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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!

Aug 19, 2020

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Ann Sieg. Ann is considered one of the pioneers of attraction marketing. In fact, she generated over $4.2 million dollars in her very first online product, an e-book that helped her generate over 400,000 subscribers.

She is the CEO and President of the E-Commerce Business School – a company that has taught more than 8,000 entrepreneurs over the last decade on how to setup an automated e-commerce business in a 90-day sprint. And she’s impacted the lives of 10’s of thousands through her coaching and training programs.

She is the top affiliate of just about every affiliate program every created, but what interested me most about Ann from my initial discussion with her, is that, like me, she believes deeply that entrepreneurship is the answer to many of the world’s problems. I just had to have her on to talk everything from making it big online to entrepreneurship, family, and success. ​ ​

www.Ecommercebusinessschool.com

www.joinebs.com

Ann started selling at 7 years old, buy selling hand-made Christmas bells. She went door to door selling them and even had bundled offers. She sold out. This gave her the underpinning, but as she grew, she got into sports, specifically gymnastics and devoted herself to it. As she says, it taught her ridiculous, insane mental and physical discipline and taught her how to incrementally get better.

She learned that with a lot of discipline, you can find success. She then went on to coach gymnastics for 15 years and had to quit because of the pain she would get in her hands from spending most of her life in the sport. This experience gave her the love for tracking everything, stats, etc. to incrementally get better and this later translated into a good skill for selling online.

“There is a very distinct difference between someone who is a master at something and someone who is a great teacher or mentor. They are two different skill sets.”

She never planned to be an online marketer, but got into it later after raising her boys. ​

Why is having a strong family environment so important to your success and an entrepreneur and what have you done to create that in your life?

  • Ann looks at things differently than maybe society does today.
  • As she says when she got married, she made a “covenant” and a vow that she would not break. It means that she will follow through to the end.
  • Human endeavors hinge on multiple things: ability, our word, and our bond.
  • The family unit with the mom and dad is critical to this – and Ann believes, critical to success.
  • You have to make it work in business – and making it work in a marriage is great practice and training for that.
  • One of the best predictors for happy children is that the mom and dad truly love each other and it shows.
  • You have a responsibility to your children to do right by them and it begins with doing right by each other.
  • Ask yourself, “Whose feet will your children sit at?” Do they carry your world view? Entrepreneurship can be fostered and taught at home – because it isn’t in school. Ann homeschooled for this reason.
  • Being in tune with family and business also helps with clarity and purpose.
  • She believes in giving yourself and your children permission to fail and encouraging it because that is one of the best ways to learn and foster entrepreneurship. ​

How did you get into E-commerce later in life?

  • It started with her sons.
  • They decided to start an EBay business selling swords.
  • Ann was in the world of direct sales at the time and she needed leads, so she followed some of what her sons were doing to help generate leads online.
  • Ann found an online mentor, went through the training, and then learned about how to develop a target market.
  • She started doing well and partnered with her son. – who had become a top affiliate marketer. Together they were a powerhouse.
  • They started with digital products and then turned into e-commerce with physical products.
  • She tried doing direct sales online and found it did not do as well over time, so she pivoted to teaching E-commerce and what she had learned about how to make money online.
  • She focused on Amazon and EBay as they build the sales funnel for you (the funnel is the hardest part).

What are the products you are selling today? Take us through the steps of what you do in 90 days to get someone up to speed?

  • Amazon and Ebay in an arbitrage model was the start.
  • Then developed training method for arbitrage, wholesale, private label, self-actualization with a Shopify store, etc.
  • Each has more risk because of variables that involves and her courses cover everything needed for each of them.
  • Her programs focus on results and how to keep better ones.

At the 30 min mark, Ann talks about what stops people and how she found ways to help them keep at things to success using the 90-day sprint.

It all comes down to systems and teams.

  • Ann figured out the systems to give like a franchise would and also helping them set up an outsourced team.
  • They key is to develop people – not just sell a course.

What does it take to create a business that generates $10k online in revenue?

  • There are two types of business – You own the funnel and have to create or e-commerce where it is already created, such as at Amazon.
  • Arbitrage is easiest. You take others’ products and sell them and take a cut.
  • $10k/mo is about how much money you can bring to the table, you can do 28-50% profit with deal stacking on your front end.
  • Amazon is the easiest way. With $4-5k in investment in product inventory using Fulfilled by Amazon, you can accomplish it. This taps you into Prime customers.
  • You will need to use a prep center to make sure your products are set up correctly for Amazon’s criteria.
  • An example, you can go to Walmart and scan with the Amazon app, buy the products in bulk and ship them to Walmart – such as back to school materials.
  • You can do the same thing with product online. Arbitrage is just buying low and selling high. ​

Give us your thoughts on why entrepreneurship is needed now more than ever?

This inspiration came from Paul Zane Pilsner, who wrote The Next Millionaire, and Robert Kiyosaki. Richard Mayberry as well- there is no free lunch.

Ann shares that we have shifted to a handout society.

Ann calls it the redistribution of opportunity. She abhors calls for redistribution of wealth.

What sets entrepreneurs apart is that we live by our ability to calculate risk and take it – stepping out on a tightrope without a safety net.

Handouts cause us to lose our muscular strength as business owners. Bailouts do not foster strong business owners – mentally and entrepreneurially.

Challenging times offer the opportunity for great innovation. Ann cites Panera Breat starting Panera Grocery during the coronavirus as an example.

The extreme of total government control over business robs people of their intellectual capacity, mental, and spiritual capital and destroys the freedom of the individual to create and do great things.

 

Best Quote: "There is a very distinct difference between someone who is a master at something and someone who is a great teacher or mentor. They are two different skill sets..."

 

Ann's Misfit 3:

  1. Find your wheelhouse. This is different than finding passion. The wheelhouse is your strength where you really shine.
  2. What are you called for to be in service to others?
  3. Begin with the end in mind. What is the legacy? What do you want to be remembered for?

 

Show Sponsors:

Indeed.Com: http://www.Indeed.com/Lukas

5 Minute Journal: www.MisfitEntrepreneur.com/Journal

 

Aug 12, 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 saw a piece the other day on true greatness being achieved through serving others. The piece talked about how people get the pursuit of greatness in their lives wrong. They seek personal satisfaction, fame and fortune, power and privilege. In short, they seek to be served.

While some people gain wealth, power, notoriety and so on by approaching greatness in this way, the greatness that they achieve is typically not satisfying to them – because at the end of the day, all they have are the accomplishments and themselves. They are typically lonely and unfulfilled.

I have met many people like this over the years that on the surface seem to have everything – all the money, possessions, and things anyone could ever want, but they are some of the most unhappy and unfulfilled people I have ever met. They spend most of their time complaining or taking their frustration out on others around them – driving them away.

This happens because true greatness has to have meaning behind it. Real meaning. Otherwise, it is empty and shallow. But how and where do we find real meaning on a path to greatness? We find it in serving others. Zig Ziglar once said, “You can have everything you want in life, if you just help enough other people get what they want.”

And what Zig was saying was what Jesus taught us all as he shared his light into the world. As the son of God, he came not to be served, but to serve. He gave his life for us. He washed his disciples feet at the last supper bowing to them. When we seek opportunities to serve others, we find our greatness, our joy and meaning, and we help others to do the same. And helping others can be done every day with a simple act of kindness or helping someone in their lives.

I can also come from solving a great problem for people, such as in creating a business in which it serves and helps people. But the key is being genuine and sincere in your pursuit to do it – and not just in it for the money or your personal gain. The mission and vision must be to serve others and enrich their lives and help them to make them better. And through this you will find success and true greatness for yourself. As Zig said, “You can have everything you want in life, if you just help enough other people get what they want.”

It’s a simple principle, but one that is hard to action every day.

Hannah, every day we have an opportunity to serve others in some way and put them and their interests before our own. And there are so many ways to do it. It can be just simply helping someone with a need. Teaching a skill or new subject to another. Serving through a business with a mission and vision of truly helping to solve problems and enrich people’s lives. And in just being kind to those around you and giving to your relationships. The lesson I want you to take is that you can make a difference every day and you can achieve great things in life just by looking for ways to serve and enrich others lives instead of your own. You will get way more in your life that you ever imagined if you make this your focus.

Now, go out there and serve others in your life today!

I love you, ​

Daddy

 

Best Quote: True greatness has to have meaning behind it. Real meaning. Otherwise, it is empty and shallow.

 

Misfit 3:

  1. Most get the pursuit of greatness wrong. They make it about themselves instead of finding greatness by serving others. Often they end up alone and unfulfilled.
  2. You can get everything in life you want, if you just help enough other people get what they want.
  3. Look for ways to serve others every day. In doing so, you will find true greatness in your life and achieve and have more than you ever imagined.

Show Sponsors:

5 Minute Journal: www.MisfitEntrepreneur.com/Journal

 

Aug 5, 2020

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Nathan Hirsch. Nathan is the go-to entrepreneur and expert in remote hiring and e-commerce. Nathan started FreeUp.com in 2015 with $5000 and scaled it to over $12 million per year, selling it in 2019.

He then went on to co-found the Outsource School, a company that educates and provide resources to entrepreneurs to train and help them effectively build and scale their business through outsourcing. The platform combines all of the knowledge and tried and tested systems that Nathan and his co-founders have used to scale businesses to 8-figured and beyond entirely through outsourcing.

Hearing that, I bet you can guess why I asked him to be on today. In the world of Covid and business in general, it literally pays to know how to outsource well for your business – and Nathan is the guy to teach us.

www.OutsourceSchool.com

www.OutsourceSchool.com/Misfit for a special offer

Nathan’s parents were both teachers. He grew up thinking he would go to school, get a job, etc. But his parents made him get jobs every summer and he realized he hated having a boss. When he went to college, he saw it as a way to learn, but also as “4 years to create a business” that he could own and run after college. He started our by buying and selling textbooks, essentially competing with his school. Before he knew it, he had lines out the door and got a cease and desist letter from the college!

He then pivoted and started selling on Amazon. He then branched out selling other items and ironically found a niche in baby products. Before he knew it, he had a multi-million dollar business selling baby products from his college dorm room and needed to start hiring because he was overwhelmed. He tried college kids and then outsourced VA’s, and through managing them learned how to put processes in place that he no teaches today to outsource.

He found a lot of holes in the VA process and it took forever to find good ones, so he had an idea to create a company that did that for people, pre-vetting VA’s and taking all the guess work or out of it. That company was Freeup.com. In 4 years, it went from a $5000 investment to $12 mil in sales with everything outsourced and done with 35 VA’s. They sold it in 2019.

At this point, people were approaching Nathan for his experience and knowledge, so he created Outsource School to give people what they need.

What are the do’s and don’ts of growing a good e-commerce brand?

  • Nathan didn’t create his own products – he found others and sold them and dropshipped
  • Partnering is important to success in building an e-commerce company.
  • Nowadays, it’s important not to be on Amazon.
  • The fundamentals haven’t changed.
    • Focus on customer service
    • Focus on how you can diversify and not have all your eggs in one basket.
    • Focus on partnering to fill your gaps

Why do you think outsourcing is the best way to scale a business?

  • The world has changed.
  • You don’t need to be located any specific place, you don’t need office space, etc.
  • The barriers and costs to entry are low because of the free tools out there and internet.
  • And in today’s world, just about anything you need in a business is available at your fingertips with skilled VA’s. Accounting, graphic design, website design and management, customer service, etc. can all be outsourced.
  • You can scale and grow with part time VA’s up to full time as you go.
  • It makes it much easier to build a business.

Take us through how your build a business using outsourcing…what are the steps?

2 parts: The idea and MVP and outsourcing.

  • Nathan’s first 2 hires are always a part-time bookkeeper and someone to get him out of his inbox and manage his email, appts., etc. T
  • ake the MVP to market, get feedback and see if it has promise.
  • You can then increase hours of the VA’s and add others in for other needs.

“A MVP (minimum viable product) is important in any venture. Just because we sold a couple companies, doesn’t mean every idea is going to be good. So, you have to test the waters with low risk using an MVP.”

At the 14 min mark, Nathan goes into detail about how they built Outsource School.

  • To make your business better and grow, you need to get yourself out of the day to day so you can focus on the most important parts of growing and getting the business out there and making sure it has a market, creating brand awareness, networking, etc.
  • Do that correctly and you’ll be in a good place after year one.

What are the “got to” tasks or roles that should always be outsourced?

  • Everything!
  • There are 3 types of VA’s
    • Followers: Non-US, $5-10 per hour and there to follower your processes and systems.
    • Doers: Graphic designers, video editors, etc.
    • Experts: High level. Think consultative and bring their own best practices, processes, etc.
  • It’s important to know which type you need for a role. You will need all 3, but you need to know where to put them and hire them in at.

At the 19:45 mark, Nathan talks about the SOP process (Standard Operating Procedure) and why it is so important to focus on.

  • SOPs need to be broken down into 3 parts.
  • Part 1: Why. Why is this task important? Why is it needed? What does success for it look like?
  • Part 2: Step by Step. Put together the exact steps needed to do the job.
  • Part 3: Do NOT Do List or Important Reminder List. Put all the important stuff at the bottom to make sure it is clear to them.
  • Once you have the SOP, don’t focus on 1:1 training from day one.
  • Give them the SOP and a video for the first week, pay them, and let them go.
  • At the end of that week, test them. If they get 80% of it, then move forward with 1:1.
  • This is a way to sift through VA’s to find the best one for the role.

What’s the most important thing entrepreneurs need to get right from the beginning and why?

  • If someone is newer to VA’s. It all starts with the interviewing and onboarding.
  • Nathan uses the CARE method:
    • Communication: They must be able to communicate to your standards. How fast do they respond? Do they communicate in a way you understand and do they understand you?
    • Attitude: Is their attitude in line for what you want in the role.
    • Red Flags: Be on the lookout for any red flags.
    • Experience: Do they have the skill set and have proven it.
  • Once you find someone, make sure you are on the same page for compensation.
  • The onboarding method is called the SICC method in a 30 min meeting:
    • Schedule: Are they good with the schedule that you need? Are there conflicts?
    • Issues: Computer? Internet? Power?
    • Communication: Will they communicate in the way you need to them to?
    • Culture: Set the expectation of them having to be a culture fit and what that means.
  • At the end, give them the opportunity to ask questions and back out.

Anything else we should know on outsourcing?

  • When starting – just focus on getting 5 hours per week back.
  • Don’t try to outsource everything at once.

What has surprised you most on your entrepreneur journey?

  • Nathan gets rejected almost every day. He keeps putting himself out there and getting rejected all the time.
  • You learn to focus on the successes and let the failures go and not affect you.
  • Your ability to handle rejection well will help you grow a larger business.
  • Nathan also shares a story of almost losing a whole business because they almost lost all the data for the company.

Who do you go to for mentorship and why do you choose them?

  • Look for people that have skills you are lacking that you cannot hire for.
  • Create a relationship with them before asking for mentorship.
  • You can even hire them as a coach and teach you their processes.
  • Look for people with your same values. For Nathan, that is honoring your work, treating people with respect, and owning up when you make mistakes. ​

Best advice for an entrepreneur starting out today?

  • Get your MVP out there.
  • You don’t need hardly any money to start a business right now.
  • Figure out if there is actually a market for your product and experiment to make sure it is worth your investment.

 

Best Quote: “A MVP (minimum viable product) is important in any venture. Just because we sold a couple companies, doesn’t mean every idea is going to be good. So, you have to test the waters with low risk using an MVP."

 

Nathan's Misfit 3:

  1. Reward those who have helped you achieve success.
  2. Honor your word and be super clear on what you can and cannot do.
  3. Figure out what your ideal day looks like to be your most productive and make sure you business is structured around that.

 

Show Sponsors:

Assistagram:  www.MisfitEntrepreneur.com/Assistagram

5 Minute Journal: www.MisfitEntrepreneur.com/Journal

 

Jul 29, 2020

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Brian Levenson. Brian is a leading mental performance coach and author of Shift Your Mind – 9 mental shifts to thrive in preparation and performance. Brian is the go to performance coach for top athletes and organizations around the world.

He’s worked with everyone from the NBA to the top universities and the PGA. He is a consultant for the NBA and MLS combines where they use his processes for interviewing athletes to make sure they are the best fit and to determine their mental strengths and weaknesses.

Brian has a very special talent for helping athletes, entrepreneurs, and executives prepare themselves to perform at their highest levels and I wanted to have him on to teach you how to be your best.

Twitter: @BrianLevenson

www.StrongSkills.co

When Brian graduated from college, he was a “lost puppy.” He was never one of those that knew what he wanted to do. He explored and went into sales for a couple years. One day, he had happened to have lunch a woman named Julie who worked with top athletes and organizations helping them to breakthrough in their performance. This really appealed to Brian as a big sports fan and loved helping others.

He went back to grad school for sports psychology and when he finished, he moved to DC to work alongside Julie and be mentored by her. This helped him get his business going.

Brian has become obsessed with increasing performance or as leaders learning how to open up possibilities and see the world in new and different ways. ​

Brian’s dad was an entrepreneur and entrepreneurship was in his blood, so he is pretty fearless about trying new things and constantly tests new ideas and concepts.

What does it mean to “prepare to perform?”

  • There are distinctions between preparation, practice, and performance.
  • Preparation is about readiness and building competence.
  • Great practice blends preparation and performance.
  • Performance is executing and the things you’ve done to prepare and in your practice.
  • You have to look at all 3 like their own disciplines in which you need to hone your skill.

What are the differences between the performance and preparation mindset?

  • It takes 9 mental shifts that have to happen – backed science and evidence.
  • Here are a few…
    • Humble in preparation and arrogant in performance
    • Perfectionistic in preparation and adaptable in performance
    • Work in preparation and play in performance.
  • The shifts provide a framework for how to show up.
  • To apply this is takes awareness and intention.
  • You have to be aware and focused in which mindset you are in and at what times.
  • Once you realize this, you then practice, practice, practice…

Can you share more of the mental shifts and what do people need to be “aware of” to maximize their preparation and maximize their performance?

  • Future focused in preparation and present focused in performance.
  • Using analysis in preparation and relying on instinct in performance.
  • Experimenting in preparation and trusting process in performance.
  • Being uncomfortable in preparation and stepping into comfort when performing.
  • Leveraging fear in preparation and being fearless in performance.
  • Being selfish in preparation and selfless in performance.
  • Even though these seem counter-intuitive, they are what help people consistently perform at the highest levels and they are reality.
  • You need to get clear on what you need to do to be your best and shift your mind.

At the 12 min mark, Brian gives examples.

“It is way easier to be mediocre, than to do the hard work on yourself and confront who you are and decide who you want to be.”

How do people truly breakthrough when it comes to maximizing their performance? What does it take?

  • Useful self-talk is more important than positive self-talk. Accept reality.
  • Positivity is a loaded term, like balance. Balance is a myth.
  • Don’t put pressure on yourself to be “positive” in your self-talk, but to make sure it is “useful” instead.
  • Learn to love the phrase, “Up until now…” because you can change what happens next. You have a choice to move forward from now into what you want for the future, the way you want.

At the 18 min mark, we discuss this in more detail… Tell us about the Strong Skills Model…

  • Strong Skills are 12 Competencies that can help people and organizations thrive
    • Mission
    • Vision
    • Philosophy
    • Diversity, equity, inclusion
    • Ethics
    • Emotional Intelligence
    • Positive Psychology
    • Decision Making
    • Mindshifts
    • Teamwork
    • Leadership
  • Believe in the power of “And”

What are some of the biggest challenges you are seeing and helping to solve with Strong Skills?

  • Right now, it is diversity, equity, and inclusion with what is happening in our world.
  • In the past, it was just checking a box for most organizations to say they did it, and that is not the case any longer.
  • Teaching people to work from the inside out and have the hard conversations.
  • It’s time to run toward things than away from them.

From an entrepreneur standpoint, what have you found in your work about self-awareness?

  • It’s amazing at how the body actually impacts our behavior. It’s called Somatics.
  • By creating awareness and understand of your body’s actions or reactions to emotions or ways of feeling, you can recognize it and manage it better.
  • This is where emotional intelligence links with self-awareness.
  • We can prime our thoughts and feelings to happen a certain way, but we cannot always control them. This is why Self-awareness and Somatics come in to help us recognize and redirect them.

Pick 1 or 2 mental shifts that you think are most important for entrepreneurs and explain in more detail…

  • There is a distinction between reacting and responding.
  • Experimenting in preparation. As an entrepreneur, you need to experiment – but there is also a time to trust the process and move forward. Good entrepreneurs walk this line well.
  • Trust and belief in your process and ability to succeed is another important piece for entrepreneurs.
  • Give yourself space to experiment, but also trust your process.

What are the 3 C’s?

  • Consistency
  • Control
  • Confidence

Anything else?

  • Forget balance – focus on integrating things and being integrated throughout your life and work.
  • We also need to learn to be where our feet are.
  • It is also important to focus on the performance mindset and learn what that means for you.

 

Best Quote: “It is way easier to be mediocre, than to do the hard work on yourself and confront who you are and decide who you want to be."

 

Brian's Misfit 3:

  1. Take care of your marriage first and your kids second. Selfish first, then selfless.
  2. Self-determination theory: Autonomy. Confidence. Relatedness.
  3. Have conviction but be passionately curious.

 

Show Sponsors:

Assistagram:  www.MisfitEntrepreneur.com/Assistagram

5 Minute Journal: www.MisfitEntrepreneur.com/Journal

 

Jul 22, 2020

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Ben Sturgill. Ben is your quintessential pro-athlete turned entrepreneur. And I have had the pleasure to get to know him well over the last year as he is one of the traders alongside me at Raging Bull, an elite trading education company.

Ben played basketball in college and went on to play pro overseas, but knew that he needed to prepare for life after basketball – so he became an entrepreneur and since retiring from basketball has grown and sold businesses in software, real estate, and the event space.

Along the way, he started trading and investing in the markets and found he had a knack for it and today he’s a pro that trades full time and helps others throughout the world to create financial success through trading.

I’m excited to talk to him about his journey and the lessons he’s learned along the way.

https://ragingbull.com/experts/

www.Dailydeposits.com

www.IPOPayday.com

Ben grew up in a home where money was tight and from a young age, he knew he had to work to get what he wanted. He started hustling as a kid. But, it was a baseball raffle ticket sale that really exposed him to entrepreneurship and the concept of leverage. At the age of 10, he went around his neighborhood figuring out how to sell more and more of the tickets and in the span of a few weeks he made $300. This opened his eyes to the potential out there.

He was then given the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki from a mentor that had learned to invest and build wealth in the stock market on a teacher’s salary and were very wealthy. Learning from the book began his journey on learning about money.

Ben learned to look for what the greatest opportunity for him and when he grew 6 inches in one year and had a knack for basketball, he went all in on the sport. But, he still had his knack for entrepreneurship and kept learning as he career blossomed. He even started a Gumball machine business in college just practice having a small business.

After graduating college, he got the opportunity to play pro basketball overseas. Now that he was just playing basketball, he had more time to study entrepreneurship and investing in the markets. When he retired, he started a software company, a real estate company, and an event rental company. He sold the businesses and used the capital to start trading the markets full time and put more time into his family.

What other lessons did you learn from your early mentors?

  • The power of compound interest and what the value of money invested can do over time. Having your money make money for you.
  • How to look at money in general. Money is an emotional thing. The difference is the means and the end. When you focus on adding value, the means, the money will come. ​

Did you have any mentors in your basketball career that taught you things that translated well to your entrepreneur life?

  • “Play the next play.”
  • It is easy to get hung up on mistakes or let them define us or keep us from moving forward. We cannot. We need to learn, move on and play the next play.

What does it take to turn pro or become a pro-athlete?

  • You have to be fortunate.
  • A coach that believes in you.
  • A team that is supportive.
  • A scout that is supportive.
  • You have to work hard in the gym and in enhancing your skills.
  • At every level the game speeds up and you have to prove you are worthy of being there.
  • At the 20 min mark, Ben shares the story of being dominated by Okufor from UCONN.
  • He had to answer the question of “Do I deserve to be there? Am I one of the best players on the court?” You have to believe it and then go out and prove it.
  • In the pros, it is not just about winning. It is a business and the players have to hit their numbers per their contract.
  • You have to learn humbly, but affirmatively that you are one of the best players on the court.
  • Once you have that mentally and have the edge, the fear goes away.

What was the best thing about turning from pro-athlete to entrepreneur? The worst?

  • When you put in the years to be a pro and are paid and recognized accordingly at the top level for everything you’ve done, one of the hardest things is starting over.
  • In starting over, you aren’t that good and make hard mistakes.
  • You are back at the very bottom and have to rebuild the foundation. It’s challenging.
  • The flipside that is great about entrepreneurship is that you gain more control. In some ways, it is going from a team sport to an individual sport.
  • It gives freedom and the ability to create.

Let’s talk about trading…Tell us about how you trade the markets and how you’ve created your business.

  • Money is an emotional subject and to trade, you must master your emotions.
  • You must be disciplined. You must plan your trade and trade your plan.
  • It takes a systematic approach and problem solving to do it well.
  • Every day in the market is different, but the discipline and edge that you use for yourself is critical to maintaining success.
  • It is a job like any other job – some days are good, other are bad. You must continuously learn and get better.

Give us an example…

  • Ben trades the SPY index daily.
  • He day trades it.
  • It is very easy to trade an option on the index, but making a profit is the hard part.
  • Sometimes, he is in for as little as 10 mins.
  • The discipline is critical to winning – and keeping emotions at bay to take his profits or know when to let things go and not get too greedy.
  • He’s able to do this because he has watched the SPY for years and uses specific signals he has figured out over the years.
  • To him it is like shooting a basketball each day. He won’t make them all, but if he makes more than he misses, he wins.

Thoughts on crafting a winning mindset?

  • We are psychosomatic beings. We have our head and body, and then our emotions.
  • The key to crafting a winning mindset is to be very self aware of ourselves and emotions.
  • You must be self-aware about how you are, what you hang-ups are, your strengths, weaknesses – the things that can sabotage of you.
  • In order to craft a wining mindset, you must understand these things and learn to change or control them better.
  • If you don’t know, ask those around you for feedback so you can grow.

What advice would you give to a new trader?

  • Be prepared for the journey. It is going to take time to grow and learn and get used to.
  • Be prepared to practice. Paper trade to start (broker accounts will let you trade with a fake money account).
  • Find your setup and your niche. It has to fit YOU.
  • Find what you do well.
  •  

Best Quote: We are psychosomatic beings. The key to crafting a winning mindset is to be very self aware of ourselves and emotions. You must be self-aware about how you are, what you hang-ups are, your strengths, weaknesses – the things that can sabotage of you.

 

Ben's Misfit 3:

  1. Potential. We need to understand what the greatest potential is in our lives. To find fulfillment in our lives is to find our greatest potential – what we were made for.
  2. Problem. Solving problems is the most valuable thing that anyone wants. When someone has a problem, it brings them and you great joy to solve it for them. And the more problems you can solve for more people, the bigger your business.
  3. People. People work with you because they like you and they trust you. People will do business with you because they like and trust you and know you will deliver for them.

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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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