In addition to being known as the CEO of LaunchPad Holdings, Glen Wakeman has made a name for himself as an entrepreneur, a mentor, and a business innovator. On a popular interview site that features interviews with successful executives, Mr. Wakeman shared some of his tips and knowledge.
An Interview With Glen Wakeman
A normal day for Mr. Wakeman starts with a review of the previous day’s financial data. Sales, cash flow, and service performance are important considerations for him. Next, he holds a conference with his business partners to delegate duties for the day. He believes that dividing duties fairly, building trust and avoiding backtracking are the keys to optimal productivity. There are design issues, administrative tasks, sales meetings, bills and other important tasks to accomplish, and Mr. Wakeman must ensure that everyone works together to communicate important information. He said that he and his team focus on reviewing inquiries, studying customer trends and handling customer communication tasks. His day usually concludes with a reward of coffee, tea or another drink.
When asked about how he developed the idea for LaunchPad Holdings, Mr. Wakeman said that it started because he enjoyed matching money with ideas. He explained that failure rates are high for startups despite many of them being connected to great ideas and talent. Upon investigating the issue, Mr. Wakeman found that a lack of structured ideas was the main cause. He emphasized the importance of developing a solid plan to go with an idea, and his company is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs build such plans with an intuitive software program.
Mr. Wakeman was excited about the development of machine learning for solving business-related problems. He said that machine learning makes it possible to devise the most beneficial improvements in speed, quality and making decisions. Also, those innovations are good for democracy in modern society. Mr. Wakeman said that his only concern was the threat of losing privacy. However, he expressed hope that politicians and government organizations will work together to develop guidelines that keep humanity intact while still allowing the advancement of technology.
When asked what inspires his success, Mr. Wakeman said that his curiosity is the key. He can complete difficult or time-consuming tasks because his curiosity about the outcome gives him the ambition to persevere. Also, he said that he can think of greater innovation when he is curious about something. He looks for the reasons why things are a certain way, and he uses those reasons to identify potentially helpful changes.
Mr. Wakeman turns an idea into reality by making himself explain it to his colleagues. When he must develop a structured outline to present the details of his idea, he develops ways to defend his points. He thinks about possible challenges or objections and how to address them. Also, he thinks from the perspective of someone who is hearing about the idea for the first time. By doing this, Mr. Wakeman identifies the points that must be shared to educate the reader. He can structure his information in a chronological order when there are specific steps to follow or when there is an important point that must be made before another one.
Alternately, Mr. Wakeman may decide against sharing the idea. He said that talking about an idea aloud may reveal that it is poorly developed or will not work. Although he does not pursue some ideas after talking about them, he said that a few wind up being great and useful. When Mr. Wakeman shares an idea that motivates every listener to want to help turn it into a reality, he knows that it is a winner. He emphasized the importance of sharing ideas with people who may not agree with him. By doing this, he is able to see their perspective of why they think the idea is not appealing. The person may help him identify obstacles whether they can be overcome or whether they make the idea impossible to achieve.
The interviewer asked Mr. Wakeman if he would recommend a specific software program to promote productivity. He said that he used several applications with differing purposes. The applications either save time or money. He recommended Doodle for organizing time management, meetings, and calendars. The app has helped his company lower its administrative costs. He recommended Fiver to enjoy access to global resources. He said that the platform allows users to make smarter decisions on several levels regarding resource acquisition. Additionally, Mr. Wakeman recommended using a live chat service for customer service. It gives people more flexibility. Live chat is inexpensive to use, and it enhances a company’s professional appearance.
When asked if he would suggest a good book, Mr. Wakeman recommended Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War.” He called it the best strategy book available. The book portrays life through several useful lessons, and those lessons are learned through discipline, teamwork, and preparedness. Although the book is ancient, Mr. Wakeman said that its principles reflect timeless wisdom. The book was interesting enough that Mr. Wakeman did not want to put it down after he started reading it.
The interviewer asked Mr. Wakeman what he would do if he could go back in time and start over with his career life. Mr. Wakeman said that he would have kept better records of professional connections and friends. He pointed out that social media makes communication and staying connected to acquaintances easier today. Also, Mr. Wakeman said that maintaining connections is essential for entrepreneurs since their professional acquaintances may help them find funding for an idea, find new customers and more.
When asked about his worst job in his lifetime, Mr. Wakeman said that he worked in an auto parts factory one summer as a custodian. For him, cleaning the bathrooms was the worst part of the job. He said that he was always sweaty, and the bathrooms were filthy. However, the job taught him that there was dignity in every level of work. Since he needed the job to help him pay for college and found it during a recession, he said that he also learned to not take the privilege of having a job for granted.
The interviewer concluded the session by asking Mr. Wakeman about the best $100 he ever spent. Mr. Wakeman said that paying for a Spanish course was his best investment. In addition to helping him learn a new language, it eventually led him to wonderful life change. As he studied the course, he became intrigued with other cultures. The course helped him expand his perspectives on people. He developed a new desire to see other parts of the world. Learning the language helped him build up the confidence to ask a beautiful woman from Argentina on a date, and he wound up marrying her.
Powerful Advice From Glen Wakeman
Mr. Wakeman regularly creates educational blog posts. He has a desire to see other entrepreneurs and executives succeed, and his blog is full of concise but useful tips. In a recent post, Mr. Wakeman wrote about target markets. Every business has one or more target markets for its products or services. To better identify such markets and develop stronger marketing strategies, Mr. Wakeman suggested that business owners first identify the characteristics of the target market. Next, they must show how their product or service solves a common problem faced by the target market. He emphasized that businesses must focus on the unique aspects of their products or services since every market has multiple competitors.
In another post, Mr. Wakeman wrote about market growth rate, which is the change in market growth from one point to another. He said that business owners must first determine if their market is shrinking or expanding. They must see how slowly or quickly changes are happening, and they must determine if the trend is sustainable. He pointed out that planning for the future with a mindset that good times will last indefinitely is risky, and he suggested that business owners pay attention to population, demographics and economic policies.
Mr. Wakeman wrote a blog post about business expansion. When many businesses try to expand, they fail because of improper calculations or a lack of information. He said that the first important step is researching market size. People often assume that the market is smaller or larger than its true size. Also, he encouraged readers to identify their competition and research consumer interest in those companies. A business must be objective enough to compare itself to competitors to see if any changes must be made. Lastly, he suggested analyzing growth rates carefully. While all business owners want to increase their growth twofold or more overnight, it rarely happens. Mr. Wakeman said that a plan must be realistic and must be based on data rather than desires or guesses.
In addition to blogging about business strategies, Mr. Wakeman writes tips for executives to strengthen their roles within the workplace while managing a heavy workload (Facebook). In one of his blog posts, he wrote about delegating tasks based on a trust-building system. He said that building trust is like laying bricks. A solid brick structure is assembled one piece at a time. While keeping this analogy in mind, he encouraged executives to analyze the ideas of colleagues versus the outcomes of those ideas. For good ideas, he suggested finding challenges or arguments against them to provide constructive criticism that leads to improvement. Also, he wrote about the importance of reiterating ideas and paraphrasing them several times to ensure that they are communicated clearly without any details being lost.
About Glen Wakeman
Glen Wakeman earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and an MBA with a concentration in finance. He studied at the University of Chicago. In the early years of his career life, Mr. Wakeman worked for GE Capital for nearly two decades. While there, his work took him to 32 different countries. He also founded Nova Four (http://news.sky.com/story/money-shop-owners-us-boss-quits-as-payday-lenders-sale-looms-10723086). His roles in the company included CEO, business developer, administrator, and several others. He served on the board of directors as well. Mr. Wakeman is especially known for his five-step performance plan. It includes human capital, planning, risk management, leadership establishment and business execution tasks. In his career, he has helped transform businesses with over $15 billion in assets and more than 17,000 employees.
With his writing skills and his background as an investor, Mr. Wakeman can help people with everything from administrative strategies to fiscal economics. He has experience with divestitures, corporate management, and emerging markets. His background makes him a powerful marketing strategist. C-level executives from companies such as Dreamfunded and Sitter Bees have hired him to provide counsel and to mentor them as they started their business ventures. His methods are versatile enough to be useful in multiple industries, and only a few executives in history have developed plans with such versatility. Mr. Wakeman is also interested in transforming business opportunities. He offers valuable strategies for angel investing, raising capital and using international financing platforms.
Mr. Wakeman has been passionate about expanding the global marketplace for many years. He is interested in all types of business innovation and development. In his lifetime, he has been a resident of six countries, and he established business ventures in 30 regions around the world. As the CEO of LaunchPad Holdings, he works with mergers and acquisitions. He counsels people who are interested in starting a company, and he develops performance methodologies. LaunchPad Holdings was founded in 2015 as a SAAS corporation. When Mr. Wakeman is not busy with work at LaunchPad Holdings, he enjoys blogging about global affairs, leadership, emerging markets and business transformation ideas.