02 May Introducing Chute CXO
It was 2003. I was early in my professional career working as a software developer for a Software as a Service (SaaS) product in Los Angeles. Recently married, my lovely bride had just embarked on a career as an attorney. We rented a comfortable apartment in Los Angeles, childless at that point, and we were enjoying life as newlyweds!
What’s a fourth generation entrepreneur to do? Start a business of course. The risk was low at this point in our life. The time was right.
I asked myself, “Should I start a business based upon on simple economic return?” For instance, should I purchase land, start a carwash that could generate great cash flow and in the long run I would benefit from the upside of the real-estate? Or, “Should I focus on the technology space where I had the passion and the experience?”
Growing a Business
I am a passion driven person, and I quickly realized to be successful I needed a business I could be passionate about. I leveraged my background in technology and founded a professional services firm that developed “dynamic websites” for small businesses – it was early in the mainstream commercial world wide web, where most companies had informational websites and my new company could help them evolve to provide self service, commerce, apps, etc.
After gaining some early success, I funded growth by reinvesting profits – I hired an intern, then rented an office, then hired my first full-time employee, and then a bigger office…. Ultimately my little company became a team of twenty in two offices and we were receiving industry recognitions such as being named one of Inc. Magazine’s“Fastest Growing Companies” and a “Best Place to Work” by the Los Angeles Business Journal.
Creating a Vision
I realized our industry had become highly acquisitive. If I could scale the organization about four times the current size I could sell the company at a higher valuation, my employees could share in the upside, and my family and I would enjoy financial freedom.
I created a vision, rallied the troops, executed our plan, and…
We hit a wall.
While there was plenty of market demand for our services, we struggled to get traction and take the business to the next level.
I realized we needed to change course to achieve the vision I had set forth. The company needed to be better capitalized through outside investment to accelerate growth, or, alternatively my firm could merge with a mid-sized company with a common vision, one that was better capitalized, and had more mature infrastructure. After weighing the options, I determined the later option was the better approach, and after a five month courting process, we were acquired by a company that fit the bill.
Together, we joined forces and in three years grew the organization 300% and ultimately sold to a publicly traded global IT services firm.
Breaking Through the Ceiling
So, what changed that finally enabled our organization to break through the ceiling?
This can be best summed up by three simple words: Vision, Traction, and Healthy.
Vision – We aligned the entire organization with a crystal clear vision of our future and a plan to get there.
Traction – We implemented simple tools and disciplines for people management, accountability, problem solving and more. This closed loop system continually propelled us toward our vision, enabled us to learn, and evolve.
Healthy – By improving our vision and getting better traction we improved communication, awareness, and created more cohesive teams.
These three words (Vision, Traction, Healthy) are the basis for the Entrepreneurial Operating System™ (EOS™) — the operational system that enabled our company to break through multiple ceilings and achieve continued success.
Giving Back & Growing Entrepreneurial Leadership Teams
Fourteen years after my entrepreneurial journey began, I have now exited the business. I am thankful for the experience and to all those who have been part of the journey. I have been fortunate to have time to reflect on my experience, and through that there are two things I am certain of: 1.) I wish I had adopted EOS earlier in my entrepreneurial career, and 2.) after running a business using EOS I can not imagine running a business any other way!
And so with that, my second venture is born.
Chute CXO, meet the world. World, meet Chute CXO.
Chute CXO is an opportunity to give back to the entrepreneurial community and share my passion — helping entrepreneurial leadership teams achieve their vision, through leadership training and coaching focused on EOS.
I will be sharing my learnings, personal experiences, and providing insight into EOS through periodic articles and media.
Thank you all for your support along this incredible journey. For those of you I don’t know yet, I look forward to the opportunity to positively impact your journey as many others have done for me.
About Josh Holtzman
Josh Holtzman is a successful entrepreneur and business coach based in Los Angeles, CA.
Josh founded and grew a leading professional services firm, which he sold to a national player, and together grew and sold a second time to a global publicly traded IT services firm.
Adopting EOS was a key turning point in Josh’s career as an entrepreneur. He is passionate about giving back to the entrepreneurial community by helping other entrepreneurial leaders strengthen their businesses using EOS.
If you’d like to learn more about implementing EOS within your organization, contact Josh at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free discovery session.