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“Ask For a Lot of Input From Others” 5 Startup Lessons with Actor, Model, and Entrepreneur, On Mekahel

I had the pleasure of interviewing On Mekahel model, actor and entrepreneur.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?

I was born and raised in Israel. I started to model and appeared in commercials at the age of 14. When I was 19, I got accepted to the Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute in New York. I moved to New York at that time, and began getting into international modeling and acting. My social media took off around then as well, becoming a focal point in my career and life. I launched my own underwear company while I was continuing to act and model and also was Naomi Campbell’s personal assistant. Now, I am focusing on my business life, launching my fragrance and ready for the premier for my reality show following my journey.

Can you share the funniest of most interesting story that happened to you in the course of your career?

I think that the funniest story that happened to me in my career happened a few years ago, when I was performing on stage in front of a few thousand people, on Israeli Independence Day, I was 15 years old and full of myself. So as part of my diva antics, I skipped some of the rehearsals, and the recording day. When I got on the stage to sing my solo, I came to find (along with thousands of other Israeli audience members) that I was “singing” with a thick Russian accent. And everyone knew it was clearly not me.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

Not yet, but at the moment, my success is still in its infancy. As i continue to grow and experience life as first, a human being, my personal and professional perspectives are broadening. With that, I find it most important to bring awareness to certain issues that have either affected me specifically, or have touched me in some way. Currently, the two most important charities to me and my life are GLAAD and the Vanderpump Dog Foundation. A percentage of all proceeds from my underwear company, M.O. Underwear, and my fragrance, go directly to them. So hopefully now, with every effort, I will bring some sort of goodness to the world.

If someone would want to emulate your career, what would you suggest are the most important things to do?

Find your self, realize your goals, know what moves you and run after your dreams. Be persistent and never take no for answer. Take risks. But in my case, staying shirtless definitely helped.

So what are the most exciting projects you are working on now?

A reality show about my life which is premiering on Revry TV this May, something I worked on for the last two years. It follows me both personally and professionally, as I build my underwear company. I am also launching my fragrance, ON N.25, this summer, a project that I have been working on for the last year. At the same time, I am taking M.O. Underwear to my home country, Israel, as well as Europe.

What are your 5 things I wish someone told me when I first started my first company, M.O. Underwear, and why.

  1. To stick to a budget, because with my first company I looked at it from a model mind aspect What I cared about was an extravagant photoshoot and didn’t think about the most cost effective ways to spend when it came to marketing and advertising.
  2. No company becomes a success overnight, It takes time for a new brand to take off. When I started my company I was sure that the day I launched, it would be sold out in days and would be a huge success. I didn’t have the knowledge and experience to understand that you need to build a following and win trust of your audience. And this does not take just one day.
  3. Follow your heart and make your own decisions. Because it was my first company, I ask for a lot of input from others. At the end of the day I found out that the things I wanted to do, and the things that I thought were best, were actually the most full proof choices. I only wish I would have made them sooner.
  4. Take risks. If you want to succeed in the business world (I don’t think I can label myself a success just yet) you have to take risks if you want to get to the next level. Sometimes you have to take few steps back to take a few steps forward.
  5. I think thats it, so many people have advised me and guided me my whole life, so I think nothing has been overlooked.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this. :-)

Kim Kardashian. I just adore her view of life. I think that people look at her in the wrong way I think that she is inspiring for so many people like me. She is smart and I think that she is talented. She knows what works for her and what she is good at. But she is still keeping her family strong and close and she is building her own family and she cares for her children and husband and sisters..something I love. She is one of the busiest and well known people in the world and she still puts her family first. I respect what she was doing for the past few years and I have learned so much from her. And she keeps inspiring me every day. And that is why i would really like to meet her.