Dave Lukas, The Misfit Entrepreneur_Breakthrough Entrepreneurship

The weekly podcast with serial entrepreneur, Dave M. Lukas, devoted to giving you incredibly useful and unique insight from the world's top entrepreneurs with a focus on their non-traditional methods for achieving success, their Misfit side. Misfit was created to give YOU the breakthrough entrepreneurship strategies and actionable advice to accelerate your success! The show's open format and Misfit 3 concept, combined with Dave's intuitive and engaging interview style quickly uncover each guest's key tools, tactics, and tricks that listeners can start using in their lives right now. Learn more about the show at and become a member of Misfit Nation by signing up for the Misfit Minute, the FREE weekly email with specific resources from the week's "Misfit 3," and actionable tips and items from the world of Misfit Entrepreneurs. It is delivered every Friday to your inbox!
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The weekly podcast with serial entrepreneur, Dave M. Lukas, devoted to giving you incredibly useful and unique insight from the world's top entrepreneurs with a focus on their non-traditional methods for achieving success, their Misfit side. Misfit was created to give YOU the best, actionable advice to accelerate your success!

The show's open format and Misfit 3 concept, combined with Dave's intuitive and engaging interview style quickly uncovers each guest's key tools, tactics, and tricks that listeners can start using in their lives right now.

Learn more about the show at and become a member of Misfit Nation by signing up for the Misfit Minute, the FREE weekly email with specific resources from the week's "Misfit 3," and actionable tips and items from the world of Misfit Entrepreneurs. It is delivered every Friday to your inbox!

Jun 16, 2021

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Greg Salsburg. Here’s the first line from his online bio: Greg Salsburg has been ostracized by society since birth and became a disappointment to his family and all those who came in contact shortly thereafter. His freakish nature, early adoption of donning loud footwear and love for all things “Seuss’ian” made him a pariah on the playground.

Intrigued? How could you not be?

Greg is the CEO and Founder of STiR Communications. STiR-communications is a business consultancy firm that leverages the ubiquitous channels of distribution to advance clients messages and bottom line objectives.

Greg’s success has spanned decades and is truly impressive working with everyone from Four Seasons to JP Morgan and even having Muhammed Ali and The New York Yankees as clients. He’s won countless awards and has been a 20 under 20 recipient, 30 under 30 recipient, and 40 under 40 recipient. How’s that for consistency. Although his forward facing role is directing STiR-communications strategic and creative forces, it’s his transformational work with business leaders behind the scenes; through his mindful practice and real word acumen, that has earned him the nickname the “Consigliere Consultant.”

But, for Greg it was not a straight up rise to success. He was a multi-millionaire who lost every penny and had to re-invent himself. He did this by embracing humility and seeking wisdom. It’s this journey and what he learned and put into practice to create his success 2.0 that I want him to share with you today.

Greg started off in news and sports in New York and with NBC TV and sports. He transitioned from there into marketing because it just wasn’t fulfilling. He met someone who was starting a business called Café Hollywood which was later changed to Planet Hollywood and became the worldwide director of marketing and public relations.

This changed the trajectory of his life. Greg had a unique ability to communicate, and it shined through. It was a leap of faith to go from journalism to marketing at a global level.

He was always very impressed with those that had an entrepreneurial spirit and could build and create something from nothing vs. seeing it and reporting on it from the sidelines. This eventually led to him creating his own marketing and PR company after his success and learning journey at Planet Hollywood.

At one point you had everything and were living a rockstar lifestyle, then lost it all. What happened and was there a moment or an epiphany that changed everything?

  • When Greg was at Planet Hollywood, it was more than a restaurant – it like running a Hollywood studio and he was surrounded with stars and agents every day.
  • He went on to work in Motown and run 6 Flags Amusement.
  • He was in the right place at the right time, but felt he had a bit of imposter syndrome.
  • He grew up with professionals that had very little failure, but not much risk taking.
  • When he started to taste his first bit of adversity, he crumbled. He didn’t know how to handle it emotionally.
  • He went from not having any failures, to having a larger one and the good money after bad to try and save it, but he was blinded by arrogance from his previous success.
  • He went from great wealth to losing it all.
  • Now, through the journey he has been on, he has gained it back “20 fold in all areas of life.”

What did you learn on the journey and what did it teach you?

  • People tend to believe success is bi-fricated into power and wealth.
  • The truth is that is a 3-legged stool and the greatest component is the “emotional balance” needed alongside the other two areas.
  • If you are not in tune emotionally, it doesn’t matter how much power or wealth you have, it will never be enough.
  • Your EQ cannot be out of balance as you cannot operate in a peaceful manner.

EQ is misunderstood and not thought about that much.  Define it for us and then tell us more about the 3 areas we need to understand.

  • When Greg was living the rockstar life, it seemingly was good and more was better. But, it was almost an angry position that it took to get it and maintain it.
  • Emotions were never talked about and it was about the “grind.”
  • There was a feeling that if you worked more and slept less, you were better or more successful.
  • Any emotional talk was dismissed and repressed. It was not “manly” to talk about it as it meant weakness.
  • Greg new this was wrong. He could feel it to be the missing piece, so he started to learn and study more about emotion and consciousness.
  • He watched the towers drop on 9/11 from his balcony, he realized that the world would never be the same and how fragile life was and it was this realization that spurred him to change and help others in a bigger way with life mission. He pursued who he knew he should be.
  • Consciousness is the key to living a good life and being your best self.

How do the 3 areas intersect with EQ?

  • At the 21 min mark, Greg talks about “PE Ratio and what it really means and its impact.” It’s best to listen.
  • With the pandemic, it caused people to have a reset, but the truth is that we’ve had a pandemic all along that has been widely ignored, which is an emotional disservice to ourselves and those around us. We have ignored the internal workings of ourselves. It is real and measurable and we need to do better.
  • VUCA- Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity. This is part of life in all areas, but how do we deal with it better?
  • We offset volatility with a vision. Vision changes volatility.
    • Understanding changes uncertainty and makes it easier. Take the time to truly understand.
    • Clarity will help with the complexity.
    • You need agility to offset ambiguity.
  • ¾ of all health issues are caused from stress. People are not tuning into the areas of consciousness they need to deal with stress in a better way and leaders need to foster this.
  • Feelings/emotions are personal to each person, but understanding them and learning to work with the better is key to a better life and leaders must take time to understand help people in this area and they have to start with doing this themselves in order to be effective.
  • The CEO needs to also be the Chief Emotional Officer.

One of the things I like about your messaging is the blend being bold and audacious with a hint of sarcasm and comedy – is that the secret to standing out in today’s world?

  • It comes from being authentic. Authentic is what helps you standout.
  • You must find your honesty and authenticity and move it away from the center to the edges where the most excitement is.

Explain the significance of why STiR is spelled the way it is…

  • Greg wanted to be the opposite and deliver a different product and stir things up in the marketplace
  • But he did not want to make it about “I,” but “WE.” So he made sure the “I” was a lot smaller in the name because it’s not about him.

What are the elements of a great communication strategy?

  • A great strategy is not a one-size fits all.
  • The companies that have the best strategies are not trying to be like the others in their marketplace.
  • Companies that stand for something and have a mission and weave that into everything in a deeper, more connected way with a smaller, devoted tribe win.
  • Those that really tell a story and remove the hypocrisy of business.
  • The medium (humor, seriousness, etc.) will be different for each one, but it all comes down to emotion and tapping into it.

Any company really doing it well?

  • It was different pre and post pandemic.
  • One that is doing well is Danny Meyer. They are doing an amazing job in hospitality post pandemic.
  • Hospitality was hit particularly hard during the pandemic. Danny stood up for his people and go out and explain publicly why it was so important to get help for the industry and not lose the vitality and backbone it provides to the American economy.
  • He was also on the front line in NYC helping businesses with way to keep going and stay in business.
  • He believes people matter, caring matters, and showcases it throughout his restaurant group. When the chips were done, he put profits aside for people.
  • It is conscious leadership at its best

What is the changing dynamic of business and important to understand post-pandemic?

  • Retail has accelerated at least a decade in some ways to a demise, but others adapted in big ways where they had not or were not willing to do so.
  • Consumers now have the power.
  • The workers have much more of a say and much more power.
  • It’s not a top-down approach anymore.
  • With the ability to work from anywhere and now the proof that it works, the talent pool is now far great for businesses. But, it is also a much great flexibility for workers and consumers.
  • The means leaders must be in tune with the areas that matter most with the people they deal with on a regular basis or they will lose them.


Best Quote: You must find your honesty and authenticity and move it away from the center to the edges where the most excitement is.


Greg's Misfit 3:

  1. Be a go-giver, not a go-getter.
  2. Your mind must be stronger than your feelings.
  3. You must hustle and work smart, but don’t just simply be grinding or you’ll be left with dust.


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5 Minute Journal:

Jun 9, 2021

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Alicia Jarrett. Alicia is your quintessential entrepreneur. She is an international real estate investor with offices in Australia and the US, an educator, and founder of multiple companies including SuperCharged Offers and Global Citizens HQ which includes multiple other brands in its holdings.

She left a 6-figure job to start her own businesses and as she says “build something great.” And now years later she has done so and has also founded groups to foster women in leadership around the world. I can’t wait to dig into all of this with her and get her best advice on how to succeed in real estate investing, so let’s get to it.


Alicia and her partner Matthew have had great careers. Alicia was in HR and consulting for 18 years and Matt has a background in global transportation and systems. Things were going great in their 6 figure jobs. About a decade ago, Alicia started thinking there was something bigger she should be doing. Why was she there? Why was she was in this job? She loved what she did, but knew there was something bigger out there. So she started a consulting practice focused on leadership and developing people. At the same time, Matt and Alicia were doing some real estate investing. Investing in Australia was much different and limiting compared to the US.

They were doing fix and flips and rentals, but asked what could do they by combining their skills and building something bigger for themselves. The goal was to build a business they can do anywhere in the world. They ended up landing in the US doing fix and flips from Australia. They had some successes and some failures.

They then worked to combined their talents utilize data in a bigger way. They figured out a process for how to wholesale land and invest. As they had success, they decided to go further and better automate their marketing and lead generation creating their SuperCharged offers platform. This led to other businesses being created to help build their companies as they are today.

Tell us about your strategy, system, and what you do…

  • Land Scouts is a business that buys off market land usually from estates or that people have owned for long periods of time and have not done anything with it.
  • A lot of realtors don’t want to deal in land
  • There is a need for a service to help sell the land and/or get problems fixed so the land can be sold.
  • Alicia will buy and hold and/or buy and flip.
  • They also help with financing working the seller and seller financing.
  • The Supercharged Offers business helps generate the leads for the land deals.
  • Alicia and Matt are obsessed with data and have developed a science on gathering and filtering the data to find the best opportunities.
  • They then market through omnichannel to those opportunities.
  • 6 D’s- Data, Direct Mail, Digital, Design of everything in the language of the customer, Demographics, Done for you.

This discussion is the bulk of the episode, so it’s best to listen…

What is your take on the current real estate market?

  • It feels like history is repeating itself.
  • Alicia is doubling down and marketing hard.
  • Alicia is using data to help with market sentiment looking at the last 2 years of sales trends.
  • The market sentiment is shifting with people paying more and more above market value.
  • Getting good properties is harder because the sellers are in control, so you really need to be looking at the data to adjust offers accordingly.
  • Traditionally 10% of people in the US move every year…that has changed and is a higher percentage during Covid
  • The trend is out of the cities and to find more suburban life.

What are you doing to prepare for when this real estate bubble ends?

  • You have to look at pivoting your strategies
  • You cannot do nothing.
  • You have to be prepared.
  • If you wait to act, by the time the shift has happened, it is too late.
  • Demand will shift as those that wanted to get land or move from the cities will and that demand will dry up. ​

Tell us about the B-RAFT method for leadership…

  • People don’t leave jobs, people leave people.
  • B- What are the clearly defined boundaries for your team. The boundaries that help them grow and develop.
  • R-Right relationships in place
  • A- Accountability. Put processes in place to define and drive accountability.
  • F – Feedback. You have to be good a giving feedback as a leader. Feedback is not always about telling someone. It is about a leader asking good questions.
  • T- Trust. This is the basis of a team. Empower people and set expectations.


Best quote: Do things that scare you. Do the things that make you cringe a little.


Alicia's Misfit 3:

  1. Never, ever stop learning. Put your learning into action.
  2. Do things that scare you. Do the things that make you cringe a little.
  3. Listen to your gut and your inner voice.


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5 Minute Journal:

Jun 2, 2021

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur Alan Payne. When I say Blockbuster Video, what comes to mind? If you are younger, you may be saying “What’s Blockbuster video?” If you were around through the spectacular rise and fall of Blockbuster, you are probably thinking something along the lines of colossal failure. At one point, Blockbuster was the pinnacle of entertainment where everyone went on a weekend evening to rent a movie.

And most think that the downfall happened because of Netflix and streaming and the company not adapting to the new world of content. While those things had an impact, the real reasons started much earlier and Alan Payne was there. In fact, Alan was one of the most successful franchisees and his stores outlasted Blockbuster’s bankruptcy by over a decade. They did so, because Alan realized the company was Built to Fail and decided to run things differently drawing on his storied history of success in business. In fact, his book is called Built to Fail, which tells the story and lessons learned from the failure of Blockbuster as well as what Alan has learned on how to succeed in business over his 30+ year career.

I’ve asked him to come on the show and share his story, his experience, and wisdom and how you can use it succeed where others have failed.

Book: Built To Fail by Alan Payne

Alan didn’t come to own a business in the traditional way. He was working for a grocery company called HEB in Texas in the 80’s. HEB is regarded as one of the best and most well-run companies in the nation. At the time, they were looking to add video rental into their stores as it was becoming almost an expectation of customers. But HEB had decided to take things further. Blockbuster was just starting out in the mid 80’s and because HEB owned so much real estate, Blockbuster wanted to lease space from them. HEB decided to do it themselves and have their own brand called Video Central. They tapped Alan to lead it.

They opened the first Video Central store right across the street from a Blockbuster. It was the first video store run by a mature, capitalized company with a massive track record of success. Video Central was very success against Blockbuster doing 3x the sales of an average Blockbuster. Alan grew the business to 35 stores and then HEB decided to sell it to focus on the grocery business. Alan left with the stores and joined a Blockbuster franchise group with stores from Alaska to Texas.

Within a few years, in 2000, he got the opportunity to buy the stores and did so running them for another 18 years outlasting Blockbuster by almost a decade.

All of this was due to using a business model that he developed at HEB.

The reason he wrote the book was that what he saw from 1993 to ultimate demise of Blockbuster was frustrating as it could have been avoided.

What really killed Blockbuster? Why was it built to fail?

  • At the 8 min mark, Alan talks about the early days of Blockbuster success, but after the initial entrepreneur who drove it to an $8 billion valuation left, how it cratered because of terrible leadership.
  • The company was so obsessed with growth, they never took much of an interest in being really good at what they did and as such got outdone by Netflix, Redbox, and others.

What did you do differently that allowed you to outlast and survive and thrive where Blockbuster didn’t?

  • They were obsessed with being a little bit better every day.
  • They looked at things like a business of abundance and had better availability and selection than anyone else.
  • Alan committed in his stores to have more inventory, so his stores did not run out of titles as easily.
  • They also tracked and matched demand better than Blockbuster.

At the 16 min mark, Alan talks about how Netflix and Redbox came to be and how Blockbuster missed out because of complacency when it was right there for the taking for them.

  • Netflix beat Blockbuster by focusing on movies (90%) that were older and that people still loved – not new releases.
  • They then tracked the data created profiles of customers to match up their interest and market the movies that fit them and their profile.
  • Complacency and apathy internally killed Blockbuster.
  • Blockbuster also took a market share hit from Hollywood video in the later 90’s and then Netflix came along, then Redbox, etc. And with Blockbuster not willing to change, the end was inevitable.

What were lessons learned from HEB on how to run a great business?

  • Attitude. “We will be the best, period. One can of corn sold at a competitor down the street is one too many.”
  • The service and dedication to giving clients the best deal.
  • HEB had much more advanced systems for tracking what was happening in stores. Blockbuster was archaic.
  • The HEB experience is an X-Factor. It’s an obsessive commitment to excellence.

You covered several important lessons in Built to Fail, share those with us…

  • Clearly define your company’s purpose and mission. What is your purpose in your community, in society? You have a responsibility to be the best.
  • Identify what really drives your business and pursue it relentlessly. Book: Measure What Matters. You have to work hard in the right areas.
  • Respect and learn from your competitors. “Our competitors will accept failure as an inevitable result..” There is no way we will let them do it better than us.
  • If you are going to do it, be the best at it. Don’t “get bigger at it,” get better at it.”
  • In difficult times, rely on fundamentals to survive.
  • Don’t just talk about the future, plan for it.
  • Great companies create the future, they don’t wait for it.

These lessons/principles are what Alan applied to his business to make it so successful. Talk about when you finally had to close your stores and any lessons learned…

  • It’s important to learn when it is time to throw in the towel.
  • Blockbuster filed bankruptcy in 2010 and Alan had not even closed a store.
  • But the brand got beat up through the bankruptcy and was tarnished.
  • It was an uphill battle, but sales continued to slow and erode.
  • Alan ran it profitably for several more years while closing and consolidating stores.
  • Alan made sure to take care of all the employees to the very end and did keeping all salaries intact, etc. ​

Any other advice?

  • It is fun to continuously get better. That is the challenge of running the business, the fun part – how do we get better tomorrow?
  • It is the motivating factor.


Best Quote: It is fun to continuously get better. That is the challenge of running the business, the fun part, constantly asking – how do we get better tomorrow?


Alan's Misfit 3:

  1. Have a healthy skepticism of people in power. Respect them but be willing to challenge them in a healthy way.
  2. Create the future. Don’t follow, lead. Great sustainable companies create the future.
  3. Tap into the compound rate of return from continuous improvement getting a little bit better every day.


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5 Minute Journal:

May 26, 2021

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Patrick Colletti. Patrick is a serial entrepreneur, board director and advisor for angel, VC, and Private Equity backed organizations, He is a leadership and organizational culture expert and champion for what he calls “Re-Founders,” business leaders and entrepreneurs who revitalize the places where they live, work and play.

When he began his tenure as company president of Net Health in 2001, the company was experiencing significant financial turmoil resulting in laying off all but 2 employees. Collaborating with a growing team, he grew the company to where it now helps heal millions of people each year. In concert with a team which included 4 private equity partners, he completed a corporate turnaround —reinvigorating the already established organization in what essentially made NetHealth a re-startup. This is the essence of Patrick’s concept of Re-Founding and something I’m very excited to dig into with him in this episode.

Patrick started out as an entrepreneur as a kid with a paper route. Having to do all the facets of business, including collections as a kid. He then went into selling plants. He thought differently and would re-arrange the store to help things sell better to give better context.

He then went to school and studied philosophy and business. After school, he joined a private equity backed media company. They launched He then joined another .Com and it failed. It came down to him and just one other and the board gave them 90 days to turn things around or shut it down. He and his partner did turn it around. They eliminated the debt and worked to get the shareholders whole. In a relatively short amount of time, they amassed 100 clients and go things in a good place. He then turned to really building the company to be able to scale and grow across the world. Today, they work with over a million caregivers across the world and have done 10 deals on the buy and sell side and have become a “a billion company with heart.”

What is Re-Founding and why do you think it is do important for entrepreneurs to understand?

  • Re-Founders are the people you want in your company because when you get stagnant or complacent, they are the ones that help you breathe new life into it.
  • Founders start with an idea and go all in creating something from nothing. They are visionaries.
  • Re-Founders are visionaries as well, but in a different way. They re-imagine existing and broken structures and improve them or change them for the better. They are magicians.
  • Re-Founders use their magic to create something better from something broken.

Characteristics of a Re-Founder? Who are these people?

  • Re-Founders are not afraid to take a sober look at hard realities. They have awareness.
  • Re-Founders identify and solve “Problem Zero” which is the main problem threatening flourishing. It takes selective focus. “Kill Your Darlings”
  • Re-Founders imagine audacious possibilities.
  • Re-Founders spring to action and create better realities for people. They lead with empathy and create momentum.
  • Every Re-Founder has a team that they work through.

At the 14-minute mark, we discuss Re-Founding in the context of DCP (Discipline, Consistency, Persistence).

Where does Re-Founding start? Problem Zero?

  • There are two different scenarios.
  • The first is those that are in the midst of a crisis. These are the easiest.
  • In those moments, people are willing to spring into action. There is a playbook for this.
  • The second scenario is more difficult and is when people/companies are very successful because they are more resistant to change, but they have to realize they will need to change in the future to remain viable.
  • The key is to be proactive and be looking for the areas you need Re-Founding in ahead of time.

At the 19 min mark, Patrick talks about the problems ripe for Re-Founding as well as some of the principles used by Re-Founders to solve them. It’s best to just listen. ​

What do leaders need to do to perform at their best?

  • Great companies build great cultures.
  • Sustained success comes from a great culture.
  • Build a culture that develops Re-Founders.
  • Companies that develop Re-Founders invest in programs, processes, and ways to help people be seen, challenged, and grow as Re-Founders.
  • You also have to pay people well and take good care of them.
  • How does your programs and processes help people feel seen and celebrated? How do you challenge people in a way that engages all of their senses?

Talk to us about what you do to build a great team…

  • Everyone is uniquely made.
  • Recognize the uniqueness.
  • Your leadership team should do an analysis like DISC or Strength Finders – it will teach you so much about everyone and help you to see the uniqueness.
  • Patrick shares a story of a program he instituted in his business that helped people in his company to “be known in a vastly different way.”

Thoughts on how to better succeed?

  • If you are not failing, you really aren’t pushing yourself.
  • Beware the tendency to become “fat and happy.”
  • Think about the lead indicators and focus there instead of just lag indicators.
  • Helpful leading indicators examples are MQLs, # of Demos, successful development sprints.
  • Patrick uses the example of losing weight with leading indicators as well.

Best advice for an entrepreneur starting out today and best advice for a seasoned entrepreneur?

  • Both will need a customer.
  • Getting excited about finding customer is very important.
  • Don’t overly fixate on profit upfront as a startup – pay the bills and get really great feedback and listen to


Best Quote: Re-Founders use their magic to create something better from something broken


Patrick's Misfit 3:

  1. Get real about your purpose and your work. Learn your strengths, passions, and your “brokenness for the world” that you will fix. Resist entropy.
  2. Be a Re-Founder. Don’t get “fat and happy” and stay challenged.
  3. Rest and reflect.


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5 Minute Journal:

May 23, 2021

Hello Misfit Nation! I am excited to bring a special weekend episode of the Misfit Entrepreneur. Occasionally, I find something I truly enjoy and when I do I like to share it with you. In 2021 I’ve started listening more to the immersive shows on Wondery. If you haven’t checked it out, you need to do so.

Recently, I was able to connect with them and they offered to share a small sample of one of their new shows with the Misfit audience and that is what I want to share with you in this short special episode because it focuses on one of my favorite topics – the stories, successes and failures of businesses and what we can learn from them to help our success.

With that in mind, I want to tell you about a new podcast Miniseries on Wondery from Laura Biel, the reporter behind Dr. Death and Bad Batch, called The Vaping Fix. It’s a story of Silicon Valley idealism, reckless capitalism, and how the now infamous e-cigarette company, Juul, managed to hook a new generation on vaping.

In 2015, the founders of Juul set out to create the iPod of e-cigarettes, a perfectly designed device that would disrupt the tobacco industry and help traditional smokers quit. But their fruit flavored vaping options, high levels of nicotine, and youthful influencer endorsements lead to consequences that would put millions at risk.

“Juuling” became so big among teenagers that it became a verb. And with plooms of vape clouds surrounding schools across the nation, parents, politicians, and the government demanded answers: was this Juul’s plan all along, or did ambition blind them from seeing the pitfalls of their invention?

You’re about to hear a preview of The Vaping Fix. While you’re listening, subscribe to The Vaping Fix on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or listen early and ad-free in the Wondery app by going to Enjoy!

May 19, 2021

Hello Misfit Nation! Welcome to another edition of "Lessons for Hannah!" In November of 2016, we introduced a new format that we are putting alongside our regular episodes called “Lessons for Hannah.” Hannah is my daughter and one of the main inspirations for the Misfit Entrepreneur. I wanted to have a place where she could go and learn from her daddy and his Misfit friends throughout her life….even after I am gone. If you haven’t listened to the first episode of "Lessons for Hannah," I urge you to as it gives some more background and tells the amazing story of how Hannah came to be in our lives.

"Lessons for Hannah" are short, very useful, and sometimes comical lessons, that I have learned which I want to share with you and give to Hannah to help in your lives. Because I want Hannah to have these for her life, I’m going to speak as though I am talking directly to her. These episodes are a lot of fun and if you think there is a lesson that we should include in these episodes, please don’t hesitate to send it over to us at We’d love to share it.

This week’s Lesson for Hannah

Hannah, This is a very important episode in that it is the 250th episode of the Misfit Entrepreneur. It has been such an honor to do this for all these years and help people, including you, through the world over 250 episodes. My sincerest “Thank You” to all that subscribe and listen. This was a tough one for me as it’s the Big 250. And this episode should stand out. As I thought about all the things I could share as a lesson, I kept coming back to something that on the surface seems small, but really impacts everything.

Hannah, I want to share some insight into a very important distinction that will make a difference in all areas of your life from your relationships to your work and even your health.

The distinction is between Self-Mastery and Self-Gratification. The dictionary defines Self-Mastery in just two words, self-control. But what does truly mean? More on that in a second. Conversely, the dictionary defines Self-Gratification as “the indulgence or satisfaction of one’s own desires.”

As human beings, we are locked in a constant struggle between these two things. For most, Self-Gratification and emotions win the majority of the time. This leads to many problems. I’m not saying that emotions and feelings are not important, but emotions and feelings are just that and are not necessarily truth, logic or even rational. For example, think of something you really, really wanted, emotionally. You had to have it. It didn’t matter the cost. So, you spent the money to have it, thus getting self-gratification, only to later have remorse because you spent too much for it or really didn’t need it. How many times in our lives do we act purely out of emotion and get a short feeling of Self-Gratification, only to find it was a mistake later? I would wager a lot.

Self-Mastery is the other side of the coin. It is developing yourself to have total control over your emotions and thus decisions to help you in making sure the choices you make are reasoned and thought-through. Self-Mastery is learning to recognize the emotional impulses and understand them, but to not act on them immediately without giving sincere and logical thought to them. For example, for years I wanted to get a true sports/muscle car. I had seen an Aston Martin DB9 on the road some years ago and emotionally told myself I had to have that car. I was going to get it no matter what. Did I need it? No. Could I afford it? At that time, no. But, after a few years, I was at a point where I could afford to purchase a $200k+ car. And I saw another one on the road, this time a DB11. My immediately emotional reaction was that I needed to go get it. After all, I’d wanted it for years and deserved it, right? It was at this point, that my training on Self-Mastery kicked in and I started to think about the logic and reality of paying $200k+ for a car. What could I do with that $200k instead? I could invest it and make a great return. I could invest in my businesses and help them to grow larger. A car is a depreciating asset, so the moment I would buy it, it would start to become worth less. Was it wise to purchase something with that amount of money that lost value?

In the end, after thinking rationally and logically, I knew the answer. It wasn’t. But I still wanted a sports car!

Fast forward to when Covid hit. Everyone stopped driving. Car dealers were not selling cars and car companies were getting pretty antsy. They started slashing prices and offering deep incentives. By this time things had a changed a little. When I first saw those Aston Martins, it was before you came into our lives and we didn’t have two decent sized dogs. A two-seater sports car would make things a little difficult. But one muscle car that I had always liked and that had a back seat that could fit you and a dog was the Camaro. I started searching a little and built the perfect Camaro online. It was basically a track ready SS with a 650-horsepower engine in a deep cherry red. I got with my sales guy at the dealership (I’ve owned Chevy trucks for years) and had him start searching. After a couple weeks, he found the exact car down to the line item that I had built, and it was the only one in the 5 surrounding states! He then proceeded the tell me that the dealer had slashed the price on it by 30% to move it and he could not even trade for it. He told me to just go buy it direct from them. Which I did. So, in the end, with a little Self-Mastery and keeping Self-Gratification at bay, I got my muscle car that can go toe to toe with an Aston Martin and got it for 30% off the price as well as some other incentives.

Of course, practicing Self-Mastery is much more important that a car purchase as it impacts your relationships, etc. But I think you get the example.

Just remember, though, there is a balance between Self-Mastery and Self-Gratification. Think of them as two sides of a scale. If you lean to too far to one side, the scale tips and that is where you get into trouble on either side. If you cut emotions and Self-Gratification out completely, you basically are a robot and miss out on some great things in life. If you cut out Self-Mastery completely, you become destructive to yourself and those around you. The secret is to find the balance for you. There will always be things in life that Self-Gratification and emotion have more power over. You job is to recognize them, bring some logic to them, and if you proceed, knowingly understand the potential consequences, good or bad, and be prepared for them. No matter what, you must take responsibility for your actions.

One thing that I started doing when I was first taught the difference between Self-Mastery and Self-Gratification was to “stop, ask, and choose,” when it came to big emotional decisions. You know when emotion is bubbling up inside you and you can feel it when you want something really bad. In those times, just take a moment to stop yourself, then ask yourself if this is truly the right decision and why, and then based on that, choose to move forward or not. I know it sounds a little goofy, but it works, and it is awkward in the beginning to literally stop yourself, ask, and then choose how you will move forward, but it gets easier and almost becomes second nature after a while. This little exercise has saved me countless times and I hope you can put it to work for yourself.

Hannah, finding the balance between Self-Mastery and Self-Gratification is a lifelong work and I don’t believe you can every become perfect at it, but just working on it will make a major difference for you and help you in so many ways. I hope you make the commitment to better yourself in this area.

I love you,



Best Quote: There is a balance between Self-Mastery and Self-Gratification. Think of them as two sides of a scale. If you lean to too far to one side, the scale tips and that is where you get into trouble on either side.


Misfit 3:

As human beings, we are locked in a constant struggle between these Self-Mastery vs. Self-Gratification

How many times in our lives do we act purely out of emotion and get a short feeling of Self-Gratification, only to find it was a mistake later? A lot. So we must find a balance between Mastery and Gratification.

Finding the balance between Self-Mastery and Self-Gratification is a lifelong work

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May 12, 2021

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Clint Pulver. Clint is an Emmy Award-winning, motivational keynote speaker, author, musician, and workforce expert. He’s been a professional Drummer for over 20 years, playing with top headlining fellow musicians in venues like the Vivint Arena, the Stadium of Fire, and the Kodak Theater in Hollywood. Something I want to talk further with him about in a unique way today.

Known as the Leading Authority on Employee Retention, Clint helps organizations retain, engage, and inspire their team members from the front desk to the board rooms and everyone in between. Clint was featured in Business Q Magazine as one of their “Top 40 under 40” as a premiere Corporate Keynote Speaker. He has transformed how corporations like Keller Williams, AT&T, and Hewlett Packard create lasting loyalty through his work and research as the Undercover Millennial. He’s also appeared in feature films and on America’s Got Talent.

Needless to say, Clint is the go-to for teaching leaders how to create organizations that people never want to leave. And I’ve asked him to come on and share his best secrets to help you in your business.

When Clint was a young kid, he had a hard time sitting still. Everyone saw it as an issue. He had one teacher named Mr. Jenson who asked him to stay after class in grade school. Mr. Jenson noticed him tapping constantly with his hands while switching back and forth writing with both hands. He said he thought Clint might be ambidextrous. He gave Clint a few tests and said, “I don’t think you have a problem, I think you are a drummer.” He then gave him his very first pair of drumsticks and told him to see what happens.

22 years later, he has traveled the world playing with top musicians and at top venues and speaking. All because someone helped live a better story.

Clint never set out to be a speaker. In fact, he wanted to be a pilot, but had an eye disease he was diagnosed with at 21 that prevented him from being one. He was told we go blind by his early 30’s. When he was younger, he had spoken in church and someone in the crowd approached him to speak at an event they were doing. He got paid $500 and did the event and loved it. He put together a workshop and other groups asked him to speak. He spoke first to High School students, then groups, and then business.

He also started the Undercover Millennial after talking to a business owner he said “You have to adapt or die in business” but ironically didn’t think he needed to adapt his leadership.

He tells the story at the 9-minute mark.

“The perception of leadership vs. the reality of employee experience is many times completely different.”

What is the difference between mentorship vs. management and why is it so important?

  • When an employee hates their job, they talk about their manager. When an employee loves their job, they talk about their mentor.
  • There is leadership, mentorship, and management. • Leaders lead or sail the ship, managers make sure the ship is seaworthy and can continue to sail, mentorship is taking care of the people on the ship.
  • “Mentor” cannot be given to a leader or manager – it has to be earned and your people will decide.

The 5 C’s of a great mentor…

  • Confidence - They exudes trust and have a humble confidence.
  • Credibility – They have the experience.
  • Competence – Competence. People want to mentor with someone who practices what they teach, not just a theorist.
  • Candor – Great mentors create relationships so strong that honesty and trust exists.
  • Caring – The ability to care about the people that they are managing and leading.

What are the 4 types of managers?

  • Two things that determined employee satisfaction. The standards (expectations) of the manager and the connection people had with the company, their manager, their co-workers, etc.
  • Manager Type 1: The Removed Manager. These people are burned out and low on standards and low on connection. They don’t care and are just there.
  • Manager Type 2: The Buddy Manager. These people are low on standards and high on connection. They care about being liked more than they do accountability. This created entitlement.

How does someone walk the fine line of being a leader and a buddy?

  • It is stating up front and consistently that you have expectations and standards.
  • A mentor is not a friend. There is a line. It does not mean they don’t care or won’t help you, but they have standards, and they matter.
  • You then uphold those expectations/standards.
  • Manager Type 3: Controller. These people are high on standards, but low on connection. They are command and control. They use fear to get results – but the results don’t last.
  • Manager Type 4: The Mentor Manager. High on standards, but equally as high on connection. They aren’t always liked, but they are respected, and they get great results. They hold employees accountable, but also back them up.

What are lessons from your experience as a drummer that have translated to entrepreneurial success?

  • Cleanliness. This is a word from drumlines where all drummers are in exact unison.
  • Cleanliness relates to entrepreneurship in that when you work to have everything in lock step and everyone doing their job exactly as they should at their optimum level, you get cleanliness in business.
  • Simplicity. As entrepreneurs, we are so busy boiling the ocean and our “to do lists.” But the greatest entrepreneurs know what they need to stop doing. Drummers are the same in that great drummers don’t add things in where they aren’t needed, etc.
  • The basics done well make the difference.

What are best tips on how to communicate effectively as a leader?

  • Every audience is asking the question, “Let me know when it gets to the part about me.”
  • We have to bring the sense of humanity back into our conversations.
  • Make sure it is not about you and that those are finding value from what you are saying.
  • Always have the audience, the customer, interests in mind.

Other entrepreneurship lessons you feel people should know? • The ET Theory. This is based on the movie ET.

  • At the 42 min mark, Clint shares the theory and it’s best to listen.
  • ET dethroned Star Wars and was the #1 grossing movie for 11 years straight.
  • It sold over $6 Billion in just ET dolls/toys.
  • ET was iconic and the process to create a lasting character is the same for a great business.
  • #1: Concept – what is the idea?
  • #2: Illustration/design – writing out and draw the character – it is the same in designing a business.
  • #3: Sculpting – this is where you see the character for the first time.
  • #4: Casting/Molding – the core of the character like the core of a business
  • #5: Mechanics – How to make it move, etc. In business, this is marketing and how you will make the business go.
  • #6: Fabrication – it comes to life, just like a business will if you follow the process.
  • The details are the most important. Every brick carefully and thought through. This creates quality.
  • If you create an ET out of your business, you create something timeless.


Best Quote:  We are not getting out of this life alive. Be a “do it, did it, done it,” NOT a “woulda, shoulda, coulda.”


Clint's Misfit 3:

  1. Get really good at creating a “to don’t” list. Get good at what you need to stop doing.
  2. To live is the rarest thing in the world, for most people just exist and that is all - Oscar Wilde. We are not getting out of this life alive. Be a “do it, did it, done it,” NOT a “woulda, shoulda, coulda.”
  3. It’s not about being the best in the world, it’s about being the best for the world. Significance over success.

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May 5, 2021

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur Travis Chambers. Travis is the founder of Chamber Media, a firm that takes companies from being product and service sellers to brand builders by doing what he calls story selling through creating scalable social video ads that drive millions in sales.

Travis led distribution and content strategy for “YouTube’s #1 Ad of the Decade,” Kobe vs. Messi which amassed over 140 million views. He’s worked with some of the biggest brands in the world including Yahoo, Kraft, Old Navy, Coca-Cola and has been featured in AdWeek, Forbes, HuffPost, and Inc. Magazine. Travis regularly speaks at conferences such as INBOUND, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Google Growth Summit, VidCon, and VidSummit among many others.

But, what I love most is that Travis built his business to suit his lifestyle. It was goal from the start. And I’ve asked him to come on share how to do it.

Everything started when Travis was a kid with 8 mm cameras. He got into the film industry and in his early 20’s had his first kid, his dad got Parkinson’s disease…and cancer…and divorced after working 70 hours per week his whole life. Everything hit him at once. He was working at 20th Century Fox in his dream job making commercials for the movies. Entrepreneurship had never crossed his mind. His “mid-life crisis” hit when he was 23 years old and made him ask what he really wanted to be doing with his life.

He realized there was so much more out there, so he left and started Chamber Media to live life on his terms. What are those terms for you, your ideal lifestyle?

  • Autonomy and flexibility
  • Time with family (his was missing the early years with his kids)
  • Work needs to be means to an end
  • Find something you don’t hate that you are good at, that makes you the money for your lifestyle.
  • This is one of the reasons his company has a 4-day workweek for all employees. He could not get this from a job, so he created it and helped others get it.

Where does someone start? What do they need to consider to build a lifestyle business?

  • You cannot go and compete in a mature market – it is a race to the bottom.
  • Zero to One by Peter Thiel had a big influence on Travis.
  • You should never start a business that cannot be a monopoly. It needs to be so unique and so much its own thing that it can’t be easily replicated – you may get competition, but they can’t do it exactly like you or get the results you can get.
  • Find your “blue ocean”

“Start with a service first. You can always sell yourself as an entrepreneur. And if you can sell yourself to one person, you can sell yourself to 100 and have a successful business.”

  • Get good at your primary niche before branching out.

Tell us about what you do and your principles you used to build and now run your business…

  • In the Art of War, one of the main rules is to choose the battlefield.
  • Too often people see a market leader and think they can do it. At that point, it’s too late. Once there is market leader in a mature market, the game is over.
  • You’ve got to choose the pond that is growing into the ocean.
  • The niche Travis found was video ads and buying them doing them before Facebook ads, etc. had even come about.
  • Knowledge does not equate to wisdom. You have to understand industry in and out and use the wisdom gained to see the future.
  • You cannot get good at anything until you say no to almost everything.
  • The values of having a lifestyle business, staying boutique, etc. were extremely important and governed how they operated. Starting out they would only take on projects of $100k in above and would turn down ones below that.
  • 5-6 years in, Travis and the team noticed that they really had a strong leadership layer and had replicated themselves and could now really scale.

What have you put in place to allow the business to scale and let you step away?

  • People and process.
  • A lot of things broke as the company grew and their processes got seriously challenged and had to be worked through and improved over and over.
  • Hiring people with the same values, hopes and dreams, and direction that the team has. They also have to believe what Travis and the team believe. Things like making a little less to have a 4-day workweek, etc.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned on your journey so far?

  • The art of doing nothing.
  • Being too aggressive can be the wrong route and Travis is prone to it.
  • Surrounding himself with a leadership team that balances him ad helps bring logic as a group.
  • Most problems don’t have to be solved “today.”
  • Emotion kills.

What is a “Story Seller?”

  • A lot of the Fortune 500 focus heavily on building brand and making people feel a certain way about.
  • When you are a small brand, you cannot play the same game as someone with a 100-million-dollar marketing budget.
  • When you are small the best way to go is direct response marketing. It’s the only way to grow.
  • Over the last 30 years, direct marketing has been primarily infomercials and direct mail.
  • You can’t do that with digital or social as people have too much choice. They scroll quick through the newsfeed.

At the 34 min mark, Travis talks about developing the “Everything Ad” and how they did it and the results of it. It is best to just listen.

What makes a #1 video ad? What are the components that go into it to drive engagement and sales?

  • 7 Ad categories perform best and vary by industry.
  • Category 1: Spokesperson Video. It’s the highest performing. Only 2% of the top 1% of ads are spokesperson which offers a lot of opportunity.
  • Category 2: Product Demo. 50% of the ads are product demos.
  • Category 3: Social Proof. Press reviews, consumer reviews, ratings, etc. Anything to prove the solution is good.
  • Category 4: Dynamic Ads. Creative that is made based on what the person has seen.
  • Category 5: Case Studies. Any kind of empirical evidence that appeals to logic. Before and after, side by sides, scientific, etc.
  • Category 6: Lifestyle. Showing what could be or feel like if someone had the solution.
  • Category 7: Unboxing. Think Christmas morning and opening the surprise, etc.
  • What Travis and his team found by chance is that most of the successful ads that they have done have all 7 of these in them in some way and you should strive to do so in yours.
  • The Everything Ad ideal length is 90 seconds. Hook, Teaser, Problem, Solution, Another Problem, solution while weaving in all the categories (Spokesperson, social proof, unboxing, etc.)

Anything else around marketing with video we should know?

  • Pay attention to the news.
  • Apple has highjacked Facebook somewhat. Apple has blocked the ability for ads to continue without an opt-in on its platform which is causing a big drop in ads being served.
  • Travis explains everything that Facebook knows about you, a lot of it coming from paying credit card companies for data.
  • Facebook is going to become more like TV as they won’t be able to retarget at the levels they have been able to do in the past, so the ads are going to really have to make an initial impression to stick.


Best Quote: Start with a service first. You can always sell yourself as an entrepreneur. And if you can sell yourself to one person, you can sell yourself to 100 and have a successful business.


Travis's Misfit 3:

  1. Work to live. Don’t live to work. Success and greatness are not the most important thing. Be truly present.
  2. Smart has the brains, but stupid has the balls. You can get really far with grit and strategy.
  3. You’re live will be judged by how you treat people, either by a higher power or by yourself depending on what you believe.

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Apr 28, 2021

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Jackson Millan. Jackson is the CEO of Aureus Financial, a firm dedicated to helping entrepreneurs turn the success in their businesses into to personal wealth. Over the last 14 years, Aureus has helped entrepreneurs create over $1.2 Billion in combined wealth from implementing Aureus strategies.

The company has been featured everywhere from the Today Show to Money Magazine and Jackson and his team show entrepreneurs how to maximize their business cashflow, reduce their time spent in the business, and create personal financial freedom.

Mmm….make more money with less time and achieve financial freedom faster? I think just about anyone would want to learn more about how to do that. So, I’ve asked Jackson to come on and share his secrets on how to do so.

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Jackson starts out by telling the story of why he is traveling around Australia for a year right now.

Jackson’s journey started as a child. His mom was a hairdresser, and his father was very much an entrepreneur, but jumped from one thing to the next without sticking with them too long being more a dreamer. He was taught to work hard but realized there was a harsh reality of a disconnect because his parents worked 15 hour days and they had no wealth.

At 19, he decided to become a financial advisor and would not take no for an answer. He got a shot at a firm, but says it was literally disgusting, like Wolf of Wall Street type stuff. It was toxic. He thought he made a massive mistake. People were selling commission-based products to people that didn’t need them and thought about quitting.

Instead, he thought long and hard about how to do things right and what he really should be and that was a “wealth coach.” Someone who educated clients around the language of money and empowers them to grow their wealth.

You’ve said that most entrepreneurs struggle to achieve financial freedom…explain that.

  • The fundamental issue that most entrepreneurs face is that they are so actively involved in their business, it becomes the be all and end of all their existence.
  • The business can become a trap of a cash-eating monster that continually needs fed by the entrepreneur instead of what it should be – an investment vehicle.
  • The big problem is behavior. As humans, we use the means we have available. The more means we have, the more we use.
  • In other words, people tend to spend what they make increase their spending and lifestyle as their income increases.
  • There is a lot of cashflow that flows through a business and most businesses aren’t managing it effectively or well enough to have it produce the freedom it can produce.

How do we use a business to its full potential? What entrepreneurs be doing to make the business a true investment vehicle?

  • First, the business needs to be repositioned as the vehicle and define the destination.
  • Annual Roadmap: Goal setting exercise thinking 20 years into the future. We focus a lot on short term vision, but it’s the long-term vision on 1, 5, 10, 15, and 20 years that makes a difference.
  • What you plan for in 20 years will change, but does that mean you shouldn’t do it?
  • Segment the 2 types of goals. You should be able to have your cake and eat it to.
  • Map out all your lifestyle and income goals and then back into the cashflow the business has to generate to create this.
  • Then, you look at the business to see how to re-engineer if needed to achieve that cashflow.

What is the Million Dollar Mindset?

  • If you keep trimming the fat, you are going to cut into the muscle.
  • You should not shrink yourself wealthy.
  • Most are not intrinsically motivated to defer gratification.
  • We must live for today and plan for tomorrow.

At the 15 min, Jackson explains the million-dollar mindset using the marshmallow experiment.

  • Delaying gratification is good, but it is important to figure out how to play the game to win in context of what you want – not settle.

What practical tips can people do to keep this forefront?

  • We need to write the rules. At the end of the day, it is your game.
  • Come up with your 10 commandments: 10 guiding rules that are non-negotiable when it comes to making financial decisions for themselves and for their businesses.
  • We never bad decisions on purpose. We make the best decision at the time. But with rules to follow, it can help us to make better decisions in the moment and increase their quality.
  • The higher the quality of the decisions we make about money, the higher quality of outcomes we get.
  • Next, you need a cashflow mechanism that holds you accountable. Jackson talks about this at the 20 min mark.
  • Your cashflow system needs to pay yourself first. Save first and spend what is left.
  • Success and creating cashflow shouldn’t be sexy. It is consistent and almost boring.

What are ways entrepreneurs can free up cashflow?

  • Create a bucket strategy.
  • 5-6 banks accounts Your main account is your income account where all your money from your clients, etc. comes into.
  • Remove expenses from the income account and put those in a Cost of Sales account where you pay those bills out of.
  • After subtracting cost of sales is real revenue that you operate your business.
  • An operating account is used to manage these fixed costs – salaries, rent, etc.
  • You want to have an owner’s pay account to pay your #1 employee, you.
  • Then you will need a Tax account to save for taxes.
  • Then you will have a profit account.
  • You then fill them in this order: Profit Account, Tax Account, Owner’s Pay, Operating.
  • Revenue – Profit = Expenses, not Revenue – Expenses = Profit

Talk to us about building a 7-figure lifestyle business…how do we do it?

  • Jackson’s first business failed tremendously.
  • He started a fashion business and taught himself on the go.
  • He had some success in getting known and some sales, but the business was hemorrhaging cash.
  • He wasn’t passionate about it and he built for the blind pursuit of money. A big mistake.
  • He was burning the candle at both ends hating it.
  • He was deep in debt, but knew he had to get rid of it, so he did.
  • He went back to his roots and his passionate focus which was helping people learn to have financial success creating a 7-figure business.
  • How did he do it?
    • He got educated and self-educated on what he needed to know. The right strategies.
    • He created a game plan – a 1 page game plan framework that was a working document that gave clarity.
    • He then focused on his numbers and started tracking everything in his business so he could predict, forecast, and run the business more efficiently.

What has surprised you most on your journey?

  • How difficult it is to get yourself out of the technician role, the doing, and become the leader building he business systems, teams, etc.
  • Are you building a business around you or a business that can be scaled?
  • Are you building it for you to be the hero and to feed your ego? Is that the right way?

Books that made a big difference for you?

  • 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris
  • Unshakable by Tony Robbins
  • The Alchemist by Paulo Cuoelo


Best Quote: Revenue – Profit = Expenses; NOT Revenue – Expenses = Profit 


Jackson's Misfit 3:

  1. Create your 10 Commandments. We need guiding principles for life and our finances that can be our compass.
  2. Complete the annual roadmap. Go through the 20-year roadmap exercise and do it with your significant other independently
  3. Create a time where you can review your finances for 90 minutes once per month – Your Money Meeting.

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Apr 21, 2021

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Carl Gould. Carl Gould is a worldwide leading authority on business and entrepreneurship. He is an entrepreneur who built three multi-million-dollar businesses by age 40. His company, 7 Stage Advisors, has mentored the launch of over five thousand businesses. Some of the companies he’s helped are companies like Allstate, American Idol, USA Olympic Track, IBM, McGraw-Hill and the US Army.

Carl created the farthest-reaching business mentoring organization in the world, and his methodologies are in practice in 35 countries. He has trained, certified or accredited over 7,000 Business Coaches and Mentors since 2002.

He has also written multiple books on the subject of business strategy, leadership and sustainable growth. He co-authored “Blueprint for Success” with Stephen R. Covey and Ken Blanchard; and his best-selling book, “The 7 Stages of Small Business Success”, lays out the formula for HyperGrowth. Needless to say, Carl is a wealth of entrepreneurial wisdom and I’m going to do my best to get everything I can out of him in our time together.

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Carl’s journey started in college. He was an accounting and finance student. He broke his leg pretty badly in his second year and had to leave school. He found himself with a broken leg that took 6 months to get better, broke, and needing to make money.

He started a design/build landscape company and doubled it every year for 7 years then sold. Then in the early 90’s, he started a construction company and grew it to 2004. He started coaching in 1990 after going through certifications. It was his side hustle in the 90’s. He then started his coaching/strategy business in the early 2000’s.

His passion is coaching and guiding small business owners. He still invests in other companies, real estate, etc.

What is the one thing you think matters most for success as an entrepreneur?

  • Absolute 100% dogged determination.
  • Among all the traits of entrepreneurs, resilience and determination are most critical.
  • Adversity is always there, and the key is to keep getting back up and doubling down on yourself, your business, and you clients.
  • If you keep showing your commitment that you will serve no matter what, you will see it through.

At the 8:30 mark, Carl shares his view on the short attention spans we have and how he sees it in context of success…

  • The level of content has gotten so good that people are better educated consumers.
  • People don’t cancel what they love, they cancel what stinks and is boring.
  • They can see through it.
  • It’s exciting because you have to be so on your game, but are rewarded, almost unfairly when you are.
  • People are hungry for greatness.

Take us through the 7 Stages of Growth and Business Success…

  • Carl developed this in the 90’s. It is model that has been validated over the years.
  • Stage 1: Strategic Planning Stage. You need to have a compelling and inspiring vision and plan for the business.
  • Stage 2: Specialty Stage. This is where you build your expert authority in your niche.
  • Stage 3: Synergy Stage. This is where you build a team that is aligned with mission, vision, values, and purpose.
  • Stage 4: Systems Stage. Document and build out the ecosystem to scale the business.
  • Stage 5: Sustainability. You are starting to be known for something other than the utility of your product or service.
  • Stage 6: Saleability. You maximize the value of your business and it is now an asset. There is also where you are mature and doing things like buying other companies or going public, etc.
  • Stage 7: Succession. This is when a legacy business is born and is lasting.
  • Sequence matters. You have to go through each stage and maximize it before going to the next one.

How does and entrepreneur execute in each stage?

  • It is like going through the years of school.
  • You have to fully immerse yourself in each stage.
  • You have maximized stage 1 if you can answer the question, “What is so compelling about my business that my customers would be willing to leave from where they buy from now and buy from me and pay a premium? Would my competitors’ employees be willing to come work for me and earn less?
  • In stage 2, you know you an expert when someone reaches out to you unsolicited and asks you for advice on your niche that is in the same industry.
  • In stage 3, you know you have maximized if people are fully bought into your vision and do whatever it takes to help the business successful.
  • In stage 4, you make the internal commitment to systematize every area of your business and have “your company way.” Once, it is fully documented and mapped out, you’ve done.
  • In stage 5, you’re like a franchise and can expand and duplicated what you’ve done.
  • In stage 6, you are building your management team to run the business instead of just you, the owner.
  • In stage 7, when you can fire yourself and the next generation can take over, you’ve done it.

What are some of the biggest traps entrepreneurs fall into and how do we avoid them?

  • Stage 1 planning is typically inadequate.
  • Entrepreneurs fall in love with their product instead of falling in love with their client. They should focus on the client first.
  • Pricing is also a trap/mistake entrepreneurs make. You need to charge what your value is. Don’t get people to “just pay for your service.” You need to be a premium because you are bringing tremendous value – where you need to be good is at articulating the value.

Best advice for building rapport and influences? What are some of the best practices?

  • The basis of any relationship is your ability to build rapport.
  • There is a science of how we build, maintain, and nurture rapport.
  • First, know your client by knowing behavior and personality styles (DISC, etc.)
  • Rapport is the relationship of sameness, likeness, and commonality and it is an involuntary response – getting someone to like you.
  • How we do anything is how we do everything – remember that. People have tendencies and are creatures of habits.
  • Your ability to align with people’s tendencies and habits helps you build rapport.

Thoughts on leadership and how to be a successful leader?

  • You need to be willing to do whatever you’re asking of someone, or have done it.
  • You need to be willing to let someone else take the lead.
  • You can be a leader from the front or the back (you can go first paving the way, or go last letting everyone else get the credit)
  • You walk the talk without the talk. Do it and demonstrate the principles you want followed. ​

Anything else we should know?

  • Outsourcing and building remote teams is a very important skill to learn.
  • Your ability to “staff to valleys and are prepared for the peaks with variable costs.” This may be having contractors ready during peak times and not using them during slow times to help you manage the business better.
  • The best way to remain nimble is to be good at expanding and contracting the business as needed to maximize your business.


Best Quote: Hustle. You can hustle your way to success. 96% of entrepreneurs never make it to $1 million in revenue. You absolutely can hustle to more than that.


Misfit 3:

  1. Hustle. You can hustle your way to success. 96% of entrepreneurs never make it to $1 million in revenue. You absolutely can hustle to more than that.
  2. There is less competition for the #1 slot in your niche. Go for #1. There is the least amount of competition to the be the best. Your clients will see this and love you for it.
  3. I hereby decree, I hereby promise that I will not discount my way to market share. I will charge accordingly for my value.


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