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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: May, 2022

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!

May 25, 2022

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Todd Randall. Todd is a serial entrepreneur. He is an 8-time CEO and business coach from rural Florida who has built businesses in in everything from gyms and spas, to construction and wholesaling. Todd still owns 4 businesses running all of them remotely doing over $6 million a year in revenue.

He is the founder of Beachview Coaching and uses his experience to train business owners how to create sustainable businesses. His specialty is helping small business owners create the lifestyle they desire from the success of their business instead of creating a 100 hour/week job for themselves. Oh, if that is not enough, Todd owns a horse farm in Florida and flies around the world playing polo in different countries.

It's rare to find an entrepreneur with the diverse experience of Todd and I’m excited for him to share his lessons with you.

www.Beachview.biz

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Todd is a classic example of an entrepreneur who didn’t fit the mold. He started out as a pharmacist and worked for 10 years at McKesson throughout the world. But, after a decade he wanted to have a bigger impact and ended up buying a franchise. He used his hobbies as an excuse to create his lifestyle. He’s a grinder and has worked himself into his diversity of businesses, but has kept his focus on having the lifestyle he wants.

Talk to us about your businesses. What are they?

  • He started with massage therapy franchises.
  • He then branched into gym franchises.
  • He owns a wholesale business for construction supplies – it came out of left field that he acquired because he enjoys home projects.
  • He also has a fence business.
  • He’s sold several businesses, one for about $8 million.

How does someone build their business to support their lifestyle instead of being beholden to their business?

  • Making sure you want to have a business is the first thing.
  • You must understand the skill sets needed to run each business and hire and promote high performers to run the day to day.
  • It is like being a conductor in an orchestra. But, you have think that way from the beginning.
  • Know the lifestyle you want ahead of building the business to create it.

Do you have any businesses where you’ve outsources to VA’s?

  • The coaching business because it is virtual.
  • It is harder to do with brick and mortar.
  • Todd uses tools like Upwork, Freelance and others.

Any best practices on scaling and running a business a well?

  • Scaling is all about delegation.
  • Coming from being an employee, you are trained to work employee hours and many entrepreneurs that come from being an employee just work like that as an entrepreneur.
  • An entrepreneur needs to learn to empower and get out of the way. Don’t be a bottleneck for decisions.
  • One example Todd gives is when he had an employee come to him frustrated because the employee was always waiting on Todd for decisions. When they talked, Todd found that the employee was capable of making the decisions – maybe even better ones that Todd, so they put together a process to allow the employee to do so.
  • You don’t need to make all the decisions in your business – in fact, you cannot scale if you have to. Find great people and let them be their best.

At the 12 min mark, Todd talks about his 5 pts for empowerment.

  • Trust - It is important to spend a lot of time interviews selecting for character and trust (good judgement)
  • Patience – You must set reasonable expectations and allow time for people to grow. Use mistakes to teach.
  • Escalation Pathways – List out the situations or events that trigger the owner to be involved.
  • Transfer to Coach – You must foster a culture of learning and growth through imperfection.
  • Build Redundancies – You must do everything possible not to be a bottleneck. Processes and systems must be created. You also need to have trained backups for key positions.

What challenges come up with multiple businesses? What have you learned to do that well?

  • Running a business is a set of skills that can be learned like playing a sport or other things.
  • Necessity is the mother of invention – as a business owner, you will learn by trial and error and needs that must be fulfilled.
  • Dive in and tackle your biggest challenges, but you must delegate to have the bandwidth to do this.
  • Businesses have to be run with heart – at their core, businesses are people. Help people thrive. And don’t worry if you suck at those skills! Most entrepreneurs do to start!
  • Get help earlier and often.

Advice for those that want to follow a path like yours in leadership?

  • Lead with compassion.
  • It all comes down to people.

At the 29 min mark, Todd talks about how he had imposter syndrome when it came to entrepreneurship because he prefers to do it for having the lifestyle he wants vs. striving for more in some cases. His business is exactly the right size for what he wants to do.

How did you come to know exactly what you wanted?

  • Todd can think of a couple instances.
  • The first was when he was still at corporate working overseas.
  • It was right before the collapse in 2008. He has worked on a billion-dollar business plan with a company in an engagement that he led. When done, his company wanted him to come back home. He decided to take a month off and hang in the south of France.
  • It was one of the best months he ever had in his life and it didn’t cost a lot to do it. It made him realize how easily he could have a great life and changed his direction.
  • The second was 5 years into his businesses when he had 3 locations. He had an opportunity for adding a 4th. He invested in the 4th business and got caught. It had issues and ended costing him most of his money and cashflow at the time.
  • He decided he was going to make it out – and it took getting rid of his fancy beachfront condo and nice car. He sold it all and rented a trailer. He figured out what was important and focused there.
  • This helped get out of being capital constrained and get out of trouble and after about a year, things were back to normal and thriving for all 4 businesses. He then sold two taking some money off the table.

Best advice on how to exit a business?

  • Some cliches hold up.
  • Think about and prepare for it years before you are ready.
  • Plan in advance. Plan, plan, plan.
  • Know your business value and when it is at its best.

What has traveling around the world playing polo taught you about how to succeed and run a better business?

  • It really accentuates that business is a set of skills.
  • People come from extremely different walks of life and figure out how to do it. It’s the same as entrepreneurship.
  • People everywhere are curious by nature and they dig in and figure things out and create opportunities. You can too.

 

Best Quote: Running a business is a set of skills that can be learned like playing a sport or other things.

 

Todd's Misfit 3:

  1. Nobody cares what your goals are in comparison to them. Make your goals yours. Take time to sit down and be very honest about what is important to you.
  2. The world is full of people. Study them and appreciate them. The minute you release yourself from being the center of the universe, the more you will learn and grow.
  3. Exercise your body and mind. Physically tax yourself each and every day. It is great for your mindset.

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May 18, 2022

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Michelle Seiler Tucker. Michelle is the founder of Seiler Tucker Incorporated, a pre-imminent company for fixing, growing, buying, and selling businesses. Over 20 years, Michelle and her team have assisted in the buying and selling of over a thousand businesses. She is also a venture capitalist and two-time #1 best-selling author, speaker, TV, and radio host. Her latest book is called, Exit Rich and it’s being hailed by everyone from Steve Forbes to Brian Tracy, Les Brown, Jack Canfield, and many others.

Michelle has been featured everywhere from INC to Forbes to Entrepreneur and holds just about every certification possible in the M&A space. It’s safe to say she is an expert in how to grow, sell, and buy businesses. And I’ve asked her to come on the show to go in depth in all those areas.

www.SeilerTucker.com

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Michelle has always been an entrepreneur going back to when she was a kid. She did work at Xerox and climbed the ranks quickly, but she could not stay and had to pursue her entrepreneurial spirit. She went into franchise space. She had a lot of buyers that would ask to buy existing businesses instead of starting from scratch. She saw an opportunity and began providing these services. Nowadays, her firm specializes in selling, buying, fixing, and growing businesses. She also invests in businesses and helps guide them to maximize their value.

What are the characteristics of a great business?

  • It is an actual business and not a job.
  • 80% of businesses will never sell – Steve Forbes.
  • Most business owners don’t build the proper infrastructure that allows the business to grow and scale without them.
  • A great business maximizes the 6 P’s: People, Processes, Product, Proprietary, Patrons, and Profits.
  • A business is sellable when it has a sustainable, scalable, and predictable structure in place.

Go in depth on the 6 P’s. What do we need to know?

  • 80% of businesses will never sell.
  • Most business owners don’t build their business to be sold and most are emotionally attached to it having created a glorified job for themselves.
  • The business must work for the owner, not the owner for the business.
  • The #1 reason businesses don’t sell is because the business is completely dependent on the owner.
  • People: You build people and people build the business. The right people in the right seats. As the who question? Who does what? What are the characteristics of that person?
  • Product: Your product, industry, and service. A business must always innovate and market. You must constantly ask, “I am on the way up or the way out?” A business must have multiple revenue streams.
    • What is your business best at?
    • What business should you be in?
  • Processes: This is where most businesses fail. You have to identify your processes, but most business owners do this wrong. They design their business processes around their own agenda – it needs to be around the customer agenda. Michelle gives a great example of this with medical clinics. Your process must be concrete and tested and wow your customers.
  • Proprietary: This is the highest value P. Business that are under $1 million in EBITA will trade between 1-3x EBITA. If the EBITA is over $1 million, it starts at 5x and up. Proprietary is a number of things. Part of this is branding – the more value your brand has, the more your company is worth. Trademarks are valuable as well. They need to be registered Federally, not just in the state of the business. Trademark your products as well. Patents are important as well. Contracts are another value driver. Data is valuable.
  • Patrons: Your customers. Customer concentration is something that does happen, but a business must be careful not to have the bulk of the revenue highly concentrated in a small number of clients. It is a risk. Diversify your client base and offerings to grow clients.
  • Profits: Most companies are not making a profit. Lack of profits are not the problem, it is a symptom of not having the rest of the 6 P’s.

How does an entrepreneur plan their exit strategy from day 1?

  • The worst time to sell your business is during a catastrophe or risk event.
  • You want to sell your business at its height.
  • You must have a realistic value of what your business is worth – not what you think it is worth.
  • Follow the GPS exit model: Start with the end in mind. Plan your exit from the beginning. Know the destination before you begin the journey. (what is the goal to exit or sell the business for)
  • Know where you are starting from. (what is the business worth today)
  • Know who your buyers are.
  • Build the company to sell from the beginning.

What are the big mistakes entrepreneurs make in the sales process?

  • Not hiring the right professionals to help you or trying to sell the business on your own.
  • Get an experienced M&A advisor.
  • Get the proper disclosures signed.
  • Be careful selling to customers or employees.
  • Go back to the 6 P’s to maximize value.
  • Make sure contracts, employee contracts/non-competes all buttoned up.
  • Beware telling your employees and clients you are in a process.
  • Don’t negotiate outside of your M&A advisor.

Anything else we should know?

  • Don’t ever divulge your customer list.
  • Make sure you have a non-compete if a competitor is buying you.
  • It’s not what you know that gets you into trouble, its what you don’t know.
  • Many deals fall apart because of taxes. You have to pay taxes – don’t not sell your business because of taxes. There are ways you can defer capital gains.

 

Best Quote: 80% of businesses will never sell.  The #1 reason businesses don’t sell is because the business is completely dependent on the owner.

 

Michelle's Misfit 3:

  1. Build your exit from the beginning. Use the 6 P’s. People, Processes, Product, Proprietary, Patrons, and Profits
  2. It is hard to read the label from the inside of the bottle. You need an outsider’s perspective. Get a mentor who has been down the road you want to travel.
  3. Do your best to have a balanced life of God, family, and work. Keep a 30-day journal and document things. 3 buckets. Bucket A are the things only you can do. Bucket B are the things that you are good at but should be delegated. Bucket C are the things you can outsource entirely.

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May 11, 2022

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Yaro Starak. Yaro has an awesome entrepreneur story. From growing up sleeping in an old van parked in the backyard of his small home in Australia to working multiple jobs trying to make ends meet, putting himself through college – Yaro learned he wasn’t an employee. His first breakthrough came in the form a website where he gained following and traction making money with banner ads.

I won’t spoil his story, as I want him to tell it, but he went on to create more online businesses, especially in the blogging space making millions, and created his financial independence. Today he invests in companies – making over 30+ investments to date, continues to build others and coach entrepreneurs. He’s been featured everything from Forbes to Entrepreneur and Business Insider. His latest project is called Inbox Done, an email management company.

I asked him to come on the show to share what he’s learned on his journey and how you can use it in your life.

www.Yaro.blog

www.InboxDone.com

Yaro shares his story and his experience during this time having business and property in Ukraine. His father was born in Ukraine and escaped after WWII and immigrated to Australia where Yaro was born. When Yaro turned 18, it was 1998 during the Dotcom boom. He started a card game business, a media site where it had commentary, e-commerce store, and he sold advertising. When he went to college, he started an essay editing business to offer editing/proofreading that became a full-time business. In 2005, he got into blogging and found a lot of success and still does it today. He was an early adopter. He sold off the essay company and card business and focused on blogging full time. He turned the blogging into creating courses, e-books, a membership site, etc. It was the first business that did over a million dollars. He traveled the world living in over 26 cities running the business. He did it up until 5 years ago. He then started his current company Inbox Done to help provide outsourced professional assistants.

What are some of the principles you have applied to your different businesses that have allowed you to be consistently successful?

  • Compounding a skill set. For example, with the card business, content helped build a community, this gave an audience that could be monetized.
  • Content was used to drive sales in the essay company through SEO.
  • Content is also a driver for Inbox Done.
  • Using the written/spoken word to build an audience and build trust has been the common principle used to build the businesses.

Best advice on how to write good content and sell with it?

  • First is the delivery mechanism. It is all about technology and it is constantly changing.
  • Email has been tried and true alongside a blog/website.
  • What you put into the content will follow the same strategy.
  • Look at what kind of content you will produce and how it relates to your goal of building the business.
  • Storytelling is powerful which is intimate and grows trust.
  • Step 1 is always telling a story. But, your story telling must turn into the strategic goal you have for the business. Each business will require different content and stories focused for it.
  • What does your business do and what are the rejection points from people purchasing – use story to discuss these and show why people should buy.
  • Email newsletters are most important. Email is the only true platform you have 100% control of, so building your list is critical.

Can you layout the components of your business models that you have duplicated?

  • It is different depending on the product or service.
  • It starts with what you are excited about building what need you can meet in the marketplace.
  • Next, you must understand the right business model to capitalize on the need that must be met.
  • Then it is all about execution.

If you choose one model to work with, which one is best?

  • Yaro at different times in his life would answer this differently.
  • Blogging was very simple, but it required consistency and constant creation of content – you’re on a treadmill. It is harder to scale.
  • A business that is more SAAS or marketplace oriented, it can scale easier.
  • If he had to choose, it would be to build a company that can scale without him.

Talk to us about blogging. How does someone create a million-dollar business blogging?

  • It’s changed a lot.
  • Things are way more crowded and there are way more platforms.
  • Niching down is important for blogging today.
  • Story telling about real results will always work. How content and stories are important.
  • Stay specialized and differentiate yourself in every way you can to help you stand out. Double down on everything that is different. The content will help you stand out in search engines.
  • At the 28 min, Yaro gives an example.
  • When you go narrow, you still have a large enough audience in today’s world to have a really good audience.

Thoughts on driving traffic?

  • It continues to be very dynamic.
  • Google ads and SEO can work well for niche.
  • Podcasts are a great medium.
  • A solid referral program for clients to refer.
  • Branding to drive a sense of awareness in your niche – what is the message you need to state that stands out and makes you different?
  • Build an email list!
  • Get published – go in front of audiences that are interested in what you are doing. Whatever platforms those are – get in front of people on them.
  • Things do not work straightaway or at all sometimes, so you must be ready to pivot and try others. Keep trying and testing mediums. ​

How do you keep up with everything and stay successful across your businesses?

  • Genuine interest and passion for what he does which drives intent.
  • Intent drives focus. Researching and learning to stay on top and be a leader in his space.
  • Most important is to make sure you structure your life and business for the free time you need and the time you need to keep on top of things.
  • 80/20 Rule. Focus on the most important things and delegate or eliminate the rest.
  • It’s not so much about “working hard and the time you put in,” its about working hard on the right things that move the needle and it’s ok if takes just a few hours a day. Focus on getting the results.
  • Use technological automation. Build teams by hiring or outsourcing.

 

Best Quote: It’s not so much about “working hard and the time you put in.” It's about working hard on the right things that move the needle and it’s ok if takes just a few hours a day. Focus on getting the results.

 

Yaro's Misfit 3:

  1. There will be ups and downs, but neither will last forever.
  2. Rest is the foundation for performance.
  3. Focus on where your creativity can add value for others.

 

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May 4, 2022

Many years ago, I introduced a new format that 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 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.

Ok, so here goes…this week’s Lesson for Hannah.

Hannah, In this episode, we celebrate the 300th episode of the Misfit Entrepreneur. And it’s only fitting that it should be a Lessons for Hannah episode. Wow, 300 episodes – that is almost 6 years’ worth of interviews from the top entrepreneur and minds in their areas of expertise. First, I want to give my sincerest thanks to all of you that support and listen to the show. You are the best audience anyone could ever ask for. Second, I can honestly say at this point that you can find an expert on pretty much any topic in business and entrepreneurship amongst the Misfit Entrepreneurs. And I would put the content produced by this show and these entrepreneurs up against any MBA program in the world. In fact, if I can be so bold, I would say that if someone listens to the Misfit Entrepreneur for 1 year and puts the wisdom and guidance shared by these amazing entrepreneurs into practice in their lives, they will be light years ahead of most MBA programs.

Why do I say that and why is it important? Because it is part of the lesson I want to teach you today. As I write this, the world is in turmoil. Not that there isn’t always something going in the world, but particularly this time in history, I think, will end up being significant. Why? Because when history looks back at this time period, it will have a lot to keep up with. We just came out of a pandemic after 2 years where unprecedented measures were taken – in many cases to unimaginable extremes. Coming out of the pandemic, the US and the world has had to contend with a generational economic upheaval that is still in progress and will be for some time. On top of that, we have a major war in Europe in which one side, Russia, more and more, is talking about the use of nuclear weapons. We are seeing supply shortages of many things, but especially food and energy throughout the world. And if that is not enough, we have had governments create massive amounts of debt printing money to no end and injecting it into economies alongside the supply shocks, causing Inflation to reach 40-year highs.

So, what is the lesson I want you to learn in the midst of all of this. First, those that can understand, but separate themselves from all that is happening in the world, and see the “forest through the trees” will find massive opportunities. To do that, they will need to self-educate and take lessons from history. For example, we have been in this situation with inflation before from 1972-1983. If you study this period, it will give you some great insight into what to expect during these times and where opportunities are hidden.

Second, you must think independently and not follow the herd. I amazed at how many things are upside down from even just a few years ago. People scream things like “follow the science” only to change what “the science” is 2 days later. We cannot even agree on how many genders there are anymore. The number seems to change by the week. We are told that down is up and up is down and that things we know to be true are no longer true – things that have held up since time has been recorded in some cases. This where history comes in again. Throughout our human history there have been many times where we did ridiculous things, and the herd, the majority went along with it. There was a time when the consensus of the world was that it was flat and anyone who said it wasn’t, was shunned. We used to burn people at the stake because the herd somehow in a perverted way of thinking claimed them to be witches. In more recent times, we were told that wearing a mask from the time we enter a restaurant to the time we sat down, was needed to prevent getting a virus, but once sitting, we could take it off and breath openly, and everything would be fine – but we would have to put it back on again to leave the restaurant. Regardless of your view on masking, there is no science behind that – its just the herd mentality at work.

The major point I want to make in this lesson is that there are going to be times of turmoil in your life where it seems like the world is on fire and the herd is going in a direction that defies the reality that we know to be true and that has proven to be true. Hannah, it is during these times that the most successful keep their wits about them and stay grounded finding amazing opportunities. But you must be prepared and that comes from self-education and independently thinking things through – not just going along with the herd. Be curious and don’t be afraid to ask questions and challenge the herd mentality. In fact, one of my favorite quotes is from Thomas Jefferson where he said, “Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.” This quote sums it up. Question things with boldness for the truth will hold up in the end vs. following the herd out of fear and going along with things that are not true. Hannah, this may be one of the most important lessons I can ever give you and I hope that you take it to heart and use it throughout your life. This lesson has served me very well in life and in business, and as I think through over 300 episodes of speaking to some of the greatest minds of our time, I find that that they embody this mentality as well.

Hannah, there are so many other lessons to share you and many new ones for me to learn and I look forward to sharing them over the next 300 episodes!

I love you,

Daddy

 

Best Quote: If I can be so bold, I would say that if someone listens to the Misfit Entrepreneur for 1 year and puts the wisdom and guidance shared by these amazing entrepreneurs into practice in their lives, they will be light years ahead of most MBA programs.

 

Misfit 3:

You must learn to think independently of the herd and logically make decisions.

There are going to be times of turmoil in your life where it seems like the world is on fire and the herd is going in a direction that defies the reality that we know to be true and that has proven to be true. It is during these times that the most successful keep their wits about them and stay grounded finding amazing opportunities.

Question things with boldness for the truth will hold up in the end vs. following the herd out of fear and going along with things that are not true.

 

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