Starting a business is a big achievement for many entrepreneurs, but maintaining one is the larger challenge. There are many standard challenges that face every business whether they are large or small. It is not easy running a company, especially in a fast-paced, ever-changing business world. Technology advances, new hiring strategies, and now, political changes coming with the new administration, all add to the existing business challenges that entrepreneurs, business owners, and executives have to deal with.
Maximizing profits, minimizing expenses and finding talented staff to keep things moving seem to be top challenges for both SMBs and large corporations. We have been interviewing companies from around the world to discover what challenges they are facing in their businesses. We also asked each company to share business advice they would give to a younger version of themselves.
Below is our interview with Karl Kaufman, Founder and CEO at American Dream Investing:
What does your company do?
American Dream Investing is a family-owned financial membership service and news publication, dedicated to sharing independent and unconventional thoughts on building wealth through the stock market. American Dream Investing’s Membership offers exclusive access to a growing multi-million dollar portfolio and members receive text messages and emails whenever we make a trade. We have Model Portfolios available based on whatever amount of money members have to invest. We are not brokers or financial advisors -- we are long-term, conservative retail investors and we don’t manage anyone’s money except our own. We provide information needed to become a more educated and informed investor. Our aim is to educate the public as to why they need to manage their own investments, either by themselves or with the help of a trusted advisor.
What is your role? What do you enjoy most about your role?
I'm the founder and CEO, and I also write about investing and personal finance as a Forbes contributor. I enjoy how every day is different -- the stock market is capricious, there are always new challenges and problems to solve, and new and exciting opportunities are constantly popping up. One of the keys to our success has been the ability to take an unconventional approach to investing and make it accessible and easy to understand. I love hearing success stories from our members about how they've been able to dramatically increase their returns thanks to our service. I'm also passionate about improving financial education in this country, and I’ve been lucky enough to have been invited to present to students at Boston College & the University of Central Florida about the importance of investing at an early age.
What are the biggest challenges in your business right now?
We're trying to recalibrate a mindset that leads to lagging portfolio returns, and that does not come easy. Many people are not comfortable managing their own investments and prefer to hand their life savings over to a stranger to do it for them. They wait for their quarterly statements to arrive without understanding how their performance compares to relative benchmarks or if they could be doing better. Also, there is a lot of competition in our industry as well as a lot of wariness about trusting a new, unconventional voice. A major challenge has been establishing our brand while gaining trust and credibility in a crowded marketplace.
If you could go back in time, what business advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?
I've made plenty of mistakes along the way and have tried to learn as much as possible from them. I would tell my younger self that it's impossible to do everything yourself, and it's essential to properly vet the people you're entrusting with the keys to your business. I've been hurt by freelancers who have been incompetent or have even tried to burn my whole business to the ground. You can't expect freelancers or employees to have the same passion for your business as you do. Our company slogan is "No One Loves Your Money More Than You," and I can add to that "No One Loves Your Business More Than You."