I am CEO

Author Inspires and Transforms Professionals for Higher Achievement

Full Episode from I AM CEO Podcast - IAM1990

In today's rapidly evolving business landscape, the ability to adapt and transform is essential for success. But how do you navigate the complexities of multiple systems, legal frameworks, and global operations?

In this episode, we have Rick Yvanovich, a serial entrepreneur, sought-after speaker, and accountant with over 40 years of experience in leading companies to grow and optimize their operations where he shares his journey, insights, and strategies for building businesses in this “business as unusual” era.

As the founder of TRG International, Rick Yvanovich provides innovative solutions for businesses operating across different countries. TRG specializes in deploying standardized accounting systems globally, enabling companies to maintain consistency and optimize their operations regardless of their geographic presence. Rick's approach emphasizes affordability and accessibility, ensuring businesses of all sizes can benefit from these solutions.

Conclusion:
Rick Yvanovich's journey and insights inspire individuals and businesses to embrace change, continuously learn, and define their own paths forward. By providing innovative solutions and empowering professionals, Rick's work demonstrates the potential for consistently higher achievement. As we navigate this “business as unusual” era, let us remember that we have the power to shape our future and leave a lasting legacy.

building businesses in this “business as unusual” era.

As the founder of TRG International, Rick provides innovative solutions for businesses operating across different countries. TRG specializes in deploying standardized accounting systems globally, enabling companies to maintain consistency and optimize their operations regardless of their geographic presence. Rick's approach emphasizes affordability and accessibility, ensuring businesses of all sizes can benefit from these solutions.

Conclusion:
Rick Yvanovich's journey and insights inspire individuals and businesses to embrace change, continuously learn, and define their own paths forward. By providing innovative solutions and empowering professionals, Rick's work demonstrates the potential for consistently higher achievement. As we navigate this “business as unusual” era, let us remember that we have the power to shape our future and leave a lasting legacy.

Website: www.rickyvanovich.com

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Full Interview:

Transcription:

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Rick Yvanovich Teaser 00:00

So what if your business is in 20 different countries? That's 20 different systems and 20 different legal systems and statutory things. It's starting to get complicated. How the hell are you supposed to have all that experience? You don't. You come to people like us.

And we'll put exactly the same thing in. In all 20 places. So you can move your people around wherever you want, and it's exactly the same system.

Intro 00:26

Are you ready to hear business stories and learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and level up your business from awesome CEOs, entrepreneurs, and founders without listening to a long, long, long interview?

If so, you've come to the right place. Gresh values your time and is ready to share with you the valuable info you're in search of. This is the I Am CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:53

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I Am CEO podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Rick Yvanovich. Rick excited to have you on the show.

Rick Yvanovich 01:01

Yeah. Thanks for having me Gresh. And before we start, I'd like to share a quick core belief that I hold pretty dear. And that's we all have the potential to be. Architects of change in the era, in the world that we live in, it's defined by constant transformation. And our task is not just to keep up, but to actively shape the path forward.

Now, and if I look at myself, I started stacking shelves and. Learning the ropes of people management as a trainee in a supermarket chain back in the UK. And then I switched to immersing myself into the more precise world of accounting. And then later navigating the constantly evolving landscapes of tech and humans.

So my story really demonstrates the power of transformation and continuous learning. And the significant impact each one of us can make. So every single day, our actions, whether they be big or whether they be teeny tiny small, they do shape our future.

And as we discuss stuff today, I want everyone listening to remember you are your brand. And every single decision that you make is part of the unique story that you are crafting for yourself, how you react, how you adapt and how you innovate in the face of all this change that's happening to us will define your story and your legacy.

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So this belief inspiring each of us to aim for consistently higher achievement. Is the cornerstone of my work. It's my life purpose, actually. So as we dive into our conversation today, Gresh, let's not just think about adapting to change, but about how we can define the change.

After all, when we embrace our unique qualities and we strive for personal growth, we're not just participants, but we're catalysts in our ever-changing business as unusual. So let's get started Gresh.

Gresham Harkless 03:13

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Thank you, Rick. I appreciate that. And before we actually jump into the interview and hearing a little bit more about your story and all the awesome things you're doing, I want to read a little bit more about Rick so you can hear about some of those awesome things.

Rick is a serial entrepreneur, sought after speaker and accountant with over 40 years of experience, leading companies to grow his success. As a founder of TRG International. a multimillion-dollar global consulting firm. Rick has helped top hotel chains and Fortune 500 companies across the globe to implement financial management and accounting systems both on-premise and in the cloud to optimize operations.

He is passionate about sharing his business insights evidenced by his U. S. A. Today and Wall Street Journal bestsellers and his latest book, Business as Unusual. Rick is renowned for his ability to blend business acumen with techniques to inspire and transform professionals for consistently higher achievement.

And his influence spans the globe from his home in Vietnam, where he has led for 30-plus years to his speaking engagements worldwide. And Rick's life Story showcases his unrelenting commitment to empowering businesses and individuals to reach beyond their full potential. And like Rick even touched on, I really love the awesome work that he's doing.

And, really, when I was reading his book and even hearing a little bit of what he said today, just that ability to be able to transform yourself. And as he said in his book, he was an accountant by trade, but put in a lot of time, work experience to be able to understand a lot of the things that I'm sure we're going to talk about today.

And as I mentioned. wealth of knowledge, and wealth of experience, but in his mission in his book and also in everything that he does, he's it reminds me of the phrase of not forgetting about the people part of business, which we can often do when we're talking about all the other aspects of business.

And specifically in his book I love that Rick said. When we're going through this change and the transformation that's happening, as he talked about, he said that there's nothing normal about it and business remains very unusual. And I think sometimes we can say that let's return to the new normal.

That's things and phrases that I've said. But I love that Rick has said. I think we start to take power of over what's happening when we start to recognize it for what it is as an unusual and not very normal time. So Rick excited again to have you on the show. My friend. Are you ready to speak to the I Am CEO community?

Rick Yvanovich 05:26

Yeah, I'm ready Gresh fire away.

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Gresham Harkless 05:29

Let's get it started then. So to kick everything off. I know you touched on it a little bit. I wanted to delve down a little bit deeper. Hear a little bit more on how you got started what I call your CEO story.

Rick Yvanovich 05:38

Ooh, how I get started. Ooh, I didn't get off to a good start. I always thought I was that sort of straight A student in school. But when it came to taking those final exams okay. So, that's why I found myself stacking shelves in the supermarket chain because I never quite made it to university. The little did I know, I was actually doing a management trainee program.

So at that, mature age of 18, I was being told, how to manage people. And I thought it went in one ear and out the other for me and I felt a bit brain dead. And for whatever reason, and I still cannot remember why I decided I wanted to be an accountant.

So I went back to a sort of accounting school night school. Distance learning, all that kind of stuff. Became a professional accountant and started my accounting journey. In various companies in multiple industries, as an accountant long story short. I ended up working for Eventually an oil company.

They dumped me in china. They moved me to china and then they dragged me down to to where I am standing now, literally 20 meters from where the office was, which is over there. 33 years ago to help them out with something. And then I was told I'm here. This is my new posting. I got hijacked. So, that lasted for a few years.

And one of the things I've been doing as an accountant is I'm a systems accountant for many years I've been into computers and I had been for the oil company I was in, I'd already been implementing accounting systems for them wherever they sent me.

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I did it in China, I did it in Vietnam, and since I had nothing else to do, because there was nothing in Vietnam, 33 years ago the vendor asked me, would I like to become, a partner? I say, I don't know what that is, why not? And so I signed an agreement and I continued selling accounting systems.

Now, 30 years later, I'm still doing it. And we've sold it literally into 80-plus countries. So that's how it started. I could say I had this wonderful plan, but that will be a lie. I fell into it. I fell into it.

Gresham Harkless 07:53

I appreciate you sharing your story.

So is that a lot of what you all are doing at TRG International? Is it? It's really helping to provide those solutions for those businesses and make sure, They understand how valuable their most valuable asset, I guess you can say, which is their people.

Rick Yvanovich 08:08

It's not primarily the primary thing we do is still around technology. So it's still accounting systems. Everybody needs accountants all businesses need an accounting system. And what we tend to specialize in Is how to deploy the same things?

All over the place. Because at the end of the day we may live wherever we live. And okay, you're at the States. So yeah, you may understand the accounting of the States. Wonderful. But the moment you step outside that country and go somewhere else, it's different. Okay. How different is it?

It can be really different. So what if your business is in 20 different countries, you That's 20 different systems and 20 different legal systems and statutory things. It's starting to get complicated. How the hell are you supposed to have all that experience? You don't. You come to people like us. And we all put exactly the same thing in.

In all 20 places so you can move your people around wherever you want and it's exactly the same system and it works exactly the same way and everything adds up nicely and we deal with all the 20 different things that are happening.

That's what we tend to specialize in and we can do it. All over the place.

Gresham Harkless 09:21

Nice. I appreciate you sharing that. I almost wonder if that's like part of the secret sauce, the thing that makes you and the organization unique.

Rick Yvanovich 09:27

In a lot of cases you need a specialist who's not cheap to help you. Our approach is slightly different. So we want to make it affordable.

So, you know, if you live in London, or you live in New York your purchasing power is like that, so you better be having a price point that's like that. If you are in some lesser-developed country, you don't have the

same purchasing power, so you should be able to get The same thing at a fraction off the cost.

Gresham Harkless 09:59

Yeah, that makes so much sense. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit, and I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. And you might have already touched on this, but it could be like an Apple book or even a habit that you have. But what's something that you feel like makes you more effective and efficient?

Rick Yvanovich 10:12

To me my, what are my core belief for myself? I think I, it's my second one, is Kaizen. And my interpretation and application of Kaizen is constant improvement. And the twist that I put on it is not just constant improvement of processes, because it's usually in the workplace, like how can we make it better?

It's constant improvement of self. Otherwise known as lifelong learning. Alright, so the aim is that every single day you must learn something. Every single day you must learn something. It's that simple.

And I'm a great reader. I love reading. And I devour books. I just absolutely devour them. So I encourage everybody to read every single day. Read 10 pages a book. Read 20 pages a book.

If you haven't got a book, if you can't pick it up, you don't want to read it listen to an audiobook.

Gresham Harkless 11:11

Absolutely. No, I love that.

Rick Yvanovich 11:13

So here's another golden nugget. It's a sort of philosophy that that I started taking on when I first read it back in, ooh, I think it must have been 10 years ago or something like that.

And actually, in that story, I was at a conference in the States, in Waco, in Texas, actually. And I was walking across the car park and my mentor was just walking towards me and he just handed me a book. I thought, what's this? He says, Rick, it's a book. He says, read it. And it's called, it was called The Slight Edge.

I said, what is it? He said, it's this, just read it, just read it.

So I did. And on my, on the plane on the way back, I opened the book and I read it. By the time it got to the other end, I didn't sleep. And the book's The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. Okay. And there's a great quote, which I actually put in the book.

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It says, for things to change, you've got to change. So, you were talking about that earlier question, that's transformation, right? For things to get better, you've got to get better. Yeah, you know, that's a bit obvious. It's this is the key thing. It says it's easy to do, but it's easy not to do.

And what he's talking about there is these little since the changes are so small that we can do, we could we're making choices all the time. Should I do this? Should I not do this? Okay, and it's easy to do it and it's easy not to do it

Gresham Harkless 12:47

there you go. So truly appreciate that. So speaking of that, what would you consider to be your answer to my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO.

And our goal is to have different quote-unquote CEOs on the show. So Rick, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Rick Yvanovich 13:03

Tough one. Here where I am in Vietnam A lot of people say that CEO means chief entertainment officer, entertainment officer. Culture here is a little bit different. I'm a Brit, obviously, so I can't, I'm different already from the States.

But the culture is different. So it's chief entertainment officer. We're trying to keep. Everybody entertained, trying to keep the staff, trying to keep our employees entertained all the time.

I think I look at it two things. I used to be a chief everything officer as in, this is my company. And I built it up starting with one person, me, okay, and I prided myself for many, many years that I could do every single job in the company because I had done it. Okay.

Rick Yvanovich 13:53

Which seemed obvious, right? It seemed obvious until in the last 12 months when I've been doing all this work on myself again, because of this long COVID, which. It didn't just stop me running. Okay. It, I have other issues. Okay. My smell has gone. My taste has gone or it's, it's about 70, 70 percent now. And then someone's pointed out to hey It's your business I know it's very big.

It's your business and you love working, but you're not supposed to be working in the business. You're supposed to be working on the business. And so I've switched now to bringing in the right people. To do the business better than I can. And so I see myself more of a chief evangelist Officer so I'm more of the face of the company.

I'm the one who's there to try and lift everybody up Utilize my coaching skills my people skills because I can see the good in people I can see the potential in people.

So I see as a chief evangelist because, I just feel that's the role that I personally should be for them, if it's me.

Gresham Harkless 15:06

Yeah, I love that definition and that perspective, that evangelism.

So Rick truly appreciate that. Of course, I appreciate your time even more. So what I wanted to do now was pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional that you can let our readers and listeners know. And of course, how best people can get all of you. Find out about your book and all the awesome things that you are working on.

Rick Yvanovich 15:25

Okay. So, listeners who are interested in continuing this conversation and learning maybe more about me or exploring more insights from my journey or want to know more about my book. The best places go to my website. Which is my name, rickyvanovich.com. Okay?

Also, I'm a fan of LinkedIn, and you can find me there. Just search my name, Rick Yvanovich and I believe there is only one person with that name on LinkedIn.

Gresham Harkless 16:00

I appreciate you, Rick. And of course, we're going to have the links and information in the show notes to make it even easier, even though there's only one Rick.

Even if it's out there, we're still gonna make it even easier for people to find you. Thank you so muchand I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Rick Yvanovich 16:12

Thanks very much Gresh.

Outro 16:13

Thank you for listening to the I Am CEO podcast, powered by CB Nation and Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co. I Am cEO is not just a phrase, it's a community.

Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google podcast, and everywhere you listen to podcasts.

Subscribe and leave us a five-star rating. This has been the I Am CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless Jr. Thank you for listening.

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