Always ask questions.
Ryan Brucato’s background is largely entrepreneurial. In early 2009, he founded the management consulting firm, RB Milestone Group LLC, and currently sits on its Advisory Board. He has been responsible for starting numerous private ventures throughout his career and has advised hundreds of public and private companies globally. He has a deep-rooted proficiency in international trade, corporate finance and M&A. In 2012, Mr. Brucato founded what is now EMBR Capital LLC, a single-member family office and venture capital fund based in Greenwich, CT, USA. EMBR partners with exceptional founders and management teams with unique insights, through all phases of growth. Mr. Brucato has a passion for international business and aligns much of EMBR’s fund allocations with entrepreneurs and management teams that echo the same mindset. Since 2017, he has completed over 80 EMBR investments into over 50 companies that operate on 6 continents. Mr. Brucato has directed much of EMBR’s investments into companies focused on: cannabis; diversified natural resources; healthcare; renewable energy; technology and telecommunications. He is also dedicated to funding socially and environmentally impactful businesses worldwide. Over the years, he has been noted in many leading publications, including: Fox Business, Gold & Minerals Gazette, Bloomberg, HazMat Magazine, Resource Investing News, The Financial Review and BusinessWeek. Mr. Brucato resides in Greenwich, CT with his wife and two sons. He enjoys spending time with family, regularly attending local CrossFit classes, participating in triathlons and skiing.
Where did the idea for RB Milestone Group come from?
RB Milestone Group actually came to me in a dream…seriously. Something was pushing me to form the company. It was all I could think about. The rest was history.
Eventually, initiating EMBR Capital was an obsession as well. It was all I could think about. These days, most of my time is spent managing EMBR’s investments. So, still very much an obsession.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
With two young children at home, every day is a little different but I try to accumulate 4 hours of [real] sleep a night. This is religiously followed by early morning CrossFit class (no time for long distance biking or running anymore). Then, right into the office (which is conveniently located across the street from my gym) where I stay until ~7pm. The reality is that when I get to the office in the morning, it is VERY easy to miss meals until I head home for the evening. I make a point to step away, replenish and recharge periodically – even if just for 10 minutes. I find that “reset” helps productivity throughout the day.
The work also continues at home BUT after our sons go to sleep. The family time when I get home at night is part of my day that I really look forward to. It instills a great balance between work and fun.
Exercise, [some] sleep, eating well, and family time. That is my recipe for productivity. All good “resets”.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Ideas are in abundance. They surface naturally throughout the day as challenges are presented. However, some ideas are [much] better than others. Therefore, the key is applying a holistic assessment of the opportunities at hand to gauge the most favorable outcomes. Then, when a decision is made, it needs to be implemented rigorously. Ideas that come to life are driven by confidence.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Notwithstanding the heavy market downturn over the last 12 months, I really like the long-term growth prospect for the Cannabis space; especially CBD. Most Fortune 500’s have been standing on the sideline waiting for further FDA and Federal guidance. Once this happens, major strategic capital spending will commence.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Not leaving the office until all of my daily tasks are completed.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Take a vacation.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Everyone has different business habits. Naturally, my peers and I constantly debate about the right way to be productive.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
As a venture capitalist and someone who has grown businesses and advised businesses: Try to underspend. Also, under-promise and over-deliver.
Every entrepreneur should be thinking about bottom-line profitability. Most start-ups are thinking about generating first sales, which is key of course BUT neglecting frugal expense spending during that time could push you into insolvency.
Ask yourself “How do I spend $0 dollars without jeopardizing high-quality output?” or “What can I get away with NOT spending now [without jeopardizing high-quality output]?”.
Also, businesses that under-promise and over-deliver yield far better long-term client retention.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I started and self-funded [what used to be] an equity research firm back in 2009 when I was 23 years old. It was quite successful. Sales grew fast and I was very frugal about the expense spending. As a result, I started reinvesting all earnings back into the business [aggressively] by hiring lots of new senior staff, support staff, accounting staff, research staff, new office space in midtown NYC, new operational subsidiaries, etc. During this fairly expeditious [and self-funded] ramp-up, the firm remained focused on servicing clients exposed to only one sector. SO, when this sector experienced headwinds, so did the business. This resulted in many layoffs, closing subsidiaries and aggressive strategic pivoting to save the business from collapse. That firm no longer offers an equity research product but has evolved as one of the leading boutique management consultancies in the US. It now advises companies in many different sectors [not just one]. It celebrated its 11th year of business in January.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Artificial intelligence (AI) has yielded great newly established productivity across many sectors. I believe that applying AI and machine learning functionality to the professional services sector will unlock substantial ROI for clients and stakeholders exposed to the space.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
My Outlook calendar. I use it for everything; personally and professionally. The invites and the reminders are all very helpful solutions that keep productivity on track.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Honestly, these days I don’t read many books. Lots of emails though…all the time.
What is your favorite quote?
Pain is temporary. Pride is forever. -Anonymous
- Under-promise and over-deliver
- Stay organized
- Always ask questions