Business Spotlight: Lifelong Entrepreneurial Advice
From Multi-faceted Entrepreneur to FAU Tech Runway Mentor
By Paige Russo
Robert Mino, JD, has always been ambitious. At age 22, he started a biotechnology company, and in just three years, he sold the company, was debt-free and had earned three college degrees, including two master's, one of science and one of business administration.
But he didn't stop there. The same drive and passion continued throughout his more than 20-year career, starting and selling additional companies, earning multiple leadership awards and sitting on a variety of boards.
In addition, Mino concurrently serves as a business and patent attorney (PA) in his firm Robert P. Mino, PA, a chief strategy officer for a cosmetics innovator called RegenX Science, an entrepreneur-in-residence at University of Florida, a director on the board of healthtech innovator HealthLynked (HLYK), an affiliate faculty member at FAU and all while giving back to the entrepreneurial community as a mentor with FAU Tech Runway.
Mino said he doesn't believe in the "concept of a career path," but rather sees every learned skill as "a separate tool in the toolbox."
Here's a look at what he said about being a mentor to companies at FAU Tech Runway.
Q. How have your mentors helped guide you?
A. I've had several mentors in life, but I made the mistake of not recognizing these mentors or embracing them until recently. My perception changed three years ago, when I spent an afternoon with one of my mentors a few weeks before he passed away from cancer. Knowing he didn't have long to live — already emaciated from chemotherapy — he felt it was important to share some advice with me. He said to "never let your livelihood rest completely in someone else's hands. Be the CEO of 'you' and run your personal finances like a business, relying on multiple sources of income. Only when you accomplish the latter can you control your own time, and only when you control your own time can you truly control your own destiny." I am eternally grateful for his time and thoughts.
Q. What do you like most about Tech Runway's mentor program?
A. FAU Tech Runway provides opportunities and resources to grow. I'm truly humbled to work alongside the amazingly talented executives Tech Runway has assembled in its giving mentor group. Also, FAU Tech Runway provides training, success stories, coaching, a sense of community, space and even free coffee – everything an entrepreneur needs to get their company off the ground.
Q. What is the best advice you can give an entrepreneur?
A: Stop chasing shiny objects. There are an unlimited number of things an entrepreneur could do, but they should choose to do one project and focus on it.
Additionally, entrepreneurs should plan their strategies and tactics for the company for the next 18 to 36 months, write down exactly what the objective (not subjective) measure of success is, articulate objective milestones that would need to be accomplished to reach that measure of success and importantly, focus on those milestones.
If an entrepreneur has two to three goals and knows exactly what they are and how they fit into their ultimate goal, then their path to success is outlined. They can focus their attention on those goals rather than the thousands of distractions that may come their way.
Q. What is a mistake you have made that you wish others can learn from?
A. Misplaced priorities create misplaced rewards. There is an old adage to not accept criticism from people to whom you would not seek advice. As a corollary to this, I suggest that it is not necessary to seek external validation from anyone else.
We can't read the hearts and minds of others and therefore can never really reach the goal of impressing others – it is an endless chase. I wasted a lot of time seeking to impress others to my own detriment, including people I'd never actually aspire to be like. Don't seek or accept external validation of your self-worth. Instead, spend time to set your priorities and do your best to achieve your personal goals. If you do, you will gain more personal satisfaction than any external validation could ever provide. True success is accomplishing your own goals.
Q. Do you recommend any books, podcasts or resources for entrepreneurs to learn from?
A. "Measure What Matters" by John Doerr, is the ultimate book about managing goals. "Be a Sales Superstar: 21 Great Ways to Sell More, Faster, Easier in Tough Markets" by Brian Tracy — this isn't just a book about sales, it is the book on being a professional. "The Art of Mingling" by Jeanne Martinet – a book to help us introverts masquerade as extroverts.
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