Class of 2006
Shortly after he was selected for the Class of 2006, Marty Moran told a reporter about the tough decision to launch Clear Path in 2002, a decision that rewarded him with the chance to help other businesses hit their goals.
What are you doing now?
Living in St. Cloud and continuing to grow Clear Path Consulting in outstate Minnesota and the Twin Cities. Additionally, I'm engaged in our community as a board member for the Greater St. Cloud Development Corp. and the Morgan Family Foundation, and as a volunteer with the YMCA Swim Team and various children's school activities.
How did the 5 Under 40 award affect your life?
I was honored to be recognized as a 5 Under 40 recipient. And, I have been fortunate to meet and develop friendships and business relationships with other honorees who were part of my class or in different classes.
Other big changes since you received the award?
When I was honored with the 5 Under 40 recognition, my children were 1 and 4. Watching them grow over the past eight years has been the biggest change in my life, extremely fulfilling and a continual reminder of how quickly life moves forward and changes with or without me (and how old I am).
What will make the St. Cloud area greater in coming years?
Our focus to think more broadly as a region, as opposed to a group of individual cities; our ability to embrace racial diversity as a community asset and a component to meet workforce needs; our focus on strengthening the relationship between business leaders and educational institutions to work together to advance education within our community.
Originally ran: January 1, 2007
Marty Moran makes a living helping business leaders get better.
He's one of the minds behind some of the region's recent successes, including creating a business plan for the Minnesota Real Estate Foundation — the first of its kind in the state.
He has helped bring ideas to the market, including a plan to sell wind turbines in Central Minnesota. And he has saved businesses from closing.
Since starting Clear Path LLC in 2002, Moran has quickly developed his management consulting firm.
It has given way to Clear Path Investment Partners, which provides the financial and intellectual capital to help area businesses grow.
Job: President of Clear Path LLC, a St. Cloud business consulting firm, and managing partner of Clear Path Investment Partners.
Education: Bachelor's from the University of Michigan, master's in business administration from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwest University, Chicago.
Family: Wife, Asha; daughter, Priya, 3, son, Martin, 1.
Sport in high school: Swimming.
What he would have been voted in high school: Most likely to go to the Olympics.
Hobbies: Run, swim, watch football.
Prized possessions: A snapshot of Asha and him on their wedding day and a picture he took of Priya being weighed after she was born.
Favorite movie: "Rocky."
Favorite rooms in his house: Family room, because of the fun times with family, and workout room, because it's a place to get away, relax and think.
How have you set your business on a path to prosperity?
I didn't start out to focus on Clear Path. When I decided to go off on my own, my original goal was to find a business to buy and grow that and go from there. I looked at a number of businesses over a year. In the meantime, I started up Clear Path, more from an income point of view. Clear Path really just snowballed and grew out of that. And then all of sudden, I said, ‘‘You know, I love what I'm doing here — to really go in and feel like you're truly making a difference with some companies." There was a company (one) summer that was ready to shut their doors. And now 15, 16 months later ... they're doing better than they've done in the eight or nine years that they've owned the company. It's fun to be a part of that and help people achieve their dreams.
What's your advice to entrepreneurs?
I think there are ups and downs with everything. But if you're doing something you love, you're going to succeed.
How do you build the trust you need to grow your business?
When you make people more successful, word travels. I do no marketing whatsoever. It truly is all word-of-mouth. And I'm pretty passionate about what I do. I'm not afraid to dive in and get dirty. If I don't feel like we're going in the right direction, I will draw a line in the sand and say, "Here are the repercussions of what we're doing."
What's your favorite part of your job?
When I was in the corporate world, I enjoyed developing people. Now, I've built the Clear Path business to the point that I can do that. And I'm very goal driven. I love to set goals and help turn a business around. It's fun. It's challenging. I've lost some hair doing it. No. If only I could blame it on that.
What have you given up for your success?
Balance. I've taken a little bit of a hit physically over the last couple of years. A lot of that is a new family and I've been trying to get a couple of businesses going and still stay involved in the community. I was not taking Marty time. (Now) I'm really trying to focus on Clear Path and Clear Path Investment Partners and saying no to a little more. That's hard.
What is your motto?
My words to live by are work hard, play hard and have fun. I'm truly trying to live that with balance. I will work all hours of the day and night, but I also take time to roll around on the floor with the kids. Asha and I, every Saturday that we're in town, we have a date night. I'm trying to build the time to work out in my schedule (and make time to go to watch the University of Michigan play football). Work is extremely important to me and I love it, but I want to make sure there's more to (my life) than just that.
What was the defining moment in your career?
When I decided to go off on my own. It was a tough decision for me. I probably thought about it for four or five months. Back and forth. This is when I'm opening up the paper every day in 2001 and I'm looking at thousands of people getting laid off and I'm going to leave a perfectly well-paying job.
How did you know it was the right decision?
I don't know if you ever know until you dive into it. The thing that was most helpful was Asha. I think the support from her at least made me feel comfortable with the decision. There were times in the first two to three years when you go up and down. You get caught up in the cycle of, "How do you execute as well as you sell when you're one person?" Some of it was a little banging my head against the wall.
What drives you on a daily basis?
I truly do feel like I'm able to make a difference in the community, and that drives me a lot. There's an opportunity to take St. Cloud to the next level. The infrastructure that's been set is so strong already with the generation ahead of us.