Marc Sparks History – Chapter 4

Marc Sparks latest endeavor of Splash Media, LP is the culmination of a five-year friendship and business relationship between Sparks and Chris Kraft. While Splash Media is a full-fledged video and film production company with three state-of-the-art “Live” studios in Addison, TX, Sparks’ entrepreneurial vision and Kraft’s technology expertise have led to Splash focusing on a B-to-B-to-C concept – providing video content, focused on consumer product training. Sparks and Kraft have launched TSTN (The Success Training Network) distributed via traditional television and Splash’s proprietary streaming platform, SplashStream.

Sparks’ business passion is clearly to build companies – often from ideas that others think are unreasonable or impossible. Taking that initial idea, he proceeds to establish not only the business model but the company culture and to develop both the short-term goals and the long-range growth plans. Sparks manages by example, setting the patterns for his entire staff to follow. He hires the best staff he can find and mentors them diligently in order to eventually take over when its time again for him to go and build the next venture.

Sparks says, “I’m a builder… I love to build a business from scratch – no office, no employees at first… many times, no capital… just an idea. I love to build the products, the sales teams, the customer service teams, the marketing plans, the culture, the collateral materials… all of it from scratch. It’s the most thrilling thing to me to see employees and customers who admire working in your office and buying your products… it’s a HIGH you can hardly explain. My biggest challenge is managing after “it’s built.” My weakness is also realizing when it’s time to let go so that the business can grow to the next level.”

Sparks is often asked two questions: 1) Aren’t you afraid of losing? and 2) How do you do it?

To sum up fear for an entrepreneur, Sparks says that he has no fear of losing at all. “It sounds a little weird; however, as long as I can pay my bills, I’ve always been happy. I have never said, I want to be rich or I wish I had a million dollars. Being rich to me is having great health, a healthy family, good friends, building a successful business from scratch and having hundreds of happy employees and thousands of successful customers… that’s a great day. I believe that God gave me a special ‘shut off valve’ that somehow eliminates the fear factor. I have so little fear, that I sometimes wonder if there’s something wrong with me.”

When Sparks moved to Dallas he had $120 in his pocket. “Over the last 30 years, many times I wished I had that $120 back so I could do it again.” The way Sparks sees it, We all had nothing when we started and we will all have nothing when we leave, so as long as you have your health, faith, family and friends… what’s to fear? I truly love the journey of life.”

To sum up “how” he does it… Sparks says, “being an entrepreneur for 30 years has taught me that in order to be successful you MUST have:”

1. Faith

2. Passion

3. Tenacity

4. Focus

5. Monetization savvy, and

6. An Outrageous Sense of Urgency!

“You will rely on all of these qualities often as an entrepreneur. Without these qualities, you will fail in your entrepreneurial ventures… period. However, if you mix these few qualities with treating people the way you want to be treated… fairly, with respect and honesty… you will succeed.”

Surely, every entrepreneur requires an exceptional support system. Sparks has a steadfast relationship with his wife, who unconditionally supports her husband. While the hours he works are often very long, she understands her husband’s drive, tenacity and spirit. She also maintains a strong belief in Christian ethics, family priorities, and shares her husband’s passion of giving back to humanity. His wife has rigorously volunteered with the Meals on Wheels organization in Dallas since 1993. The Sparks family is actively involved with Highland Park United Methodist Church in Dallas. Sparks’ daughter volunteers at the church on a regular basis and attends Southern Methodist University where she will also receive her MBA. (No pressure from her dad, of course.)

To counter the stress, Sparks is a health enthusiast and outdoors man. He enjoys working out at least five times a week (reading email and his beloved business publications while on a treadmill), golf, fly fishing, traveling, and good movies. Sparks thrives on competition – in sports and in business.

Sourced from:

http://directory.leadmaverick.com/Marc-A-Sparks/DallasFort-WorthArlington/TX/10/5434/index.aspx

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Marc Sparks article: Made in the USA – spoiled brats by Craig R. Smith

Sometimes you read an article that puts everything into perspective. I recently found this article by Craig R. Smith and found it to be truly profound and accurate. Marc

By Craig R. Smith © 2008

The other day I was reading Newsweek magazine and came across some poll data I found rather hard to believe. It must be true given the source, right? The same magazine that employs Michael (Qurans in the toilets at Gitmo) Isikoff. Here I promised myself this week I would be nice and I start off in this way. Oh what a mean man I am.

The Newsweek poll alleges that 67 percent of Americans are unhappy with the direction the country is headed and 69 percent of the country is unhappy with the performance of the president. In essence 2/3s of the citizenry just ain’t happy and want a change.

So being the knuckle dragger I am, I starting thinking, ”What we are so unhappy about?”

Is it that we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Is our unhappiness the result of having air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter? Could it be that 95.4 percent of these unhappy folks have a job? Maybe it is the ability to walk into a grocery store at any time and see more food in moments than Darfur has seen in the last year?

Maybe it is the ability to drive from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean without having to present identification papers as we move through each state? Or possibly the hundreds of clean and safe motels we would find along the way that can provide temporary shelter? I guess having thousands of restaurants with varying cuisine from around the world is just not good enough. Or could it be that when we wreck our car, emergency workers show up and provide services to help all involved. Whether you are rich or poor they treat your wounds and even, if necessary, send a helicopter to take you to the hospital.

Perhaps you are one of the 70 percent of Americans who own a home, you may be upset with knowing that in the unfortunate case of having a fire, a group of trained firefighters will appear in moments and use top notch equipment to extinguish the flames thus saving you, your family and your belongings. Or if, while at home watching one of your many flat screen TVs, a burglar or prowler intrudes; an officer equipped with a gun and a bullet-proof vest will come to defend you and your family against attack or loss. This all in the backdrop of a neighborhood free of bombs or militias raping and pillaging the residents. Neighborhoods where 90 percent of teenagers own cell phones and computers.

How about the complete religious, social and political freedoms we enjoy that are the envy of everyone in the world? Maybe that is what has 67 percent of you folks unhappy.

Fact is, we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the world has ever seen. No wonder the world loves the U.S. yet has a great disdain for its citizens. They see us for what we are. The most blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain about what we don’t have and what we hate about the country instead of thanking the good Lord we live here.

I know, I know. What about the president who took us into war and has no plan to get us out? The president who has a measly 31 percent approval rating? Is this the same president who guided the nation in the dark days after 9/11? The president that cut taxes to bring an economy out of recession? Could this be the same guy who has been called every name in the book for succeeding in keeping all the spoiled brats safe from terrorist attacks? The commander in chief of an all-volunteer army that is out there defending you and me?

Make no mistake about it. The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have volunteered to serve, and in many cases have died for your freedom. There is currently no draft in this country. They didn’t have to go. They are able to refuse to go and end up with either a ”general” discharge, an ”other than honorable” discharge or, worst case scenario, a ”dishonorable” discharge after a few days in the brig.

So why then the flat out discontentment in the minds of 69 percent of Americans? Say what you want but I blame it on the media. If it bleeds it leads and they specialize in bad news. Everybody will watch a car crash with blood and guts. How many will watch kids selling lemonade at the corner? The media knows this and media outlets are for-profit corporations. They offer what sells. Just ask why they are going to allow a murderer like O.J. Simpson to write a book and do a TV special about how he didn’t kill his wife but if he did … insane!

Stop buying the negative venom you are fed everyday by the media. Shut off the TV, burn Newsweek, and use the New York Times for the bottom of your bird cage. Then start being grateful for all we have as a country. There is exponentially more good than bad.

I close with one of my favorite quotes from B.C. Forbes in 1953:

”What have Americans to be thankful for? More than any other people on the earth, we enjoy complete religious freedom, political freedom, social freedom. Our liberties are sacredly safeguarded by the Constitution of the United States, ‘the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man.’ Yes, we Americans of today have been bequeathed a noble heritage. Let us pray that we may hand it down unsullied to our children and theirs.”

I suggest this Thanksgiving we sit back and count our blessings for all we have. If we don’t, what we have will be taken away. Then we will have to explain to future generations why we squandered such blessing and abundance. If we are not careful this generation will be known as the ”greediest and most ungrateful generation.” A far cry from the proud Americans of the ”greatest generation” who left us an untarnished legacy.

This article was sourced from:

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=53028

Published in: on September 17, 2008 at 2:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Marc Sparks History – Chapter 3

In 2000, Marc Sparks ran a tombstone ad in the Dallas Morning News, looking for a business model that “needed” an entrepreneur with his talent, experience, vision and tenacity. Out of the hundreds of opportunities that flooded his office, God shone the light for Marc on one in particular – a unique software start-up operation. While Sparks didn’t know how to even turn a computer on, much less know about software code, he forged ahead anyway as he clearly saw a perfect match.

Previously, Sparks was forced to leave a company he had devoted nearly 100% of his time to – and while his former ‘advisors’ and colleagues pointed fingers at him and the SEC investigated, he courageously sat front and center in a large first-floor office window, daring to start over. Daring to prove himself… once again.

Sparks took on a brash, young partner who had developed a remarkable software program but had no idea how to get it out of his garage, much less get it packaged, to market, manage customer service and technical support, and ultimately expand it into six additional software programs with substantial recurring revenue. In just four and a half short years, Marc A Sparks took GlobalTec Solutions from a small start up to a an extremely successful software company. As of June 15th, 2004, GlobalTec had a staff of just over 130 people. And it had become a leader in the “Business to Consumer” financial software marketplace.

An enormous focus of GlobalTec Solutions’ staff, and in-grained in its company culture, is to provide exceptional, focused customer service. Under Sparks’ leadership, GlobalTec initiated an annual convention for its software users. Attendance tripled since the inaugural “WizeFEST” in 2002 and now accommodates 3,000 GlobalTec customers at each annual convention. To attend a WizeFEST convention is akin to attending a Republican or Democratic Party convention. The frenzy and excitement is clearly generated by Sparks’ marketing fire, and his contagious enthusiasm.

While Sparks could write a book on what to do and – equally as important – what NOT to do, at times he says he wouldn’t wish his life on the Devil himself. Yet, at other times, he says he’s had a remarkable life and wouldn’t trade his experiences for the entire universe. “There is no other way to learn the remarkable lessons I’ve learned without being in the game.”

Throughout his career, Sparks has been in the wholesale furniture business, retail furniture business, commercial mortgage banking, restaurant, manufacturing, real estate, surety bonding, property and casualty insurance, software, and his latest business passion… LIVE, business television and now streaming of video and data.

Stay tuned for the next chapter in the Marc Sparks’ history where the next venture of Splash Media will pioneer a path for IPTV and ‘video based e-learning’ into the corporate world of global communication and training.

Marc A Sparks is a leading Dallas Texas start up entrepreneur and venture capitalist. Submit an application for seed funding to Marc A Sparks – the Dallas entrepreneur only at whoismarcsparks.com.

http://directory.leadmaverick.com/Marc-A-Sparks/DallasFort-WorthArlington/TX/10/4820/index.aspx

Marc Sparks History – Chapter 2

In 1989 Marc Sparks started yet another highly successful endeavor in the construction surety bonding industry which ultimately morphed into the property and casualty insurance industry. Sparks acquired his local recording agent’s insurance license, a surplus lines license and a managing general agent’s license. Over the next ten years, Sparks focused on the goal of fully integrating the insurance industry. This vision meant not only selling an insurance policy to a consumer but included servicing the policy, fully managing the claim, financing the premiums, and even taking a portion of the risk. To finally fulfill the vision, in 1996, Sparks and a minority partner purchased a distressed property & casualty insurance company in an arrangement with the Texas Department of Insurance and thereafter received “Form A” approval – which is the state’s blessing to own and operate a full-fledged insurance company.

This was a proud milestone for Marc Sparks, and was also the beginning of one of the biggest and most emotional phases of his life. Since starting with a staff of 10 in 1989, Sparks grew the company to a successful insurance holding corporation over the next 10 years. With a focus on business development and quality customer service, by 1999, the company was generating over $160 million in annual premium, with a staff of over 500, 171 retail agency offices in three states, two premium finance companies, several general agencies (wholesale), and an M.G.A. all backed by eleven A and A+ (AM Best) rated reinsurers. The company became public in 1998 and was listed on the American Stock Exchange. There appeared to be no limits to its growth, and it was Marc Sparks’ entrepreneurial dream come true…success, tremendous growth opportunity, happy staff and good health.

At the very peak of its success, the walls started crashing down. The company’s stock started falling fast, and before Sparks and his management team could find a reason for the drop, the Stock Exchange halted trading and the rumors started to fly. Soon thereafter, the coveted A+ rated list of reinsurers stopped backing the insurance policies that were being sold, and Sparks lost the company that had been his passion for 10 years, as well as his business relationships, his stellar reputation, many friends and a wonderful staff.

Over the following years, the lawsuits and the Securities and Exchange Commission investigation were amicably resolved. It was an emotionally painful, financially expensive and very personal experience for Sparks. Ultimately, the experience awards a kind of “badge of honor” for an entrepreneur. Sparks allowed himself less than a month to grieve, and wasted no time in looking for his next venture. Sparks knew one thing for sure; he’d built many successful businesses before and would do it again. He knew that his God-given entrepreneurial talent could never be taken away from him.

About Marc Sparks

Marc A Sparks is a leading Dallas Texas start up entrepreneur and venture capitalist. Submit an application for seed funding to Marc Sparks – the Dallas entrepreneur only at www.whoismarcsparks.com.

Marc Sparks – Dallas Philanthropist

Marc Sparks – Dallas Entrepreneur

Born June 8th, 1957 in Rockwall, Texas, Marc Sparks was the youngest of five children. After spending much of his youth growing up in Austin, Texas, Marc graduated from Westlake High School and immediately moved back to the Dallas area to begin his career in the wholesale furniture business with his father.

Being the youngest with four other siblings, college was never an option for Marc Sparks. In fact, from his earliest memories, it was always understood that Marc would follow in the footsteps of his father. Right out of high school Sparks immersed himself in the business and began learning every detail and angle of the wholesale furniture business from the ground up. He started by sweeping floors and driving a delivery truck for Freed Furniture Company and went on to work for several other retail furniture stores in the Dallas area. Throughout his experience in the furniture industry, Sparks always had a pressing desire and passion to learn more, to expand his horizons. Early on, his goal was to own his own furniture store. It didn’t take long for Sparks’ father to realize he could no longer hold back his son’s entrepreneurial passion. Therefore, it was amicably agreed between father and son to “set Marc free” to pursue his own entrepreneurial dreams and ambitions.

In the following years Sparks would launch several moderately successful business endeavors, and would soon begin the foundation of what would become a philanthropic legacy. However, like most passionate entrepreneurs, Marc Sparks would soon taste great success, as well as experience terrible failure, and begin to learn some of life’s most important lessons about perseverance, survival, and the challenges of being a true entrepreneur.

About Marc Sparks

Marc A Sparks is a leading Dallas Texas start up entrepreneur and venture capitalist. Submit an application for seed funding to Marc Sparks – the Dallas entrepreneur only at www.whoismarcsparks.com.

Marc Sparks History

Marc Sparks has dedicated his life to this passage from the Bible.

Luke 12:48 From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.

Sparks truly realizes and understands that there is great responsibility that comes with success, A responsibility which requires unflinching focus and remaining always humble to that greater power that has helped guide him to his success.

Over the next several weeks we will define the many entrepreneurial and philanthropic endeavors that mark the cornerstones of the history and growing legacy of Marc Sparks.

For more information visit:

www.whoismarcsparks.com

www.TimberCreekCapital.com

Dallas Venture Capitalist

Dallas venture capitalist, Marc Sparks is, “clearly the entrepreneur’s entrepreneur” (Marc A. Sparks). Because he is an expert Dallas, Texas venture capitalist, he has provided a very detailed question and answer guide from the areas of starting a business to staying motivated in your business.Since 1978, he has been the principal in many start-ups… some extremely successful, and some not so successful; however, Marc Sparks states that “the not so successful ventures are like taking a course at the World University for Entrepreneurs” and further states that “without experiencing the not so successful ventures, you wouldn’t gain the knowledge to succeed, know what to do with success or be able to fully appreciate success. God gives us challenges and even devastating circumstances in order for us to understand the responsibility that comes with success and to keep us humble. One never forgets when and where they get their scars in life.”

Marc is currently accepting applications, on his website Who Is Marc Sparks?, for companies seeking seed funding and other venture capital.

Marc Sparks has provided a significant amount of venture capital for Dallas based Splash Media. As one of the top Dallas venture capitalists, Marc Sparks has provided numerous opportunities to growing companies like Splash Media.

“Venture capital is a type of private equity capital typically provided by professional, outside investors to new, high-potential-growth companies in the interest of taking the company to an IPO” Venture Capital.

Dallas is the third-largest city in the state of Texas and the ninth-largest in the United States. The city is the main economic center of the 12-county Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area — at over 6.1 million people, it is the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the United States.

For More Information About Marc A. Sparks visit www.whoismarcsparks.com
For Information on Marc’s charities visit thesamaritaninn.org