Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Michael White, Founder of MashTank, located in Jacksonville, FL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
MashTank is a diagnostics company that focuses on two aspects of business: People and Operational Finance. Our customers are small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) with at least 100 employees who are looking to drive profitability through productivity and increased throughput.
Tell us about yourself
I've been working since I was 12, and by the time I was 15, I was the foreman for my work crew on a Christmas Tree farm in rural Pennsylvania. What I learned back then was that the day was better when the team was enjoying themselves. This was the beginning of an idea for me that eventually evolved into "Happy Productive Humans." This is what happens when people have what they need, know why they are working, and have a sense of growth and progress.
By the time I was 30 and working in a corporate setting, I became obsessed with not wasting time. My belief is that time has 2 qualities that make it unique:
- You never know how much of it you get in life.
- Once you use it, it's gone.
Further, when you think about time, there are things that you (more or less) have to do: the DMV, the dishes, etc. But there are things you can choose to do. Go to the beach, read a great book, and take a walk in the park. That first category is "chores." The second category is "discretionary time." Discretionary time is life.
So these are the two personal goals that motivate me every single day:
- Helping a million people learn the joy of becoming happy, productive humans.
- Make sure that as much of our time is discretionary time because when you feel like you control your time, that is the stuff of life.
That is what eventually led me to change my firm from consultancy to diagnostics. I want to help as many people as possible to save time on chores and convert it into discretionary time.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Designing a fact-based diagnostic that tells leaders if their people are set up for success. In and of itself, that accomplishment is not notable...it's the thousands of people that we have assessed and addressed that now have a higher probability of achieving their dreams. That's truly a gift.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Decision-fatigue. Some days you have to make so many micro- and macro- decisions that by the time you get home, and someone asks you what you want for dinner, you might burst into tears.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Learn how to test and experiment as quickly and for as little money as possible. Everything you do has two costs: time and money. By learning to experiment, you'll save a lot of both.
- Do what you do exceptionally well, and then outsource anything you can't do at a professional service level. By that, I mean that you shouldn't perform any task that you couldn't get market rates for doing for another company.
- If you're going to go it alone, don't go it alone. Meaning: Get your mentors and advisors lined up and let them know you're going to try this thing and that you would like to occasionally call upon them for advice. It doesn't matter if you are 17 or 71. You should have advisors who can be a sounding board for you.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Great outcomes start with great questions.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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