You Can't Legislate Integrity — Alan Solon

This week on The EnTRUEpreneurship Podcast, Wes interviews Alan Solon, Chairman and CEO of Ecovest Capital, Inc., a real estate investment firm that evaluates opportunities by economic viability and environmental impact. Solon has also held executive positions at financial planning companies, real estate development firms, and a full-service marketing agency (which he founded).

Solon has found success in a variety of industries, and in the podcast, he outlines the driving forces that led him to each step of his journey. Solon caps off his conversation with Wes by sharing a story about how, recently, his firm had the opportunity to “singlehandedly save charitable giving in the United States” through reforms on the recent federal tax laws. No doubt, all listeners will find value in Solon’s sage advice spanning many varying industries.

The EnTRUEpreneurship Takeaway:

“One thing led to another. I was just always open and flexible, and you deal with the opportunities as they come. Some work, and some don’t. But they all get you one step closer to where you’re eventually going to wind up.”
“Every decision you make has unintended consequences, and ours had many more unintended benefits than consequences.”
“You can’t legislate integrity. My experience is that, if you want to care about your clients, you’re going to do the right thing.”
“If I do the right thing by my client, at the end of the day, I will keep my client, but we will make a lot more money over the life-cycle of the relationship than we ever will by selling a single product.”
“At the end of the day, if you don’t recognize that it is more expensive to find a new client than it is to keep the client you have and grow that business, then you’re missing the boat.”
“The first rule of new business is to keep all of the business you have.”
“Selling is something you do to somebody; creating value is something you do for somebody.”

Key topics discussed:

0:00: Alan gives a taste of his life as a small boy in Queens, NY and shares an example of his willingness, even as a 7-year-old, to bend the rules and find unexpected ways to meet his goals.

5:20:  Alan describes how his affinity for the music business fueled his drive into marketing and how a company tennis tournament landed him a coveted job at one of the most esteemed global ad agencies.

7:37: Alan shares the research that drove him to establish Ecovest Capital and describes the importance of “tax planning,” which is not to be confused with tax preparation.

10:41: Alan further describes how Ecovest Capital was founded upon the principles uncovered by his own primary research and explains how his financial advisors are among the top in the nation.

19:04: Alan spends some time explaining the importance of sustaining client relationships in all facets of business across all industries and how business should go about retaining clients.

27:01: Alan wraps up his conversation with Wes by sharing an incredible story about his firm’s intervention in the passing of the recent tax reform laws and how his firm wrote a paragraph of tax code — which is now law — that essentially “saved charitable giving in the United States.”

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