Mark Megehee was raised in the Pacific Northwest and attended Brigham Young University where he received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Accounting. After college, he spent time as a Big 4 auditor before starting United Mortgage Services with a large national mortgage bank. He was later invited to become an equity party in the mortgage bank which was subsequently acquired. Post-acquisition Mark joined the mortgage giant Freddie Mac. He performed financial statement and credit analysis on mortgage banks and mortgage servicers ranging in size from $4M in equity to over $1B in market cap. Mark later served as a senior financial analyst in Freddie Mac’s structured finance group, packaging and selling mortgage credit risk to sophisticated investors. After several years at Freddie Mac, Mark joined the family business at TeamCME as Co-CEO and CFO.
Mark lives outside Washington D.C. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys scuba diving, rock climbing, and snowboarding in addition to tennis and golf.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
My dad started TeamCME about a decade ago. He is a chiropractor. Chiropractors tend to have to be more entrepreneurial because their practices aren’t connected to a hospital or large medical group. He began providing physicals for truck drivers to meet DOT requirements. He became an expert and was later invited by an agency at the DOT to help them establish the framework for the training and certification process for medical professionals who wanted to perform DOT-mandated physicals. He leveraged his expertise to create training so medical professionals would be prepared to take the exam to become certified medical examiners. From there he realized truck drivers needed help finding where to get an exam so he created a national network of doctors where truckers can go to get an affordable and convenient DOT Physical. Truck drivers often have to be drug tested and TeamCME helps its members to be able to provide those services to truckers.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
As a small business owner, it’s really easy to get overwhelmed with all the hats you have to wear and the problems that have to be solved. My day typically begins with getting my head on straight. For me that’s doing three things — meditating on what is most important, filling my soul with uplifting content, and exercising. After that, I try to organize my day by what is one thing that I can do today that will move the needle at our business the most. Interruptions are invariably going to happen, so I find the morning can be a good time to find focus. A lot of the rest of the day is spent trying to optimize our processes. Lastly, I really believe in unstringing the bow. Unless something is really urgent, I try to step away after dinner and spend time rejuvenating and being with my family.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Dr. Jeff Carlson is our Co-CEO as well as our Chief Medical Officer. He was trained by my dad and is one of the most knowledgeable individuals regarding the DOT Physical and Medical Examiner program. We get together at least once a week to brainstorm, discuss what we are working on, and how we can make it better. Those meetings, whether impromptu or scheduled, result in major improvements than if we were to remain siloed. We complement each other well and we recognize the value that each one of us brings to the business.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Working from home. I know that there has been a push recently to get people back in the office, but I think there can be big benefits to allowing people to work from home. You lose some of the spontaneity that gathering in an office may bring but I think that can be overcome through more intentionality.
We have been fully remote now for a couple of years and I don’t see us going back. The benefits of avoiding long commutes and time that could otherwise be spent either productively working or spending time with your family or personal life outweigh it.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Setting daily intentions and doing the most important thing first. Even though I may not fully solve it in a day and interruptions will happen, if I continue to do it first thing, I will eventually chip it away. There is an open mine close to my home that I will bike by on the W&OD trail. On the trail, there’s a great lookout where I can see the mine really well. I will stop and look at it and reflect that this huge mine was made by just day after day of intentionally chipping away at the rock. It helps when I become impatient about our progress on certain projects.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t wish away the present. Too often we try to delay happiness to some future time period. Early in our lives, we think of death as being some faraway event. The reality however is death happens each day. Nothing you can do will get yesterday back. Marcus Aurelius said, “Let each thing you would do, say, or intend, be like that of a dying person.” Be engaged in the present.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Popularity and possessions are highly overrated. I see a lot of young adults and teenagers who want to be YouTube stars. Fame, accolades, and praise are often fleeting, and in the long run pretty worthless. I think the only thing that really matters is the quality of the relationships you have in this life with the people who really matter to you. Warren Buffett said success is measured by “the number of people you want to have love you actually do love you”.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Exercise. If you’re like me, your dedication to it may wane from time to time. That’s OK — we all fall off the wagon. Get back on. Just keep at it. The mental and emotional benefits outweigh the physical ones.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Having a deep understanding of your customer’s needs and providing the best way to solve that need. HBS Professor famously said “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!” I’m not looking for benefits when buying a product, I’m hiring it to do a job for me — I want it to solve my problem. It’s the same for our customers.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Just one? In my first business, I hired an operations manager. His compensation wasn’t structured like mine was, but I wanted to treat him as much as I could as an equal. I would have him attend monthly board meetings which included going over the monthly financials. He felt he should be compensated similarly to those who had risked capital and job prospects although he himself hadn’t. It soured the relationship, and I let him know he would need to find another job, but not before an attempted coup on his part. Thankfully, the board stuck by me.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I really believe in entrepreneurship by acquisition. Businesses fail far too often. So I don’t think I would recommend starting a business. I would begin buying senior in-home care businesses. Boomers are getting up in age, they don’t want to go to nursing homes. Many are mom-and-pop owned. Buy several in an area and then systematize and operationalize all the processes.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
We bought a piece of software that took one of our billing processes from 4 days to about 4 hours. I would have paid significantly more for it.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I really love google analytics and keyword planner. It really helps us manage the topline and understand what our customers are wanting from us. We have uncovered some great nuggets through it.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday. Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint-hearted! The roller coaster of emotions one experiences from one moment to the next can be taxing. Remain equanimous. Don’t allow yourself to be overjoyed by success and don’t catastrophize when things go wrong. Lastly, remember that the obstacle isn’t in the way. The obstacle is what leads you and your company to be great. Through — not around it.
What is your favorite quote?
I’ve got too many that I like. But one that I’ve been focusing on recently is “Talking and doing fight for the same resources”.
- Equanimity is key
- Focus on the one thing
- Be deliberate
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.