Paul Silverberg of Weston, Florida is a business professional specializing in strategies, compliance, and solutions, with over twenty years of experience working with companies of all sizes and structures— startups, limited partnerships, international and publicly traded corporations. He is the founder of Silver Lining X, a solutions provider working with US-based and foreign corporations to help provide strategies for issues regarding strategic growth, finance, Human Resources, investor relations, compliance, exit planning, business development and corporate governance.
Paul Silverberg has a track record of success in guiding, developing, and leading companies in all stages of growth, from the start up phase through mergers and acquisitions. Paul Silverberg was an attorney in Weston Florida previously, and he has worked with companies from a variety of industries, including hospitality, medicine, aerospace, and technology. Silverberg has extensive experience guiding foreign entities in gaining entry into the US market and establishing strategic relationships with US partners and domestic affiliates, as well as developing performance plans and ensuring ongoing compliance. Paul recognizes his success and valuable guidance is directly tailored not only on past success, but the number of missteps and failures that he has helped others through, unsuspected circumstances, litigation and missed milestones in his past.
Paul Silverberg has utilized his diverse education (finance, economics and law degrees) and wide-ranging experience while serving as a corporate officer (Vice President), consultant, director, and adviser for companies ranging in sizes from small business to publicly traded corporations. Paul has served as an early employee executive (number 4) and been responsible for growth and development that led his company to over 80 employees, strategic partnerships with nationally recognized companies and fund raising over $52 million. He has advised and developed strategies for multiple foreign-based companies in successful efforts to gain entry into the US market, including a campaign that closed a $180 million product sales agreement and culminated in a celebration held in Seoul with special recognition from the President of South Korea. Paul is excited about his work with a foreign five star restaurant that is opening its first domestic restaurant in Q1 2022, and will be the most expensive buildout in the entire United States.
Where did the idea for Silver Lining X come from?
On a slightly more personal note, the idea behind Silver Lining X was born from my own twenty years plus experience in working one day with a large corporate entity where I needed to go through multiple channels seeking the right person for valuable information to reach a possible solutions – if I could get anything at all, compared to dealing with a brilliant owner/operator, whose skill set was specialized but not in the area to provide the information to get to the solution. While I appreciated having this level of contact, it added an unnecessary layer of complexity and time delay. I wanted to provide a service that enabled clients to get answers as quickly as possible by tapping into my years of experience in working with business on all levels, my relationships with experts in their field and without having legal counsel provide lengthy and expensive cookie-cutter opinions.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I truly enjoy not having a typical day. I can spend part of my day meeting with a restaurant team and the afternoon in an investor or equity fund meeting. I spend my morning researching on a strategic growth plan or background for solving a compliance issue and that same day be walking potential new business sites. My daily calls can range from dealing with an owner with an immediate concern to handling due diligence on an acquisition to dealing with a government agency to managing the lawyers on a litigation matter.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Creating your idea in the physical or technology world requires an immense amount of hard work, avoiding hazards and luck. Ideas can come to fruition, but they must be followed through with discipline, follow through and forward-looking vision in order for them to truly become a reality and success. I have found that there are always obstacles along the way, but it’s how you overcome them and learn from them that help to make your ideas stronger.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The great thing about trends is that they can change, yet they have cycles. Today, while we are surrounded by technology in every aspect of our lives, I still see personal meetings and conversations playing a meaningful role. There is something powerful about speaking with another person, whether it’s to get a better understanding, lay the foundation for a strategic plan or work to convince someone to gain a client benefit. We’ve seen this since the beginning of time, be it books or letters; perhaps this will become even more prevalent once again in the future as new technologies come to pass. The ability to adapt developed skills has been a key to success and taking advantage of trends.
For instance, in the last decade or so, there has been much more experience-based consumer activity as opposed to the purchasing of goods. Now, with the advent of the metaverse and the eventual improvements in VR technology, it will be interesting to see how much of that experience activity people will be satisfied with fulfilling online versus the physical world, or will it spur further consumer activity as people are driven to experience in the physical world things that they had a taste of virtually. Being an early part of this venture allows me to develop my skills for this movement.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
A great deal of being productive as an entrepreneur revolves around responsibility – through teaching it, setting milestones and delegating it. It is a difficult task to determine when something just needs to get done versus done in an exact way. People get lost in the long list of things that need to get done, some don’t even see/know what should be on the list and some try to do it all themselves. Utilizing my experience from my own past, the experience working with others on their success and failures, and understanding the market guides me how to handle the responsibility and associated tasks.
I also believe that good communication is key; it’s essential to speak up and set expectations but equally important to not only listen but understand. One of the key opportunities that I provide to the client is the possibility to step back from what you are doing and measure based on past experience – to find the opportunity, solution or alternative.
What advice would you give your younger self?
My advice to my younger self would be there is no perfect formula, but instinct, wisdom, experience and seeking the chance to increase your luck. The second piece of advice is to value the lessons you learn from taking a risk, unexpected circumstances, aggressive competitor/rival/partner, and market winners and losers.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I think that there is no true balance between work and personal life. Balance is a goal and a desired mindset that we all want to achieve, but experience tells us that most people ignore the reality. Understanding and taking responsibility that there is no true balance has let me be successful in both. My business and my client’s success rate speak for itself. In my personal life, I have been married for 21 years and have two teenagers that are very successful in academics, sports and socially -most importantly they are good people.
There were and will be plenty of times that I am out with clients or on a business trip, but I will make sure there are just as many nights that my family sits and eats dinner together. I will schedule time to watch my daughter shine as Captain of her high school team, or watch my son break-up that pass on third down. Both know, it will not be every game as my clients and business keep me busy, but they know that I will make time and then show-up to provide our successful form of balance.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
What I find myself doing most is taking time to think about what our business does “today” and how we would like to accomplish our “tomorrow”. I try to manage a vision of where we’re headed, which includes research, listening, finding trends, reading news, learning the new technologies, as well as all applicable regulations, governance issues, and policies. I try to keep my “tool box” full, efficient and with the latest information.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
It has been extremely important for me to be responsible and then surround myself with good people that understand responsibility and who I can trust and delegate tasks to. Playing the blame game never moved a business forward just like doing everything yourself is a sure way to fail. We all know that it’s not efficient or productive for one person to try and do everything by themselves. Driving a team forward and making them responsible allows you to take a smaller team and people with less experience and accomplish more than pure numbers or a room full of experts. Giving someone the vision and responsibility draws on their desire to succeed and pushes talent for the success of the business. It’s also been helpful for me to keep my finger on the pulse of what’s going on in the respective industry, yet utilize outside information to gain an advantage.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
One failure I had was moving faster than my co-owners and expecting them to keep up with me compared to pacing and keeping them involved in the growth process. Their skills and experience were not business related, so despite their intelligence and significant education, certain key concepts were foreign to them. I should have slowed earlier and educated them on where we were headed, so they can catch up faster. We got to several key decision points, and I found myself with partners that were unsure and had difficulty following my thought process as they were significantly unprepared and not at the same point as me. This cost us time and significant opportunity. We avoided similar issues and set monthly meetings with more detailed explanations, reflections and discussions. This is powerful tool for those interested in being involved in the business growth but not having the same skill set.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Anything based on trading or selling throughout human history has presented a business opportunity. Identifying the next or burgeoning demand or solution for a problem. Also, learn, truly learn, the importance of understanding your profit margin and your business’ valuations.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Based on my world of balance between work and family, my family made an afternoon at a local brewery that had axe throwing. The axe throwing brought out the family competitiveness, gave us laughs, and was just special time together.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
The calendar. The software version (or paper) does not matter, but it’s a large part of being responsible, and thereby accomplishing what is important and promised. It also allows you to measure your productivity and schedule time to plan and sculpt your vision.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I don’t have one book, as I prefer to take pieces of intellect, guidance and experience from a variety of sources. Due to timing and chasing family/work balance, I don’t have a lot of free time to read, so I listen to Audible when I work out in the morning.
What is your favorite quote?
This is a hard one as it depends to whom I am talking to.
For someone early in their career: “In the business world, everyone is paid in two coins: cash and experience. Take the experience first; the cash will come later.” Harold S. Geneen ($17 billion in sales in 1970).
Someone in business I like: “Failure isn’t fatal, but failure to change might be.” John Wooden, legendary UCLA basketball coach.
- It is extremely important not to get caught up in just one thing: if you do, you will be left behind at some point along your journey.
- Being an entrepreneur is not about thinking you have all the answers. It’s about knowing when to ask questions and listen to people who have already been down your path before you.
- Don’t confuse having confidence with ego or hubris – because one will inevitably lead you astray at some point along your journey if left unchecked.
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.