#38 Damon Martin Mackey – Catalyzing opportunities for talented MBAs in China
Damon was born in Silicon Valley California, and graduated from California State University, Chico in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Shortly after that he ended up working in Japan for 6 years and to add another country to his repertoire, he later moved to Australia to manage a rainforest and beach tour company. He met his wife there and returned to Japan where he earned his MBA at one of Japan’s top ten national universities, Tsukuba University. While at Tsukuba he discovered that the school did not have any real official alumni group and actually did not assist MBA graduates in their job search process. This was his catalyst to launch his business catalyst4mbas.com, which connects organizations to top-level, experienced talent and acts as a platform for MBAs to exchange opportunities and ideas in order to promote life-long-learning. Damon is going to share with us today how he has brought catalyst4mbas.com to China.
Every successful entrepreneur knows, you have to be extremely careful with your time – every millisecond of your day needs to be adding value to the company.
How he got to China
Damon has always intended his organization to grow globally so after a few years of having successfully created Japan’s largest MBA Career Forum it was time to expand outside of the country. Shanghai was chosen as the first choice as some of their clients have offices in both Tokyo and Shanghai.
His current project
When he graduated from his own MBA program, Damon saw that many highly skilled MBAs were having trouble finding work and he also felt if the alumni connections are one of the most important benefits of the MBA then why not connect multiple MBA alumni groups to create a platform where people can share opportunities and modern business solutions. Damon shares, “It is something that people miss after leaving the MBA, to be a part of those teams working on business cases with people of different backgrounds to create truly innovative solutions.” So his first platform was a Career Forum with top Speakers (CEO of Philips, Morgan Stanley, G.E. Linkedin Accenture, Coca Cola etc) and networking events.
Damon shares he failed in two areas: the first was in concentrating on the right clients and the second was on collaborating with the right partner. In the beginning he’d take any sponsor and any client and in the end he ended up wasting a lot of time pursing relationships that in the end weren’t great for his organization.
Lessons learned along the way
- Take time to focus on the relationships that can add value, even those with similar scope so you can prosper together
- Stay focused only on bringing in revenue – if there’s no revenue there’s no more helping people.
- Reverse engineer your financial goals on a weekly or daily basis to make sure you hit your targets.
- No matter how busy you are, you must prioritize relationships. In the end business is all about relationships.
- Business happens super fast in China and good people can move to another company very quickly.
- Have a written agreement in place.
- Find you first three clients or customers first if you’re looking to jump into an entrepreneurial gig
- Find someone bigger, better, and smarter than you to partner with (tune in to find out how!)
What has him super jazzed
Working with some new business schools and some new clients for both their MBA Seminars and the “Tomorrows Leaders” Annual Worldwide MBA Alumni Event.
- Graduate Business Forum @ China Europe International Business School (CEIBS)
- www.ymlp.com – newsletter provider
- SmartSheet.com – collaborative Excel-like sheet
- Zoho.com – Damon’s CRM of choice
Connect to Damon