An Interview With Our CEO and Founder, Mario Mirabella
Written by Courtney Raguso, Social Media Content Creator
Running a business isn’t easy and many people assume that being a business owner means you’re your own boss, you set your own schedule, and are living your best life. Although those things can hold true, being a business owner isn’t all butterflies and roses. The truly successful brands are the ones who have their CEOs putting their heart and soul into the brand and aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. Although escaping the rat race is one reason many people want to be a business owner, the real drive behind it is about doing something which you are passionate. If there is no passion behind your business, you will face a burnout. It’s not always about the sales, nor is it just about being the boss, but more so about the purpose of your company. It’s about making a change you want in the world and having something valuable and unique to offer society. Today, we have reached the end of our blog interview series and sat down with our final and most important participant, our CEO Mario Mirabella! Let’s dive in to see what he has to say about being a business owner and how MSM all started.
What inspired you to start MSM DesignZ?
“I was inspired by the love of graphics and design. It all started as a hobby, and I enjoyed creating new graphics and learning how it’s done. I always had a creative eye and this field was so exciting to get into at the time. I soon realized I could help others with graphics and thought this could be a great business to start.”
What is your experience before starting MSM DesignZ?
“My experience is pretty vast and at such a young age, I had many accomplishments which led me to starting my own company. I had various titles as well, between the ages of 18 and 25. I was a General Manager, Operation Manager, Purchasing Manager, Software Beta Tester, Quality Assurance Tester and Projectionist. My skills consisted of: customer service, hiring, payroll, being bonded, inventory management, managing overseas vendors, product development, software testing, knowledge of all computer operating systems, tech support and many others such as building movies using film reels for a national chain.”
Did you always know you wanted to be a business owner?
“Not exactly a business owner, but I always wanted a position of substance. I always wanted to be a leader and looked at the next level or promotions as goals in previous employment.”
What challenges did you face in the beginning?
“My biggest challenge, believe it or not, was how and when I would leave my “real” full time job and run the business 100%. I started the company in 1999 and finally went full time in 2003. It was a huge step leaving that guaranteed paycheck on the table and benefits, but if I was going to be successful, it was the only way.”
Why did you decide to start a digital marketing agency? What passions drove you to this type of industry?
“I always say that I fell into this industry because of the passion I had for graphics and web design. Because it started as a hobby for me, it did not feel like work and I always wanted to learn more. When I realized so many businesses could use these services, I saw a great opportunity to get into this industry. It is very exciting to see a vision come to life. When you are merely discussing concepts with a client and you can make them into a reality. It is still an exciting feeling today after 22 years.”
What is your favorite aspect of being a business owner?
“My favorite aspect is enjoying the flexibility and being able to create a working environment that my employees can feel comfortable, be themselves and have fun doing their job. There were many times we broke out a few guitars in the office and had a jam session to break up the day!”
What are the daily challenges you face running a business?
“There are many challenges you face when running a business. You want to always strive to be better than what you were the previous day. If you wanted to check in on some clients, but ran out of time, then double that the next day. Always keep business development top of mind. It is easy to forget when you are caught up with the day-to-day operation. Some challenges can be managing project schedules and keeping your clients happy. Everyone is a priority, so you need to be an expert with juggling. Another challenge is remembering to work on your own brand. Our days are filled with making many other businesses look their best, we tend to forget ourselves.”
What are your future plans and goals for MSM? Where do you see the brand going in the next decade?
“My future plans and goals for MSM would be to continue growing and staying on top of all new marketing trends to give our clients an edge with their campaigns. The mentality is to always remain hungry and never stay stagnant.”
Can anyone handle being a business owner?
“This is a tough question cause honestly I do not think everyone is cut out for this role. Actually, a lot of people would not want that responsibility and just rather only have to worry about work during their shift. With a business owner, that mindset never shuts off. After hours, holidays or vacations, I am always thinking about the business in some way. There are also many skills and characteristics one must possess to be a business owner, since a lot of hats are worn, especially in the beginning. After 22 years, I am still wearing a lot of hats!”
What are one of the most important lessons you learned from starting MSM and being a business owner?
“One of the most significant lessons would be to always value your staff and show appreciation. I have learned from previous employers on “what not to do” when it comes to treating your employees. Let’s say I had my fair share of interesting bosses. With that being said, always welcome the feedback from your staff and value their voices. After all, without a solid team, there would be no company.
I will add a second lesson, and that has to do with our many wonderful clients. Always listen and be responsive. Value their business and loyalty and make them feel important… because they are!”
Having a successful company with a healthy internal culture is the difference between what makes someone a boss and what makes them a leader. A leader is someone who works to motivate and unite their team toward a common goal. They lead by example and focus on improving the performance of their employees and want to give them what they need to succeed. To be a leader, you have to have an understanding of power and authority. They use their power and authority to effectively lead their team by example and encourage them to submit quality work that enhances the company’s performance. Bosses view their employees as workers and doers, while leaders see theirs as achievers, who are a key part of the success of the overall company. Our CEO at MSM DesignZ is someone who shows up every day, puts in the legwork, and never lets his ego tell him he is too good for anything. He started this company out of passion and saw an opportunity in how he can help the community. If there is one major takeaway from this, it’s that as a business owner, you are the brand of the company. Your company reflects who you are as a person and what is important to you. So, never start something unless you have passion for it.
At MSM DesignZ, we put in the time and energy needed for success, so you can ensure you are using every dollar for maximum return. With over 20 years in the business, we have watched marketing evolve from traditional to digital. Whether you need a website refresh, a brand voice, or a quality online presence, we can do it all. When we take on a client, we put in 110% and treat every brand as if it’s our own. We will always continue to place our clients’ needs at the heart of our operations. From web development to social media management, we’ll work directly with you to build a personalized strategy to not only retain but also gain business. We are assisting in all areas for our clients. Visit our contact page at https://www.msmdesignz.com/contact/, and we’ll work with you to devise a custom plan that will keep your brand alive and well. We look forward to working with you!