Olessia Smotrova, the CEO and owner of OST Global Solutions, a consulting firm that helps you win government contracts. She is the author of the book: How to Get Government Contracts. Have a Slice of the 1 Trillion Dollar Pie.
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Shifting Mentality with Olessia Smotrova
Our guest is Olessia Smotrova, Olessia is the CEO and owner of OST Global Solutions, a consulting firm that advises small and medium-sized businesses on winning government contracts, business development, capture, and training to win government contracts. She is also the author of a book titled How to Get Government Contracts, Have a Slice trillion pie of which she is already taking a slice out. She and her team has developed business for clients in excess of $22 billion.
So she knows what she’s writing about. Now, she’s also part of the GovConnet Council, which is a lobbying organization to help small businesses win more government contracts and to pass legislation to that effect. Now Olessia’s background is very interesting and what really intrigued me when I first met her that she was born and raised in Uzbekistan in Central Asia and she made her way into America and being an entrepreneur here which is very, very unique. She also along the way she went to the University of Colorado, she worked for the Financial Times. She also worked for a couple of fortune companies like Raytheon and Lockheed Martin. And now she’s running her own business. So welcome, Olessia.
Thank you for having me, Steve.
It’s great to have you here. So tell us a little bit about your origin story. How did you make it to America?
Well, I always wanted to come to America. This was always home. So I was in trouble a lot as a kid in Uzbekistan, wanting to come to America and declaring their proud. And I came here as a foreign student, actually on a student visa, University of Colorado in Boulder, and studied international affairs and realized that I had to essentially get a job in order for me to stay in the United States in my line of business, so diplomacy, right? But I was in the US citizen and I could not do that in Boulder, Colorado therefore, and, you know, could not work for the State Department so to get an international job was much easier if I went to Washington, D.C. I didn’t really have anything lined up. Right.
And I tried, but none of that worked. And essentially, I took a week off. I asked a friend who had a friend who basically said, well, why don’t you come and stay on my couch? Otherwise, I was calling YMCA to actually find a place to be or my other option was on the streets basically. I had nowhere to go. I didn’t know anyone. And essentially this guy, his name was Lee, he actually put me up on his couch in a studio apartment. For however long that I spent time looking for a job, I clipped newspapers every day and found this job to become an elite concierge for like Platinum American Express.
And that company that I was working for got sold to AXA Insurance, like a large company, and they moved their location to Chicago and Windy City wasn’t exactly a good place for a warm, loving, warm climate, loving person like me. So I ended up looking for another gig, but it’s really hard trying to get somebody to sponsor you for a work visa. So it was really, really tough to find something in the area of specialty. And I was without work for a while. I was kind of hungry and very, very skinny, right?
So and I was barely scraping up enough for a tiny little room. And when Lockheed Martin started calling me for a mouthful of coke, I was kind of dismissive because I knew that they were not sponsoring foreigners. They weren’t hiring people on work visas, especially not like me, you know, kind of entry level job. And so I told them that and they were like, yeah, you’re right. Hang up and call me again and call me again.
And they said, hey, you know, the general wants to interview you and he would like to take you to dinner. And it was like dinner. I was so hungry. It was awesome. So I patched up my little suit, like I had a hole in the back, I was very poor. So I patched up my little suit and went to go ahead and meet with the general. And drank a lot of wine, ate a lot of food that night. And he decided that was the right fit. He said, hey, I have a talent for finding amazing people and building teams, and I think you’re going to be a perfect fit for us. I already can see it, you have moxie. And I learned a new word that night.
So, what gave you the job and how did you get this? Why did they pick you? Well, I knew multiple languages, right?
So, I knew lots of languages and it was a big international project and they picked me as an office manager. So I’m pretty proud of that. After that, I moved into business development. Yeah, so I was selling plasma arc melters to Japan and to Russia, yeah, and writing proposals. And then one day Lockheed decided that they did not want to be in the energy business anymore and environmental stuff. There was the change in strategy, imagine that, and they divested that business that I was part of.
We didn’t do too well financially and they started laying people off. I got my pink slip two days before Christmas over the phone. And I landed at Racing On. And that’s where I spent about four and a half years. And I was doing business development. I was doing actually some of the more strategic captures there, got a lot of training, really, really good training. And so in 2005, we had like a hundred percent win rate on that indefinite delivery contract that I was writing proposals for and I was really building a whole system for winning that.
I’ll get 100% win rate. And I was like, well, I’m going to start my own company. So my daughter was, I felt like was old enough. As in, she was one years old, she was still nursing. And I decided I’m going to draw a line in the sand and I’m going to just leave. So, what triggered this decision? Was it that you had the practice? Well, so there were several things going on, but it was mostly reworks. And then we had this one boss, George Connell, that everybody really loved, and he got removed, and that didn’t sit well with the team.
And he gave us a ton of freedom. Like, he allowed us to really basically express, do a lot of entrepreneurial things within the corporation. I did not really, I was the only provider for my family. My ex-husband did not work. And I had to basically make a move. I wanted to earn more money, and I wanted to do my own thing. I didn’t want to ask any more permissions and then have those permissions reversed because things have changed.
It’s good to gain some traction with your business, to actually feel that, wow, this is something that’s going to be sustainable. I’m going to do as well as, or much better than with my employment. I did it. I was watching a lot of consultants well for themselves. And my first year out the gate, I made three times my six figure salary than I had. So it was much easier, I was freelancing essentially. But I didn’t know a lot of entrepreneurs, I did not grow up with lots of entrepreneurs around me. And my dad, he did work, he had a business, but he’s had some really unfortunate experiences with that business. And some of what he did was not a good example.Leaving a secure job to start a business is like drawing a line in the sand, marking the beginning of a new adventure. Sometimes, the need for independence and financial growth propels us forward. Click To Tweet
Well, you know, sometimes you can learn from bad examples, right? It tells you what not to do, and that kind of helps you avoid some landmines that you saw other people step on. So your business is a consulting business. You’re helping other business owners and other business people who are trying to land government contracts. It’s a professional services business. In your experience, how does a professional service business differ from other types of businesses, manufacturing, distribution, other business service businesses? How is it different?
Well, it has a very different problem, right? So every business has its own set of problems, right? So I can speak for professional services and knowledge-based industry in general. It’s really, we always compete in the knowledge-based industry with the internal staff of the company. Why do we need to bring in an expensive consultant when you can hire somebody, especially doing what we do right in proposals? So essentially you have to be that much better than anybody who could possibly work for a company.
And I mean, there is an advantage to being a consultant because we are exposed to every kind of company, every kind of topic. So it makes us better, we’re sharper, we’re quicker than people who work for the company because we have so much broader exposure and you know we learn from so much more and when you do have that kind of circle you don’t see the same things over and over again, the same topics, the same tricks. You actually learn from across the industry so that makes us better naturally and you have to continuously learn yourself, you have to be really good at what you do and so the question is how do you scale, right?
So it’s all nice and dandy when you are a solo practitioner, but when you try to build a company, the scaling part is really tough because those people are expensive. A lot of people in professional services, they partner with people of that caliber because they can’t afford to pay them. But if you don’t have to partner and you can hire, then it’s a very different story. So how do you actually afford somebody like that? And I’ve had some really bad misfires. I paid really expensive high salaries to people who did not pan out. And it was a very expensive lesson. When you’re wood strapping, that’s incredibly expensive and painful to learn that lesson.
And then you bring in junior people and train them up and they leave or you train them up but you don’t have time to watch their work. And so it’s really like where do you actually find people who are professional enough that you screen them? So your hiring has to be really amazing, right? And you also then have this whole employee utilization issue, right? So if they’re not billing, they’re costing you because you’re still paying them. And if you’re trying to use consultants at 1099s, well, they have no loyalty to you and you don’t know when they’re going to be available and you have to keep them employed.
Either way, you have to keep 1099s and W2 employees employed at all times. And how do you do that with short projects? And our industry projects are very short. So we’re talking about two weeks, a week, a month, maybe two months, three months sometimes, if you’re lucky. So some of them are part-time. So it’s really a question of trying to figure out how do you plan for utilization? How do you project? How do you have the right people available at the right time? And how do you also make sure that they’re providing a stellar service to your clients at the level you yourself would provide or you suffer and your professional pride suffers?
So there’s all of these issues that you have to solve in a professional services company. And essentially, you have to be incredibly profitable in order for you to be able to invest into talent and developing talent. So we’ve done it several different ways, right? So I’ve always been obsessed with processes, so I’ve always tried to document knowledge, and we’ve created a training program in our Bitten Puzzle Academy. And so we have an ability to develop internal staff that way. We will even have an apprenticeship program through the states, different states, that actually certify people as apprentices in the field of government business development and we can do that to external people as well.
Right, so we have that service externally to our clients as well as ourselves internally. So that’s one piece. The other piece is hiring. I’ve actually realized that I am not the best person at hiring. I’m really, really good at envisioning who I really need, really good at sometimes saying no to people, but if I’m put in front of a person and I’m interviewing them, then I will probably most likely say yes. So that’s my, and I get swayed by things that I shouldn’t be swayed by. So I now have had others in our company interview and screen people and I just give the final say and that works out much better.Finding the right team is an art. Hiring isn't just about skills; it's about passion, commitment, and cultural fit. A stellar hiring process is the cornerstone of a successful company. Click To Tweet
So how do you attract the right kind of people? Because in my experience, that was one of the challenges I faced when I started my business. Initially, it was super hard because people, good people didn’t necessarily believe that my company was going to be successful. So it took me years to build up a reputation so that I can, I could hire the best people in my industry. It was very challenging and it was time consuming. What is your experience in this field?
So, several things, right? So first is really attract, create an attractive company. So it helps us, we have a nice office in a Class A corporate building, right? So we have, it’s not a virtual company, so it feels much more real as a business, right? So that’s one. Another one is we have our attraction that we, you know, people who want to develop professionally, they can with us because we’re a thought leader in the industry.
We’ve invested a ton into that. We also put in profit sharing in place and 4% 401k match. And we have decent benefits, package, unlimited vacation, that kind of stuff. So we put that package in place like it would have with larger companies than ourselves. And we are respecting the field. We have a really good name in the field. So that helps. And really just, I have approached it as just kind of doing it bit by bit by bit.
So just bringing in the next person and the next and the next and trying to target people with that sort of, hey, you know, come help us with our mission. So the mission, I think, that was a big thing with the EOS team is that really kind of getting clear on our core values and our mission and our vision. That really has helped, and it’s very compelling when you get to share that. And all of the different things that we do to give back to the community.
So that’s also something that is attractive to people, right? So we do lots of things for small businesses, even though we serve a lot of larger and mid-tier and larger businesses. We actually give back through our GulfCon incubator, through our apprenticeship program, we’re doing something for public speaking, we’re doing a lot of things to change the government contracting industry for the better, to give voice to small business, to enable them to be better at articulate, coming up with a solution, articulating their solutions, and as a result, executing better projects for the government.
So that mission, I think that makes us different among other consulting companies. It just plays people, plays bodies on contracts. We actually stand for something. We have a methodology. We have lots of different initiatives people can really get plugged into. So that’s how we try to attract people.
That’s right. So the thought leadership, being a thought leader, being an industry voice, and essentially being proactive about shaping the industry and where it’s going. That’s very compelling. So tell us a little bit about your greatest successes as an entrepreneur. Can you give me a couple of examples where you really hit the jackpot, so to say, not necessarily financially, but you made a big impact and you achieved a great success?
So I think my greatest success as an entrepreneur, really realizing that I’m not an island and really tapping into different resources. So I honestly, I think that joining Vistage was really one of those biggest things that I find was a stretch for me at the time. So because I had to, I had gone through personal events and divorce that basically took everything to a halt. And I don’t know if people have been through painful divorces where I was the breadwinner and so you get taken to the cleaners. I realized when I told women about what I was going through, they did not understand, but lots of men nodded vigorously. What is it like to start from zero? There’s a point at which.
And I did have to do that just a few years ago, actually, namely, what, two years ago that we really started growing again when things have gotten a lot easier with the proceedings and everything else. And during that time, we managed to double the last year. I mean, we grew a lot in the last quarter of that year when we were able to start growing and then we then doubled the following year and this year we’re on track to almost double again. So, and it’s all because I was able to actually get with the people who were like-minded to really start thinking like a CEO and in the process of that, actually finding the EOS and, you know, getting together with you, probably before we were even positioned, you told us it was really early to start the process because there were like very few people in the company.
You didn’t have 10 employees at the time, yes, you had less than 10 employees.
Well, I had four.
You had four at the time. But you just came off of a great contract and you had some cash and said, you know, let’s throw it back into business and make an investment and then let’s push forward. I was very impressed with that.
I think, you know, I cannot really tell you, hey, you know, I had a big lucky break, right? So I was always early on actually waiting for that lucky break, working on different initiatives that I thought would give us that lucky break. I signed a few contracts that didn’t pan out. They were taken right from under our feet by larger firms, signed, and thinking that they would put us on the map. And none of these were. It was just lots of, lots of little steps and things and I think shifts in mentality that would contribute to greatest success is how I started to think about things as an entrepreneur. And it’s lots of different things, right?
So on a daily basis, I look for areas to improve within myself. I have coaches and, I don’t know, advisors. I’ve surrounded myself with coaches and advisors and I think that that’s very what’s helping you with success. So I get to learn from really smart people and kind of moving away from being autonomous and you know, just sort of struggling. I mean, I was always trying to take different lessons and educate myself, but it was really just more like taking lessons and educating, but still trying to figure it myself versus actually getting good advisors. And of course, you know, like my business partner, adding a business partner was really a great thing. Like Dave was also my husband, who eventually became my husband. Right, so.
I think that’s a really critical thing to be able to absorb information and to pick out what’s useful for you and to implement it, not to be overwhelmed by it. It’s a big skill that I see some people who are really closed down and not willing to take in the information. They’re just going after their own ideas that they already feel comfortable with, and then they miss out on things. And there are other people that want to absorb everything. They go to Vistage and they bring in that new idea every month and they try to implement everything and then they became overwhelmed with it and don’t gain traction.
And that’s a great skill if you can sift through that noise and you can be open, but also can be decisive and to write on a few initiatives. And basically ROCKS is also this idea of picking your few initiatives and go with them and execute them and then move on to the next one. So it’s interesting to hear that you’re more of this Kaizen type entrepreneur, not looking for the big break, but putting the small bricks together. And over time they snowball and they create a momentum for you. What about on the failure side? So what was the kind of the darkest moment of your career as an entrepreneur where you felt this may be over now and it’s gonna be really hard to get back but then you bounce back anyway?
Yeah, as I was going through my divorce, right? So it was really, really tough. It was dark and bitter, not on my part, but on my ex’s part, very scary. I’m upset, threats and things like that. So that was just incredibly destabilizing. And there was a lot of sort of financial impact on the business from a perspective of how he operated. And so I found myself being debt to the IRS, debt to people, debts to vendors. I mean, it was just really just a place where it was hundreds of thousands below. And, you know, I was told, hey, you know, you should really go into bankruptcy. You should really, you know, look maybe for a job.
And I thought maybe I should just go take a job. And that was probably the best way to end up taking a job, right? Yeah. So I and then I sat there and I was like, look, you know, that’s actually not that much money. And it was that moment when I sat there, I was like, this is not that much money. And that was that shift that I was like, you know, we’ll do it. And I paid off every single one and the IRS and everything within a very short period of time of just concerted effort and started building wealth and started being building reserves in the company, we have a running reserve now all the time and it’s growing. So there’s all this stuff and start investing.
So within like sort of looking back, it was just a very short span of time, but that was a really dark moment when I sat there and then people are telling you that, hey, you know, you’re really, there is a bankruptcy. That’s, that’s what, you know, really happens in those situations, right? So it was your home, you had to sign over my house for custody, I had to do all kinds of things, right? So you just find yourself in financial destitute and I had to take on the debts, the credit card debts, everything.
And there was that moment of power that, you know, followed the darkest moment. And at that moment I was like, you know what, other people have lost millions and billions and, you know, and they recovered, why not me? So, and once we decided that contracts came, it came fast. I negotiated with the IRS and set up a payment plan and basically paid that off within months. So it was just really just kind of deciding and going for it.In the darkest moments, find the strength to be your own light. The power to overcome often lies within the decision to keep going. Click To Tweet
So what catalyzed the emotional shift when you realized that, actually I can make this work? When you realized, okay, this is not so much money. Do you remember what triggered that shift?
I’m a very, I would say I’m an optimist. I’m a realist, but I’m an optimist. Like more on the optimistic side, period. So I’m one of those people who always believe the future will be better. I never, I very rarely look back. And so some of those are just personal qualities. So some of that sort of resilience kicks in when I most need it. And so I don’t know what really prompted that per se but I just sat there and I just don’t have to I just think that giving up is just not within my nature and so when I hit that point of pain where the pain was too much and that you know sort of examining the possibility was too much you know I I shifted and I was together with my partner too so we actually were talking. I was never like Dave’s been by my side and we do a lot of things together like most of them together. And so we just were talking and we just decided that, hey, you know, we’re just going to do it. And we did it. It was very, very quick.
So that’s a really interesting story. Switching gears here. So looking back at your career, who were some of the biggest influences that helped you become who you are?
So I have a really good friend, Marina, and she’s in Russia. I just actually spoke to her yesterday. We don’t speak very often, but we’re very, very close. We think about each other all the time. And she was one of the professional influences on me. When we met, I was very young, and she laughs to this day. She goes, I remember when you were so devastated you wouldn’t have summer vacations anymore. So it was at Lockheed back then, at Lockheed. I was still sure enough that I would not have a summer off. B
ut now I had to work a job. So in America, you don’t like to take vacations. Yeah. Two weeks is just not enough, and sometimes you don’t even get that, right? So she was one of those influences and I think that over the years there have been many that actually have helped me. I’m one of those people that never says, hey, doesn’t have like one person I can point to and say, this is the person who was my hero, inspired me throughout. But it’s really like if I were to put together, that would be a whole mosaic of people that I admired, still admire to this day.
So that really I get a lot of strength from and I would look at their quality and say, hey, you know, this person has really great at being assertive and, you know, she stands up for herself. That was always something that I’ve had trouble with, especially while I was married to my ex-husband, right? So, so like being assertive, for example, she’s the ideal person for me for that. Or like I look at the qualities of somebody being really good with money and I will go and model that person.
And somebody is really good with self-discipline and I’ll model myself after that person. So it’s just a lot of different qualities that I find in different people. So rather than saying, hey, this is my role model and I follow this person. So I’m such an eclectic individual that I tend to see lots of beautiful things and lots of different people. So that’s how that works.
Because some people, they just have one quality that they admire about it. And then they just follow that person blindly. We see examples of that. And that’s not healthy. I like being able to distinguish about the qualities that you want to model and the ones that you don’t. And then you just pick the ones that would help you be better. I like that. So let’s talk about EOS a little bit. So we’ve talked about you picking up EOS when you were still a fairly small company, only four employees. What made you decide to implement EOS? What triggered your decision?
I wanted to do things right. I was, as I told you, didn’t have a lot of experience with being an entrepreneur. I was not surrounded by entrepreneurs. And my dad, I mean, he had terrible experience with partners, business partners. He’s had business partners steal money from him multiple times. So it was really just not a lot of sort of, hey, you know, here’s a great example. I’m talking to this person and you can know. Most of my friends were all, you know, employed and in jobs, nine to five or more than that.
And I also did not have a business degree and I did not have that sort of education. And what I found is I wanted to do things the right way. And was there a system, was there something that I could follow and do it the way that companies do it that are mature, more mature. And that’s exactly why I thought that hey, now is the time. Now it’s just more than me and my business partner and a couple of support staff.
Now we have four people in the company and they just got hired and they’re more power to us. We’re just going to build a leadership team. And that was the decision. So and you were you were quite honest. You’re like, well, that may be a little early. I was like, no, Steve, I want to do this. You were trying to talk me out of it for exactly five minutes. But I just want to make sure that you know what you’re up against. And it was challenging. I mean, I did not even understand what we were doing the first year.
It was really interesting because I was following it intellectually, but just walking the steps, you know, there were so many steps that were really applying to larger companies and so many things that would work when you had more hands to do them. Right. So we were not very good at getting our rocks done. We’re not very good at holding them level 10 meetings. We were not very good at doing a lot of things. And some things now that we’re doing, I understand what they are, but looking back, I was like, well, it was such baby steps with some of this initially, we were really trying.The decision to build a leadership team echoes the courage to expand beyond your comfort zone. Embrace the unknown, for therein lies innovation. Click To Tweet
It’s my favorite structure to go into. And it allowed you to visualize what kind of business you want to build and then to climb the ladder to get there. So in terms of the tools, we have 20 tools in EOS, we have the five foundational tools and then we have other tools. Which ones are your favorite tools that you feel have helped you most?
So RPRS is really a very important tool, right person, right seat.
Right person, right seat.
Yeah, and so that has been really, really great.
How did that help you? Can you give a couple of examples of how that supported this? How this tool works for you?
So I have looked at different at hiring people and also at partying with people for that present and also shifting people onto new positions. So and this is basically the the tool that we’ve used in a variety of different situations. Now, I have not used the tool exactly how, like, you would do it, literally do it in a group of people, talking about people in that group saying, hey, let’s rank each other to our face. We’ve done it with you. I do not have the courage to do it.
Well, you’re not supposed to do this with your people other than the leadership team. So we do it in the team because we want to make sure that everyone is the right person, right seat. But yeah, lower down in the organization, you just evaluate people one by one. So can you give a specific example where you don’t have to give the name, but just situation and you kind of evaluate the person against the core values or against the job competencies, gets it, wants it, have the capacity to do it. And you realize that the person was either the wrong person for the organization or in the wrong seat and what kind of seat you found them?
So I we had a situation where there was somebody on our leadership team that was right person in the right seat for a while but then they were no longer in a right seat and then they did not seem to want it they seemed to only get portions of it. And it started being kind of situation where that person, it was pretty obvious that they weren’t the fit. Even though the team was really hanging on to that person, I pushed for them to leave.
Okay, so what else? Is there another tool that you kind of recall as being very influential?
You know the org structure essentially Yeah,
So having that in place, it’s really good. Very convenient. And so I don’t know, is that considered a tool seat?
Yeah, it is. So, the foundational tools are rocks, accountability charts, meeting calls, scorecard, hitting the city and the VTO.
Yeah, so all of these tools we use regularly, right? So those are the favorites. The scorecard we have improved upon quite a bit. Actually, I’ve taken the time to have better metrics, but that has evolved a lot. So of course, the foundational tools we’ve been absolutely using on a regular basis. And for our level 10s, for example, we had to shift them to 6.30 a.m. in the morning on Fridays for them to be regular, right? So because otherwise we realized we had a problem, so we had to cancel their schedule, cancel them, if they were during the time of the day when we had a possibility to have meetings, it always took priority, like client meetings, trainings.
So we realized that the only way to do it is to have our sleepy staff sit there on video at 6.30 in the morning and after a while everybody got used to it. There was a lot of grumbling in the beginning. There was a lot of like disheveled hair and you know yawns and coffee breaks. That’s a pretty brutal time to do this. I had a client who did them Sunday mornings. That was the only time they could. We did that before too. We did that before. That’s pretty crazy.
Okay so switching gear, if you were talking to your 20 year old self, what advice would you give yourself?
I would really ask myself to start working on my confidence a lot earlier So this was one of those things, you know as a woman in business Raised the way that I was raised in Uzbekistan. There was a lot of self-doubt. There was lack of confidence There was a lot of undervaluing myself that happened. And, you know, on some level I was very much a product of the society I came from where, you know, women were definitely second to, you know, second to men, right?
So you come from that society and even here, you know, it’s, you know, it still is a big sort of curve, a steep curve to climb for women to truly be equal in the workplace to men. And I’m in the industry, oh, proposals, government proposals where, yeah, you have a lot of female proposal managers, but you don’t have as many female capture managers or business developers. And especially like in a DOD arena where a lot of the work that I do, it’s mostly male dominated. So that assertiveness, that confidence are critical to you being paid the right way. And you have to believe that you can land that piece of business. Yeah, and leading the teams, clients actually taking you seriously. So there is a tremendous amount of confidence that’s kind of a key component of being successful in this. And so if I were to go back, I would say, hey, you know, get some immediate help with that now.
So how does one do that? How do you work on your confidence?
I think a lot of it is really coaching and therapy. So, because we have all kinds of issues with confidence because of how we are taught to think of ourselves, some of the bad habits we pick up along the way and some of the trauma that actually happens very early on in life. When we are taught to be obedient good little kids, right? We’re taught to be obedient good little kids, you know, they don’t really make really confident bold leaders.
They are mostly rule followers rather than rule breakers.
Exactly. So, I mean, I had, I’ve been fortunate to a certain degree. I am pretty confident, but I was a far cry from where I needed to be to be as successful as I want to be.
Okay, so that’s a good point. So, coaching and working on the confidence. Is there another way to work on your confidence than with coaching, therapy? Is this something that you can do yourself without outside help?
Yeah, I can do affirmations, I think. Really, just looking at where there are the areas when one lacks. A lot of people believe they’re confident when they’re not. Like, if you were to tell me I wasn’t, back then I would have laughed you off, right? So it’s one of those things that’s very subtle, I think, with entrepreneurs especially, where you know, double guessing yourself sometimes is very intelligent. And sometimes it’s actually hurting your success, right? So you have to have the power of discernment to figure out which is which.
Yeah, so there’s actually a tool in EOS which we call the Clarity Break, which is designed exactly to strengthen the confidence of an entrepreneurial leader. Because the idea is that if you just get caught up in the rat race and in the hecticity of the moment of most of the days that you experience, then it bears down on your confidence. And you need this regular clarity break when you sit down and you look at the big picture and you think about what you’re trying to achieve, what your goals are, how you’re going to get there, what your priority is going to be.
And that helps, it goes a long way in restoring your confidence. Actually, just Saturday morning, I had this feeling last week wasn’t really great for me. I lost a client and I was thinking why I lost this client. And it kind of started bearing down on my confidence. And I took out my pad and I started jotting down, okay, what am I trying to achieve here? What are my goals? Try to reconnect it with my long-term goals, with my short-term goals, with my ROCs, my quarterly initiatives.
And suddenly everything became much clearer. I said, I can do this. I just have to make sure I focus on these three things and things are going to be fine. So that’s kind of, that’s a short-term tool that you can work on your confidence with. So is there something that you’re missing from EOS? So you mentioned a couple of tools, the accounting chart, write people, write seed, that helps you. Do you feel like something is missing that you’re not getting from EOS as a business entrepreneur?
You know, it’s really funny. I don’t think it’s the EOS’s fault, but I feel like I wish I had the wherewithal to listen to more things about EOS, to live and breathe it more, right, than the quarterlies and the different day-to-day tools that we use, but to really understand more theory and more application examples of that. And I think the app may have videos on that, YouTube has videos on that and things like that, but I just really don’t have that in my face. On a daily basis, it just kind of falls by the wayside and it only comes up when the quarterlies and the annuals come up. And I find that I personally, and I don’t know how others are, right? So I’m not very good at doing homework that’s not immediately staring in my face. It gets so busy that like I don’t really take the time to sharpen the saw and say, hey, you know, I’m going to watch an AOS video on this or something. If there were a way to have those reminders or maybe something that stares me more in the face than that.
There absolutely are ways. So if you look behind me, you see all these books. So there are five books in the U.S. Library. They are all available on audiobooks. So that’s an easy one just to have them on your audiobook and to listen to them sometimes. You can also subscribe to the EOS blog, which will hit your mailbox every week. Maybe you already have that. And there are always good nuggets there. So I really recommend to do that. EOS Worldwide has a blog. I also have a blog that I, you know, feel free to subscribe to that too.
We also have an annual conference for EOS-run companies that’s going to come up. It’s going to be in Atlanta, Georgia at the end of April, 2021, both virtual and in-person. Hopefully the in-person is going to work out. We also going to have a refresher conference, a half day one at the beginning of October. I can send you the flyer for that one. Really worthwhile checking that out. It’s the best presentations from the annual conference that we had in May. So there are ways of doing that. And, also there are other ways that I can send you some information about. Okay then let me ask you this, how do people who want to learn more about you can get in touch with you?
So, they can contact us at osgglobalsolutions.com website or at 301-384-3350.
Okay. Remember, there are Twitter account that you have or the LinkedIn page. I mean, they can find you on LinkedIn as well, right?
Yeah. I’m on LinkedIn. So that’s probably the best way to connect.
All right. Well, it’s been great fun. Thank you for joining us on this podcast. I really recommend, especially if you are involved with government contracts, Olessia is a great resource. Definitely read her book, How to Win Government Contracts. It’s available on Amazon. And thanks for listening and stay tuned. We’ll have more entrepreneurs, CEOs of companies coming up. Thank you, Olessia for showing up. And I hope to see you very, very soon.
Thank you, Steve. And see you soon.
- Pinnacle: Five Principles that Take Your Business to the Top of the Mountain
- Olessia’s LinkedIn profile
- OST Global Solutions’ website
- Steve’s EOS blog
- Join a webinar with Steve
- Book a free consultation with Steve