Being able to adapt to change is imperative to have success. Spotting trends and making quick decisions can be the difference between staying afloat or going bankrupt.

In 2008 Stan Bril was a mortgage banker witnessing the 2007-08 economic crisis firsthand and seeing banks halt lending to small businesses and investors. Seeing the immense need for credit, especially commercial loans, at a time when businesses needed it most, he decided to start his own company to help. “I’ve always believed a successful business should be one that solves a problem or fills a void” he said.

Stan Bril, Founder of MCG

Stan made the decision to start a commercial bank that would provide funding for businesses and real estate projects that weren’t finding capital elsewhere in the difficult economic climate. In August of 2008 he applied for licensing as a lender and finally in March of 2009, MCG, his lending firm, was officially launched.

As with any new venture, Stan faced challenges in the beginning with raising capital and gaining the credibility to do deals. MCG’s focus is on providing commercial loans for businesses as well as real estate investments. As of this writing in 2020, MCG has now helped facilitate more than $30 billion in loans for their clients. Along the way they have raised billions from investors.

As the founder of Leave Normal Behind, I am always connecting w/ individuals who are becoming the best version of themselves, giving back, creating things that matter, loving others, and encouraging them to do the same.

Stan is an example of someone who is leaving normal behind and below I share some valuable insight into his experience. 

Here are 5 Lessons of Success that Stan has learned while lending billions in Commercial Banking:

1. An Imperfect Path Makes You Who You Are

When asked about anything he would do differently as far as how he approached building MCG, Stan was adamant that he wouldn’t because an imperfect path is what makes you successful. 

He views mistakes as only missteps as long as you learn from them. “The missteps I took taught me valuable lessons that I will keep with me for the rest of my life.”

Focusing on avoiding mistakes or trying to go back and change mistakes could actually subtract from the wisdom and experience that now will propel you to success.

2. Make Your Legacy Your Own

Walking an imperfect path is the only way to develop into your true self.

Many people view their legacies in the light of what they think others expect of them to achieve during their lifetime.

It leads to most people making choices that appear less likely to disappoint and let others down. But the legacy you leave behind should be a reflection of your true self and therefore the route to leaving a meaningful legacy is by developing your own fulfillment first.

Stan approaches his legacy by prioritizing that he is following his own path rather than a path that anybody else lays out for him.  “I want my legacy to be my own path.

What has meaning to me is that nothing was given to me, and I worked through thick and thin to achieve everything that I envisioned.

I have always said that my willpower is second to none and I firmly believe that if a person truly works towards something and wills it to be, nothing is impossible.”

3. Sometimes People Burn You

In business as in life, human relationships are often the most complicated part of the path to success. 

Navigating a myriad of personalities as a leader and as an entrepreneur is challenging. Along the way, you’ll see both the good and the bad of human nature, but you shouldn’t let it change your world view or your goals.

Entrepreneurship requires a thick skin and remembering that most negativity received from other people is not personal.

Stan says “While many people are honest and good, you need to be careful not to get burned by those who are not.”

Being able to read people and move on when a relationship is not conducive to your growth is imperative.

4. Learn to Read People

Fittingly as his next piece of advice, Stan emphasized the value of being able to read people.

Building a company means navigating complex social situations and relationships while advocating for the interests of your company, your employees and your clients.

“Being an entrepreneur you come across a lot of different people and personality types” Stan says. 

“Being able to read people and see their true intentions is more important than many of the more technical skills of growing a company.”

Indeed, learning how to hone your communication skills, both verbal and non-verbal, as well as how to read others and connect with them on a meaningful level is the cornerstone of building a team, closing deals and navigating the complexities of building an organization.

5. Being an Immigrant Taught Him Work Ethic

Stan immigrated to the United States with his family when he was just 7 years old. As an immigrant, he learned work ethic early on from his parents. “My moms favorite quote to this day is ‘There is no free lunch in America’. 

“That mindset helped my desire to be successful by working hard,” says Stan.

It’s no secret that building a company or any significant organization from the ground up requires an immense amount of work and sacrifice. 

You can’t “growth hack” your way to a successful company alone.

The process requires commitment to putting in copious amounts of work for a period of time in order to see the results.

Hone your work ethic and persevere to continue when the odds appear long and the light at the end isn’t visible is often what separates a successful venture from a startup that gives up too early.


If you implement these 5 lessons of success then you will gain traction and momentum for you and your business.

These are pivotal lessons to learn because they will save you time, money, and energy. In addition, they will compound your growth, limit mistakes, and give you clarity throughout the process.

If you, or anyone you know, is leaving normal behind with a great story and expertise then please email me [email protected]