Editor’s Note: Isaac Mashman is a businessman, personal brand specialist, and the founder of Mashman Ventures. He is the podcast host of “Chase the Vision with Isaac Mashman”. The Total Entrepreneurs was privileged to interview the young founder.
In the first part of this interview, Isaac laid bare to The Total Entrepreneurs about his humble beginning, accomplishments, entrepreneurial journey, challenges and in the second part, he talked about his opinion on being an entrepreneur, how he cope during hard times, what it took him to succeed and advice to prospective entrepreneurs.
Hello Isaac, I am glad to have you on our platform, The Total Entrepreneurs! Can you please introduce yourself to my readers and fellow entrepreneurs?
Francis thank you again for the opportunity! The honor is all mine. I’m a few different things actually. I started my public relations firm Mashman Ventures last year, and have hosted my podcast, Chase the Vision with Isaac Mashman since June 2019. Prior to this, I dabbled in over half a dozen different businesses ranging from music management, network marketing, a clothing line, and the list goes on and on.
Wow, sounds great. Tell us all about Mashman Ventures. What makes you unique?
Mashman Ventures is my vehicle to where I want to go. We are a public relations firm, but we’re not what you think we are in a traditional sense. Most PR firms have a focus on companies who want to bridge the gap between a product or service, and their consumer. We on the other hand focus on personal branding. We work with people who want to build out their presence on and offline, and who we like to say ‘want to be followed, in-demand, and respected’. Building your personal brand is vital to your success.
You told me you didn’t come from an entrepreneur background. How did you build up to an entrepreneurial spirit?
I definitely didn’t. I will forever love my mom and my grandparents, but everyone I was raised up around worked jobs and relied on the security of that income. Income that was oftentimes just enough to get by. My mom, a brilliant woman always worked rough shifts at a fast-food restaurant as a manager and then in the grocery sector. My grandfather a cabinet shop.
To answer your question, I believe somehow I already had it. Despite not having really any influences, I was an inventive and curious kid. Those tendencies developed in middle school with crazy business ideas and then in high school when I was encouraged to start a lawn business. As I grew and experienced more the “spirit” if you will, got stronger. I saw the benefits of being an entrepreneur, the freedom that came with it, and the ability to impact and influence a large number of people in their own day-to-day lives.
Prior to your startup, did you have any work experience?
Yes actually! While a senior in high school I got a job working at a place called Sonny’s BBQ. My first paycheck I put towards getting enrolled in my first MLM opportunity. Less than three months in I quit. Later that same year I started working at a grocery store as an overnight stock boy. It wasn’t bad, but there was no way in heck I was going to spend 5+ years of my life only to get a couple dollar raise. Those are my only two W-2 jobs.
Where and when did you learn about personal branding?
I started learning about it subconsciously from a relatively young age. I came to understand the power of networking and self-promotion in Boy Scouts, church, and in the local government, but it wasn’t until late 2017 that I started studying and came to understand it as a concept. Since then, I have spent my days and nights learning, paying attention to trends in the marketplace, and experiencing.
About how long have you been helping people with their personal brands?
Prior to launching Mashman Ventures in 2020, I became the “go-to” branding guy in my friend group on and offline. They’d approach me to help with their messaging, appearance, and reputations. So since early 2019 give or take. After enough people approached me I guess I began to realize I had a knack for it.
What were the main challenges you faced at the early stages of your startup? Do you still encounter them to this day?
Not knowing what to do next. This is a challenge I believe many entrepreneurs or people starting out have. There is no right or wrong way to build a business and no set steps. Step 1 do this, step 2 do that, so on and so forth. Some ways are most definitely more efficient, but without guidance, you can be spinning around wondering which way to go.
I am still dealing with it to this day. Not in the sense I have no direction, but more so in regards to what area of the business do I want to spend time building in this present moment. It can be a lot. As the founder, you are the leader of branding, marketing, sales, etc, until you get people in place. Even then you have to train your force to be able to replace you in these tasks.
Are you the only one managing the business or you have other staff?
We currently have a team of 12 people all working as independent contractors, fulfilling tasks as needed. I would much rather have a team built early, than wait and have to search for the right ones later on.
A lot of the team is on the back end of the company which allows Mashman Ventures to offer media-related services like podcast production and content creation to our clients on top of our current training and strategy model.
Business is about increasing your value and being able to solve problems.
We are looking to take an aggressive marketing push soon and have marketing representatives in place to spread the word!
If you could turn back time, what would you have done differently in regards to your business?
The stereotypical response is “I wouldn’t change anything”, but if I had to pick something I would’ve committed to a business model sooner. After launching Mashman Ventures it took me nearly half a year to define it as a PR firm. Prior to that, I wasn’t clear on my messaging which affected the public’s perception of us and made it more difficult to scale. In the end, it worked out for the best.
Well, this question might sound funny; do you think it is easy to be an entrepreneur?
With launching an LLC or even remaining as a sole-proprietor you have a ton to do. A ton that could definitely be perceived as difficult. Here are some questions you’ll probably find yourself asking at some point in time.
What service am I providing?
How do I get new clients?
How do I open a business bank account?
Do I bring people onto the team?
I could go on until next year with this. One of my mentors once said that business should never be a bore. If you turn business into a game of “Me vs. Me” being an entrepreneur can be a lot of fun. I wouldn’t go as far as to say easy, but your perception plays an important role.
You said you have a podcast. Is starting a podcast something that entrepreneurs should do?
Absolutely! Podcasting is a way for you to connect and interview your role models, market your services, position yourself as an expert, and attract opportunities. Because of my podcast, I have been approached multiple times by audio-only platforms, and then prospects have since turned into clients.
Having a podcast is becoming more common with each passing day, so I’d say to start right now and stick with it. You’ll probably only average 10 streams or less for your first dozen or so episodes. From there it will scale.
Execute with aggressive patience.
You used aggressive patience in the last response. What does that mean?
I am not a fan of the whole “patience” culture today. Having patience is being used as an excuse to procrastinate rather than putting in the time you should be, towards your respective projects.
Aggressive patience is the understanding that success will take time but you take aggressive action each and every day to make it come true. It could take a few years to start seeing the massive results you desire, but you’ll feel much better along the way because you know you deserve what’s coming to you.
What are your top books that every entrepreneur should read?
I’ll list my top three in the order in which you should read them.
As A Man Thinketh by James Allen (don’t worry, ladies the book isn’t only for men).
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
What keeps you going even in hard times?
I am motivated by the thought of my future self. If I stopped now and gave in, I’d be settling and disrespecting the people who believed in me when I didn’t even believe in myself. Why stop now?
What are your thoughts on entrepreneurship for wannabe entrepreneurs – especially those in the public relations and influencer sectors?
I feel comfortable in saying most of us can appreciate the desire for more. What I can’t say, however, is we can appreciate faking it until you make it. The current state of entrepreneurship is upside down. There is less emphasis on problem-solving and building something than there is on the lifestyle that comes from being in a point of affluence.
This causes massive tension for those starting out because they feel as if there’s a standard to live up to. You have to get that Lamborghini in your first 6-months and make a million ASAP. Look, I want that lifestyle don’t get me wrong, but I will never post a picture in front of a rented car, or Airbnb and act like it’s mine. I will definitely never buy fake followers and mentions just to appear more credible than I actually am.
How do you define success? Do you believe you are a success?
Earl Nightingale said it best. Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal. My worthy ideal is growth. Success to me means to never settle, and always be looking to grow in every area of my life. Financial freedom without health means you’re still in prison. A healthy bank account with complacency means you’re poor in attitude, hence your balance won’t last.
I am closer to the concept of my success than I was 6-months ago or even yesterday, but I will forever be striving for growth.
Now, based on your answer above, what do you think it takes to succeed in business?
A never-ending pursuit of improvement. What in your business can be improved? Are you leading well? Can you do more marketing?
The best investment you can make isn’t into cryptocurrencies or real estate. It’s into yourself first.
You’ve expressed interest in doing some public speaking in the future. What are your aspirations with that?
Yes absolutely! Public speaking is one of those things I have wanted to do more of for quite some time. I have spoken on a few occasions, but it’s time to get in front of new audiences. I can see myself doing engagements with a few thousand people in the next 12 months or so.
What two pieces of advice can you give to someone who wants to become an expert in their chosen field?
Be a student. Study the people who have the results in your field. Learn from the mistakes of others instead of taking the time to make them yourself. If a situation arises that appears bad, view it as a learning experience rather than an unfortunate happening.
Think outside of the box. If you find a unique approach to providing a service or result, you will stand out from the other experts in your respective field. Get creative!
What’s the worse thing someone can do who’s starting out?
Going back to my response a few questions back, faking it till you make it won’t get you long-term success. You may see some commas in your bank today but 10 years will they be there? Social media is a highlight reel and most of these “gurus” will never share the bloopers.
Be firm in your ethics and morals.
In one sentence, what advice will you give to my readers when it comes to succeeding as an entrepreneur?
At the center of all achievement is personal growth. – Isaac Mashman
Where can people find you?
Thank you again for the opportunity to share some of my stories! You can find me everywhere @isaacmashman and by going to https://isaacmashman.com. I would love to connect!
Thank you, Isaac. I really appreciate your taking the time to attend to our questions and I am certain my audience will have a lot to take away from your answers. On behalf of myself and The Total Entrepreneurs team, we wish you success in all your endeavors.