Carl Dorvil grew up in Garland, Texas, the son of Haitian immigrants who instilled in their children the importance of education at an early age. With his parents’ influence, and having developed his own passion for education, he started a tutoring and mentoring company in 2004 called Group Excellence (GEX), out of his SMU dorm room at age 21.
The company started with a $20,000 grant from Texas Instrument Foundation. Dorvil grew the business to over $12 million in sales. In 2011, Dorvil sold the company to a Dallas based investor group. Two years later, he bought the company back for 10% of the original sales price.
Since its inception, GEX has generated over $35 million in sales, provided over 800,000 hours of tutoring to students around the country, and created over 2,000 jobs. In addition to GEX, he is a managing partner at Vicar Capital Advisors and CEO of MyEasyHQ, a back office business for entrepreneurs and nonprofits. Dorvil also is currently featured as part of SMU’s national marketing campaign, “World Changers Shaped Here.”
Every entrepreneur should have a personal board of directors. This may seem like advice for someone who is running a corporation or a large business; not necessarily a startup. But from a personal sense you should have a small group of people whom you can reach out to whenever you make a major decision, says Dorvil. You should be investing in people whose advice you can trust, he adds.
Most people pick their board members by default. “Certain people have always been around and they automatically become the ones that we talk to,” he explains. “However, I believe that you should put as much thought toward selecting your personal board as you would in selecting a corporate board — especially if you are running a business.”
He adds that the people you allow to influence you will ultimately be the ones who help set your pace in life. “If you choose wisely, the next time you face a major decision, you can look confidently to your board for advice.”
Here Dorvil offers five things to consider when putting together your personal board of directors: