Marcel Monnar is the president of One on One Learning, a company that specializes in offering high-quality academic assistance to at-risk students and their families. As a nationally accredited educational services provider and certified minority business, their programs have expanded to include college. Follow him @learningupdates.
Who is your hero?
What’s the single best piece of business advice that helped shape who you are as an entrepreneur today, and why?
Learn to lead by listening. You can't do it alone, so listen to your staff and lead them with your vision. And take a lot of notes, create post-its, draw pictures or diagrams, or whatever else you do to get your thoughts and visions down! There is no "right" way of doing things -- YOU make the right way.
What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in your business, and what did you learn from it that others can learn from too?
Not taking advantage of an opportunity because I felt we weren't ready, when in fact you never are ready unless you are put in a situation that makes you ready. Opportunities and last-minute deals drive more innovation and help take your business to the next level.
What do you do during the first hour of your business day and why?
Since as an entrepreneur, you are always in your first hour, I start my time when I wake up. During my first hour, I'm updating my thoughts and setting a plan for what priority needs must be accomplished that day. I set reminders and send emails to get people in motion and follow up on pending items. It still doesn't mean those midnight reminders aren't flowing -- that's usually when the best entrepreneurial ideas come out!
What’s your best financial or cash-flow related tip for entrepreneurs just getting started?
Keep it real and don't focus on the two birds in a bush -- focus on the one bird in hand. As an entrepreneur, it is easy to get caught up on what is coming and where you're going to get the next big deal, but a steady focus on what you have and on managing your expenses is what's important. The rest of the business will come.
Quick: What’s ONE thing you recommend ALL aspiring or current entrepreneurs do right now to take their biz to the next level?
Find a mentor.
What's your definition of success? How will you know when you've finally "succeeded" in your business?
Success varies from project to project and is directly related to your own expectations. For me, success means improvement. A better product, service, conversation, margin, sale, lesson learned. With evolving business practices and markets, it is never ending so you never really succeed. Gotta keep striving!
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab , a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.