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This Military Vet-Turned-Fintech Entrepreneur Uses Education and Communication to Grow His Business Mac Angelo credits the Army with instilling his most important management lessons.

By Sarah Austin

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Mac Angelo

It may often appear as though building a company is the hardest part of the job, but in fact, hiring and managing a team is the most challenging trial of all. The reality of business often means being preoccupied with fast growth and scaling. But hen a majority of startups fail within the first five years, a productive, cohesive team can truly make or break any business.

Entrepreneur Mac Angelo faced these challenges early on. After moving from Cameroon, Africa to the United States, Angelo served in the U.S. Army and is now the owner of credit repair- and funding-company LevelXStream. He was driven to launch his business by a desire to help people fix their credit scores and create a one-stop shop that repairs an unfavorable financial past.

I spoke with Angelo about a few of the essential lessons he's absorbed, and continues to reinforce, throughout his journey.

Expect mistakes, and learn from them fast

Angelo knows firsthand what it's like to fail. Of his early days in the Army, he recalls, "I remember that I was training there with a bunch of guys from all corners of the country, and we were all new at this. The training was tough, so whenever we got a chance to relax and go party, we did. But then one day, I realized that my credit score had gotten really bad. And you have to understand, in Cameroon, we don't have such a thing as a "credit score.' But in America, it was all about that. So I had to learn how to deal with those issues firsthand in order to ensure a better future for myself. Once I did, after my Army experience, I was equipped to help others, and this is how LevelXstream was conceived."

Related: Breaking Down Small Business and Retail's Shift to Fintech

Select an enthusiastic team, and provide intensive training

One major mistake owners make is to only look at the surface qualifications of their new team. What works better is to select people based on their mindsets. "When I staff my company, I'm always looking at whether the person is a self-starter, energetic and enthusiastic," Angelo explains. "My company works with hundreds of affiliates, and those tend to be people who are passionate and hungry for the work. This is the type of attitude that I want my team to reflect."

From communications to credit repair, each team functions as a small unit. He attributes this strategy to his time in the Army, where commanders would always emphasize why it was better to divide and train personnel as you operate.

"Once I divide my staff into small groups, I focus heavily on education and training," he elaborates. "This is what brings the best results every time."

Dynamic communication and software

Angelo's work doesn't stop once a client's credit is fixed. Specialized teams within the company are in constant communication with every client — from start to finish. Agelo's key management tactic is ultimately full transparency and active engagement. As he puts it, "It's important for everyone to know what the other teams are up to at any given moment."

So how does the PR team know what finance is up to, for example? This is where software comes in. By leveraging platforms like Asana and Slack, teams can communicate quickly and effectively. "My company knows anything that goes on at any given moment," says Angelo, adding, "With the help of software and tools, we're able to work in small divisions, yet be completely in tune with each other."

Related: 3 Fintech Opportunities for Entrepreneurs Beyond 2020

The "divide-and-train" formula seems to be working well. From the halls of Tesla to LevelXstream, owners focus on a tight selection process for their teams and investing in new talent. It's a surefire way to avoid failure and optimize the chances of success.

Through high-level management tactics, Angelo expertly embodies this ideology and keeps his team growing and evolving on a daily basis. By hiring enthusiastic and energetic team-players, he ensures excellent results as each employee assumes the company goals as their own. Expecting and embracing mistakes needs to be a leading concept in company management, regardless of the industry. It's the clearest path to longevity.

Sarah Austin

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Author & Podcaster

Three-time venture-backed startup founder. Reality TV star, Bravo's 'Start-Ups: Silicon Valley'. Vanity Fair calls her "America's Tweetheart." Today, Sarah is Head of Content for KAVA, the DeFi for crypto startup company based in Silicon Valley. Previously Forbes, Oracle and SAP.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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