Neil Parsont was born in Livingston, New Jersey. His family moved to Florida when he was twelve years old. Neil attended Florida Atlantic University (FAU) where he earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in finance. In 2012, he won first place in the FAU Business Plan competition.
As he left academics and embarked upon his career, Neil Parsont became an entrepreneur,
founding Cram Tutoring, a tutoring business that provides instruction for business and math students from middle school through graduate level, as well as 6-Pack Macros, a company that creates custom fitness plans, and ExcelTutor.com, a comprehensive course on how to use Excel for business purposes. Currently, Neil is hard at work launching Zero Cheating, an online exam proctoring firm boasting patent-pending hardware and software solutions that will prevent all forms of digital academic fraud. To date, he has raised more than $500,000 to fund the businesses.
Outside of work, Neil Parsont enjoys chess and plays at the strength of a National Master. He has also received an official certificate for scoring a hole-in-one at the Red Reef Golf Course in Boca Raton, Florida. In addition to his athletic accomplishments, Neil firmly believes in helping the next generation of business owners. In this spirit, he has helped thousands of students graduate from Florida Atlantic University and find placements at other institutions of higher learning, as well as the private sector.
What do you currently do at your company?
At Cram Tutoring, I work with students to explain how to think, understand, and analyze problems. I teach them tricks of how to memorize, learn, and master the material, then I answer any questions they have and help fill in their knowledge gaps.
For 6-Pack Macros, which is a fitness company, I spend most of my time developing our mobile app. I check all the analytics on the downloads and signups, I review the website, and I plan strategies with my partner for different marketing and growth opportunities. I also go to the gym every day and keep myself in shape so I can represent the company with a good self-image.
What was the inspiration behind your business?
For the tutoring company, Cram Tutoring, a lot of the inspiration came from my early years in college. I tried studying with a few people and, while I was teaching and explaining everything to them, I found out that I really enjoyed breaking things down. So, I decided to tutor my classmates on the side. That was another way of studying for me, and it was beneficial for them because I would break things down differently than the professors and fill in any knowledge gaps they had as we went along. I completed my degree in 2008, but there weren’t any good opportunities available, so I went back to school to study for an MBA. I started charging for tutoring to pay for that and it naturally evolved into a business. I was kind of up against the wall to be honest because it was either succeed in tutoring and make enough money to pay my bills or move back home.
With regards to the fitness company, one of my earliest clients wanted to trade services. I gave him free tutoring in exchange for fitness coaching. He gave me the exact routines to follow, how many reps to do, what exercises to do, and a detailed nutritional plan. He updated it every week or so, and as a result of following his recommendations, I went from 11.1% body fat to 4.1% body fat within three months. After experiencing those results and realizing how customized he made everything, I invested $5,000 with him to create a business. This was in 2017. Then in 2021, we secured a quarter million dollars of equity financing to build and develop the mobile app which shares all of these strategies and routines with automated formulas. In essence, everyone who subscribes receives a customized routine based on how hard they want to work out, as well as how long, and how many days a week they want to do it. I wrote a proprietary formula that calculates the number of calories burned from a workout. Presently, there’s nothing online to indicate calories burned from a workout, so I found a study published by Harvard Medical that analyzed the calories burned for three different weight classes—30 minutes for every activity, from gardening, to nannying, swimming and different levels of weightlifting. I ran a multiple regression on the data and found a perfect linear correlation. From there, I created a formula that precisely estimates the calories burned from your workout based on your weight, type of workout, duration, and intensity. We use that in calculating the macros, (grams of protein, carbs and fat) for an individual to hit their goals. Everyone is able to track their weight and food to make sure they’re reaching their goals, and everything is integrated with both the workouts and the nutrition. The app is called 6-Pack Macros and we just launched it in the app stores for $10 a month. Right now, we’re running a lifetime promotion where you get it forever for just $100.
My businesses are built around helping others. I’ve found that to be a lot more productive and beneficial than basing everything around sales, where I would get 10% commission selling something that someone may or may not need, all the while constantly running into ethical dilemmas. Now, when I offer tutoring or fitness, it’s something that people want, I keep 100% of the profits, and the customers are very happy. I don’t have to feel compelled to say or do anything that doesn’t match my morals and values.
What keys to being productive can you share?
Everything needs to be concrete. You need to write down exactly what needs to be done and ask questions. If you’re not sure what to do, find an expert. Inevitably, someone’s already encountered whatever problem you’re facing and solved it. Time management is also a big key to being productive.
How do you measure success?
In business, you would have key metrics such as number of users, dollars raised, conversion rates, and other numerical values. In fitness, you’ll have certain measurements such as your weight or body fat percentage or the amount of weight you can lift. When it comes to mental health and spirituality, you would ask yourself how you handle different situations. Do you pause and respond logically, or do you let your emotions control you? When I find that I’m able to handle someone cutting me off in traffic without getting upset about it, that is a successful day in the sense that meditation and prayer work that day and I can blend into the world and feel part of what’s happening without trying to control everything. For spiritual relationships, success is more qualitatively measured and you’re basically asking yourself how you’re behaving and interacting with your fellow man. Are you being loving, caring, understanding, and kind? So, to answer the question, success is measured differently depending on what aspect of life is being judged.
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned through the course of your career?
Experience trumps analysis every time. When an older person tells you something with reasoning that’s based on experience and you disagree with them because of your analysis of the situation, you will always be wrong. Experience is critical. Listen to other people’s wisdom. If you listen and learn from other people who have already been there and done things for themselves, it will save you hundreds of thousands of dollars as well as countless headaches. It doesn’t matter if you think you’re smarter than them or not. Their experience is way more valuable and important than whatever analysis you’ve performed.
What advice would you give to others aspiring to succeed in your field?
Number one, find someone who’s already done what you want to do and ask them how they did it. Number two, use my new method that I coined called the copy, paste, edit. In essence, you find out what all the successful people are doing, copy that into your business model, and edit it to make sure that it’s adjusted and tweaked to fit your business, so you’re not violating any legal issues. There are certain things that are patented, so you can’t copy those, but if someone has a certain strategy or price point or something that isn’t copy-written or patented and all the market leaders are doing it, you should probably follow suit. Last, look at everything from the customer’s perspective. Your opinion doesn’t matter. If you’re looking to see if your product or feature or service is any good, you need to get proof that a consumer is willing to pay for it. Your opinions, thoughts, and analysis are meaningless until the consumer says or shows that exact thing, ideally with their wallet. I’ve learned that the hard way.
How would your colleagues describe you?
Motivated, determined, thoughtful, ambitious, hardworking, structured, and organized.
How do you maintain a solid work life balance?
I limit my working hours to 11 am to 5 pm. I wake up in the morning to pray, meditate, and go to the gym, so I’m motivated to get out of bed and do something productive. I try to get to bed at night by 10 or 11 pm, so I’m not wasting time with social media or Netflix or activities that don’t add value.
What is one piece of technology that helps you the most in your daily routine?
My phone helps me the most. I can do everything; text message clients, check my to-do list and calendar, respond to emails, make phone calls for business inquiries, chat with developers on Skype, and communicate with my partner. My phone keeps me connected to all the business aspects that I need to pay attention to.
What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?
My dad would always say something like “Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you wanted in the first place.” I’ve always thought that’s a great way to look at things when you try to do something that doesn’t end up working out the way you planned. For example, one of my first businesses, Owl Tutoring, didn’t end up succeeding, despite my best efforts. However, because of that, I gained a series of business lessons that I’ve been able to use throughout the rest of my career. Sometimes when I interact with my younger partner, I find he has the exact same thought processes that lead to mistakes and errors that I had when I was younger, too. When I explain to him why certain things might not be good ideas, he listens and understands. But all that wisdom was gained from the experience of not achieving the success that I wanted with Owl Tutors.