My Incredible Experience Mentoring Teens in This Business Plan Competition at Concordia University Irvine

My Incredible Experience Mentoring Teens in This Business Plan Competition at Concordia University Irvine

We can accomplish anything.

You may have heard me say that before. My friends, family, clients and business partners sure have.

And I truly believe it.

That’s why I was so honored to be invited to be a mentor for the Teen Entrepreneur Academy at Concordia University Irvine.

This is really important to me.

It’s is a core part of my calling: to serve others and share my gifts and talents.

So to be able to mentor our future leaders and help them with their business plan was both a huge honor and a blessing for me personally.

The Big Night

I was feeling anxious. The room was buzzing.

When I walked in, I saw my team gathered together waiting for the final competition to begin.

They were nervous. And understandably so.

But I reminded them that they were thoroughly prepared, and they have greatness within them.

We refocused and went over the plan again. Then they called everyone to their seats.

It was time.

I watched each team pitch their business plans to the judges.

The competition was stiff, and every single team did an incredible job.

I felt so proud and humbled to watch the next generation of business leaders present their plans, as well as confident in the direction they will take us.

But at the end when the judges announced the winners, my heart soared.

The young entrepreneurs on MY TEAM won 1st place!!

Seeing the smiles on their faces is something I’ll never forget.

Knowing the impact I made on their minds and lives, is priceless.

This is what I live for.

It’s not just about making money – yes, of course, that’s important.

But what’s MORE important is the impact you make on this world.

I feel so blessed by the gifts God has given me, and my mission is to share them.

So if you need a little inspiration or wisdom…

Click here to download 17 Business Secrets That Can Transform an Organization.

This is How Entrepreneurs Can Hold Themselves Back From Reaching Their Full Potential

This is How Entrepreneurs Can Hold Themselves Back From Reaching Their Full Potential

We can accomplish anything.

My clients, friends and family hear me say it all the time.

And I firmly believe it to be true.

But if it is in fact true, why are so many people and businesses struggling?

Well, that’s a complicated question. And every person and business is different, for sure.

Every single person has unlimited potential. But part of the problem is…

They don’t truly believe it.

People want to believe it.

But we all have beliefs that are so ingrained…

So hard-wired into our brains that we end up doing things that can really hold us back.

We listen to self-limiting beliefs.


There are things each of us tells our self that holds us back.


We deal with feelings and thoughts from past experiences that keep us from even getting to the place of wanting to make changes and accomplish our goals.


We tell our self we’re not smart enough, lucky enough, strong enough, good-looking enough, or that we don’t have what it takes to accept success in our life.


I call B.S.


You are a special and unique entrepreneur. You are the only one of you in this world.


You may not be like another entrepreneur that you admire, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t do everything you want to do in your business.


You deserve success. You deserve to live the life you want to live.

The fear of failure and public reaction.


We’re afraid to fail, but more than that, we’re afraid to look bad.


We’re terrified of others thinking of us as failures more than actually failing.


Failure is a part of a business and sometimes we need to failure.


Failure shouldn’t be an ending event. It should be an opportunity to learn and grow.


In the end, who cares what people think?


Their opinion is not important in the grand scheme of things and won’t put any more money in your pocket.

You can read more reasons people don’t accomplish their business goals over at Entrepreneur.

The reality is that going at it alone in business is hard. It makes business harder than it has to be.

Over and over I see that one of the biggest things I help my clients with (besides fixing major issues within their organization) is their mindset.

Sometimes all it takes is simply being reassured that you’re on the right path.

So I compiled some of my insights and wisdom from all my years in business for you:

Click here to download ’17 Business Secrets That Can Transform an Organization.’

Failed Before? So What. Be Like These 3 Losers Who Bounced Back and Soared to Success

Failed Before? So What. Be Like These 3 Losers Who Bounced Back and Soared to Success

Life can feel like a whirlwind.

We all have periods of struggles, and periods of success.

And a string of failures can quickly become a losing streak that feels like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

But no matter how many times we fall flat on our face, it doesn’t matter.

Success is always within reach.

Check out these three ‘losers.’ These successful entrepreneurs were once in the exact same position as some people.

Maybe even you.

But even though they struggled, they always believed they would figure it out.

And they did:

1. Scott Oldford


Founder of Infinitus, Leadcraft and Bots for Business


In 2013, Oldford racked up $726,000 in debt. At the ripe age of 22, he faced a bleak future. It’s a mountain of debt many people wouldn’t escape from.


Yet, in less than three years, Oldford not only recovered, but built a multi-million-dollar company by overcoming his own toxic ego, and replacing it with a deep focus on relationships, mentorship and personal growth.


From big loser to bigger success, Oldford today demonstrates a zest for life that has led to successful launches, new ventures and an ever-growing level of authority.

2. Noah Kagan


Founder of Sumo


Noah Kagan was employee No. 30 at Facebook, which, had he stayed, would have made him over $100 million.


However, Facebook fired him after eight months, which sent him into a spiral of depression.


Kagan overcome this (and the title of “the guy who got fired by Facebook and lost $100-plus million”), and has since built numerous successful businesses.

3. Arianna Huffington


Founder of The Huffington Post and Thrive Global


Back in 2007, Arianna Huffington sat at home on the phone, when all of a sudden she collapsed.


When she woke up, she lay in a pool of her own blood, and had what she would later discover, a broken cheekbone.


It wasn’t cancer. It wasn’t a disease.


Huffington was, of course, exhausted.


However, she later described this terrifying period as the “wake up call that changed my life.”


Not only did this lead her to create Thrive Global, but also author bestselling books like Thrive and The Sleep Revolution.


Though Huffington had already achieved great acclaim with her eponymous news site, it was this setback that pushed her to follow her passion and also achieve success in her personal life.

You can find four more examples of losers who found massive success at Entrepreneur.

Is your business struggling? Or just getting by?

If your business isn’t soaring, I truly want to help.

Discover the strengths and weaknesses of your business so you can create a strategy for success.

Click here to take the business evaluation. 

Richard Branson Wrote a Letter to His 25 Year Old Self, and It’s Perfect For Every Entrepreneur

Richard Branson Wrote a Letter to His 25 Year Old Self, and It’s Perfect For Every Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs everywhere look up to Richard Branson.

I mean, the guy is worth over $5 billion.

Well, back in 2015, he turned 65. To celebrate, he created the #ChallengeRichard campaign.

This consisted of 65 challenges to be completed through that year.

Four of those challenges involved writing a letter to different ages of his younger self.

One for his 10-year-old self, one for his 25-year-old self, one for his 50-year-old self, and one for his current (then 65 year old) self.

So what kind of advice would he give himself?

Forbes published excerpts of all four of his letters. Here are some of the highlights that Entrepreneurs everywhere should learn from:

In My Letter To 25 Year-Old Me, Branson encouraged his younger self to stick with his new company, Virgin.


He warned himself about the bumps ahead, but to focus on his goals – even in the face of adversity.


Branson also wrote about the importance of learning from mistakes, and transforming challenges into opportunities.


Here is some of his best advice:


1. “The road ahead is pock-marked with many bumps, chasms and forks. There will be times where you want to give up and throw everything in. Don’t. By turning challenges into opportunities, you will find success you never realised you were capable of achieving.”


2. “But you won’t always succeed. In fact, you will fail time and time again. That’s ok though, because failure is an inevitable part of every personal and entrepreneurial journey.”


3. “It’s important to pick yourself up, retrace your steps, look at what went wrong, and learn from your mistakes.


4. “Continue to take chances. In the future how ‘lucky’ you are in business will be determined by how willing you are to take calculated risks.”


5. “Don’t let the naysayers deter you.


6. “Don’t be afraid to delegate responsibility.


7. “Your ability to take calculated risks and your incurable optimism will lead to great heights – both in business and in life.

You can read more about the #ChallengeRichard letters over at Forbes.

Feeling unsure about the road ahead?

Discover the strengths and weaknesses of your business so you can create a strategy for success.

Click here to take the business evaluation.

3 of the Most Powerful, Life-Transforming Questions Most People Are Too Afraid to Ask Themselves

3 of the Most Powerful, Life-Transforming Questions Most People Are Too Afraid to Ask Themselves

Today, people have never been more connected in history.

But with an abundance of technology and an increasingly fast-paced world, it’s incredibly easy to get swept up in our everyday activities.

We can lose track of what’s truly important in our personal and professional lives.

You know the feeling: head down, buried in your work.

Gotta finish one more thing. Send one more email. Respond to one more text message.

The to-do list can seem never ending.

That’s why it’s critical to develop a practice that reminds us of what’s truly important.

Former NFL linebacker and entrepreneur Matt Mayberry believes we ALL need to sit ourselves down and as these important questions regularly.

Unfortunately, most people will never ask themselves these questions.

They’re too scared.

If you’re willing to ask yourselves these questions, you put yourself in the very small percentage of people who consciously work to improve themselves.

But it requires honesty.

So don’t worry about what you may or may not have accomplished yet. You’ve still got plenty of time.

Start now.

And ask yourself these three important questions:

1. “Where am I?”

Taking the time to ask yourself where you currently are in life is incredibly important. A huge majority of the population never even stops to analyze where they are right this moment and if that’s where they truly want to be.

Please don’t fall into that trap.

Start asking yourself on a continual basis where you currently are in life and answer that question honestly. One of the hardest things to do is to admit that you aren’t where you want to be or that you have been doing it all wrong leading up to this point.

However, do you know what’s even much harder to deal with?


2. “Where do I want to be?”

This question is all about digging deep within yourself and discovering what your true passions, goals and dreams really are.

Where do you want to be professionally? Where do you want to be financially? Where do you want to be in your personal relationships? Where do you want to be in your health journey?

3. “How am I going to get there?”

All three of these questions are vitally important to ask yourself, but this last question can exponentially change the game for you. This question also happens to be the one that most people end up never asking because it requires a whole lot of work and actually getting up and doing something after you take the time to answer it.

Everything that I have ever been able to accomplish in my life has been a direct result of constantly asking myself this particular question, writing down every possible thing I can think of, and then taking massive action to execute everything that I wrote down.

You can read more over at Entrepreneur.

If you don’t like your answers, or aren’t sure how to answer them, that’s OK. I’ve got something special for you:

Discover the strengths and weaknesses of your business so you can create a strategy for success.

Click here to take the business evaluation.


Business: the five key departments (gears)

Business: the five key departments (gears)

Business: the five key departments (gears)

By  on March 10, 2017

By Mark Maes

Success for a business owner can be difficult to achieve. Many business owners don’t fully understand the complexity, opportunity, and responsibility that exists in business.

They didn’t envision being business owners or corporate leaders. They started off simply being good at their craft, or being passionate about the service that lead them in their particular direction in business. Being fully prepared or trained was not even on their radar. Resultantly, many business owners end up on a tread mill, working hard, long hours, day after day, never accomplishing their desired goals and dreams of success. This condition is most often related to misunderstanding of their own capabilities or simply not having mapped out the entire dream, with effective controls and measureable goals for the long range.

Business is made up of five key departments (gears). The size and type of a business doesn’t really matter; they all have 5 departments. At Maes and Associates, LLC we take it a step further and teach that business is much like a machine, which requires oil. That oil is your people, and the culture your organization breeds. The five gears/departments are:

  1. Marketing
  2. Sales
  3. Finance & Administration
  4. Operations
  5. Brand and Company Growth Management

When leaders embrace these five departments (gears), the outcome is success and greater control of their business and its management.

The greatest asset a company can ever have, is a passionate work force or team.

When you implement the High Five Priority Business Mapping in your organization or business, you empower your vision, people, and resources, shifting the load of responsibility and performance to the positions and people you intend. This changes the culture (oil) of your business, by your specific design, from reactive management, to proactive management, and increased performance.

Imagine being in complete control of your business, accomplishing the goals and dreams of your desires. You can! We have all we need to accomplish all we desire. We simply need to identify the dots, connect them, and make the effort required. High Five Priority Business Mapping gives you the structure, processes, and methodology with which you can be specific in identifying goals and resources necessary to accomplish them per your plan, on your schedule.

People in general want to succeed. Many just don’t know how, or what their success looks like.  We don’t know what we don’t know, so, many adults stop seeking education and training exactly when it becomes most necessary. You start a business but have never been trained in all the critical factors involved. The CEO Position is the loneliest position of all. No one and nowhere to take your questions, troubles, fears, and concerns to. The buck stops with you. You don’t need to go it alone. High Five Priority Business Mapping is the way. It is the fabric of success. We are tactical and thorough in our assessments. We are strategic, detailed, and service oriented in our implementation and training. We work alongside your people, teams, and leaders, utilizing the product and its great benefits for your business, enhancing both your culture and performance. Every part of the High Five Priority Business Mapping system takes a multitude of flow, condition, and variation of business into consideration in order to align those variables with non-negotiable constants. What gets measured gets improved. Start with the end in mind. Goal. Plan. Execute. Reward Performance.

Be Deliberate! Identify and accomplish your desired goals.

If we may assist, please call on us to help. It’s what we do.

Mark Maes is the Principal at Maes and Associates. He may be reached at