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Dec 12, 2017

Mark Moses makes BIG happen – even when it means riding an elephant into an annual sales meeting. Today on the EO Podcast, Mark discusses the importance of balancing fear and courage, and how he overcame the fear related to his fathers’ struggles throughout his entrepreneurial career. Tune-in to learn the most common challenges that hinder company growth, and how entrepreneurs can overcome them and make it BIG in life, business, and impact.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:07 – Mark is a CEO/coach, triathlete, author of an internationally best-selling book called “Make Big Happen,” and a founding partner of CEO Coaching International
  • 01:28 – His emphasis is on growth that is dramatic
  • 01:30 – He has won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award and the Blue Chip Enterprise Award for overcoming adversity and his last company was ranked #1 Fastest Growing Company in LA and #10 in the Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Companies in the U.S.
  • 01:53 – He is a 12-time Ironman, including 5 Hawaii world championships, and is a national squash champion in 1992
  • 02:32 – Started his entrepreneurial career at age 19 and has built and sold 2 businesses: Student Painters and Platinum Capital Group, which at one point was making $1M/month in profit with 245 employees
  • 02:58 – Storytime: Early Success
  • 03:03 – He decided to get a franchise after his first year of college and made $18,000 that summer and $35,000 the next which covered college with a lot left over
  • 04:08 – He was motivated and thought he wanted to be an accountant until he realized he could hire one
  • 04:31 – He drove from near Toronto to Southern California when he graduated, built up Student Painters to 250 branches, 3,000 painters, and sold it at age 26 at $6 million in revenue
  • 5:59 – He started Platinum Capital with a cofounder and built it over a 13-year period and after many ups-and-downs, they sold with $1.6 Billion in annual business
  • 07:17 – His father’s struggles
  • 07:20 – They grew up in a small town in Northern Ontario and there were two major mines in the town
  • 07:35 – Mine workers went on strike and many small businesses started going under, including his father’s clothing stores
  • 07:57 – His father moved a few hours away and tried working for another clothing store and it didn’t work out, he got into real estate and that worked out for him
  • 08:44 – Mark has a good relationship with his father
  • 08:56 – He’s a simple guy from a small town who everyone loves
  • 09:08 – Lessons learned from the bankruptcy
  • 09:14 – Mark’s business coach always told him he had a fear of losing everything, like his father did, and it affected his decision-making
  • 09:46 – Growing up his dad would say, “Just trying to keep the wolf away from the door,” when asked about his day
  • 10:25 – How Mark gets past the fear-based mentality
  • 10:40 – The mortgage business started out rough and had ups-and-downs, whenever it was rough he had fear
  • 10:57 – Fear on one side and courage on the other: Fear can cause an inability to act, but you can still move forward and act as necessary
  • 11:22 – He’s battled the balance between risk and courage his entire entrepreneurial career
  • 12:09 – His father sent him an email saying he was really proud of him and loved his book
  • 13:10 – Mark’s confident ready-for-battle posture and persona pairs well with his humble sentiment towards his father telling him he’s proud
  • 13:30 – His mortgage company almost went bankrupt
  • 13:43 – They were filing for bankruptcy after 1998 when Wall Street pulled out of his marketplace and there was no liquidity for his product anymore
  • 14:34 – They had 275 people working in Irvine and laid off 240 of them, there was 0 revenue
  • 15:11 – They struggled to hang on to the money they made, then ran up debt from credit cards and family, then ran out of money
  • 16:05 – How Mark found out about Wall Street pulling out and his reaction
  • 16:13 – Disbelief, indigestion, fear, panic; they had bought a beautiful home, boat, had a baby with another on the way
  • 17:07 – They were looking at apartments and it was emotionally crushing and painful
  • 17:30 – His business partner went to listen to a successful speaker who sent them questions after hearing their business plan
  • 18:00 – They answered his questions and he wired them money the next day, saving them from bankruptcy
  • 18:10 – What product they used to build the business up again
  • 18:17 – They went to a mainstream product and a franchise-type structure where other companies worked beneath them and used them as their banker
  • 19:18 – Nasty dispute with a partner – they brought in a new guy to run a new division of their company
  • 19:43 – He was Mark’s best man, he started a new division which was quickly successful, then bailed, took 85% of the people with him, and set up a competing company 2 blocks away
  • 20:26 – The elephant on the cover of “Make Big Happen”
  • 20:33 – Mark’s relationship with elephants: He rode one down the street into a sales meeting
  • 20:51 – He had just signed a lease to a 24,000 sq. ft. facility after his partner has bailed, and he only had 12 people to move in
  • 21:04 – He tore a wall down in the building and rode the elephant into the annual meeting
  • 21:38 – The message was: “If you think big and act big, you will be big. Let’s together make $1 Billion.”
  • 21:58 – It took 8 years for them to make $1 Billion, and they made $1.6 Billion the following year
  • 23:25 – If you believe in yourself, you can do anything.
  • 23:42 – He hates his wife’s shirt that says, “Literally can’t;” success comes in a “can”
  • 24:21 – How do you get entrepreneurs to thing big?
  • 24:30 – Crystal ball exercise – 3 years from now imagine celebrating an achievement
  • 25:19 – What are the few specific and measureable activities that’ll lead you to that outcome
  • 25:44 – Many will give an outcome or theme, not a specific measureable activity
  • 26:18 – Methodology that companies can implement
  • 26:25 – Download the Crystal Ball Exercise from his website here
  • 26:32 – The book also explains it thoroughly
  • 26:37 – He has a blog and podcast
  • 26:45 – Best practices
  • 26:48 – Book is about how to live, work, and give big and live a full life
  • 27:00 – Practices to live the life, have the business, and create the impact you want
  • 27:14 – Companies come to Mark for fast growth – what are problems that everyone has
  • 28:07 – Knowing the measureable activities to implement
  • 28:28 – Gross margin opportunities
  • 29:16 – The wrong team: It takes a lot of courage to replace the talent that got you to where you are today with the talent that will get you to the next big milestone
  • 30:40 – Entrepreneurs have trouble doing what the business needs because of the emotions involved
  • 31:13 – Jim Collins says, “First who, then what:” A-Players only
  • 31:41 – Relationship between risk and return when Mark works with a client
  • 32:05 – His average client grows 35% in revenue year after year
  • 23:40 – Average size of clientele: Low $40 Million is the average – smallest client is around $5 Million and largest is almost $2 Billion
  • 32:55 – The biggest risk is growing faster than you have the ability to
  • 33:18 – He likes calculated and measured risk
  • 33:31 – His son suffered a brain tumor at 3, he’s now 17: How his work suffered
  • 34:05 – It was a difficult time filled with uncertainty and fear
  • 34:20 – He had an excellent team and great leadership
  • 35:00 – His son did a marathon in Antarctica

36:06 – Marks website:

3 Key Points:

  1. Balancing fear and courage can be tough, but don’t let fear inhibit you from taking action.
  2. If you think big and act big, you will be big.
  3. You must practice the proven measureable activities to live the life, have the business, and make the impact you want.

Resources Mentioned: