Cali Finance Group is a finance company that offers variety of loans, debt resolutions programs, and consultations for individuals & businesses a-like.
The company specializes in providing our services to individuals & businesses with challenged credit scores, sub-par documents, and other challenging factors that traditional financial institutions would deny. Cali Finance Group is known for helping our customers overcome $1 million dollar credit card debt alone and offering low-cost consultations that accommodate all areas of one’s finance. Issac Hwang, the CEO of Cali Finance Group, shares how he started the company, lessons learned over the years and his thoughts on the importance of the right team, product and market when starting a business.
Why and how did you start Cali Finance Group
The defining moment that propelled me to start my company was when I witnessed that many lives were degraded due to poor financial decisions and dishonest finance swindlers. Through those decisions, I saw not only the degraded lives of our present generations but also the impacted lives of our future generations. Therefore, I came to believe that every individual is capable of attaining financial literacy to overcome debt, strive for a better future, and have the proper tools to overcome any financial hardships.
My belief is that every individual deserves to obtain a certain level of “financial freedom.” By doing so, I believe that I am helping individuals in a variety of ways such as helping them avoid hardships, enhance their quality of life and other aspects of life.
What has been the biggest success factors
The biggest success factors for me were the encouragement of my family and friends. Due to their support, I was able pursue my passion and their trust became the foundation that I can lean on during difficult times. My passions as an entrepreneur were also amplified by them, giving me advice and direction when I needed it most. In addition, I believe that all my hardships before and after the establishment were a huge component to my success.
All the hardships that I encountered became a stepping stone where I could gain new experiences and skillsets that would be monumental in aiding my company to reach new heights. The hardships pushed me to learn not only about aspects of running a finance company but also new territories in the industry. Soon, I was learning about marketing, legalities, business analysis, etc. that were beneficial to me as an entrepreneur. Therefore, the biggest success factors were all and everything that has happened.
What are the biggest challenges you have faced launching and running the company
Like all entrepreneurs, I believe that one of the biggest challenges in launching a company and running a company is the uncertainties that lie ahead. Regardless of size and reach, I believe companies dedicate their time and energy to prepare for those unexpected twist and turns. At times, those unexpected moments can cause discouragement and turn an entrepreneur into a pessimist. Nonetheless, I trust that those are hidden opportunities that can be utilized to find silver linings and a rite of passage to success.
During the company’s launch, one of my challenges was starting a finance company from scratch in a $1.27 trillion dollar industry at a young age – 21 years old. At the time, there were a lot of encouragements from friends and family but discouragements from peers followed as well. Along with the emotional discouragement, most of my future clients were skeptical in my ability to deliver my services properly.
The finance industry being portrayed to be run by professionals well in there mid 40-50’s with a suit & tie did not aid in acquiring clients. However, with continuous perseverance and time, clients learned that I was more knowledgeable in finance more than any seasoned professionals in the industry.
The challenge in running the company was that an entrepreneur has to learn variety of skillsets and simply become a “Renaissance Man.” With limited funds and uncertainties, an entrepreneur has to be a useful instrument in the development of the company. Hence, I had to dedicate myself in learning as many “skills” to strengthen the vulnerabilities and become an asset to my company. In addition, the need to continuously generate positive returns was also an obstacle in administration. Nevertheless, I learned to enjoy these hurdles and be grateful for the chances to improve. As we all know, all successful entrepreneurs had their fair share of hardships.
Which do you think is most important: the right market, the right product, or the right team?
I believe that the market, product, and team are all equally important. However, in the long run, I believe that product is the most important. The reason is that companies are built upon products, in my case services, that he or she believes can be profitable in our current market and economy. Without a product, the company’s objective and mission will not be solidified.
As for the market, I believe that solutions can be made to appease and adapt the ever-changing market. For instance, a strong product would be able to adapt to the current market conditions and innovate new ways to create demand for the product. A product is flexible to your own terms and creativity but the market is an unpredictable, unstable place that cannot be depended on.
Along with the market, the right team is also an unforeseeable component to a company. The right team could drastically amplify the performance of a company and reap great rewards. Yet, discovering and establishing the “perfect” team takes time and patience. Realistically, humans are fickle individuals that have different objectives, thoughts, etc.
Hence, the expectation for the “perfect” team should not be the aim for a company. Instead, the entrepreneur or owner should hone their skills in a variety of subjects to support and fill-in those vulnerabilities. I urge future entrepreneurs to become the person or leader that is “right” for the team.
Final words for those chasing the startup dream
For future entrepreneurs, I believe that patience and self-control is essential in business. Without these qualities, it will be greatly difficult for entrepreneur to handle the cons of becoming an owner. Therefore, I would like to give the advice to be aware of your sense of self and to know that all great things take time.