Sheldon Lavin is a highly successful Chicago businessman. He is the owner and chief executive officer of OSI Group. He was an independent financial consultant focused on companies in the food industry when one client, Otto & Sons, ended up changing his life. Learn More about Lavin at angel.co.
He became a consultant because he wanted to help entrepreneurs grow their companies. He focused on companies in the food and consumer products industries. Sheldon Lavin says he was nervous about his skills when he started as a consultant but once he experienced success those feelings disappeared.
When he was hired by Otto & Sons as a consultant it was a small food company that was looking to expand. However, they needed money to do so. Sheldon Lavin thought they could succeed and he turned out to be right. A year later, the company was delivering processed meat to restaurants across the United States. He learned he was able to build large-scale operations from this experience. He became the CEO not long after this company changed its name to OSI Group. “OSI” is a nod to Otto & Sons.
Sheldon Lavin says that “it takes money to make money” is one of those sayings that happens to be entirely true. He had to establish a large enterprise before he started earning serious money. He now earns most of his money as an investor. The money he earns from OSI Group is invested in mutual funds and ETFs.
He says that the key to building a successful business is taking advantage of economies of scale. It was building OSI Group into a national, then international, firm where he was able to bring costs down and profits up. This attracted people who wanted to invest in his company. Sheldon Lavin said this was a mix of good fortune and planning.
A leader in the Chicago business community, he says that being a leader means being humble. If a person doesn’t have humility it prevents them from learning from their employees and others. He trusts in the people he surrounds himself with and tries to listen to as many smart people as he can.