Monitor 101+ Executive Profile: John-Paul Smolenski – Leading with a Heart for Relationships

by Ian Koplin Monitor 101+ 2023
Leading effectively means leading by example and garnering trust in every relationship you have, according to John-Paul Smolenski, president of MMP Capital. Over the past 10 years, Smolenski has shaped his ideal leadership style; here, he shares his story with the Monitor.

John-Paul Smolenski,
MMP Capital

Equipment finance has become a crucial aspect of business, especially in the aesthetic medical market. John-Paul Smolenski, founder and president of MMP Capital, is a leader who is passionate about taking on challenges and committing to excellence. He had a clear idea of what he wanted to do after college, which marked the beginning of his journey into financing.

Smolenski learned that he had a knack for sales while in graduate school selling gym equipment and warranties. After achieving great professional success in his early and mid-twenties in a terrible economic environment, he realized the potential for a well-run financing company in the aesthetic medical market. He started MMP Capital in 2013 to become the gold standard in aesthetic medical device financing.

Smolenski is passionate about creating value for people and making their lives better. He believes that elevating everyone around him is the key to garnering respect and building trust, which are both fundamental aspects of his leadership. He grew up as the son of a blue-collar truck driver in a suburb of New York City, and he would constantly go to work with his dad at a young age. He learned many valuable lessons being on job sites. One of his favorite quotes is from Abraham Lincoln: “The average person learns from their own mistakes, while smart people learn from other people’s mistakes, and the fool never learns.”

Smolenski designed MMP Capital to be customer centric with a heavy focus on speed, service and a superior understanding of their market. He is proud to say that MMP Capital has gained even more market share during a tumultuous economy, when turmoil in the banking industry has created a lot of opportunity, but at a cost for small businesses. Smolenski is concerned with current federal leadership, historic levels of inflation and the impact on small business, especially those in the middle class, who are his core customer base. He believes inflation from the excess stimulus money printed by the government over the past few years has eaten away at many companies’ bottom lines, which affects everyday American families. MMP Capital has been proactive to educate customers on realistic expectations and how to navigate through hard times, helping to build stronger relationships.

Those relationships are a core component of leadership, in Smolenski’s opinion. Teddy Roosevelt coined the phrase, “speak softly and carry a big stick.” Smolenski strives to be a leader who makes people’s lives better with hard work, respect, trust, loyalty and that big stick. At the end of the day, Smolenski says those are the bedrock of all relationships, and it doesn’t matter how successful you are — without them, no one will follow.

“Hard work, respect, trust and loyalty are the bedrock of all relationships, and it doesn’t matter how successful you are — without them, no one will follow.”

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