Matthew Martino is a man of many talents.Originating from Harare, Zimbabwe, Matthew moved to the UK in 2005. Not one to waste ti
me adjusting to the incredibly different cultures, Matthew published his first book, an aviation guide, in 2012. ‘Lets Fly’ was not only a book, but a brand as well, and also gave birth to the aviation resource site ‘Lets Fly Academy’. Not one to put his feet up, Matthew also published a book for budding entrepreneurs called ‘Go for it’.
He has also has dealings with the entertainment industry, and it seems there is no stopping this young businessmen
To start off with, how did you get into aviation? Is it something you always knew you would do?
I started off collecting model airplanes when I first moved to Uk in 2005 and then it just went on from there, I began reading up about different pilot training courses and finally managed to get my time in the cockpit. I knew I would do it someday since I was a little boy but growing up in Africa made it seem impossible.
What is it that draws you to flying? (as someone who is petrified of flying it fascinates me that people do it by choice)
Well it’s the freedom that flying brings and its very intriguing how the wings and the propeller work together to provide lift and lowing the aircraft to glide. When I fly I forget all my problems and just enjoy the fresh air up there.
You have also written a book called ‘Go for it, be your own boss’, what inspired you to want to motivate people to be more independent in business? has the countries high unemployment rate had anything to do with your aim to help others?
With Go For It I wanted people to realise that working for themselves is an option and it has some good rewards. Yes the economy is vastly changing and without more businesses out there then they cant be jobs so I feel the book will encourage people to start their own ventures.
What’s coming up for you in the next 6 months? Can we expect any more books?
Hmm next 6 months I could do with some decent sleep, I’m not planning to do anymore writing within the coming months but I’m currently developing a few feature films which will be shot later this year. I’m also assisting in Lets Fly Academy’s expansion which will now have a retail arm.
You have also dipped your toes in the entertainment industry. How important is it for you to keep busy?
Yes I have had a taste for the industry and for me its vital to always be busy. I was asked to take a few months off to rest this year but I just love being busy and finding a new challenge to dig deep into.
Rumour has it you used to DJ, will we see you spinning some vinyl any time soon?
Well yeah I had my days on the decks, I don’t know .. A part of me would love to keep the ravers on their toes every weekend but the other part thinks I’ve had enough partying.
What’s been your biggest challenge so far as an entrepreneur?
My biggest challenge is trying to evade failure and overcoming what seems ‘impossible’. Since my private charter firm F5 Air went bust in 2012 I’ve always approached every business venture with so much caution and tried to limit my exposure.
What advice would you give to anyone reading this who wants to better their situation?
I would advise them to go for it, be the best that they can be and they shouldn’t take no for an answer. My very first business in 2011 I requested a loan from the bank and the business managed refused to give anything calling my plan ‘non profitable’. I sold some belongings and formed the company and 7 months later the same bank manager was happy to offer me a bank loan nearly triple what I needed before.
You are originally from Harare, do you think life under Mugabe’s rule would of led to less opportunity to achieve the success you have?
Yeah the whole Zimbabwe situation I think is a shame, there are limited resources and opportunities for young people out there and those who possess huge dreams always get let down.
And finally (just to lighten to mood after all the serious questions), as a businessman, what’s your favourite type of graph?
My favourite type of graph is the bar graph, I often use it to compare last year’s revenue against year to date and the bars make it easy to collect the information.
Matthews ‘Lets Fly Website’ http://www.letsflyacademy.com/
Matthews Wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_C_Martino
Matthews Twitter https://twitter.com/M4tMartino