Mathew Georghiou Of MediaSpark On 5 Things They Forgot To Mention In College

An Interview With Chad Silverstein

Chad Silverstein
Authority Magazine

--

You are responsible for your learning and success — no one is going to hold your hand or save you.

We are starting a new interview series about the world of entrepreneurship beyond the classroom — a realm where theory meets grit, and education meets real-world challenges. We want to hear about critical business wisdom that often goes unspoken in academic settings. I had the honor of interviewing Mathew Georghiou.

Mathew is an engineer, inventor, designer, writer, and entrepreneur. Mathew is a leading expert in the design of educational games and simulations and his creations have reached millions of people around the world through thousands of schools, nonprofits, government agencies, and Fortune 500 companies. Mathew has founded and operates businesses in educational technology, toys, social media news and advertising, and metal art and signage.

Thanks for being part of this series. Let’s jump in and focus on your early years. Can you share who was your biggest influence when you were young and provide specific examples of what you learned from them that helped shape who you’ve become and how you live your life today?

I actually do not recall being significantly influenced by any one person. I was ok being me and finding my way through the world.

Staying on the topic of influence, who has been your biggest catalyst more recently and what can you share that you’ve learned from them that led you to making changes in your life?

I try to learn from everything and everyone — there is no one person. I have saying that I live by, which is — “always consider other people’s experiences of the world, but never assume them as your own.”

Mistakes are invaluable. Can you name one specific mistake that you made early on, and learned the most from, but wish you’d been forewarned about?

So many lessons learned. Perhaps the first most important lesson when starting out is to focus on generating revenue and profit as quickly as possible. And do the actions necessary to make that happen. I think I focused too much on the future and not enough on the present.

Is there a leadership myth you believed early on that you’ve since debunked through your real-world experience?

All leadership advice is both right and wrong at the same time. It may be right for one person but wrong for you because timing and context matter.

What’s the key operational insight you’ve gained since running your business that was never mentioned in any classroom?

Relationships trump everything.

Did college prepare you for scaling a business? What specifically was missing?

No. I studied engineering and math in college, not business. But most college business programs do not do a good job of preparing people for entrepreneurship.

Any unexpected challenges in team dynamics that your academic experience didn’t prepare you for? How did you handle it?

Nothing in academics can prepare you for the complexities of managing people and relationships. You don’t know what you don’t know until you are in the middle of it and have to make decisions. Every decision has positive and negative consequences, so the real world can often be a no-win situation.

Have you had to unlearn any widely-accepted business ‘wisdom’ in your journey? What was it and how did it affect your strategy?

There are so many but the one I struggle with the most is the concept of staying focused and never giving up versus diversifying or pivoting.

The common wisdom is to stay focused, don’t get distracted, and never give up. But what if you are focused on the wrong thing? Then you should give up and perhaps pivot — sooner rather than later. But what if you give up too soon? Should you diversify at the same time to reduce future risk and open up new opportunities? But what if that becomes a distraction? An impossible dilemma.

What’s your advice for new entrepreneurs? What are your “5 Things You Won’t Learn in College But Must Know to Succeed in Business”?

1. Marks don’t matter and your degree doesn’t matter — only your skills and performance do.

2. You are responsible for your learning and success — no one is going to hold your hand or save you.

3. Curiosity is a superpower — it’s possible to dislike school but love to learn.

4. Timing, luck, and relationships may have more to do with your success than anything else.

5. You define your own success and happiness.

How do you ensure your team not just understands but embodies your business principles? Any techniques you wish you’d known earlier?

Set an example. If you want your team to act in a certain way, then you have to act in that way. I’ve always followed this approach in life.

If we were sitting together two years from now, looking back at the past 24 months, what specifically has to happen for you personally and professionally, for you to be happy with your results?

The culmination of my skills and life experience is all embodied in a new training program for aspiring business leaders and entrepreneurs called businessXP. Making businessXP successful will make me quite happy.

Looking back over the last two years, what key accomplishments make you satisfied with your progress?

Continuing to invent new and better ways to facilitate business education and entrepreneurship around the world.

As someone with significant influence, what’s the one change you’d like to inspire that would benefit the most people?

I’m a big believer in the power of entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship is more than just running a business. Entrepreneurship is a mindset that empowers individuals to take control of their own future and helps them realize personal goals and objectives. It’s about freedom, lifestyle, self-confidence, family, community, and more.

I believe the entrepreneurial mindset is one of the most meaningful gifts we can give to the world.

How can our readers keep up with your work?

Visit my website at Georghiou.com and consider subscribing to my newsletters and online communities.

Thank you so much for joining us! We wish you only success.

Thanks :-)

About the Interviewer: Chad Silverstein is a successful entrepreneur with more than two decades of experience as a successful founder and CEO. He started his first company, Choice Recovery, Inc. a third-party collection agency, out of his apartment while going to The Ohio State University. He grew the business nationwide and represented more than 10,000 clients before selling the company on his 25th anniversary. His second venture, [re]start, is a career development platform that helps people find new jobs, launched in 2013 as a division inside his agency. [re]start was a catalyst to Chad’s team becoming an industry outlier after connecting thousands of people to meaningful employment opportunities. His company was nationally recognized for its social impact, twice being ranked the #1 business to work for in Central Ohio. Chad sold [re]start in 2023 and is now a writer and thought leader for Authority Magazine’s Entrepreneur and Sports Editorials. He also offers an exclusive executive leadership program inside his online community at Authentic Authority.

--

--

Chad Silverstein
Authority Magazine

Chad Silverstein: 25-years experience as a CEO & Founder, sharing entrepreneurial insights & empowering the next generation of leaders.