The first minority-owned business champions Edgar and Juan connected with was the former Director of Dream Fulfillment at SpringGR, Attah Obande, and staff.
“We didn’t know anything about running a business,” recalls Juan. “In 2016 we took a 14-week SpringGR small business accelerator class that met at Roosevelt Parks Ministries and the facilitator, Carlos Sanchez, helped translate materials in Spanish which was really helpful.”
In addition to the accelerator classes, Edgar and Juan were connected to business mentor Scott Cousino, President of Legacy Capital Planners LLC.
Scott explains why he chose to become a SpringGR mentor and how he has encouraged Edgar and Juan in their entrepreneurial journey:
1. Why did you agree to be a mentor?
I love the idea of entrepreneurship and people taking career risks in a way that allows them to add value to their community while earning a living. Mentoring provides the opportunity to engage with people at a very early stage of their entrepreneurship journey. Some will work through the struggles inherent with this journey, and others will choose a different path. It’s fun for me to be alongside people as they work to overcome the obstacles they face on this journey, while encouraging them to acknowledge their inherent value, talents, and opportunities.
2. What do you see as the biggest obstacle(s) to growth for companies like Casa Pintura?
The biggest challenge I see facing companies like Casa Pintura is their ability to scale in a way that doesn’t dilute their value proposition or reputation. Edgar and Juan have such a high standard of care and workmanship that growth through adding additional team members to complete the work creates risks in achieving those standards and workmanship.
3. What do you believe would help companies like Casa Pintura overcome these obstacles?
Most early-stage entrepreneurs find the transition from “self-employed” to “business owner” a very difficult jump. This requires substantial forethought on the principles to which they subscribe personally in their lives and business, and that are non-negotiable in the hiring, training, and empowerment of their team members. When these principles are embraced at all levels of the organization, the growth that many owners desire is only a matter of time and focus. If the “WHY” is clear and aspirational for companies like Casa Pintura, it will be more clear when they come across potential team member that ascribes to that pursuit and is willing to submit themselves to the principles of the organization.
Secondarily, the value of systems and processes can’t be overstated. In a service business with many competitors, businesses like Casa Pintura need a way to distinguish themselves. A proven process for identifying the work, quoting the work, assessing and assigning the work to the proper team, and executing each step of the work with excellence allows the businesses leadership to shift their focus to “working on” the business rather than simply “working in” the business. Knowing that there’s a steady supply of opportunity that is reviewed and bid correctly, and will be completed with excellence to the satisfaction of the customer and to predetermined standards, will allow the business’s leadership team to focus on other areas for improvement and scale.
Without these things, the business will remain dependent on the time, treasure, and talents of the owners trying to complete the work themselves.
4. Do you have any mentors and, if so, how have they helped you?
One of my early mentors was my dad. He owned a small construction company that never scaled. He worked hard, did excellent work for his customers, and provided for his family. Through this, though, he found himself burnt out and losing the passion for the work.
I’ve also had many folks along the way speak into my life in the areas of belief, self-confidence, humility, leadership, and purpose. That combined with my own personal development efforts of reading, studying, and listening to leaders in many areas of life, have given me the personal insight to acknowledge my own areas of strength. These influences have given me the freedom to lean into the areas of business and life where I’m most gifted, without feeling like I have to be the “magic” of my business. Adding people smarter and more capable than me to our team who are committed to our purpose is helping us serve better and achieve so much more than I ever could by trying to do it on my own.
5. Is there anything else you’d like to share about yourself and your company, Legacy Capital Planners LLC?
Our firm believes that a legacy is NOT just something we leave. A legacy is something that you live every day, and is established on our journey toward understanding our own purpose. That’s why we say, “We do planning for people of purpose!”
Connect with Scott and his team at Legacy Capital Planners at:
SCOTT COUSINO, CFP®, CEPA®
1009 44th St SW, Suite 106
Grand Rapids, MI 49509