Frank Cottle is CEO of Alliance Virtual Offices and Chairman of the Alliance Business Centers Network. Since launch, AVO now reaches over 700 locations worldwide. He is a recognized expert on flexible working, the virtual office movement and ‘third place’ working. Prior to creating the Alliance brand, Frank successfully operated his own portfolio of business centers in multiple locations across North America.
Frank has spent almost the past 30 years delivering business services that are finely tuned to the workplace needs of startups, entrepreneurs and growing SMBs. Over the years he has worked with tens of thousands of business owners and, coupled with a unique global management perspective, has become the go-to authority on flexible and remote work.
Time Stamped Show Notes
[3:20] Starting at 1979, The Alliance Business Center group now has 700 locations in 52 countries.
[4:28] Getting to work, being honest and staying around is the key to building a successful business.
[6:21] Transitioning from an industry that had nothing to do with real estate, the need for an experienced partner was true but picking the right partner is elemental and key to building a business.
[8:34] Doing business with someone and becoming friends with them can make us take a subjective decision of choosing a partner, that can sometimes be a wrong choice.
[9:36] Despite having great creative capabilities, a strong will is what failed Frank in order to take the decisions and because of that, some problems arose.
[10:50] Part of taking the second position on decisions was because of the lack of experience but seeing the partner over time taking more and doing less, was a sign that the partnership wasn’t working as it should.
[12:41] The defining moment of this partnership not working was when after an audit, they found that the other partner was using the money inappropriately.
[14:35] After recognizing the problem, what was left was to decide and take action on the issue, which happened after an extraordinary board meeting.
[16:13] Knowing when to undo a decision is a key element to succeed or failing in business.
[17:10] The lesson of making a mistake and living with it for longer than needed is what led Frank to make decisions quickly.
[19:00] Don’t forgive who has done you wrong but don’t dwell on it. Learn the lesson and move on and prepare for the future.
[21:56] Failing Forward Segment
- What is the bottom line reason of this failure? – “I’m a really nice good and I’ve always taken people at their word and sometimes that’s not the way of the world.”
- What is the single most important lesson they and you learned from this? – “I’ll stick with decision making. Not having people within the company that make decisions is what slows down a company.”
- What are the major ways you protect yourself from future failures? – “We don’t have any outside investment and that pressure is removed from our decision making process. We have an executive committee and we run everything by that crew. Ultimately I make the decision with the input from them.”
- Who do you turn to when you need help? – “I turn to our industry. You should gather information which turns into knowledge and that becomes actionable.”
- What advice would you give to someone in a similar position? – “I think financial control in the company.”
[30:14] Mobility in the workspace by technology and globalization are part of the generational changes happening now.
[36:03] You can connect with Frank and learn about establishing virtual offices globally you go to www.alliancevirtualoffices.com and anyone seeking to learn about the industry and how it works. Also at the largest news and information resource: www.allwork.space
[37:11] Frank’s final thought: “Just enjoy things, just enjoy life. Don’t stress the small stuff. We can all succeed in business but it’s more important to succeed in life.”