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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!
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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!

May 1, 2019

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Justin Hartzman. Justin’s storied history as a entrepreneur is well known. He is the founder of WeSellYourSite.com, the first online broker for e-commerce websites. He created the first digital skin company for myspace that allowed people to customize their pages. Before all of that, he and one his friends and now longtime business partners created a humor website called RudeJoke.com as teenagers that pulled in $15-20k per month.

Justin is now the CEO of Needls, the first ever Roboagency, a full automated platform that creates, targets, and optimizes digital ads on both Facebook and Instagram. ​

Justin’s done more in business than most people would ever dream of, so I had to have him on to discuss some of his legendary exploits and to get his best wisdom and success secrets to help you in your life and business…

www.Needls.com

jh@needls.com

Go to Needls.com/Misfit for 35% Off

Justin comes from a family of entrepreneurs. At 8 years old, he started working at one of his families retail businesses. He really enjoyed the thrill of making a sale and standing out. In high school, the internet came about and he started to get into it. The possibilities were endless. He first got started online in gaming and then started RudeJoke.com with a few buddies. They were featured in magazines like Maxim and others and were coined the “entertainment site of the year.” And he was only 13-14 years old!

Within a few weeks, they started getting millions of users per day. This started them looking at all the unique ways they could market. They even paid a guy at Yahoo! $75/mo to list them at #1 in their categories. He started making 10’s of thousands of dollars.

He then went off to college and when he came out, he realized that his family business of real estate and development wasn’t for him, so he got back online. He knew the founder of MySpace, but the guy didn’t like him and disallowed him from being on the site. Justin kept asking and pestering him until he was allowed back on. When he went to MySpace, he saw pages that had no content, so they had the idea to become the guys to create the content for pages and started the business. They found a hack with Yahoo! That paid them $10+ a click. Within 3 weeks, they were getting a million users a day. 3 months later, Justin sold the business. They then took that money and bought their competitors who weren’t using their Yahoo!, but using Google and only getting about a $1 a click. They put their Yahoo! strategy on it for 9 mos, made their money back plus more and then sold that business.

In selling 2 businesses in 9 mos, they saw a gap in the market to sell internet businesses. They then decided to become the first internet broker. They created www.WeSellYourSite.com which became the #1 brokerage site for boutique deals. They then sold that business.

Now, they have started Needls to help make marketing on Facebook and Instagram for efficient and profitable.

After all that you’ve done, what has surprised you most about entrepreneurship and what have you learned from it?

  • It is not easy. For every high, there is 10-20 lows.
  • You have to push your limits all the time.
  • The more you put in and the more useful you are to others, the more it comes back to you.
  • You constantly have to be learning and growing in business and as an individual.

Any low points?

  • Justin has been smart about putting money away and managing the success – this is critical.
  • If you lose your humility and think things will always be good, you are very mistaken.
  • You have to be prepared for the next storm and make sure that you have yourself in position to weather it.
  • Justin has shut companies down and lost investor money which is very tough.

How important is timing and how do you look at a business from a timing standing to know when to jump in?

  • If you have to educate a market, you have to get in early, and have a lot of resources to last while the market comes together.
  • “If you build it, they will come” does not exist anymore – it costs a lot to get a client.
  • Before you do anything, sell the product. Don’t worry about it being perfect. See if people will pay for it.
  • Find something that people have a desperate need for…something they have to have because they can’t get something else without it.

At the 22 min mark, Justin takes us through journey of Needls and how they went from $0-$2 million in your first year…

  • In Needls case, the market for Facebook advertising is crucial
  • People are failing to do it themselves.
  • Traditional agencies are very costly.
  • Facebook is different than search like Google. People talk about things they do – not go searching.
  • What Needls does is create your ads in 6 questions and looks for conversations over social media and then put the ad in front of them when they are needing something.
  • It is all done in an automated fashion.

What should we know about the current state of Facebook and Instagram advertising?

  • Advertising isn’t a magic bullet.
  • It takes time on any platform.
  • Lower budgets take longer time.
  • More important than anything is not how you advertise or get leads, but how you handle them on the other side.
  • You must have the full package to be able to deliver and close the sale when the opportunity comes.
  • You have to have a good message.
  • You have to be mobile friendly.
  • You should make that you capture information from the individuals that come your way, so you can keep in contact with them.

Does Facebook and Instagram work well for certain types of business? What type of businesses work well in this environment?

  • Business to business can work, but is a little more expensive to do right.
  • Who this type of advertising doesn’t work for are people who have a crappy product and a crappy website.
  • You have to have the whole package.
  • The minimum ad spend should be at least $50/week, but where they see the most success and the average of their users spending about $1000/mo.

Talk to us about being the Accelerator with Needls. What are some of the things you learned there that can help entrepreneurs?

  • No matter how successful you are, there are always things you don’t know.
  • They can teach you how to build a culture.
  • They can teach how to structure and properly use a board.
  • You have to be strategic about going with accelerators.
  • Do your research and know the value you will get for what you may give up.
  • Needls went with Generator for their accelerator. It is mid-west based.

Secrets to creating solid, long-lasting business partners?

  • Knowing yourself through tests like DISC or others is very important.
  • Your partners should have different strengths than you and be different personalities.
  • It is like a marriage and needs to be balanced out.
  • The hard times make you stronger.
  • It will be hard, there will be bad days, and you will not always get along.
  • Business partners are partners in life as much as they are in business.

What lessons have you learned about exiting a business?

  • Be prepared. It doesn’t just happen
  • Make sure you have your corporate governance in good shape.
  • Your accounting must be solid.
  • Make sure to clear out your skeletons in your closet or be transparent about them.
  • Get your Cap table in good shape as well.
  • Time kills all deals. Don’t wait too long.
  • Deals only happen when everyone is a little unhappy.

Where do you see the most opportunity for entrepreneurs in the next 3-5 years?

Cannabis is a big trend.

Block chain and Crypto.

Software as a platform that is vertically integrated so you don’t need multiple platforms.

Automation software.

 

Best Quote: “Time kills all deals. Deals only happen when everyone is a little unhappy.”

 

Justin's Misfit 3:

  1. Be useful. The more useful you are to others, the more that will come back to you.
  2. Take the step on the other side of fear.
  3. Always be open to learning and growing yourself.
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