Marco Pasqua is a speaker, writer, and entrepreneur. He sits down to talk with us about founding the CUBE Principle in Vancouver, BC., and his journey from having a concept to creation and explore challenges and lessons along the way.
Tell us about your business (i.e. Mentoring, the CUBE Principle).
Essentially what I do is help businesses, institutions, and individuals understand how to utilize the strengths of the people in their social networks, the people that they actually know (not necessarily through the internet) to overcome a goal or a challenge to elevate themselves to get where they want to go in life. I customize my approach to every event to deliver the message that my client wants.
How did you go about understanding the potential and market for your business idea? Which were/are your most useful market research tools?
The first step I took was researching whether there were mentors, such as The Wheelchair Mentor, or programs like SEEDS, Self Employment & Entrepreneur Development Society, that could guide me and give me advice on being a professional speaker and what I would need to do to determine what my competition was. A lot of the things that I learned were through trial and error and for me doing a SWOT analysis was probably one of the best ways to determine who was in my market and what I was going to do to elevate my brand.
What are the most valuable lessons you have learned throughout this process?
I learned that an in-depth business plan is very important. My business plan was a 65-page document that included all the accounting needs, my understanding of the market, and how to listen to it so that I could adapt according to what the market was telling me. Adaptability is key to finding partnerships and people that are strong in your network. And being able to put something down and trust someone to handle an aspect of things is important. This delegation can help you advance and help you see more clients or sell more product, if that’s your goal. It is important not to stay stubborn in your business. Remember that you're not tailoring it for you, you’re tailoring it for your customer base.
Could you walk us through the stages of the start-up process?
I went out and surveyed people that I thought would be the demographics of my market and would be most likely utilizing my services on three topics that I could be potentially speaking on. Getting this insight allowed me to focus in on what people were saying were the most important. It was vital in my early stages to get the expertise of people that have already carved a path. I asked people out for a coffee to pick their brains. If you tell them that you appreciate what they do and you approach them as more of a mentor, they’re more likely to say yes to a one-off or two-off meeting. It was important to learn from my mistakes to avoid repeating mistakes that should be easy to overcome.
Is there a resource you wish you would have known about before you launched your business? If so, what did you find most effective?
It is important to know how to do a speaker’s contract. A tip that The Wheelchair Mentor gave me was not to undersell my value as a person. He told me to invoice an organization that I gifted my services to the amount that they would have paid if they had been charged for my services. Maintaining this perceived value allows current and future clients to know the value of my services.
Do you have any advice for people starting out in your line of work?
Find those key people in your social circle that can really help you to elevate where you want to go. Go to meet up groups that are for hobbies or interests of yours, things that you do in your extracurricular time, and you would be surprised at the number of people that could turn into clients because you’re connecting on more of a personal, authentic level. Find a unique and creative way to offer your services but you can do it in such a way that the people will see the value based on the interactions with you as a person.
What does the future hold for your business?
I enjoy radio, TV work, podcasts, and the personal engagement and connection involved in one-on-one mentorship. I love the feeling that I get when I know that I have helped someone who’s personally struggling with something to overcome a particular challenge. It’s understanding that you have to plant many seeds and not just put your eggs in one basket. Know that as long as you’re utilizing your strengths in different capacities, you’re always creating new opportunities that you can interconnect people with. That’s honestly what the CUBE Principle is all about.
To learn more about Marco Pasqua and his CUBE Principle visit www.marcopasqua.com
Read the full interview:
- Full Interview With Marco Pasqua! The CUBE Principle: The Startup Process, & Advice To Other Entrepreneurs