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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: 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!

Dec 28, 2022

Misfit Nation! Welcome to the Misfit Entrepreneur 2022 year in review where each year I attempt to boil down all of the incredible, useful information, strategies, and tips that our guests have given on the show into less than one hour for you…with a few surprises thrown in. Now, it’s impossible for me to go over every single best piece of advice and that is why I urge you to take some time and go through the Misfit Archives to see which episodes resonate most with you, but in doing this episode, my goal is to spur ideas – to give you a lightning strike that propels you down a path of action to better improve yourself, your life, and your business or career in 2023!

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

But, before I begin I want to tell you something. I want to say “Thank YOU.” Thank you for listening. Thank you for your support of the show and thank you for sharing our message. Without you and the amazing feedback members of this audience give me every week, it would not be half of what it is. Because of you, this show has reached hundreds of thousands of people in over 150 countries. I am truly humbled and in awe at what we’ve done together and I am excited about having an even bigger impact with your help in 2023. So, from the bottom of my heart, Thank you, thank you, thank you!

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, and I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I did creating it for you! Show Sponsors

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Dec 21, 2022

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Jordan Schindler. Jordan is changing the game and leading and inventing a whole new category of clothing, Healthware. He is the founder and CEO of Nufabrix, the #1 fastest growing company in the region as named by Charlotte Business Journal, the Deloitte Fast 500 #2 Fastest Growing Pharmaceutical Company in North America, and INC. 5000 #50 Fastest Growing Company in America. If that’s not enough, Jordan was also a 2021 EY Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist.

I love seeing entrepreneurs break through and create entirely new markets, true blue oceans and that is what Jordan is doing with Healthware. I’m excited for him to share his journey and lessons he’s learned on how to build a whole new market and succeed.

www.Nufabrix.com

Jordan has been an entrepreneur since he was a kid doing all kinds of things in Tucson, Arizona. He took a trip with his parents to China where he came across an MP3 player market and convinced his parents to let him buy 10 and bring them back to sell on eBay. This turned into a passion project in early High School.

He went to school in Seattle and after working around the area moved to North Carolina founding Nufabrix.

Tell us about the product and what you are doing with it and how you are creating new markets…

  • He started Nufabrix to solve a personal problem. He had bad acne in college and learned about the link between your pillow case and bad skin where as you sleep dirt and oil builds up clogging pores.
  • The dermatologist recommended to wash his pillow case 2-3 times per week which seemed a little ridiculous.
  • It got him thinking about how it may be possible to deliver medication through fabrics with their skin touchpoint. With this, the idea for Nufabrix was born.
  • The idea that instead of having to take a pill or put on a patch, what if you just had to get dressed in the morning and your clothing delivered a controlled release of medication or nutritional supplements, was intriguing and possible.
  • At 7-minute market, Jordan talks more about the product line and its possibilities.

How do you get medication or supplements into the fabrics?

  • It is like a transdermal patch.
  • They took an active ingredient and invented a way to embed it into yarn.
  • It can last through a number of washes and then the fabrics can be recycled.

You grew tremendously during the pandemic, what happened to cause this grow and how have you kept it going?

  • They found a niche to help with PPE and facemasks in the pandemic. They converted one of their machines to make facemasks and had the facility to test and meet requirements onsite.
  • They were one of the only suppliers that could meet demand on the timelines needed. In fact, the US Govt sent 3 Blackhawk helicopters to their facility to pick up 250,000 masks.
  • They ended up being one of top 5 biggest producers of masks in the country with 6 employees!

What lessons did you take from the experience?

  • “Next man up.” You never know when you can fill a need and your ability to meet a need quickly is where you can outcompete.
  • The power of being willing to innovate.
  • It was also a great lesson in making a decision and then taking action when an opportunity presents itself.
  • It was also finding a way to help that leads to opportunity.

At the 17 min mark, we have a discussion about how we found ways to succeed in our businesses during the pandemic.

What’s your advice to go from idea to action and execution?

  • Swim to the next buoy. Even if you take one small action, it can make a big difference.
  • You do this enough and the world looks a lot different.
  • There is something to be said about having some ignorance going into an idea. If you don’t know how hard it is, you are more likely to give it a shot and succeed.
  • Focus on the things that are really going to make the most difference. What are the 1-2 or 3 things that if you just did those make the most difference in moving the needle.

At the 29 min mark, we talk about Stoicism and focusing on only what we can control.

Talk to us about raising money and what is like to keep up with the growth…

  • They have taken a few rounds.
  • A decent investment came from the Department of Defense.
  • They went out and found the right individuals to help accelerate growth like family offices, angels, etc. in areas like pro-sports teams and former Walmart execs, etc. that had the knowledge and experience and can help them.
  • It is important to stay true to what matters and build a business that can scale. If you need to take on investment to do so, do it, but do it smart and in a calculated way.

Anything you learned from securing investors that others should know?

  • Treat an investor like a customer.
  • Investors are consumers like anyone else and if they can themselves consuming your product, they are more likely to invest.
  • Open communication is also very important. Don’t be afraid to overcommunicate.

Best advice for an entrepreneur just starting out?

  • Learn and don’t re-invent the wheel.
  • Get a mentor or advisor.
  • Most everything you want to do or the challenges you have are not new and others have gone through them. Learn from them.
  • Groups like Entrepreneur’s Organization are helpful as well.

 

Best Quote: “Next man up.” You never know when you can fill a need and your ability to meet a need quickly is where you can outcompete.

 

Jordan's Misfit 3:

  1. Think of business like a conveyor belt of problems, challenges, and opportunities that keep coming at you. Pick up each challenge or problem or opportunity and put it on the conveyor belt. Each time you do this, you make progress.
  2. All you can control is your reaction and your response. Don’t focus on things you cannot change or have an impact on.
  3. As your company grows, you role must change, so take time regularly to assess what your role should be to ensure the company is on the right path.

 

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Dec 14, 2022

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Derek Lidow. Derek has had a unique entrepreneurial journey in that he was CEO of a large publicly traded semiconductor company, a founder and CEO of an innovative and valuable startup, and now as a teacher and scholar of entrepreneurship and innovation. Derek is a professor of the practice at the Keller Center for Innovation in Engineering Education at Princeton University. He’s literally lived 3 very different entrepreneurial lives.

On top of all that he is the author multiple best-sellers including Startup Leadership: How Savvy Entrepreneurs Turn Their Ideas Into Successful Enterprises, Building on Bedrock: What Sam Walton, Walt Disney, and Other Great Self-Made Entrepreneurs Can Teach Us About Building Valuable Companies, and THE ENTREPRENEURS: The Relentless Quest for Value.

Derek is one of those guys, I could talk about every side of entrepreneurship with and we do just that.

www.DerekLidow.com

Derek thought he was going to be a scientist. During graduate school he found that it wasn’t for him. He finished his PhD, but then shocked everyone and went into the business world. He found success as a semi-conductor executive during the golden age of the industry. He contributed a lot to the industry and ultimately proved how to create great solutions saving the world billions in gigawatts in the power space. He was ultimately made CEO of a large global company and led it to be the leader in it’s vertical. After 5 years, he got the itch to start his own company. He retired from the corporate world and started a company from scratch. He built a data aggregation and visualization solution for the supply chain and with his previous experience was able to create a massive enterprise. The company kept finding success until a another company came along and had to buy them paying top dollar. Two weeks later he later he was recruited by Princeton to help create their entrepreneurial curriculum and teach.

For the last 10 years he has taught and immersed himself into studying entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship is more of innate state for human beings, but so many stray from embracing it – why do you think that is?

  • Derek has studied the origins of entrepreneurship and how it started and took hold.
  • He realized he was under-appreciating the value of entrepreneurship.
  • Entrepreneurs are responsible for virtually everything.
  • We should understand better what they do and how they do that.

At the 14 min mark, Derek and I have a good discussion of whether everyone is meant to be an entrepreneur or not.

  • Entrepreneurs are self-directed.
  • They decide which rules to follow and which to not follow.
  • Entrepreneurs typically have a skill that those around them covet and want them for.
  • Entrepreneurs entice others to give them something in return for their skill. They are not afraid to ask for a sale.

We further discuss how everyone is selling something, but don’t see it like selling unless it is in a business context. But, everyone is in sales of some kind.

We also discuss the real challenge for people tapping into the entrepreneurial gene is the willingness to take risk.

You’ve said that we are focused on the wrong aspect of helping and regulating entrepreneurs. What does that mean?

  • It is impossible for Govts to create effective regulations that allow entrepreneurs to innovate and create without causing entrepreneurs to go outside the rules and cause problems.
  • Regulations have not been very effective as a whole as entrepreneurs find ways to maneuver around them if they are harmful.
  • Entrepreneurs themselves are far more effective at regulating other entrepreneurs.

At the 24 min mark, we talk about the FTX scandal and how entrepreneurs would be better to manage it than Govt.

Derek uses an example of Vanderbilt to illustrate how entrepreneurs are better at keeping things in check with each other.

From your study or entrepreneurs and the history of entrepreneurship, what are some of the lessons you’ve taken that people should know and understand?

  • Great entrepreneurs are great at enticing people to want things that we may not really need.
  • People need to get educated from a consumer standpoint on how they are persuaded. This will help entrepreneurs better create products and services that are more valuable.

What is your most important message from your latest book, the Relentless Quest for Value?

  • Pay more attention to entrepreneurs and respect them but help them by giving them better feedback to create more effective solutions.
  • Support smaller businesses and their entrepreneur journey.
  • Understand that entrepreneurs are best equipped to solve the world’s biggest challenges.

You dedicated the book to Arel and Tiel. Who are they?

  • Derek’s sons that are both entrepreneurs.
  • One son is in Silicon Valley, the other growing slow and steady in his business.
  • They are modeling creating great businesses with integrity.

​ 2-3 of the best lessons you personally learned on your own entrepreneur journey?

  • Know yourself so you can understand what you are capable of and where to ask for help.
  • You must put yourself in the shoes of your customers and dedicate yourself to their happiness.
  • Be selfishly selfless. It is ok, to be selfish to be selfless with those around you.

 

Best Quote: Know yourself so you can understand what you are capable of and where to ask for help.

 

Derek's Misfit 3:

  1. Feel good about asking for help.
  2. Empathize with others.
  3. It is ok to be selfish to be selfless in helping others around you.

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Dec 7, 2022

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Jonathan Jay. Jonathan is a serial entrepreneur. He dropped out of college at 19 to start his first business and since then he has built and sold businesses in everything from publishing and digital marketing to education. During the pandemic, he made 48 business acquisitions alone.

Jonathan is a prolific deal maker who has a passion for teaching others how to buy and sell businesses. Through his company, Dealmakers, he and his team have helped over 12,000 clients from beginner to seasoned entrepreneur succeed in finding, acquiring, and/or selling businesses. He is also the author of the best-seller, Business Buying Strategies. In the book he shares some of his best secrets on how to buy a business with no money and that is one of the many topics I want to focus on with him in this episode.

https://dealmakers.co.uk/​

Jonathan dropped out of college at 19 to start a business. He spent several years bouncing around surviving as an entrepreneur. A few years later he had a publishing business that was doing OK when someone came along and offered to buy it and he realized that he would make money selling it than owning and operating it. This was an “aha” moment for him.

“In business, so many people are business operators who work every day to operate the business, where the real freedom and real money comes from selling businesses.”

Jonathan says that It is much easier to sell businesses that you have bought vs. built from scratch. Over the last 20+ years, he has sold companies and bought them. During the pandemic, he bought 48 businesses and has turned around distressed business making all the mistakes possible in his journey.

For the last 6 years, he has been teaching others how to buy their first while limiting the risk in doing so.

Why should someone consider buying a business vs. starting one?

  • Jonathan has done both.
  • It is very exciting but hard work to start a business from scratch and most fail as well as take a lot of capital.
  • Buying a business is also very exciting that has been in business for a least 5 years is an easier way to go because it has everything and has proven it can sustain itself.
  • Buying a business with cashflow makes money from day one instead of going through the struggle to get cashflow.

How do you find a business to buy?

  • You are not finding a business as much as you are an owner.
  • Owners are who you work with on a deal.
  • Most go to a business broker which is like a realtor for a business.
  • At the 8:15 mark, Jonathan does a good job going through the challenges with working with a business broker.
  • Jonathan does not recommend going through a business broker.
  • Jonathan teaches his clients to look for businesses that are not listed with brokers.
  • You want to find a motivated seller who is looking to get out of the business.
  • If a seller is motivated, does that mean it is a bad business? It can, but you would not buy a business that is failing.
  • People have all kinds of reasons for selling a business. It could be retirement, or a health issue, or maybe a divorce. There are all kinds of reasons for sellers to be motivated.

Where do you find motivated sellers?

  • We don’t know who they are.
  • You must cast a wide net and go to a number of business owners, but need to do it smart.
  • The approach that Jonathan teaches is to write and send them a letter. It is very scalable because you can send out a 1000 letters to businesses types you are interested in buying.
  • The people call you from the letter that may need the solution you are offering.

What happens when you find a business owner that seems like a good fit?

  • You will look at lots of businesses.
  • Ideal you want a business that is B2B, that has good assets and is not dependent on the owner.
  • Your first acquisition should be a $1 million on more business.
  • Why? It is harder to buy small businesses than large ones as larger business are more stable and have a better management structure. They have systems and processes in place and good financial reporting.
  • You then need to negotiate price, and this is the tricky part.

At the 16 min mark, Jonathan walks through his negotiating technique.

  • Instead of making an offer, ask the seller, “How much do you need?” Not what they want.
  • No one gets what they want these days but tell me what you need.
  • They will give you a number and whatever number they say, you shake your head (flinch) and give a look of “this is not going to work.”
  • You let them drop the price and keep shaking your head until you get to a price that is reasonable and fair.

How do you negotiate buying the business without putting all your own money on the line?

  • You must work out what the business is worth to you. What do you want the business to make?
  • You will need to look at a lot of variables such as hiring a CEO to run the business in place of the former owner.
  • What are you prepared to pay for a business based on return from the profit it produces. This is typically between 2-4 years. So, you would pay a multiple based on that.
  • If you cannot finance the acquisition, then you cannot buy it. You can use this in your negotiation with the buyer. If we cannot finance at that price, we cannot buy it.
  • You then work together to make it work – maybe it is buying out of cashflow or small amount up front that you can do with a loan and then payments over time, etc.
  • You can also get a loan against the accounts receivable for the business and use that to help fund the sale or even asset financing based on what the business owns.

Talk to us about the mistakes you made and what you’ve learned…

  • Jonathan has made them all.
  • An element of vendor finance should be part of every deal. Be wary if the owner is not wanting to put any skin in the game.
  • The deals that have gone the worst are when Jonathan has just written the check for the business.
  • Agreeing to pay the number a business owner needs without negotiating is not a good idea. Everything is negotiable. No is the most powerful word in negotiation. Every time Jonathan had not negotiated, he has lost money.
  • Be careful not to underestimate how difficult integrating multiple businesses is to do.
  • Make sure you are ready for what happens after the deal is closed and prepared to own the business.
  • Do not become emotionally involved in the deal be the emotional buyer. The solution to this is deal flow. Having a number of businesses in your pipeline that you can make deals with solves the problem. Having options gives you power.

What are 2 of the best lessons you’ve learned to succeed as an entrepreneur?

  • Jonathan has never had a job but would not change his journey at all.
  • Jonathan is positive and believes the best is always ahead. It is hard to be in business and be negative.
  • The most successful deal makers are the people that hang out with other people doing the same thing.

Tips to scale and grow a business?

  • The ideal situation is you buy a business you don’t have to do anything with and just keeps on making the profit you are looking for.
  • The reality is that we want to be involved. But, we need to be careful in the way we “tinker” with things.
  • But, there is always opportunity to gain economy of scale or increase profit through cost reduction or find an easy way to increase revenue per customer, etc.
  • Find someone who lives and breathes modern marketing and social media and hire them to be focused on internet marketing.
  • One technique that does not involve using the internet is a joint venture with a complimentary solution that has clients that would want your product or service.

 

Best Quote: In business, so many people are business operators who work every day to operate the business, where the real freedom and real money comes from selling businesses.

 

Jonathan's Misfit 3:

  1. Build your self- belief and self-confidence to be independent.
  2. Save money. Cash is king. If you have cash you have a buffer or can weather a storm or take advantage of an opportunity.
  3. Buy property. It is true asset and place to borrow against in the future.

 

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Nov 30, 2022

Hello Misfit Nation! Welcome to another edition of "Lessons for Hannah!" 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.

Hannah, Recently, I was reminded of two very important lessons in life. In fact, a lot of people around the world were. The first lesson is that you have to earn the right to reach high levels of success in anything you do. Nothing good comes easily if it is destined to last. The second thing is that there is one exception to that rule. Let’s start with the first lesson. You have to earn the right to reach high levels of lasting success. Recently, the world was reminded of this lesson in a big way. A major investment firm for cryptocurrency called FTX went bankrupt in the span of just a couple days losing billions of dollars of investors’ and clients’ money almost overnight. FTX was once considered a darling of the financial world with top financial pundits calling its founder and CEO, Sam Binkman-Fried, the next Jamie Dimon who is the famous and very well -respected CEO of Chase. FTX rose to prominence very quickly on a slick marketing strategy paying out millions to celebrities to hype it and also by donating a significant amount to politicians’ campaigns. As such, everything looked great, and the company bought itself some pull in Washington DC because of its donations. In fact, Sam Binkman-Fried, at just 30 years old, was the 2nd largest donor behind George Soros to the Democratic party. He also donated to Republicans.

Why am I telling you this? Because no one really got below the surface on FTX. All the major investors and even clients saw the celebrity endorsements and the support from politicians and just fell emotionally in love with the company’s story eloquently told by Sam Binkman-Friend when in reality, the company was a scam and in shambles. In fact, now as regulators are beginning to review the internals of the company and its entire setup, they are aghast at what they are finding and calling it maybe the worst they’ve ever seen. And now so many people who invested into the company and clients who put their trust in it have lost everything, It’s very sad. No one looked deeply under the hood on the company and when they finally did, those who saw how bad it was, quickly took everything out causing the collapse to accelerate. And it looks like Sam was taking funds of clients and funneling them to himself and other companies he owned without clients knowing. And incredibly, still to this day, no one, not even Sam, has been arrested.

The FTX scandal is a great example of not earning the right. While Sam Bankman-Fried found success for a short period of time, the house of cards everything was built on came crumbling down. There was no real foundation other than a great story, celebrity endorsements, and essentially buying off politicians to look the other way. Sadly, this happens a lot in all areas of life. People try to take the shortcut or fake their way to high levels of success. Sometimes they get there, but it doesn’t last because as they become more successful and get on a bigger stage, more people take notice, and eventually someone who is smart and has earned the right to their levels of successful figures it out and brings the truth to light.

Hannah, in anything you want to be great at. You must put in the work, the study, gain the experience, and earn the right to each level of success. And you must be willing to play the long game reaching those levels over time. As I noted earlier, this is true for everything worth doing in life except one thing – Getting into heaven. Wait, what? Stay with me for a few minutes…

The Apostle Paul once wrote: “It is by grace that you have been saved.”

What did he mean, by “grace.” He meant that you are saved by the grace of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. You see, not matter what you do, you can’t be good enough to get into heaven. You cannot get there through good works. Essentially, you cannot earn your way into heaven. Jesus spoke to this in the story of the rich man where he said it is easier for a rich man to go through the eye of a needle than to get into heaven. The rich man had kept asking Jesus what he could “do” or how he could “earn” his way to heaven. What the man did not realize, and Jesus was trying to tell him was that he couldn’t, no matter what he did. Remember, this was prior to Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. And it was true. Prior to Jesus’ sacrifice, very few if anyone could get into heaven. That was the point of Jesus coming and for his sacrifice – that through him, by believing in him and accepting him as one’s savior, he became the vehicle, the vessel in which one could get into heaven.

Now, I realize that it is a big shift to go from a failed crypto exchange to the lord and savior, but I really wanted to give you a big contrast with which to understand this lesson. And to sum it up. First, realize that you cannot earn your way into heaven without truly accepting Christ as your savior. Yes, you still should do good works and follow God’s message and commandments, but without Jesus, heaven is not possible. In fact, without Jesus many things are not possible. At the same time, in your earthly pursuits, while you are here, you will do well to earn the right to your success and not try to fake it or look for the easy way which is sometimes the unethical way. Keep your principles, work hard and smart, and put in the time necessary to become great and you will be.

I love you,

Dad

 

Best Quote: You have to earn the right to reach high levels of success in anything you do. Nothing good comes easily if it is destined to last.

 

Misfit 3:

  1. You have to earn the right to reach high levels of lasting success.
  2. Earning the right is is true for everything worth doing in life except one thing – Getting into heaven.​
  3. You cannot earn your way into heaven without truly accepting Christ as your savior.

 

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Nov 23, 2022

Hello Misfit Nation! ​ This is a special Thanksgiving episode where it is just me and you. Let me first start off by saying how Thankful I am for all of you and for all of your support of the show. It truly is incredible how much we’ve done together and the impact you’ve helped have on people lives.

I get a lot of emails from listeners of the show. Some are to suggest topics or guests, others give me thoughts from listeners on episodes, and I get a lot messages with questions about business and entrepreneurship.

As I thought about coming up on our 8th year doing this podcast, it occurred to me that I’ve never done an episode, where I just answer questions from the audience – and what better time to do that than at Thanksgiving, so that is what we are going to do today in this episode.

I’ve selected 10 of the top, most asked questions I get asked from you and am going to endeavor to give my best answers to help you.

 

Best Quote: What is the #1 trait of the most successful entrepreneurs? They believe in themselves and that no matter what happens, they will be ok.

 

Misfit 3:

  1. When you feeling like giving up, tell yourself, "I'll do it one more day."
  2. Keep pushing. Keep taking a step forward toward your dream and potential. Keep challenging yourself and overcoming your self-limitations​
  3. You have more than you realize to give to this world and those around you

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Nov 16, 2022

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Eliot Marshall. Eliot is a former Brazilian Jujitsu title holder and UFC fighter turned entrepreneur. After retiring from UFC in 2011, he co-founded the Easton Training Center, a globally renowned martial arts school specializing in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai kickboxing.

Easton has expanded to 7 locations across Colorado. It currently employs over 150 employees and does over $6 million a year in revenue.

Additionally, Eliot is also the host of the Gospel of Fire Podcast, sought after public speaker, and best-selling author of The Gospel of Fire: Strategies for Facing Your Fears, Confronting Your Demons, and Finding Your Purpose. And it’s these things in addition to the lessons learned in building his business that I want to dig into with him today.

www.EliotMarshall.com

Eliot says that he was very lucky. It started with being born to 2 amazing parents in the USA. From there, it was a lot of failure. He first wanted to be a pro- basketball player and he failed. The he wanted to be the Brazilian Jujitsu world champion and failed. He then wanted to be an MMA champion and failed there. But, he has succeeded at staying in the game and using his failures to get himself to success.

Talk to us about why you think you are so lucky?

  • He walked into a mall in 1998 and met a man starting a new Brazilian Jujitsu school and started training with him.
  • He got hurt and quit after a month and this led to his meeting his first girlfriend.
  • A year later he came back and wanted to train with no money to pay offering to clean and help around the gym and the guy just so happened to need his first help and hired him.
  • He lost his last fight in MMA and because he had downtime as he wasn’t a winner and on to the next step, he has down time and found his first building for Easton training and got it. That kicked off the business.
  • Other things have happened, but the story of Eliot is that every time something seemed to go wrong, it was the next step needed in his path to get where he has come.

You have a chapter in your book called “Why the F$%k vs. What the F$%K,” explain what that means…

  • A lot of people wake up and ask,, “What am going to do today?”
  • That is the wrong question. The right question is “Why am going to what I am going to do today?”
  • Once you are clear on why you are doing things. Why your day will look a certain way. Why your life will be a certain way. Then you can really design the life you want to live.
  • Your why will enable you to have meaning and purpose.
  • Everything starts with why. Once you know your why, you get can get through just about any how.

How does someone find their power?

  • It starts with passion. Your power exists in your passion.
  • Putting all his energy into his passion for martial arts, Eliot not only created a massively successful business, but also found his power and that is teaching people that they can do anything if they put their mind to it. They can accomplish.
  • But, he had to convince himself that he could accomplish first, and he did.
  • Find your power and go share it with the world.

You went through some mental health challenges. What did you learn to overcome them and how did you do it?

  • He grew up in a bi-racial family and there was a lot challenge. His mom was Jewish, and dad was black.
  • His house was vandalized often and even had swastikas painted on it.
  • It was a rough childhood around him. His family was great. All he had was karate because it was based on results.
  • But he grew up with a feeling that he was not safe.
  • As he grew up and started to win in martial arts he started to equate people liking them with being able to beat them up.
  • He felt a lot of pressure to perform and always win.
  • It was 100% self-imposed. He wrapped his whole identity up into fighting and not being safe.

When did you have your breakthrough and choose to change?

  • Eliot had to break down first.
  • He literally had a mental breakdown.
  • It happened over a month having panicking attacks, not being able to sleep, having friends talk him off a ledge.
  • At one point, he couldn’t sleep for 2 nights and his wife said to him, “Why don’t you do your day as if you had a good night’s sleep. Just pretend.”
  • At the 22 min mark, Eliot tells the story of what happened next. It’s best to listen.
  • He learned to focus on now and not worry about the past or the future.
  • He learned to put little routines in place that made him better.

Talk to us about the habits you have developed that help you succeed.

  • Eliot meditates every day. You can find guided meditation on YouTube for free.
  • Eliot uses mala beads as a trigger to help calm himself in time of stress.
  • Eliot also has a gratitude practice that he does after meditation.
  • He then goes through his pillars of who he is every day. He is and always will be a husband and father. He is a teacher. He is also a student. He is a fighter. He is a survivor. He reminds himself of this every day. “There is only 1 thing all of us have never failed at. And that is making it through your very worst day.”

Talk to us about breaking through your mental limits….

  • Having a teacher or coach to help you is critical to help with breakthroughs. At least to accelerate them to happen faster.
  • Eliot relates a story of one of his teachers and climbing sand dunes at 10,000 feet and carrying another up it.
  • He had another time with a coach climbing a mountain and carrying a partner up the side of the mountain.
  • The challenges were to get the guys to accept their death because it is possible in the cage in MMA.
  • It was in these times of great risk that he learned he could do more.
  • He learned that the biggest competition is with himself and it is being better tomorrow than you are today.

Lessons learned from competing in MMA that have helped you in life and business?

  • You have to walk into the arena of your life.
  • You are going to get knocked down and going to lose. Fighters no this and accept it as part of the path forward.
  • No matter what happens, you must get back up and walk into the arena of your life. ​

You built a very large multi-7 figure business that is based in a close contact sport. How did you make it through the pandemic and what principles have you use to build it?

  • The business is better because of the pandemic.
  • It made them figure out how to really make it happen and not only succeed but thrive.
  • They had to close their schools.
  • They brought together their team and started doing trying and failing until they got it right.
  • Their systems and communication got better.
  • Eliot and his partners took pay cuts to ensure everyone made the same or better and could stay in employed.

“You can be a victim or you can be a victor. Things either happen to you or happen for you.”

  • They established clear core values that everyone knew.
  • They had a clear hierarchy and communication structure for getting things done.
  • They had a clear vision for what they would do and how they would execute.

 

Best Quote: You can be a victim or you can be a victor. Things either happen to you or happen for you.

 

Eliot's Misfit 3:

  1. Get a morning routine that starts your day with success.
  2. Create your pillars. Who are you? What is unbreakable and cannot be shifted.
  3. Only compete with you. Don’t care what the world things. Become the best.

 

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Nov 9, 2022

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Peter Vekselman. Peter is known as a real estate legend. He has been a leader in the real estate industry for over 30 years and has done over 3600 deals.

Today, Peter leads a team of real estate professional doing deals all over the country through his company Partner Driven. The company is unique in that Peter provides the system and even the capital for his partners on the ground in the markets where they do deals. Partner Driven does all the support and works with partners through every stage from identifying the right real estate opportunities all the way through to sale.

But I did not invite Peter on just to talk about this unique model and real estate, I had to have him on the pick his brain on everything he’s learned in such a successful entrepreneurial career.

www.PeterVekselman.com

www.partnerdriven.com

Peter is an immigrant. His family escaped the USSR during the cold war. He was young and did not know he even coming to the US until he was on the plane. His parents taught him that he had to make it happen for himself. He grew up pretty normal, but had a lot of trouble in school. He did go to college, but couldn’t get a job. He turned the only thing he could do, his own thing. He got into the vending business, then network marketing industry. He had his first big success in merchant services. This is where he really started to understand entrepreneurship. He felt like kind of an imposter, as he didn’t know much about the industry. He just hit things at the right time with the right people. He sold his shares of the business to cash out and then go into real estate investing.

He learned the lesson of making sure to understand the industry and initially got started in mobile homes and did well. He became the larges mobile home broker in Georgia until the bottom fell out and financing dried up. He then pivoted to investing in real estate. He thought he understood it because of his experience in mobile homes, but he didn’t and within about 6 months, he had lost everything and was living out of the back of his car.

That is when he met his first real mentor. Two years from that point, he made his first million dollars. Over that period her learned the value of alignment and the ins and outs of real estate investing. Now 22 years later, he has succeeded doing over 3600 deals.

What was the catalyst that took you in two years from living in your car to having a million in the bank? What did the mentor teach you?

  • He learned his most important shortcut to success – the value of alignment.
  • The key to learn, grow, prosper, make money, etc. is in alignment.
  • It is not just up to you. We all have certain skill sets and abilities. We must align those with complementary skill sets and abilities with others.
  • Creating win-win synergies for those involved that have complementary skills that align is the secret.

Take us through your business model and how you create alignment…

  • Real estate has an awful success rate. About 3-5%.
  • The industry is very dislocated and disorganized. Things are all siloed and all over the place so it Is hard to pull everything together to even do a deal.
  • With Partner Driven, Peter brings everything under one roof.
  • They train their partners, spend money generating leads in their cities, become their back office handling all the closings, rehab, realtors, etc., and they provide the capital for the deals.
  • They split the profit 50/50.
  • Peter financially backs the partners putting up all the money to do the deals.
  • Peter’s problem that he solved is how to do more deals, by empowering others with a system that he funds and then takes a share of.

What are the risks in the model?

  • The risk in real estate investing are time and money…people run out of both.
  • Peter eliminates the money risk by providing the money.
  • If a loss happens, Peter absorbs the loss.
  • By having the capital for his partners, it buys them time.
  • The only real risk is if the partner sticks with it to become successful or not.

What do you look for in a partner?

  • They go through a process.
  • They ensure alignment.
  • They look for those that are hungry and willing to put he time and effort in to succeed.
  • If someone isn’t motivated, they are not a good fit.

Thoughts about the real estate market in general? Where are things going?

  • We are entering one of the best markets ever for investors.
  • It is becoming a time to buy low again.
  • Things are falling off a cliff pricewise.
  • No one wants a crash, but it is happening and this is the time get incredible deals.
  • There is a lot of false motivation. People who are scared because of what they hear out there and are liquidating.
  • If you know how to position yourself, there are great opportunities everywhere.
  • At the 29 min mark, Peter shares the story of a deal happening right now in the middle of a crash that is profiting 6-figures.

Talk a little about perseverance and what you can teach us from your experience.

There is no journey that happens without misfires, dead-ends, massive challenges, etc.

  • Peter just came to grips with this and accepted it early on.
  • He also speaks to the fact that coming from a place like the USSR, it is much easier to appreciate the opportunity that exists vs. taking it for granted.
  • He didn’t know anything better. Hard was what he knew.
  • The best thing that ever happened was doing bad in school because it forced him to have to find a way.
  • His biggest negatives turned into his positives and what he needed to fuel his success.
  • Even in his darkest moments, he never blamed the tracks of success. When he was failing, he never blamed it on outside factors. And because of this, there was always light at the end of the tunnel.
  • You also need to understand how to evaluate progress. In the beginning, it’s never pretty. In the beginning, you evaluate on your activity, your growth in knowledge and understanding. If you evaluate just on “making money” you will fool yourself.

Best and most important habits that you have developed that help keep you successful?

  • Create time. You can create time out of thin air.
  • Get in the habit of waking up 1 hour earlier.
  • You are not going to sleep your way to success. By giving yourself an extra hour per day, and invest that one hour into you in some area. A true investment into you. What happens in a year with 365 more hours invested into yourself? Pretty big advantage.
  • Ensure alignment in all areas. C
  • ompetition. There are two ways to compete. One is head-to-head and be better than your competition. The other is to compete by creating your own playing field. Learn to do things that are unique and that your competition is not doing. ​

Any advice for entrepreneurs just starting out?

  • Start out! Don’t be a “wannabe.” Don’t overthink or overanalyze. Get going. Potential means nothing unless you act on tapping it.
  • It won’t be easy. Embrace it. Embrace the challenges. Congratulate yourself because you are not “thinking about it,” you are doing it.
  • It is absolutely worth it.

 

Best Quote: Creating win-win synergies for those involved that have complementary skills that align is the secret to succeed.

 

Peter's Misfit 3:

  1. Pursue something that you love.
  2. Identify skill sets. Position yourself to capitalize on yours.
  3. If you are not where you want to be or happy with where you are – do something. Take action and get going.

 

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Nov 2, 2022

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Jeff Johnson. Jeff is a wealth adviser with Buckingham Strategic Wealth and the author of One Decade to Make Millions, A Strategy to Maximize the Power of Your Twenties.

When I heard the title of the book, I knew I had to talk to Jeff to learn what he was teaching people in their youth to do to retire wealthy, but I also was interested in what people who maybe didn’t get off to as a good of a start in their early years building wealth, can do now to make a difference in their years to come.

Needless to say, Jeff’s practical advice and easy to understand actions can help anyone looking to improve their wealth make a difference for themselves. And I’ve asked him on to share all that he can to help you do so.

www.JeffCJohnson.com

Book: One Decade to Make Millions

Jeff has been on the financial services world for over 40 years. He has learned from the clients he worked with over the past 4 decades and noticed traits of those that were most successful. Much of this is what he wrote about in his book. One of the biggest things they did was maximize their 20’s.

Jeff became passionate about helping young people when he taught a personal finance class Nebraska.

Share the story about the bookkeeper and the surgeon…

  • It’s a true story.
  • The bookkeeper was a client who started saving with Jeff in 1983. They didn’t make a lot of money but were thrifty.
  • The bookkeeper retired with significant wealth in his early 60’s.
  • The surgeon came to Jeff about the time he was ready to retire.
  • The surgeon had some money saved, but not nearly enough. He was making a million dollars a year but spent most of it and didn’t or set themselves up to succeed in wealth.

Why do you think we don’t teach financial education and wealth building in our school system?

  • I don’t know, but it is something that should be taught at home.
  • The bookkeeper’s children were good with money and the surgeon’s were not good with money – teaching your children at home is critical to their financial success.

What is someone’s 20s so critical to financial success?

  • It allows for the miracle of compounding to occur. 30-40 year of compounding is such a huge advantage over even 20 years of compounding.
  • Compounding doesn’t just pertain to monetary growth, but effort and productivity. If you work very hard and set aside money to compound and continue to add to it in you 20’s, it almost becomes like snowball rolling down a hill gaining momentum.
  • The story of the doctor and the nurse. The story shares how clients of Jeff’s that were identical twins did in their wealth.
  • One became a nurse and saved diligently in their 20’s til about 30 and then let it compound until they were 70.
  • The other went to medical school and became a doctor and stopped saving early one, but then started saving from age 30 to age 70.
  • So, the nurse saved only for 10 years, from age 20 to 30 and the doctor saved from 30-40.
  • Guess who had the most money? The nurse did because they got started so much earlier.
  • Now imagine if you started saving in your 20’s and continued to your 60’s/70’s.

5 steps to take control of your financial future?

  • They are called the 5 Financial Foundations.
  • They are the 5 keys to successful wealth building from working with the wealthy.
  • 1: They always save money. Even when they were young.
  • 2: They always have and keep a cash reserve.
  • 3: Almost all working people have their biggest pool of money in some sort of retirement plan.
  • 4: They own the right size home. They live comfortably, but not extravagantly.
  • 5: They do not have bad debt. They borrow on things that can increase in value like homes or businesses.

You say, “money is not important.” Explain that….

  • Money itself is not important.
  • Just keep track of money doesn’t bring happiness.
  • Money is important because it allows you to do the things you want to do and provide a better life. So, it’s not the money. It’s what it allows you to do that matters. That is where the value is.
  • There are people that are very wealthy, but not happy.

Actions people can take right now to start putting these principles into practice?

  • Get started. Save some amount of money. Anything to get going and learning how to accumulate money.
  • Next, become familiar with what your investment decisions are. Read books by John Bogle and others. Self-educate.
  • Once you have $10-20k saved, you can then really start making it work.
  • Even something like the compounding power of dollar-cost averaging over time can make the difference.
  • If you are starting later in life in life, you have to do things differently. You may have cut down on a lifestyle to get out of debt or downsize so you can save money.

Let’s talk more about people later in life. Say someone is “late to the party in their 30’s and 40’s,” what can they do to make a difference?

  • Go through everything you spend on. Get a very good idea of what your real bills and expenses are. Cut out the fat.
  • Use the money you were spending on the fat and start putting that toward paying down debt to get rid of it.
  • You will have to cut back and change your lifestyle.
  • The challenge is people will notice, so if you really care what other people think – it will be tough for you.

At the 33 min mark, we have a great discussion about “expanding your means.”

Anything else that you think is important?

  • Get intentional about your life and what you want – forget about what other people think and it will be much easier to save and grow wealth.

Lessons from your entrepreneur journey?

  • Jeff was a stockbroker for 20 years and then started his own financial services firm.
  • He ended up merging his firm with the firm he is in now.
  • He made a lot of mistakes, but he took the time to learn from them and figuring out what worked and what didn’t.
  • He was intentional about what he wanted and how he would do it.
  • He loves his work and that fueled him to work harder at it and get better.
  • Have a business plan as an outline and a basis for what you want to do – but it won’t work out as planned.

 

Best Quote: Money itself is not important. It allows you to do the things you want to do and provide a better life. So, it’s not the money. It’s what it allows you to do that matters. That is where the value is.

 

Jeff's Misfit 3:

  1. Be intentional. Have a specific plan and know what is important to you.
  2. Once you know what it is you want and why – get started as soon as possible. Execution is more important than creating the plan. Have fun but live in a state of gratitude.
  3. Gratitude squeezes out all the other bad emotions.

 

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Oct 26, 2022

Hello Misfit Nation! Welcome to another edition of "Lessons for Hannah!" 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.

This Week’s Lesson for Hannah

Hannah, In this episode, I want to give you 5 simple pieces of everyday wisdom. I have a lot more than 5 but will continue to create episodes like this into the future giving you them a few at a time.

After doing these episodes for so many years, I’m amazed at how much there is still to teach and share with you. It seems like it never ends and that is the thing, I don’t think it really does. There will always be something for me to share and give to you and I hope that you can take as much as you can from these episodes to help you in your life. ​

With that said, here are 5 pieces of everyday wisdom you can use…

#1: How You Do Anything is How You Do Everything

You’ve heard me say this to you before but let me explain it a little more here. In life, you want to do things to the best of your ability. You want to put your best foot forward in everything you do. That is the essence of How You Do Anything is How You Do Everything. It is taking pride in all you do and doing it at your best. Whether it is cleaning your room or the work that you or the interactions you have with others, do not short-change yourself or your abilities. If you start to lower your standards in one area it will bleed into others. Make it a mission to be your best in all things.

#2: What Feels Most Uncomfortable is Probably What You Need to Do

You will find in life that many times when it feels most uncomfortable to do something, that is most likely the best time to do it. For example, in trading, some of the most uncomfortable trades I have made over the years have been the biggest winners. In racing Ironman, when my body wants to quit the most is when I have my biggest breakthroughs as I keep going. In business and life, standing up for the right thing in face of everyone else shying away from it, is uncomfortable, but what needs done. That brings me to my next piece of wisdom.

#3: Most of the Time, the Simplest Answer is the Right One.

We make things a lot more complicated than they have to be. Einstein said, “Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.” The best path is usually the simplest and most straightforward one. We have to cut out all the noise and see it for what it is. In short, go with gut. Keep it simple.

#4: Beware Following the Herd

When I talk about the “herd,” I’m really talking about groupthink. When everyone thinks the same thing and will not allow any dissent, discussion or questioning of that way of thinking – they are probably wrong. Thomas Jefferson once 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.” Don’t fall prey to blind-folded fear and follow the herd over the cliff. Instead work from a place of reason andlogic and thing things through. Don’t let emotion alone drive your actions or decisions, especially the big ones.

#5: There are Few Things Guaranteed in Life, but the Ones That are – the Love of Your Family, The Love of God, and a Few Lasting Friendships, are worth every ounce of time and energy you invest in them.

I think that pretty much says it. You have a family that loves you, a God that loves you, and in life will have a few lasting friendships. Cherish them and invest your time into them. Don’t neglect them.

Hannah, and everyone else listening, these are 5 simple, but powerful lessons that will serve you well in life. Live them and embody them and put them to work for you.

I love you,

Dad

 

Best Quote: There are Few Things Guaranteed in Life, but the Ones That are – the Love of Your Family, The Love of God, and a Few Lasting Friendships, are worth every ounce of time and energy you invest in them.

 

Misfit 3:

  1. Put these 5 pieces of wisdom to work for yourself.
  2. Don’t fall prey to blind-folded fear and follow the herd over the cliff.
  3. Keep things simple and listen to your gut.

 

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