Bill Lyons, founder and CEO of Griffin Funding and 2020 HousingWire Vanguard Honoree, sat down with HousingWire to discuss his company’s repeat ranking on the Inc. 5,000 list, along with his upcoming appearance at HW Annual Oct. 3-5. Don’t miss more of Lyon’s great insights when he takes the stage Oct. 4 at the Vanguard Forum, an exclusive event during HW Annual for c-suite leaders.
Earlier this week, Inc. Magazine announced its annual Inc. 5,000 list of the fastest-growing companies in the U.S. in 2022, with nearly 70 mortgage lenders and brokers making it on the list. The announcement marked the fourth time that Lyons’ company made the list. Lyons will be sharing his knowledge on how he has repeatedly navigated the shifting market in the CEO Playbook session during the forum, which is made up of 15-minute, lightning round speeches from some of the greatest housing leaders of all time.
HousingWire: What does it mean to you to have made the Inc. 5,000 list, not only this year but for the fourth time overall?
Bill Lyons: We are honored to be on the Inc. 5,000 list for the fourth time. That isn’t an easy feat. It validates that we are doing something right. It is about a constant balance of growing and profiting. When you grow quickly and organically without outside investor capital, it is a challenge to ensure the profits follow. Every company that makes the list is in danger of grow, grow, grow, gone. The list can be a blessing and a curse. It’s a very prestigious list to be on and anyone who makes it knows that and respects its power. However, there is no list called “Inc 5000 Most profitable Growing Companies.” You have to make that list on your own when no one is watching.
HW: Since founding Griffin Funding in 2013, the housing market has seen astounding changes. What is your secret to finding success in every market condition?
BL: We stick to our core values and business niches and stay nimble so we can quickly adapt to change. Flexibility and adaptability bring strength and preeminence.
HW: What are your goals for Griffin Funding in the next few years?
BL: We want to continue to be a talent-driven, “team first” organization. I believe that with our team, a customized digital mortgage tech stack (Blend + LearningPad), world-class marketing and sales mastery systems, we can corner 5%+ of the non-QM market. We want to be on the Inc. 5,000 list for the 5th time while also focusing on profits.
HW: What advice would you give to new business founders in their first year?
BL: First focus on profit, then growth. Don’t be the founder dude from the movies who never makes a profit. Teenagers focus on revenue, adults focus on profit. Do an upside-down P&L and put at least 10% profit as your first expense — then try to eventually notch it up to 30%. Focus on self-care and mindset. Business is 95% mental and 5% skill. Adopt the AGB mindset: Always Gets Better.
HW: Which panels or speakers are you most excited about at HW Annual 2022?
BL: I love attending conferences and seminars. Not only do you get to connect face-to-face with friends and colleagues, but you always get to know what is being said in the private back rooms about what is “really” going on in the industry. Not to mention there is always at least one golden nugget of knowledge that you can take with you and take immediate action on.
Bill Lyons will be speaking at The Vanguard Forum, an invitation-only sub-segment of HousingWire Annual on Oct. 4. All invited guests are HousingWire Vanguard Award winners and other high-growth C-Suite professionals. Join us at HW Annual for the content, connections and insights you need to win in this environment. To register, go here, and if you have questions about this forum or how to get invited to the Vanguard Forum, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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