The Wish Group Alumni Series continues today with The Mike Agency president Mike Soragnese. The Mike Agency is the newest Wish Group company and is a marketing and communications agency that develops strategies to help businesses achieve growth and engage the supporters of their brand through print, promotional products, digital media and design solutions.
1) How did your relationship with Frank and the Wish Group influence or inspire you to get into business for yourself?
My relationship with Frank goes back 34 years. I have the pleasure of being Frank’s younger cousin and have first-hand knowledge of how passionate, dynamic and inspirational Frank is. As little kids growing up, Frank always took the lead in anything we had done. Whether it was a game of football in the basement, having a 17-0 season in hockey or simply standing for what he believed in Frank made an impact on me. He was someone I always looked up to, he was always driven to be the best and when you know someone like that in your life you always want to stay as close as possible.
In 2001 when Frank was getting his feet set with Enunciate I was doing the same with my career. I had just started working with a creative marketing company and having some of my own successes. Frank was one of my first clients and we did some very good work together. As the years had gone on I really started to understand how good he was at what he did. There were many instances when working with him where I got to see how he inspired, motivated and pushed the people around him to be better, to see the big picture and that intrigued me. I wanted to be better, I wanted to be successful like Frank, I wanted to own my own business.
Through the years at events and family functions, Frank had always brought up in conversation that we would one day work together, but I never believed it, I never saw the fit. That was until “he made me an offer I could not refuse”. Through his network, infrastructure and his willingness to help me be the best, it was a no brainer for me to step into the world of entrepreneurship and to be the leader he had always seen in me.
2) Which entrepreneur (past or present) do you admire most and why?
This is an easy one, my Dad. He has always been an inspiration to me. He came here from Italy in his early teens and immediately opened up his own hair salon. The hard work and dedication that brought long days and long work weeks just so that he could provide us with the good things in life is something that drives me. He is still at it today, more than 50 years in the business and he still loves what he does. He is still working the long days and the long work weeks. He still makes sure that each and every customer that comes through that door is being taken care of. A lot of the traits I portray in my business on the daily basis have been passed down through him and I am very grateful for that.
3) What is your company and what was the motivation to start it?
The company is the Mike Agency and the motivation to start it was wanting to be better, wanting to be successful and wanting a new challenge.
4) What is the vision for the company in 5 years?
is a little overwhelming to walk into the Wish Group office every morning. There are several awards on the wall from all of the successes each one of the companies under the Wish Group umbrella has achieved. I want to be part of that success, I want to be known as a reputable/credible company, a company that everyone would like to business with, a company that hits 5 million dollars in sales. I want to revolutionize the industry, I want to make a difference.
5) How did you raise the capital to start the business?
Capital? You need capital to start a business? Did I not already mention I know Frank?
6) What is the most successful sales / marketing strategy you’ve ever used?
Referrals, nothing speaks louder to your audience than a group of people that can vouch for the work and success you have brought to them. So many times, companies, businesses and organizations are looking for a miracle on how to increase sales, growth and awareness. Speak to who you know!
7) What other lessons have you learned that other entrepreneurs could benefit from?
Believe in yourself, know that you can do it. It is scary to leave a situation that you have known for so long and achieved great success with. It takes a lot of sleepless nights and dedication, but the grass is really greener. Know that “If you build it, they will come”