Michael Scarpaci is an entrepreneur and business owner from New York, and currently based in Miami, Florida. Michael grew up in Brooklyn with his family where he attended Catholic school. His family has owned and operated Scarpaci Funeral Home since 1910 which he has been a part of his whole life. After school, Michael moved to Miami with his family. Here, he founded Axis All in 2008, a business which specializes in alternative financing options for small businesses. Michael has since grown Axis All and currently has offices in Florida and New York.
Where did the idea for Axis All come from?
The idea behind Axis All took me several years to develop. The concept is that no matter where you are on the axis, Y axis or the X axis, all angles of any financial business world, Axis All can cover. The idea behind it was to develop a full spectrum platform to cover all needs in the finance of a business.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My day starts early…around 5 am. My mind starts to race with all the necessary things that need to be done and achieved for the day. So one of the most productive things that I started to do early on in my career is create a “to do” list for the day. It’s an incredibly satisfying feeling once I’m able to put a checkmark next to any one of the listed items. After making that list I’m ready to tackle the day. Since most of my colleagues are on the same schedule, we are able to discuss certain opportunities early on. Personal health is very important to me. I try to get in a morning workout before heading out to the office. Once in the office, the fun begins…
How do you bring ideas to life?
I use all of my resources and I built on top of each of them…and the best way is by constant communication. That’s how I bring my ideas to fruition. Open lines of communication allows me to bring together multiple clients, funds, that creates more knowledge and opens more venues for more ideas.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The fact that there’s always something new to learn in the world of finance and thus, there’s no way one can become complacent. That truly excites me.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
What advice would you give your younger self?
Be less reactive….give your brain a chance to process the information before you respond. Write that response email but wait…do not send on an emotional state. 24 hour hold.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
We live in the world of technology where people think that zoom meetings or FaceTime is sufficient enough for a true meeting. Nothing beats face-to-face. Yes it takes more of an effort. Yes it means that you have to get out of your pajamas to actually conduct a meeting. But that is the process that is efficacious, efficient and genuinely productive. We have lived through tenacious several years in regarding to the pandemic and I would never belittle the technology and how it maintained my business during that unprecedented times, but I think at this period of time we have all learned how to be safe around each other.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Never take for granted any of your ideas. Don’t belittle your own ideas. And most importantly, put everything on paper. I was taught early on that faintest of ink is better than the fondest of memories. Until the contract is signed, nothing is real.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Under promise and over deliver. Unfortunately the world of finance is full of people that want to make amazing promises. Promises that are potentially unattainable. Promises that are unrealistic. I would never want to mislead a client. I would never want to promise something that I know I cannot deliver. It’s important to remember that people with good intentions make promises. People with good character keep them. The unique aspect of our model is we vet all of our lending sources to eliminate the unattainable promises.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Which one? The matter of fact is that every successful business person will have more failures than successes. Success is stumbling from one failure to another, with no loss of enthusiasm or drive. But most importantly, I learn from my prior mistakes. That’s how I overcome mine…I don’t lose sight of my goals.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
None. Any successful entrepreneur would agree that implementing another’s idea will never work out without repercussions. Only the creator knows the nuances of his/her plan. Our self generated propositions is what makes this market so competitive and satisfying. It’s not to sound selfish. This is to learn and gain the competitive edge early.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
That’s an amazing question that made me really think. I recently ate dinner at a local Italian restaurant close to where I live. I met the most amazing waiter whom after dinner felt more like a friend I’ve know for years. After speaking throughout the night, he mentioned he was leaving to Columbia for his daughters wedding the next evening.
After paying the check, I handed him a $100 bill to give to his daughter to wish her and new husband the best of luck all newlyweds should have. The expression of Gratitude and genuine tears in his eyes was just something I will never forget. He called his daughter on FaceTime to thank us in person. There’s truly nothing better than a selfless act with no expectations.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
My companies cannot run without a unique customer relation management (CRM) system. My team was trained early on that every document, every step of the process gets noted in the system. That gives us an ability to create a successful handoff from one employee to the next with no loss of time and data.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I wish I read as much as I want to. That’s my personal goal. But one of the books that I recently read and loved was Wolf of Wall Street. Interestingly enough, I truly believe that it should be used as a manual of what NOT to do in business. And most importantly a lesson of how NOT to treat a client
What is your favorite quote?
“Excuses are for losers”
- Open lines of communication brought business ideas to life
- Being less reactive at the start of your career, giving your brain a chance to process the information before you respond, will help your professional path
- Under promise and over deliver. Do not make promises that are potentially unattainable or unrealistic.
- Give yourself a chance to act selflessly and expect nothing in return
- Success is stumbling from one failure to another, with no loss of enthusiasm or drive. But most importantly, learning from prior mistakes to attain genuine success
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.