For this week’s Lending Leaders, Tim Nguyen, CEO and Co-Founder of BeSmartee, shares his thoughts on the importance of balancing good business practices with a sense of social responsibility. He delves into his family history, its impact on his business philosophy, and how that philosophy has grown with him and his company.
Like many, Tim’s entrance into the mortgage space was accidental. During his third year of college, he was hanging out with a buddy who was an appraiser. Tim learned the trade and ventured from there into origination. Where he felt most at home, however, was on the backend, crunching numbers.
He started a nationwide appraisal management company that grew into a nationwide title and escrow company, which he left in 2014.
Hearing stories of people who lost their homes due to the Great Recession had inspired Tim to design a way of originating loans that was more transparent, easier. He and his wife Veronica decided to take a year off work and gather their thoughts. Instead, they took only a month off and began working on BeSmartee.
The first step is financial sustainability. Financial controls. At BeSmartee, Tim and his team predict cashflow months in advance to ensure stability. Planning ahead means you don’t have to refinance your house to make payroll. Companies fail because they run out of cash. If you have a wonderful business and vision, but no cash, you can’t keep the lights on.
It’s actually through prudent financial planning that you put your family and employees first. It’s all about building stability that people can rely on.
Tim cites three things that make him who he is:
People start businesses for a number of reason: success, world change, money, etc. Others do it because it’s life or death. They have to make a living. For Tim, it used to be all about the entrepreneurial drive. He derived a sense of identity from his business ownership. This was his life.
But since having kids and growing as a person, he’s driven more by a sense of social responsibility and a desire to see others grow. He wants to see his family, his company, and his employees flourish.
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