Posts Tagged ‘critical mass’

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

January 7th, 2020 by Richard (Ric) Franzi, MBA

Three skills are essential to survival as a start-up that you must eventually “unlearn” to grow a business. While these talents are prerequisites for getting a business off the ground, they become a liability as time goes on.

1. Flexibility

In the early days, when cash is scarce, you need to be flexible. Instead of hiring full-time employees, you may need to subcontract work to a partner. This arrangement works well as you pay subcontractors only when you have work, and they pay their expenses.

You also stay flexible when dealing with customers. If you’re just starting up, you’re likely not in a position to dictate to your prospects, so you listen carefully and adjust as necessary to suit their needs. 

Instead of setting up a physical location, you may create a makeshift office by patching together a home office or working out of a coffee shop. 

All of this bootstrapping allows you to get your business off the ground on a shoestring budget. The problem is that being too flexible can start to become a liability. Your contract employees may have other clients and can’t be at your beck and call when you need them. Your customers may start to ask for so much customization that the only person in your company with the technical skills to fulfill their special requests is you. And, eventually, a customer will want to see where you work and may think less of you if your office is your car.

Flexibility, a prerequisite in the beginning, actually becomes a liability as you grow.

2. Thrift

If you’re self-financing your business, you have no choice but to make it profitable from day one. If it doesn’t make you money today, you don’t do it.

This discipline of getting an instant return on cash invested allows us to get a business off the ground. Still, the problem with fixating on immediate profit is that it can undermine your ability to grow.

For example, redesigning your website won’t make you more profitable this month, but it could be a necessary investment to attract larger contracts from more significant customers in the future. 

It’s true that you should never overlook profitability entirely, but it is a good idea to place an equal emphasis on top- and bottom-line results—even if the investment doesn’t pay off right away.

3. Self-reliance

With no money or people to delegate to, a new business owner gets things done on her own. Many of us grow to like the control of doing things our way and fear things might get messed up if we give them to someone else.

Since we can do every job in our company, we often just keep doing some things long after we should. But once you start generating more profit, a few extra bodies are necessary to ensure you’re managing your calendar appropriately and not wasting time. 

If you’re not self-reliant in the early days, you won’t even get a business off the ground. But at some point, your inclination to roll up your sleeves and do it yourself can be what stops you from growing.

Overall, flexibility, thrift, and self-reliance are the essential ingredients of any start-up, and for your company to become a world-beater, you somehow have to unlearn those tendencies for a new set of skills. 

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Grow Your Leaders Within: Insights from Ally Spinu, Founder and CEO of USA Link System, on Critical Mass Radio Show

December 10th, 2017 by Richard (Ric) Franzi, MBA

The secret to USA Link System’s success is that they study the ins and outs of their clients’ industry to understand their business whenever they conduct a marketing ad campaign. Founder and CEO Ally Spinu joined us to discuss how her firm has grown from 2014 to 2016 and is the #1 company on the San Fernando Valley Business Journal’s list of private companies. Here are three takeaways from our time with Ally Spinu on Critical Mass Radio Show:

1. When you are doing something right in your company, your clients will become your brand’s advocates. Ally Spinu’s firm stays true to that standard, adding that she discovered her firm was doing something well when her own clients started referring and selling the brand/services as if they were employees themselves. Work to develop a relationship with your clients/customers in which they believe in your brand so much that they are compelled to act and promote your firm in their daily lives.

2. Ultimately, the culture of a company sells the job to the candidate. In such a crowded marketplace, it is important for a company to stay relevant and unique. A large segment of this truth lies within a company’s culture. While many companies have “perks” for employees, these things are meaningless if the organization’s culture does not reflect the values and atmosphere that a candidate wants to be a part of. The “soul” of the company needs to be visible for a hire to be successful. As you go through the hiring process, take the time to recruit the right talent, as doing will drive the success of the company. Business success depends on teamwork, so ensure that every employee is motivated to stand behind the company’s culture, vision and goals. Hiring the wrong talent can hinder your organizational culture, so know when to fire candidates who are not good fits for the culture of your firm.

3. Grow your leaders within. Motivate your team to always go the extra mile to exceed the customer’s expectations, as the entire company will move forward and grow as a result. With that, know who your star team members are and help them grow into the future leaders of your organization. Your team members know the most about you, your company’s clients, and the firm as a whole. Use these assets as an opportunity to look toward to future of your firm, and capitalize upon the strengths of team members who already reflect and believe in where your company is going.

Listen to our full interview with Ally Spinu here:

Be Positive, Be Real & Be Brave: Insights from Mika Leah, Founder and President of Goomi, on Critical Mass Radio Show

December 1st, 2017 by Richard (Ric) Franzi, MBA

Goomi brings on­-site classes, which stretch both body and mind, directly to the workplace, promoting the values of Be Positive, Be Real & Be Brave. Founder and President Mika Leah joins the show to discuss her firm and what makes Goomi unique from other wellness firms. Here are three takeaways from our time with Mika Leah on Critical Mass Radio Show:

1. Cultivate the overall brand experience. In order to change behavior, you have to expose individuals to repeated positive experiences. Eventually, these experiences can be transformed into new habits and ways of life. Whether you are trying to find new ways to engage your employees in terms of wellbeing, or engage customers with your brand, cultivate an actionable experience that will leave every individual your brand interacts with more fulfilled. Don’t provide knowledge without the support and action to back it up. Engage your team and your clients in a meaningful, hands-­on way.

2. Maintaining rapid growth and consistent credibility/quality is a balancing act. Open a dialogue among your team as to how to maintain the brand’s image as the company grows and expands. Mika Leah said that, for Goomi, a large piece of the puzzle lies in recruitment efforts, and how to find the right talent to represent the firm and its values. Mika said that social media promotion efforts have helped increase interest among prospective team members, and that this has been a way of reaching the intended audience with very little financial investment. In order to ensure the quality and values of potential Goomi team members, Mika said she personally interviews each one, especially because the brand is still in its early stages. She added that it is important for prospective employees to be mission driven, not just financially driven.

3. Don’t ask “am I going to make this work?” Ask “how am I going to make this work?” The entrepreneurs who make it are those who believe they will. If you have a vision, follow it all the way, as if there is no plan B. Go all in, and commit to your brand. Don’t let anything stop you from finding ways to make your vision a reality.

Listen to our full interview with Mika Leah below:

Invest in Long-Term Value: Insights from John Cavalieri, Executive Vice President of PIMCO on Critical Mass Radio Show

September 29th, 2017 by Richard (Ric) Franzi, MBA

With over 45 years of experience and hundreds of offices across the globe, PIMCO is making a name for itself as the world’s premier fixed income investment management organization. The company believes in being prepared, tested, and invested when it comes to investments. Executive Vice President John Cavalieri joined us on Critical Mass to discuss PIMCO’s unique approach, and how the brand is creating opportunities for investors in all environments. Here are three takeaways from our time with John Cavalieri on Critical Mass Radio Show:

1. Focus on long­-term value. Markets have natural cycles and rotations. Look beyond today, pay attention to market momentum and flow, and what is likely to happen in the future. With that said, rebalancing is often the best practice. When a particular investment is on the rise for a long time, it may be strategic to look towards the future and reallocate some of those funds. Buy low, sell high, and make educated, disciplined, unemotional value based investment decisions. Rather than simply following today’s trends, look towards the future potential of emerging markets, including those you may not have considered, such as international markets.

2. Strategize from the bottom-­up, as well as top-­down. Implementing a bottom­-up micro strategy, can add additional value, independent of large, macro market moves, whether it be through portfolio management, analysts, etc. While it is not always possible to predict what will happen in the market moving forward, you can work to implement strategies to be more effective in your investments.

3. Look beyond current trends. How can you make money if you are only doing what other people are doing, or have done? If you do so, you risk buying high and missing potential value opportunities elsewhere. Focus on a “buy low, sell high” strategy. The market is cyclical, so value isn’t necessarily found in what is doing well now, but rather, what has potential to do well in the future. While most people feel more comfortable doing the opposite, don’t be afraid to strategically sell stocks that have been doing well for a while, and invest in stocks that are not popular but have potential.

Listen to our full interview with John Cavalieri below:

Request, Promise, Followthrough: Insights from Gary Tomlinson, Author of Discovering Execution, on Critical Mass Radio Show

September 29th, 2017 by Richard (Ric) Franzi, MBA

Every action takes execution, and the quality of one’s execution makes all the difference in terms of the outcome. Author of Discovering Execution Gary Tomlinson joined us on Critical Mass to break down the concept of execution as discussed in his latest book, and provide insight as to how we can plan, engage, and implement effective execution within our businesses. Here are three takeaways from our time with Gary Tomlinson on Critical Mass Radio Show:

1. Everything with purpose takes execution. Whether it be putting together a strategy, implementing a plan, or engaging with others along the way, developing effective execution skills is necessary in all aspects of leading an organization and accomplishing business goals.

2. Execution occurs at the individual level. Execution is commonly used term, and most of us think we have an understanding of what it entails. However, execution is often thought about in terms of company, division, department, or team ­but in truth, it doesn’t happen at these levels. Execution truly happens at the individual level, as a person works to develop relationships built upon an effective execution cycle, with a request, promise and followthrough. By becoming more effective in execution, an individual is not only more likely to achieve greater results, but also become someone others can count on.

3. Effective execution cycles maximize the likelihood of achieving desired results. An execution cycle consists of three parts: request, promise, and followthrough. Don’t mistake a demand or statement for a request. It is important that the request incites action, rather than simply stating information. Who are you asking the promise from? What do you want? Exactly When do you want it? In what form do you want it? In order for a request to be effective, the person must think of the it as a promise that they have an obligation to follow through on.

Listen to our full interview with Gary Tomlinson below:

What We Learned on Critical Mass Radio

February 14th, 2014 by Richard (Ric) Franzi, MBA

This week, Critical Mass Radio’s guests shared their business ideas to lead your company to success.’s Executive Chief Officer, Thomas Gay explained how to use referrals to drive business.


Basel Almashat of Super Green Solutions discussed his journey from engineer to entrepreneur and his passion for going green.


Larry Sternberg of Talent Plus revealed the mistakes that are wasting your efforts to engage with employees.


Are you an effective leader?  Leadership IQ’s Mark Murphy told Critical Mass Radio how his process helps business owners & entrepreneurs lead and find success.


This week’s Critical Mass: Coast to Coast hosted Glenn Perkins of Executive Forum.  He talked about how his company has helped CEOs and business owners in Northern California.

To hear the full episodes, click here.

February 11, 2014

February 11th, 2014 by Richard (Ric) Franzi, MBA

Our Tuesday Show:

Do you want to learn how to use referrals to drive your business?’s Executive Chief Officer, Thomas Gay explains how on Critical Mass Radio at 4pm.


Don’t miss Basel Almashat, owner of Super Green Solutions discuss his journey from engineer to entrepreneur and his passion for going green.


Listen live today at 4pm PT!

Ideas that bring CEOs from Ordinary to Extraordinary

February 10th, 2014 by Richard (Ric) Franzi, MBA


Be Worthy of Trust & Belief-

Find your competitive advantage from within your firm and your own skill set.

Read about all 4 Disciplines that CEOs use to go from Ordinary to Extraordinary in Critical Mass Company!

What We Learned on Critical Mass Radio

February 7th, 2014 by Richard (Ric) Franzi, MBA

This week, Critical Mass Radio hosted experts to share their specialized knowledge on business and niche markets.

The Sparkhouse CEO Torrey Tayenaka discussed how to use video marketing to your advantage.


Growth Source Coaching’s founder, Steve Smith described the different business consulting solutions that his company offers.


Jeff Black of McDermott & Bull, talked about finding top talent for clients and the state of the labor market in Southern California.


John Twist, VP of Franchise at Batteries Plus Bulbs discussed his niche marketplace and what the company is charging up to accomplish!

To hear the full episodes, click here.


February 5, 2014

February 5th, 2014 by Richard (Ric) Franzi, MBA

Our Wednesday Show:


In need of new executive talent? Then don’t miss our interview with Jeff Black of McDermott & Bull, a company that finds new talent for their clients.


John Twist, of Batteries Plus Bulbs discusses the marketplace and what his company is charging up to accomplish!

Tune in to Critical Mass Radio, LIVE on OC Talk Radio at 4pm PT!


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