John Canty Webster migrated to the U.S. in the 1970s with his parents from Botswana, Africa to Webster, MA. John helped his father establish and grow his African crafts business in the U.S. during his early teenage years, and by expanding it during the e-commerce revolution. Since childhood, John always had a knack for math. He was able to take that skillset and help grow the business by focusing on profit margins of specific products, and expanding those specific lines. As a result, the business was able to grow more than tenfold since he took over. John and his father eventually sold the business, but he took that skillset and became a successful financial advisor.
Owing to his interest, John did his Master of Business Administration in Corporate Finance from Boston College. After completing his education, he worked for multiple renowned companies including McKinsey & Company and served their Strategy & Corporate Finance Dept for a couple of years.
Over the years, John has developed deep subject matter knowledge enabling him to thoroughly understand his clients’ critical financial processes and the underlying dynamics that might generate challenges. During the past two decades, he has gained unbiased insights by working across a myriad of industries and Fortune 500 businesses. John works jointly with his clients to uncover the most appropriate solutions by employing his extensive consulting expertise.
In 2012, John decided to start his own business and finance consulting firm, John Canty Finance Consulting Firm to help corporate businesses thrive. He is a professional, well-trained, dedicated business and finance consultant who brings his vast expertise to the table while assisting client organizations. John works with enterprises that are either undergoing transformation or completing large-scale projects. He helps organizations that intend to expand their businesses by optimizing their organizational structure, administrative processes, governance, and selecting the appropriate technology tools and systems.
Apart from being a proven financial advisor, John is a family man who loves spending time with his grandkids. He is an active philanthropist who works with multiple organizations providing food, drinking water, and other basic necessities of life to remote areas in Africa.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
After I migrated to the U.S. in the 1970s with my parents from Botswana, Africa my father struggled with establishing and growing his African handicrafts business. In my early teenage years, I started helping my father with the financial matters of his business. I was exceptional in mathematics and always had a great interest in numbers.
Owing to my interest, I enrolled myself in the Master of Business Administration in Corporate Finance at Boston College. After completing my education, I started working for multiple renowned companies including McKinsey & Company, and served their Strategy & Corporate Finance Dept for a couple of years. This helped me develop deep subject matter knowledge enabling me to thoroughly understand my clients’ critical financial processes and the underlying dynamics that might generate challenges.
In 2012, I decided to start John Canty Finance Consulting Firm to help corporate businesses thrive. I work with enterprises that are either undergoing transformation or completing large-scale projects. I help startups and small to medium enterprises expand their businesses by optimizing their organizational structure, administrative processes, governance, and selecting the appropriate technology tools and systems.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Every day I wake up at 6:00 am. I have a strict ritual of working out from 6:30 am-7:30 am, making time for my family, and then I’m at my desk from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. After returning from my office, 5:00 pm-9:00 pm is my family time. Unlike many entrepreneurs, I don’t believe in working around the clock. Half an hour before sleeping, I spend time planning for the next day, and I’m in bed by 10 pm every night.
How do you bring ideas to life?
My wife, Lisa always jokes that I am like a kite and that’s true to a great extent. Lisa has a pivotal role in my success and career. She is the one on the ground holding the string. She always prevents me from flying away into the unknown. She is indeed a wonderful ground for me keeping me in touch with reality and practicality. I’ve always been an idea person, and coming up with new and innovative ideas has never been a challenge for me. The key to my success is having a tremendous team behind me to help implement and bring my ideas to life. That is what I’ve established at John Canty Finance Consulting Firm and I always make sure I have that powerful team in place before embarking on any new ideas.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Crypto and blockchain! It’s been a while since anything has really disrupted the financial industry like crypto and blockchain have been and I believe it will continue to do. I am a firm supporter of innovation because it is always healthy for a marketplace to face new challenges and then evolve for good.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Decision-making time. Generally, entrepreneurs and financial advisors act without much thought, maybe because they are intimidated. While over-analyzing isn’t a good idea in terms of time management, it is crucial to take a step back and think about numerous situations. I give my mind ample time to connect the dots and think through different possible solutions to a situation. It saves me a lot of time by preventing rework and makes me more productive as an entrepreneur.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Take your time to build it smart from the very beginning. It will prevent you from having to redo or rework it over time. I believe in doing things right the first time.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
They say, ‘read a multitude of books every month to gain much knowledge and exposure and become successful. I tend to disagree! I don’t believe in reading piles of books. I believe one should read the same, most relevant books over and over again to engrain the lessons and actually incorporate them into your business and life. I believe the key is to find a few stellar books that are worth reading more than once!
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Recharge your mind by resting and relaxing every few hours. It is perfectly fine to take a break during your work hours for a couple of minutes and watch TV or play a video game or do something that helps rejuvenate your mind. At my workplace, I encourage my team members to take a break and recharge their minds and energy to focus better on work. You don’t have to be on 24/7/365, not even full 8 hours a day. Sometimes your mind needs a break and I firmly believe that such quick breaks help make me even more productive.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Promising customer service. This is not at all rocket science but so many businesses do it wrong. Customer experience is everything. I go to extreme lengths to make sure my clients have a helpful, unique, and memorable experience that goes beyond just delivering on the service you offer. I don’t give my clients mere financial or business advice but I make them realize that I have the same concern for their business growth and success as they have. Unparalleled customer service comes from building a culture around being customer-centric and thinking of every little nuance of a customer experience.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
When I founded my consulting firm, I made a huge mistake of hiring and keeping team members who were not a good cultural fit within the John Canty Finance Consulting Firm. But once I realized my mistake, I developed a hiring process that focuses very heavily on ensuring every team member we hire is the right cultural fit first and foremost.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Finding, acquiring, and maintaining investment properties isn’t simple, and many individuals are prepared to pay for assistance. This is a great business idea.
Nick is a real estate investor who has worked hard to build his business. He’s the most active poster in the Fizzle forums, and his firm iFind Property assists New Zealand real estate investors find a suitable property, guiding them through the purchase process, and connecting them with professionals who can help them create and maintain an investment portfolio.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Well, it was actually more than $100 but as an entrepreneur and CEO of my company, I believe every dollar we spend on our employees is a dollar well spent. Recently I announced bonuses for all those employees who went above and beyond to satisfy the clients and successfully retained them through excellent customer service.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Since I am not very good at setting up meetings, events, etc., Calendly has always come to my rescue. It makes scheduling meetings with clients and partners simple and hassle-free. With the help of Calendly, I can find a time that works for everyone, without going back and forth in dozens of emails.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The ‘Road Less Stupid’ by Keith Cunningham is my all-time favorite. I have read it multiple times. Telling you the truth, I am not a huge reader, I like only those which are easy to read and that I can consume easily and implement in practical life. But Road Less Stupid is an exception. For a business owner, this book is a must-read. This book has affected me immensely. It has had a huge impact on myself and my business. It is loaded with impactful ideas that will challenge your thinking.
What is your favorite quote?
“You’re not as smart as you think, but you have more potential than you can imagine”. Micheal Hyatt.
- Customer service is everything and that goes beyond just delivering a service
- Hiring culturally fit and the right employees can make a huge difference.
- Take time to make a decision and let your mind recharge by resting and taking a quick break from working hours.
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.