Gregory Finkelson is the President of American Corporate Services, Inc. Through American Corporate Services, Gregory Finkelson assists international leaders with corporate expansion and immigration into the United States. Gregory Finkelson is also the Co-Chair of the China Silicon Valley Business Immigration Committee and a member of the San Francisco Bar Association. Gregory Finkelson graduated from Moscow State Industrial University in 1983 with a degree in Engineering and obtained his Doctorate in Business Administration in 1996. Gregory Finkelson enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, and participating in some of his favorite pastimes such as swimming, hiking, and biking when he is not working.
Where did the idea for American Corporate Services come from?
The first time, I came to the USA from the USSR – in 1991. That was a business trip.
At that time, there was no information about the USA at all – thanks to the Iron Curtain.
I was surprised a lot by the American people, level of service, freedom, and opportunities.
At that time, I was able to register a company in the USA, open business and personal accounts with Bank of America, get a Drivers’s License, print business cards, envelopes, and letterheads. Also, I was able to order the company’s stamp with a self-ink system.
For you, it could sound normal and boring. But for me, in 1991, it was like a revolution and something impossible happened. Don’t forget – I came from the USSR and it was impossible to believe that business could be fully established in several days – because in the USSR, due to multiple bureaucratic prepons, it could take you months to start your business.
When I came back to Moscow, my friends, with wide-open eyes, asked me how they could have the same: USA-registered business, equipped with a B of A bank account and all the attributes.
This is how my business was born and started.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
First, I have to respond to clients’ and partners’ requests and letters.
Next, I have several online meetings with clients & partners.
Once done, I need some time to plan further marketing and management tasks. My preference is to walk in my neighborhood and think about how to develop the business.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Usually, I see the needs of something, or new ideas, and try to implement them in reality.
It is very exciting to see the needs, to solve the issues by creating new ideas, and to be able to implement them in real life.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Tesla and other Mask’s projects.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
It is very important to be able to listen to what other people say and to be able to see the real picture from their point of view.
It is always important to observe your ideas and their possible implementation from different perspectives.
What advice would you give your younger self?
That would be great if my grandpa immigrated to the USA.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Sometimes you should spend more time developing a project and wait for the result.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Research the project circumstances from different points of view.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Your team is a key to your success. Each member should be sufficient and able to work independently. In such a case, you will be supervising your business, now working for your business.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Try to avoid lawsuits. It takes a lot of your time, health, and financial resources.
In most cases, it would be more beneficial to pay the price to avoid a lawsuit.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
It is related to the EB-5 investment visa current situation.
Minimum investment is currently $500,000 back from $900,000.
The Regional Center EB-5 program is frozen until December 2021 or longer.
It is a good time to invest $500,000 into a direct project – that could be your own project, controlled by you. In such a case, you will be able to get a Green Card for your whole family in several years, and you will invest in your own business. All profit (and all responsibility) is yours.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Video on Youtube brings us more and more clients. After watching several of your videos, the Client became familiar with you and your business.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Calendly brings you great opportunities to schedule appointments with international clients located abroad – you don’t have now to calculate what time will be 10 AM PST in Beijing or Vladivostok.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I would recommend reading my book “How to Find Chinese Investors, Agents & Clients for Your EB-5 Projects & Services, A Practical Guide for Regional Centers, Attorneys, Developers, and Businessmen”
Especially nowadays, when Regional Centers EB-5 is on hold, small Direct EB-5 projects have huge chances to obtain investors from China, India, Vietnam, and other countries.
What is your favorite quote?
Don’t delay for tomorrow tasks could be done yesterday.
- Having a growth mindset – there is so much information available online, once you pick what you want to learn, finding the best educational tools to help you get there is key. But having that intellectual curiosity to continue to learn has paid dividends for both my personal and professional growth.
- Enjoy the now – It is very easy as an entrepreneur to be thinking 5-10 years out about your strategy, business plans, etc. But if you’re not enjoying it ‘in the now”, is it all worth it? I really enjoy all that I am doing and I love sharing these strategies with other business owners.
- Do not be afraid to fail. Every great entrepreneur learns from their mistakes and comes back even better having learned from the pain.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.