About Cindy Lu

When I was CEO of a fast growth professional services firm, I found myself overwhelmed with how to grow our business and my governance board was great but they wanted to keep things high-level and not micro-manage us -  as a board should.

We had lots of typical fast company growth challenges like: high turnover, morale issue, sales model design and strategic planning. On top of that I was a first time CEO.

It was a lonely position to be in.  I tried different ways to get the development my team and I needed to grow without breaking the bank:

I was part of CEO round-tables but the skills or industry experience in the groups weren’t always what my team needed to solve our immediate challenges.

Coaches and Consultants were too expensive for a 100-person firm and quite frankly, what we really needed was immediate and actionable advice from people who knew our industry and knew us well.

We had the directive to grow fast and needed to shorten the learning curve. So, we decided to create our own Board of Advisors and it was one of the most impactful investments in our business.

One of the big areas of impact was on our gross margin lift. Our Advisory Board’s recommendations helped us improve our gross margin from 36% to 43%!

This group more than paid for their quarterly board fees thousands of times over.  It was like having coaches, consultants and confidants on-call. In addition, our team felt this was the best development they had ever received!

If you’ve been thinking of how to help your business grow and been thinking about outside perspective check out our 15 minute video on how we put an amazing board and grew our business.

https://calendly.com/cindylu/ess

 

More about Cindy

Working in Corporate America was not for me. Everyone said that it was what I should do after college. BUT, being an entrepreneur is in my DNA. 

Lucky for me I found courage early in my career to take the leap into entrepreneurship. I have had opportunities to work in successful partnerships, some VC backed, some Angel backed ventures &now as a solopreneurship (the one I love the best!).  

And, I remember how scary it was quitting my stable corporate job & jumping into my first entrepreneurial gig.  There was no support coming from an immigrant family who pushed “safe” government jobs. So, starting a business was like jumping from a plane without a parachute. Most parents want their child to have “safety & security'' so I get it.

How did I get past this fear?

First, & fortunately, I had female entrepreneur role models from a young age.  I thank my lucky stars that I saw my gymnastic coach start her own gym at 24 - & it was this exposure that in part gave me my first shot of courage to take that leap from a steady paycheck.

Second, my first business partner Bob Wolfson shared his 19 yrs. of experience with me to make the “scary unknown” a safe system.  We put a plan together on weekends & evenings for 6 months before I quit my job.  I remember in the beginning how freaked out I was about making my mortgage payments & thinking if it didn’t work out, I could wait tables or bar-tend.  But with months of preparation with Bob, it didn’t feel quite so scary anymore - I had a roadmap.

Lastly, I kept the memory of how miserable I was in a corporate job & that made the hardest days as an entrepreneur bearable. In addition, getting clients early in the process told us that our business model was sound & viable.  That was a HIGH like no other!

Today I run paid HR Peer Groups (masterminds).  Why HR Masterminds? Because I love the leverage businesses achieve when people reach their potential. I built this from ground zero & in less than 3 yrs. Today, we have close to 150 members.

Here is the link to sign up for your 90 minute break through strategy session to discuss building an advisory board or a general strategy session:

https://calendly.com/cindylu/ess

 

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