Louis Olave from Miami, Florida, has been consulting since 2008 and is the proud owner of his own consulting firm. His practice aims at helping small businesses with strategy and management. He deals with most aspects of the business industry including – but not limited to – sales and marketing, financial analysis, and operations. He has experience in providing services to a wide range of different industries including biotechnology and consumer products.

Since graduating from Rutgers University and getting his Master of Business Administration degree from Georgetown, Louis Olave had always dreamed of working on Wall Street. His ambition and skill landed him in a few Wall Street firms, including a spot on the New York Stock Exchange floor and a job at the commodities exchange. He expresses that working for these firms gave him a great foundation to launch his own business. Louis Olave created a few ventures himself which he took to successful exits and acquisitions. It is all of his combined experience that he believes allows him to augment the practices of his clients.

What do you love most about the industry you are in?

There is never a boring day.  Consulting small-to-medium-sized businesses and startups like I do presents a host of challenges. They tend to change much more quickly than large companies that must move in a slower, more methodical way. I love the challenges of constantly needing to adapt.

What keeps you motivated?

Helping businesses achieve their goals and find success is my main source of motivation as a consultant. I thoroughly enjoy watching them prosper and become successful.

How do you motivate others?

I motivate people through example. When I’m working on a project I am fully committed, working hard in close coordination with the organization, and I get can get very excited along with my clients. I try to convey that positive energy with everyone I’m collaborating with.

How has your company grown from its early days to now?

I think when I first started my consulting company, I stayed within industries that I was most familiar with.  In the years since, I have expanded into a number of different industries but applied the same principles to those different industries.  No matter the business, I’m seeking ways to increase efficiencies through technology.  And in regard to profitability, I look at each business through the same lens:  What is the way to profitability and what is the most realistic road to get there?  To that end, I analyze every business in three primary areas:  Marketing, finance and operations.  I believe that all parts of an organization are intertwined, so at a bare minimum I will look at each of those avenues for my analysis.

Who has been a role model to you and why?

Elon Musk. He is somebody that refuses to take no for an answer.  I believe he’s one of the true visionaries of today.  He is able to execute ideas that just about everyone he encountered told him there was no way he could ever accomplish.  He continues to push the boundaries and it is truly motivating and inspiring to watch his progress.

How do you maintain a solid work life balance?

I try to make sure that I take some time to enjoy family and personal interests. For example, I like to practice yoga so I carve out a time to enjoy that as often as I can.

What traits do you possess that makes a successful leader?

I try to make everyone I work with feel like a partner in our success and to show them that we are all in it together. I lead by example by working hard, listening, and collaborating. My goal is to get those around me to see that I’m working with them, not over them.

What suggestions do you have for someone starting in your industry?

You need to evaluate what your abilities and skills are.  There are many different avenues you can go down in consulting, and it can be potentially overwhelming.  I believe you need to identify what you’re good at so you can bring those qualities to your clients and help them excel.

Where do you see you and your company in 5 years?

In the past I’ve been involved in a number of international projects.  Right now, though, I’m concentrating on more domestic US businesses. With the current environment for a business like mine it is difficult to establish new clients internationally.  There’s a lot less access for me to bring in new clients internationally due to limits on travel and trade.

In the next five years I’d like to grow my practice more internationally. I speak Spanish and Portuguese, so my focus is Latin America and Europe. Those are my strengths. I’m a world traveler, so I’m very comfortable in different cultures and have a basic understanding of many languages. I grew up in a multicultural home as a first generation American, so broadening my international work clientele would be something of a priority for me.

Explain the proudest day of your professional life.

When I sold my company to Circuit City, it was a huge accomplishment.  Building a startup with just one other partner and eventually selling to a publicly traded company is not something that happens every day.  It was some years back, I’m still proud of it to this day.

More recently, I worked on a project that was helping to develop a treatment for cancer that increases the efficacy and reduces the adverse effect for chemo patients. It’s still in development now but is on its way to human clinical trials. To be part of a project like that, to help cancer patients, makes me incredibly proud. I can’t wait to see what happens next.