Battle of the Business Gurus: Ainslie Waldron Australia v Tim Grizzle USA
IP: We saw your comment on Ainslie Waldron's book The Ultimate Secret for Business www.suttonhart.com. You wrote "It's Business Unusual for Australia's Leading Business Thinker", yet Ainslie doesn't typically begin looking for problems and solutions within companies in their finances but rather in human resources, marketing, and communications. This seems the opposite of your methodology. How do you reconcile the apparent difference?
Tim Grizzle: Finances and numbers drive the planning process and it is how we measure our results. The part in between, or the execution of our plans and goals, is handled by human beings. The ability to manage and motivate people and to eliminate obstacles to our goals is just as important as the financial process.
IP: Why did you write Creating Wealth in a Turbulent Economy www.suttonhart.com and what gave you the idea?
Tim Grizzle: It’s my tribute to the small business person and investor. I have been a practicing CPA for over twenty years working with business owners and investors. During that time there have been several economic downturns and I have observed and advised clients first hand on strategies which created wealth opportunities.
IP: What is the premise of Creating Wealth in a Turbulent Economy?
Tim Grizzle: We spend way too much time focusing on the bad things that have happened in a down economy. The idea behind Creating Wealth is to get people to think and identify opportunities which are present. We do that by looking at the stories of Main Street business owners and investors who have acted on the opportunities they identified and made a better life for themselves and their families. The basic premise is do not bury your head in the sand and wait for the storm to pass but to look around you at the opportunities and to position yourself for the recovery that always comes.
IP: In your book you tell us you looked at economic crises going back to the 1600s to find commonalities among successful financial strategies. Can you share a couple of your findings?
Tim Grizzle: It is usually the asset class or commodity which causes the crisis that provides the greatest investment opportunity. In this crisis, it’s real estate. In prior crises, it has been things such as Internet stocks or energy companies. I also found the loosening of a regulatory structure is usually a sign eventually there will be a crisis at some point in the future. Twenty years ago, savings and loan organizations got into commercial real estate which was the beginning of the S&L crisis. The latest crisis can be partly attributed to investment banks getting into the mortgage business.
IP: What is your most important piece of advice for a business leader who wants to navigate his company to its next level during this economic turbulence? Is it even possible?
Tim Grizzle: Don’t let fear freeze you. My definition of fear has always been it is nothing more than respect for the task or project at hand. The best way I can answer this question is with a real life example: A business owner had an opportunity to buy his own office building for around $275,000. This same building sold for $360,000 a year ago. The business was prequalified for a loan, which is no small feat in this environment. The business owner decided to “wait until things get better”. Guess what, he will not be able to buy a building at a 25% discount when “things get better”.
IP: Are you pursuing, for your own account, a wealth building strategy based on the unique opportunities you write about in the book?
Tim Grizzle: I do practice what I preach. The two areas I am focusing on are small office buildings and selected beat up stocks.
About Tim Grizzle is a CPA with a Masters Degree in Taxation. He heads Georgia Logic, a Georgia-based financial planning firm www.georgialogic.com and owns Tim Grizzle CPA offices. His book Creating Wealth in a Turbulent Economy www.suttonhart.com delivers street smart advice for Main Street business owners and investors looking for opportunity in challenging economic times.