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 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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Now displaying: May, 2019

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 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 29, 2019

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Matt Ward. Matt is an angel investor, startup advisor and serial entrepreneur that’s helped thousands build, grow and scale successful startup companies through his efforts with FBA ALLSTARS and The Syndicate podcast.

Thanks to three successful exits of companies he founded, Matt now runs an investment syndicate focused on seed stage tech companies, while also serving as an advisor for several startups.

Matt’s a frequent writer on, author of Gods of the Valley – How Today’s Tech Giants Monopolize the Future and has been featured in Mattermark Daily, The Next Web, Inc, VentureBeat, Think Growth, Hackernoon and numerous other publications.

And if that is not enough, he’s also the founder of The Disruptors Podcast, a show that brings together scientists, startups, innovators and thought leaders to have discussions on the direction of humankind. With such a diverse background, there are is a lot we have to talk about in this episode.

Get Matt’s Book, Gods of the Valley at

Matt never really fit into a traditional job type roll and quickly found his way into solo-entrepreneurship. He built a couple of e-commerce companies that failed. Then, he stumble into crowdfunding. He was in southeast Asia and moved to China to start a new e-commerce business from the lessons he learned and have the products manufactured there.

He had designed a laptop case that opens into a standing desk and while he was waiting for his first prototype to be created, he decided to start selling already made products on Amazon and things took off. He ultimately sold the business and then used that money to fund his “phase 2.” He also started his podcasts.

The first phase for him was about making money. He was selling things, but wasn’t really passionate about the products, but knew he needed to do it to get to a point where he had the resources to focus on what actually mattered to him and that is where he is now.

Now, he works with startups as an advisor on growth marketing, scaling, and building their business larger. His big focus is Disruptors.FM looking at the future of technology and the convergence of all the technological progress. At the 8 min mark, Matt talks about what he is seeing happening in the technology space and why Disruptors is so important.

At the 9:22 mark, Matt explains what it means to “think bigger” and the challenge he gives to us to do so…

  • Cliché is always cliché until you get it.
  • It doesn’t take 10 or 100X the effort to attain 10 or 100x the results – it just takes thinking a little bit differently.
  • Matt uses an example of how he wanted to make a impact by building homes for people. Instead of starting a business, make money and invest in 10 businesses doing it and your leverage is much bigger.
  • The goal of entrepreneurship is to be the most effective possible and to get to the right finish line.
  • Part of it is understanding the problem, but solving the right problem.
  • People fall into the trap as entrepreneurs of just creating a job for themselves and end up hating it.
  • Think about the way you approach the problem differently to avoid the trap.
  • Matt gives the example of re-usable rockets from Space X taking the cost of Space travel down by over 90%.

What are the things you teach those your work with when it comes to thinking bigger. How do they do it? Where do they start?

At the 14 min mark, Matt asks me questions and uses Misfit as an example of how we can think bigger…

It’s what matters most…

Then asking the question, “What would have to change to 10x or 100x that metric?"

If you are measuring the right thing, then 10x and 100x become easier…

Things don’t scale the way you think. You have do things differently at each level to get to the next level.

The way that you think about starting something is not the way that you think about growing it and building a lasting organization. It is a different thought process and skillset.

What are some of the key thing you’ve learned along the way that have helped you succeed?

  • Outsource everything you can – if it is not a core competency or something you really enjoy doing, offload it, or you will just create a job for yourself.
  • You need to know the type of person you in terms of how you work and how you lead. Know thyself.
  • Be honest with yourself.
  • Balancing having an idea of where you want to be ahead of time with not be afraid to just try things and fail is critical.
  • If you are doing something and it doesn’t feel right, then it is for good reason. Your gut is almost always right.
  • It’s either a “hell yes” or no.
  • Don’t only have business as your driving factor, you must have the health aspect as well. You can and will burn yourself out and will slip over time if you don’t take care of yourself.

If you had to choose one thing, that if you had known it before starting on your entrepreneur path, would have accelerated your success, what would it be?

  • Spend money for help
  • Podcasts are such a great way to grow yourself and get help
  • Being busy isn’t productive – you are better off spending money to achieve results much faster.

Where do you see the state of humanity going? What’s coming?

  • The biggest problem we have is “short-term thinking”
  • We live in a world that incentivizes the here and now without regard to the consequences of our actions down the road.
  • Most don’t focus on the future or think down the road – we are playing finite games and thinking as if it is winnable.
  • The direction humanity is going is optimistic. Our quality of life and living is going up over time. We may not realize this because the influences such as advertisers and marketers are incentivized to sell us on things being bad and making us feel bad so we “need their solution.”
  • AI is and will progress much faster than most think – especially in our health.

Where do you see the biggest disruption happening over the next 10-20 years?

  • AGI moving to ASI will happen. This will transform all areas of our lives.
  • Automation will have enormous implications.
  • Yes, some jobs will cease to exist, but new ones will exist and be created.
  • We will have to consider what life would be like if technology can take on many of the day to day things we do.
  • The biotech and longevity space will see huge strides and lifespans will grow to allow us to live much longer and better.
  • Think about this – 13 years ago we didn’t have IPhones and now technology is accelerating even faster than it was then. Where will we be 13 years from now?

At the 46 min mark, Matt talks about other areas that you should look at and keep tabs on.


Best Quote: “If you are doing something and it doesn’t feel right, then it is for good reason. Your gut is almost always right.”


Matt's Misfit 3: 

  1. Rule #1 is that there are no rules.  Disregard what anyone tells you unless they are further along the life journey you want to have.  Otherwise, they are only giving you advice to their life and their life isn't yours.
  2. Never stop learning.  Don't get stuck in a rut.  Find incredible podcasts and learn.
  3. Focus more on feeling healthy and better.  When you are mentally and physically fit, your performance increases.  Try things out.
May 22, 2019

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Jonathan Mann. I first met Jonathan at the Fireside Entrepreneur Retreat. I was curious as to why I saw this guy walking around everywhere with a ukulele in his hands everywhere he went. And then, one evening, at dinner, I was even more surprised to see him announced and come up on stage.

It turns out, Jonathan is known worldwide as the “Song a Day Man.” He’s been featured on CNN, Time, and a ton of major outlets as well as performed at various TED events, not to mention being hired by companies like Dr. Pepper, Novartis, Gartner, and others to create a unique memory for the events.

Jonathan has a written a new song and posted the video of it every day since January 1st, 2009. That is well over 3000 songs and by the way a Guinness world record.

Talk about Misfit Entrepreneur who created an awesome business by doing something people thought were crazy, I knew as I soon as I saw him on stage that I had to have him on the show the share his experience and what he’s learned on his journey.

@Songadaymann on Twitter

Jonathan has known that he wanted be a song-writer since he was 12 when he got his first guitar. He was obsessed. It was all he thought about and did. But, as he says, he “sucked at it for a long time.” He says he has no real natural talent, it just happened because he has stuck with it for so long. He kept writing songs all through high school and college.

He would struggle with writer’s block and finding inspiration. He would always have the urge to create and express himself, but would get blocked because of this. He would have moments where nothing good would come out. In the winter of ’08, he was 25 years old, it was the height of the financial crisis, he was unemployed, and Jonathan got handed a flyer for a thing called “Fun-A-Day,” a global art project where people make a piece of art each day for 30 days in January.

He decided to do a song and video on YouTube every day for January. It went well and he had a fun doing. He decided to do it for a year. Once he accomplished that, it became his life and mission. He is now over 3800 days straight (10 years!) and going and has received the Guinness World Record.

Talk to us about Discipline as it takes a tremendous amount to do what you do…

  • People assume Jonathan has traits like being very well-disciplined or is obsessive-compulsive.
  • As he says, he has no super power in either.
  • What drives Song a Day is the lack of rules around it. Except for one – He will write and produce one new song per day.
  • It’s the simplicity of focus on the goal for each day that makes it possible. There is not specific schedule or system or anything. It can be done at any time, just as long as it done that day.
  • People put too many barriers in the way of accomplishing goals. They make it more complicated than it has to be.
  • Go easy on yourself. Put as few barriers between you and doing the daily task you want to do.
  • Jonathan does have a natural “desire” to keep things going. This is important as Desire is important to any goal that you would want to accomplish. If you don’t truly have the desire to accomplish a goal – it probably isn’t a worthy goal.
  • It is not easy. Jonathan has days that are difficult, but some of these days produce his best work. So, he now knows from experience that even when he doesn’t want to do it, he should and see what comes out.

How has doing this helped you grow as a person? Anything changed?

  • He has grown tremendously as a musician and song-writer.
  • One thing that has improved the most is his voice has gotten better. It is practice. Everyday he gets better and his voice muscles get stronger. This is a lesson that can used for anything.
  • Playing the long-game makes you better over time. Duh!
  • Now, ten years later, he has realized that he has a musical and visual journey of his life which is very humbling. He has been through breakups, death/loss, to getting married, having kids, etc. and it’s all there.

What is an important business lesson you’ve learned from your journey?

  • Jonathan says he’s still trying to figure the business side out.
  • He has learned that he has a good gut instinct for seizing an opportunity and using the skills he has to make the most out of it.
  • He’s learned that he needs to follow his instincts. It is not as precise or planned. But, it is about the curiosity of sniffing things out and seeing them through.
  • Jonathan gives an example of how he landed business by making a song for a person he met…
  • You must always be on the lookout for the those little moments and then use your abilities to get in the door and make things happen. Don’t’ let them pass.

At the 27 minute mark, Jonathan has a unique take on chances and creativity….

It is easy to shoot yourself down before you even start, but if you think of it this way. Each chance you have is precious and if you don’t take it you lose out on that chance. A lesson is that there are always more chances. If you take just one big chance a year, it has a tremendous weight behind it and in your mind huge ramifications. But, if you have 365 chances, they have less weight, but you have more chance to succeed in larger ways than if you miss the one big chance.

  • There are two kinds of creativity: Generative and Editing
    • Generative – Flows best when you are not under pressure. Just let it all come out.

Tell us about the business you’ve built around Song-a-Day?

  • Jonathan will tell you this is the part he is not as good at.
  • The long game has helped because he has been around so long and stayed with it so long, he gets a lot of word of mouth.
  • He is always networking and open at events he does and finds new clients there.
  • Social Media helps as well
  • He has expanded his services for clients. It is easier to sell them more, when they are already buying you. He also now offers personal songs for special occasions as well as explainer videos/songs for clients.
  • There is no magic bullet – he struggles like anyone else with generating consistent leads and he takes advantage of all the opportunities he gets.

How do you find inspiration?

  • Inspiration is BS
  • You cannot sit around waiting for it to strike.
  • That is the secret of not having “writer’s block.” All writer’s block is - is a fear of failure.
  • The trick to not ever having writer’s block is that you cannot wait for inspiration and you must be OK with making something bad.
  • Practice the 70-20-10 rule: 20% of everything you make will be bad anyway, 70% will be mediocre, but 10% will be truly great. If you just accept this, you can start getting to the good stuff.

At the 40 min mark, Jonathan tells us about his latest project, the ISO. Initial Song Offering.

Over 3000 songs, which one is your favorite?

  • No idea. It changes constantly.
  • Every year he releases an album of the songs and refines them (editing) and those are the songs that are his favorites.

Best Quote: “It is easy to shoot yourself down before you even start, but if you think of it this way. Each chance you have is precious and if you don’t take it you lose out on that chance. A lesson is that there are always more chances. If you take just one big chance a year, it has a tremendous weight behind it and in your mind huge ramifications. But, if you have 365 chances, they have less weight, but you have more chance to succeed in larger ways than if you miss the one big chance.”


Jonathan's Misfit 3:

  1. Embrace 70-20-10. 20% is going to be bad. 70% is mediocre. 10% is truly great.
  2. Beware making things too precious. Don’t put too much stock in one chance over another. Realize that every chance is an opportunity and take them and see where they lead.
  3. Develop a willingness to be open and follow your nose. You never where an opportunity can turn up.
May 15, 2019

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 We’d love to share it.

This week’s Lesson for Hannah

I want to talk to you about something very important to your success and well, life in general. The difference between hearing and listening – and what it means to be truly present. In life, we are bombarded by things all day coming from seemingly every direction. Some of these things are important, others are just distractions. And, there has been a lot of study done on how the average person’s attention span is getting shorter and shorter.

If you think about it, it makes sense. As technology has enabled things to be more readily at our fingertips, there is more to interrupt our life and for us to consume. I fear that it will be even worse than it is now when you grow up. And that is why this one skill will be so important. It will make such a difference for the people that have it because it will be increasingly rare to find.

That skill is learning the BIG difference between hearing and listening and committing to be truly present in your interactions with others.

Let’s start with hearing vs. listening. I know there have been times where you are busy doing something and your mother and I are talking to you and you acknowledge that we are, but don’t really pay attention to what we say. I mean, you are 6, going on 7. It’s par for the course. But, it is also prevalent in adults too – I’m guilty of doing this as much as the next person. I admit that I can multi-task with the best of them. I can be on a phone call, answering email, checking stock quotes, posting on social media, etc., all at the same time and you wouldn’t know it if you were on the other end of the line. But, I do!

And I know I am not giving my best in these moments. While, I am not perfect, this is an area I’ve really tried to focus on in recent years and it is incredible how much it pays off. In fact, doing this show has really helped me to hone this skill as I know the more engaged I am and focused on each guest, the better the episode will be. I’ve even put rules in place like keeping my cell phone out of the studio, turning off notifications on the computer, and closing email to make sure distractions don’t come up.

You see, when you are just hearing someone or something, you are not fully engaged – you are not truly listening, or active listening as it is called. To truly hear someone, you must focus on them and think deeply about what they are saying so that you can give your best to them in that moment. You must listen to them, not just with your ears, but your mind as well. That is the difference between hearing and listening.

And when you do this, you will be truly present in that instance and fully engaged which will deliver much more for you and the person you are listening to. A much richer, more meaningful, and more fruitful experience. ​

Hannah, and anyone else who is listening, take the time to learn the difference between hearing and listening and commit to being truly present in your interactions in life. You’ll be glad you did, have great success, and ultimately a richer life.

I love you, Daddy


Best Quote: “To be truly present and engaged, you must listen to others, not just with your ears, but your mind as well."


Misfit 3:

  1. There is a major difference between listening and hearing. This difference will contribute directly to your success.
  2. Commit to be truly present in your interactions and not just hear with your ears, but your mind as well.
  3. Make it a point to actively listen and remove the temptation to multi-task when dealing with others.
May 8, 2019

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Lauren Zander. Lauren is the co-founder and Chairwoman of the Handel Group, an international corporate consulting and private coaching company based in New York City. She is also the author of the best-seller Maybe It’s You: Cut the Crap, Face your Fear, Love Your Life – a no nonsense guide that teaches people to get what they want out of life.

 Lauren has worked with everybody from Fortune 500 Companies like Citibank, Gap and Linked In, to Academy Award Winning Artists, Grammy Winning musicians, and her groundbreaking methodology, The Handel Method, is supported by top educators and psychologists and has been taught in over 35 major universities and institutions of higher learning throughout the country. If that’s not enough she also contributes to the New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Forbes, BBC, and many others.

But, our conversation today may make some of you uncomfortable, because Lauren has a message for you. That message is that you are lying. All of us lying. And she is going to tell us what we need to do about it.

Lauren is 49, happily married with 3 kids ranging from 16 to 10. She lives in the country in a 1790’s farmhouse. But, she has been out on her own as an executive/life coach since she was 28. It happened because she could not understand why no one was teaching the truth in education and talking about the truth in humanity – what we actually deal with. People were not focused on emotional intelligence or confronting the dark side of who we are, so she set out to do so.

You state that “everyone is a liar.” Explain that for us…

  • Lying is when there is a thought in your head that you are saying to yourself and what comes out of your mouth is not the thought in your head.
  • We lie from the most basic of hiding what we are thinking to making people happy, or not getting into trouble.
  • There are 7 different types of ways that we lie.
  • We keep secrets that are lies
  • When we lie, it erodes the relationship to your own truth, ourselves and keeps us being true to ourselves in every conversation or interaction.
  • Science shows that the average person lies 11 times per day.
  • It’s everywhere and no one is facing it…

What are the 7 ways we lie?

  1. White lies. These are the most common to where we lie for social norms or to be polite, etc.
  2. Mis-representing information. We misrepresent facts, but don’t exactly lie, or at least justify it to ourselves that way. For example, maybe you read a chapter of a book and it comes up in discussion and you say, “Oh, I loved that book.” When you really didn’t read the whole thing.
  3. Exaggerating. Another form of social norms or attempting to make a story sound better than it was, etc.
  4. Under -exaggerating. Making things that are a bigger deal, seem like they aren’t or purposefully deflating their importance.
  5. With-holding information. This is a big one and is dangerous because they keep us from confronting things or creating larger problems in the future. For example, someone asks you how your day was and you say “Great…” when you actually had a terrible day.
  6. Real secrets. Things you go to the grave with. Typically, there is shame with these and they eat at you causing internal struggle.
  7. Purposeful lying. Knowing lying for personal gain, enrichment, or to avoid trouble.

How do people confront their propensity to lie and how do you manage the lie of being honest and it getting you into trouble?

  • First, you must be aware to the fact that you lie and decide you will change the habit.
  • Go through the 7 ways people lie and ask yourself, “How do I do these in my life?”
  • If you agree that lying is bad for you. Bad for your life, health, relationships, business, etc., you have to understand how you do all those ways of lying so you can recognize them when you start to do them.
  • The big issue is not “Are we doing this in our lives, but do you realize and understand how much better your life be if you stopped.”
  • Lying is not a dirty, bad word – it is born into us. It is an innate human behavior as part of preservation.
  • “Lying for humans is like breathing. We don’t face how we lie. If you don’t know how you lie and all the ways you lie, it means you don’t know your own inner dialogue. This causes us to leave a lot on the table – Self-Awareness, Deeper Intimacy, and a love of being honest that you will never know.”
  • It is never the other person’s fault why you lie.
  • We need to “human” better.
  • There is an art of telling the truth that begins with confronting our internal selves.

Let’s talk about truth in the business world. How do people navigate being honest and balancing that with doing business in their lives?

  • There are ways that you need to learn to talk to different types of people and be tactful, but it doesn’t defend lying or the willingness to lie.
  • First choose which relationships in your life you feel are most important vs. those that are not or are not good.
  • There is a way to be wonderful and tell the truth. It starts with reframing the question or the situation with an individual to make sure you are giving the best, honest answer to their needs. Find out what people really want to know.
  • One of the easiest ways to stop lying is to stop making excuses and apologize. Don’t make things up to make people feel better and put yourself in a position where they are more important because you have to lie for them.
  • You’ll be more respected for telling the truth in a world of liars and the truth is simpler anyway.
  • When you decide to tell the truth, it begins to make you accountable for yourself and your life.

You work with some of top performers in their fields in the world. Are there any traits or consistencies you see across them that help them to succeed at high levels?

  • They have very good family values.
  • They have crazy, big visions
  • Their visions care about making a big impact in the world while making money.
  • They care deeply about being great in the world and for their world and for their family.
  • Many of them are the outliers in their families.
  • Many of them are from poor backgrounds and climbed out.
  • They are brutally smart and are on a missions – many times since they were a child.
  • They are driven, hungry, and don’t quit.
  • They take their health seriously.
  • They strive for best in class.

At the 40 min mark, Lauren tells us about the Handel Method…

It broken into 3 sections

  • Section 1 is how to deal with you mind, excuses and how to chase your dreams.
  • Section 2 is making a list of your parents traits positive and negative and how it lives in you. You then map it onto yourself.
  • Section 3 is dealing with “haunting memories.” You have to confront what is haunting you in your life and understand it.

At the 46 min mark, Lauren talks about her latest concept, “Time Warps”

  • We all think time is constant, so there is a notion that time is like gravity. But that is not true. Y
  • our relationship to time is something that you should “make your bitch.”
  • Time is a verb and interpersonal relationship. ​

Lauren says her method can be summed up in the following 3 movies:

  • Groundhog Day
  • Defending Your Life
  • What the Bleep Do We know Anyway


Best Quote: “Lying for humans is like breathing. We don’t face how we lie. If you don’t know how you lie and all the ways you lie, it means you don’t know your own inner dialogue. This causes us to leave a lot on the table – Self-Awareness, Deeper Intimacy, and a love of being honest that we will never know.”


Lauren's Misfit 3:

  1. Don’t die with your lies and don’t let your loved ones die with theirs…
  2. Most people sell out on love and don’t do enough work to find true love in their lives. Do the work.
  3. Resolve everything with family. Do not die in disputes. Family is most important in life.
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, 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 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…

Go to 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 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 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.