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For many entrepreneurs, the path to success is a winding road filled with challenges, lessons, and triumphs. Steven Pivnik, a seasoned entrepreneur and business consultant, epitomizes this journey. Through his unwavering resilience, visionary thinking, and commitment to excellence, Steven has carved out a niche in the competitive world of business consulting. In an engaging conversation with Amplomedia founder & CEO Lance Johnson, Steven shares the wisdom he has gleaned from his experiences, the obstacles he has overcome, and his vision for the future.

Dream Big, Aim High

Steven Pivnik's entrepreneurial journey is grounded in the belief that dreaming big is vital. "What I think they need to know is they should dream as big as possible," he asserts. He observes that many entrepreneurs operate with a survival mindset, aiming just to get by. "If you can get to a million dollars, you can get to five. If you get to five, you can get to 50. If you get to 50, you can get to 250," Steven emphasizes. He encourages entrepreneurs to set lofty goals, even if they fall short, as they will still be ahead of the game.

Another insight Steven shares is the importance of recognizing that others have been in their shoes. "A lot of entrepreneurs, myself included, thought their business was too niche, too specialized for anyone else to help," he says. However, he underscores that there are always people who have navigated similar paths and can provide valuable guidance. "Suffering is optional," he adds, highlighting the unnecessary self-inflicted struggles many entrepreneurs endure.

The Value of an Experienced Team

Steven's advice on building a strong team is particularly poignant. "Never underestimate the value of a really experienced team around you," he advises. He reflects on his own experiences of being overly loyal to early team members who may not have had the capacity to grow with the business. "Sometimes the business just outgrows their capabilities," he notes. Steven advocates for hiring individuals who can take the business to the next level, even if it means letting go of those who helped in the initial stages.

Steven introduces the concept of "Overclubbing positions," which means hiring talent that exceeds current needs but aligns with future goals. "If you're a 15 million dollar company looking to become a 50 million dollar company, hire a CFO who has experience running a 50 million dollar company," he explains. This forward-thinking approach ensures the business is equipped to handle growth effectively.

Inspired by Immigrant Roots

Steven’s entrepreneurial spirit was shaped by his upbringing as an immigrant. "I’m a son of immigrants. My parents brought me over from the former Soviet Union when I was three years old," he recounts. Watching his parents hustle and grind instilled in him a strong work ethic and a desire to create a better life. His initial foray into entrepreneurship was driven by the belief that he could do better for himself and his family by providing services directly to large companies.

Despite facing early setbacks, including a failed first business, Steven persevered. "The first business failed, unfortunately. Got a job. Third business took off big time," he recalls. His determination and willingness to learn from failures played a crucial role in his eventual success.

Building Global Success

Steven's business acumen extends beyond local markets. His experience with international expansion offers valuable lessons for entrepreneurs looking to scale globally. "The countries we had the best success in were the ones where we put complete teams in place," he says. He explains that full teams, including sales executives, solutions architects, and support personnel, were critical to building relationships and understanding local nuances.

Reflecting on past efforts, Steven notes the challenges of operating with partial teams in some countries. "Those countries did not grow anywhere near as fast as the ones with full-blown teams," he observes. This insight underscores the importance of investing adequately in international markets to achieve sustainable growth.

Milestones of Recognition

Among Steven's proudest moments are the significant recognitions his companies received from industry giants. "In the late 90s, IBM decided to license our software and ship it with theirs," he shares. This partnership provided worldwide notoriety for his company, a remarkable achievement in an era before digital downloads. "Fast forward to 2015, Microsoft did the same exact thing," he adds, marking another milestone in his entrepreneurial journey.

These accomplishments not only validated Steven’s innovative solutions but also solidified his company’s reputation in the industry. The partnerships with IBM and Microsoft demonstrated the high value and reliability of his software, further propelling his business to new heights.

Looking Ahead: Goals and Challenges

Steven’s current focus is on helping other entrepreneurs achieve similar successes. He works closely with middle-market companies, helping them scale and prepare for exits. "My goal is not to sign up dozens of clients. These are very involved projects," he explains. Steven’s approach is to become deeply integrated with the businesses with which he works, ensuring their success aligns with his own.
One of the primary challenges he faces is raising awareness about his services. "Most businesses just need to know that I exist," he says. To overcome this, Steven is taking his book on the road, securing speaking engagements to share his story and insights with a broader audience.

Sharing Wisdom through Writing

Steven’s book, a number one Amazon bestseller, encapsulates his journey and the lessons he has learned along the way. Targeted at entrepreneurs with active lifestyles, the book offers practical advice drawn from both his business and sports experiences. "My claim to fame is qualifying for and competing in the Iron Man World Championship," he proudly notes. The book aims to motivate readers to set and achieve their own ambitious goals, whether in business, sports, or other personal endeavours.

Final Thoughts

Steven Pivnik's entrepreneurial journey is a testament to the power of resilience, vision, and strategic thinking. His story offers invaluable lessons for aspiring entrepreneurs and seasoned business owners alike. From dreaming big and building strong teams to navigating international markets and achieving industry recognition, Steven's experiences highlight the multifaceted nature of entrepreneurship.

For those looking to learn and be inspired, Steven’s journey serves as a powerful reminder that success is achievable with the right mindset and support. As he continues to help other entrepreneurs scale their businesses and achieve their goals, Steven Pivnik’s influence is set to leave a lasting impact on the entrepreneurial landscape.

Looking to divulge your own entrepreneur story? We’d love to hear and share it here! Contact us today to uncover your inspirations, triumphs, and learnings.

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