Luigi Wewege is the President and CEO of Vivier Group, comprising of companies Vivier & Co, Vivier Investments, Vivier Developments, Vivier Home Loans, Vivier Mortgages and launching shortly Vivier Capital & Vivier Growth Fund. Follow him @luigiwewege.
Who is your hero? (In business, life, or both.)
I consider Elon Musk as my hero because of his business philosophy. He has taken on the most pressing possible causes to give humanity the best chance of a good future through commercial ventures. His visionary ideas have been the subject of much skepticism and at times, he has faced great adversity, but he has proved the naysayers wrong and prevailed every time.
What’s the single best piece of business advice that helped shape who you are as an entrepreneur today, and why?
To always seek input from others to aid you in reaching the best possible decision for your business/startup. For the most part, entrepreneurship is about taking calculated risks. You will always create better strategies if more facts and information go into the decision-making process.
What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in your business, and what did you learn from it that others can learn from too?
During the initial startup phase, I made the mistake of thinking that there wasn’t a need for scheduled meetings because the team was so small. What soon became apparent was a significant uptake in email correspondence and Skype calls. Team members would check in with me the moment a question arose. I overcame this by scheduling regular meetings, which allowed staff to group questions and discuss all issues with me at one time.
What do you do during the first hour of your business day and why?
I’m predominantly a night owl, so I always start my morning with a coffee. After, I review all emails I have received overnight from staff in international offices. This helps me plan my day by identifying which areas I need to focus on first as well as helping cut down email traffic. Often I am able to respond in the email thread rather than in each individual chat.
What’s your best financial/cash-flow related tip for entrepreneurs just getting started?
Continue to vet a potential investor, even after the initial checks have been done. After the initial due diligence is completed, I normally have a one-on-one meeting with the investor where I discuss the deal in depth — its financial terms, the underlying motivation behind it and our company philosophy. This allows me to make certain we are a good fit and I can clarify any potential misunderstandings before moving forward.
Quick: What’s ONE thing you recommend ALL aspiring or current entrepreneurs do right now to take their biz to the next level?
This is going to sound overly simplistic, but take the time to step away every so often. Even if it is a 30-minute walk, you will be pleasantly surprised at what you can think through while being disconnected from work.
What’s your definition of success? How will you know when you’ve finally “succeeded” in your business?
Success to me means having grown my business internationally to where we are operating on virtually every continent and generating solid returns in each region.
When I receive my first offer of acquisition from a bigger player in my industry, I will consider myself successful. I believe that the moment when someone tries to acquire you is an indication that you are succeeding — someone views you as a threat to their bottom line.