Become the master of your entrepreneurial journey.

Episode #105

Andrew Frazier

The Business Growth Pro and CFO  empowers business owners to Maximize the Value of their companies by Growing Revenue, Increasing Profitability, and Obtaining Financing.  He guides them along the critical path to creating a sustainable business that can run without them through valuable coaching, consulting, and training services.  His expertise in business strategy and financial management enables him to take a holistic perspective and provide more optimal solutions for clients.  Mr. Frazier’s book “Running Your Small Business Like A Pro: The More You Know, The Faster You Grow” helps people increase the likelihood and magnitude of their success in business.  He has also produced POWER BREAKFAST events in Northern NJ for almost 10 years generating more than $10+ million in both economic impact and financing for over 1,000 attendees.

Andrew has worked 1-on-1 with over 500+ business owners and has taught thousands of people about business over the last 10+ years. He graduated from MIT with a BS in Mechanical Engineering, earned an MBA in Finance from NYU, and achieved the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.  His background includes significantly diverse experiences as a Naval Officer, Operations Manager, Corporate Executive, Investment Manager, Real Estate Investor, Non-Profit Leader, Board Member, Business Owner, Professor, Coach, Consultant, Trainer, and Author. 

Andrew aspired to run a fortune 500 company from the days of running his paper routes in the fourth grade. With his family in manufacturing, Andrew was encouraged to develop a career as an engineer. Listen in as Andrew shares the pivots navigated and the and wisdom gained during his entrepreneurial journey.

Lori Brooks: [00:00:00] Andrew. Welcome. Thank you so much for joining us!

Andrew Frazier: [00:00:02] Thanks for having me. I’m excited to be on your show.

Lori Brooks: [00:00:05] Certainly, and I’m excited to have you, I would love to dive into your story as an entrepreneur, but before we do, we’re going to go ahead and rewind the clock just a bit. Let’s go back to the days of junior high or high school long before you ever even got to college. Let’s think about the days when an aunt, an uncle or even a teacher at school would ask you, what do you want to be when you grow up? What did you think life was going to look like?

Andrew Frazier: [00:00:32] Okay. Well originally my goal was to be an engineer study engineering.  It’s good math and science. During that time, everybody who was good in math and science, they were just pushing into engineering, which was cool. I always had an interest in business and finance. I actually had my first business in fourth grade, my brother and I ended up having a paper route for five years, delivered papers every day, [00:01:00] seven days a week in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. And then, worked for different places, but, really got into engineering, math, and science, but also. Yeah. With the business side, I could see myself going from there to run a fortune 500 company. Obviously, I’m not running fortune 500 company now, so didn’t quite work out that way, but that’s, that’s the direction we were looking at the time.

Lori Brooks: [00:01:25] You started off at heart as an entrepreneur. You and your brother were really like, we’re doing this. We know how to make money. Let’s go. I love that spirit. As you got older, what were some of the things that you feel like started making that pivot for you or steering you towards the entrepreneurial journey? What happened, during the course of becoming an engineer and being funneled into that direction?

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Andrew Frazier: [00:01:50] Well, I think that, one of the things is. Yeah, I got a chance to go to college up in Boston, near you at MIT and studied engineering. [00:02:00] But I took a course called management and engineering, and really liked the business side. It was still problem solving, but problem solving on a more real time basis and a lot of different problems and challenges. That focused me more towards manufacturing and actually to this day, I work with a lot of manufacturing companies because of that, but, going through, and I also had a Navy ROTC scholarship at school.  When I graduated what and served as a officer in the Navy and ended up being able to be a supply Corps officer and run the business functions for our ship. I sort of inched over towards the business side. And really found that I enjoyed, business, making business decisions, seeing how the decisions, impact outcomes and seeing the results of them. And, wanted to learn more about that and be better at it.  I went to business school and got my MBA. In finance and management and had a chance to work for, a couple of fortune 500 companies and investments in financial management in operations, and really build my skills along the way. And, but sometimes you go back to your roots, as I developed, realize that, the further you go up. It, it becomes more restrictive rather than freer to be able to implement things that you like to do or wants to do, or you think need to be done. And as a business owner, you, you have the ability to come up with a plan and strategy and implement it based on, what you think is the best for your situation. and, that really was part of what drew me to. Entrepreneurship and having my own [00:04:00] business being able to do that, but also I ended up starting through consulting and coaching because I was able to help other people do that. Cause that’s what I enjoy doing, strategizing, planning, laying it out implementing it. And a lot of people need that type of assistance. And I, and I know you do some of that as well.

Lori Brooks: [00:04:18] It’s not the strong suit for everyone, and I love how you took your engineering, you went to the Navy and thank you for your service, by the way, then you take that. You, you recognize, wait, here’s where I’m beginning to have a passion. This is what I’m interested in. This is where there are opportunities that I can follow and you started doing that. It’s not a magical overnight thing that occurs in anyone’s journey and that’s part of what the show is really about is showing people that. You can start anywhere. It doesn’t matter where you begin. It doesn’t matter what your thought process might’ve been. If you’re listening to the show, you’re clearly interested in becoming an entrepreneur and that’s the start of the journey it’s really the interest in it. Then you begin taking those steps as you did. You began recognizing that this is what you loved. You got your MBA, you began consulting and working with other people because you saw that. Not only was there an interest that there was a passion, not only were you interested in the business aspect of it, right. But you had a passion for assisting people in figuring out that business end of it. And that’s how you arrive at a small business helping small businesses. Definitely.  What do you feel like were some of the hiccups that you experienced as you made this decision to make this pivot in your journey and become an entrepreneur?

[Andrew Frazier: [00:05:44] It’s a whole different environment. So, if you’re going to make a change like that, you really have to rebuild your network. You really have to look at your personal financial situation, everything else in a different way, really have to understand that things are going to take longer and cost more than you ever expected and that you’ll probably be making a lot less for a while, but you do have the benefit of being able to work longer hours and work harder while you’re making less.

Lori Brooks: [00:06:20] Yes. Very much so because of investing in yourself does not necessarily always have to be in a monetary manner. Investing in yourself can definitely be that time that you’re taking.

Andrew Frazier: [00:06:30] Right and I would never go a different way. I mean, the amount that I learned and the amount that I’m able to help people who actually need help is, tremendous and, it makes it all worthwhile.

Lori Brooks: [00:06:45] I completely understand. What do you feel were some of the things that helped you. Throughout the course. I know we touched upon surrounding yourself with the right people. Your network was part of it, but what else do you feel, helped you moving forward in your journey as an entrepreneur?

Andrew Frazier: [00:07:00] I think being willing to try stuff. Yeah, tried a lot of different things and there’s not like one straight direction, but everything I’ve done helped me and helps me to this day, I had done consulting and coaching, but I also taught, I taught as an adjunct professor. It helped build my training skills. I actually got my insurance licenses and did some insurance and went through the sales training process and that’s tremendous because your most important job as a business owner is to market and sell and. Yeah. A lot of business owners never even learned how to sell. So they’re out there, not, their business is suffering because they don’t have the skills. They need to be able to make it perform better. Because yeah, marketing is selling is critical.  I think that. What else was key? , definitely your network, building relationships building credibility, because , one of the things is there’s a lot of people who start businesses out there [00:08:00] and, , I joined a chamber once or one of the chambers I joined and like for the first year or so, I didn’t get any business, but after about a year, people are like, oh, who are you again? What are you doing?  They want to see if you’re going to make it first and a lot of businesses, don’t make it. And they’ve seen that, but, it’s kind of like the old army commercial where it’s like, well, you need experience to get this job, but how do I get experience if I can’t get a job? Part of being an entrepreneur, being creative and being able to solve that.

Lori Brooks: [00:08:36] Recognizing where those needs are in your own path and figuring out how to resolve them on your own is a huge part of being an entrepreneur. Instead of attempting to ask for help or finding a mentor or finding somebody that can assist in moving forward, there’s, that moment of, I’d rather give up. And, and for those of you listening, that is not an uncommon feeling during this journey. That is something that we as entrepreneurs feel quite often, you could feel on top of a mountain one afternoon and literally two hours later, you’re in a place where you’re like, I give up, I’m done. That’s it. I do not want to do that. you have that roller coaster, and that’s why it’s important to maintain that mindset aspect, too. And, and as you said, to surround yourself with the people who are going to support you in that journey and help you maintain that mindset, because it is one of those foundation pieces. I don’t know, many entrepreneurs who get through it without it. So please, Andrew, tell us all about your business.

Andrew Frazier: [00:09:36] I coach, consult and train entrepreneurs, and business owners, and really help them to run their businesses more professionally so they can grow their revenues, increase profits and obtain financing. And, throughout the process, working with 500 business owners one-on-one and teach it, thousands of people I’ve learned a lot and, You start to see patterns and challenges. And that led me to write my first book, running your small business, like a pro and , the topic we were talking, just talking about the sixth chapter of my book. It’s called, can I get my old job back? That pretty much every entrepreneur business owner is thought about that, like every hour. Yeah.

Lori Brooks: Oh, I can’t wait to read it. I’m going to enjoy that chapter six, everybody, check it out,

Andrew Frazier: That, that really led me to be able to do that. And, a lot of people have had, found that valuable and figuring out how to move their business forward in a successful way. And , as far as growing my business as well, the biggest thing I love to do is teach and develop people and help them to be able to be more successful at what they’re doing. That led me to create the small business pro university, which we recently launched and, really that’s an online, virtual university, where we offer individual courses.  More importantly, we have a Masterpreneur club where you can be a member and have access to courses, but also. Live virtual activities and networking. And we just sent out a press release yesterday for our two certification programs that we just launched a three-month small business pro certification for taking you from startup to working on your business and a 12-month Masterpreneurs certification program taking you from working. On your business to scaling your business each including individual one-on-one coaching and training and other things. It’s really a way to make that available to entrepreneurs and business owners on their schedule on their time, in their way, and in, small bites and multimedia. We’ve been working on for like two years and it’s really coming to fruition, but it, we launched certification programs and we’re partnering with the Rothman Institute at Fairleigh Dickinson university on those programs.  It is, it’s very exciting times.

Lori Brooks: [00:12:14] That is exciting. I’m super excited to help you promote. I love hearing when entrepreneurs take it upon themselves to help entrepreneurs. I can’t wait to pop over to the community.  We will be sure to include link on the show notes page.  If you had the opportunity to go back, say 10 to 15 years and tell yourself one thing, what do you think that one thing would be.

New Products Weekly

Andrew Frazier: [00:12:38] I probably should have started it earlier and I guess go back to what we had talked about before. I would have focused on learning more and more about marketing and sales earlier.

Lori Brooks: [00:12:53] I think I would have done the same. I will agree. That is definitely something that I wish I had focused on more. That’s a good one. That’s a very good one, by the way.  The show is really designed to help entrepreneurs come up with an idea for a business in an industry that they may not have been thinking of. I’m curious as a small business owner who helps small business owners, if you could change something operationally day-to-day for small business owners across the board, what would that be?

Andrew Frazier: [00:13:24] Given where things are today, you have to take advantage of technology. I mean, there’s so many great things that can, save time, increase your impact, make you more productive, deliver even better. Taking advantage of that, a few things, simple, thing is just start with the calendar app. No longer having to schedule meetings, go, they’ll go back and forth. Try to schedule a meeting, social media, all those things, learning about those created my university on a platform. Never would’ve been able to do that individually, trying to write the code to do it. And there’s so many platforms that do everything that, it just allows you to do stuff you’d never be able to do never have ever been able to do in the past. Even, you’re publishing your book, think about trying to do that years ago. You couldn’t even do right. We didn’t have the capabilities.

Lori Brooks: You’re right. No technology. And of course that’s the name of the show technology equals equality, because it truly has advanced society to a point where you and I can sit here, not just have a conversation, but create a podcast, create content. That’s not just serving us, but hopefully going to serve. Thousands of entrepreneurs out there who are looking to get a little tidbit of what this journey looks like. Get a little bit of inspiration with a little bit of information so that they themselves can one day tip their toe into the pool and just start going forward, cause that’s what it takes. It really just takes for you to get started. You don’t have to ditch your day job immediately. You don’t, you, you can start your entrepreneurial journey while working and build yourself up to that point, and, really get to a place where you understand your passions, understand what your interests are and how the intersection of that alignment ready to go and ready to be monetized by the time you do decide it’s time to leave your practice, or your, current business or job, I should say, and, that’s what the show is all about. It’s really just about giving that, that bit that I don’t think, is shared as much. Andrew, thank you so much for joining us today.

Andrew Frazier: [00:15:45] Okay. No, thank you. Actually, can I mention something that I can make available to people?

Lori Brooks: [00:15:51] Of course okay.

Andrew Frazier: [00:15:52] I’m working on my next book called the Masterpreneuer playbook and I’ve written a summary of the it’s a five-step business growth plan. To take you from startup to scaling and I can make a complimentary copy of the Masterpreneur playbook summary, available to people. You can just it’s at  Definitely a good resource for entrepreneurs and business owners who are thinking about starting or growing their business.

Lori Brooks: [00:16:25] Definitely do not miss out on that guys. We will be sure to include a link on the show notes page, Andrew, thank you so much. That is very sweet of you. And I’m sure that entrepreneurs everywhere will be very grateful and appreciative for somewhat of a roadmap that doesn’t exist for them right now. Andrew, thank you. You’ve been outstanding. I truly appreciate you sharing with the community.

Andrew Frazier: [00:16:47] Okay. Great. Well, it’s a pleasure. Thank you for having me, Lori.

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