I believe time is more important than money and live with an almost unhealthy sense of urgency.
Kevin Meuret is the founder of Mantality, a St. Louis-based medical practice dedicated to the treatment of low testosterone in men. Meuret also helped found the Midwest Men’s Clinic in Omaha, Neb., and Breakthrough Pain Relief Clinics in Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Oklahoma. He has volunteered with a number of entrepreneur-focused groups, including Junior Achievement of Greater St. Louis Inc. and the Entrepreneurs’ Organization.
How did entrepreneurship become your path?
I was the youngest of 10 siblings, eight of whom now either work for ourselves or run our own businesses. We were taught to create our own stability rather than put our success in the hands of others.
What does your typical day look like, and how do you make it productive?
I don’t know that I have a typical day, but I do have routines that are nonnegotiable. I wake up early and visit the gym, I enjoy some coffee while I get my six kids out the door, and then I spend 30 minutes reading. I spend the rest of the day reviewing my current companies and catching up with my three direct reports. The remainder of my week is spent being Kevin Meuret. The people who surround me expect me to live and lead in a powerful manner. That sort of thing might be effortless for some people, but I need to spend time reading, working out, and having fun to get there.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Grit and sheer force. New ideas are like an intricate ice sculpture — delicate and fragile. I keep those ideas close to my chest until I get emotionally attached to them and feel an urgency to bring them to life. I don’t share my ideas with anyone until I feel “momentum.” Even then, I only reveal them to those who are “feeling it.” The most beautiful ice sculpture can be destroyed by any blunt object. I try to avoid blunt objects in my life, especially in the ideation phase.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
Anything that the pack is heading toward. If you pick your head up, you can normally see where everyone is headed. I never start any trends — I see what is working in one area and launch it in a different market or region. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
My willingness to make a fool of myself. I believe time is more important than money and live with an almost unhealthy sense of urgency. There is opportunity out there every day, and you are either going to be the hammer or the nail — the choice is up to you.
What was the worst job you ever had, and what did you learn from it?
I have never had a job. I worked for my family company growing up, and then I started to work for myself. For me, the worst part of working was managing workflow and getting team members to match my sense of urgency. I was unaware of the importance of creating a culture and developing your company from that culture. Now, creating and growing the culture of my companies is my main responsibility.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I would give myself a stop-loss on projects that will not work. I let my passion put me on the road, with the numbers telling me when to exit. It’s easy to get passionate about a project and fall in love with it, but passion alone does not always lead to success. Passion can also lead to wasted time and energy if you aren’t accountable to the numbers.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
We all know the one thing we should do every day that would have the most impact on our companies and our team, but we normally dread and eventually avoid doing it. Find a mentor who is able to point out the one thing you should be doing and hold you accountable to execute.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
When anyone looks at our profit and loss statement, their eyes immediately go to my marketing budget and tell me it is “too high.” Marketing is not an expense — it is an investment. They should be asking, “Can your business handle the capacity of that level of marketing?” or “Are there any efficiencies we can pick up here to maximize marketing dollars spent?” I fundamentally disagree with people who assume marketing is an expense similar to keeping the lights on.
The reason you carry any expense is you know every $1 you invest at the top of your enterprise will kick out $1.25 to $3 at the bottom. If you had a machine that gave you that kind of return, would you slow down your investment? I think not. Build an efficient system that churns out predictable returns, and maximize your cashflow by stuffing every penny it can handle in the top of the funnel.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I took advice from people who carried their last failure into the new venture. Their advice was tainted by “not failing,” which is very different from “winning.” I overcame that mistake by finding mentors and a network of people who are constantly trying to win rather than avoid losing. They see failures as lessons learned.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Find a product that people are sick of driving to the store to buy, and help deliver it to their doorstep on a set schedule. Time has become more important to people than money. I suspect the home grocery delivery business will grow significantly in the next five years. I think it will reach the point that most people will click their way through the aisles, and distribution centers will deliver the groceries to consumers’ homes.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I enjoyed a bottle of wine with a beautiful woman. Why? Because I could.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
Tiny Scanner on my smartphone. You can take a picture of any document, turn it into a PDF, and email it directly from your phone. Dropbox also has become a standard for me and all of my companies. People who aren’t on the cloud have already lost and just don’t know it.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“The Power of Full Engagement” by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz. The book talks a lot about peak performance. If you do not know how to get the best performance from yourself, your career, income, and relationships will suffer. Treat yourself like a “corporate athlete,” and you will get world-class results.
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
Dr. Gerald Bell. I attended the Bell Leadership Institute, which was the best leadership program I have experienced.
Mantality on Facebook:
Mantality on Twitter: @MantalityHealth
Kevin Meuret on LinkedIn:
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.