Noel Wax -President and co-founder of GroundSwell Group

Offer value to the people you interact with. Don’t always be on the asking side of the equation.

Noel is a former CBS Sports executive turned entrepreneur. As President and co-founder of GroundSwell Group, a next generation cause-marketing agency that connects brands with their consumers through the causes they support, he has cultivated a culture of corporate social responsibility at GroundSwell Group and inspires those around him to push the envelope.

Where did the idea for GroundSwell Group come from?

I wanted to build something that took advantage of my professional experience in media, sports, events and entertainment while adding in the incredibly important element of cause and making a difference.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

My typical day is insane. I wake up every day at 4:45am to clear out my emails and set up my day to be proactive, efficient and focused on how to grow my business. I always carve out time for the little things, try to deal with the “problems” first things, always make at least five client contacts a day and try to leave time to make my bed, meditate, write in my journal and spend time with my 3 and 5 year old and my wife. I do like to be home for dinner every night.

How do you bring ideas to life?

They sit in my head for a few hours, days or weeks. When I can’t get them out of my head I bring them up with my team. They usually call me crazy and dependent on how deeply I believe in the idea, we make plans to take action. We have an amazing team of talented people with strong ideas and opinions. We usually come out of these meetings with an efficient action plan (or kill the idea).

What’s one trend that really excites you?

I like the trend that we are setting that turns the model of corporate social responsibility upside down and allows the customer to have choice and control on the causes they effect. In the real world I like the trend of wellness and organic products in our food supply.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

My mind never stops working. It is literally always working toward finding ways to make things better or more efficient. And I don’t have to sleep much.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Be present. Go through all the experiences you possibly can as those are the things that shape you. Don’t let fear paralyze you from doing things and making decisions. Don’t give other people power over you. Respect them but my opinion is of equal importance.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on?

Amazing thought provoking question……we all have the time to make a difference if its something that we think is important enough.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Offer value to the people you interact with. Don’t always be on the asking side of the equation.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.

Hire amazing people and realize that I will have to kiss some frogs along the way too. Really get to know people and allow them the opportunity to achieve greatness and buy in to the vision.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Fear of asking for help or advice. I overcame it by asking for help.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

I am not willing to give anything away right now.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I bought four ticket to Snow Day LA. My wife was out of town so I took my two kids and gave the extra ticket to a young boy who would not have been able to go. Tickets were $25 each.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?

Wave – I run my payroll and accounting through this app.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Getting to Yes. It is a classic business book on negotiations and achieving mutually beneficial outcomes.

What is your favorite quote?

If you think you can you probably will. If you think you can’t….you won’t.

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