You must learn to be your biggest believer and advocate but also your toughest critic.
Where did the idea for Hatched come from?
The idea came from being able to create a business competition reality show that was family friendly and encouraged Americans to become entrepreneurs.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I get up at 5:30am, read the NY Times, (Dealbook section I love), then the Wall Street Journal and Tech Crunch. I then spend time with my family in the morning before I start my day of meetings. I always make sure to find time to work out each day as it keeps my mind sharp and makes me more productive.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Two great ways I bring ideas to life: Listening and asking questions! I believe the best thing you can do to bring your ideas to life is have a great sounding board to ask questions too. When I am discussing a new idea to a group, I like the 80/20 rule where I listen 80% of the time and talk the other 20%. I like to help guide the conversation with questions but the best way for me to bring something to life is listen to as many great minds discuss it.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
The emergence of tech-enabled companies to help shape traditional services industries. I love business that continue to empower employees and give them better tools to succeed.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Always making sure I have time to myself to read and continue to learn each day. Once the day begins, we have so much on our plates as entrepreneurs so I have a routine which allows me to continue to learn. I get up at 5:30am every day and make sure I read and by the time the rest of the work day is starting I feel like I am always prepared and ahead of the curve.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
Starting a career on wall street as an investment banker in my early twenties was tough because your first entry point into corporate America is working 100+ hours a week. The hours were very tough, especially just out of college but it was the best education I could ask for. I looked at my early days on wall street as an extension of graduate school, except we were getting paid. I learned early on how to understand the fundamentals of a business and what drove them.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
Early on in my first venture I spent a lot of time on the fundraising side as it is always very exciting to have someone from the outside tell you how much they think your business is worth. What I realized is that fundraising is very distracting to a CEO and this is when your business can suffer. Next time around, when I make the decision to raise, I am going to stick to a timeline and process and then get back to work!
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
You must learn to be your biggest believer and advocate but also your toughest critic. I also check my ego at the door, no matter how successful your last venture was, each business and opportunity its own clean slate.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
Surrounding myself with the best talent and them rewarding them for it! Starting a business and hiring early talent is lead of faith on both sides and I want to always make sure and reward the people who took that leap!
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Taking on too much t0o fast! I got bit by the entrepreneur bug early but I also had a passion for investing. I tried to be in too many places at once instead of focusing 100% of my energy into my business. I overcame it by deciding that I needed to focus on my business first and be an investor later.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
My first venture was in healthcare and it is also the biggest industry we have in the USA, so I will give away an idea there. Healthcare costs are rising in the USA and we have more insured Americans than ever before. I believe combining technology and education will allow for transparency into this industry and the business idea I have is to find a way to bridge this gap and empower newly insured Americans to make the right choices when choosing a plan!
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best $100 I ever spent was on the first date with my wife, she is truly the love of my life!
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
Slack is amazing, it has dramatically reduced my amount of emails and allowed me to manage and prioritize so many different projects. I love that I can have a continuous thread and conversation in real-time without having to have multiple people always “Replying All” to a question.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I love Ben Horowitz’s Book “The Hard Thing about Hard Things”, it is a great read and shows the difficulties new CEO’s must make when starting a business and faced with real-time challenges. I also relate to Ben because I was an entrepreneur first who then became an investor, like him.
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Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.