Startup Leader Spotlight: Mac Frederick
Meet Mac Frederick, the Philly Startup Leader who started two companies in Philadelphia after being fired from his dream job at Google.
At the time, Frederick was living and working in Ann Arbor, Michigan and – as many first-time founders do – he had been toeing the line between his full-time job and starting a business on the side. After being let go for creating an agency on the side, he decided to go all in on his new venture.
“It was the worst thing that had ever happened to me, but it forced me to make some serious life decisions.”
He had to choose between moving to either Southern California where he could be closer to his co-founder, or to Philadelphia, where he could be closer to friends and family. Philly won.
“PSL has been a catalyst for a lot of my connections and friends. I met people at PSL events that I talk to daily at this point. When I moved to the city I didn’t know many people so I constantly was networking. Now I have a lot of friends and connections.”
Frederick started Phone Repair Philly and Momentum Digital out of Philly’s own Venture Forth co-working space. Despite experiencing difficulty scaling, and going through the many growing pains that many entrepreneurs experience, Momentum Digital now employs a team of 15 and Phone Repair Philly has 4 locations and was rated Best Smartphone Repair Shop by Best of Philly in 2018.
In college, Frederick discovered his passion for small business and entrepreneurship and started his own club to help impact younger entrepreneurs. Now, he runs Small Business Saturday – a free initiative through Momentum Digital which highlights small, local, unique businesses. “These are the companies that get left behind because they can’t afford the latest technologies, and don’t have massive marketing budgets. Most of these companies can’t even afford our agency, and yet small businesses are the backbone to the economy, employing over 50% of the workforce.”
In 2019, Frederick plans to start building a program with educational leaders in the digital marketing space to help empower a younger generation of entrepreneurs to be their own boss through mentorship and training.
We Had to Ask…
Name your Top 3 personal interests or hobbies… outside of work.
1. Traveling to new places or around the country to visit and stay with friends.
2. Working out and playing sports.
3. Learning – through reading books, listening to podcasts, and watching videos.
What’s your favorite thing about doing business in Philadelphia?
“Really it’s how we get a big city feel with a small city vibe. We all sort of know each other within the entrepreneurship realm here. The city becomes a lot smaller than you imagine it to be once you really put yourself out there and network and meet other people. There are so many good things going on here now, especially with real estate, healthcare and pharma. Philly gets a bad rep, but there really are a lot of friendly amazing people here.”
What is something you struggle with?
“I think in this day and age a lot of us struggle with anxiety and depression. A lot of this comes from social media and social status, and comparing ourselves to others. I fall victim to this often, and mostly because I have high expectations of myself. As entrepreneurs it’s also very lonely; we get sad and lonely and it can feel like it’s us against the world. It’s nice to have communities like PSL where we can share together.”
What is the single-most valuable habit or tool you’ve used to set yourself up for success?
“Putting myself in a position where my back is against the wall. I think doing things that are really difficult or uncomfortable is what allows entrepreneurs to separate themselves and learn and grow.”
What is your current work/life balance VS. your GOAL work/life balance?
“My current work life balance is non existent. Work isn’t always work to me though. I do what I love but sometimes it’s exhausting. I like to workout at night and go out every other weekend. I used to travel more when I had a small team but haven’t been able to as much recently. I work probably 70-80 hours per week, some more, some less.
My goal is to work only 40-50 hours per week. I don’t want to really drink or go out as often, since I’m getting older, but would rather travel and experience new people and places.”
How do you manage your work/life balance?
“I try to set time for myself and give my late nights towards working out or going out to eat or maybe an event. The weekends I either work, travel or relax (usually not relax). It’s all about planning, scheduling and making time for the things you care about. I definitely work too much, but I don’t dislike working.”
Ask | Give
ASK: If you could connect with just ONE expert on ONE thing you need help with right now, who/what would it be?
“What I need is an operating partner for one of my companies who wants the chance to step into a profitable company to take over day to day management and operations. I need to free up my time to focus on myself, sales, and business development.”
GIVE: Paying it forward is important. What skill, service, or expertise would you like to share with the PSL Community?
“I enjoy talking about anything related to Google: Adwords, SEO, and Local Search. I can also talk all day about cell phone repairs and iPhones! The area I can really help grow the small business community is with our [Momentum Digital] free initiative called Small Business Saturday. Here is a video for more information: https://youtu.be/qv78ou466KY”
To get connected with Mac Frederick – Founder & CEO of Momentum Digital and Phone Repair Philly – visit:
LinkedIn | @macfrederick
Instagram | @macfrederick
Twitter | @macfrederickceo
Facebook | @mjfrederick334
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Philly Startup Leaders is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization on a mission to help current and future founders succeed – in Philadelphia, and beyond.