Matthew B. Murphy III is the Co-Founder and President of Emboss Partners, LC – a financial consulting firm specializing in assisting small businesses and entrepreneurial ventures. Before achieving professional success, Matt attended the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, where he majored in business management and administration. Following his academic training and as a dedicated supporter of community and economic development focused on entrepreneurship, he was awarded the Coalition of Minority Business Development and Indy Chamber’s William Henry Entrepreneurial Achievement Award.
Following graduation, Matt spent several decades in corporate leadership roles at Mays Chemical Co., Inc., BWI, LLC, and Huntington National Bank, before establishing his business in 2009. Emboss Partners, LLC is committed to helping entrepreneurs and not-for-profit organizations secure the necessary financial resources to grow their bottom line. As an industry-leading consulting firm, their team of experts helps businesses manage their cash flow while providing efficient strategies to minimize costs and increase profits.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
Among all of the roles and responsibilities that I’ve had throughout my career and in each of the corporate environments that I worked in, the common thread of those opportunities was my ability to serve as a trusted advisor and provide consultation to businesses large and small. I think I just gained a real love for that level of advisory work, in addition to the financial products and services. I found that engaging with business owners and their management teams to solve problems was really something that grew on me.
It started with observing my father after he started his own small business enterprise, but it culminated really in working for and with an entrepreneur. My longest stint from an employer/employee standpoint was with a company whose owner was a very successful entrepreneur in his own right. He owned several businesses, and I was working with him to manage and provide financial oversight to those portfolio companies for him. The main responsibility that I had was to really advise, counsel, and mentor many of these businesses, and so upon his passing in 2014, I decided that I wanted to actually set out on my own so I could be more involved in that kind of advisory work.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
There are no typical days. Most days I am always in communication with business owners, management team members, as potential clients or existing clients, influencers, and other financial professionals and financial institutions, such as banks and private equity firms who in turn work with my clients. I am always communicating with folks throughout the day to uncover needs and devise solutions. In the last few weeks since the relief of COVID, we have had more face-to-face activity, in conjunction with Zoom calls and team meetings and the like, and of course, quite often communicating with corresponding via email and other forms of electronic media where we are sending financial data back and forth and I am providing analysis on behalf of my clients. I am working on behalf of existing clients already in the stable or working on opportunities to land more clients.
How do you bring ideas to life?
My role is to help organizations grow their bottom line while providing a comprehensive plan of action and articulating that plan to financial resource providers. I work to strategize creative solutions and help get companies to where they want to go. My team and I will take advantage of market opportunities and actively communicate the ideas we wish to bring to life.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I would have to say at the very top of the list right now is the business and corporate community’s collective focus on diversity, inclusion, and equity as it relates to business and culture. That includes everything from the composition of their employee base, their vendor base, their customer base as they develop effective strategies for more diverse, inclusive, and equitable environments. Those trends seem to have a tremendous impact on businesses’ desire to create new pathways towards gaining more access to customers and market share that they would otherwise maybe not have focused on or to include employees and groups that maybe they would not have otherwise had a specific targeted focus towards. That is the most exciting trend right now and one that I hope continues.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
My habit of continuously engaging with other business owners who are willing to share their challenges and the ways in which they met those challenges. A close second would be ongoing networking efforts since this has a tremendous impact on being able to see and hear other people’s approaches to meeting challenges, uncovering resources, or focusing on issues at hand that may not be readily found in books or in social media communications. Having live one-on-one communication with folks who are addressing business challenges is really impactful.
What advice would you give your younger self?
To give myself permission to be confident, courageous, and bold in all the things I have the opportunity to do and to accomplish along the way. To enjoy the journey, and not simply look at destination points along the path.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
This is something I struggle with, but in my opinion, it is true. Deep down, from a societal hierarchical standpoint, people have a very difficult time sharing power and relinquishing power, including economic and political power. I think people are, by nature, good hearted in their desire toward the idea of betterment of society, but I believe that the largest impediment is that those who are in power find it very difficult to relinquish that power in order for the greater good of our society to be met. More times than not, when I have shared that thought, there has been some disagreement on it.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
One is to pray, fervently pray and trust that outcomes for our path are influenced by our connectivity with a higher power. Second, be engaged with people, to communicate and share thoughts and ideas, which is definitely something that I do. I would also say over and over I make sure that I thank people for anything they have done to help advance anything I am trying to accomplish. Simple “thank you’s” still go a long way.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
The strategy of networking is probably the most impactful way that I have been able to grow my business. People who know me, people I have reached out to and have informed them of what I am doing, or those that don’t know me but who learn of my service offerings and expertise have all given me a positive reaction with regard to potential opportunities. The networking piece, along with maintaining a positive reputation, has been the most positive catalyst for the growth of my business.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Among several failures along the way, I have not always priced my services appropriately. I have always given value, but have not always priced in that value appropriately for the long-term success of my business model. This was somewhat of an issue in the earlier days of the firm, but I think I have learned from that. When that value proposition is demonstrated, clients are much more comfortable and may even pay a premium for quality service. Undervaluing the cost of my services has been my biggest failure, but I have overcome that simply by engaging in dialogue and explaining the value proposition that my firm brings to a client.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I think any venture that has to do with preserving or repairing the environment would thrive in the current business climate. It would also have the added benefit of helping to heal our planet.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I recently bought a pair of running shoes for about $100. My plan is to start running every morning before work in order to become fitter and healthier. If I stick to that plan, it will be $100 well spent.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Excel. It continues to be an amazing tool. It helps organize financial information in a way that can be expanded, contracted, and used in many ways for quantitative analysis activities. It has a great deal of variability. It is the tool of record that I could not do without.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Bible is such a source of inspiration, guidance, answers, and promises and assurances. No matter how many times I read it and no matter where I am at any juncture of my life, it provides very positive motivation and appreciation for life and the blessings we have.
What is your favorite quote?
I always say, “Never underestimate the transformational power of a positive attitude, both for our own continuous energy and for its effect on others.” This attitude has served me well, and it certainly works more times than not in helping to brighten other people’s attitudes.You’re able to give positive energy when you have a positive attitude.
● Networking and connecting with colleagues is an important part of your business success.
● Consistent delivery of quality is its own reward.
● Fulfillment in business comes from responding to client needs and being a trusted advisor.
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.