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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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Now displaying: December, 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 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 25, 2019

Misfit Nation! Welcome to the Misfit Entrepreneur 2019 year in review where each year I attempt to boil down all of the incredible, useful information, strategies, and tips that our guests have given on the show into less than one hour for you…with a few surprises thrown in. Now, it’s impossible for me to go over every single best piece of advice and that it why I urge you to take some time and go through the Misfit Archives to see which episodes resonate most with you, but in doing this episode, my goal is to spur ideas – to give you a lightning strike that propels you down a path of action to better improve yourself, your life, and your business or career in 2020!

That’s why I do this show – to not only provide a treasure trove of some of the best information to succeed in life and business for my daughter, Hannah, for when she grows up, but to give you a place where you know you can come each and every week to get inspired and find real, tried and tested tips, secrets, and strategies to succeed in all areas of life, and to share different perspectives from some of the highest performing entrepreneurs in the world with you. I truly believe that one great episode can change someone’s life and that’s what we set out to do each and every week.

But, before I begin I want to tell you something. I want to say “Thank YOU.” Thank you for listening. Thank you for your support of the show and thank you for sharing our message. Without you and the amazing feedback members of this audience give me every week, it would not be half of what it is. Because of you, in just a couple short years, this show has reached hundreds of thousands of people in over 130 countries. I am truly humbled and in awe at what we’ve done together and I am excited about having an even bigger impact with your help in 2020. So, from the bottom of my heart, Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Dec 18, 2019

​This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Scott Lynn. I always love Misfit Entrepreneurs who figure out ways to bring markets or solutions that were previously only available to a select group or reserved for the ultra-rich, to the masses. Scott has done just that. He is the founder and CEO of Masterworks. Masterworks makes it possible for everyone to invest in blue-chip artwork. Access to these types of art investments, like Andy Warhol or Monet paintings that go for millions, have been limited to those with the means to purchase these masterpieces—often historical treasures—and remove them from public display when they enter their private collections. Masterworks is opening the doors to top-tier, blue-chip art investments to everyone. It’s the first company to allow investors to by shares of ownership in these great works of art, for as little as $20.

This isn’t Scott’s first venture – in fact, for years he’s built businesses in the internet and online advertising space, but he has always been an art aficionado and an internationally -recognized collector. I’m excited to discuss his experience as well as how to create new, blue ocean markets.

www.Masterworks.io

Scott started his first company in high school and as he says, “with a little skill and a lot of luck,” they built the most popular game on the internet in the late 90’s. They created the “punch the monkey” advertisements which drove people to the game. The game was called Tree Loot and was one of the first examples of interactive websites where people had a chance to win money. They figured out for every $1 they spent in advertising, they made $2, so they just poured it on and by the time Scott graduated high school, they had almost 70 employees and ultimately built the company to a few hundred employees within a year after.

It was trial by fire for a kid starting a business and Scott had to grow up fast. It went great until March of 2000. Then the dot com bubble happened and even then, Scott thought it would not affect them, but the crash exposed an issue with internet advertisers. The issue was that all of the advertisers we buying ads with each other and spending the money from the dot com companies. When that dried up, it was like a domino effect in that these companies couldn’t afford to buy ads and one by one the internet advertisers funds dried up and since they were buying from each other, it basically collapsed. In a 2 weeks period, 60% of Scott advertisers cancelled. They didn’t sell the business, but pivoted to a new business that was direct marketing focused and not so much gaming. It was horrible to go through, but it taught Scott some very hard lessons in a fast way.

From there, Scott went into online advertising and Fintech building companies and now has started Masterworks. What were some of the lessons you learned from going through the Dot Com crash?

  • You must be ahead of change and move faster. Most companies don’t move fast enough because they don’t see the problem for as bad as it is.
  • Concentration risk. Be careful to make sure you are diversified in that you don’t rely on one sole source for your business to survive.

What do you feel is the most important ingredient for an entrepreneur to succeed in today’s world?

  • Execution – People, Structure, Process is important, but Strategy is much more important.
  • Focus on the right thing, a good, sizeable market with a need.
  • Make sure your business or product is well-differentiated and has a good competitive advantage.
  • Find ways to make your business or product “lock in” with customers. It has to be sticky.

Is there a framework that you use when you build a company or a set of principles that you use when you go into an endeavor?

  • A core process is Michael Porter’s 5 Forces process. It helps you to understand how to differentiate a business to increase the likelihood of success in any given market.
  • You want to be in markets with products that are well differentiated that make your life as easy as possible to gain market share and take margin. It’s hard to do this without a serious strategy process to think through these things.
  • So, strategy is key to success.

Can you share the 5 Forces and give us a quick overview?

  • The idea is to reduce the threats in 5 different categories
    • Suppliers
    • Customers
    • Substitute products
    • New Entrants
    • Competition/Existing Rivalry
  • The key is to figure how to differentiate to reduce your risk in each of those categories.

Talk to us about finding a Blue Ocean or White Space. What is the secret to finding them?

  • It’s iterating and testing to find the right market/product combinations that has really great market fit.
  • The initial product/market fit is not usually the winning combination. It take multiple iterations and changes to find it.
  • When you find that great combination and do it in the context of Porter’s 5 categories, you can create white space.

Tell us about Masterworks and how you applied the 5 forces to make it a great market fit…

  • Scott has been involved in collecting art for some time.
  • It’s 1.7 trillion asset value market. It is a large and meaningful asset classes.
  • It’s also one of the oldest asset classes and has existed for centuries.
  • But, it has a huge barrier to entry because of cost.
  • Until Masterworks, there was not way to really invest in art unless you got a group together to buy a piece or were independently wealthy enough.
  • Masterworks was created to give investors the ability to invest in and own a piece of an artwork for as little as $20/share.
  • Masterworks treats a painting like a company going public and puts it into a corporation and sell shares in it. They make a management fee similar to a fund for doing it.
  • The 5 Forces applied to Masterworks:
    • Currently not Competition/Existing Rivalry right now
    • There are threats of new entrants from the art industry or finance world
    • The power of customer is really limited because Masterworks is the only one that can do it today. The investments are 3-7 years, so there is a lot of stickiness.
    • There really are no substitute products. In fact, Masterworks paintings are more of a substitute for traditional investments.
    • Power of suppliers is low. Art galleries and auctions sell the paintings and the prices are pretty set.

At the 30 min mark, Scott talks about the current state of online advertising and where entrepreneur should focus…

  • In the year 2000, the conversation was different. It was about the internet with all these places where ads could be placed and used. It was very dispersed.
  • Now in 2019, we are in place where a couple of companies control the internet so most advertising is done through platforms.
  • The problem is simpler, but more expensive since there are only a few players.
  • Facebook, Google, and Direct Media buying with sites that are focused on your vertical of product or service is where to be.
  • The jury is out on influencers.
  • There is a lot of hype, but not a lot of results.
  • Most of the value is coming in Google Search, then Facebook and some of the display networks.
  • Google and Facebook are different. If you have a product that has pre-existing intent – people searching for it, then Google makes the most sense. If you don’t have pre-existing intent, then social media to create awareness and drive curiosity makes more sense.

Are there any trends that you see that people should be watching for the future?

  • Focus on the platforms.
  • What are they doing?
  • What are they changing?
  • The details are important and keeping up with the details on the platforms are very important.
  • You need to be very hands on with your marketing.

What would you tell a new entrepreneur starting today?

  • The skillset of marketing with platforms is important (Facebook and Google)
  • Hiring, coaching, and firing
  • Product – CEO’s should not be hands off – they need to be learning from customers and involved in product.
  • Great entrepreneurs have deep domain knowledge in their market and are hands on.

Tell us more about creating and building your business as a high-schooler…

  • Scott was working as a web-designer to pay for the person he hired to engineer the game.
  • They iterated the game to a point where they knew they had something.
  • But they didn’t have any money to go out and buy advertising.
  • Scott found our he could apply for advertising credits with some of the new networks that were starting up. He did and got $500k worth of credits!
  • He made almost $1 million dollars from spending it and used to profits to keep funding it.

 

Best Quote: Execution – People, Structure, Process is important, but Strategy is much more important.

 

Scott's Misfit 3:

  1. Do what you love. There is high correlation to being successful and happy if you do what you love.
  2. Make sure you are spending time on the right things. Put as much focus on strategy as you do execution.
  3. We’re not good at predicting the future. And so knowing you really can’t predict the future, how would you run your life differently today? Answer that as best as you can and live it.
Dec 11, 2019

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, Recently, we had a conversation where you shared with me that sometimes at school you find yourself alone. Sometimes friends will go play with other friends or do activities with them and you will not always be invited. And of course, many times you are the one invited and other friends are not.

​ I could tell it bothered you, as it does most kids, but you were doing your best not to let it show. First, let me say that this is common, not just among kids, but adults as well, so this will happen throughout your life. Sometimes you will be included, sometimes you won’t, and sometimes you will never know why.

This can cause people to question themselves. The little voice inside their head starts asking things like “Why don’t they like me?” or “Did I do something wrong?” or the worst one, “Is there something wrong with me?” People, kids and adults, will tie themselves in knots and agonize over these questions and have extensive internal dialog. They will let it eat at them and cause them to question way more about themselves than they should – when in reality, usually, there is nothing wrong and there is no issue. It’s just people being people.

But, here’s the real lesson and the thing I want you to understand. It’s ok to be alone. In fact, one of the best things we can learn to do is learn to love ourselves and learn how to enjoy being alone. I know it doesn’t seem right that being alone is a good thing, but it is. I’m not talking about all the time, but science and studies have show that periods of solitude are very healthy for us and help us to be stronger people.

For example, as I said above, one of the best things we can do is learn to love ourselves. What does that mean? Well, one of the reasons that people have trouble being alone is the fear of what they will find or have to face about themselves and who they are, when they are left with just themselves. Deep down, they may not like who they are or know there are things they need to deal with and being alone will force them to confront them. Good. Confront them. Hannah, one of the greatest things you will ever do is learn to love yourself for who you are. God does. In fact, he created you in his image. I have always been amazed at how this goes lost on people. When you can look at yourself and say I love me for who I am and I believe in myself and my abilities, it changes everything. You no longer have to get self-worth validated by outside sources. You no longer have to be part of a group or groups for your identity – because you know who you are, and you have a love for who you are. Talk about the greatest gift of personal power – it’s learning to be comfortable with just yourself. The strength is in you, the individual, not the collective.

On top of that, periods of solitude have many other benefits. Solitude has been proven to help us be more productive because there are no outside influences pulling at you and your time. It helps with your creativeness. The best ideas I have come up with are when I am alone, typically on a long run. In fact, it takes about 5 miles of running before my mind calms down and clears away all of the thoughts running through it, so it’s just me, the road, and the soft sound of each step. It is in these moments that I find myself most creative and develop my best ideas. In fact, the idea for this podcast came to me during one of those times.

Spending time alone also helps to give your perspective and better understanding. When you are with a group or a circle of friends, you are more susceptible to group think where everyone goes along with the same idea, premise, etc. But, when you are alone, you can truly think through things, better understand them, develop your own thoughts that you choose, and be true to yourself.

I can go on about other benefits, but I think you understand the lesson I am sharing. The ability to be comfortable being alone is powerful. It is an asset to living a great life.

Hannah, I know how tough it is and how it feels a young age to be “left out” or not included in certain things. But, I want you to see these times for what they are for you. They are a gift. A gift to get know yourself better. A gift to develop your talents. A gift to understand and empathize for others who are not strong enough to be alone. And most importantly, a gift to learn to love yourself.

My hope is that you embrace solitude and the gifts it brings, and make the most of it in your life. Your light will shine even brighter in the world for having done so. ​

I love you, ​

Daddy

 

Best Quote:  It’s OK to be alone and have periods of solitude. In fact, one of the best things we can learn to do is learn to love ourselves and learn how to enjoy being alone.

 

Misfit 3:

  1. It’s OK to be alone.
  2. Science and studies have shown that periods of solitude are healthy for us and even increase productivity, creativity, and our confidence.
  3. Embrace being alone as the gift it is in your development as an individual on your journey in life.
Dec 4, 2019

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Chad Peterson. Chad has been a serial entrepreneur going back to when he was a kid. He is the founder of Peterson Acquisitions, a business broker that helps people buy and sell businesses through the U.S. and abroad and his been ranked the #1 business broker in the country.

Chad is also the author of multiple best-sellers including From Blue to White: Quit Your J.O.B., A Working Man's Guide to Self-Employment and Swinging Doors.

Chad has done deals of all sizes upwards of $550 million and has a created a unique process that can help any business owner prepare and maximize the value of their business, as well as help them in their next great adventure. I’m excited to have him on today to discuss what he’s learned along his Misfit Entrepreneur journey and the principles he can teach you about buying and selling a business.

www.PetersonAcquisitions.com

https://petersonacquisitions.com/get-the-book/

As Chad says, he got where he is at by sure determination, will, tenacity, and fire in his belly. He went out and did it. But he had his hard times. He was raised in a tumultuous household – no silver spoon. He realized at an early age that “if it’s meant to be, it’s up to me.”

He started as young kid knocking on doors and did everything from yard work to walking dogs, odd jobs and more. Anything he could do to succeed, he did it. Chad says, that “those customers taught him more about life than the school system or even his parents. Business raised Chad. He’s had multiple successes and multiple failures.

In your book, Blue to White, you open it up by saying that when someone asks you what you do, you tell them, “I live for a living.” Explain that.

  • Too many people get wrapped up in what they do or their title.
  • They wear the mask too much.
  • But, we are not that, we are many things.
  • Chad makes the most out of his life and doesn’t rest on his laurels.
  • Chad’s favorite saying, Live Deliberately”
  • His life is not an accident. It’s thought out. He knows his end goal and his intentionality.

What was it that you learned about life from your customers when you were a kid?

  • You have to tell someone what you are going to do and you have to follow through with it.
  • The importance of laser focus.
  • How to conduct business and give good service.
  • How to bill and collect money.
  • How to market yourself and your business.
  • And much more!

At the 11:30 mark, Chad talks about his biggest failure in business with his mortgage business and what he took away from it…

  • He got crushed in 2008.
  • He could have sold the company in 2007 for $10 million.
  • Up to 2008, the company was doing incredible. It had 120 employees, multiple locations, and was doing almost a million per month.
  • Then 2008 happened and almost overnight it was all gone. Chad was at the epicenter of the subprime meltdown.
  • He had just expanded and signed new mult-year leases and was basically broke.
  • He didn’t file for bankruptcy though. He lost everything, but ultimately got through it and shut things down without having to do that. It took him 5 years.
  • The lesson learned, “When you’re doing well, it’s the time to sell.” Never wait until you’re not doing well and the ship is sinking to sell. Go out on top.
  • That is when his Peterson Acquisitions was born.

“Where there is no passion, there is no profit.”

At the 16:38 mark, Chad shares how he does, what he does with clients…

  • First, Chad helps business owners understand what their business is really worth today. As part of that process, tax returns have to be recast to come up with “seller’s discretionary earnings.”
  • Seller’s discretionary earnings are really cashflow and that is the real value of a business.
    • This is adding everything that the business down for them back in – Meals, Travel, etc. Any owner benefit.
  • Once they get the number, they take that and look at the industry to see what the multiple is.
  • Manufacturing can get up to 4x. Service businesses can go as low as 2x. Online businesses can go higher.
  • Additionally, he helps them evaluate where they are psychologically to see if they are ready to move on to their next adventure.

How do you do the 2nd part, the discussion around whether someone is psychologically ready to sell their business?

  • The hardest thing to do is to tell people and show them the truth.
  • A lot of brokers need a paycheck – Chad does not at this point.
  • Chad wants to do good business for good people.
  • The key is getting to where the owner is at right now – what is their passion?
  • If it is not a 10 on a scale of 1-10, then it is time to get out. Remember, where there is not passion, there is no profit.
  • People become very emotionally involved in their business or investments.
  • Everybody is replaceable. Sometimes that is the owner.

What are things people should be thinking about or doing ahead of time or as they are growing their business to be prepared to sell it?

  • You must have the mindset that your business can and one day will be sold.
  • Make sure you are keeping in contact with a qualified broker and keep up with valuations.
  • Business owners think about selling their business for 1000-2000 hours before they make the decision to even sell.
  • People do this without keeping up at least annually on the valuation of the business and what is worth. You can’t make a decision if you don’t know what your business is worth.

What are the elements of a great deal? How does someone know that deal that is put together is a good one for them for their business?

  • A good deal starts with a good seller and a good buyer.
  • Chad’s job is not to sell people on the idea of selling their company, it’s to sell the company.
  • You must be serious about selling as an owner.
  • Business owners need to learn the real value and understand it. Many times, it’s not what they think.
  • What a business takes from someone emotionally affects what they thing is the price, but the buyer doesn’t have that baggage and there is not a value for that.
  • The bank or loan company for the transaction also must get behind it. That is a reality that impacts the price.
  • If the seller understands the value, the buyer understands, and the bank can get behind it – and all parties are good with it, then things are good to proceed.
  • The business must also have good strong 3M’s – Market, Message, and Management.

Tell us more about the 3 M’s…

  • They are the 3 areas that are most important to focus on in the business.
  • Marketing, Messaging, Management
  • Is marketing being maximized and done right for the business?
  • Is the messaging for the business consistent and easy to understand?
  • Does the business have good management - systems that work well without the owner? ​

What is one thing that you think every entrepreneur should know?

  • You must be truly aligned with what you want to do before you get started.
  • There is a million ways to make a million dollars, but only a certain few are a fit for you.
  • Your business must be aligned with your passion for it.
  • Passion defeats education.
  • Passion breeds desire….desire drives success.
  • You have to have a healthy obsession.

 

Best Quote: Where there is no passion, there is no profit.

 

Chad's Misfit 3:

  1. If you are going to do something, go all the way. In order to go all the way, you need to be prepared to go further than what you think “all they way” is.
  2. Personal responsibility. If it’s meant to be, it’s up to me.
  3. Don’t let yourself have “rocking chair regret” or let the music die inside you. Accomplish your dreams and goals
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