Are you a new entrepreneur or a struggling businessperson who dreams of advancing to a CEO position? Glen Wakeman’s story of perseverance and continual growth proves that anyone with enough dedication to their education and career can take on the business world and win.
Wakeman is an unusual business executive; not only has he enjoyed global success but he is also committed to helping others follow in his footsteps. As a result, he has built a solid reputation for much more than just turning a profit. Wakeman currently serves as the CEO and co-founder of LaunchPad Holdings, LLC, and he also offers mentoring, advising and investing for intriguing projects through Nova Four.
Building a Successful Career: How Glen Wakeman Went Global
Wakeman understood the value of a good education, and this helped put him on the path to success. He began his studies by earning a BS in Economics and Finance from the University of Scranton. Ten years later, Wakeman enrolled in an MBA program for Finance at the prestigious University of Chicago. By 1993, he had obtained two degrees, an impressive level of advanced education and a career in finance that allowed him to travel the globe.
Working His Way Up the Corporate Ladder
Wakeman’s big break in the business world came from GE Money. He began in the Operations Department, before transitioning into Technology. Next, he was tasked with succeeding in Business Development. As his skills increased and his natural leadership abilities came to the forefront, Wakeman served several managerial roles, starting with General Management. Before long, he would segue into Country Management and, finally, Regional Management.
In total, Wakeman worked with GE Money for almost 21 years. During his tenure, he spent 15 years working and living abroad throughout Asia, Europe, and South America. According to former GE Money co-worker Thomas Gentile, Wakeman was one of GE Money’s first employees, and he was instrumental in assisting CEO Dave Nissen with the company’s launch. Wakeman is also credited with helping the company achieve a staggering $4.5 billion in annual income, along with just shy of $250 billion in assets.
How Did Glen Wakeman Succeed with GE Money?
Wakeman’s career with GE Money took off in part due to his integral work on the stabilization of the company’s European Insurance branch (http://www.glenwakeman.com/in-the-press/). This enabled Wakeman to head to Mexico, where he took on the Latin American market by launching GE Money in a new region. It took several years of hard work, but this move paid off, thereby establishing GE Money as a leader in consumer financial services in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico.
Unsatisfied with merely succeeding in the Latin American market, Wakeman helped GE Money acquire local banking businesses. This started in Central America with the acquisition of BAC and expanded in Columbia with the purchase of Colpatria. These strategic moves ensured that GE Money developed a firm hold on its share of the market.
Wakeman spent the majority of his time with GE Money bringing new markets into the fold. This led to his living in a total of six countries, but the whirlwind of his traveling career caused him to work in 32 nations within 15 years. At the height of his GE Money tenure, Wakeman was heading businesses that held $15 billion or more in assets. He was also the leader for business divisions that employed more than 17,000 people.
Although he eventually chose to leave GE Money for other career opportunities, his work did much more than merely solidify his standing in the business world. Due to his innovative thinking, tens of thousands of people worldwide are still employed. Until recently, GE Capital, the banking division, also assisted commercial customers worldwide. Wakeman’s strategic acquisitions of banking companies helped this division grow to large proportions before the company’s recent restructuring decision.
Moving Forward into Entrepreneurship
Wakeman made a name for himself with GE Money, but after more than 20 years, he was excited to branch out into entrepreneurship. To that end, he founded Nova Four in 2015. This new leg of his illustrious career was not launched with the simple goal of making money. Instead, Wakeman decided to devote this new portion of his business life to helping others become a success.
Nova Four’s stated goal is to serve as a business accelerator. To bring this to life, the company provides developing countries with access to capital and strategic advice. This was how Wakeman first reached out to his fellow C-level executives and entrepreneurs, and he has offered to mentor to help these individuals improve the performance of their companies.
Unsatisfied with just these options, Wakeman created LaunchPad Holdings a mere six months later. He currently holds the position of Principal at Nova Four and CEO at LaunchPad. Both of these businesses have a similar focus, although LaunchPad is intended for entrepreneurs.
The LaunchPad Holdings Story
One of the most popular offerings from LaunchPad Holdings is the company’s software as a service (SaaS) option, LaunchPad ToolKit. This fully automated software is designed specifically for early-stage entrepreneurs. By using LaunchPad’s SaaS, entrepreneurs can easily organize all of their applicable ideas and form them into a workable business plan that is more likely to become profitable.
So far, LaunchPad ToolKit has achieved a national user base that is continuously growing. As users utilize the ToolKit, they are provided with useful tips and guidance that can help entrepreneurs avoid common business pratfalls. There is also a wide network of advisors and capital providers who can be easily reached via the ToolKit.
LaunchPad Holdings was inspired by Wakeman’s desire to reduce the failure rate for talented startups. Wakeman has stated that he determined this high level of failure was primarily linked to one thing: “a lack of structure around the individual ideas.” It is his goal for entrepreneurs to get past this fundamental problem by organizing everything in the LaunchPad TookKit.
Glen Wakeman’s Five-Step Performance Methodology
Wakeman’s career has had a global impact, and he is now offering to help others learn how they can do the same thing. Even with these lofty achievements and goals, you are more likely to have heard of him due to his proven five-step performance methodology. Of course, this helped provide the basis for LaunchPad Holdings and Nova Four.
In a nutshell, Wakeman’s extensive business experience has proven that there are certain key factors you must focus on if you want to succeed. For example, risk management helps you minimize your potential losses, which makes it a crucial component of any new or established company.
Other things Wakeman suggests focusing on include leadership power, human capital, and execution. Yes, you read that correctly; human capital is just as important as financial capital. This is because, without the right employees, any business could fail. By bringing people on board who have the right personality and social attributes, habits, knowledge, and creativity, you can greatly expand your ability to succeed.
Intriguingly, Wakeman himself provides a solid example of the power of human capital. His experience in several aspects of the business world gives him the knowledge, habits, creativity and attributes to launch long-lasting businesses. His personal human capital is also utilized to great effect by companies that have contracted him for counseling and mentoring. Some of his many clients include Dreamfunded and Sitter Bees, which are executive level groups.
Productivity Tips from Glen Wakeman
Let’s face it; without a high level of productivity, no business is going to reach its full potential. Productivity is the hallmark of choosing the right human capital, and it goes a long way toward achieving the right execution. Several studies have shown that the average worker is only productive for approximately three hours per day, which means that you are probably wasting time and payroll dollars whenever you ask people to pick up overtime hours.
The term ‘work smarter, not harder’ is definitely applicable to boosting your productivity. Wakeman is a big fan of using applications to help make that possible. For instance, he told Interview.net that Doodle is one of his favorite productivity apps. Doodle can be used effectively for time management, including updating your calendar and organizing meetings.
Fiver is another resource that Wakeman recommends for every entrepreneur. In his own words, “Fiver allows business access to resources from around the globe. It is one of the fastest ways and cheapest methods of resource acquisition. Also, the reviews are helpful for making better choices on a variety of levels.”
This recommendation is consistent with common advice from many successful businesspeople. Outsourcing to other experts for tasks, especially those that you need infrequently, is a good way to reduce unnecessary overhead costs. At the same time, you can get a better product and improve the economy by giving a freelancer some work.
Wakeman also suggests using live chat on your website (Facebook). This gives people an easy way to access your customer service department. Live chat provides your staff with flexibility, and it presents a professional appearance that can impress new clients.
The Importance of Global Culture Immersion for Entrepreneurs and CEOs
It has become increasingly common for businesses of all sizes to work with customers from other countries. Becoming successful may even hinge on making the decision to go global, but making this choice alone is not enough to break into foreign markets.
Right now, Bhutan, India, and Ethiopia are ranked as three of the fastest growing economies in the world. Getting involved in these nations may bring in a lot of money, but do you know how to speak to these potential customers with the necessary cultural awareness and sensitivity?
Wakeman has said that taking a Berlitz Spanish language course changed the course of his professional and personal lives, which made it “the best $100 I ever spent.” This was due to a combination of learning about cultural influences from outside the U.S. and the resulting desire to travel the world. “[It] expanded my mind about how the rest of the world thinks,” he told Interview.net.
Considering how well Wakeman has done globally, every businessperson may want to invest in at least one language course.
Inspirational Reading for Entrepreneurs
Wakeman spends a lot of time crafting a blog that is intended to help everyone from new entrepreneurs to CEOs. He covers numerous topics of interests, ranging from how to build a high-performance team to how to put together an effective mission statement.
When he is not blogging, investing, mentoring or running his businesses, Wakeman looks to other writers for inspiration. “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu is the one book he believes everyone should read. He characterizes Tzu’s work as “the best strategy book ever written,” which is high praise from someone who has carved out such a big role in the business world. Per Wakeman, the most notable information within the book looks at the importance of preparation, teamwork, and discipline.
What is Next for Glen Wakeman?
Wakeman is currently putting much of his time and energy into LaunchPad Holdings, and it is reasonable to assume that this and Nova Four will continue to be his top projects for the foreseeable future. Entrepreneurs can also expect Wakeman to keep posting articles based on his own business successes and failures. Reading these posts and applying their lessons may help many people stay on the profitable side of the business world.