Listen to this episode here: Persistence Matters
Welcome to our blog series of Angel Investors Access. Here is a summary of our conversation with Steven Jacobson, who holds varied responsibilities as a CFO, consultant, executive, and board advisor. Steven has been serving clients from different essential service spaces like construction and the food industry and is currently busy helping entrepreneurs navigate business operations amid COVID-19.
Steven sees himself as a service provider offering advisory in the financial field, and he assists clients proactively. As a CFO, he develops strategies with the company directors, manages cash flow, and takes care of various financial and advisory tasks.
Steven’s website is www.cfotogo.com.au, where you can get a glimpse at what he does and the services he provides.
A Typical Day
A typical day in Steven’s life starts around 6:30 in the morning. He makes breakfast for his family, then gets ready for work. He preplans the day’s activities and keeps his day structured on who he will see and what he will do. Since the pandemic, he has found Zoom calls of great assistance.
Talking about past mistakes, Tom shared a story about how he had relied on a third-party distributor too much, resulting in a drop in sales. So Tom decided to take control of their own distribution, started making cash sales. Now they are doing a better job managing sales. He says there is a solution to every problem, and you have to be tenacious.
Steven also says he has failed in listening to his advisors. He says, make sure to listen to your advisor if you do have one on your board. You can seek a second opinion if you feel something is wrong, but certainly, listen to what your advisors have to tell you.
He feels many startup businesses don’t have the finance and the structure around them to create the final entity they’re looking to create. And angels can provide finance and advice to help businesses achieve their goals. So startups should contact angels as it can be a great help.
Best Piece of Advice
He says the best piece of advice was to “wait 24 hours, think, and then react to any negative email or phone call”. Most often, immediate reactions can worsen problems. He once again asks people to listen to their advisors and quotes this as another best advice.
To help filter out all the advice that founders may receive, he asks them to have a general understanding of the basic principles of business and seek advice from professionals who are well versed in that particular area of concern.
A couple of years ago, Steven was the consulting CFO of a company called The Door Beauty, an online cosmetic company started by Hames hart and Kate Morris. The couple started their business in their backyard with zero finance. Now, they have seen tremendous growth. Steven has been advising on sales and assisting in their sell-out to another private equity. He says that the founders’ persistence and passion have helped them go through knockbacks and achieve their goals.
He gives another example of how persistence can help: a tenacious founder brought their failing business back to success with a few refinancing decisions.
Readings and Learnings
Steven is currently planning to read books on the holidays and is quite packed with work schedules to resume reading.
Steven thinks that the IT sector ought to have a lot of growth and innovation coming out of the pandemic can lead to another growth.
Steven is an active LinkedIn user, and you can always reach out to him through his website cfotogo.com or call him up at 0418106582.