Marc Sparks has always marched to the beat of his own drum, which has paid off amazingly well in his 34 years in business as an entrepreneur and venture capitalist. He has written extensively on his unlikely path to success and is always willing to share the story of how he dabbled in dozens of enterprises before finding his perfect fit in software sales. Sparks is a self-taught success story and relies completely on his natural instincts to discover and expand on the best business ideas. His lack of formal training means that his perspective on business is unclouded by academic obscurities and is rooted in practical experience.
Along with his stories of wild success in many of his ventures, there are also powerful lessons in the ones that did not go as well for Sparks at first. He embraces these difficult times as an opportunity to reflect on what generates success and how similar failures can be avoided in the future. Spark’s business advice for interested entrepreneurs is worth its weight in gold because it comes from a man who depended on only his own grit and tenacity to blaze his own lucrative trail. Given that Sparks has been on both sides of the equation as an entrepreneur and investor, he knows exactly what it takes to successfully pitch a business idea and how to sustain a new company’s growth for the long-term.
- Failure Happens
For every business that Sparks grew to an unthinkable profit, there is another that did not pan out. Sparks has always had a fearless approach to business because he has a well-founded trust in his own ability to make something happen. He says that if you are flexible enough to constantly reevaluate your goals and whether you have taken the best approach to achieving them, you will surely find yourself successful at some venture. The trick is that it just may not be the one that you set out to do initially.
- Strike While the Iron is Hot
Instead of getting caught up in the structure of your business enterprise, follow your passion and talk about your business ideas and challenges whenever they come to you. Sparks says that formal corporate meetings often take so long to organize that they lose their value. Be prepared to communicate with your key team players whenever you have the chance to discuss something important about your company. A free exchange of ideas is often the best solution for any temporary problem facing your company.
- Surround Yourself with a Close Circle
The people you choose to share your business idea with should be connections that you feel are established enough to give you honest feedback and valuable insight. It is often better to work with a close group of contacts to develop a business idea than to bring people on board after you have an initial concept. You need to have trust in your inner circle so that you can speak freely and not feel threatened by those around you.
- Scale Your Growth
If you have a product or service that people want, you will eventually be able to sell it to your market and earn sales. However, if you focus only on growing sales too quickly at the outset, you are at risk of comprising the quality of your product or service. This can earn you a ruined reputation, which is not easy to come back from for a new company. Your energy and focus should be spent on perfecting your product at first. It is easy to get caught up in numbers and pushing sales, but this should never come at the cost of your company’s name.
- Capitalize Quickly
If you are secured with enough capital from the start, you will feel less pressure to make sales and can be more focused on developing your product or service. Finding a capable and understanding investor is one of the biggest initial challenges that many new businesses take. Make sure that you have enough breathing room in your early days to spend your resources on research and development. You want to set realistic expectations that you will be able to achieve. Promising investors results that you can only hope to deliver is not a good way to embark on a business relationship and can cost you your standing in the venture capitalist community.
About Marc Sparks
Marc Sparks is often described as a “serial entrepreneur” because he is always on the hunt for the next great business idea. His passion for launching and growing new businesses is almost unmatched and fuels his positive outlook on finding and mentoring new entrepreneurs. Sparks currently leads Timber Creek Capital, a private equity firm that works with his closest contacts to develop business ideas that push the boundaries of innovation and efficiency. Sparks says that he thoroughly enjoys this work because he gets to collaborate with some of the most creative and forward-thinking business minds around.
Even though Sparks is incredibly busy with his demanding busy ventures, he still finds time to give back to his local community. He is heavily involved in The Samaritan Inn, a homeless shelter that provides housing and resources to those who need a helping hand in getting back on their feet. Sparks says that this is a deeply rewarding way to give back because he remembers all of the tough times that he encountered while finding his way on the path less traveled to financial independence. His work at The Samaritan Inn involves helping homeless residents find meaningful employment so that they can provide for themselves and their families.
When Sparks is not mentoring new entrepreneurs or serving those in need, he loves to spend time outdoors. Sparks leads an active and full lifestyle and thinks that this helps him to keep his mind clear and focus on helping his companies grow to unexpected heights.
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