I’ve heard this phrase a lot growing up. I was born in Ukraine – the Soviet Union really – and when I came to Chicago as a 7 year old, I wasn’t given an inch. My family came to the U.S. with $1,000 in cash and $15,000 in debt across two parents, two kids, four grandparents, and one American Dream. In school, I would wear uncool “Russian” clothing, had food stamps, would shop at Aldi, and couldn’t even dream of affording the latest Jordan’s. In fact, on my first Halloween in the States I wore a black garbage bag as a “vampire cape” costume – because my family couldn’t afford to buy one. Boy did I get made fun of for that one the next day in school.
But isn’t this a business blog? What does the above have anything to do with business, scaling, creating value?
“I don’t know about this Mr. EBITDA guy!”
One word: GRIND
My childhood taught me to GRIND: to overcome, to look the impossible in the face and find a path out, to face scrutiny head on, to embrace challenging situations and conversations, to put in the hours and the work, to identify a strategy and forge a path forward.
These are the lessons that have brought me success in business and I hope to relay some of them here.
I plan to write about both the technical aspects of business strategy and growth, as well as the people aspect. Through this blog I will help show owners of medium-sized and small businesses, how professional (“Wall Street”) investors judge your performance. I will then lay out tactical solutions to help business stuck in second gear come out of their rut.
This blog will be “real” and not for the easily triggered. We will go through real situations and I will call it as I see it.
I hope that you read, engage, challenge me, and help your fellow readers.