Find ways that you can simplify and automate monotonous tasks to ensure that your working hours are productive.
Vladi Gorelik was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin before he left to attend college at the University of Georgia. While at university, Vladi realized that he wanted to be his own boss and build his own business from the ground up after experiencing working for a company. After graduating from the university with an MBA, he moved to Madison where he started his own consulting company, VG Consulting Services, in 2004. He helps entrepreneurs to build strong and successful businesses through professional advice and expert opinions. Vladi currently works with a partner, and does not want to scale his business to investors anytime soon.
Currently, Vladi remains the primary owner of VG Consulting Services. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin with his wife, Suzie, and his son James.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
The idea for the firm came from my realization that I wanted to be my own boss while I was in university. Although I knew it would be a lot more work, it would be equally more rewarding.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical day starts early as I am at the gym by 6am. I get into work around 8 and I aim to be finished work and home by 7pm. I work hard to ensure that I am able to spend the evenings with my family.
To ensure that I am productive during the day, I make a checklist for myself detailing what I need to get done each day and the importance of each task to keep me on track.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I bring my ideas to life by making sure that each step of the way is fully detailed and described so that my plans are easily executed, and I know about any potential hardships that might occur and have plans to avoid them.
What’s one trend that excites you?
One trend that excites me is the increase in entrepreneurs in the younger generations. With people seeing the success that other entrepreneurs have had, more people are wanting to start their own businesses and bring to life their brilliant ideas.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
One habit is that I am always looking for ways to simplify or automate processes within my business. Anything that can save me, or my employees time is going to lead to more productivity down the road.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell myself to never give up on your dreams. The road to being successful is a both long and tiresome but the rewards have been worth every ounce of effort I have put in.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
The 40-hour work week is quickly coming to an end. More and more people want to have a greater emphasis on work-life balance and most individuals are able to get most of their daily work done in the first five or six hours each day.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I would recommend that each evening before leaving work, you make yourself a checklist of what you want to accomplish the next day and look back on your previous day’s list. Not only will you gain a better understanding of your own abilities, but you will start to realize how long each task will normally take.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
One strategy that has helped me to grow my business is requesting that my clients leave a review online if they appreciated our work. Word of mouth is one of the most powerful and cost-effective forms of advertising and it has helped to gain us a lot of customers who heard from us solely from prior clients.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
One failure I had as an entrepreneur was that I underestimated the amount of time I would need to put in each week to get the company off the ground. During the first few years, I was putting in 80+ hour long weeks and it almost led to burning myself out on work. I was able to overcome it by slowly cutting back on the amount of time I spent working and focusing on how I could make each hour more productive than it currently was.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
One business idea is to create a business that specializes in local advertising for small businesses. Most companies that are just getting started or are small businesses naturally do not have the monetary funds to get large scale advertisement campaigns ran and that leads to people just not advertising at all outside of posting on social media. Small businesses need to have help specializing in local advertising as that is where their market is.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best $100 dollars that I recently spent was to take my wife and son out for a nice dinner. It is nice to have the opportunity to spend time with my family and to treat them to a nice night out.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
One piece of software that I use to be more productive is Huddle. Huddle helps to let my team collaborate, discuss current client cases, and share files easily between each other.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
One book that I would recommend is The Wealthy Barber by David Chilton. It provides a strong basis for understanding financial planning and can help get your feet wet.
What is your favorite quote?
“Believe you can and you’re halfway there” ~ Theodore Roosevelt
• Find something that you believe is special and work towards achieving it.
• Do not let your work completely overtake your life. Make sure you have some personal time every day for your friends, family, and hobbies.
• Find ways that you can simplify and automate monotonous tasks to ensure that your working hours are productive.
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.