Info

Dave Lukas, The Misfit Entrepreneur_Breakthrough Entrepreneurship

The weekly podcast with serial entrepreneur, Dave M. Lukas, devoted to giving you incredibly useful and unique insight from the world's top entrepreneurs with a focus on their non-traditional methods for achieving success, their Misfit side. Misfit was created to give YOU the breakthrough entrepreneurship strategies and actionable advice to accelerate your success! The show's open format and Misfit 3 concept, combined with Dave's intuitive and engaging interview style quickly uncover each guest's key tools, tactics, and tricks that listeners can start using in their lives right now. Learn more about the show at www.misfitentrepreneur.com and become a member of Misfit Nation by signing up for the Misfit Minute, the FREE weekly email with specific resources from the week's "Misfit 3," and actionable tips and items from the world of Misfit Entrepreneurs. It is delivered every Friday to your inbox!
RSS Feed Subscribe in Apple Podcasts
2018
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2017
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2016
December
November
October
September
August
July


All Episodes
Archives
Now displaying: Page 1

The weekly podcast with serial entrepreneur, Dave M. Lukas, devoted to giving you incredibly useful and unique insight from the world's top entrepreneurs with a focus on their non-traditional methods for achieving success, their Misfit side. Misfit was created to give YOU the best, actionable advice to accelerate your success!

The show's open format and Misfit 3 concept, combined with Dave's intuitive and engaging interview style quickly uncovers each guest's key tools, tactics, and tricks that listeners can start using in their lives right now.

Learn more about the show at www.misfitentrepreneur.com and become a member of Misfit Nation by signing up for the Misfit Minute, the FREE weekly email with specific resources from the week's "Misfit 3," and actionable tips and items from the world of Misfit Entrepreneurs. It is delivered every Friday to your inbox!

Dec 12, 2018

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Chris Krimitsos. For many, Chris needs no introduction as the founder of the Podfest Multimedia expo, the world’s premier conference for all things podcasting and new media.

Chris is also the founder of the Tampa Bay Business Owners organization, CK Media Productions, and is a speaker and consultant. But, more than anything Chris is a master at creating and facilitating successful events. He’s has facilitated over 2000 successful events and recently started a podcast focused on helping people learn the secrets to creating and putting on great events. It’s called the Conference Cashflow Podcast.

I’ve had the opportunity to spend some time with Chris and I am amazed how our philosophies and principles are so similar – so there is a lot we can talk on today, but I want to focus first on what you can learn from Chris about how to put on a great, successful event.

www.Podfest.us

www.chriskrimitsos.com

Chris grew up in New York and had a lot of inspiration from his uncles. They came as immigrants with nothing in their pockets. They worked hard, got into the restaurant industry, and were very successful. He would learn from them and started his first business at 13 years old selling candy. He was serial entrepreneur ever since. He moved to Florida in the mid 2000’s and invested in real estate. He was fortunate to have exited before the crash.

Chris then got into production and produced two live TV shows. After some success, he started a group known as the Tampa Bay Business Owners. After growing it substantially, he sold it. He then started Podfest and is now its 6th year.

Why should people consider doing events as part of their business strategy?

  • There is something about today’s day and age that life events can do that things like social media cannot.
  • Coming together with people of the same interests is something people crave.
  • It is also a great way to drive business and create income.

Putting on over 2000 events – what would you say are the critical elements someone needs to have to create successful event?

  • You need an audience that is hungry for the information.
  • You must be very specific about you are teaching and the topic of the event.
  • If you can’t describe in 4-5 bullet points what they will walk away with, the there is an issue.
  • The best speakers are not always professional ones, but great subject matter experts.
  • Make sure to have early bird pricing and then raise your rate as you get closer to the event.
  • Never set up more chairs than you have tickets sold.

At the 10 min mark, Chris gives two case study examples on how to pick speakers and find the right ones.

  • Make sure you speaker is relatable to your audience. You cannot have a disconnect with your audience and your speaker.
  • You always want to have someone that is a step ahead of your audience, but not 4-5 steps ahead.

Talk to us about the size event, what do people need to know?

  • Starting out smaller is good and “big” when you are starting out is 20 or so people.
  • You can do meetups 1x a month and then once a year do a larger event of 100 or more.
  • Look what is happening in the local area, see if there is a need that is being underserved, and then create your event to serve it.
  • You have to watch your expenses closely.
  • Don’t go “free.” At minimum, have a contribution amount of $10 or so and make it optional.
  • You want to have value on what you are doing. You can then graduate to fee based.
  • Once you establish a following, then you can do larger events at $50 to $100 to attend and so on.

How do you promote and get people to come to an event?

  • For local events, the simplest way is to make sure you have the city name in your title of your event.
  • There are 3 very simple ways to get traffic:
    • Setup a Meetup Page which you can invite people to.
    • Sell your tickets on Evenbrite and use their marketing expertise.
    • Setup a Facebook event page and spend $50-100 targeting people in the local area.

Best secrets to make an event memorable?

  • People show up for the education, but they come back for the collaboration.
  • Make sure to leave room and breaks for people to connect and collaborate. Create an experience.
  • For local Meetups, 1x a month is a good cadence with special workshops that are a premium.

Are there any big “don’ts” for events?

  • Be very careful not to overpay with hotels and watch your food and beverage minimums
  • If you can get the room for the value of the room and not do food and beverage, if you don’t need it.
  • Make sure the hotel is right for your needs. Smaller hotels will charge just for the room and it will cost a couple of hundred dollars for the day

If someone would like to speak at an event, what should they do?

  • A lot of promotors these days that work with millennials don’t want to be approached by a representative – they want to be contacted by the speaker themselves.
  • Promotors are doing the best they can to fulfill their audience needs, so make sure you know what the audience is looking for.
  • If you do get selected – make sure your presentation is beautiful and clear with more pictures, so people can see it and understand it.
  • Make sure you give the audience what they are looking for, not just what you want to share.

What are your feelings on the current state of podcasting and what does the future hold over the next few years?

  • Podcasting has really just started growing.
  • 30% of the US is using podcasting, but are not “powerusers.”
  • A lot more money is coming into the space to advertise and fund content.
  • We will see growth like we haven’t seen before…

Any specific things people should watch and follow in podcasting?

  • Podcasting is on demand audio that is searchable through the internet.
  • It can be SEO and content rich.
  • You can use podcasts for some many things – ways to market your business, fill a need, focus on a very small niche.
  • Don’t look at it as an interview show, look at it as searchable content.

What are some critical habits that you believe all entrepreneurs should practice in today’s world?

  • Being present in the moment.
  • Using time effectively – focus and not waste it.
  • Be very conscious to remove all time-wasting distractions from your work life that you can.

What is your best advice for an entrepreneur starting out?

  • Design a future that is worth living into.
  • Spend time visualizing that future.
  • Make sure your why is big enough that the how become irrelevant.

At the 33 min mark, Chris talks about how to manifest your future and your why…

  • Burn your “why” into your brain by visualizing what it is you are going to live into. What you intently focus on will become reality.
  • Visualize while in motion if you can.
  • Your why centers around the reason you are doing what you do – know what achieving your success looks like and how you celebrate it. This is really celebrating your why.
  • If your why is strong – you will break through any issues with the how.
  • Where do you want to go? What does it look like? Taste like? Smell like? Sound like? Etc. Go that deep…

 

Best Quote: "Design a future that is worth living into..."

 

Chris's Misfit 3:

1. Keep your feet on the ground and your eyes on the stars

2. Make sure you have a future that is worth living into

3. Monitor your self-talk and how you are programming your brain

Dec 5, 2018

Hello Misfit Nation! Welcome to another edition of "Lessons for Hannah!" In November of 2016, we introduced a new format that we are putting alongside our regular episodes called “Lessons for Hannah.” Hannah is my daughter and one of the main inspirations for the Misfit Entrepreneur. I wanted to have a place where she could go and learn from her daddy and his Misfit friends throughout her life….even after I am gone. If you haven’t listened to the first episode of "Lessons for Hannah," I urge you to as it gives some more background and tells the amazing story of how Hannah came to be in our lives.

"Lessons for Hannah" are short, very useful, and sometimes comical lessons, that I have learned which I want to share with you and give to Hannah to help in your lives. Because I want Hannah to have these for her life, I’m going to speak as though I am talking directly to her. These episodes are a lot of fun and if you think there is a lesson that we should include in these episodes, please don’t hesitate to send it over to us at support@misfitentrepreneur.com. We’d love to share it.

This week’s Lesson for Hannah

I want to talk to you about faith. Faith in god, faith in yourself, and faith in the goodness of others. If you look up faith in the dictionary, you get several different definitions, but the overarching meaning is to believe in something or have confidence in something without necessarily having the proof that it is yet true.

Faith is essential to success in life. Many times, the things we manifest in our minds or the dreams we have are not yet true. We can see them in our imagination so vividly, but yet, they do not exist. It is faith that keeps up going to make them a reality. Now, there are different kinds of faith as I mentioned at the beginning of this message. The first, and I believe most important one, is faith in god. You’ve heard me talk before about the miracle that any of us are even alive. In fact, the chances are 10 to the 2.5 millionth power or about as close to impossible as you can get. Taking that a step further than even the chances of you being alive is the even smaller chance that you were meant to be with your mother and I. When I think about this and think about all the amazing things we get to experience in our lives and the divine works that go into it, it is easy for me to have faith in God.

I know deep within in my soul that there is a creator and that I am blessed by them beyond belief – not because of the accomplishments we’ve had in life and the things we are able to afford and do (although those are incredible blessings too), but because I have you, your mother, our family, and our friends. God has given us a great book of life to live and equipped us with the abilities to write it. I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know that because of my faith in God things will turn out in the best way they are supposed to, in good times and in bad.

Aside from creating your own faith in God, you must have faith in yourself. You are more capable than you will ever know. I feel one of the most tragic traits of human beings is the incredible ability for many of us NOT to live up to our true potential. We make excuses for it or let things get in the way of our dreams, but the truth is many of us don’t have the faith in ourselves to truly go after what we know we are capable of. It goes beyond fear of failure to more of a fear of what happens if we succeed? Because we know, if we succeed, that we will need and want to continue to operate at those levels and beyond. We know that it would mean holding ourselves to a much higher standard. And it also means that people will judge us more based on actions and/or inaction and this can paralyze people and hold them back from achieving greatness. This is why you must develop faith in yourself to go beyond these things. An undeniable faith in the ability to reach your potential, dreams, goals, and aspirations is what has propelled us throughout time.

Along the way, there are some that just do not back down. Their faith in themselves creates the burning desire, an un-extinguishable flame to achieve greatness. History is riddled with examples of this for us, from Jesus Christ to the founders who wrote the Declaration of Independence and then mustered their faith to fight until they made the words “We hold these truths to be self-evident” ring throughout the world, to the soldiers who landed on the beaches of Normandy and defeated the most evil empire ever in the Nazi regime, to completing the “impossible task” of landing a man on the moon. Behind it all was faith. You too are capable of greatness when you have faith in God combined with an undeniable faith in yourself.

Lastly, have faith in the goodness of others. In the world we live in with media all around us coming from all directions this Is hard. It’s hard mainly because the majority of things reported or shared on a large scale are negative or divisive. I’m here to tell you that that is not reality. The reality is every day, almost 8 billion people, get up and are looking to better their lives with their families. The overwhelming majority of people are good and know right from wrong. And every day, there are far more acts of goodness and greatness than there are of negativity or wrongdoing. Those things just don’t grab attention as much as the shock of something terrible. Let me give you an example to put this in perspective. Every day, there are well over 100,000 plane flights taking place all over the world. Pilots encounter all sorts of things when they fly, many of which the passengers never even know. In fact, every day pilots all over the world, make decisions that save their passengers lives and prevent a disaster – but you never hear about that. You hear about maybe one flight per year or every other year that was a tragedy and it is plastered all over the news for days. Think about that – one flight out of millions upon millions – when all the while heroes are saving others.

It is the same with people. Heroes are all around us. We are heroes in some way, if not every day, probably every week. Have faith in people. Have faith in the goodness of the human spirit and understand that while there will be failings of it and bad things will happen – there is a lot more good in this world than there is bad.

Hannah, I could go on this topic for hours and hopefully, if you mother and I have done our job somewhat well, you already have these faiths instilled in you. Embrace them, make them yours and use them to help you in reaching your full potential in your spiritual life, your contribution to the world, and with your fellow man. Remember, faith backed by committed action can achieve great things.

I love you,

Daddy

 

Best Quote: “Faith is essential to success in life. Many times, the things we manifest in our minds or the dreams we have are not yet true. We can see them in our imagination so vividly, but yet, they do not exist. It is faith that keeps up going to make them a reality."

 

Misfit 3:

  1. Faith is essential to success in life.
  2. Aside from creating your own faith in God, you must have faith in yourself. You are more capable than you will ever know. We are heroes in some way, if not every day, probably every week.
  3. Have faith in people. Have faith in the goodness of the human spirit and understand that while there will be failings of it and bad things will happen – there is a lot more good in this world than there is bad.
Nov 28, 2018

121: Tap in to Your "Brave" and Breakthrough to Your Next Level(s) with Jena Rodriquez This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Jena Rodriguez. Jena is a brand, business, and Brave strategist and the founder of Brave Masters – a firm committed to boosting brand clarity, growing profits, and helping business owners capitalize on the natural abilities.

Jena’s personal story is pretty incredible. She went from bankrupt and over 700 thousand in debt to creating a million-dollar business. She’s gone on to help her clients do the same helping increase their revenues by upwards of 800% or more.

And today, I’ve asked to come and share some of her best strategies and secrets of how you can take yourself to your next levels.

www.Bravemasters.com

www.Bravemasters.com/BraveFB

As an entrepreneur, over a 12-year period, Jenna went from bankrupt to success. She was in corporate as a controller before starting her business. And as she says, she took a lot of risk in her first business by buying a storefront. She made $300k in her first year but was over $700k in debt. After a year, she ran into the problems of being to pay her rent, her employees. She either had to quit or get back up on the horse.

She had to close the store and file bankruptcy. She was somewhat relieved but was not sure what to do next. She partnered with her husband on a business together and off they went.

She learned some valuable things. First, what she truly wanted and didn’t want which was to be an employee, but to work for herself and create her true freedom. Her big decision was to “stay in the game.”

Nowadays, she runs the business and her husband has his own business. She helps people to unleash their “brave” and help them to succeed in their business.

What does it mean to be “Brave” and be a “Bravemaster?”

  • You are willing to make the hard decisions
  • You are willing to be uncomfortable
  • You are willing to get up every day and do what it takes
  • Say “yes” and then figure it out
  • Facing life head on and creating it the way you want to create it.

What holds people back the most from unleashing their “Bravemaster?”

  • Self-awareness. Practicing observing your thoughts and actions on a daily basis and taking responsibility for it.
  • People don’t take the time to become “hyper-aware” to when they are not brave.
  • A lot of people let circumstances dictate their life and in order to become a bravemaster, you have to overcome this.

How did you figure out the secret of self-awareness and control of your thoughts?

  • Get help! Study books and those that have already figured it out
  • Seek out mentors that have this understanding as a discipline and learn from them
  • You can hear the concepts, but until you make the decision to act on things and make it part of your daily life discipline, you won’t truly get it.
  • Get help where you need the most support. This is what high performers do.
  • Remember, we don’t know what we don’t know. Bring the awareness to the conscious of your mind.
  • You will learn that you will need to be forever a student and play the long game.

Is there a BRAVE framework that you teach others? If so, can you share it?

  • Belief in self/possibility
  • Resilience
  • Action
  • Vulnerability
  • Expansion
  • Define how you will approach your days. Create it and take 100% responsibility. Be intentional.
  • Reflect on the miracles at the end of the day and the production you’ve had.
  • Things will not always go your way, but controlling your thoughts and being careful not to resist, but to persist is important.
  • It is much more how you respond to the circumstance than the circumstance itself.

At the 30 min mark, I ask Jena about her business. You’ve generated 100’s of thousands of dollar speaking from stage. How do you do that?

  • She only started speaking from stage 5 years ago
  • She took commitment and action to become a speaker
  • She has released a course on what she did called the “Brave Speaker”
  • She mastered the art of the structure of the talk: Where do you connect? Where do you offer content? How do you invite and convert them to more?
  • Missteps people make is that they deliver a lot of content and don’t connect.
  • The other part is to master the follow-up and follow through.
  • The 4 C’s moving people to be able to decide:
    • Capture – Getting their attention and owning the stage – getting people to engage
    • Connect – This is all about story. Your “from…to”
    • Content - Transition to what you are going to share/teach/present, etc.
    • Convert – Bridging the gap and inviting them to your offer to solve the problem. “Imagine if…” Then you can give a fast action incentive…

You teach “3 Simple Steps to Make Money in Your Business Now.” What are those 3 steps?

  • Focus on getting visibility, getting leads from the visibility, and then having compelling conversations
  • It is not about selling. It is about interviewing people, finding the right fit for you to help.
  • You must be willing to get highly visible and market yourself

What are the most important actions that people should be doing with their branding and branding?

  • Brand is who you are and what you stand for. What are you transforming in the world.
  • Branding is how you are sharing that
  • Brand is step #1 and most people don’t focus there
  • Brand integrity is very important – audit yourself throughout the year to ask yourself if you are being consistent in your branding.
  • Are you hitting expectations? You must be consistent across all mediums of your brand

 

Best Quote: “WE make or break us. Not the circumstance.” 

 

Jena's Misfit 3:

  1. Create your day at the beginning of the day and take control.
  2. Take 100% responsibility of your life.
  3. Brave is a practice and success is a choice, not just a journey.
Nov 21, 2018

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is my good friend, Dov Baron. Dov is considered the leading authority on Authentic leadership and is one of INC Magazines Top 100 Leadership speakers. He’s been featured everywhere from Oprah to the Wall Street Journal and has been consulting, advising, and speaking on leadership for the last 30 years. He has spoken in front of everyone from Fortune 500 companies to the United Nations and the State Department.

Dov is also the founder of Full Monty Leadership and the Authentic Speaker Academy on Leadership. He is a multi-time bestselling author and is the host of the Pursuing Deep Greatness TV show and the number one leadership podcast on Itunes, Dov Baron’s Leadership and Loyalty Show.

What I love most about Dov is that he doesn’t mince words, tells you how it really is, and gets results. So, he is just the person I wanted to speak to you about leadership and life on this show.

www.fullmontyleadership.com

www.DovBaron.com

Dov’s personal email - Dov@dovbaron.com

Dov was born into abject poverty in London in a ghetto. His mother shipped him off to rabbis because he had “visions” as a kid. He started studying spiritual works with the rabbis and then later traveled the world studying with spiritual masters from all different areas including Buddhism, Hinduism, and others.

He was very interested in psychology, but also studied quantum physics. In the 80’s he started speaking and had a knack for it. He was on TV, radio, newspapers. But, he was an adrenaline addict and In June 1990, while freeclimbing a rock face and fell from 120 ft. up landing on his face…or as he likes to say, he “fell 12 stories and landed on my ego.”

His life as he knew it was over and he went through a very deep, dark depression, had many reconstructive surgeries and came out the other side as what he is today.

Who is Shishu Sharma and what did you learn from him?

• Shishu is his wife’s uncle

• Dov dedicated his last book to him

• One of the chapters of the book is about being a CRO – Chief Relationship Officer

• Dov spent a considerable amount of time with Shishu before he died of cancer discussion what really mattered

• The #1 thing was the realization of how important relationships are and how he missed out on many of the ones in his life.

What is your biggest takeaway from learning this from him?

• It wasn’t any changes as much as what he learned underscored what he believed about how relationships are the most important thing in our lives

• Relationships tie everything together

• Once you realize this, you have to invest in them and ask for help

How did you get out of your depression after your fall and how did it lead to your understanding of authentic leadership?

Dov tells this story at the 14 min mark…

• Authenticity is what you know about yourself

• What we know about ourselves is an evolution

• Many people think they know themselves, but they don’t

• When Dov fell, his identity got smashed to pieces as well

• “There is no back, there is only forward…”

• He would put on the “happy face,” but deep down he struggled to find who he was truly going to be because that person was gone.

• At times he became filled with rage

• He came home one night to find his cat dead and holding the cat, fell to ground weeping, not for the cat, but for the realization that he had hit bottom and had to move forward.

• From there, it became about finding his purpose and how he would serve.

Your identity is not what you do, but your purpose…

At the 17 min mark, Dov answers the question, How do you teach people to find their true identity and purpose?

• People mix up mission statements and purpose – or even passion • Purpose is emotional – it calls to your heart and your soul

• Passion is transitory – when you were 15, your passion was different than it is today

• Your purpose is not transitory. Your purpose is the fuel that goes into the vehicle of your passion.

• Purpose runs through everything

At the 20 min mark, Dov gives an exercise of how you can find your purpose…

• Imagine what your Short statement eulogy would look like – what is that one statement you would want someone to say about you.

• Now imagine what people are whispering in the back of the room – does it echo what is being said in the front? What is it you fear they would whisper in the back of the room?

• Whatever that whisper is tells you your fear and gives you the insight you need to understand who you need to become to live your purpose. •

Your purpose is not your career, but your career can be the best vehicle for your purpose.

What are the characteristics of a notable leader?

• If you want to be a truly outstanding, authentic leader, you must have courage

• You must have courage to be curiosity

• Courage + Curiosity + Love is needed

• Love is critical – great leaders love their people. Because if you don’t, someone else will

• Don’t be afraid to love and truly care (it’s not romantic, it’s platonic)

• You must also be willing to be vulnerable – vulnerability is not a weakness, it is a great strength. You must be willing to show your humanity

What creates loyalty?

• What is the difference between a great friend and an acquaintance? Vulnerability

• When you see people in their faults and love them anyway

• The same goes for you – you’re vulnerability endears people to you

What is the soul of leadership?

• For Dov, the soul of leadership is service. Being there to serve.

• To ask what it within a person is that can be a blind spot or that they need support in overcoming them and then serving them by helping them.

What does purpose matter more than profit?

• From research done between 1991-2001, it was shown that profit changes dramatically when you have purpose.

• 90% of consumers expect companies to act responsibly

• Companies that purpose driven are on average more than 1600% more profitable than companies that are not purpose driven.

• In today’s age, being meaning drive is critical for a company.

• Purpose drives profit.

What is the hero’s journey and how does it relate to this?

• Being a leader is a heroic journey.

• Leadership starts with self and you need to be heroic about it.

• The treasure you most want is hidden in the cave you most fear and you must have the willingness to step into it.

• The treasure is soul – it is your most authentic self, the whole of who you are.

• Many people have everything they want except that “one thing for them…”

• Life is defining you or refining you – that is the choice

• You can’t be a victim and you must be open to life refining you

What are the elements of a great story?

• The answer is the hero’s journey

• Read Joseph Campbell’s, “The Hero’s Journey”

• Read “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”

• Before there was writing, everything was passed on through story

• For a story to work, it has to involve the listener

At the 44 min, Dov tells the story of how he got into speaking…

“If you are going to be the best you possibly you can, you cannot do it by imitating someone else. Your hero’s journey lies in being truly yourself…”

Dov asks you, “What are your taboos? What is it that you don’t think you should talk about? Why? Are those hindering you and not letting you be who you are?

 

Best Quote: “There is no back, only forward. Life is either defining you or refining you. It is your choice.."

 

Dov's Misfit 3:

1. Get to know yourself by taking on the heroic journey of self-inquiry. How do you know who you are? Are these principles still true not matter what you are going through?

2. Be deeply curious about everything.

3. Love without limits. Leave the taboos behind.

Nov 14, 2018

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Christopher Lochhead. Chris is a retired, 3-time CMO, entrepreneur, and co-author of Play Bigger and his latest book, Niche Down. He started his first business at 18 and has been called a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company and “Off-putting to some” by The Economist. He is a keynote speaker, a blogger, and is a founding board member of the non-profit, 1 Life Fully Lived. One of the things he is best known for these days is being the host of the highly popular Legends and Losers podcast.

As he says, “I’m a dyslexic paperboy from Montreal with Scottish roots. Over thirty years in business I earned a PhD from the school of hard knocks, drank a lot of whiskey, experienced the bliss of winning, the pain of failure and learned how to laugh about the whole thing.

One thing about Chris is that he doesn’t mince words, he’s direct, and doesn’t put up with any BS, but man can he teach you a lot about how to succeed in business and in life.

www.LegendsandLosers.com

Chris grew up in Montreal, Canada in what he calls a “struggling, but loving family.” He got thrown out of school at 18 and found out he is dyslexic as 21. He went on the find out that he has a lot of “learning differences.” At 18 years old, he didn’t have a ton of choices, but one of them was to start his own business – no so much as a way up, but a way out. By the time he 28, he had sold his companies to groups in Silicon Valley and came to live there full time. He went on to become the CMO of 3 publicly traded companies, the last one, Mercury Interactive, which was sold to HP for $4.5 billion.

Since then he has done advisory work for venture back startups, wrote Play Bigger, and for the last few years, he has been focused on the Legends and Losers Podcast and writing his latest book, Niche Down.

Most important lessons about life and business you’ve learned to this point?

  • We get tricked in life to thinking the pathway to success is about fitting in when in truth it is not true.
  • Legendary people, the Misfit Entrepreneurs are original, unique, they take new ground, and they are different.
  • In a world that teaches us to fit in, highly successful people make their place in the world – not find their place in the world.
  • Life works best for us when we are being us – not trying to be or fit into something we are not.

How have you learned to unleash your Inner Misfit, your genius, over the years?

  • “Follow your passion” and “Hustle, Hustle, Hustle” are some of the dumbest pieces of advice given to people.
  • Having the courage to stand out, follow your difference and use it to create the life you want is hard for people to do – but it is what they need to do.
  • Mercenaries vs. Missionaries: When things get really tough, Mercenaries tap out, but Missionaries will crawl through whatever is needed to reach their goal.
  • Work on big problems that you care about and that really make a difference in the world.

“If you can create or design yourself to be the person or entrepreneur you want to be, by definition you are going to be painting your own painting.”

  • The reason “Follow your passion” is such stupid advice is that is can send you down this path of what is my passion instead of asking “How can I truly make a difference…”
  • Also, if you follow your passion in something everyone else is following, then you most likely won’t be able to stand out.

At the 11:40 mark, Chris gives an example of what this means and why niching down is so lucrative in today’s world.

  • “Hustle, Hustle, Hustle” is idiotic because as an entrepreneur or innovator, if you need to be told that it will take hustle or grit, you are already in trouble.
  • It is a pre-requisite to be able to hustle

It is the person who designs and ultimately dominates that niche who become successful.

  • The big mind-twist is that it is niche that makes the brand. It’s the niche that makes the company. It’s the category that makes the person – not the other way around.
  • If you are hustling in a niche that is already being dominated by someone else – you are hustling in a niche that someone else owns, will always be compared to them, and be at a strategic disadvantage. You are playing their game and competing for at best, a piece of the economics.
  • You must “hustle” in a niche that you can design and dominate

At the 19 min mark, Chris answers the question, What are the most important things you have found about how to niche down?

  • What creates a new niche is either taking an existing problem and redesigning or reimagining it or looking at a problem that nobody really thought of…
  • Example of an existing problem is AirBnb redesigning where we stay when we travel, and an example of a new problem is a “Sushirito” to the problem of being able to have Sushi on the go.

“We are at the beginning of a niche-nado”

Is there a set of steps that someone can take to find their niche?

  • Chris makes note of a book called “Thinking Wrong,” and uses the idea of it to look at the opposite of everything you know about a business/product/service, etc. to blow open new thinking. For example, create a bike that doesn’t work in any way. Start by doing this.
  • In a way, we are living in the 1800’s when it comes to boom in technology that we are about to go through. Today’s solutions will cause tomorrow’s problems. Ask yourself, “Of all this cool new stuff, what problems will this create that can be solved?”

Points from Play Bigger that are relevant to entrepreneurs?

  • Design your own category. Most entrepreneurs focus on designing a product and business around it instead of designing the category.
  • The Magic Triangle is when you get product, company, and category design to come together. This is where the magic happens and you get an AirBnb.
  • On average, the category leader earns 70% of the market cap in a category.
  • Go after being a “Big E” entrepreneur

Can you go deeper on the Magic Triangle?

  • As entrepreneurs, we fall in love with our product or solutions. But people don’t want to buy solutions, they want to buy problems (really the removal of them – so their focus is on the problem.
  • Great category designers are evangelists, but not for their product, but for their category.
  • Using Salesforce.com as example. First design a new type of product. In Salesforce’s case, it was CRM
  • Second, build and design a new type of company. Salesforce started the idea of SAAS or subscription.
  • Third, teach the world to think in a new way. Salesforce showed the world a new way to think about software. It was a complete 180.
  • The big AHA is to fall in love with the problem and not the solution.

What else is important from a marketing standpoint to help businesses standout?

  • Over 90% of the work done on branding is a waste of time
  • At its core, branding is all about yelling and screaming about who I am or what I am.
  • We get thousands of marketing messages a day and we don’t have a context for it, it doesn’t matter to it.
  • The way the brain works is category first, brand second
  • At the 44 min mark, Chris gives an example of how you fix the brand first problem.

You’ve got a keynote on how to create a Legendary Life. Can you give us a little taste of how to do that?

  • First, you must make a decision about who you are going to be in your life
  • You can design your life and create it. If you don’t believe that, then you live legendary.
  • The biggest way to have a legendary life is to co-create the life with those that you want to partner with to do so.
  • The greatest reward in life is to co-design the life with the ones you love and then live out that design.

Who has been the most surprising guest on Legends and Losers and why?

  • Entrepreneur, Author, and Speaker, Will Little, who is also a convicted killer. Chris never thought that he could be friends with a convicted killer. But, it is who Will became in jail and since coming out being a force for good that makes him so unique.
  • Bill Walton, one of the greatest basketball players of all time. A conversation with him is unlike any other.
  • David Saxe – Co-founder of PayPal and Yammer. Incredible insight into how to sell a company. He unpacks the difference between a product hook and a value proposition.

 

Best Quote: “We become known for the niche that we own…”

 

Chris's Misfit 3:

  1. Follow your different...
  2. The #1 thing people say they are afraid of in life and business is public failure. There will be a ton of it. It’s called “Losery.” Embrace the Losery…
  3. The most legendary people have the most courage. Tap into yours.
Nov 7, 2018

This week we have a very special episode with two Misfit Entrepreneurs Leon Ifayemi and Nick van der Velde. This episode was recorded live at Fireside Entrepreneurship Conference in September 2018. I was invited to speak at the event and do a show for the audience.

I wanted to do something unique for the show, so I came up with the idea that when I got to the event, I would spend the first day meeting unique entrepreneurs and find ones that had incredible stories, insight, and wisdom to share. I met a number of incredible people, but really enjoyed my initial conversations with Leon and Nick, and was honored to have them join me for this episode.

Leon is a former Barclays investor, but left that life to start a very unique company called Space, that’s SPCE. SPCE is the rental ecosystem, revolutionizing the way in which the higher education community and the universities which enroll them, connect with the property market. Through a very unique app, they help students find the best places to live on campus. Think of them like an Uber for campus living.

Nick is a social entrepreneur, TedX speaker and founder of Impact Consulting. He helps companies find the synergy of creating a social impact with their business and maximizing profitability. Additionally, he helps companies in their funding pursuits.

I really enjoyed my time with these awesome entrepreneurs and I know you will learn a lot from them, so without further ado, here is my interview with Leon Ifayemi and Nick van der Velde from Fireside 2018.

www.LiveinSPCE.com

www.PillarNonProfit.ca

Leon came up with idea for SPCE in his 2nd year of university. He had a job of helping students find housing in and around campus. He realized what a challenge it was for students, landlords, and property management companies, so he came up with the idea. But, as young graduate, he didn’t have the capital, so he went into investment banking at Barclays and then Rothchild where he was responsible for managing $2 billion. It was there that he met the investors that would eventually invest in SPCE.

Nick grew up in the Netherlands. At 19, he realized that he had to go abroad. He came to Toronto, CA where he excelled in class. While there, he was connected with a real estate investment group that ended up sponsoring him to immigrate to Canada to live full time in 2012. Nick has interesting background in that he was a breakdancer who helped lead campaigns for RBC, SCION, Nokia, and others. In parallel to that, he applied for a job as a “business developer.” He walked into a non-profit and they wanted to create a business model that balances for profit value in creating revenue, but practiced non-profit values increasing the quality of life of a community. Nick was able to raise over $750k for the project in a year. He is now a principle consultant for Impact Consulting and to date has raised over $1.1 million.

Leon, what did you learn from banking that has helped you most as an entrepreneur?

  • Persistence – to get business in investment banking requires a very stoic nature to persevere
  • Being comfortable with not being in control
  • Relationship building is the cornerstone of any business. Your ability to build relationships and earn trust is incredibly important.

Nick, explain social entrepreneurship and how it can help you grow as an entrepreneur…

  • Social entrepreneurship should be “baked in” and not “bolted on.”
  • Having a positive impact is at the core and that impact will help you grow as an entrepreneur
  • There is value in what you do in community and the connection you create
  • It allows you to be vulnerable which allows you to create a more supportive environment for success.

“Millennials are becoming the one in control of spending dollars in a community and are driven more by empathy, so the trend is toward one of social entrepreneurship.”

What is the coolest thing you’ve found about entrepreneurship that you never expected?

Leon:

  • The overwhelming sense of freedom balanced with responsibility.
  • The challenges and pursuit of success is thrilling and drives you
  • The ability to instill your values into something
  • The ability to work outside the status quo and “rules”
  • Entrepreneurship is a great vehicle to find your higher purpose

Nick

  • Street cred
  • There is a level or recognition, value, and validation that is worth so much more than money through the work.

What is a habit that you have created or adopted that you feel gives you an advantage over your competition?

Leon:

  • A habit of being absolutely persistent without being annoying
  • It is really more of a mindset
  • Surrounding yourself with people who are positive and creating cues in your life by adopting mentors
  • It is as much a lifestyle choice to stay positive as it is a habit

Action items you do to foster this way of thinking and approaching life?

Leon:

  • Working with mentors and seeking mentorship
  • Weekly meetings with mentors who “have done it”
  • You want to find solutions to problems and getting criticism is fine as it helps you as long as you are getting it from a positive source.

Nick:

  • Creating compelling value propositions
  • Analyzing patterns of people and businesses and them putting value prop together with the patterns
  • Create a proposal for yourself of who you are, what you stand for, your principles – it is a very eye-opening exercise – your personal value proposition.
  • Entrepreneurship is about consistency, so time management is a key skill

Best piece for advice for an entrepreneur starting out today?

Nick:

  • Don’t stop
  • Fail and fail fast
  • Always keep going and be willing to adjust, change, and pivot as needed, but never stop
  • Entrepreneurship is like a maze – you will continuously hit dead ends and have to make choices of different directions to go, but as long as you keep going to you will find your way out.

Leon:

  • You can’t do it all on your own – find others that share your values and share your appreciation for creating value
  • Create duplicates for yourself through your systems and processes as time is your biggest asset and you must leverage it every way you can
  • You have to be ok with stepping out, giving up comfort and safety to grow.
  • Know your “opportunity cost.”

What have you learned about yourself on your journey so far?

Leon:

  • We are fallible and capable of burning out
  • We can so stubborn that is hurting us and our business
  • Trying to do everything on your own is the hardest way to go and keeps you from reaching your real potential
  • Give people the benefit of the doubt and trust those you’ve hired to do the job
  • Hire better than you

Nick:

  • Don’t use other people’s definition of success to create your definition of success – define it for yourself
  • Understand when and how to use control to maximize your business and success – you will have to let go at different times.
  • There is something about making things happen that we are just born to do

 

Best Quote: “Create a proposal for yourself of who you are, what you stand for, your principles – it is a very eye-opening exercise – your personal value proposition.”

 

Leon and Nick's Misfit 3:

  1. Leon: Be comfortable with your difference – being different is what makes us who we are and part of the nature of entrepreneurs. Risking for delayed gratification is very important. Nick: Understand your core value – why do you show up and who do you want to be?
  2. Leon: Balance. Surround yourself with those that help to keep you from burning out. You have to take time for yourself and take breaks. Nick: Be more empathetic in your life and endeavors
  3. Leon: Adapt – the world is forever changing. The barriers to entry in creating a business are now very low. It’s been democratized. You continuously be able to adapt as what is new today will be old tomorrow. Nick: Increase the level of vulnerability in how your approach your business and lead – be willing to ask for help!
Oct 31, 2018

Hello Misfit Nation! Welcome to another edition of "Lessons for Hannah!"

In November of 2016, we introduced a new format that we are putting alongside our regular episodes called “Lessons for Hannah.” Hannah is my daughter and one of the main inspirations for the Misfit Entrepreneur. I wanted to have a place where she could go and learn from her daddy and his Misfit friends throughout her life….even after I am gone. If you haven’t listened to the first episode of "Lessons for Hannah," I urge you to as it gives some more background and tells the amazing story of how Hannah came to be in our lives.

"Lessons for Hannah" are short, very useful, and sometimes comical lessons, that I have learned which I want to share with you and give to Hannah to help in your lives. Because I want Hannah to have these for her life, I’m going to speak as though I am talking directly to her. These episodes are a lot of fun and if you think there is a lesson that we should include in these episodes, please don’t hesitate to send it over to us at support@misfitentrepreneur.com. We’d love to share it.

This week’s Lesson for Hannah

Hannah, I want to talk to you about mistakes. As you go through life, you will make many mistakes. You simply cannot avoid them. You will fail. It is part of life and what makes each person’s journey unique. This is OK. It is not a bad thing at all. You’ve heard me say to you over and over that it is OK to make a mistake or fail, but what did you learn about it?

And of course, finishing this sentence, “What do we do when we fall….” That’s right, we get back up. We keep getting back up. But, I want you to know – no matter how many mistakes you make and failures that you have, you can always overcome them. You can always make a comeback.

I was reminded of this recently when we had a guest speaker come to our Grow Thrive Revive event. His name was Rob Decker and he told an incredible story of stubbornness, failure, and redemption.

Rob, grew up with a rough family life where even his dad would not acknowledge him as his son. He started drinking and doing drugs at a very young age, but ironically also bodybuilding. Talk about an example of looking good on the outside but destroying yourself on the inside. Rob, also ran with a rough crowd and with people that would drag him down. He went through everything from arrests to bad relationships to dealing drugs. In fact, in one of his darkest moments after a fight with a girlfriend, who called the police and lied about what had happened, he actually gave up on life and threw himself out of a 3rd story window. He thought it would kill him, but he bounced off an awning landing in a way that broke his back and a bunch of other things but did not kill him.

When he came awake in the hospital, the cops were there to arrest him. But as he spent the next few days in the hospital chained to a bed, he spoke to the police and the police started to investigate finding out that he was actually not guilty and dropped his arrest.

But, he still had problems. He got out, healed, and started to get his life back together, but he could not quit drinking. In fact, a few years later he was driving after drinking, totaled his car and took off from the scene. He hid for a whole night under a porch where he prayed to God that if he could just get out of the trouble he was in, he would change everything. He would quit drinking, clean himself up, and devote his life to good.

And in fact, through some miracle, he did not get into trouble. And finally, after all the years of screwing up, getting into trouble, abusing his body, and destroying relationships, he finally got the message, got help, and devoted himself to the promise he made to god. He now has a wonderful family, travels telling his story and the lessons learned, and has a personal training business in Colorado Springs.

Rob was stubborn. It took many more years and mistakes than it should have for him to learn his lessons, but he eventually did learn the lessons. The message I want you to take away from his story is first, make it a point to learn from your mistakes and failure when they happen and make meaningful changes if needed. Don’t put them off because if you do when you finally have to confront them, they will be much worse and harder to correct than if you had confronted them in the first place. Second, even if you don’t learn your lesson the first time, or the next 20 times, if you are willing, you can still learn it and always find redemption. You can always overcome your mistakes and failures. Even when things seem the bleakest and darkest, there is a healthy way out. You may have to ask for help, but you can do it. The human spirit is strong and has the potential to overcome so much.

Always keep that in mind as you go through your life. You will make mistakes and you will fail, but you can always learn, grow, and come back from it – many times even stronger than you were before. Believe in that and believe in yourself.

I love you, Daddy

 

Best Quote: “You will make mistakes and you will fail, but you can always learn, grow, and come back from it – many times even stronger than you were before. Believe in that and believe in yourself.."

 

Misfit 3:

  1. Mistakes and failures are inevitable in life. They key is to grow yourself so you learn from them quickly and make meaningful changes.
  2. Don’t learning from your mistakes and failures off, because if you do, when you finally have to confront them, they will be much worse and harder to correct than if you had confronted them in the first place.
  3. Believe in yourself and your spirit to overcome things in a healthy way – not a destructive one. Resolve to never choose the destructive path.
Oct 24, 2018

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Ali Boone. Ali is the founder of Hipster Investments - a company that creates turnkey real estate investment for buyers. When I met Ali, I was really impressed with her story…she started out as an aerospace engineer and found her way into building wealth in the real estate markets.

She then took everything she learned and the connection she made it and turned it in Hipster investments where people that want to invest in real estate, but don’t want to manage properties or worry about the day to day can invest and make money, but leave the management to the pros.

Hipster is ranked as one of the top Real Estate investment websites to follow for 2018 and has been featured everywhere from FOX Business to the Motley Fool.

Ali didn’t start out on a path to investing in real estate or creating a business but found her way there and it’s the lessons she has learned that I can’t wait for her to share with you today.

www.hipsterinvestments.com

ali@hipsterinvestments.com

www.aliboone.com

Ali’s background is in Aerospace engineering and she spent over 5 years in the space as a top secret flight test engineer. She has what people perceive to be a “dream job.” She had a great salary, etc., but something was missing. When stepped foot in her cubicle each day, she knew that she was destined for something more.

From the time she was a kid, she had always wanted to be her own boss and lead her own life. She was always very independent and even during her time as an engineer, she was exploring and looking for her way out.

She looked at all kinds of mediums but found she could invest in real estate while she worked and grew it to a point where she could leave and go on her own.

Now, she lives the life she wants on her terms.

How did you know when its time to make the leap and leave your job?

• Don’t just follow your passion – some things are better left as hobbies

• Find the thing that works and organically happens

• Start building your income on the side

• Make sure that your “thing” is somewhat established

• Save money and build a nest egg if you can – but run things like you don’t have it.

• No matter what, there will be some element of missing security

How did you start into real estate?

• It was going to be either a business or real estate for Ali

• She originally decided to start a business

• She came across a webinar for real estate and attended

• This sparked things for her and she even able to network with the people who put on the webinar and still works with them today

• She followed them during the 2008 crash and started investing in “turn-key” rental properties

• She found a niche in turn key rentals

• She has found how to outsource much of the aspects of the business around managing properties

Tell us about Hipster…How do you do what you do?

• Turn keys can sound to good be true

• Ali works with “Turn key” companies that work in specific markets that have good inventory, but also support a healthy expense to rent ratio so they can truly cash flow.

• These companies go out and buy properties in bulk and get the lowest price possible.

• They do all the rehab, if needed, source and find tenants, and rent the property

• Investors can then buy the properties from companies like Hipster

• No, they are not totally “hands off.” You can still have tenants that don’t work out and have to manage your property manager around things. You still need your head attached. But as far as real estate investing goes, turn key managed property takes the bulk of the issues off your plate.

• At it’s core, Hipster is a boutique referral company for these types of investments, but holds clients hands through the whole buying process and supports them as client-owners.

At the 22 min mark, Ali talks about what makes a great real estate investment…

• It’s all about the numbers

• About 80% of properties make terrible investments

• You really have to understand where you are going to make the money

• Are you investing for cash flow or for appreciation through flipping?

• Find the thing that works best for you in your life situation.

• Make sure to understand the expenses – Mortgage, taxes, maintenance, repairs, property management. Don’t estimate – get actuals

• Make sure to get a realistic rental income number for your market and area

• Focus on positive cash flow as appreciation is not guaranteed – it’s a bonus

• Most properties don’t cash flow which is why the numbers are so important.

What are your thoughts of the current market in 2018-2019?

• We are close to peak pricing. It’s not as easy right now. You are looking for things to go on-sale and that is hard right now, but deals do still exist. •

Wherever the market is, you need to find out how to make it work

. • Right now, the markets Ali says are most appealing are Baltimore, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Kansas City, Cleveland. A lot of Midwest.

• But, Hipster only works in growth markets. For example, Detroit is in the Midwest, but not currently a growth market in their model.

What have you learned from buying real estate that translates to business and life?

• The idea of control is tougher as an entrepreneur or property owner

• You cannot always control what is going to happen or plan for it

• You have the best you can do at what you can each day

• We don’t have control over much, except for our attitude and our effort

• Be present and ready for what comes at you

Top 3 things entrepreneurs need to succeed in today’s world?

• Open mindedness.

• You have to realize that it is a rollercoaster ride and be ok with it.

• Self-awareness. Keep learning about yourself and what is best for how you operate.

At the 45 min mark, Ali challenges Tim Ferris to a “lifestyle design” duel…

 

Best Quote: “Don’t’ take advice from people you wouldn’t trade shoes with…”

 

Ali's Misfit 3:

1. “Don’t’ take advice from people you wouldn’t trade shoes with…” find the people who are doing what you want to do and get advice from them.

2. Strive to follow what happens organically for you.

3. There are 3 currencies: Money, Time, and Sanity. Which ones are you willing to sacrifice for the others?

Oct 17, 2018

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Zach Benson. Zach is the CEO and founder of one of my favorite services and sponsor of the show, Assistagram. Assitagram creates campaigns that helps people get their message out to millions on a daily basis. I have to say, as a client, their teams are amazing.

Zach is also a TEDX speaker and world renowned, award winning dancer. The thing that I absolutely love most about Zach is how he has designed his life. Zach travels the world living where he wants when he wants helping people grow their business and message with Assistagram and also teaching dance workshops. In today’s episode, I not only want him to share his best Instagram success hacks, but also teach how you can design the life you deserve.

www.assistagram.com

Benson.zach@gmail.com

www.MisfitEtnrepreneur.com/Assitagram

It all started with dance. In high school, Zach got a DVD on breakdancing and started practicing. He began to win competitions and made it on So You Think it Can Dance. Now, he teaches dance clinics all over the world.

How did you design your life and make it possible?

  • He saw other dancers that tried out multiple times for things So You Think You Can Dance and over time make it. He took a lesson to never give up from them.
  • He also dreamed big as a kid and put together what he wanted his life to be.
  • A producer for SYTYCD gave him the idea and advice on how to go teach dance clinics around the world and leverage his stardom that way.

What did you have to do to make it happen?

  • Zach is more impulsive
  • He takes action on things he wants to do and doesn’t think too much about it
  • But he also seeks and finds people who have been there and done that- and listened to them, taking their best advice and putting it to use.
  • In the beginning, he got a lot of no’s before getting to his first yes on teaching a dance clinic.
  • He changed his business model to start offering really cheap rates to get in the door at places.
  • From there, he used his experience and relationships to build great relationships that could reference him and grew from there – upping his rates as he got more consistent.
  • Playing the long game is important.

You mentioned being more impulsive in your younger years. Are you still that way today?

  • Things have changed. He still embraces taking initiative.
  • “I’d rather burnout than restout and take advantage of opportunities when they come up…”

What advice would give people to go out and create the life they deserve?

  • You need to know what you need to be happy. Zach volunteered to live on $2 a day for food to help a cause and learn what really matters to be happy.
  • Whatever it is that fulfills you – you need to know. If it is a lot of money, great. If not, ok too. But know what it is.
  • Self-educate and keep going
  • Play the long game and outlast
  • People give up to close to their success

What have you learned about life and success by traveling abroad and working throughout the world?

  • That people matter most and to put them first. 
  • For Zach, traveling helps him grow. He gets to expand his network, see how others live, learn other cultures, and network with other entrepreneurs.
  • Life is all about people and relationships. All it takes is a simple question or compliment to create a conversation that turn into a huge opportunity.
  • Be curious

How do you travel and get to stay at 5-Star hotel for free?

  • Through the power of Instagram
  • 5 years ago, he bought an Instagram account with 400,000 followers
  • From there, he started to grow it and build up the empire
  • Businesses don’t know that much about social media marketing on platforms such as Instagram.
  • Instead of negotiating a free to stay by just posting about it to his following, Zach offers to teach them how to improve their Instagram accounts and their footprint.

What is the process of how you do it? Do you need to have a massive following?

  • Zach has a step by step process in his Tribe Influencer academy
  • You don’t need a big personal brand
  • You don’t need a huge network
  • Think of something you have of value that a hotel can use such as a specific skill or process
  • Use that as an offering and do a barter with them
  • Make sure to have a clear offer of what you will do and what it will do for them
  • You can do this with all hotels.
  • It starts with an email to the reservations department
  • Then follow up with phone call and ask to speak to the sales and marketing director for the property
  • Then pitch them
  • Usually the training last about 1 hour

At the 23 min mark, Zach talks about why Instagram is such an important medium to use for business in today’s age.

  • The attention shift from Facebook to Instagram is happening faster than ever.
  • It is the fastest growing and most engaging platform in the world with almost 1 billion users
  • Twitter and Snapchat are dead
  • Instagram gives you more organic reach than Facebook
  • Now is the time to get on the platform.

Top 3 things people need to do to succeed on Instagram?

  • If you are going to start – build a page/account around passions, something you are really into and interested in.
  • By looking at what other accounts do in your focus, you can learn what they do to be successful and even reach out to them.
  • You can also buy an Instagram account, a niche page. You can growth hack your business with it.

What is the best way to grow a following on Instagram?

  • Utilizing engagement groups is one of the best ways
  • Engagement groups should be larger and have high quality
  • Doing manual follow and unfollow is another, but can be damaging if you don’t know what you are doing.
  • Post 4-6 times per day

How do you get people to go from following and engaging to buying?

  • First, you need to become a legit brand which is a minimum of 10k followers o This gives you credibility
  • In looking legit, it will attract more followers and engagement
  • This helps you rank higher and helps you to show more in key words and top posts
  • Once you have a larger following – you can collaborate with other influencers
  • Then you need to make sure you have your online and offline sales process in place and dialed in.

At the 32 min mark, Zach gives some hacks for optimizing your profile and his free Growth Hacking Guide which you can get at www.MisfitEntrepreneur.com/Assistagram

  • An easy SEO hack is putting key words in your short bio that when searched for will lead to your profile
  • Research your hashtags very well. Look for hashtags that don’t have millions of posts. Instead focus on hashtags that have smaller amounts of posts.
  • Look for ones with 10-20k posts which will allow you to get noticed more often

What is your best advice for entrepreneurs to be successful in business today?

  • You need to remember that it is all about timing
  • Knowing and respecting people’s timing and make sure you are there when the timing is right.

 

Best Quote: “I’d rather burn-out than rest-out and take advantage of opportunities when they come up….”

 

Zach's Misfit 3:

1. Read books and find mentors. Grow yourself.

2. The ones who make the most mistakes grows the fastest

3. Stay consistent in every area of your life you can. The small things add up to big results.

Oct 10, 2018

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneurs are Ben and Laura Harrison. Ben and Laura are the founders of Jonas Paul Eyewear. The company has been featured everywhere from the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Harvard Business Review, to even a full segment about the company on NBC news.

Jonas Paul specializes in fashionable and stylish glasses for children…

Like a lot of Misfit Entrepreneurs, we’ve had on the show, Ben and Laura didn’t start out as eyewear entrepreneurs. Instead they encountered a problem and endeavored to find a solution to help their son, Jonas Paul. Through this - a mission and a company were born.

Nowadays, Jonas Paul helps children all over the world feel beautiful in their glass and gives a portion of every sale to help provide sight to children in need. Ben and Laura have a truly remarkable story and an incredible amount of useful experience and wisdom to share.

www.jonaspauleyewear.com

Ben and Laura call themselves “recovering serial entrepreneurs.” Ben and Laura met in college. Ben was focused on work as a photographer and Laura on communications. They decided to grow the photography business to become destination photographers. In addition, the launched resources online for other photographers. Things were good. After 7 years of marriage, they decided to have a child. Everything seemed fine up until their child, Jonas Paul was born.

Laura ended up having to have an emergency c-section. When they brought Jonas over to her, the first words out of her mouth were, “Does he have pupils?” Since he was just born, they dismissed it. But over the next few days reality began to set in. Jonas was born blind and was diagnosed with Peter’s anomaly, a very rare sight condition. It was very overwhelming as new parents to come to grips with how their child will not be able to see or even see their faces.

They went on an extensive journey in which by the age of 5, Jonas has had 22 eye surgeries to give him some aspect of sight and 4 cornea transplants that have all failed.

As this went on, Ben started searching for stylish eyewear for Jonas, so he could look cool in the glasses he needed to see what he could. Jonas was only 2 weeks old, but Ben was searching for something to combat his helplessness. The search became an outlet and a mission that morphed into creating stylish eyewear for kids because there was nothing out there. They started on Alibaba with some designs and found a manufacturer.

How did you launch the business?

  • They had always been in the digital download space, so going into selling a productive with FDA restrictions and everything else was an unknown.
  • They hacked together a WordPress site to get something up to have a brand.
  • They used their photography background to help in crafting the image for the brand and also creating the right design.
  • They went through 3 different rounds of samples before they got one right.
  • Once the found some frames that seemed right, they moved to launch.
  • They just sold through their website and used their SEO experience to help organic traffic.
  • It didn’t take off right away. It has been a grind.
  • They used the feedback to start tweaking things and were OK taking it slow.

What was your tipping point where you started to see massive growth?

  • There hasn’t been one major tipping point…it has been a lot of little things that have combined.
  • The one big thing was when they made the decision to focus on one thing – Jonas Paul.
  • They gave up their other businesses to focus on it full time. They became part of a business accelerator called Praxis and this gave them opportunities to pitch to potential partners/investors.
  • At one of the pitches they were introduced to a former CEO of Luxotica which led to their first seed round.

What is working for you when it comes to digital marketing? What is driving sales online?

  • You need a holistic approach.
  • Facebook is needed, but is all about disrupting things to create interest in your product.
  • Google AdWords is important because people are searching for the need.
  • Instagram is also very important for a product like eyewear.
  • The messages on the mediums are very different.
  • Retargeting and lead capturing are important, so you can nurture people and teach them about your product.
  • For a lot of solutions, there is a big education piece needed which the mediums allow you to do.
  • Authenticity of your brand and who you are is the most critical part of the equation. Stay to true to who you really are.

Anything outside digital?

  • They have a brand ambassador program with micro-influencers
  • They have affiliate programs

Talk to us about building a culture with your business and what that means to the brand…

  • The best part is being able to surround yourself with a team that has passion for the business like they do.
  • Making sure the team knows the mission and vision and why is really important.
  • But, you must be open to change to feedback from your team to grow.
  • Giving your employees a voice is very important. Everyone should feel like it is a part of them as much as you as an owner/leader.

What advice do you have other husband and wife teams running a business or thinking about starting a business together?

  • Early on – you have to understand your strengths and weaknesses and learn how to let each other run with the strengths.
  • Trust each other where your skills sets are and find all the ways they can complement each other.
  • Put a plan together on how to run things for your work life together.
  • Using a personality tool like a Strengthfinder or DISC can give you really great insight into each other.
  • Be willing and outspoken on your encouragement to each other. Don’t take it for granted just because you work together every day.
  • Have fun with it. Reward each other. Surprise each other.
  • You cannot separate your home life and work life – it all blends together. Embrace it, don’t fight it.
  • Celebrate together when you win and come together when you lose
  • It is a true privilege to be able to be a team and share the journey of a business together.

What has surprised you most on your entrepreneurial journey together?

  • That you can pull things off and pull them off well, even when it doesn’t look like it can happen.
  • Everybody has this entrepreneurial spirit inside them, but so many are afraid to unleash it.
  • When you find what you are called and meant to be doing it gives you such a more meaningful life.
  • How much you gain by taking the leap of faith…

How has social entrepreneurship made an impact for the business and for you?

It allows you to truly help people in need, make the world a better place, and be part of something bigger.

 

Best Quote: As an entrepreneur, you cannot separate your home life and work life – it all blends together. Embrace it, don’t fight it.”

 

Ben and Laura's Misfit 3

  1. Don’t suffer from failure to launch syndrome. Get a minimum viable product, get it out there, get feedback and go from there.
  2. Make a name for yourself in your market by trying everything to get yourself out there. You’ll then be able to hone in and find what really works. Have patience here.
  3. Fearing hardship with starting your own thing can keep you from living your life to the fullest. Hardship and suffering help you recognize life in a different way. Be open to it and be ok with it.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next » 13