Health E-Insights: What strategic business services does Growth CEO Advisors provide?
Mr. Stevko: We help companies grow fast and also exit. For the growth phase, we often help raise capital and also do strategic mentoring. The chief executive officer (CEO) is the company’s most valuable asset, and helping a CEO improve decision making, persuasion and influence, hiring decisions, and resilience 10-50% can have seven-figure-impact on results. On the exit side, we help plan for exit, and can either lead a company through acquisition or help them choose the best M&A firm.
Health E-Insights: With so many mergers and acquisitions in the supplement industry, what trends do you see?
Mr. Stevko: Each channel has its own unique issues and strategies. The retail shelf is highly competitive and often needs the most capital, and is the most likely to have big mergers with large CPG companies where there are synergies. In the professional health channel, a lot of acquisitions have been made by pharma and private equity firms. In direct-to-consumer, I haven’t seen as many acquisitions as these companies are growing and cash-flowing for the most part. In the MLM space, a number of companies have gone public. I think future trends will include more venture-backed deals in digital health and personalized medicine. More strategic investing by large corporations is happening in healthy food and beverage, and massive growth in multiple direct-to-consumer channels.
Health E-Insights: You’ve been a mentor to many folks. Who has mentored you?
Mr. Stevko: Harold Robinson III was a great mentor. He had grown many companies in the energy space and sat on a board with me. Tim Draper the venture capitalist was an early mentor. I’ve also had wonderful virtual mentors, by modeling the strategies and mindsets of geniuses like Elon Musk, John Mackey, Walt Disney, and Richard Branson. Success leaves clues, and you can get a lot from books and interviews by people who have done what you want to do, and also by using advanced neuro linguistic programming to model their inner game.
Health E-Insights: What are your proudest accomplishments in the past five years?
Mr. Stevko: I’m very excited to have led dozens of CEOs through my strategic mentoring program to levels of greater impact, decision making, focus, presence, and results. It was also a joy to co-lead over 100 CEOs through the conscious leaders mastermind program.
Health E-Insights: What are some of the biggest business lessons you’ve learned over the years?
Mr. Stevko: Understand what you really want and focus, focus, focus. Know your big why and your core values. Learn how to identify great partners and partner with others.
Health E-Insights: What is one characteristic that you believe every business leader should possess?
Mr. Stevko: Integrity. As Warren Buffett said, he hires for integrity, because if they don’t have that, you’ve just hired a problem for yourself. I also believe emotional intelligence
will be more important than IQ in the 21st century.
Health E-Insights: What one thing do you want to accomplish in 2019?
Mr. Stevko: Build exercise back into my daily regimen.
Health E-Insights: If you could sit next to any famous person past or present, who would you choose and why?
Mr. Stevko: Milton Erickson, an American psychiatrist and psychologist specializing in medical hypnosis and family therapy. He was the father of modern hypnosis and neuro-linguistic programming. He overcame such limitations to discover so many things about how people work. He passed away in 1980. I would just want to sit and watch him have sessions with patients.
Sheldon Baker is CEO of the Baker Dillon Group LLC and has created numerous nutraceutical marketing communications and public relations campaigns for many well-known companies and brands. For Health E-Insights interview consideration or brand marketing consulting, contact Sheldon at SBaker@BakerDillon.com.