Finding a Niche Helping Others Succeed

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Spotlight: Rob Ferguson

Some professionals carefully plan out every step of their career. Others let circumstances lead them. Rob Ferguson of Ferguson Interests, LLC is the latter. Though his home was flooded by Hurricane Harvey, he took time to sit down with us and discuss his background, consulting practice and what gets him up in the morning.

How long have you been in Houston?
After my wife and I got married, a job opportunity came up here. That was in 1983, and we haven’t left.

How did you start Ferguson Interests, LLC?
I’d had a thirty-year career running businesses. As I was looking for my next opportunity to run another business, I started getting invited to help other family businesses, predominately around succession planning and optimizing profits. I did that, and then just continued to get referrals. It kind of found me.

What problems do you solve for your clients?
I typically get called when there’s a problem, everything from turning profits around, implementing growth strategies, succession planning, setting up good governance practices and a functioning board of directors, and advising on the sale of a business.

Any business-related pet peeves?
Something I see that’s so common [in business] is a lack of leadership, and the confusion people have between leadership and management. Leadership is about having a compelling vision that’s energizing, forward thinking and will cause people to want to rally around. Instead businesses end up with a lot more activity in management—managing systems, processes or people. Leaders need to lead as opposed to just managing.

Tell us one way you network with other professionals?
I read a book years ago titled Never Eat Lunch Alone. I’ve kind of adopted that as my mantra. I try to have lunch with somebody that I don’t know at least once a week. With networking, I’m trying to figure out ways I can help others. I don’t try to find people that can help me. I’m at a stage in my career where I get more adrenaline and euphoria from helping others than anything else.

What do you like to do outside of work?
My son is a college football coach, so I enjoy following that. I also like to get outdoors. I like to bird hunt. A kind of quirky thing I do is I collect antique clocks. I’m not a clocksmith, but it’s about connecting with the history and learning lessons from history.

Other than your clocks, what gets you up in the mornings, what drives you?
Helping family businesses perpetuate their legacies. Not just for their families, but for their customers, employees, suppliers and all of their stakeholders. I work with so many private businesses and I see the dismal rate of perpetuating these businesses. By the time they get to second or third generations, most of these businesses cannot go forward. They usually die or get bought or sold. It’s really a life mission for me to help businesses perpetuate into the future.

You can contact Rob at 281-904-1038 or rob@fergusoninterests.com. If you have any questions or concerns for PartnersInWealth, please contact Jim Waters, CFP®, at 713.964.4028 or jrw@partnersinwealth.com.

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