Work hard, keep pushing, and don’t doubt yourself.
Michael Lupacchino was born and raised in the suburbs of Massachusetts 30 miles outside of Boston. As a kid he was very much interested in animals, nature, and science. He was also an avid reader with a very inquisitive nature coupled with a voracious imagination. As he matured as a student, he became increasingly fond of spirited debate, philosophy, and intellectual discussion. He would often raise his hand and challenge teachers, or other pupils, in his class to defend their ideas, or to explain their rational on something. As a natural progression, he started to become interested in politics and government during the tail end of high school. It was also during high school that he discovered his passion for working out and fitness.
After graduating with honors from high school, Michael Lupacchino attended Providence College where he studied Political Science and Business Management. In his freshmen year, he experienced the horrible atrocity of the 9-11 attacks, which forever remained ingrained in his mind marking a milestone that forever changed how he viewed politics, government, and society.
“I’ll never forget that day, or where I was when it happened.” His passion for truth and justice led him to write a detailed letter to the editor in his college paper about the attack that has been cited and referenced in works by Deanna Spingola, and others.
Michael started his professional career by landing a job right after graduating college with the mutual fund giant, Fidelity Investments. It was this job that caused Michael Lupacchino to move to southern New Hampshire. It wasn’t long afterward that Michael made the transition from the largest mutual fund company to the largest residential mortgage company in the US when he took a position with CountryWide’s Full Spectrum Lending division as an Account Executive.
Michael enjoyed the more direct hands on work entailed in lending through Countrywide than the corporate call center world of Fidelity. After Countrywide was bought out by Bank of America, Michael looked into realizing a dream of his in becoming an entrepreneur of his own. His future partner, who was well aware of and saw his hard work ethic and raw talent, gave him the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a new exciting business opportunity.
After the recession caused by the mortgage crisis, the banks had really tightened their lending guidelines and people were having a hard time obtaining financing when they tried to buy a vehicle. As a result, there was a void in the market for a lender who would take a chance and finance those with bad or no credit. That was the geneses of the founding of the finance company Mass Credit, LLC., a company that specializes in financing people with bad or no credit who need a vehicle but can’t get approved for a loan through a traditional bank. Michael Lupacchino helped found Mass Credit, LLC in 2009 and has been helping people establish and rebuild their credit while providing them with reliable transportation since.
Where did the idea for Mass Credit come from?
The idea of Mass Credit, LLC actually came about from my business partner who owned a few car dealerships at the time, including large franchises such as Ford, and Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep. He saw firsthand that a lot fewer of his customers were getting approved for financing on vehicles than they were just a year before. He realized that he was losing sales simply because people who wanted to buy cars, couldn’t get approved for the financing. He realized that if he could start his own finance company, he could finance those customers himself and sell more cars.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
There really is no typical day at the office when you are an owner of a small finance company. For the most part, I am a one man show and handle just about everything from the day to day operations, to finding and originating new business, to approving loans, to collecting on existing loans, and to dealing with collections on loans that default. I’m everything from a collector, salesman, marketer, receptionist, and bookkeeper, and the role that I play could shift in an instant. Since we are in the business of subprime lending, a large portion of my day obviously does deal with collecting on the loans.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Everything that is originates as just a thought that germinates into an idea or construct, before it can mature and manifest into reality. One has to remain focused on the initial thought at inception in order to see it through to maturity and make it reality. It takes courage and conviction in order to stick with your thoughts and see them through, as well as hard work. The two most common things that can kill your dreams are doubt and fear. Never listen to those who doubt you, because there are plenty out there who will negatively cast doubt on anything. Always listen to yourself, and trust yourself. Believe in yourself, never give up, and never surrender.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
A trend that excites me the most currently is that contrary to how the conventional banks were acting when we first founded our company, they are now acting 180 degrees the opposite and lending very liberally and irresponsibly. They are putting loans on the books that I would never have even dreamed of, financing people with questionable job history on high mileage vehicles in long term loans. As someone who personally assesses risk (and with my own money on the line when I asses that risk) I know they are just seeing how far they can push themselves before the bubble bursts. Believe me, we are heading towards another subprime bubble, but this time it’s not a mortgage bubble but a subprime auto bubble. When that bubble pops, and their irresponsible loans default, they will go back to tightening their guidelines and not lending to anyone with even questionable credit again. That will be a huge business opportunity for us just as it was before.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Work hard, keep pushing, and don’t doubt yourself. I can’t stress that enough! Also, always stay innovative and ahead of the curve. There is a saying, that for everyday you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse, and I believe that. You’re likely to have competitors, and you need to distinguish yourself ahead of the pack. Everyone needs a competitive advantage in at least some aspect in order to justify why the customer should choose you.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
Worst is subjective. Worst in what way? If pay, then my first job working as an usher for Hoyts Cinema for $5.25 an hour was my “worst” job. There are always going to be attributes you like and attributes that you don’t like when you have a job. However, work pays the bills and I was always thankful for every job that I had , that I was able to work and have the opportunity to support myself. Many people aren’t fortunate to even have a job, and they struggle for day to day existence.
Ideally you want a job that you love, or at least can tolerate. My beloved late Grandfather (or “Papa” as we called him) Raymond (where I take my middle name from) gave me some sage advice. He told me, “Look, everyone is going to have days once in a while where you get up and go, ‘Oh, I really don’t want to go to work today’. However, when you are at a point where you absolutely detest, and dread going to work every single day, then it’s time to find a new job if you can!”
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
Well, hindsight is 20/20 and if I knew what I know now, I would have made changes in certain things as far back as high school. At the same time though, you never know if things ended up for the better regardless. You could have made a change that you think would have been better in retrospect, which instead could have taken your life down a completely different path. Not even necessarily a better or worse path, just a completely different one. And you would still have doubts about how things ended up, and what you could have done differently. That’s why you have to believe in yourself, and your vision, and have the courage to see things through.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Don’t let fear, or doubts, or naysayers, hold you back. Always believe in yourself.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Don’t over think it. Provide quality services and treat people with respect. Don’t be overly worried about what your competitors might be doing, just concentrate on your company and what you’re doing. We never advertized much, but just simple things like treating people right and providing exceptional service does wonders for referral business.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Work, like day to day life, is full of successes and failures of varying magnitudes. The key is to take lessons and learn from both. As the old saying goes, the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results. Also, it usually never pays off to be penny wise and dollar foolish. Don’t lose sight of the big picture, and you do often have to spend money to make money. Don’t view it as “spending”, view it as investing. Investing in your business is a smart use of funds and usually ends up paying massive returns. Many in business might view the ultimate failure as going out of business, but I disagree. If you have the courage and fortitude to put forth all the work and effort to start a business, you have at least lived by daring to dream and pursuing your dreams. Not every business venture works out, and even the most successful people have failures under your belt. No risk no reward. I often like to think of Theodore Roovevelt’s quote defining the difference between those who have the courage to dare, and those who don’t.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
– Theodore Roosevelt
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Keep your eye on virtual reality, and get involved in it at some level if you can. Want to know what the next radio / television / internet is? VR! It’s going to be huge!
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Every time I invest $100 into my business or myself it is money well spent. On that note, I highly recommend that everyone look into the benefits of real money, and how we don’t have it as a currency anymore. Everyone should have some gold or silver as a hedge against inflation. The Federal Reserve note that is currently issued in this country is fiat and has no intrinsic value. It isn’t backed up by anything, as money is supposed to be. The value of $100 in the form of Federal Reserve notes will always fluctuate, but an ounce of silver will always be an ounce of silver.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
I’m a windows and linux guy. We have a few different types of software that we use for the business internally such as ADP, Micro21, and more. Micro21 is great because it is simple and easy to use with stellar customer service while also being a great value. I also love Firefox as an internet browser.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“The Creature from Jekyll Island” by G Edward Griffin. I believe it is vitally important that everyone should have a clear understanding of how the United States’ currency was co opted by a private banking entity in the Federal Reserve who now charges us interest to print our money for us even though only Congress has such authority under the constitution and is supposed to issue us currency backed by gold and silver.
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