Mikey Sorboro is a natural-born entrepreneur. His story isn’t one of overcoming childhood adversity or trauma to grow into something remarkable. He simply worked hard, made astute observations about himself and the world around him, and was never scared to take the plunge into launching a business that fit the basic needs of consumers.
While driving minicabs as a young man, Mikey’s late-night passengers would routinely ask him where they could buy pizza by the slice. The answer was: nowhere. Yet.
The gap in the market soon widened into a canyon of opportunity and Mikey started spending his taxi profits on buying up restaurant equipment. With energy and effort, Mikey was able to transform a humble pizza shack into a vibrant, animated space called Late Night Slice: a pizzeria and iconic local food brand that elevates its community.
In this episode, we dive into an exploration of authenticity and our collective ability to weather hardships, both personally and as they relate to brands and business.
Late Night Slice is as authentic as eateries get, with humble origins and a sincere passion to create something that adds to the culture and world around it. The business has survived COVID and Mikey believes it has emerged stronger than ever before. There are currently six locations, with more on the way, so it sounds like he’s right. If you weren’t planning on pizza tonight, you are now.
What Brett asks:
- [01:42] Let’s start at the beginning. Tell me about your childhood.
- [04:44] Did you have an entrepreneurial drive at a young age?
- [08:55] What were your creative outlets growing up?
- [11:06] I’m curious about your parents.
- [15:58] What happened once you left for Ohio State University?
- [19:45] What gave you the courage and conviction to leave college?
- [23:35] Was there an idea that you took your early jobs to gain experience or were you just enjoying yourself?
- [35:45] What sets your business, Late Night Slice, apart from everything else?
- [41:44] How important do you think authenticity is when creating something?
- [45:50] How do you account for the issues that arise when expanding a business?
- [49:38] How involved are you, personally, in the decisions being made as your business scales up?
- [50:20] How did COVID impact Late Night Slice?
- [53:35] Are licensed franchises part of your business plan?
- [54:30] Speaking as a father, how do you see your personal life playing out over the next 20 years?
Lessons for intentional living:
- The biggest lesson in this week’s episode is, no doubt, the importance of authenticity in everything that we do. As Mikey states, “Authenticity is extremely translucent”. If something is inauthentic, then people won’t have any trouble seeing straight through it. Sincerity is a wonderful thing and it’s often one of the main reasons that businesses like Late Night Slice take off and remain successful as they scale.
- When creating, there’s always an impulse and incentive to do more. The problem comes that expansion can lead to spreading yourself too thin. While we shouldn’t be scared to expand, there’s also rarely a sound justification for forcing or rushing things. Once again, the authentic approach is often the best one. Let things happen naturally and never become lazy in the process.
- There’s a well known misconception that the Chinese word for “crisis” also means “opportunity”. While that may not quite be true, there’s a wonderful message in the sentiment. There’s usually a silver lining when something bad happens and that silver lining often takes the form of allowing us to reevaluate things, adapt and change, to re-emerge stronger than before. Late Night Slice suffered through COVID just like every other restaurant, but Mikey believes they’re leaving the pandemic a much stronger company.
- Late Night Slice’s Official Website
- Late Night Slice on Twitter
- Late Night Slice on Facebook
- Late Night Slice on Instagram
- Mikey Sorboro on LinkedIn