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Mat Ishbia

Dream Big Then Make It Happen


In this episode

Welcome to In Search of Excellence! This is part 2 of our fascinating conversation with Mat Ishbia!

Mat is the Chairman and CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage, the largest wholesale mortgage lender in the United States, which had a $931.9 million net income in 2022. Mat owns 71% of the company shares that are worth $5.9 billion, which places Mat at 156 on the Forbes 400 in early 2023.

Mat and his brother Justin bought a majority stake in the NBA, Phoenix Suns and WNBA, Phoenix Mercury. Mat was a member of the Michigan State Spartans basketball team that went to three Final Fours and won the NCAA championship in 2000. He is the author of the book “Running the corporate office: Lessons in Effective Leadership from the Bench to the Boardroom”, and is a very generous philanthropist who has given away more than $50 million.

1:10 What does Mat look for in a new hire at UWM?

  • Mat doesn’t care about the diploma
  • He looks for someone with a heart, work ethic, attitude, and drive to be great
  • Knowledge is a commodity
  • Be a human being, be engaged and energetic

4:56 The Importance of little things for success

  • Mat is looking for difference-makers
  • Intangibles are much more important than the tangibles

10:23 Advice to people who have dreams

  • Randall’s meeting with Bill Davidson
  • Think crazy big and then work towards it
  • Put the work in and be the best

14:05 No meeting Thursdays

  • Mat responds to every email
  • No meetings on Thursday – talking and checking with people
  • You have to be in the weeds of your business to be successful

15:55 Advice to people who are not working as hard as they should

  • Work ethic and attitude are the biggest determinators of success
  • Go to places that provide opportunity
  • You have to sacrifice to be the best
  • Mat is sacrificing for his kids and his business

19:14 The importance of extreme preparation

  • Game plan and role play
  • Preparation leads to success
  • Everything is about preparation

21:40 Owning an NBA basketball team

  • Managing a team is much fun in all areas
  • Making a positive impact on team members, fans, and the community
  • Coaching his children
  • Teaching life, skills, personality, the importance of supporting your teammates

24:35 How important is giving back to our success?

  • Giving money is only one part of giving back
  • You can give your time and care

25:30 Fill in the blanks to excellence

  • The biggest lesson I've learned in my life is
  • Work ethic and attitude always win
  • My number one professional goal is
  • To get better every single day
  • And more

Sandee | Bliss: Beaches

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