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Interview with entrepreneur, financier and philanthropist Marc Bell

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This week we sat down with Marc Bell, whose innovative and fearless approach to life has led him to massive entrepreneurial successes.

Founding his first company, Globix, at the age of 21, today, his firm has investments across more than 160 companies.

We chatted to Marc about his early fascination with computers, how ADD impacted his schooling and why he started his working career as a janitor.

So, how does a man who doesn't really have an interest in Broadway become one of Broadway's most successful producers and the winner of multiple Tony Awards. Marc's warmth and self-deprecating humor emanate when he explains to us that through all of his successes, he has also encountered some stumbling blocks along the way.

Ever humble and full of gratitude, Marc and his wife are actively involved in many philanthropic causes, and even welcomed over 70 foster children into their home, after they were displaced by Hurricane Irma.

Over the course of 72 hours, Marc and his neighbors served 800 meals,  did 36 loads of laundry, arranged for over 80 much-needed baths and showers, as well as finding the time to celebrate four birthdays and a visit from the tooth fairy.

This story of selfless giving is genuinely inspiring and describes just one aspect of the multifaceted and wonderfully kind man behind some of the most innovative companies in the world.

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Our Key Takeaways From Entrepreneur & Business Mogul Marc Bell

If There Is a Better Way to do Something…Do it

Marc's revealed to us that during his earliest ventures, it wasn't all smooth sailing. After losing over $100,000 worth of equipment due to an AC malfunction, Marc realized that rather than relying on another business to host his servers, he could build his own data center — with a better network.

This early innovation and out-of-the-box thinking led Marc's newly formed company, PFM Communications, to land a contract with Microsoft — eventually driving over half of the Fortune 50 companies, operating at the time, to host with PFM Communications.

“As a kid, I didn't really grasp the magnitude of what I was building, I was very focussed on what I was doing every day, and didn't focus on the significance of some of the stuff we created.”

Treat Everyone With Respect

At one point, Marc's company employed more than 1000 people in New York City. He shared with us a funny and heartwarming story about the time he applied his own janitorial experience, to show a newly employed janitor in his office how to clean the toilets.

Noticing the staff member struggling in the bathroom, Marc proceeded to get onto his hands and knees and demonstrate to correct way to clean a toilet to the employee — cue three senior executives of the company entering the bathroom and looking down at their boss entirely perplexed —  to which point he responded;

“Guys, we're all the same. We're all made the same, we all put our pants on the same way, we all eat the same way, we're all the same. It doesn't matter where we come from, or what opportunities we had or didn't have in life — we're all the same.”

Work Ethic Is the Key

Marc Bell's personality is as tenacious as his business acumen. We loved hearing him passionately discuss the importance of work ethic and being resilient when building your dreams.

Although a lot of entrepreneurs preach the importance of taking time away from work when needed, Marc told us about his 120-hour week work habit, and why taking time off from work doesn't serve him.

“Some people have hobbies. I don't have any hobbies. I work — that's my hobby, that's my passion, and I like what I do. So I can't complain.”

We are completely enamored with Marc's selfless outlook on life and passion for helping children and youths to reach their full potential. As Marc puts it, “These kids are our future. They will be doctors, lawyers, scientists, you name it. But they will only get there with our help.”

Listen to the whole fascinating conversation, and to find out how some of Jay's early artwork ended up on display in Marc’s house (this is a fun story!)

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