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Ralph Shale: Crisis Management, Business Freedom & the Rise of Fractional CFOs – Episode 100

3 top tips from Ralph Shale.

1. If you can get some headspace start to really think about what it is you want out of the out of the business and either what sort of time frame.

2. Have a goal that you actually will never achieve.

I was listening to a person working in venture capital, and she actually said, You’ll, this is for the really high growth, really ambitious companies, you’ll probably have a goal that you actually will never achieve. But you’ve got to sit there and go on changing the world. And then you then you work out what the next sort of steps as he Break it, break it down, but but clearly understanding what you, your family, and others. And if you’ve got multiple shareholders, trying to make sure that you’re sort of a light on what people want out of it, or at least understand that, you know

3.To build confidence with your team and the people around you.

To build confidence with your team and the people around you so early, I sort of said, Look, you know, if you’re gonna raise money, let’s think through it. Let’s take a couple of steps so that we can show the bank Look, we’ve made this change. This is what’s happening. Early in those stages, pick some easy ones, pick some stuff, you know, you’re going to win, because all it does is give people confidence. If you’ve stopped failing all along, then the bigger vision gave people challenge.

Episode 100 Better Business Better Life - Ralph Shale



people, bank, cfo, business, companies, recession, new zealand, talk, clients, started, work, sit, understand, specialized roles, interesting, raise, freedom, investors, options, funding


Ralph Shale  00:00

The times I get told this is a once in 100 year event I go well, I’ve SARS. Yep, I’ve done 911 Yeah, I’ve done the GFC COVID. And there was an Asian financial crisis in Europe. So, so almost, there is always a crisis somewhere going on. It may not affect your business, but it’s going to be affecting some.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  00:23

So Good morning, and Welcome to another episode of Better Business Better Life. Today, I’m joined in studio by Ralph Shale, who is a business growth advisor, particularly focused on high growth businesses. So welcome to Studio.

Ralph Shale  00:35

Thanks very much.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  00:36

It’s really good to have you here. So we’ve met, I actually can’t remember how we met. But we met sort of through I think, mutual acquaintances, and we had a bit of a chat and we share similar philosophies on on the way business should be run and and certainly around the creating freedom doing what you love, etcetera, etcetera. So why don’t you just tell the listeners a little bit about you and where you’ve come from?

Ralph Shale  00:55

Yeah, that’s, that’s a long story, which I’ll keep short. Probably following about 15 odd years in traditional corporate environments, both within banking and corporate side, I got involved in 2000, with some friends, and we established a business that was looking to help early stage companies raise capital and commercialize. So the last 22 years has been working with a whole range of New Zealand companies. And whether that’s raising capital, whether it’s helping them with strategic partnerships, we’ve done some sort of management buyouts and those sorts of things. So very much in the sort of small, smaller businesses, early stage businesses, it was just an area that I’m really fascinated with, and really enjoy.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  01:42

Excellent. So can you give us some examples of clients that you’ve worked with?

Ralph Shale  01:46

Yeah, look over that, over that time. And then I was talking to somebody yesterday, the other week about sort of the success of the New Zealand gave me an industry and I recalled that in the early days, you know, wet a workshop was around and starting, there was a whole lot of companies spinning out of, you know, the, the Lord of the Rings work and creating new technology. So go back then, early adviser to Rocket Lab, mainly prior to prior to Peter actually getting some decent funding. But yes, very early stage advisor there. I’ve got clients that I’ve worked with, for, you know, eight or nine years that are now finally starting to get the right sort of traction, you know, Product Market Fit and stuff like that. So, so there’ll be more coming out.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  02:35

Excellent. And so in terms of your, one of the things you’re most proud of, I suppose in your life, I always ask my guests that. So what’s your one thing you might have had it professionally, and then also, personally, as well.

Ralph Shale  02:45

Like on the professional side, I mean, there’s, there’s been some, some successes, and then I wasearly employee of Bankers Trust in the mid 80s, when we set up in New Zealand, that became a very, very successful dream, much focused on what it could do in New Zealand was my pressures from a whole lot of people to do other things. But if I look back at it probably is, and I read the other day that, you know, rocket labs looking to hire another 150 people there at 1500. So a lot of my professional satisfaction is actually around the success of, of clients. And as I said, I mean, this week, hopefully, Touchwood I’ve got a client that will raise less than 500,000 in bank funding. But that’s a huge success. They’ve gone from, you know, trying to develop technologies scraping around to keep in business. And suddenly, they can raise $500,000 from a bank. So they’ve grown up. And, but not with huge growth potential. So but I’ve finally got themselves sorted. So yeah, a lot of a lot of professional satisfaction is around the achievements of clients. On the personal side, that’s interesting.Today’s my 24th wedding anniversary, which when we booked deny what I sort of forgotten that, but.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  04:10

Are you in trouble?

Ralph Shale  04:11

Well, we my wife and I are both equally in trouble, because she also does a lot of consulting and stuff. And so between us, we always end up with one of us having clients that have got issues. So yeah, 24 years married late start on that. Two great kids. So yeah, that’s probably the on the personal side that the greatest and the last 12 months lost 30 Well lost 40 kgs and put about 10 of them back on. So it’s still a massive achievement. So post post Christmas, we’ll try and lose. Lose the final 10.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  04:45

That’s awesome. Out of interest, how did you do that? What was the what was the reason for wanting to and then how did you actually stick to it?

Ralph Shale  04:54

The reason I suppose the reason I just looked at myself one, probably Yeah, it was probably two years ago. And it was really in the last year that it’s in just to put on too much weight and started doing the same stuff that I’d always done, which was cut back alcohol, a bit more exercise. And I’ve done that time and time again. The thing that I did differently this time was I started doing meditation. And I’ve stopped doing that as regularly as I should. And that’s why the weights go back on so so we’ll start doing that again. And I think that just clears the mind. And, and helps to sort of focus the stress. So

Debra Chantry-Taylor  05:35

I think great breathing is actually really, really important in weight loss. And often when you meditate, it’s the only time that you’re actually paying attention to your breathing.

Ralph Shale  05:44

Yeah, look, I think. So, you know, as I say, I’ve done it, tried to do it, probably since I was, you know, University and beyond. And,and this this time, it’s largely worked. And I’ve got to get back into meditation to lose the final 10 kgs. So.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  06:01

 I still get results.

Ralph Shale  06:02


Debra Chantry-Taylor  06:03

Cool. Okay, so we’re talking about creating freedom today, right? Because that’s one of your passions, as is mine. Tell me a little bit about what you mean by that. What does freedom mean to you?

Ralph Shale  06:14

I suppose, for me personally, it’s an it was an interesting comment. When I first moved, I met my wife and I was a finance person. And she was sort of in the communications and, and I told her, is that right? We’re a lot of that. I talked about having money, but not from the point of view of wealth, but from the ability that that gives you the choice to do things. So for me, creating freedom is creating an environment where you can actually have choices where you have options. And so probably using a Finance Finance team, you have the option around doing something so you can make decisions without having to go, can I afford it? And working with a lot of early stage companies, cash has always been the issue. So you sort of sit there and go, should we do this? They go, we’d love to, but how do we fund it? Or how do we finance it all? You know, so. So for me creating freedom is is around having an environment where you’ve got choices. So and that might be personal choices, that might be financial choices, that might be anything so. And obviously what freedom means for every individual is totally different. So that’s one of the things so recently joined the CFO Center, which is a global firm of corporate CFOs, who have decided to sort of work in the SME space. And that’s one of the key things that they focus on is what are the owners actually want from the business? And they talk about the numbers that matter. And we’re not talking sales or profit. We’re going what is it that really matter? So could be for an owner that they want to work three days a week? Yep. So you’re sitting there going, you’re probably working seven, how do we create a visit environment that allows you to get to work in three days a week or client testimonials? One said that the number that mattered to this person was to and it was the number of birthdays that she missed with her kids because she was busy. So of course, that was the motivation was how do I make sure that I’m not missing birthdays, because I’m having to work so.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  08:32

That’s fair enough. And so CFO, the CFO center. It’s interesting, though, because you’re not necessarily a full time CFO for these companies. You are what I would call a fractional CFO, which means you’re doing a period of time with each company that you work with. How does that work?

Ralph Shale  08:49

Yeah, look, it’s it’s, it’s exactly that. So it is not a permanent role. We call them part time CFOs and are interested in induction that was discussed, but this was sort of company set up 21 years ago where fractionalized roles didn’t exist.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  09:08

Yeah. So they have created to be fair, it’s still it’s still reasonably new in New Zealand, I think. I mean, in America, we talk about a lot, right? What about fractional integrators, fractional CFO is fractional, you know, we understand that you don’t actually need the old model of having somebody full time in a role for those hire more specialized roles. You’re actually better to have somebody who is super skilled in that area and an expert in that area, but working for a shorter period of time.

Ralph Shale  09:29

Yeah. So so the end that’s exactly it. So this, these are, probably I’m the exception, but most of them have come out of larger corporates. So they’ve got that discipline, they are CFOs and they’re not it’s not an accountant that’s trying to take that next step. So our focus is very much at that very strategic end of the business, overseen getting the the base right but very much focused at the top end. So for a lot of companies, they don’t need somebody doing that role full time. So they might be still growing. And they need somebody to fill that role, whether it’s one day a week, two days a week, or whatever, it is just somebody who will come in and have that, that oversight. It might be that overtime that roll grows. And, in fact, part of our success would be that we do ourselves out of the job, because you get to a point where they sit there and go, we’ve grown big enough, we actually need somebody full time to be fully in this role. And then we would step out of that business. And bring somebody had to do that full time. So as they’re sorry, your level of it is that level of next level of expertise and, and, and capability.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  10:47

Yeah, I was gonna say my experience working in mid sized businesses is often that they, they’ll have a full time, I’m gonna say accounts person, but they’re trying to be a bookkeeper or an accountant or financial management accountant. And nobody can be all of that, right. They’re quite specialized roles. And if you’ve got somebody who is particularly good at bookkeeping, the lower end stuff, they’re probably not strategic in the way that they actually think in the way they manage finances. So bringing in a CFO or fractional CFO, gives you the ability to tap into that expertise around the strategic financial decision making rather than the day to day, bookkeeping and accounts. Is that fair?

Ralph Shale  11:20

Yeah, look, I think that each client is going to have a slightly different requirement. And so yeah, the first client I’ve got is got exactly that they’ve got their own finance team. And they outsource to they use a big, top tier, our top six accounting firm for tax and doing a lot of that stuff. And it’s just that that’s, it’s rapidly growing. So the issue becomes around how do we fund this? They’ve got some smart IP they’ve developed. So the question becomes, how do we actually commercialize that outside of our current market, so so there’s lots of quite strong strategic issues that that need to be bought. And so and that’s where it is, I mean, one of one of the guys, we, that works with us, you know, they found themselves actually doing the accounting because for a period, they feared that the accountant had gone, they said, We’ll do this, but this is not where we really want to spend our time. So value, added a transaction you gave, make sure that work was being done, while they found the right person to replace that.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  12:30

Good idea? Absolutely. Okay. So what are the What are the reasons somebody might consider bringing somebody in externally?

Ralph Shale  12:43

It again, it will vary. I mean, It’s interesting, I think, both locally and around the world, quite often, there’ll be a problem, they’ll have a cash flow issue or, and we’re about to face at the bank or start to ask them questions. And they want somebody sort of to come in with a higher skill base and an external view.Or they’re sitting there and they are growing, and they go, and we just need to accept. Or you’ve got a founder who’s decided that they may want to transition out of the business. And so they’re sort of sitting there going, we’ve got three years we wanting to exit, and then you go through the whole, you’ve got to get everything into shape, you want to make sure this is presented properly. And you want to work through that. So the plan, I think, probably a lot of times it will be crisis or problem late.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  13:35


Ralph Shale  13:57

And I suppose there’s others that we’ll see as they grow, they just need some additional resources. So you might have investors who go look, we need somebody in here who can provide that strategy, but we don’t need to be paying somebody full time. Yeah.

Ralph Shale 14:13


Debra Chantry-Taylor  14:14

Okay. And what are the biggest pitfalls? Or the biggest challenges that you see clients have that they come to you with?

Ralph Shale  14:29

Yeah, where I met and I think we’re most it will come around cash flow funding, and because that’s the one that really gets people to, you know, suddenly when you’re sitting there going, I can’t make payroll. You go, I’ve got an issue and it’s actually really surprising. And what what a lot of people don’t realize is that actually very successful companies that are growing very quickly, will often run into cashflow problems. Yes. Because you know, you’ve you’ve got more working capital. So you got more stock, you’ve got greater data as you’ve got more assets deployed and stuff. So,

Debra Chantry-Taylor  15:04

Yeah, so cash flow isn’t necessarily negative thing. And it isn’t necessarily that the company hasn’t been run well, it’s actually can be a side effect of massive growth.

Ralph Shale  15:12

Yes. And, of course, what we’ve what we’ve got happening now in the economy is obviously COVID creates a whole lot of issues. But, you know, we’re talking about recessions we’re talking about, there’s no doubt that some of the banks are tightening, what the lending. You know, for a lot of SMEs, the banks will be looking at, you know, the house or the mortgage, and, and all of those sorts of things to fund so. So cash flow is going to become a problem for a lot of businesses. And actually, if we go back, and, you know, we, I’m old enough to have lived through a number of cycles, but that for a lot of companies, you know, the last real heavy recession was probably 2008. And say, you’ve got a lot of people, not just The entrepreneurs, but you’ve also actually got a lot of the financing. So the bank, people making credit decisions and banks or investors, the venture capital firms or have not lived through that, and all they’ve lived through as a as a period of boom, and glinting into a booming markets easy. So there, there has to be some issues around. Yeah, with what we’ve got is just not only how your business reacts, but how the banks react.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  16:37

So it will be some tightening a purse strings, there’ll be some decisions that they make around who they will and what lenders do you think I mean, I don’t know. I also lived through a few, a couple of recessions myself, but I’m in terms of the suppose that upcoming recession, do you think that there will be some banks who will actually start pulling things back and saying we want that repaid? Or why do you why do you think is going ahead?

Ralph Shale  16:59

Well, I think I think there’s no doubt that some of the banks have pulled back as the the party that we’ve just got funded through on the banks mean, I’ve actually said that they had done deals earlier in the year that probably now they wouldn’t be doing that affects the new stuff. Yeah. So that pulls back. I’d be very surprised. I’d be very surprised if the banks here in New Zealand actually start to ask for or start to pull money back. Because they they understand that that causes a problem, what we’ll see is the bank will go if if, if a company turns up and says, Look, we need another 50,000 on our overdraft. They might sit there and go, Well, they’re not prepared to do that. And we want somebody to come in and have a decent look at what’s going on. Yeah. That’s probably be better been done ahead of talking to the banks, rather than talking to the bank and the bank, then saying, well, actually, we want you to go and do this.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  18:25

And it’s kind of true, isn’t it? You’ve always got to be thinking about these things way before you actually need them. Because if you leave it to the last minute, then you’re going to run into some issues. So in general terms, I mean, let’s just say business is listening, and they’re going, Hey, look, we know we’re going to see some potential cash flow issues coming up in the next six months, when would you suggest is the best time to actually start thinking about, you know, getting things ready for a bank? Is it more than six months? Okay, good. Yeah.

Ralph Shale  18:50

The sooner you start, the sooner you start to address it. And I’ll defend the banks to a degree. I’ve been approached by a lot of companies who go we’ve talked to the banks and they won’t lend us money and you go, well, actually, it’s not their job to lend you money where you are, you’re by talking to the banks, you’re talking to the wrong person. Yep. So this is no different to marketing, if you’re a small SME selling widgets to small customers, yeah. You know, you know that if you’re gonna go and knock on, you know, fronteiras door, they’re likely to say no thanks. You know, you’ve got to identify who your target market is. So when you’re raising debt or equity, you are in the business of business to business selling, but your product is your company, not your product. So it’s one of those things identify who the likely investors are, who the right investors are, and spend your time, you know, talking to them and present in the way that they would understand. So a lot of times can be spent chasing the last investor. And yes, you’re you’re right, it’s impossible, you’re not not going to invest.And so you can waste a lot of time.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  21:02

So it’s a really interesting, isn’t it? Because I mean, people always naturally fall to the bank. I mean, that’s the the obvious choice. But there are many, many different options out there, depending what you’re trying to do. You know, you got venture capitalists, you’ve got potentially early stage angel investors, you’ve got second tier lending firms that what are the other options out there? Asset finance?

Ralph Shale  21:20

 Yeah, look, you’ve got asset financing, you’ve got better financing. You’ve got the ability to lease as opposed to buy an assets.You can look at, you know, one of the options, if you’re, if you really are is looking at better terms with your customers, get them to pay sooner.Try and stretch out your creditors pay them on longer terms. Yeah, angel investing in venture capital.Private equity, there’s, there’s there’s lots of options. I mean, the challenge for the challenge for true sort of SMEs, yeah, those there are a lot of options. And if we look at a lot of people talk about venture capital, but if you’re talking pure venture capital, they invest in absolute game changes. So if you aren’t, and that’s

Debra Chantry-Taylor  22:13

You got to run on the board, you got to be sure that you’re a sustainable business, and that you have the ability to 10 10x Pretty much.

Ralph Shale  22:19

Yeah. And that’s the business model. Now, the Angel Network slightly different. There’s also sort of family offices, and there are other investors around. It’s not it’s not easy. I sort of thinking that, you know, what, privato, you know, so when I worked for the bank, we advised a company on buying during the management buyout.And they did some really interesting things, once they owned the company. The cars got leased. Yeah, they were big enough that they couple of their core suppliers, they were able to say, well, you know, delivered us stuff to our warehouse, that will tell you when we’ve used it, and then we’ll pay you 30 days after we’ve used it. So that freed up a lot of they had a lot of stock. But they were big enough that the supply suddenly went well. You know, if these guys walk away from us, we’re in a bit of trouble. And very quickly freed up quite a lot of, of capital and move. It’s interesting, when we bought it, we will cause telling the offshore owners that we had to replace a piece of machinery because it wasn’t fully functioning. Reality was that it was a printer. And it was a six color printer. And it was only printed in five colors. So we’ll see it’ll have to be replaced. So of course that got factored into the purchase price. Reality was they never printed more than four colors on it.Yeah, so there are ways to free up cash. A lot of it could be just collecting data. Faster. Stretching credit terms. Yeah.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  23:57

Excuse my dog. Dogs. Yeah, they’re always joining in. Somebody’s coming. I didn’t like that. So good. Yeah. Okay. So I think it comes back to the the, I think this what we talked about before the podcast is like, Ah, it’s about being really clear on what your plans, isn’t it and knowing what you’ve got coming up in the future and being prepared for that. So you can then start to look for the things that will help you to achieve that vision that you’ve got.

Ralph Shale  24:19

Yeah, yeah. It’s, it’s.And it’s interesting, we’re going to the CFO center and then aligned when we sat down and I went through ELS with you, I sat there and thought there’s an overlap, but most of it say effect.Trying to change when you’re in crisis, you get into crisis mode, and then you do stuff to survive.Obviously, from my point of view, as a as a founder of a business or an owner of the business.It’s the big picture stuff as What do you want out of a business and then starting to understand. What that is?As it’s as I’ve said before, it’s not necessarily purely financial, it’s about personal ambitions and bits and pieces and what’s driving you and from most really successful entrepreneurs, it’s not about money per se, for smaller businesses might just be the freedom to be your own boss or whatever. So understanding what that is, and then setting in place, a view of how we want to be in was it five years time or 10 years time? Yeah. And then starting to understand how can I build towards then how can I build resilience into the business so that when stuff happens, and stuff always happens? At times, I get told, you know, oh, you know, this is a once in 100 year, event, I go, Well, I started in VT. I started in this early stage, probably 2003 crash. So I’ve I’ve done SARS. Yep, I’ve done 911. Yeah, I’ve done the GFC COVID. And there was an Asian financial crisis in Europe. So So almost, there is always a crisis somewhere going on, it may not affect your business, but it’s going to be affecting somebody. So building that  resilience. And again, so it gives you options, to be able to say when you get to a point, actually, I’ve got choice here, I scale back and just hunker down and get through it. Or actually, I get proactive and actually go after bigger market share, because others in that I’m competing with are probably struggling. So all of us,

Debra Chantry-Taylor  26:37

I think it’s I always say this, you know, when we’re about to go into a potential recession is actually a great opportunity. Because if you actually got all your ducks in a row, you’re really clear about what your vision is. And you’re really clear about who you’re targeting and what you’re offering, there is an opportunity to actually really gain market share, because a lot of people don’t have those plans. And so you’ve got you’ve got a one up advantage against them.

Ralph Shale  26:56

Look, it’s it’s, and now that’s a really interesting point because I, I joined I’ll call it DB group in it early 1990s, as the treasurer, he had, and it wasn’t called that back then. And we had some interesting challenges. But it was interesting, because we started to raise funds. And so I cos went to a number of the banks and the BMZ turned up. And my boss sat there and said,almost, when I’m sitting there going, we tried to raise money. And he sat there and says, Where have you been for the last five years, you know, with a client of yours. And you’ve had your head buried and trying to deal with all of the 1987 stock market crash and all the bits and pieces. And you suddenly realize that that here he was going, he was a good customer. And the bank got diverted to looking after the bad stuff. Yeah, that the daughter? Yep. So the same thing happens is in a recession, you might have competitors who have got really good customers, but all their focus shifts to other parts of the business, there’s an opportunity to walk into that, that customer and say, Well, look, we’re still here, we’re here to talk to you, you know, if you’re unhappy if you’re unhappy, let’s let’s talk about change. So you, you are right.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  28:17

Yeah, I also think it’s a real opportunity, maybe we’re gonna say we’re going to cut back on things like sales and marketing, probably the best time to be investing in sales and marketing. And I’m sure your wife would agree, it’s like getting that communications stronger in that time, you’re actually in a less crowded market. And well, if you notice is that on a personal level, you know, when when we had COVID, the amount of people who suddenly jumped onto LinkedIn and social media, they’ve never been there before. But they will start to pull out again as they go through a recession potentially. So if you can be consistent, it’s a great opportunity.

Ralph Shale  28:46

It’s an it’s a game that the CFO center it’s a it’s an interesting discussion, because they do a lot of online activity pri COVID. So a lot of their sales marketing was, you know, LinkedIn messages and bits and pieces, but you’re absolutely right. As soon as COVID happened as soon as people started looking at you ended up with a whole lot of other people marketing in that space, and it got noisy really noisy. And and you know, sales sales leads probably telling stories out of school, but so yeah, the channels changed and there’s best spending and we’re spending time looking at what are alternative ways of building next sales channel. Going into the recession, if you can afford it is probably a good thing. Because people will be looking around people will be frustrated or they’ll get concerned about a supplier or what have you. So people normally don’t like changing and unless something causes a change. People don’t go actively out there changing banks much hygiene find companies quite complacent. Yeah. So when there was a disruption, there will be a bunch of people out there for whatever reason will start to actually look around when historically, they probably wouldn’t. Yes.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  30:13

So yeah, real opportunities. Okay, because there’s so much we could talk about. But we’re already we’ve already got an out 30 minutes, which is because time flies a top three tips, what would be your top three tips for people listening in today around creating freedom?

Ralph Shale  30:29

Yeah, look, I I go back toif you can get some headspace start to really think about what it is you want out of theout of the business and either what sort of timeframe? And a lot of founders don’t and, and so it’s really what you want? What? Over what timeframe?

Debra Chantry-Taylor  30:53

Yeah. And I think one of my favorite sayings is like, if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there. So having that clarity, even in the long term, if you don’t, you’re not quite sure how you’re gonna get there. But that’s your clear vision, you’re more likely to actually achieve that.

Ralph Shale  31:06

Yes, yeah. And interesting, I was listening to a person working in venture capital, and she actually said, You’ll, this is for the really high growth, really ambitious companies, you’ll probably have a goal that you actually will never achieve. But you’ve got to sit there and go on changing the world. And then you then you work out what the next sort of steps as he Break it, break it down, but but clearly understanding what you, your family, and others. And if you’ve got multiple shareholders, trying to make sure that you’re sort of a light on what people want out of it, or at least understand that, you know, Jane wants to stay in the business for 15 years, and you only want to be there five. So can we build a plan around how we can transition. Then once you understand that, where you are, and where you want to get to you can build a pathway to say, Okay, how do we start with steps? And I’d go if it’s a five year vision, you know, where do we want to be in three? Where do we want to be in one? Where do we want to be in 90 days, and it’s all of the stuff that you talk about, which is break it down into little pieces?

Debra Chantry-Taylor  32:50

Well, we always like to start with the end in mind. It’s Stephen Covey, right, start with the end in mind, this is where you’re headed, and then start to work backwards until you get it down to bite sized chunks. Yes, because otherwise, we get overwhelmed this huge vision for most people. It’s like, I’ve got no idea how we’re going to do that. Don’t worry about that. And that’s where we’re headed. What is it like in five years, three years, one year, and then 90 days, and only focus on the most important things in the next 90 days?

Ralph Shale  33:13

Well, yes, getting the getting the right resources and different. So different people might focus on different parts of that. Yep, that pathway. But I was lucky enough I, I was at a lecture which was given by a retired four star US General. And he talked about transforming the US military. And his argument was every the first battle of every war that the US entered into, they got their backsides.They were never prepared. And see, they see it until the first Kuwait, Gulf War when they basically sorted that and in one go. And he always talked about transformation being exactly what we’re talking about is, find some ones, find some little stuff that you can go, oh, we achieved this. Yeah. Because even though that may not get you miles down the track, it gets people going, Oh, we can make a change, we can get something successful. So it’s, so even if

Debra Chantry-Taylor  34:14

it builds momentum, right, you’re taking a step forward, even though you might take a couple back, you’re still moving forward, as opposed to taking something really huge kind of failing at it and then going, Oh, we can’t do this. Yeah.

Ralph Shale  34:24

And to build confidence with your team and the people around you so early, I sort of said, Look, you know, if you’re gonna raise money, let’s think through it. Let’s take a couple of steps so that we can show the bank Look, we’ve made this change. This is what’s happening. Early in those stages, pick some easy ones, pick some stuff, you know, you’re going to win, because all it does is give people confidence. If you’ve stopped failing all along, then the bigger vision gave people challenge. Sorry, no.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  34:49

I love it. Okay, that’s great. Hey, look, if people want to find out more about this and specifically talk to you around their creating freedom financially, and otherwise, how do they get ahold of yourself?

Ralph Shale  34:59

I’m on LinkedIn.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  35:00


Ralph Shale  35:01

Well,I think there’s only one of me. And or the CFO Center in New Zealand has a landing page if you want to talk to the CFO center. Yep.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  35:17

Excellent. And just a little bit about, you know, so in terms of the process when you work with a client, what does that look like? So somebody’s been listening to this and go, I want to attract a Ralph, what usually happens?

Ralph Shale 35:28

First thing would be exactly that is just let’s sit down, have a chat about coffee for an hour or so. Yep, get to know each talk about what the issues are trying to understand where to go. The CFO said a really interestingly, he has a whole lot of questions and answers and has assessments to do so part of that process is, is almost pulling back and looking at we have a 12 box, looking at each of those boxes, and then try and identify two or three that really need some attention.

Ralph Shale  36:00

It’s getting to know people. I haven’t had to approach that I’ll happily sit down with anyone for half an hour or an hour. They want to pick my brains about what their options are around funding I’ve been I’m happy to have that conversation. I’m happy to say look, I think you can go and talk to these three people. And if you want an introduction, I’ll do an intro, but that’s always because a lot of times it’s not till, you know, two years down the track when they suddenly go oh, actually what was really important. Let’s, let’s chat. So yeah,

Debra Chantry-Taylor  36:31

Fantastic. Okay, that’s great. So, Rochelle on LinkedIn, or the CFO Center in New Zealand, Ralph’s, happy to chat with you about your different options and things. Have a coffee catch up. Sounds great. Thank you very, very much for your time. Thank you for coming in. I’d be not in too much trouble with your wife. I will get you some chocolate steak.

Ralph Shale  36:49

Equally, equally responsible for this one. Fair enough. We’ve still got the rest of the date sought out.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  36:54

Excellent. Okay, well, we’ll leave it to the rest of day. Thank you for your time. Look forward catching again soon.




Debra Chantry-Taylor 

Professional EOS Implementer | Entrepreneurial Leadership & Business Coach | Business Owner

#betterbusinessbetterlife #entrepreneur #leadership #eosimplementer #professionaleosimplementer #entrepreneurialbusinesscoach

Professional EOS Implementer New Zealand

Professional EOS Implementer  Australia

Professional EOS Implementer UK

Professional EOS Implementer NZ

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