Capturing the Entrepreneurial Spirit: Stephen Lefkovits

First Republic Bank

Stephen Lefkovits, President and CEO of Joshua Tree Consulting, is a real estate industry veteran and respected business consultant. His firm provides strategic management advice to commercial property owners. Steve knows the industry inside out, and would never settle for a bank with less than stellar business and real estate credentials. The First Republic culture of personalized service and solutions has left Steve with plenty of time to focus on his personal passions: family and his growing Pacific Landscapes Gallery art photography business. Learn more about why Stephen Lefkovits banks with First Republic.

Here, Steve shares some of his thought-leadership for entrepreneurs and his ideas on personal alignment and success.

Guidance for Entrepreneurs 

Entrepreneurs are so exciting. They've got good ideas. They've got good energy. However in many cases, when entrepreneurs have a good idea, the mechanics of translating the concept into a little bit of money is never processed. People come to me with their idea which they’re excited about, and they think it's going to make them millions of dollars, but I always ask them to tell me the story of the first $4,000 they’re going to make. How does that money get from someone's pocket into their bank? One of the things that I think is really important is to teach people that new businesses are very hard to get started, because sometimes when the stories in their mind are put into the context of what life is actually like, they might choose a different form of entrepreneurship, or different source of capital, or a different goal.

The Importance of Personal Alignment 

One of the things that isn't emphasized much in schools, formal training or quantitative training, is the sense of personal alignment as a key attribute of success. If you're not aligned with your life, and if the things that you're enabling with your money aren't the things that are good for you, then you're only compounding unhappiness. I am fortunate enough to wake up every morning and be excited about the range of possibilities for the day. Even on days when we're on vacation, I find myself thinking, “ I really wish I could do a little bit of work today.”

On Personal Connections 

We live in an age where people are trying to fit themselves into corporate, structured and machine driven environments. It's a database world, it’s a data driven world, and it's a process driven world. However, that's not a great fit for me. To me, business is personally driven and I like personal connections; we have to give each other permission to be human and to enhance the positive human aspects of our business and our personal relationships. Trying to fit ourselves into corporate boxes or databases or perfection driven matrices is a losing game.

Success is...

Success for me personally, is largely defined by freedom. Having the freedom to associate and interact with interesting, high energy people who add value to my life. Having the freedom to be creative and weave time for photography into my life. I define success as having a happy family, as being independent and being able to support ourselves, and being comfortable enough to do the things that we want to do.

The views of the authors of these articles do not necessarily represent the views of First Republic Bank.