I’m Loren Howard Founder of Prime Plus Mortgages, a hard money lending, and mortgage note investment company. I’m a serial entrepreneur, and I’ve launched and grown businesses across varying industries to the 7 and 8 figure marks. From lead generation to real estate, I’ve taken a hands-on approach to rapidly scale businesses.
Before I began my entrepreneur journey, I was determined to play in the NFL. In college, I was awarded the Freshman All-American Defensive End and Big Ten Defensive Freshman of the year. Sophomore year, I was All-Conference Defensive End, and in my Junior year, Preseason Mel Kiper ranked me the second defensive end to go in the draft. Unfortunately, I was injured and couldn’t continue with my athletic career, so I had to change paths.
After my football career ended, I started my first business. I had to learn a lot about business the hard way. While my first company wasn’t a success, the skills, lessons, and tools I learned I used to try again until found success.
Now I have launched several companies into the 8 figure mark in different industries. Each one of those experiences has made the next business easier and more successful than the last.
As an successful entrepreneur please share your view point if you believe that entrepreneurs are born or made?
Personally, there are some specific traits that are an innate part of being an entrepreneur. I think that
drive, vision, resilience, and risk-taking are a part of that – but these can be learned as you grow your
business. I think for any successful entrepreneur it’s knowing when to jump in, grind it out, and run with
your vision. It makes it easier to have these traits at the beginning but part of being an entrepreneur is
learning as you go. If you can develop a learning mindset and hone your skillset you will always be
heading in the right direction.
Nelson Mandela once quoted – ‘I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.’
What has been one fear you have overcome?
One fear I have overcome is having to start over. Whether it was life after football, or even just switching industries, I’ve had to start again many times in life. I was able to build on my past experiences and learned to trust my vision so that I could be the success I am today. The best way to overcome this is to keep focused on what is next, or how you are going to keep moving forward. It’s all about building momentum to get to the next stage in life.
Tell us what the word “empower” means to you?
Empowerment is about giving someone the tools and insight to see how powerful they really are. Empowerment is showing someone that they have the power to change their life for the better and showing them how far they have come. Empowering someone can be as simple as showing them how their skills can be used and how quickly they can learn to be adaptive to new situations. At Valley Guardians we empower underprivileged children by showing them how to use their full potential to reach their new goals or visions for themselves for the future. To empower someone is to help them overcome their self-doubt and be a force of change in the world.
What has been one of the biggest business ideas you have had and how did you have the courage to implement it?
Currently, I would say that my biggest business idea is my hard money lending and mortgage note selling company. I started this company when I was a real estate investor and I could see there was a real need in the market for a hard money lender. Combining my knowledge of real estate investing and connections with the network I already had, made starting this business a smart match.
At this point, I had a dependable team built up that I could rely on to help make this business idea a reality. With the help of the network of investors I knew, I was able to provide a customer experience they needed from a lender.
Running your own business can be scary. Success requires moments of courage to push through to the next level, please tell us one of the moments you have had to push through to take your business to the next level?
My first business was not a success, and picking up the pieces and moving to the next idea was a moment that I had to dig deep and tap into my own determination. It’s hard to navigate the world of business without learning and picking yourself up when you fail. For myself, I had to find out how to turn a no into a new opportunity.
Looking back on it now I call my first business my ‘MBA” since it taught me so many lessons about how business works, and how to be a better leader. I was able to take the lesson on how to build, market, and create a business from the ground up and apply it to my future success.
Tell us what attributes you feel make a good leader in business today?
The most important traits a leader needs are vision, passion, and leadership. As a leader, it is up to you to build a vision your team can be passionate about, and a leader without passion won’t be able to motivate their team to the next level. Knowing how to motivate your team, when to delegate, or let them lead is important to be a good leader as well.
If you can inspire your team and tap into their motivation to get them excited about working on your vision you will be successful. If you can translate your vision and passion to your team it will make you a better leader.
What is your favourite quote about empowerment?
“If the wind will not serve, take to the oars.”– Latin Proverb
I think this is a great example of what empowerment looks like since it is about driving forward even if the conditions aren’t perfect. If you trust in your own abilities you can push forward and get to where you want to be in life, and nothing can hold you back!
Life isn’t about waiting for the perfect moment, it is about making the perfect moment. I feel like this quote really encapsulates what life is about and about how empowerment affects those to take charge
in their life.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start their own business?
If you aren’t learning something new about business every day you are gonna fall behind. If you are first starting, you don’t know what you don’t know. While some parts of the business you can only learn as you go, you should take an active role in learning as much as you can.
If you want to be successful in any sort of business you have to learn quickly and be actively learning something new every day. Make time to build your skillset and learn all that you can as soon as you can. The more you learn the easier business will be!
What would be one (1) question you would you ask the person who most inspires you? Also share with us about this person and why they inspire you?
What would they tell their 38-year-old self that they know now but didn’t know when they were 38? I don’t have a specific person, but someone who has achieved athletic, business, and family success and learned all along the way. I think we grow wiser as we age and to be able to learn from others’ wisdom can save you time and mistakes.