PP 617: Cooperative Banking and Financing with Mark Ritter
Quick Show Notes – Mark Ritter:
“We’re here to help businesses succeed, and sometimes the best thing I can do to help you succeed is say ‘No.’” – Mark Ritter
Mark Ritter is the CEO of MBFS, a credit union community he founded in 2001.
Despite common misconceptions, credit unions offer many of the same products and services as large corporate banks. MBFS helps connect consumers with credit unions around the nation which can help them with their needs.
02:02 Figuring it out
04:00 The difference between a credit union and a corporate bank
08:23 The history of credit unions
18:18 The initial focus of credit unions in America
20:46 The difference between getting a business loan at a credit union and getting a business loan at a corporate bank
22:47 Kim’s family’s struggle with getting a mortgage
24:54 What MBFS does
Resources – Mark Ritter:
“A credit union is really a cooperative financial institution. It’s owned and ran for the members of that institution and the board of directors is democratically elected.” ~ Mark Ritter
“There’s actually twice as many credit unions in America as there are banks.” ~Mark Ritter
“You can have a more personalized experience. We can get to know you and you can get to know us and we can build on it from there.” ~Mark Ritter
“When you look at the mission behind a credit union, it’s really ‘people helping people.’” ~Mark Ritter
“If you need a loan to survive, you have other things going on. If you need a loan to help grow your business, that’s where we can help be a partner.” ~Mark Ritter
EPISODE TRANSCRIPTION – MARK RITTER:
Kim Sutton: Welcome back to another episode of positive productivity. This is your host Kim Sutton and I’m so happy to have you here today. And I am thrilled to introduce our guest, Mark Ritter.
Mark is the CEO of MBFS, and he started a credit union community in 2001.
Kim Sutton: I’m gonna let Mark share the rest of his story and what he is doing today. But I gotta tell you, this is my second round of entrepreneurship. If you haven’t heard the story before, and I have dealt with corporate banks, and I’ve dealt with credit unions.
And Mark, I’ve got to tell you, I much prefer credit unions. There’s so much more friendly, and it feels like they care about me instead of just my money.
Kim Sutton: But I would love to hear how you got into this journey, and, well, just welcome!
Mark Ritter: So, thank you for having me. I love credit unions myself, nobody’s exactly protesting on the streets about their local credit union. So it’s a fun organization and industry to be in.
Mark Ritter: So yeah, I actually started up with credit unions back in 2001. And it was just a few years before that, that credit unions received the legal authority to help out members who had businesses and the local business community.
Mark Ritter: And I got hired by this local credit union, Members First Federal Credit Union in Central Pennsylvania, and I was 29 years old at the time, and I really don’t think either of us quite knew what we were doing.
Mark Ritter: They looked at me and said, We want to do business loans. And we sat down at a desk, and I had nothing. There was no systems, businesses, people, products, anything. So we just sort of figured it out.
Mark Ritter: It was my biggest entrepreneurial success since it was quite an interesting ride. And I was there 10 years and we really grew it to one of the biggest in the country among federal credit unions.
Mark Ritter: And, after 10 years, I had a really good ride and was looking for that next challenge. And that’s when I received an opportunity to work at MBFS. Some of my friends in the industry own this little company That’s called AqueceO, which stands for Credit Union Customer Service Organization, and basically, it’s a company owned by credit unions to help credit unions and their members. And we help people get business loans.
Mark Ritter: I was the fifth CEO in five years, and they lost money every year. So I knew I couldn’t screw it up too bad. So… so that was, it’s coming up on seven years ago.
Mark Ritter: And, you know, we’ve grown the company eight times over and we’ve had positive cash flow every year, we went from working with a handful of credit unions in a really small area, to where we now work with close to 60 credit unions all throughout (?), primarily the East Coast and eastern United States, getting business loans in the hands of the local community through their credit union.
Mark Ritter: And it’s quite a journey, and I love what I do.
Kim Sutton: Mark, for those who aren’t familiar? What is the difference between a credit union? And, well, I’ll just I’ll just pull a name out of a hat because it’s the closest, but like Chase or Fifth Third or City Bank… You know, could you explain to the listeners?
Mark Ritter: When you walk into the local credit union branch and you look around and many times you’ll see an ATM and a teller line, and a loan officer and you think, “Oh, this is kind of the same, I’m getting similar products.” But really, the difference is in the underlying structure of the organization and the philosophy that which they deliver the service.
Mark Ritter: And a credit union is really a cooperative financial institution. It’s owned by and ran for the members of that institution, and the Board of Directors is democratically elected.
Mark Ritter: So, really, the focus isn’t on making your earnings per share for the quarter or growing in some exponential manner and ultimately in the banks many times are sold out from the local community. It’s really a cooperative financial institution for the benefit of the members. You know, in my particular case, you know, many of those people have small businesses like yourself if you’re a member of a credit union, yeah.
Mark Ritter: And and over 100 million people in America belong to a credit union, and our challenge is always they love their credit union, they maybe they get their car loan or their mortgage and have their accounts there. But sometimes they don’t look at that for their business.
Kim Sutton: Yeah. My husband and I both have our accounts. I have my business account and a credit union.
Mark Ritter: Oh, great.
Kim Sutton: And when we were getting our mortgage last year, I mean the person that we were working with, I remember her name to this day and if I need anything, I would prefer to go to her.
(Transcription still being cleaned up. Thanks for checking it out!)
Mark Ritter: I dealt with a, you know, a corporate, nationwide bank, before the credit union and the the feeling was completely different. You know, I always, I always joke that if I went and work for a bank, I’d probably get fired in a week. Because I tend to be more casual and conversational and say, What can we do that works for the both of us? And it makes sense? Absolutely. Actually, one of the final kickers for me was that when I opened my bank account, at the my business bank account at the national chain,
I asked them to turn off the capability on my card to charge if there was nothing on it because I you know, as a business owner, there’s often a lot of monthly subscriptions that we have, like, you know, my Infusionsoft for running my email marketing and e commerce. Well, if the money’s not there, I want a decline. I don’t want a $35 fee.
Well, it wasn’t turned off. So all of a sudden
You know, there was a rough month and it’s not just 130 $5 fee, but all those stacked up. But when opening at the credit union, they’re like, Oh, yeah, we would never want that to happen to you. It was never a question. It was just done on the spot. And it felt like they weren’t as concerned about getting my, you know, my fee money. When I did have the overdraft as just doing it right from the first from the first second.
My first exposure to a credit union was as a child, I come from a very blue collar black background. And my father was an electrician at his local factory had a credit union. And he always said to me, the credit union is somewhere I go When I need help, and I need to, they’re there for me. And that really carry through to me as an adult when I started trying to find my way in a career. You know, I had the opportunities to go with kind of like the mega banks and everything, but I really liked doing
things much more on a community level where where we can work for something that makes sense for everybody, as opposed to just figuring out how I can just take every nickel from somebody.
Absolutely. When I was growing up, I know that there was a credit union in my town. But my, my parents never used one. Have they been around for a long time. Credit Unions as as a regulated financial institution have been around in the United States for 85 years.
And on the local level, they’ve been around more longer than that. And really, over the last decade, it really you’ve seen an uptick in credit unions. More importantly, is where you’ve seen an uptick in credit union accessibility. It used to be you know, when when we were young, it was local teachers credit union local
factory workers or the unions credit union where it was very narrow membership. Most credit unions today are relatively open. And if you’re driving past them that probably you could go in. And I’m going to say you can open up an account. And that’s where it seems like there’s more of that. Because what at the same time they open up credit unions for business loans, Congress made an effort to say we need to open up the accessibility to credit unions for people. And that’s why you’ve really seen the resurgence and Renaissance. You know, that’s so interesting, because I think that’s why I ignored my credit union out here for the longest time because I thought it was exclusive. I mean, I live outside of Dayton, Ohio, and we have Wright Patterson Air Force Base, but we have Wright Patterson credit union. So I
assumed and I’m sure you’ve heard the, the quote about assumptions in
Now I assumed poorly that because I was not a veteran, and especially an Air Force vet associated with right pet, or even active military that I just couldn’t use that.
Exactly. Welcome to my existence. People love our product. And we have a great story to tell. It’s just we try to get the word out there. And most businesses and entrepreneurs, when you we put the word out there, that there’s a type of institution that you can go talk to the people and talk about your business, and they can help you across the lifecycle of your business. We do very small loans. You know, if somebody just needs a truck loan, or a small line of credit, we do that. And there’s significantly up to $30 million real estate loans we put together and the whole spectrum in between there. But there’s a lot you know, credit unions aren’t homogenous. There’s a lot of different credit unions. It’s actually
Twice as many credit unions in America as banks, believe it or not really, yes.
There’s twice as many and but they can help people across the spectrum, either on their personal side or their business side. And regardless of whether you’re, I’ll call it the self employed single one man band up to a larger, sophisticated organization. I started using QuickBooks last year. And I was shocked. Well, okay, I had this purse say that I use QuickBooks a decade ago, when I had an e commerce business, and I mean, the whole, everything about technology has changed in 10 years anyway. But when I when I restarted with QuickBooks last year, and I discovered that I could sync my account with my bank account,
especially with the credit union, I was shocked people, people sometimes don’t think of us as sophisticated organization actually. We as an organization
Hear business lending and small business lending is traditionally the most least technical process you’ve ever been in in your entire life. There still, it’s still very old school. It’s still I need your tax returns I need a personal financial statement filled out. But here here in our organization, we hooked up on with a company called Encino to use as our origination platform that has really automated our process and made it so much easier for people to apply and upload financials to us. And we use the exact same system that 11 of the 20 largest banks in the country use to process and manage business loans.
Okay, this is a love it and hate it all combined. But the thing I love the most
and also hate the most about the credit union is how, how committed they are to my security to my financial state.
I probably have to deal on once a month or maybe every other month with having my card blocked because they’re concerned about transactions. Oh, I, I am in Philadelphia. So I’m suburban Philadelphia, but I make regular trips to New York City. Yeah. And I finally had to download my credit cards app. And when I make the trips, I because I travel, so travel a lot for work. I just have a little button where I click what states I’m in and it’s cut down on my problems. Because it you would not believe the losses in the credit card industry. It has become such a big issue. And credit unions I think sometimes get a little too sensitive for that because they try to keep their rates and terms down. Whereas American Express press may just write off five to 7000 in bad purchases. If your local credit
union has to write that off that just comes out of the pot that they lend to everybody. So it but yeah, it’s a security and data security and fraud. That’s been the biggest change since I’ve joined the credit union industry is just how sensitive we are and how heightened we are. To try to keep the losses down. Well, I know a lot has changed since then. But after the the weekend after I graduated college in 2001, I was out with friends it was my I think it was my last night in Chicago. And we went I will not name the restaurant. I love the restaurant but this was a bad experience. I went out to a really awesome restaurant in downtown Chicago, went to grab my bag when we were ready to pay our our check and my bag was gone.
And the person had taken my you know all my credit cards and my license handed them over to somebody who
was definitely not me. I mean, not the same height, not the same hair color, not the same skin color, who had gone to Indiana to the casinos and cashed in everything that they could on my credit cards for, for chips. And they they actually had, you know, pictures and everything. But it was such a struggle to work with the banks to get back. What was you know, those were not my purchases, they had the security footage, showing this was not me, and there was never an alarm setup. I mean, you would think that when they could, I do realize this was 2001 but when they could see that this was inconsistent within the my spending practices. Hello, you don’t just go to the casino and take out $4,000 you know, it’s it’s become such a large issue and in some financial institutions have swung a little too far on the pendulum. But it is, it is and it’s very powerful.
know when that happens when somebody is, is taking your identity and pretending to be you. Because you don’t know what else is out there. You don’t know if they’re opening other accounts, you don’t know how they’re doing it what they’re doing. And what’s amazing to me, I had a similar situation with a corporate American Express card where somebody went, took out $8,000 of purchase, and I was stunned. They’re just sort of wiped it off and go and moved on. But to me, that was a huge deal. I can’t believe that. And that was part of the problem with fraud today is they really don’t put a lot of energy into prosecuting it. It’s what seems like a big deal. They just sort of take a report and move on. Yeah. Yeah, it was so tough. I mean, my license was gone. All my cars was gone. we’re gone. I was supposed to get my moving van The next day, to move everything back without question.
credit card and without a license. I mean, thank goodness My sister was there to help me move. But it was such an imposition to have to ask her to charge everything I mean from the van or the big truck actually not I think about it to the gas to all the tolls I mean, because everything I had was in there
it’s quite a it sometimes you just wish they would take the cash and drop everything else. And just take take the money, I can replace that but it’s such a pain to to go through everything else. Well, coincidentally, they did leave my bag in the back of a taxi.
And actually, no, my license wasn’t in there, but there was some type of identification card so the cops were able to get in touch with me. But yeah, that was that was not fun, but definitely a learning experience. I am not paranoid on too many things. But now when I’m in a busy restaurant, you know my I have my purse or my bag attached to me in some way because nobody’s gonna take an umbrella. It was raining that day. So
We figured that they used an umbrella and, you know, slid it out from underneath the table. But yeah, anyway, why did it take so much longer for credit unions to be able to work with businesses, then? Yeah. Interestingly enough, the first credit unions in America were were just focused on making business loans.
And the history was just on businesses. And what happened is kind of at when we had after words, when credit unions were kind of in their infancy, they began as these employer based organizations, and that’s when they merge morphed into 100% consumer based organizations, maybe because it was just that employer group or just for the military base, and you didn’t see a lot of entrepreneur ship off of that and
And over time, a few things happened is that the credit unions began to grow generationally. were one of my first loans that members first we were historically a military credit union was somebody who started their account when they were very young. They retired from the military and started an internet service provider company. And it was a fabulous loan and they loved the credit union. But the credit union was never an option. And you had that growth, that organic growth where people wanted to do it. And the other thing that happened is you had the generations of First National Bank of Bain Street, your main street town, they all started to go away. So you had this Renaissance, this crew these credit unions naturally growing, where they had members who had business needs, and you began to see that consolidate
Have Main Street America banking. And finally, the pressures be got too much where they said we want to help these people. And as an institution, if we have people who have needs, well, let’s, let’s help them out. And it’s really began to grow from there. Now I know there’s listeners. And I just want to say, for international listeners, I don’t know what it’s like in your area. So I apologize. But I don’t apologize. Hopefully, this is educational still, still, but Funny enough, there’s actually credit unions all over the world. Oh, awesome. See, I need to travel more.
for listeners, then is there besides the personal care and attention? Is there a difference between getting a business loan at a credit union and a business loan at a, you know, corporate bank?
You know, we still have to make loans where we judge that people
can pay us back. So we still have to look at the numbers and the quantitative side, where credit unions as an industry act a little bit differently is they want to hear the story behind your business. That if you’re a good member, and maybe this is a borderline loan, but you’ve had accounts with us for a while, and you’ve shown good responsibility, Well, then let’s make it work. And we’ll want to talk through the process with the person to get to understand your business, instead of just taking your numbers putting in a machine and spitting out an answer. So you have decisions made much more on the local level. And it’s amazing to how many people and the CEOs and the executives at the corporation at the credit unions like to meet their business members and find out what’s going on, which is an experience you tend not to have at you know, pick a large super regional bank. You
Know You can, you can have a more personalized experience we can get to know you, you can get to know us, and we can build on it from there. Hey there, my friend, I hope you’re enjoying this episode of the positive productivity podcast. I wanted to take a quick moment to invite you to join the work smarter, not harder challenge over the course of 30 days these free Yes, free short videos will teach you a few the systems and strategies I set up in my business so I can get away from my computer and back to the people I love.
I invite you to sign up now at work smarter, not harder. challenge.com. Again, you can sign up at work smarter, not harder. challenge.com
This is so fascinating to me. I mean, as I already mentioned, we bought our house last year we had been trying for four years to get a mortgage. But the banks didn’t want to see
My numbers because I was an entrepreneur.
And but they didn’t care about the story. You know, and I’m not saying that our local Credit Union would have given us the mortgage. We didn’t go through them. But maybe there would have been a different feeling. Had they had that? Had we given them the chance, you know, and had them look at the numbers and at the history rather than
doing it the way that we did.
Yeah, definitely. It’s, you know, I can’t say every credit union is going to be able to help everybody in every situation. But there’s credit unions that I know that are specifically chartered to help low income people and different disadvantage economically disadvantaged areas where they’re looking, they’ll go pretty deep in terms of credit and into what they can do. There’s credit unions, like I said, we’re we’re in suburban Philadelphia
We get around New Jersey, I have credit unions who have members that buy $20 million pieces of commercial real estate and they help them out. So what’s nice about us, you know, my organization is owned by credit unions, and they’re my clients and we also help people get businesses. So we people come to us, and we try to slot them with with a credit union that makes sense for where they want to go because credit unions work cooperatively with each other as an industry as well. And then I have nice relationships. All throughout the country. I had somebody just contact me in El Paso, Texas, to say, can you can I get a loan, but I couldn’t help them out directly. But I made a phone call to a credit union in El Paso, Texas, and we were able to get them the help that they need. So we really work cooperatively with each other. So that’s what MB Fs does. I mean, are you like a credit union
matchmaker but think about Yes, we’re our technical legal status is called a que ce O, which stands for credit union service organization, which means we’re owned by credit unions for the purpose of helping out their members or potential members and the credit unions. So yeah, we are, I think of us as an aggregator for the credit union industry. Maybe you don’t maybe you don’t want to go to 20 different credit unions seeing which one is best for you. People come to us and we kind of give them the guidance on what fits in what works and maybe and where to go. Hmm. I want to go back to what you said about how you’re out, you know, Philadelphia, right. You said yes, um, I mean, I, being in my small town in Ohio, there are a lot of blue collar workers here. And it was so interesting when we are going through this whole mortgage process. My husband was working retail. He was a manager and
listeners, you know, I’m totally transparent, but he was making $12 an hour.
On any in any given month, I could have been making multiple five figures. But because they weren’t consistent, the, the banks didn’t want to see it. They they wanted to, you know, see my husband’s consistent $12 an hour, 4040 hours a week.
And I just you’ve got my head spinning right now, you know, what impact would that have made with a with a one on one personal relationship with somebody at the credit union. And a good example of that, for me is I grew up in the cold region of Northeast Pennsylvania, very blue collar. There’s not a lot of financial institutions. And one of the owners of my organization is service first federal credit union in Danville, Pennsylvania, small town, isolated communities, small markets, and they have that’s exactly the
The situation when you go in there, where they say, they don’t look at it necessarily as a formula, they say what makes sense to get you the money that you need? And can say, okay, you’re we know your husband has this, we know your income is this, you know, you’re gonna have some good times you’re going to bad times, we really look at that character behind the person. And do they know what they’re doing? Is it consistent? it? Does it help out? Does it make sense in incident good credit decision. And we want to show that we can make that, you know, when you look at the mission behind a credit union, it’s really, you know, people helping people. I love that. So that’s where, you know, in a community such as that and more of a small town, you there’s a lot of really good financial institutions that can help out people where maybe you haven’t
thought about going to them in the past. And sometimes it’s nice just to have a conversation, particularly if you’re a small business owner. And maybe you don’t need something now, but it’s a good time just to go establish that relationship. So when you do need to grow your business, or you’re gonna go buy a small building, or you need that capital to grow, you have that relationship ahead of time.
I actually just put a post up on LinkedIn this morning, about and I’m always very transparent, but when I had my business 10 years ago, I built $100,000 of debt. I’m not proud of it, but it was definitely a learning experience because I thought that more inventory would mean more revenue, more sales more profit. I was wrong.
I just want to put it out there and this is no offense to you, Mark, but and I’m sure you’ll totally agree. There’s good ways to build credit. There’s bad ways to build credit. So we’re
not saying you should go get a loan just to get a loan. I mean, no, you have to make smart decisions financially because just because you get this offer in your email does not mean you need to purchase it. It also doesn’t mean it’s going to be the magic ticket to the next level of success.
I get very worried about how easy and quick it is for businesses to go into debt. And, and a lot of times what’s happened is the people who did some not so great things in the mortgage business that took us down a decade ago. They’re now in the quick fast and easy business loans. Because those are unregulated industries and they could really bury you very quickly. And you, you if you need a loan to survive, you have other things going on. If If you need a loan to grow your business, that’s where
weekend help be a partner.
I don’t I don’t think I’ve ever shared this on the podcast before. But because of that, you know that hundred thousand dollars a day, Mark, I couldn’t even file bankruptcy because I didn’t have enough money to file the bankruptcy like papers, you know. So it’s been a long, a long journey over the last 10 years of getting my credit back up. And it’s still it’s an evolving process, you know, but I have one credit card to this day. It’s a personal credit card with a $300 limit. And it’s, it’s a credit building credit card, you know, when they see me pay my bills consistently on time, then it gets raised. And this has just been something that I’ve you know, had for the last six months or so. So I haven’t reached the year of consistent payments to get a credit line increase or anything like that yet, but it’s from 10 years ago, I learned that very important lesson of just buying the next thing isn’t going to help. I’ve had clients who went 250,000 in debt, buying
These courses and then they, they never watched the courses, they never did the work. So it’s not going to take you to the next level if you just because you buy it.
We’re here to help businesses succeed. And sometimes the best thing I can do to help you succeed is say no. Oh, I love that. I love it. Now do we give, try to give people guidance. And what’s nice about us is we’ll show you the numbers on what we’re saying and what we think and have that conversation. Sometimes it might not be what you want to hear. But it’s free advice from somebody who’s who we want to have healthy businesses and healthy entrepreneurs in our community. It’s good for us. It’s not good for us. If we load up a bunch of people with debt at high interest rates, and then we figure something’s not going to pay but overall, we’re making lots of money. That’s not a good business model for us, and it’s not good for our
communities? No, absolutely.
I don’t even remember how much I was going for. But back when I had that business, I was selling scrapbooking supplies and I didn’t even scrapbook. Okay, that was just misaligned from the start. But I wanted to open a brick and mortar shop. And it was in this brand new strip Plaza, I would have to do all the renovations myself. I know I was going for a big loan. And I was devastated at the time that they said no, but looking back, I mean, every other scrapbooking store and in I don’t even know if there’s one outside of the big box shops anymore. Unfortunately, my wife was it was a hardcore scrapbooker and we still have a section of our basement dedicated to this hobby of hers. Yeah, and I don’t think she’s she doesn’t listen to the podcasts. I can say this. You know, I don’t think she’s touched it in the last five years. But I could never get her admit that or throw the stuff away. But yeah, for
While there, she was trying to sell it, because it was going to help pay for her hobby. And I just said, this isn’t going to go anywhere. And as things kind of go through the cycles, I, you know, they just sort of went nowhere. So, yeah, that’s it. You know, we try to tell people focus on what you know, focus on what you’re good at, or you can build your skills off of it. And don’t try to jump on fads or quick trends. Completely agree. Now, you mentioned earlier that your dad, you said your dad was an electrician, right? Yeah. And you got the good impression of credit unions back then. What did you want to be as a child when you grew up?
Oh, me. Yep. Oh, as wacky as this sound, I always wanted to be a professional wrestler. And I have a huge football background and I was a sports guy. And then after college reality set in, and I said I’m really good at numbers. So I
I went into the banking world, I always had this laser memory and really good with math in my head. And once I started people I was the person people would always throw out numbers too, and just give an answer back. And then people say, How did you do that? I said, I don’t know. I just did it in my head. And I kind of developed this gift of the math and the finance and understanding the business side. I’m an incredibly pragmatic person, and a practical person. So that’s the biggest thing that’s helped me in the business lending world is to to really become a consultant for credit unions and businesses, where I can look at you and say, This isn’t gonna work and here’s why or this will work and you know, I think this is where it’s gonna go.
Well, that both my parents were actually accountants and there was nothing that I wanted to do lease are less than look at numbers.
I grew up in, as I said, that northeast Pennsylvania coal region, where it was very much like the movie all the right moves.
It was everybody just dreamed of leaving. Yeah. So yeah. Yeah, who is who are some of your go to mentors?
I try to.
I try to stay out of too much. And I’m a reader of everything. And really my viewpoint of the world is I try to listen and read everything that doesn’t align with what I think that’s interesting. And whether it be in politics, and in business. That’s kind of how I’m wired. Not so much to argue with, but to understand all the viewpoints of the world and where
You’re coming from, because my general philosophy is in life. If I understand somebody else’s viewpoint,
I can then work with them and work through it. But if I don’t understand where other people in this world are coming from, then it’s really difficult to move forward and working together with people. Oh, I wish more people had that mentality.
It’s very easy to read books, and listen to two people who just think exactly like yourself. Yeah, I don’t think you move ahead. Right. Right. What is your goal for the next 90 days?
Next 90 days is to get my kids off to school first and foremost.
But really, we try have a philosophy here and my philosophy is to just get a little bit better and do
one small thing better for the organization every single day, not big, not homeruns not change the world. Keep it simple. And I try to move we move the organization better one step every single day. And in today’s world,
you know, the lending market this year is definitely softer than last year. Our focus right now is in building digital strategies for our businesses for to help build the pipeline, and to also working with lenders in because for the first time in 10 years, we actually have a declining rate environment. So I have a lot of people now who’ve never worked in this perfect this type of environment professionally or haven’t dealt with it in a long time. So the market has really changed rather quickly this year. So we’re trying to kind of focus people more
on, you know reevaluating their sales strategy.
I just had a brain fart. So Excuse me, I just can’t remember. I had a question.
What when you get to your desk in the morning, what’s the first thing you do? Or in the afternoon?
I focus I look at it. And I hate to say that I actually write it down, but I write it down. Oh, I love that I write it down. What are what are I write down? What are the things that I have to do today? You know, I always try to come up with the A’s, B’s and C’s, and focus just on the things that I have to do. And let me do them first. So that way, the rest of the day, I can spend more reacting and working on the pre plan meetings. But but that’s what I’ll do every day. Just focus on the half to dues so that way, the other ones that can I have just more flexibility in my data.
One last question for you, Mark. What’s the biggest gift that you believe could be given to any small business owner?
really just don’t focus on the money. If you you it’s easy to do things for the money, focus on a goal, or you want to go, why you’re doing it and focus on things that you enjoy, and everything else just falls in place.
I absolutely love that. Thank you so much for sharing. Mark. This has been an incredible conversation where can listeners find you online connect and get to know you and your organization more? I’m really active on LinkedIn. Mark Ritter, our ITT er member business financial service also has a presence on LinkedIn. The easiest place is our website, www dot m b
fs.org where it contact us and we can connect you with a credit union. Fabulous listeners if you’re driving if you’re trying not to burn dinner or don’t want to fall off the elliptical you can go at your convenience to KIM SUTTON calm forward slash p p 617. And you will find all the links there. Plus, I know I’m interested in knowing what your big aha is I’m sure Mark would love to know too. So be sure to leave your comments down below. Mark, thank you so much again, you you’ve got me thinking just more about all the greater ways that I can work with my credit union says so thank you.
Thank you. I really enjoyed it. Do you have a parting piece of advice or a golden nugget that you can offer to to listeners? Don’t let perfection get in the way of progress.