Mark Milliere trained for his career at the Ryerson University in Toronto. He earned his bachelor’s degree in 1988. His last year at Ryerson he began working for a new up-and-coming network known as TSN.(The Sports Network), which was a 24/7 all-sports network. After graduation, he began working for the company on a full-time basis. He was hired at an entry-level position as an editorial assistant. His humble position consisted of assembling the highlights for the daily sports news show. Mark Milliere was not destined to remain in an entry level position. He served the company over the next thirty-two years working his way up the ranks. He had many accomplishments, he produced many shows, he oversaw all of production for the network, and ultimately began running the network. He had gone from an entry-level position, rising to become an executive in the “corner office.”
Where did the idea for your careercome from?
I believe it was either a stroke of absolute genius or perhaps naivety. When I was a kid trying to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up, I loved sports. I use to watch sports on T.V. I focused on obtaining a career in sports media. I spoke to industry professionals who informed me that most sports media professionals came out of Ryerson University. I joined the radio and television arts program at Ryerson. I landed a part-time job at the newly established TSN before I graduated. I was able to get in on the ground floor. The rest is history.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I have left TSN and launched M2 Consulting. We focus on the sports tech sector. These are companies working in the sports industry. Most of them are venture capital funded companies. They are leveraging technology to create new and exciting companies. On the non-profit side, I help with a few charities that I am passionate about. One is the Special Olympics, the other two are, Capitalize For Kids, which works on solutions for kids’ mental health, and Sick Not Weak which helps to reduce the stigma of mental health.
How do you bring ideas to life?
You can’t take an idea and bring it to life alone. You have to embrace and enlist those who may have different expertise than your own. You network the idea with those who can bring the idea to fruition.
What’s one trend that excites you?
What excites me is the way that technology can be leveraged to create some great solutions. It creates better experiences with better efficiency. I think that is truly exciting.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
One habit I have is goal setting. Self-discipline is a big part of goal-setting. One or two good habits can build a good self-regulator. Be focused on an outcome, and stick with it.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Embrace fear. Tackle it. The biggest breakthroughs will happen when you do. Facing your fear will lead to growth. You may fail in the moment, but you will learn from it. Apply that learning. Getting comfortable with the uncomfortable is challenging and difficult, but worth it.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Things we know to be true are typically common sense. I find it difficult to believe that I am holding on to a piece of information that no one else knows to be true.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I would recommend that people start the day early. Read, Read, Read, the more knowledge you can take in, the more you can expand your world, the more you can come up with ideas and solutions. The more you can make connections that will benefit clients.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
One strategy is to stay connected. Make those lunches, take those calls, and build relationships. You never know what just one conversation can lead too. It can be a powerful multiplier.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
There are many times when things don’t go your way. I think it does not serve you to focus on failure. Instead, focus on what you’ve learned from the situation. Then, turn that knowledge into the building blocks for future success.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
If someone could create an app or program that inspired or leveraged people to do the common sense things they need to do each day, like exercise and eat right. We all know the things we should do; how do you get people to execute. If you could figure that out, not only would you make a lot of money, you would improve lives dramatically.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best investment I recently made was on an exceptional book I am reading right now Dare to Lead by Brene Brown. Evolutionary insight on leading and living.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I use Linkedin. It is a terrific tool. It is a way great to make connections. I enjoy reading people’s posts. It is a great way of learning and keeping on top of the industry.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Dare to Lead by Brene Brown. She focuses on how leaders can be authentically vulnerable and lead from that. I think it is a great evolution in how we look at leadership. I think it will create better leadership.
What is your favorite quote?
I love the Special Olympics motto. “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” It is another way of saying, go for it, have the courage to try even if you don’t know the outcome.
● Network an idea with those who can bring the idea to fruition.
● Don’t be afraid to take risks or to make mistakes. You will make mistakes, learn from mistakes and grow.
● Build relationships. You never know what just one conversation can lead too. It can be a powerful multiplier.
● Read, Read, Read, the more knowledge you can take in, the more you can expand your world, the more you can come up with ideas and solutions.
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.