have certain expectations of how this idea will be commercialized and the revenues and income that the business model would generate.

Entrepreneurs hire people and have expectations regarding their performance. Similarly they expect clients or customers, vendors, other stakeholders will work with them in certain ways.

Entrepreneurs need to be careful about not having false expectations or hopeful wishes when they develop their Vision and Mission. All expectations need to be realistic, rational, and take into consideration the factors beyond the Entrepreneur’s control.

Having false expectations leads to unachievable dreams and disappointment. Moderate your expectations to be realistic, so that when your expectations are exceeded one has a reason to be jubilant.

Ravi Patel

http://www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on January 3, 2018 at 4:24 am  Leave a Comment  
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Assessing Your Assets

Have you ever considered taking an inventory of your “business” at year-end?

What are your really valuable “assets” (not in the accounting sense) and what is the balance that you are carrying at year-end? You might want to prepare a list of such “assets” for assessing where you are, determining what you need to grow such assets, and monitoring progress throughout the year.

An Entrepreneur might consider certain goods and services, pertinent technology, engaged and high-performing employees, key clients, reliable suppliers, valuable advisors, and so on as core “assets” to run a successful business.

Taking inventory of these assets at year-end, and planning on how to increase them in the coming year could be a key component of your annual plan. Measuring your assets at the end of the next year would determine your performance in this area.

Do the Right Things!

Ravi Patel

http://www.PatelCFOservices.com

 

Published in: on December 19, 2017 at 4:27 am  Leave a Comment  
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Working Hand in Hand

Leaders lead from being in front of their people – not only in their thinking but also sometimes physically.

However, if Entrepreneurs are always ahead of their people, they might not follow. This could be for many reasons. Entrepreneurs might not have fully convinced employees of the reason for the task at hand; they might have previously seen you in action and are hesitant; or they don’t fully know you yet as they have not seen how you work.

Entrepreneurs might want to lead their people by being and  working side by side with their employees to mitigate these reasons..

Leadership by example can only happen if you are willing to roll up your sleeves and work with your employees in doing tasks that are necessary. That means physically working besides your people rather than isolating yourself.

Leadership does not always mean that you decide and your people follow. Work with your people to tackle issues and develop with them solutions that need to be implemented. Think with them by involving employees in the process.

Situational leadership demands different styles – leading from beside your people is one of them.

Ravi Patel

http://www.patelCFOservices.com

Perseverance is Neccessary

Perseverance is defined as the steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.

How appropriate that an Entrepreneur possess this quality to be successful? Facing difficulty, obstacles, discouragement, setbacks and even failures are nothing new for Entrepreneurs. Frustration due to obstacles is common for all endeavors. The successful Entrepreneurs are those who keep on going and overcome obstacles.

Entrepreneurs who come through even after facing challenges are the ones who have a laser focus on their Mission and can navigate a steady, persistent course without being unduly discouraged. The story about the spider weaving a web despite repeated failures comes to mind.

If you desire to succeed in achieving your Mission, have perseverance! Your people will be inspired and support your efforts.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on November 28, 2017 at 4:36 am  Leave a Comment  
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Be Thankful!

Entrepreneurs have a lot to be thankful for!

First and foremost are our country and the free market system that allow Entrepreneurs the opportunity to create and grow businesses and prosper.

Employees are the backbone of companies and Entrepreneurs should be thankful for the dedication, loyalty and hard work put forth by their people to make businesses successful.

No business can sustain itself without customers and clients. Be thankful to your sources of revenue for putting their trust in you to provide services and products.

Entrepreneurs should also appreciate their suppliers and service providers who continue to supply essential goods and services to sustain their businesses.

Shareholders and financiers who have invested in your abilities to grow the business and provide a return on their capital should be high on the list of people to whom Entrepreneurs are grateful.

Do not forget to appreciate your gratitude to your business advisors who provide a sounding board for you to share ideas and seek advice.

Lastly, the community that you operate your businesses in should be appreciated also.

So on this Thanksgiving, I encourage Entrepreneurs to express their gratitude to the above stakeholders in your companies.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on November 21, 2017 at 4:43 am  Leave a Comment  
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How to Make the Right Decision?

Being faced with hundreds of decisions, how do Entrepreneurs go about making the right ones?

Generally ideal decisions are made with facts, experience, skills and other people’s input gained over time. Sometimes one’s gut or instinct plays an important role too.

Irrespective of how Entrepreneurs arrive at it, the perceived popularity of their choice must never be a factor in the decision-making process. Do what is right, not what is popular!

Right and wrong does not depend upon how many people are for or against a decision. Entrepreneurial leadership is not a popularity contest, but rather leading people the right way towards fulfilling a common Mission. Popularity comes and goes, but true leadership remains.

Entrepreneurs must have the courage to make the right decisions.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on November 14, 2017 at 4:53 am  Leave a Comment  
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Be Credible

Talking a great game is easy for a lot of people. They convince others that they are successful even though they might not have done anything. Are they credible?

Entrepreneurs should learn from such people how not to conduct themselves.

Whenever speaking about your product, capabilities and skills, be confident and assertive yet understated. Don’t oversell yourself. In any case, don’t lie.

Let your actions speak loudly. Be exceptional in delivering results and let that do the talking for you. People who need to will be more impressed with your results rather than your promises.

Be understated in your talk, but exceptional in your actions to build credibility!

Ravi Patel

http://www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on November 7, 2017 at 4:34 am  Leave a Comment  
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Are People Listening?

Do people appear to be hearing you intently, but end up doing something quite contrary or not exactly in line with what you were asking them to do? In all these situations, people are indeed hearing you, but not listening. There is a significant distinction.

The other day I was in a restaurant and asked the waitress for a glass of water without ice. She did bring me the glass of water, but with ice. She heard me say water, but did not listen completely for it to register that I did not want ice.

Entrepreneurs should be aware that what they ask their people may be heard by them, but they might not be listening completely to follow the request correctly. What should Entrepreneurs do? Develop a routine to ask their people to repeat or paraphrase what is being requested of them, especially for significant issues. This allows the Entrepreneur to confirm that the listening process was correct and complete.

Entrepreneurs too should be mindful that they listen to their employees completely and do not fall into the trap of perfunctory hearing. Effective communication is a two-way street!

Ravi Patel

http://www.patelcfoservices.com