Clarence Bethea is a seasoned entrepreneur who has worked with dozens of startups and Fortune 500 companies to drive business momentum and success. He brings a wealth of business knowledge, networking acumen and passion to the service contract industry. Prior to starting Upsie, Clarence created 2nd Chance Staffing and secured contracts to staff distribution centers for local businesses. Follow him at @clarence_bethea.
Who is your hero? (In business, life, or both.)
I have a few heroes so I wouldn’t want to disrespect one by calling out another’s name. There are a few people who have helped me become a better man in business and in life. I’m thankful that they took the time to help me succeed.
What’s the single best piece of business advice that helped shape who you are as an entrepreneur today, and why?
Treat the janitor and the CEO the same. Everyone brings value to the table and should be treated as an important member of the team.
What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in your business, and what did you learn from it that others can learn from too?
My biggest mistake in business would have to be bringing on a bad hire that cost our business money and time. I learned that we needed to do a much better job vetting potential hires and doing reference checks. It’s very important as an early-stage startup to pick the right members of your team. They are crucial to your success and can quickly become the anchor to your failure.
What do you do during the first hour of your business day and why?
I spend the first hour of my business day checking/returning emails and texts. I like to see how the company did the day before and see what our team is working on via Slack.
What’s your best financial/cash-flow related tip for entrepreneurs just getting started?
My best tip would be to understand your burn rate. Knowing how much cash you have and how many months of running room it gets you is important.
Quick: What’s ONE thing you recommend ALL aspiring or current entrepreneurs do right now to take their biz to the next level?
Find a great mentor. They are crucial to your business success!
What’s your definition of success? How will you know when you’ve finally “succeeded” in your business?
I will have succeeded when every person across the country is saving themselves thousand of dollars by using Upsie. I don’t think we will ever get to the point where we have “succeeded,” but we are up for the challenge! Success at Upsie always happens one customer at a time. We are focused on the success of the customer and how are we playing an important role in their lives.
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.