Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
There is a reason for the saying, “The truth hurts.” Sometimes, it stings when people hear things they don’t want to acknowledge or can’t see for themselves. This is why coaches, teachers and advisors are important in so many areas of life. People need to hear the blunt and honest truth that they don’t want to face or can’t see for themselves.
In some cases, experience is what drives the helpful advice. In many cases, having an outside opinion is also an opportunity to spot the weak points or issues. It can be difficult to see the path forward when in the midst of the trees.
Yet, professional consultants like Luke Lazarus are hard to come by. While some consultants do offer good advice or a solid history of experience, there aren’t many that have the same level of passion Lazarus has.
Luke Lazarus has been building businesses since he was eight years old. After achieving high grades and being a stellar athlete in middle school and high school, Lazarus turned down Ivy School offers to go to his top choice. He chose the community over a prestigious school, graduating from Melbourne Business School with a master’s degree in business administration.
While some might question that move, he went on to create and build four startups within just ten short years. His drive is hard to keep up with. Each of these companies was successfully sold for high-priced agreements. In fact, Lazarus could have retired at age 35 and been set for life.
He also could have continued building his businesses, making millions.
Or, he could have created more.
But, Luke Lazarus wanted to move onto something near to his heart—building up the community he loves so much. He felt drawn to help other startups reach a similar level of success through careful planning and insight. He saw so many thought leaders with great ideas, but lacking the understanding and experience to really take their ideas to the next level.
At the end of the day, Luke Lazarus wanted to do more than just make his own money. He wanted to be a market disruptor that encouraged competition and built up other entrepreneurs.
His style isn’t for everyone.
Luke Lazarus holds no punches and won’t coddle an ego dragging down a struggling business. There are times he has to put forward the perspective in blunt terms—and not everyone likes that kind of honesty. But, that honesty has helped him turn tiny, struggling startups into multi-million dollar global companies.
Sometimes, entrepreneurs get too caught up on specifics within their idea that just aren’t working. They may have an assumption about their audience or a hang-up on a detail that is causing issues with marketing or their price point.
Other times, business founders take on too much. They have great ideas, but don’t delegate and let the professionals handle various tasks. An entrepreneur is usually not capable of running the marketing, sales and finances all on their own. When they try, too many things end up done poorly or neglected in some form. Plus, the business owner takes too much time doing tasks they are unfamiliar with instead of the tasks they are truly needed for and skilled at doing.
Lazarus has a lot of clients that tend to fall into similar ruts because so many entrepreneurs are cut from a similar cloth. He is able to help them because he has similar tendencies and knows what it takes to succeed.
“I had an early failure with a partner because of a lack of planning, but learned from the experience,” says Lazarus. “I always want to emphasize the importance of believing in your own success. Accept the apprehension that must accompany any project and the concerns for the outcome, but know that self-confidence is more powerful. I bet on myself every time, and that makes a huge difference.”
Failure isn’t the end, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be part of the journey either. Lazarus uses his many successes and handful of struggles to help other entrepreneurs miss pitfalls of their own.
“At this point in my career, I’ve been through so many different startups and faced so many unique challenges,” he says, “that I know I can take anything in stride and be an asset to any business that needs an expert consultant.”
His blunt style is very direct and focused on optimization. Because of his drive to help other entrepreneurs, he naturally has a passion that helps him treat each client business as his own. Lazarus believes, “Luck and network are equally critical indicators of success as are passion and perseverance.”
What do businesses need to succeed?
In the eyes of Lazarus, a big starting point is a good story. “If your product or brand is synonymous with its story, you’ve set the foundation for success,” he says. “The best thing you can do to startup with a new brand/product/service/company is to tell a great story. Find a need in the marketplace and fill it but make it completely your own and tie an idea to an emotion. If you can make this product feel a certain way, that impression will always resonate with consumers as the most memorable piece of your company.”
This is a key part of his recommendations to startups. He notes, “My best business ideas have always come from my own personal problems in which I look to build solutions that fits in the marketplace.” It is the story, says Lazarus, that will set one business apart from a competitor offering a very similar solution.
After that, he says, should come collaboration with any involved stakeholders. Next, comes the process of defining the business plan and strategy. Finally, he says you are ready to pursue funding and following growth models. For entrepreneurs, it can sometimes be a challenge to not jump the gun, but that is where Lazarus is ready to step in and get them right back on track.