By Erica Witten
This may be the biggest most exciting project going on right in our backyard. In the midst of a global pandemic the country boy from New Jersey, we call Mission Marc answers 24 questions about himself and the development of the historical Mission 24 Project.
1. How did Shared Space come about?
"When I was working as a business consultant I struggled to find the proper workspace. Whether it was at home, in a coffee shop, a bistro, a library I just did not feel I was fulfilling my full work potential. As I pondered the idea of creating my own business I realized how important workspace is for everyone."
2. Why did you decide to target younger individuals as opposed to older ones who may have more experience in business?
"I'm 25 years old, I like to think I'm in the middle of these two incredible generations (Millennials/Generation-Z). I have a very good idea of not only what they like but what they need to work properly."
3. You and some of your team members often refer to Mission 24 as the "Ultimate Equalizer" can you explain that?
"A leveled playing field, the anchor of every community, the common place for everyday people, We leverage assets and we share them, we help individuals create and receive recognition for their work."
4. Why the name Mission 24?
"My sister actually came up with this name early on in the creative process. It always resonated with me because I feel that everyone should have several goals. We see these goals as missions and we are prepared to help individuals accomplish these missions 24/7 and have fun doing it."
5. Why the name Mission Marc?
"I help a lot of people set and accomplish their goals and I love doing it so thats the name in a nutshell."
6. Which space will be utilized most, Social Space or Work Space?
7. Say someone has an idea for a new gaming system they would like to introduce to the market, how would Mission 24 handle this?
"First we would set them up with a free consultation where we review the scope of the work they have done this far. This allows us to assess the kind of help this individual needs. Do we need to help them gain exposure, introduce them to an investor, partner them up with an established entity, conduct more research? However this can not happen until this member becomes comfortable and confident enough to ask for help. By doing this we expedite and fast track the growth of the member."
8. Funding is such a big part of business, is there a plan in place to help people with that?
"Absolutely. We make people fully aware of traditional banking options that exist. We make our suggestions based on whatever we uncover during our consultation. Currently we are coordinating plans with various Philanthropy Trust, Humanitarian Programs, and Foundations."
9. What advantage does a Mission 24 member have over someone else pitching an investor their idea?
"Organization and support. Personally I've pitched a room full of investors many times I understand better than most how hard it can be to get your idea across. So when a member wishes to pursue this route we have programs in place that increase the likeness of receiving a yes. This is a game changer for young entrepreneurs. In addition our member portals is very unique and beneficial tool for people seeking investment funds."
10. How are you able to offer all these services with such low membership prices?
"We remain open 24/7 so a constant stream of revenue comes into Mission 24. Our third party companies are so important they allows us to not incur expenses while maximizing the services we offer. Truly a one of a kind business model."
11. In the past you have said social media has a negative impact on the mental health of young adults,has that opinion changed?
"No, they haven't and me as well as my team continue to find more sources that back this up. Listen, very soon Instagram will remove likes because so many people are not posting because they are insecure. They are seeing a false reality and its impacting them greatly. Mission 24 members will have access to resources that will make them understand how they are being affected. We will offer programs that increases the dialogue, this will make a big difference."
12. We have talked extensively about social media insecurities how will you help your members overcome them?
"There is a website called buzzoid.com, on this website you can buy likes, comments, followers on all the major platforms but furthermore you can view what is being purchased around the world. "Someone in Canada just purchased 1100 likes on IG, Someone in Sweden just purchased 2500 followers, Someone from America just purchased 500 comments, etc." These updates never stop so it goes to show how unrealistic most of these pages are. A lot of people believe there content isn't being accepted when really sites like Instagram and Facebook have transitioned in to a pay to play game making the organic content very hard to be seen EVEN with knowing the algorithm. We have formed online communities to help members support each other more efficiently and build a following more naturally."
13. What was one of the biggest mistakes you have made in business?
"I trusted the wrong people, I've been scammed, I tried to move too fast at times but I learned from these mistakes. I've lost close to $70,000 in mistakes. And I know that is like chicken scraps to seasoned entrepreneurs but as an independent businessman that means a lot. Much of these mistakes would have been avoided if there was anything remotely close to a Mission 24."
"The Mission 24 Project will change the lives of millions" says Melanie Debrow of South Jersey. "This young man is building something so special and I am so excited to see these centers up and running."
14. It's saturday night, lets say... 8:00pm; whats the atmosphere like inside Mission 24?
"Sheesh! Great questions! Well first off, tons of laughter, chatter from various conversations, door dash delivery employees constantly in and out, friendly competition along the walls of the social space. Opening the door to the Work Space an even higher energy exist with young adults brainstorming firing off ideas and writing them down, game planning there next moves. Just an all around vibe flowing throughout our centers."
15. How often will the average member use Mission 24?
"The utilization will resemble a gym. As Planet Fitness has very committed members who go daily they also have slackers who make it in a few times a month. It fluctuates and we expect that to happen hear but our slackers will still make it inside to our social space which is why Mission 24 utilization will be very high."
16. How much resistance have you and your team faced with getting these centers up and running?
"I would love to unload on this question but I will hold back as much as I can... A few things you have to understand is I am a black man in America, I am not influenced, I fear no one but God, I have an enormous family, and I represent a cause that impacts millions. Ive had a target on my back for a very long time so needless to say there have been many hoops I have had to jump through that others wont. It's unfair but its part of my process and its what makes this process so special."
17. What is the first thing you and your friends will do inside social space?
"Karaoke. Don't judge me, I have been dying to host a karaoke night with my friends and family. I am an awful singer but I love to sing and Karaoke is just tons of fun to me. I know it sounds incredibly corny but just make sure you attend the grand opening and you will see the vibe it generates."
18. Can you explain your ideal Mission 24 member?
"Someone who can't afford or is unsure about college...."
"The young women who has a voice and wants to utilize it...."
"Young entrepreneurs in need of guidance..."
"Social media savvy individuals...."
"People looking to find a community....."
19. In this time of uncertainty when can you see Mission 24 up and running?
"If only I had a crystal ball, these times are so unpredictable and it seems the country is at war during a time when our nation is so divided. Too many unanswered questions but as long as we win this war through the grace of God my team will be ready to open throughout communities everywhere. The moral boost every community will need."
20. You have made it clear mental health is the number one issue in America, how do you think America is handling it?
"Very poorly, and I hate to talk badly on my country but 1 and 4 people suffering from chronic anxiety and or depression at the bare minimum I would like to have seen these number at least stabilized over the past 5 years; but these number are only getting worse. There are steps we can take."
21. What other causes are you passionate about?
"Prison Reform, Women Rights, Education, and others I will use my platform to speak out on."
22. What is your favorite social media platform?
"Instagram its great for providing details about yourself. I do believe the censorship needs to stop but would also like to see more regulations."
22. You mentioned how beneficial tv series are in bringing people together, can you elaborate?
"I just think shows that we all watch can be used to connect us a little more. For example if we all watch Riverdale every Wednesday why not watch it together and have live conversations about it. Mission 24 will allow this by featuring apps like Hulu, Netflix, Disney+.and raising the discussion on the current series and popular movies."
23. In a few words compare Work Space and Social Space to an existing entity or program?
"Work Space compare to an enormous study hall"
"Social Space compare to lunch/recess"
24. I have had such a fun time doing this and this was such an eye opening experience. You should be very proud of this work and now I am even more excited about Mission 24, How can someone support this project?