“Do not give up when it gets complicated because it will.“- The advice to every startup given by the young and successful entrepreneur, James Webster, the Chief Executive Officer, ROK Financial.
James Webster, the Chief Executive Officer, comes with an innovative and passionate mindset to help the local businesses grow across the country. Since he was 18 years of age, he had developed a strong business understanding and has nearly 21 years of experience in various payment and financial verticals. He had founded ROK Financial just one year back and despite the pandemic situation, he strives to help smaller businesses grow and reach new heights. He helps by identifying the strengths and weaknesses of a business and invests in its success. He supports and educates a business on both local and national levels.
James Webster shares his views on success strategies and tips, and motivation with Business Upside in this interview.
Edited excerpts from the Interview:
Business Upside [BU]: How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
James Webster [JW]: I’ve been in the Commercial Lending industry since 2007; prior to that, I was in Consumer Lending. Before the financial crisis of 2008, I saw the writing on the wall and pivoted to commercial. I knew there would be a gap in the ability of Small Businesses nationwide to access financing and want to help fill that gap.
[BU]: What was your mission at the outset?
James Webster [JW]: To build a thriving company that genuinely makes a difference not only for our employees, partners but, most importantly, the clients we are venerated to build lasting and impactful relationships with.
[BU]: How do you market your business, and which method has been most successful?
James Webster [JW]: We use various means of marketing. We are constantly testing and innovating with marketing as marketing is continuously changing. The majority of the Business we do comes from our partner channel and is where we put a majority of our efforts not only in the workforce but marketing resources as well.
[BU]: What is unique about your business?
James Webster [JW]: The team! I am blessed to have the team I have. I’ve been managing people for over 20 years now, and this team I have is absolutely the best group of people you’d ever want to have, work with, and be a part of. The team gets along with each other better than any group of individuals I’ve ever worked with or managed.
[BU]: How do you generate new ideas?
James Webster [JW]: That depends on what part of the business. I’m always thinking of how to make my company better. I lean on my leadership to help with this a lot as they are on the frontlines. I love to read and listen to business books. As a general rule, I will have an idea, run it by the team, get feedback and their thoughts to get to a final decision.
[BU]: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting, what would it be?
James Webster [JW]: To not give up when it gets complicated because it will. Understand before you get started, it’s going to take you 5-10 times the amount of time, effort, capital, and resources than you think. Still, if you believe in what you are looking to accomplish and you can get through the first few years, the reward to it is more satisfying than you can imagine. Lastly, If you’re doing it for the money alone, don’t, It’s nice to make money but have a bigger purpose that drives you, or you will fail.
[BU]: What do you look for in an employee?
James Webster [JW]:: Someone that is looking for a place to call home. It takes months and at times upwards of a year to get someone fully on their own and starting to not only cover their costs as an employee but to begin generating profits for the business. I’m also looking for some that will fit in with the culture and team; it only takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch. Too often, I’ve pushed to get someone in a seat while in my gut, I felt they weren’t the best for the job, and it has never worked out.
[BU]: Do you believe there is some sort of formula or pattern to become a successful Businessman?
James Webster [JW]: Absolutely, when the going gets tough, it’s easy to bury your head in the sand and give up. A true leader will rise to that occasion and lead their team forward—also, hard work and staying focused on targets and goals. I set goals, and we do not bend those goals; I’d rather fall short but knowing I gave 110% rather than changing our goals midway through.
[BU]: What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
James Webster [JW]: There are a few; If I had to pick, I’d say seeing my team grow as professionals as well as in their personal lives. I’ve had people with me for 10+ years. One particular team member came to work with me and was doing door-to-door sales, living at home, and just getting by. Fast forward years later has a home, a family, and is enjoying his life.
To know more about James Webster and ROK Financial, click here: