Every month, Tenant Advisory Group hosts an Executives Luncheon to provide an opportunity for Chicago business leaders to build new, meaningful connections and discuss topics relevant to running a business.
During one of March’s Executives Luncheons, attendees were prompted with the question, “What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made and how did you overcome it?” Here are a few of the lessons shared in response:
Jeff Asperger, Partner, Meltzer Purtill & Stelle LLC: I gave too much credence to people and was being too nice. Don’t let people take advantage of you. Be slow to hire and quick to fire. Be polite and respectful and compliment when appropriate, including adversaries.
Bill Bast, Principal, Thornton Tomasetti: The biggest mistake I made was to start my own business. I did it too young and went home to PA to do it. Don’t give 100% at the office and have nothing left to give others like your loved ones.
Stefanie Jenkins, Director of BD, Vault Innovation: I have the tendency to over promise. No matter what you’re doing in family, business or life, figure out what you bring to the table and be that person. Your mission is to create and connect so that other people are empowered.
Lee Travers, CEO, iammoney: Not being present.
Tim Roach, Co-Founder & CEO, Lendr: You have to understand how to fail fast, recover and understand the process of how to recover. Define what success is to you. Knowledge is power and so is having core values as a company. Live them. Understand vision. I utilize 5 year plans. Not 10 year plans. Profitability is key.
Muhammed Azfar, Managing Partner, Auctus Group INC: Hire people with values that align with yours. Be slow and methodical about hiring and quick to fire. Hire for value. Values train for skill and strategies train for choices.
Tim Schumm, Founder & President, Lucas James Talent Partners: I went from leading a team of 10 to leading a team of 70. I brought the same approach to all the team members and when I individualized my approach, I had much better results. Always put yourself in other people’s shoes.
Kate Winston, Agency Lead, Strategy & Growth, envisionit: I said no to a big ad agency and was the right hand person for owner of the agency. I was told “Sometimes a C+ is just fine.”- that offended me, but she was right. Know when it needs to be an A and know when it can be a C.
Erryn Cobb, Founder & CEO, Fetch IMC: Don’t wear too many hats. Invest in key team member’s professional development sooner. I followed my dad’s example: There’s no gray between right and wrong. Set a standard to live by.
Bernie Dyme, President and CEO, Perspectives LTD: I didn’t allow myself to make mistakes. It’s ok to make mistakes as long as you learn from them. Gratitude is very important. Teach your children gratitude.
Daniel Porcaro, Managing Partner & Co-Founder, Porcaro Stolarek Mete Partner, LLC: I left a lot on the table when I sold my first large business. I could have grown it larger myself. 25% of customers provide 90% of revenue. Last 50% of clients provides less than 4% of revenue. Fire bottom 50% of clients. With extra time, over serve the top 50% of your clients. Then you care about A clients and A prospects.
Jonathan Rothstein, Senior Vice President, MB Financial Bank: Delegating needs to happen and you need to focus more on your team and sense of urgency. Be slow to promote and manage expectations of employees. Life work balance. Never ask anybody to do something you wouldn’t or couldn’t do yourself. Everyday try and do a kind gesture and leave the world a better place.
Paola Meinzer, Partner, Manning Silverman & Co CPA: Working in corporate America I did not keep a balance in my life. I gave all my time to the company. Be yourself. Don’t try and be anyone else. Embrace who you are.
Jerry Doorhy, Partner, J.J. Doorhy & Associates: My biggest mistake was waiting too long before going on my own. You’re never too important to mop the floor. You get more bees with honey.
Morrie Elstein, President, MorrieCONNECT: Start understanding how valuable the people you know are. Pay it forward. You never know what’s going to come back.
TAG Executives Luncheon Guest List
Erryn Cobb, Founder & CEO, Fetch IMC
Jonathan Rothstein, Senior Vice President, MB Financial Bank
Jeff Asperger, Partner, Meltzer Purtill & Stelle LLC
Barbara Best, Founding Partner & Principal, Capital Strategies Investment Group
Daniel Porcaro, Managing Partner & Co-Founder, Porcaro Stolarek Mete Partner, LLC
Ruth Minnick, Global Business Development Manager, Client Executive, Unispace
Morrie Elstein, President, MorrieCONNECT
Stefanie Jenkins, Director of BD, Vault Innovation
Bernie Dyme, President and CEO, Perspectives LTD
Tim Roach, Co-Founder & CEO, Lendr
Paola Meinzer, Partner, Manning Silverman & Co CPA
Kaitlyn Hedger, Associate General Agent Assistant, Midwest Legacy LLC
Terri Crittenden, CEO, Fredman Design Group
Kate Winston, Agency Lead, Strategy & Growth, envisionit
Jerry Doorhy, Partner, J.J. Doorhy & Associates
Lee Travers, CEO, iammoney
Bill Bast, Principal, Thornton Tomasetti
Muhammed Azfar, Managing Partner, Auctus Group INC
Tim Schumm, Founder & President, Lucas James Talent Partners