Drew Rossow

@cyberguyesq

Hall-of-Famer Michael Loeb: Take the Plunge or Lose the Opportunity

Many millennials dream of being their own boss. It’s easy for some of us to make excuses for why “now isn’t the right time” to start your business — the economy is heading toward recession (it has to be, right?), your corporate job offers great and stable health benefits, and even a 401K. But succumbing to these easy outs can rob you of the freedom to explore the endless realm of potential your next great idea could have for you and the world around you.

You’re Going to Be Told No, So Deal With It

You may never live on a yacht enjoying the seven-figure life, but you know what? There’s lots of opportunity out there. The average consumer’s needs and wants evolve daily. And whatever you create just might be the next thing your peers desire and expect to see in the marketplace. Today’s fast changing world provides an unlimited opportunity for self-making entrepreneurs that want to capitalize off of the latest consumer trends, many of which are fueled by technology.

There is one reality you need to grow accustomed to in the business world, regardless of your experience, and that’s recognizing that at some point, you will be told “no.” And, that’s okay. Accept it and move on.

Even Michael Loeb, the founder and creator of magazine subscription giant, The Synapse Group — also known for volunteering his home for CNBC’s hit show, Billions — is no stranger to hearing the word “no.” But he hasn’t let it impede his forward momentum. In fact, in 2002, Loeb was inducted into the Direct Marketing Association’s Hall of Fame because of his experience and affiliation with over 50 startups; among them Priceline.com. And he hasn’t stopped yet.

While delivering his keynote address to the attendees of Advertising Week in New York last year, Loeb went into a rare inside glimpse of the challenges he faced when he first created Synapse.

Getting fired from Time, Inc. in the early ‘90’s was the impetus for Loeb to start The Synapse Group, the world’s largest magazine retailer. Through his audacity and his unwillingness to limit Synapse’s growth, he outlined how he was able to expand his startup to partner with all major credit cards and a variety of publishers which represented more than 700 magazine titles.

At the end of the day, he ultimately sold the business back to his former employer for $800 million. As a side note, incubated inside of Synapse was Priceline, which was founded by Synapse’s co-founder, Jay Walker, and co-funded by Loeb.

When It Comes to Your Idea, Take the Plunge Before Someone Else Does

As I always say, good isn’t good enough, good is for the other guy.

For Loeb, having a great idea today could mean it’s gone tomorrow. As the CEO ended his keynote, he told attendees that “[he] wished he had started [his] entrepreneurial journey sooner.”

Taking into account the opportunity, the available resources, willpower, and, of course, timing can make all the difference between success and failure, especially in today’s digital age.

We are living in a time of major disruption and I encourage everyone here to not hesitate. Seize your passion, energy, and conviction and funnel it into making your startup a company that can truly create positive change for a specific industry or community.”

Had Loeb not built Synapse at the precise moment he did, he wouldn’t have been able to disrupt the subscription market. And he likely wouldn’t have been able to help build Priceline and earn the knowledge and experience to start Loeb Enterprises.

Today, Loeb’s fast establishing Loeb.nyc, something he calls a ‘venture collective,’ that is comprised of roughly two-dozen startups and early stage investments including digital platforms, direct-to-consumer products, and enterprise solutions.

The ever-growing portfolio of Loeb.nyc companies includes All The Rooms, Butler Hospitality, Mercato, Payoneer, SummitSync, and Thnks — among other top names. With holdings around the country, Loeb.NYC is headquartered in a Midtown Manhattan tower where it occupies three floors.

In a recent Forbes interview, Loeb identified five other entrepreneurs — Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison, Tom Brady, Roger Federer, and his very own father, Marshall Loeb –who have each in their own way inspired him to continue on his journey of building, backing, and/or funding successful companies.

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