This week’s Teacher Entrepreneur profile is Mike Crist of MAC’s Business located in Huntington, Indiana. He is a passionate entrepreneur and a committed educator. I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Mike at his home.
CS: What is the name of your business and where is it located?
MC: The name of my business is MAC’s Business, and I run it out of my home in Huntington, IN
CS: How long have you been an educator, and what positions have you held?
MC: I have been an educator for ten years, and I have always been a Biology or Chemistry teacher. I currently teach Chemistry in Viking New Tech and have been in this position for four years.
CS: Why did you want to become an entrepreneur?
MC: I like the idea of being in charge of my own destiny.
CS: Why did you choose your particular industry?
MC: Prior to being a teacher, I was in sales for ten years, and I always found that it was important to find ways for your customers to remember you. When I began teaching Chemistry, I found a way to meld that idea with a physical product, and MAC’s Business was born.
CS: Tell me a little bit about your business?
MC: I’m creating lip balm using natural ingredients and providing a personalized label. The label could contain your business card information or anything you want to share. The idea is that people will hold on to lip balm longer than they would a business card. Every time they pull the lip balm out of their pocket, they see your custom label and think of you. You could promote a group, your business, create a party favor or unique gift for someone. I wanted to create a product that people would use on a regular basis that would help other business owners market their products or services.
CS: What is the best business advice you have ever been given?
MC: Always pursue quality. In both purchases and relationships, if you pursue quality, you will be successful.
CS: What is the greatest challenge of being a Teacher Entrepreneur?
MC: Time. I don’t always have the time to work on the business that I would like. Managing your teaching schedule, your family, your other relationships, and your business can be a challenge.
CS: What advice would you give to other Teacher Entrepreneurs?
MC: If you have an idea, have the courage to pursue it. If you have a talent, a great product or great service, pursue it. You will benefit, and so will your customers.
CS: What books or resources would you recommend to other Teacher Entrepreneurs?
MC: The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley & William D. Danko
Instant Rapport by Michael Brooks
Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins
CS: What is your vision for your business?
MC: My vision is still evolving. My business is new, so I am still envisioning where I want to take it.
CS: How will you know when you have achieved your vision?
MC: That is a tough one to answer since my vision is still evolving.
CS: What would you do differently if you were to start another business?
MC: I would try to reduce the time between the idea phase and the implementation phase of the business. I would make it happen faster. The first implementation doesn’t have to be perfect. The important thing is to get started.
CS: Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about you or your business?
MC: The lip balm I produce was created as a teaching example for my organic chemistry class. I was demonstrating that a product could be created using high quality natural materials, and the final product would be greater than the sum of the parts. The original design of the lip balm was then tweaked to create a product with better physical consistency. As teachers, we should all be lifelong learners. My students constantly inspire me and remind me that I can learn something new too.
I want to thank Mike for taking the time to sit down with me. I would encourage you to think of him next time you have a cause or an event to promote. His custom labeled lip balm may be the perfect way to get the word out. Check out his website at macsbusiness.net