Q. Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.
A. The official business I am in is mortgage lending. However, we’re really in the service business. Out higher calling is to help educate, inform and lead all parties especially, our borrowers, in a complicated transaction toward a successful conclusion. We’re located in the Chicago Metro Market. My team’s focus is in Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan. My company lends in many states with a focus throughout the Midwest, Northeast, Florida and Colorado.
Q. Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).
A. I am a detail oriented & driven person who is rarely satisfied. My major achievement is found in every transaction that closes and every customer who writes a raving review and every client who tells those they know about my team. I have a background in finance grounded in an education from DePaul University.
Q. What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)?
A. A nurse, (I met her once during a doctor visit for a knee repair), who took the time to question me as to what I was doing, in my life, at the time. In her way she jolted me out of mediocrity and lit a spark in me to achieve more. God bless her. I hope to one day do the same for others. How did the idea for your business come about?
Q. What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
A. Hire people who are smarter than you. Hire people who love to do what you don’t. Enjoy the ride.
Q. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
A. 1. Sharing your vision in a way that inspires those around you.
2. Communication: Being able to communicate in an effectively, efficient and timely manner is key to all business.
3. Positive Attitude: I call this a skill as it is natural to some and developed by many. It’s a choice. Having an attitude that’s always positive is important as you work by yourself and lead others. Positivity is attractive.
Q. How many hours do you work a day on average?
Q. To what do you most attribute your success?
A. My drive along with my dedication to being honest no matter what.
Q. How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
A. Word of mouth referrals. Doing a great job for and by each client and then asking for them to introduce those who are in need of my services.
Q. What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
A. To achieve long term success, I believe one must have a vision that they can taste, feel, touch. It must be measurable. This must be married to a burning desire to achieve it no matter how long it takes.
Q. Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?
A. I will have a team of professionals working with me under my team’s brand. I will be focused on their growth and achievements.
Q. Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most? ?
A. Apple, of course. A very dedicated and passionate following.
Q. How important have good employees been to your success?
A. No team succeeds without the right players.
Q. How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
A. If I believe in it, as long as it takes.
Q. What motivates you?
A. Doing right for others and helping them. The end results motivate.
Q. How do you generate new ideas?
A. Listening and watching what others do right as well as where they misstep.
Q. How do you define success?
A. Success is a process, not a destination. So, to me, success is achieving your short term goals while going after your long term ‘crazy’ hard to achieve goals with a smile, but with a burning desire that’s relentless.
Q. How do you build a successful customer base?
A. A successful customer base is one that’s loyal and returns. So it’s all about the value we provide them that causes them to return again and again.
Q. What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
A. I’ve never had a day I wished would be over. Every day I wonder where the time went.
Q. What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
A. I don’t have one that stands out. I prefer to think, (know), that it is still in front of me.
Q. What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
A. Entrepreneurs are those who ask the questions and solve the problems for those who don’t, won’t or can’t.
Q. What kind of culture exists in your organization?
A. On my team, a culture of ‘get it done and have some fun’ exists.
Q. How did you establish this tone and why did you institute this particular type of culture?
A. It was necessary to. In the mortgage business, there’s a lot of variability and entropy that occur. What we have control over is our attitude of no matter what it takes, we get the job done for the customer. We have a choice to become frustrated or take it in stride and have fun with it. We choose the latter. Always.
Q. In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.
Q. If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
A. I’d hire people sooner.
Q. How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
A. Patience has been on the daily menu for my wife.
Q. What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
A. I fear missed opportunities.
Q. What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?
A. Not hiring people sooner.
Q. How can you prevent mistakes or do damage control?
A. Be accountable. Own the error. Apologize. Make the correction to ensure it never happens again or the likelihood is minimized. Move forward.
Q. What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
A. Physical fitness. Fishing.
Q. What makes you happy?
A. Time with family and friends. Being in the moment.
Q. What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
A. Sacrificed family time and for a good bit, health.