How do you describe yourself?
I’m a great motivator, innovative, persistent, and I love a challenge. I will fight to the end and I don’t take no for an answer. Most importantly, I have a strong tolerance for risk.

On what subjects are you an expert?
I am an expert in building businesses from the ground up and motivating people. I’m also an expert in strong team-building, where I find the best people for the positions that I have open. One man can only go so far; you’re only as good as your team.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your career?
The most rewarding aspect of my career is that I built Worldwide Branding from scratch. Growing up, my parents had no money and I didn’t have the resources; I received little or no help. The fact that I was able to grow Worldwide Branding into a business with $35-40 million in revenue per year is what I’m most proud of.

What was your first job?
My first job was when I was 12 years old, tending to the people who were on party fishing boats in Freeport, Long Island. I baited the hooks and filled up the buckets. I eventually learned how to cut fish and cut bait. As a mate, I was making between $100 and $200 a day, which was very exciting as a young kid. I think because I was young, really motivated, and had personality, I got bigger tips than the older guys did.

What was your first entrepreneurial endeavor?
My first business venture was in high school. A buddy and I invented a portable beer funnel, which we called Beer Gear. Basically, we bought plastics, and had a bunch of kids come over my house, splice them up and put them together. Even though, at the time, I wasn’t of legal age to drink, we were looking to hit the college markets because we knew it would do very well there. Right out of high school, we took a drive down towards Florida and stopped at several schools. We sold them for five or six dollars apiece to the fraternities. By the time we got to Florida, we showed it to a gentleman who owned a nightclub in Boca Raton. His brother owned a big bar in Manhattan and winded up buying the beer funnel patent from us.

How did you overcome the challenge of not having a college degree, being young and not having a lot of money to start with?
I started a Who’s Who publishing company in 1996, when I was 20 years old. I was dealing with vendors — there was not an employee who was younger than I was. Getting them to respect me as a young business professional was a great challenge. I did it with confidence and enthusiasm. I believed in myself and my project, had a vision and refused to take no for an answer. Nothing would stop me.

What is the secret to your success?
The true secrets of my success, and the reason why I’m able to have nine businesses in total, is through networking and recruiting. I have learned that every good business needs a strong team. If I see someone who I think can be a good fit, I will hand them my business card and tell them, “Give me a call. I have an exciting opportunity for you.” That’s one of the ways I have been successful in the restaurant business — finding key people. I have very good instincts about recruiting the right people for a position, and I’m very good at detecting if someone is sincerely looking to help me grow my business or just looking for a paycheck every week. I find the people that want to take this to the next level with me, and when we do it, I make sure that they benefit as well.

What are your goals for the future of Worldwide Branding?
As president of Worldwide Branding, my goal is to continue ensuring that this company prospers and grows, and that we continue to provide a valuable resource for our members.

What is one thing that most people are not aware of, that you would like them to know?
What I want most people to know about me is that I really care — and my staff really cares. The bigger the Worldwide Branding network gets, the stronger we get, and the more we are able to give to our members.

How many hours do you work a day?
Monday through Friday, I am fully committed to Worldwide Branding. I work a minimum of 12 hours a day — sometimes it’s 15-16 hours. The time flies and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

How do you get away from a high-paced business environment?
I don’t take vacations much and I’m pretty much a workaholic. When I can, I love to golf and go boating. Those are the two ways I’m able to get away and clear my head.