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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: 2020

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!

Jul 15, 2020

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Marek Zymslowski (mis lof ski). So, how do I describe Marek? Well, I start of by reading the title of his best-selling book, Chasing Black Unicorns: How Building the Amazon of Africa Put Me on Interpol’s Most Wanted List. Now, if that is not enough to interest you in hearing his story, here’s a little more…

Marek is basically Indiana Jones meets Silicon Valley. Marek is one of Poland’s most respected internet entrepreneurs having started numerous internet business in Europe and since that wasn’t enough, he went to Africa and built Africa’s biggest hotel booking portal, Jumia, which is now listed on the NYSE. He is ranked as one of top 10 most important people in Tech in Africa and a lead mentor at Google’s Launchpad and the World Bank’s XL Africa program.

And of course, he somehow became one of Interpol’s most wanted. His journey is filled with incredible lessons that we all can use in our lives and businesses.

www.ChasingBlackUnicorns.com

Marek’s life has a few different parts. First is the Polish part. His mother was teacher and father was a soldier. He started his career in the early 2000’s and became a millionaire – and then lost everything in 2008. He was in the finance space and described it almost like Wolf of Wall Street.

He then went into another startup and was able to build things back up and pay off his debt. He was in early stage online businesses in Poland. As Poland got more mature and the online space began to get more saturated, he decided to look for the next frontier that needed developed out – and that is where Africa came in. He moved to Nigeria and began to build new online businesses including the African version of Amazon and Booking.com type businesses.

He’s been in Africa 8 years and was able to IPO one of the companies. It has been for the most part positive, except for an extortion attempt to take over his company which got him on the Interpol list.

At this point, with everything you’ve been through, what is your most important lesson learned?

  • Do not make decisions too quickly.
  • Building a business that moves fast doesn’t mean you have to make bad, emotional decisions to do so.
  • All of the problems, Marek has gotten into in his life, it was always Marek making bad decisions without taking the time to think them through.

At the 12 min mark, Marek talks about the journey to go to Africa and start a business…

  • Marek thrives on chaos.
  • He likes to create markets or bring mature type markets to immature economies.
  • He got in with an e-commerce company that was expanding and he landed in Nigeria – he was the right man at the right time.
  • Marek saw it as a great learning experience.
  • Africa is full of extremes – areas of huge poverty and then huge areas of wealth and opportunity.
  • 85% or people in Africa live day by day, but the middle class is doubling in size every 10 years.
  • Places like Lagos are not beginning to look like Dubai.
  • Africa is extremely diverse in countries, tribes, languages and size.
  • It is an amazing market for business opportunities – but it is high risk, high reward.

What should we know about doing business in Africa?

  • It reminds him of Poland in the 90’s.
  • When you come from the western world, you don’t realize how lucky you are and things you take for granted every day, don’t exist. That also brings opportunity.
  • The challenges you have to overcome are different.
  • Thinks like infrastructure and banking are almost non-existent on a large scale.
  • There is lack of electricity and water infrastructure. Marek had to get used to having power for his business about 5 hours a day and had to get his own generators, satellite links for internet and backup things to run the business.
  • The legal system is based on the British system, so it is easier to understand, but the challenge is the rules being followed. There is a lot of corruption.
  • Competition will try to bring you down, not by doing things in the free market, but instead using bribery and corrupt tactics with police and government to stop you.
  • Corruption is part of running a business in an emerging country.
  • You have to understand the tribal culture and local traditions and how they influence the customer.

At the 28 min mark, Marek shares the story of how he got on the Interpol most wanted list…

  • Choose partners wisely
  • Fight for what you believe in
  • Don’t give up or give in.

What is your process for starting and building a business?

  • You must be excited about something
  • You will be excited about a lot of things, so write them down.
  • Then narrow them down from there to get to the best one.
  • In the conceptual stage, work with many ideas and understand the problems as there will be even more when you go to the execution stage.
  • If you are good at something, you will end up making money at it.

Are there any trends people should be watching in business?

Online business in sub-Saharan Africa.

Renewables, specifically, solar energy. There is a lot of mega trends and solar is one of them.

Look outside your own borders.

Thoughts on opportunities as the world re-opens from the virus?

  • The virus has not changed the trends as much as it accelerated them.
  • Stay within your sector as there are most likely a ton of opportunities.
  • Your speed in which you adapt is key to succeeding at higher levels. ​

What has surprised you most about entrepreneurship?

  • Marek never expected that he would have to deal with rejection so frequently.
  • And more importantly, learning to overcome that rejection and not let it affect you daily.

 

Best Quote: Building a business that moves fast doesn’t mean you have to make bad, emotional decisions to do so...

 

Marek's Misfit 3:

  1. Treat your body as the most important organization you are responsible for. Just like you constantly watch your business and take care of it – you should do the same for your body.
  2. Mistakes come from being too emotional and allowing ego to destroy you. Ego is a double-edged sword and you must learn to yield it wisely.
  3. At some point, you have to stop listening to people and reading books and start acting on your own.

 

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Jul 8, 2020

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, As we are just coming off the 4th of July holiday in the U.S., I thought it would be a good time to talk to you about Liberty. Liberty is a word that gets thrown around a lot these days and many people that use it, don’t really understand its true meaning. Liberty is a very deep and important word and impacts every aspect of our lives.

The dictionary defines Liberty in multiple ways including:

  • Freedom from arbitrary or despotic government or control.
  • Freedom from external or foreign rule; independence.
  • Freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction, hampering conditions, etc.; power or right of doing, thinking, speaking, etc., according to choice.
  • Freedom from captivity, confinement, or physical restraint

When you boil it down, Liberty means to be free to choose how you want to live in your life. But, it is also important to understand that for most of human history, we did not have Liberty. And we did not because there was always someone, a King, Lord, or a form of government that instituted control over all aspects of people’s lives. Now, I am not going to down that rabbit hole of a discussion on the history of tyranny in this episode. I’ll save that for a long conversation when you are older. But, it is important to understand and ask the question that “If for most of human history, people did not have liberty, what changed so that they could have liberty?” Well, the truthful answer is that most people around the world still do not have true liberty – even in the U.S., but we have much more than most.

When the United States was created by the founders, they understood that the world was missing true liberty and while they were certainly not perfect as no man will ever be, they set out on a great mission to create a place of true Liberty for the world. In the Declaration of Independence, they stated something that we take for granted, but was absolutely shocking and foreign at the time. The said, “ We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. And That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” The fact that they not only stated that rights came from the creator and not from a King, Lord, or Government was enough to flip the world on its head, but even more importantly, they stated that “to secure those rights governments are instituted among men, and this is key, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

This was even crazier. Not only were rights from a creator, but it was the people, the governed, that were in control and gave consent to their leaders.

We take this for granted today. In fact, many people have never even been taught or read the few things I just stated, because it is considered normal and the denial of Liberty that was around for the majority of human existence is thought of as crazy. The founders went further when they drafted the Constitution of the United States because now they were not only saying it, but they were laying the framework for how to enshrine Liberty for the people and keep the Government essentially in check, so that it did not infringe on individual Liberty. And of course, they were smart enough and humble enough to know they were flawed, not perfect, and some things of their day could not yet be rectified in the Constitution – but they put in a process to do so where we the people could amend the Constitution. In fact, the beginning of the document states, “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union…” More perfect, NOT perfect. They knew that it would be a work in progress.

As a side note, the form of Government they chose was a Representative Republic, not a Democracy. I know a lot of people like to call the U.S. a Democracy, but it is not. And for good reason, as every Democracy in history has failed as it devolved into mob rule. With a Democracy, all that is needed is a tiny majority, even by the slimmest of margins and then that majority would be in control and have the ability to suppress or take away the Liberty of all others – basically ruling them. How would you feel if 51% of people didn’t agree with you, so they took away all of your rights and freedoms? That is why Democracies fail as they turn into mob rule and destroy themselves. Thankfully, the United States is not one.

And one other note, the Constitution as it was written by the founders is not that of today. We have had some wonderful amendments added to the Constitution such as the abolishment of slavery, bill of rights (the first 10 amendments), and rights to vote for all, etc. But, we have also had some, in my opinion, destructive amendments such as the 17th amendment which removed one of the most important aspects of the original Constitution. In the original Constitution, Senators were to be elected by their own state legislatures. This was important because it meant that the only way they would remain a Senator is if they did what was in the best interest of their state. This also kept the states and people with the power and the Federal Government small. The 17th amendment removed that and allowed Senators to be elected by popular vote and thus ushered in a form of Democracy at the state level into our Republic that was not intended. All the Senators had to do was promise the public a bunch of stuff and they would get elected – they didn’t’ have to look out for their state anymore.

So, why am I telling you all of this? Well, up to this point, I wanted to explain how important Liberty is to everyone and share how it was given its due place in the course of human history. We have certainly seen the benefits of it in the United States and what liberty in entrepreneurship and free enterprise has done for the world. But, remember, the default state of human history is not Liberty, it is tyranny and an insatiable appetite for control and power, so our Liberty is something we must cherish and understand very well, so that we don’t willingly give it up or lose it.

Everyone must work hard to thoroughly understand Liberty and work to enshrine it for future generations. It is what creates prosperity or the opportunity for it – the ability to pursue happiness. Liberty does not and should not guarantee anything to anyone. It simply gives all us to opportunity to create the life that we want. This is the wisdom and advice the founders gave us. In fact, Benjamin Franklin was stopped on the street right after the Constitution was signed, and asked, “What type of government do we have?” He said, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

The lesson I want you to learn is to understand your liberty and understand the history that led to it, so as not to repeat the fails of human history and to use your Liberty to pursue your happiness and create the life you want. We have Liberty, freedom that many people still in this world could only dream of, all around us in all aspects of life, business, and in our thinking – don’t take it for granted and use it for good. I know you will.

I love you, Daddy.

 

Best Quote: "Remember, the default state of human history is not Liberty, it is tyranny and an insatiable appetite for control and power, so our Liberty is something we must cherish and understand very well, so that we don’t willingly give it up or lose it."

 

Misfit 3:

  1. Liberty is a very deep and important word and impacts every aspect of our lives. For most of human history, the human race did not have liberty. because there was always someone, a King, Lord, or a form of government that instituted control over all aspects of people’s lives.
  2. The founders of the United Stated flipped the world on their head when they stated that, not only were rights from our creator, but it was the people, the governed, that were in control and gave consent to their leaders.
  3. Understand your liberty and understand the history that led to it, so as not to repeat the fails of human history and to use your Liberty to pursue your happiness and create the life you want.

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Jul 1, 2020

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Rylee Meek. Rylee is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of American Partners Group, the CEO of the Social Dynamic Selling System, and speaker, author and mentor.

Let me tell you why I asked Rylee to come on today. Rylee is the king of creating predictable, sustainable, and scalable selling systems. He had his teams have promoted over 25,000 events and connected over 2 million consumers with their clients.

He is one of the best people I have found to come on and teach how to create a sales growth engine for your business. And my goal today is for him to give you the blueprint to help you no matter what type of business you have or medium that you sell on. It’s a tall order, but I know Rylee is up to it.

www.RyleeMeek.com

www.SocialDynamicSelling.com

Rylee grew up in a small town of 1500 in South Dakota. He got his first job at 15 at a local gas station. He was making $5.15 per hour. After his first 8 hour day, he did the math and realized that there was no way he was going to make what he wanted for the things he wanted to do – so his first day was his last day. He quit and was never employed by someone again. By the time he graduated high school, he had successful business doing 6-figures per year retailing health and wellness products.

He ended up doing a number of different things and then got an opportunity to go open up an office for a business in Puerto Vallarta. He moved with his wife to seize the opportunity and within 5 months, the government shut operations down for the business. He lost all of his money in the investment. He was broke and came back to the US homeless having to sleep on his sister’s couch.

He was 24 and needed to find a good opportunity. He came across an ad on Craig’s List for an opportunity to learn to sell through dinner seminars. It was a whole new awakening for Rylee. He had always sold things 1:1 and this process was a way to sell to many at one time and better qualify your clients.

He then had to figure out what products he was going to sell. He was aware that it was normal thing for financial advisers, etc. but he saw the opportunity to do it for other larger ticket item products.

In his first 6 months of doing this, he did over $2 million in sales selling home remodeling products.

Now, a decade later he’s done it with 7 different companies in different verticals taking them to 7 and 8 figures in their first year.

He began to grow and scale and create a system to teach other businesses on how this works.

What is the #1 thing people need to understand about selling?

  • If you build it, they DO NOT come.
  • You can have the great product, but if nobody knows about it or you don’t have a system to take it to market, it doesn’t matter.

What are the principles of the social dynamic selling system?

  • It’s called this because in any setting, there is a social dynamic happening.
  • Social dynamic selling is being able to understand this and use it to your advantage in selling.
  • It involves positioning as an authority and people being at an event for your expertise.
  • It is creating an environment where people purchase together vs. 1:1 selling.

Take us through the steps of how the system works…

  • The system (dinner seminar format) is not for everybody or every product. It needs to be a higher cost product or at least have a ladder that makes the lifetime value of a customer to higher value.
  • Goal is a 3x per event. If it costs $5000 to put the event on, then you should make at least $15,000.
  • You need to identify you true client avatar and what you actually sell.
  • What you sell is deeper than you think. For example, you might want a drill so you can drill a hole in the wall. But, it is deeper – you really want the hole, so you can hang a family picture and make your home more comforting and warm, etc. The drill is just the vehicle to what you want, which is the benefits of the benefits of the benefits.

At the 20:50 mark, Rylee goes through an end to end example of the system with a client.

  • Define the avatar.
  • Know your market radius.
  • Market to the ideal audience speak in terms of the benefits of the benefits.
  • Direct mail still works best to get people to the event. .

At the 25 min mark, Rylee goes through the event process when onsite.

  • The goal is to get people to know, like, and trust you.
  • Give them something right away – Rylee typically likes to start with a salad so they don’t have to wait a long time to eat something and get grumpy.
  • You have cover all areas of how people learn – auditory, visual, kinesthetic in your presentation.
  • There are 6 measurables that are tracked through a full campaign and each has one goal. The only goal for the seminar is to get the 1:1 appt.

What are the key components of the presentation?

  • Facts tell and stories sell. Use stories.
  • You need to take people on the emotional journey of how your product or service makes a difference and helps to alleviate or avoid the pain they are having in their lives by not using the product or service.
  • You are not doing the “rah-rah” rush to the back of the room.
  • Your goal is to gain the right to have the following up meeting because the have interest and know, like, and trust you.
  • “Nobody wants to be sold, but everybody wants to buy…”
  • You must create the environment where you don’t “sell,” you give people the opportunity to buy.

At the 38 min mark, Rylee talks about “hunting vs. farming…”

  • Every buying decision is an emotional decision, but it has to be backed by logic.
  • Sense of urgency helps.
  • The key is being able to fulfill the business when you get it.

How do you take your system and sell through a web meeting or webinar?

  • You have to be very good at understanding tonality, voice inflection, and sensing where the client is at during your presentation.
  • Actively listening is just as important.
  • You can use the same format to drive traffic using direct mail, online campaigns, etc. driving them to a live webinar.
  • On a webinar, the littlest things make a difference and your tone and mannerisms are very important.
  • You also have to understand the your perspective may not be there perspective, but it is your job to understand and speak to it.
  • Be curious…

7 Businesses, $100+ million, what are 1-2 lessons that you think every entrepreneur should know?

  • If you build it, they don’t come. Get a good sales process.
  • Bootstrap your business.
  • Once you’ve got things going, find others and delegate.
  • You only need your people to be 60% as good as you think you are.

 

Best Quote: "Nobody wants to be sold, but everybody wants to buy…"

 

Rylee's Misfit 3:

  • Get a mentor or coach. They might 2 different people and outside sources. They will help you be accountable and help you succeed even more.
  • Be intentional in whatever you do. We are all called to excellence and need to give our very best in all we do. Anything short of that is a waste.
  • RPM in the morning. Read, Pray, Meditate. Your morning routine is critical.

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Jun 24, 2020

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Anthony Sarandea. Anthony is an interesting Misfit Entrepreneur. Not only is he known as one of the top customer generators in the world with a business that drives over 1 million new customers a year for clients, but he’s been featured alongside Snapchat Founder, Evan Spiegel as one of the entrepreneurs changing the world.

He’s one of the top Forbes 30 under 30 entrepreneurs, philanthropist, and is even getting into acting. But, the thing that impresses me most is how methodically, consistently, and quietly, Anthony built a powerhouse that works behind the scenes driving the business and customer acquisition of some of the largest companies in the world. They rely on him and his businesses to make them go.

And today, I not only want to talk about the secrets Anthony has learned on how to find and get customers, but also the lessons he learned in building businesses doing 10’s of millions of dollars that not many know about.

Anthony Sarandrea on Instagram

www.AnthonySarandrea.com

Anthony grew up in a lower middle class family. His dad was a police officer and his mom was nurse. He was taught to work hard and had talent in sports, specifically basketball. His dream was to play pro-basketball and went on that path. Halfway through college, he found the internet. He saw a guy in a fancy car running around on a Tuesday and asked him what he did. The guy told he worked on the internet.

Anthony convinced the guy to let him learn from him and started essentially shadowing him working 18 hour days learning everything he could from all sources he could get information.

His knowledge turned into skill and his first business where people hired him for online/internet projects running ads. He grew and hired his brother, then another and then other employees, etc. and kept growing it. He built it out to where today, Anthony’s business is basically a Lending Tree for services needed by distressed Americans – basically a lead generation powerhouse for products and services for people that have challenges like too much debt or low credit scores, etc. The market had been ignored and underserved and Anthony stepped in to help people get the services to help them.

What does it mean to “Own the Customer and Not the Offer?”

  • You want to be in the business of owning the customer
  • It is a lot more scalable as one customer is a good fit for multiple offers.
  • The key is to position yourself as the go to place for businesses with offers to get customers.
  • You want to be in a position to build an ongoing relationship with the customer, so you can work with them over and over again in different ways.
  • This way, you don’t shove a square peg into a round hole and best help the customer, but also monetize them in multiple ways for your business.

At the 9:52 mark, Anthony breaks down his business and how it operates….

  • Anthony gets an ad for a specific type of product such as health insurance.
  • They spend 6 -figures a day on paid ads on everything from Facebook to Direct Mail.
  • All of the different platforms are just channels to get in front of a consumer.
  • When a customer clicks on the ad, they go to a landing page with more detail and criteria.
  • The goal is to get them to take an action. For example, for health insurance, it is to make a call to discuss their needs.
  • Anthony has a whole call center setup on the back end with his business clients in which calls are routed to their call centers and sales teams.
  • Anthony gets paid every time the phone rings, every time a customer signs up, even based on how long a call lasts.
  • There are differences for each business customer that Anthony’s business customizes to maximize success.
  • There is whole routing system behind the scenes that slices and dices customer information to determine who a client is sent to.

How did you figure all of this out?

  • It started when built his first ad business. He got to with a bunch of different segments, which gave a diverse view of needs.
  • Eventually, he productized the service
  • His job was just then to sell it businesses. And he had a win-win.
  • He would deliver a customer at a great price agreed upon with a customer and he didn’t get paid unless he delivered the customers.

How do you get your business customers?

  • It’s much easier now that he has a track record.
  • But, it is also easier because Anthony takes on the risk and only get’s paid when he delivers.
  • He would also pay to speak at conferences and gain credibility.
  • He found a niche in large, but still up and coming players in different markets.

Since you are dependent on a clients success, how do you impact that?

  • It’s how you structure a deal
  • More importantly it’s how you align to the interests and what a client is really looking for and then speaking in those terms and structuring things.
  • One of the greatest skill sets to have is to look at a deal from a different perspective.
  • Flip the script – if you are taking on the risk, you need to vet them more than they do you.
  • In Anthony’s case, he’s doing the hardest work in getting people to be interested in a product and make a decision to learn more.
  • He even tests out a client’s process and give feedback and recommendations to improve their process before sending a lead to make sure it can be successful.

Tell us about your customer acquisition strategies…

  • Focus on a specific niche within a niche. For example, don’t just focus on moms, focus on divorced moms just on the east coast, etc.
  • Demographically niching down is what wins over time.
  • Tactics will change by platform in how you make an ad look or the content.
  • You job is to be more interesting than someone’s mom, dad, sister, brother, friends, etc. on their newsfeed to spur them to act and learn more.
  • To do this, you need to be highly specific and talk in terms of deep down psychological benefit.
  • Anthony literally becomes a “method actor” when focusing on niche and actually gets himself into the same situation he is focused on serving.
    • For example, he purposely defaulted on his medical bills so he could feel what people go through. The collections calls, letters, anxiety, etc.
  • He then uses these experiences to write his ad copy.
  • Too many companies spend their time on talking about their product, service, offer, or benefits, when their only focus should be on connecting with a customer in terms of the real-life reality of the situation they are in – their deepest psychological pain points.

What works and what doesn’t when it comes to driving traffic?

  • Use all mediums – things like direct mail aren’t dead.
  • Start on a Facebook or Instagram and go from there.
  • Right now, a lot of brands have pulled back budget, but there are more people on the platforms, so it is a great time to advertise.
  • Every platform works, but the tactics for each one vary widely. Start and get good at one and then go from there.

Any resources to help people get started in the basics of doing ads?

  • Yes, there is a Facebook Ad Buyer Group you can join and learn from
  • Things move so fast and literally, what works today can change tomorrow, so it is a constant learning curve.
  • Just start. The best way is to start paying some money and start learning. And as you lose your initial money, it will push you to focus and learn how to make it work for you to stop the bleeding.

What are the best lessons you have learned in entrepreneurship that you apply every day?

  • Find the most world class people. Hire the best. Hire the A players today, because you will always come back to them.
  • Fail fast
  • Don’t fall prey to mommy effect, where you only listen to people telling you things are great. Seek out the naysayers and get the critical feedback. Listen to them.

How do you find the best? The A-players?

  • Look at who is working in highest levels of your competition and doing well or who is closest to your business or industry.
  • If you find someone who is really successful in an area you want to learn in, go above and beyond to get their attention and curiosity to speak with you. Anthony will Venmo a payment for an hour of their time without even speaking with them to show he’s serious.
  • Find people who are where you want to be and ask them how to get there. Connect with them in multiple ways.
  • Make sure you are up front and make sure they know that speaking to you or meeting you will not be a waste of time.

 

Best Quote: "Too many companies spend their time on talking about their product, service, offer, or benefits, when their only focus should be on connecting with a customer in terms of the real-life reality of the situation they are in – their deepest psychological pain points."

 

Anthony's Misfit 3:

  1. Fail Fast. Fail and find that one win every day.
  2. Surround yourself with the best of the best, the A-Players.
  3. Purposely make time every week to help others and give of yourself. It give perspective and perspective is the key to happiness.

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Jun 17, 2020

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Dr. Benjamin Hardy. Ben probably needs no introduction, but for those of you that haven’t heard of him, he is an organizational psychologist and bestselling author of “Willpower Doesn’t Work.” Ben’s works have been read by over 100 million people and he’s featured regularly on Forbes, Fortune, CNBC, and many others. He is a regular contributor to INC and from 2015-2018, he was the #1 writer, in the world, on Medium.com.

But, what is it about Ben that separates him and has helped him to have such an influence on the world? Well, having read some of Ben’s works, I think I know. It’s his uncanny ability to challenge societal norms and go against the “herd,” but do it in an easy and understandable way that is practical and can be put to use in your life.

He’s recently released his latest book “Personality Isn’t Permanent” and when I learned the focus of the book, I had to have him on to discuss it, and of course, his thoughts on entrepreneurship as well.

www.BenjaminHardy.com

Ben’s journey started when his parents got divorced when he was 11. It caused a lot of trauma. He father became deeply depressed and a drug addict after. It got so bad that Ben could not see him anymore. With everything going on, he barely graduated high school and spent his days playing video games.

You need a future to have hope and happiness. It is hard to have meaning in your life without a future. Ben didn’t have a future at this time in his life. He was not happy.

So, he reconnected by going on a church mission. He did it by himself. It was meaningful and an escape to start fresh. He did it for a few years and it was transformational. He also got into journaling during this time. He got to where he was journaling an hour a day. This helped to find himself and learn to live intentionally. He squeezed as much as he could out of his time and this led him to study psychology and this led to him getting his PhD.

This experience was what helped drive him and shape how he thinks and what he studies and writes about. Ben now continues to write and be a thought leader and lives in Florida with his family.

Why is the story that someone tells themselves so important to their life and their success – and underpinning to their personality?

  • Identity is more important that personality.
  • Personality is a byproduct.
  • Identity is something that you can control.
  • Your identity is the story you tell and use to explain yourself.
  • Most don’t take the time to consciously reframe their stories.
  • Your identity can and should be based on the future and who you want to be.
  • You are different than your former self.
  • It is good to view your current self as different from your future self.
  • You can set better goals to pursue and become a better version of yourself in the future.
  • Beware overly defining their current self. “I am X or Y…” It is better to explain yourself in terms of how you want to be and where you want to go. It is a better form of storytelling and doesn’t lock you in.

If someone wants to be deliberate and re-craft their story, what would you tell them to do?

  • Being deliberate is the separator – deliberate practice or intentional learning. A process that translates to a specific goal and you need a view of your future self to do it.
  • The first place to start is your identity of your future self. It is more important than current self.
  • It is impossible to make good decisions today if you don’t know who you want to be tomorrow.
  • Use a 3-year time frame. Clarify your future self and who your want to be in 3 years.
  • You have to choose who you want to be in the future. If you don’t choose, that is a choice. It comes down to choice.
  • Choices must be made even with the uncertainty around them.
  • Many times we don’t have choice of our circumstances, but we do choose how we respond.
  • Once you begin to tell yourself your new story, you begin to live into what you tell people you are.

Tell us about the book, why is personality not permanent?

  • Listen to the TED talk called “The Psychology of Your Future Self.”
  • Dominant views of personality don’t reflect the science. Your personality is not innate or your authentic self. It can chance and does change.
  • Are you the exact same person you were 10 years ago?
  • Study after study has shown that people are not and their personality changes over time.
  • “Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they are finished.”
  • People that keep telling themselves the same narrative become rigid and stunt their personal development.
  • This why personality tests can be debilitating as they can confirm a personality type, create bias and lock people into something that may not be the best for them and their growth over time.
  • Additionally, your environment, social group, and roles you are in also affect your personality and they change over time.

Ben breaks down personality into 4 levers….

  • Trauma – Former experiences that are not reframed and shape your subconscious
  • Narrative – The story you tell and where you are going – this actually acts against your subconscious as it is shaping your future self in that you will be different than who you are now.
  • Subconscious – Where you are right now and your comfort zone.
  • Environment – The influences around you

At the 32 min mark, we discuss how this topic has been shared in numerous ways throughout human history, but most still don’t learn it. We also talk why personality tests don’t work.

  • Beware living by a label or labeling yourself.
  • The biggest problems of personality tests is that they overly define your current self and stop you from thinking about the future an choosing your future – labels trap you and aren’t accurate.

What is the difference between a wannabe entrepreneur and an actual entrepreneur?

  • There is an identity shift required to become an entrepreneur.
  • People who invest in their future goals, business, and identity get their faster.
  • Your willingness to “put your money where you mouth” is helps you succeed as an entrepreneur.
  • We are kept from our goal, not by obstacles, but by a clear path to a lesser goal.
  • Additionally, your ability to recovery from a setback or past experience and get back to creating the future has an impact on entrepreneur success. ​

Tell us about the 100% Rule…

  • Ben learned it from Clayton Christiansen
  • Committing 100% is a lot easier than committing, say 98%. If you don’t’ commit 100% it becomes a slippery slope. What if you were only 98% committed to your marriage?
  • Not being 100% can lead to identity confusion and issues with willpower.
  • Situation will beat environment if you are not decided. 100% Decisions cut off alternative outcomes.

Habits?

  • Habits are the byproduct of the goal.
  • Some are good for everything – constant learning, journaling, serving others, morning/evening routines, etc. ​

Any big lessons you’ve taken from your adoption journey?

  • No other success can compensate for failure in the home.
  • Invest daily in your kids.
  • It helps you realize that so many other things don’t matter as much.
  • Patience and empathy toward your children. Measure the gain, not the gap.
  • Don’t overly define your kids around their current personality.

 

Best Quote: "You need a future to have hope and happiness. It is hard to have meaning in your life without a future.

 

Ben's Misfit 3:

  1. Clarify your future self. Clarity creates motivation..
  2. Tell people about your future self.
  3. Continually invest in your future self and try new and better things. The bigger the future, the better the present.

 

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Jun 10, 2020

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Rytis Lauris. Rytis is the co-founder and CEO of Omnisend, the Powerful marketing automation platform focused on moving eCommerce marketers beyond generic email marketing tools. It’s currently the fastest growing marketing automation platform in the industry. Because of this, Rytis has gained a lot of notoriety within the eCommerce community for his insights on omnichannel and the future of eCommerce.

With over a decade of experience building and boostrapping successful startups in e-commerce, I wanted to have Rytis on to discuss the importance and future of marketing coming out of the Wuhan Coronavirus quarantine and how important it is for you to understand the different ways you need to market to stand out.

www.omnisend.com

Rytis Lauris on LinkedIn

Rytis graduated with a degree in political science and no experience in technology or marketing. When he was 21, a friend ask him to help with a business he was starting. He had no experience but figured it out and made it work. He never looked back and has been an entrepreneur ever since with a number of businesses. He got into digital marketing (which Onmisend was born from) and had success, but while running that business, started a few others that didn’t work out. One was a postcard business and the other was a polling tool for presenters on stage at conferences and events. He learned a major lesson in that every business has to solve a real problem. The two failures were “nice to have” products, but not necessities.

“You have to find a monetizable customer pain/problem to solve. That is the only way to build a proper business.”

What is Onmichannel marketing?

  • It is a way to communicate with a customer based through multiple mediums at once including email, text, chat, messenger, push notification, Facebook/Google/social ads and retargeting.
  • It is one tool where you can market through all channels at lunch.
  • It can be customized to communicate across the different mediums at different times and different ways to customers during their lifecycle.
  • You need a way to meet customers where they are – and nowadays that is in a number of channels.

At the 12 min mark, Rytis talks about Omnichannel in action with examples…

  • Marketing needs to follow the same path in how buyers behave and each customer will have different preferences and behavior.

What works best for a B2B and for a B2C strategy with Omnichannel?

  • Most of the work Rytis does is with B2C and mainly physical goods.
  • Omnichannel works better for B2C.
  • B2B doesn’t typically buy through things like Facebook Messenger and typically has a more formal process and decision-making process.
  • It does depend on what the product is as some B2B products may make sense for Omnichannel.
  • The consumer channel is the bigger opportunity for Omnichannel.
  • Omnichannel can work for informational type products or services as well for B2C.
  • It is especially good for things sold online as it can track everything.

Are there any changes or shifts you see happening or coming because of the virus?

  • Massive change that will make a major impact for the future – almost all businesses are transforming to a digital presence by nature.
  • Consumers have all gone digital and expect it, so your business has to accommodate it.
  • In harder times, businesses turn to selling into their customer base instead of investing to get new customers. This can work as it is a warm market, but they have to be careful not to sacrifice the future and keep a focus on gaining new clients.

Amazon? Friend or Foe? Should it be a part of an Omnichannel strategy?

  • It’s a tricky question, but ultimately, the answer is yes.
  • Everyone should have Amazon as a part of their strategy, but not rely on it solely.
  • It is easier to start on Amazon. It has the traffic and the platform and the tools you need to get going.
  • Once you are going, you need to be building your own brand, own platform, and owning the customer journey.

What is the difference between a Omnisend type solution and a Hubspot type?

  • Hubspot is more for B2B needs, Onmisend is built more for B2C.
  • Hubspot and other tools like it are more CRM and drip campaign type tools.
  • Omnisend has order follow up sequences, synchronizing with your online store, etc. Hubspot does not.
  • They are really completely different types of solutions and focuses.

If you had to give one of your best pieces of advice, outside or Omnichannel, for entrepreneurs to market their business, what would it be?

  • Be consistent.
  • Deliver what you promise.
  • Respect your customers and they will respect you.
  • Marketers and businesses need to think in terms of campaigns and lifetime values of customers.
  • It needs to be about what customer want to hear from you, not what you want to say to them.

How important can the little things be such as reviews online, etc?

Very important!

Social proof and reviews are critical for selling online and validating your products/services.

You customer feedback is gold and must be listened to.

Another little thing is keeping people informed and up to date.

What has surprised you most on your entrepreneur journey?

  • Rytis never thought of himself as a creative person, but entrepreneurship brings that out in him and has made a large impact on his success.
  • The 80/20 rule is real. 20% of the effort drives 80% of the results. Stay true to this.

What is your best advice for an entrepreneur starting out?

  • Just do it. Whatever it takes – find a way and make a way.
  • And there is no better day to start than today.
  • Plan on the move… ​

Anything else you want to share?

  • Use Omnichannel
  • Be consistent
  • Think in terms of customer lifecycle.

 

Best Quote: "You have to find a monetizable customer pain/problem to solve. That is the only way to build a proper business.”

 

Rytis's Misfit 3:

  1. Just do it. Take action and take the first step.
  2. People overestimate what they can do in a short amount of time and underestimate what they can do in a longer amount of time.
  3. Dream responsibly.

 

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Jun 3, 2020

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 can’t believe it – we are now at episode 200 of the Misfit Entrepreneur. What a milestone and what an awesome honor to have it be a Lessons for Hannah episode. I am going to take a break from doing the Wuhan Coronavirus updates and change things up for this episode with a very simple, yet incredibly important lesson. After a few months of being quarantined and working almost every day, because, well, there wasn’t much else to do – we decided to take a week off and go to our cabin at the lake. We originally had planned a vacation during this time, but because of travel restrictions, we had to cancel it. But, we could go to the cabin.

And after a week of being there, it reminded me of a very important lesson we all need to remember in our lives and as we have approached episode 200, it has come into even more focus. We must take the time to truly relax and recharge in our lives! I didn’t full appreciate and realize how much I was not relaxing until after about 4 days into our time there. In fact, the first day we were there I used the morning to do a 70.3 triathlon in and around the lake. It was great. Just me and 5 hours of exercise. But, even after that, I was checking the computer and my phone to “see what I had missed.”

The next day I woke up and checked email, etc. before the day started and then we went out to the boat and hung on the lake – but of course, I would periodically still check my phone. Over the weekend, family came in and we spent the long weekend hanging out, boating, etc. As the weekend went on, I felt less of a need to check in. I even started reading a really good book, The Last Odyssey by James Rollins and devoured it in about 3 days. I started to feel myself loosen up and begin to relax. I even slept in a little longer as the week went on and gave myself a few days off of doing any exercise, etc.

By the end of the week, we were just hanging out, enjoying time as a family, having fun, and not worrying about things. It was very nice and made me realize how much we are on the go – even during a lockdown. In a normal week, I am going from 5:30am in the morning to early evening, you are doing your schoolwork with mommy, then jumping on web meetings for classes for your Tai Kwan do or other activities, and your mother has her work and priorities. We are literally, non-stop every day. And it takes a slowdown, a change of venue, and pace to shock yourself out of that daily grind to show you that you are in need of time off and time to recharge and relax.

By the end of the week, I felt better overall. I felt like we all connected as a family in a larger way that we haven’t in a while, and I had new perspective to go back to things with. You had a blast playing with your cousins, hanging out on the boat doing things like tubing, fishing, and all the other fun stuff we do at the cabin. I could tell you needed that after being basically relegated to home for 2 months with your mother and me. And your mom got to catch up on some sleep and enjoy some much deserved R&R. ​

Hannah, it’s important that we take the time in our lives to break out of our daily grind and routines and get recharged. It helps us reconnect with our family and ourselves, see things we have been missing, and enjoy life in different ways. I urge you to take these times in your life, at least several times a year as helps you to be even better in all areas of your life. The week at the cabin reminded me of that and reminded me that we need to do it more often and I have a feeling we will spend more time at the lake this summer. Here’s to 200 more great episodes with some recharging breaks in-between!

I love you, Daddy.

 

Best Quote: It’s important that we take the time in our lives to break out of our daily grind and routines and get recharged. It helps us reconnect with our family and ourselves, see things we have been missing, and enjoy life in different ways.

 

Misfit 3:

  1. We often don't realize how much we need to relax and recharge until we take the time to do it.
  2. When we take the time to recharge, it breaks us out from our daily grind and helps us reconnect with ourselves and those around us.
  3. We must make it a point to take several weeks per year to recharge ourselves and relax in our lives.

 

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May 27, 2020

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Carol Little. Carol is a top public speaker and founder of the Little Training Company, a company devoted to helping people learn how to make a memorable first impression and take their public speaking to new levels. She works with professionals and entrepreneurs throughout the world helping them to craft their message and deliver it in the best way to their target audiences.

But, that is second to what I want to speak with Carol about today. You see, more recently, Carol lost everything to a natural disaster, and through ingenuity, determination, and hard work, she came back and has built and even better business and life for herself. There are so many entrepreneurs experiencing what Carol went through right now across the world, so I could not think of a better person to come and share how she came back from losing it all and what she learned along the way. ​ ​

www.LittleTrainingCompany.com

In 2017, Hurricane Harvey hit Houston. Carol’s entire neighborhood flooded. Carol has to leave everything to save herself. Harvey was the event that changed her life. There is life before Harvey and life after. She lost everything she owned.

In the aftermath, she was faced with questioning herself, asking, “It’s it not about who I am, but who I want to be.” And she had to make a choice. Everything had to be rebuilt.

She made strategic changes to her business and how she works, and who she serves. What started out as a tragedy ended in a victory because the lessons learned through her experience have prepared her to succeed and overcome anything.

Can you describe the decimation that took place with Harvey and in your life? It’s best to listen at the 5 min mark…

  • It was nothing like she had experienced being from California.
  • Her neighborhood wasn’t in the flood zone and did not have flood insurance.
  • But the officials decided to open the dam and flood her neighborhood. No one was spared.
  • Carol was taking care of her mother who was in a wheel chair at the time.
  • They had to carry her upstairs to get her up to safety.
  • The water started coming in the middle of the night and the sounds were horrifying.
  • Carol called 911 at midnight and they were not rescued until 11am the next day.
  • 4.5 feet of water came into home. The boat to rescue could go to the front door.
  • They were taken to a shelter and eventually lived with a family friend for 2 weeks.
  • Carol shares that it’s not just your house that floods. There are no banks, grocery stores, gas stations, etc. everything was flooded. Some places got 10+ ft. of water.
  • Carol said she was naïve that she thought she could just clean up after the water, but everything is destroyed – everything has to be stripped, belonging and appliances have to be thrown out.
  • Your sense of security and safety gets lost. Everything Carol had worked so hard to build was gone in an instant. ​

Talk about losing your business in the midst of this….

  • Carol had speaking engagement and trainings but could not go.
  • The airport was closed.
  • She literally didn’t have clothes or even underwear for days.
  • And with everything that happened, work was the last thing on her mind.

Was there a point where you hit a bottom in going through this? How did you get yourself back up and keep going?

  • Carol laughs as she says she so many times it was like a bouncing ball.
  • It was a year and half before contractors could even get to her house to start redoing it.
  • Her first bottom was after the people who had come to help had to leave and all that was left was Carol and her destroyed home. She just lost it and broke down. It all finally set in.
  • Carol says that in times like this, you find out what you are really made of.
  • She tells the story of when someone called her a “victim” and she could not take it. She said “No, my house flooded, but I am not a victim.”
  • Being a victim is a choice.
  • You can feel like things are forced on you like a Hurricane or Pandemic, but even in those situations, you are not victim unless you choose to be.
  • Many times, people play the role of a victim because there is comfort in that. You can’t play the victim to reach the level of success you want.
  • There is only 1 thing that no one can take from you – your ability to choose.

At the 18 min mark, Carol takes us through the timeline and actions she took to put her life and business back together…

  • First, she got stable. She had to find a place to live and get her mom safe.
  • She didn’t have a “plan.”
  • She put one step in front of the other.
  • She started working her way back into her business.
  • The most important work she had to do to be successful was on herself.
  • Carol had to become OK asking for help and to find.
  • Carol started making a list of everything she found that was lost. It helped her to focus on what she did have. It gave her a feeling of control.
  • Carol’s “Found List” was an anchor.
  • Sometimes, you have to be your worst, so you can be your best…
  • Halfway through the rebuilding process, Carol’s mom passed away.
  • She kept trying to hold it together putting on a good face. But, it wasn’t helping her. It was making it worse. Eventually, she could not keep it together and imploded from the inside out.
  • Things got very tough as Carol was at her worst for a while – things got messy- but this showed her where she needed to work.
  • It is ok not to be perfect or always be strong. It’s OK to need help.
  • Carol had kept the best of herself trapped by trying to be so strong and independent.

Now that you’ve gone through this and come back, what really matters and what are you during the pandemic to succeed?

  • What matters most now is service. So many came out to help Carol during her time of need and now it’s her turn to pay it back.
  • Carol is able to serve and coach people during their tough times now and help them overcome the same types of challenges.
  • It used to be more about making money – now, it is more about serving. The focus used to be more on the end result and now, it is on the process itself.
  • And the big lesson Carol learned is that all of that end result stuff that money buys can be washed away and destroyed in a moment. It can be gone in the blink of an eye.
  • The real gold is in the now – it’s in each moment.

What are you seeing out there right now that people need?

  • People are in fear.
  • They are in fear for their health, their finances, their livelihood, their family, etc.
  • The pandemic has created a space to deal with the “things that are in the way” of where they want to go or the level they want to get to.
  • Now is the time to deal with it and you can come out of this pandemic to succeed at a higher level than before.
  • People don’t take the time to slow down or don’t want to confront and deal with debilitating thought patterns or major obstacles holding them back.
  • And even in confronting these things, you need a way to hold yourself accountable, so you don’t slip backward. Whether that is a coach or some other support system, it’s needed.
  • It’s really easier to fail and people tend to take the path of least resistance. It’s the unknown that scares them – failure is known, success is the unknown.

The skills of making a first impression and messaging is going to be very important coming out of lockdown. How can we do our best in these areas?

  • Authenticity has been so overused and has become cliché, but as scary as it can be, you want people to see who you really are.
  • People will hide in plain site. It is terrifying for most people to just stand in a room full of people and be seen for who they really are.
  • If people cannot see you for who you really are, then they cannot hear you either. They won’t care what you have to say.
  • You must eliminate the ways that you hide. Let people see who you are. You won’t be for everybody and that is OK.

How does someone articulate in the best way possible who they are and what they want and stand out?

  • People miss the opportunity of the “introduction.”
  • You must be memorable.
  • It’s important to tell someone who you are and who you serve and how you help them in an introduction.
  • Don’t just say what you do or job title.
  • When it comes to messaging use MESSAGE as an acronym for the elements needed
    • M is for Me – telling who you are. It is not your resume. Start strong using a story or a quote or ask a question that your talk will answer.
    • E is for engagement – this speaks to getting your audience involved. Make the audience part of the conversation.
    • S is for social proof. This is showing what qualifies you to have the expertise.
    • S is for stories. Tell stories, they are the heart of your speech.
    • A is for action steps. You always want to let them know what to do next. Action items.
    • G is for giveaways. Giveaway an e-book or something.
    • E is for ending. End as strong as you began and ask for what you want.

 

Best Quote: "It’s it not about who I am, but who I want to be. That is a question everyone must answer at some point.”

 

Carol's Misfit 3:

Don’t be a hoarder. Share your gifts, skills, talents, and ideas. Put them into the world. The more you hoard the less you have.

Don’t argue for your limitations. Stop giving all the reasons you cannot do something. Argue for what you can do something. Argue for your liberation.

Stop struggling and allow yourself to rise. Struggle is an energy that can keep you from getting what you want to achieve. It’s like quicksand.

 

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May 20, 2020

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Mathew Nemer. Matt is the co-founder of GetLinus.IO, a fintech company that is changing the game when it comes to what banking is and getting great returns on your savings. Linus pays over 57 times that national average interest on clients’ accounts and is able to do so by taking advantage of blockchain technology and the decentralized, digital asset credit markets. Don’t worry if that went a little over your head, because Mathew explains it a lot better and simpler than me.

The important thing I want to discuss today is the future of banking and finance and how companies like Linus are at the forefront. And we are also going to discuss how Mathew was able to get a rag tag group of IBM’ers, former founders, and top software execs to join his crew and make Linus a reality.

www.GetLinus.io

Matt’s career was launched in 2008. He started with a wealth management firm/hedge fund and hustled to make a name for himself. With all the carnage happening in the markets, he knew that the firm probably wouldn’t keep him, so he went to grad school and finished tops in his class. He worked at Chicago Board of Trade during school in the grain pits.

He then worked at Morningstar in 2012 as analyst. He started his first startup in 2012. As he says, he didn’t know what he was doing. It didn’t pan out. He then moved to Nashville and took a job with Vanderbilt University. It was at this time, he started to learn about Blockchain and Bitcoin and started following it.

In 2016, he noticed that BTC Media was gaining steam and Bitcoin meetups were becoming more common. He started doing work on the side for people doing ICO’s to get his feet wet. He then worked for BTC Media as their CFO. He was recruited by some other companies in the space and pitched an idea to one of them and landed with a crypto wallet company. This is where he met his business partner, who worked at IBM in the blockchain area. They were working on ideas on the side and decided to build the idea of Linus on their own. They got funding and put the pieces of the team together.

At the 10:30 mark, Matt and I discuss our current money system to set a baseline for what he does at Linus. (It’s best to just listen)

How does Linus work?

  • It is a cash deposit account, similar to a high yield savings accounts.
  • The difference is that Linus gives 4%+ interest. T
  • hey can do this by tapping into the digital asset credit markets outside the FED system.
  • Borrowers in these markets will pay higher interest to borrow US dollars.
  • Linus is considered a Fintech company.
  • They only deal with fiat dollars (like the US dollars), but use a blockchain concept.
  • The platform does the conversion of fiat to crypto assets and handles the lending process.
  • It functions like a bank account and you can deposit or withdrawal any time you want.

Break it down for us all to understand…

  • There are people that need USD to purchase cryptocurrencies and are willing to pay more interest for the ability to do.
  • Linus helps to provide this money. It is similar to a money market type of account.
  • It is a global market that Linus taps into.
  • Because people are willing to pay higher rates for the money, the amount Linus can pay customers is higher.
  • The borrowers put up collateral and have to store more collateral in escrow with Linus than they borrow, so that Linus has claim to it if they don’t pay.

How do you address that you are not FDIC protected, etc.?

  • Linus is outside the FED system, so it would not participate.
  • Linus does not do fractional reserve banking, so it would not apply to them anyway and they would not get approved.
  • The FDIC doesn’t even currently have to a reserve ratio because of the CARES act.
  • Matt says that if you do truly feel you need to know that the money is there no matter what in the matter of 3-6 months, then invest in something like a Marcus account.
  • If you are looking for a solution between traditional low interest savings accounts and investing in the markets, which carries minimal risk, Linus or a solution like it may be a good option for you.

At the 27 min mark, Matt talks about risk and the “efficient frontier.”

What else should we know about blockchain and the emerging digital ecosystems?

  • Matt is a big fan of Bitcoin and Etherium
  • Linus is built on the Etherium ecosystem.
  • Bitcoin is the largest and most widely used.
  • Bitcoin is more like gold in that it is a deflationary currency – it is predictable like gold.
  • There is a limit to amount of Bitcoin that can ever exist. It is finite.
  • A lot of people haven’t notice that most of the big players and banks are going into cryptocurrency and positioning themselves to be the players in the space.

At the 34 min mark, Matt shares the example of JP Morgan getting into crypto and creating it’s own stable coin (digital dollars).

  • The technologies JP Morgan/Chase and others are using are the same ones Linus is, so it confirms they are headed in the right direction.

What have you learned so far in this venture about entrepreneurship?

  • It is an interesting time to be an entrepreneur because ideas can grow so well.
  • We need to be careful not to get stuck in the day to day.
  • Take a step back and look at the longer-term opportunities.
  • It’s important embrace the digital world and interact with people as much as possible and in every way possible during this time.

“The best thing you can do in your life an career is put blinders on. Don’t waste energy worrying about things you cannot control.”

How were you able to get a team of top talent like you have pulled together for Linus?

  • The best place to start is with like-minded people.
  • Network through friends and those you work with currently.
  • Be open to people that are unique and have other skills sets or experience that lends it to succeeding in your business. Even if they don’t have experience in the business you are in. ​

What is your best advice for an entrepreneur starting today?

  • Put on blinders
  • Find joy in other things.
  • Don’t forget to learn lessons from all areas of your life.
  • Practice passive thinking. Sometimes synapsis fire and connect better when you are away from your business.

 

Best Quote: "The best thing you can do in your life an career is put blinders on. Don’t waste energy worrying about things you cannot control."

 

Matt's Misfit 3:

  1. Be yourself. It sounds cliché, but it is actually really hard to put into practice.
  2. Grow your network. You will owe a lot of people a lot of favors. Do your best to repay them.
  3. Persistence is king. You cannot give up.

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May 13, 2020

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Dylan Jacob. Dylan has a incredible story. He’s already built and sold multiple companies, has built his current company, Brumate, to over $50 million in sales in just a few short years with less than 10 employees and no outside capital, he’s been awarded Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the Midwest, is a Forbes 30 under 30 recipient…and he’s only in his mid-20’s.

But, he didn’t start out with anything handed to him. In fact, quite the opposite and his path went through a lot of twists and turns, but one thing was constant – he was an entrepreneur from a young age. A Misfit Entrepreneur. And true to Misfit form, he’s used his inner Misfit to bootstrap companies and create whole new markets. I’m excited for our conversation today and know that your going to get some great takeaways from him.

www.Brumate.com

@Dylan.Jacob on Instagram for updates and keeping up with Dylan’s story

Dylan grew up in a small town in Indiana. There wasn’t much to do. His childhood consisted of him looking for and finding things to do. He always wanted to be an inventor, so he would tinker and create things. He grew up poor and his parents split with he was in 4th grade. His mom was working for minimum wage. He had been home-schooled prior and thus 4th grade was his first year in traditional school. Of course, having next to nothing, he would see other kids with things he wanted to get.

So, he started doing everything he could to make money to buy things and not burden his mom. He did everything from yard work to odds and ends jobs for people. This made him realize that if could provide value, he could get paid for it.

In 7th and 8th grade, trying to fit in and gain acceptance led him to hanging with the wrong crowd. He was expelled twice. He was an entrepreneur, but not in the right way. He sold drugs (weed). It wrecked his life. He was expelled, when to juvenile detention for several months and was put on house arrest. His mom had to pay for everything and it hurt their family.

It was at this time that Dylan took a step back to reexamine his life and looked for legal ways to make money to pay back all the costs of his trouble. He took a nod from his grandfather who had come over from the middle east and started fixing things like TV’s and VCR’s, etc. and had a little shop. As Dylan went into High School, people were getting smart phones and would damage them or break screens. Instead of repairing them, Dylan would buy them cheap, fix them up, and sell them on Craig’s List. He would order the parts from overseas and resell them. This was his first taste of making real money.

This started Dylan’s career of finding unique opportunities in gaps in markets. Big gaps.

As sophomore year started competition in the form of repair shops started to come in and he was doing less business because people were getting their phone fixed. But Dylan found another gap – He got to know the others of the repair shops and where they were getting their repair parts. They were ordering from E-bay and Amazon and getting B and C grade parts, not OEM parts that were A-grade. Dylan made deals to supply better parts from the connections he had made and was using. He made the competitors his new clients.

By senior year, Dylan’s business was working with over 100 repair shops around the U.S. doing hundreds of thousands of dollars. The funny thing was he still held to this theory of wanting stability and a job in life and decided to go to college for engineering. As he says, he “didn’t quite believe in himself as an entrepreneur.” He had gone from being expelled to being top 10 in his class with a thriving business – but still thought he needed a job!

During Christmas break of his first year, a larger franchise ended up putting Dylan’s repair parts in the bulk of their stores and then shortly after gave him a buyout offer. He took the deal and took the semester off. Once he saw the money is his bank account, it was a reality check. There was something to entrepreneurship.

He decided to put school on hold and go full time as an entrepreneur. He bought a house to fix up and as he began to fix it up over the course of a year. He kept a journal and would jot down ideas they came up. One idea came to him while fixing the house. It came out of the need for a better selection of kitchen backsplash tile. There was hardly any selection and none of the options, he liked. So, he saw the need for more options, specifically glass backsplash. Vicci Design was launched in 2015 and provided the largest color selection and size of glass tile available. Over a year, he knocked on doors and local showrooms and started working with Wayfair and Overstock. It was profitable from day one. He was still doing side hustles and launching other businesses during this time.

He turned 21 in 2016 and started to love craft beer. And most of it came in 16 oz cans. He’d notice that always the last ¼ of his beer was warm. It drove him nuts, so he wrote in his journal, “Find a way to keep beer cold.” That was the beginning of Brumate.

He started looking at the stainless steel insulated drinkware market. In 2016, it was the fastest growing category in the housewares market. All the major players were focused on hydration drinkware. It was all about water bottles or coffee. Dylan decided to create the products for the “dehydration” market – making drinking alcohol a better experience. It was huge gap that no one else was doing and ignoring.

His first launch on the concept sold out in a couple weeks.

Dylan’s story has a lot of teachable moments…

  • There is opportunity in everything you do.
  • Don’t give up on an idea.
  • Asking how and finding a way and making a way.
  • Looking for the gap, opening the niche, and owning it.

It’s one thing to have an idea for a product, it’s another thing to create it. How do you source and get a product done?

  • If you can source locally, it’s better.
  • It won’t be cheaper, but will be better.
  • In Dylan’s case, he could not find a manufacture in the U.S. capable of producing insulated drinkware.
  • He worked with a company in New York to take his designs and get a protype type 3D printed.
  • He looked up records of competitors or like companies on Port Examiner to see who their manufacturers were.
  • He contacted them to see which would be the right fit and new they had experience producing the kind of product he wanted.
  • It was important to have a manufacturer that had a very strong in-house engineering team – it was the best thing he ever did. They helped him take his concept and make it manufacturable from day one.
    • Many times the engineering is free as part of their service.

What can you tell us about selling online once you have a product?

  • Dylan’s has used Shopify for his sites.
  • He started with creating a landing page with pictured of people holding the product. He collected emails of people who opted in with interest for when he launched the product. This was the group that was the first round of buyers.
  • What worked for Dylan was showcasing the product in real life situations. He photoshopped it into pictures.
  • Dylan scaled the company to a little over a million before beginning to hire a focused, in-house team.
  • Customer service is another part of marketing as it is a retention tool. So a lot of emphasis was put there as well.
  • Messaging is key and will be different for every product or service. You must try as many times as needed to figure this out.

At the 43 min mark, Dylan discusses some unique ways he figures out what is in demand.

What was the tipping point? $50 million+ in 4 years – what was the inflection point?

  • Q4 2016 did over $300k in product selling out.
  • He put his up for sale, sold Vicci, and got as much cash as he could putting every penny into Brumate.
  • His biggest challenge was cashflow and keeping stocks.
  • He would be out of stock for months and have to take pre-orders.
  • Once there was enough cashflow to sustain inventory and outsourced fulfillment, things really started to take off.
  • He was then able to focus on marketing full time with the team he was building.
  • Basically, the company now is really just a marketing company for the product, everything else is outsourced.
  • This took them from $2 million to $20 million in the next year.

Constant innovation and testing is critical to staying on the forefront of product creation and growing the market.

 

Best Quote:  Your biggest opportunity is what your competition is failing at or not servicing with their products.

 

Dylan's Misfit 3:

  1. Your biggest opportunity is what your competition is failing at or not servicing with their products.
  2. As a founder, focus on what you are very good at. Stay in your lane.
  3. Outsource to scale and grow. Fill your team with those that are best in class in their own categories that compliment you.

 

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