Once an entrepreneur, always an entrepreneur.

From the same human being who turned himself into The Muffin Man ... and then The Marathon Man ... we now bring you (drum roll) ... The Bow Tie Man!

Akron’s Steve Marks has been massively successful in the business world, co-founder of what was originally My Favorite Muffin. In the beginning (1987), it was a tiny operation in what was then a bombed-out section of downtown Akron.

The company has since grown into a monster, along the way changing its name to Main Street Muffin and, later, Main Street Gourmet, a reflection of its expansion of offerings and its growth into a leading national provider of bakery products for restaurants, grocery-store bakeries and other food operations.

While climbing that lucrative ladder, Marks launched the Akron Marathon, one of the region’s biggest and best annual civic events. It attracts runners from around the world, and lots of them — in all, 13,000 participants last September.

So he’s now selling bow ties? Well, sort of. More like a bow-tie tutorial.

His product is the Practice Bow Tie, a color-coded tie with instructions written all over it about what part goes where and when.

Before you even try to tie it, you watch a video — www.practicebowtie.com — narrated and demonstrated by actor and one-time Abercrombie & Fitch model Paul Vandervort (recruited by Marks’ daughter, a friend of his).

Only then should you stand in front of the mirror and give it a go. You can read the directions in the mirror because the type is reversed.

A small sample of the soundtrack: “Simply place the longer side over the shorter end and up through the opening ... then move that longer end over the right shoulder .... the next step is to create the first bow (labeled ‘first fold’) ... then bring the other side down over the bow ... .” AAARRRGH.

After watching the 6-minute, 36-second video, I now am confident that I will be able to ... rent a pre-tied tie, as usual.

Given the fact that I wear a bow tie only with a tux, which I wear about every other millennium, this isn’t near the top of my personal priority list.

But Marks is having a blast with it, and insists there’s a market for it, because, as the video says, “less than one percent of the U.S. population can tie a bow tie.”

He got down to business in January, had things finalized by mid-summer and sold his first tie in August. Already he has managed to get it placed among Nordstrom’s online offerings.

What we have here is another case of necessity being the mother of invention.

“I was going to a Sapphire Ball last October and I was determined to tie my own bow tie,” he says.

“I got one of those online videos and spent an hour, two hours with it. And I think I got it. Wasn’t real sure. It looked decent.

“And I went there and a friend of mine says, ‘Hey, did you tie that bow tie?’ And I go, ‘Yeah!’ And he goes, ‘It’s wrong,’ and proceeded to tell me how it’s wrong.”

Having less than total faith in his tying ability, Marks had brought a back-up tie and changed it out.

The very next week, he was going to a wedding. “I said, ‘I’m figuring this out.’ So I spent like four hours on it, and I still couldn’t. For some reason the video just didn’t resonate with me.”

Four hours. A wonderfully written 2002 newspaper profile of Marks described him as “intense,” among other things. I rest my case.

“So I started labeling the tie with pieces of tape as I was going along. And then I said, ‘Wow, that’s an idea right there.’ ”

Because he has a real job, Marks hasn’t spent much time on his latest endeavor. But he has been getting a lot of help from is son Wyatt, who is in the MBA program at The University of Akron.

Some parts of the tie are white and some are yellow. You practice with that for a while, and then put the provided stick-on labels on your own tie and rewatch the video.

The practice tie and labels go for $12.49. If you’re a slow learner, five sets of extra labels are available for $3.95.

Visit the website and you will get a glimpse of Marks’ sense of humor. Among the product testimonials ­— called “tie-monials” — is a picture of a guy named “Steve” who looks suspiciously like Mr. Marks.

The caption reads, “Whoever invented this is a genius!”

Actually, given his track record, that is an entirely valid statement.

Bob Dyer can be reached at 330-996-3580 or bdyer@thebeaconjournal.com. He also is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bob.dyer.31