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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!

Jun 1, 2022

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Andrew Lee Miller. Andrew is a startup expert; in fact, he’s known as @AndrewStartups around the world and has been bootstrapping companies for over 15 years. He is a marketing expert and founder of the award-winning marketing agency, Growth Expertz. He has driven growth for 3 VC backed startup exits to the tune of $450 million and dozens of other funded startups, including raising over $25 million in seed rounds in the last 5 years.

Andrew speaks and trains entrepreneurs throughout the world on paid advertising, growth hacking, public relations, search marketing and more. He is also the author of the best-selling book, The Startup Growth Book.

What I love most about Andrew is that he is scrappy and finds a way to make it happen no matter thecircumstances and I’ve brought him on to share his best with you in this episode.

www.AndrewStartups.com

Andrew was born and raised outside Columbus, Ohio. His whole family were entrepreneurs, but he never grew up wanting to be one. He ended up having his own business at 16 detailing cars and had a problem with authority which made him want to stay independent. He went to college for general business and switched to international business. He started a virtual resume startup in his senior year. He and his partner got investment and the business took off – it actually scared him because he didn’t want to be stuck in this one business through his 20’s, so he decided to travel.

He moved the Mexico when he was 21, then after a few years moved to Dubai. Dubai was much different and didn’t have much of a startup culture. He joined a company that was a sort of Craig’s List type service as head of marketing. He growth hacked the company from 800k page view a month to over 25 million and the company was acquired for a large amount. Andrew realized there was a niche in growth hacking. He had a few more successful projects in Dubai and then went to Silicon Valley and had another successful exit. He then started coaching people and became a digital nomad helping startups and traveling to over 40 countries.

You mentioned a formula for growth hacking that you put into practice and now teach others, take us through it.

  • First, when he starts with companies, the product is never ready to be marketed. Are people sharing or referring the product? If not, then a focus is put there to better market it. Product optimization.
  • Once you’ve optimized the product, then you are ready to grow. Do not rush to paid advertising.
  • It’s never too early to start marketing. Marketing is different than advertising. Advertising is something you do to scale up your marketing. Marketing can happen at any time.
  • You can start building a list, basic SEO, organic social media marketing/following, etc.
  • You can then launch with a waiting set of customers and some recognition in the marketplace.

What is the difference between advertising and marketing?

  • You do not have to do paid advertising to succeed.
  • Paid advertising isn’t necessary for every business.
  • We are shown ads that you need to run ads to grow your business, and that is just not true.
  • Marketing is the actions you take to grow your visibility, your brand, and awareness for who you are.
  • Advertising is paid ads and spots to drive traffic to your business.
  • Focus on organic channels for the first 12 mos in your business. Talk a little more about organic.

What do you advise? What’s the best place to get traction?

  • List building and e-mail marketing is the best thing to do.
  • Next is social media and off-channel marketing such as Reddit or Facebook groups.
  • Using incentives for first adopters is a great strategy whether it is free services/product or a very low cost, etc.
  • For B2C focusing on long-term things such as app store automation for apps, social media, and off page.
  • B2C is harder than B2B. There are a lot more moving pieces to create an eye-catching brand.

What are your thoughts on social media? Where should people be to get the most bang for the buck?

  • B2B – the place to spend money is Google Search because the intent is so high.
  • You also have a higher conversion rate on Google Search if you are using the right key words.
  • For B2C – it depends on the product and service. Google’s UAC campaigns are good for things like apps.
  • TikTok needs really good video creatives to do well, but there is less competition there.
  • In the end, it all about the content on social media and video is the most important.
  • YouTube ads are another inexpensive way to drive traffic and revenue.

At the 22 min mark, Andrew talks about using influencers and micro-influencers to help grow your brand and visibility.

Other PR hacks entrepreneurs can use?

  • Local PR in your local markets is a great place to get visibility and media.
  • Getting on podcasts is a great way to refine your pitch and gain visibility/credibility.
  • You should do PR from early stages of your business.
  • 3 Things:
    • Craft the story – your title is important and having a unique angle
    • Building a list of those that might be interested in telling your story (Podcast hosts, reporters/writers, etc. found on Google Alerts)
    • Distribute your story and your PR effectively to the sources.

At the 30 min mark, Andrew talks SEO…

  • Andrew is big on doing “on-page” SEO correctly.
  • Use Link Building.
  • You can use Free SEO audit tools online. Google Free SEO Audit.
  • You can even do Craig’s List and University Job boards as SEO hacks.

Thoughts on raising money and exiting companies?

  • We are sold that we need to raise money and that is wrong. You can bootstrap and do great.
  • Fundraising is a second job and will take almost 100% of your time over 6-12 months taking you away from your business.
  • You need to really think through and decide if you need to raise money and you need to have the business in the best position to do so.

What is it that you think most entrepreneurs miss that holds them back the most?

  • They go too much with their gut and hunch instead of compiling and working from the data. ​

Any other lessons from your entrepreneur journey that have made a huge difference?

  • Let passion drive you – not making money.

 

Best Quote: It’s never too early to start marketing. Marketing is different than advertising. Advertising is something you do to scale up your marketing. Marketing can happen at any time.

 

Andrew's Misfit 3:

  1. Just go. Stop finding reasons not to do things and do them. Don’t be afraid to break stuff.
  2. Don’t succumb to worry and overthinking.
  3. If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life.

 

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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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Apr 27, 2022

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Molly Rose Speed. Molly has a great story. She is a military spouse who had enough of being a corporate accountant cubicle dweller and decided to create a business to help military spouses and others reach their own dreams through entrepreneurship. In fact, she was named 1st Special Operations Group Spouse of the Year.

She is the creator of Virtual Assistant Academy which provides trusted Virtual Assistant solutions and flawless tech execution to busy entrepreneurs and business owners. Molly has become the go-to professional for some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the speaker/author and content creator industry. Even the former president of Chicken Soup of the Soul is her client. Molly has created the life she dreamed of and is helping others do the same. And I’ve asked her on the share her story and how to completely outsource your business.

www.VirtualAssistantManagement.com

Molly was a young, focused executive hustling in corporate America. She woke up one day and realized that there was more to life than just moving up the corporate ladder. Her husband was being deployed at a rapid speed. And when he was home, she was working and they hardly could see each other. So, she quit. Her husband came home to find out she did not have a job and said, “OK, you’ve got 4 months to figure this out.” She started doing freelance work and had success. It evolved into more clients and success in the personal development space. She was creating the life she wanted and other military spouses kept asking her how she did it. She saw an opportunity to help other military spouses do what she was doing in the virtual assistant space. Virtual Assistant Management was born.

How did being a military spouse help prepare you for entrepreneurship?

  • You’re given this huge responsibility of running the ship when your spouse is gone. The house, the family, the finances, all the little things that couples would do, but on your own.
  • There is a level independence that being a military spouse teaches you which helps to transfer to entrepreneurship
  • . It also teaches you to be resilient and adaptable.

What there a catalyst that spurred you to quit? And what is your advice for someone who is in the same place you were and wants to make the leap to entrepreneurship?

  • She went to a conference for high-potential young professionals.
  • The term entrepreneur, the ability to use your skills and talents to create and sell services was introduced to her.
  • Learning this gave her the lightbulb moment that there was another way.
  • She was getting completely drained every day in the corporate world and was in tears a lot of days.
  • She had to trust in herself and created a plan and took action on it. She had the choice and the power – it just needed her to take action. She did.

Talk about having a plan and taking action. How do you advise people in this area?

  • First, you must figure out what you actually want.
  • Define what you want your work to be. For example, Molly defined hers as a position that she can do virtually, on her own time, that pays her at least 75% of what she was making in the corporate space.
  • When you envision what you want, the universe will open it up to you.
  • But it takes an action plan.
  • You should know what you are going to do every day.
  • You should reach to others and let them know what you are doing. Your Power 100 list – the most influential people and those close to you that should know as they may be able to help you.
  • “By doing nothing, you are not going to get anywhere.”

Other lessons that you feel are most important from your journey?

Being present in the interactions with people you are with every day.

  • How you spend your day is how you spend your day – and it is your choice how to spend it.
  • It is amazing how fast you can build a network.
  • Pay attention to the people that show up and the opportunities – they can come out of nowhere and are so important. Be open to them.

Talk to us about utilizing virtual assistants, the dos and don’ts, etc.

  • Entrepreneurs have a passion for the solution they are providing, but as they grow, they find that they wear a lot of hats and have created a number of jobs for themselves.
  • There is a big difference between running a company and creating a job for yourself.
  • Entrepreneurs need a plan to outsource from the beginning.
  • When it comes to hiring a virtual assistant, it should be the first person an entrepreneur hires as they can where several hats and take a number of things off the entrepreneur’s plate. 
  • They give you leverage at a lower cost.

If you were coaching someone on how to hire their first VA, what would you have them do?

  • First, recognizing all the things that are on your plate and then start cherry picking all of the things you want to offload. This serves as your initial job description.
  • Start with 5 hours a week.
  • Each week should have a weekly meeting with the VA and an action plan with roles and responsibility.
  • You can use a project management tool like Monday to help.
  • Communication throughout the week is important. VAs where a lot of hats and have a number of ways to communicate – pick the medium that works best for you.
  • Make them part of the team, share your goals and how they can make a bigger impact.
  • By knowing the bigger picture, VAs can find opportunities to make things even better.
  • Clarity is very important for everyone in the process to maximize productivity and success.

Tell us about hiring an outsourced, COO…

  • This is the goal of a tenured VA in their career.
  • They are the right-hand person for a business owner.
  • They take your vision and run with the strategy, the how, and run and delegate a team to help execute the vision.
  • A level below that is an OBM – outsourced business manager.
  • This can be done at a fractional level, and you don’t need a 40 hour/week employee. They can execute their duties in 10-20 hours per week.

What are the major duties Outsourced COOs do and how can they do it in less than 40 hours per week?

  • Technology and automation is a big part of things.
  • Outsourced COOs are very good at building systems.
  • They are good at taking projects and mapping everything out, hiring the needed contractors to help to do it.
  • They can do payroll and book-keeping and interface with others in the business and even clients.
  • They are the gate-keeper for the entrepreneur.
  • Costs for COOs range from retainers of $5000 to paying a commission or a mix of both.

Talk about automation and its importance…

  • If you are doing any task that is repetitive, you need to automate it and automate it all the way down to things like email templates.
  • Online schedulers are very important to maximize productivity.
  • Your sales funnels, how you sell, and after-sales engagement, etc. should be automated.
  • Every area of a business, if broken down, can have a lot of it automated.

Other best practices to free time and be productive?

Take some time and look at your calendar for the last couple weeks. How did you spend your time? Did you enjoy it? How many things would have made sense to avoid or eliminate?

  • Pay attention to what you are saying “yes” to and decide if you should be saying “yes” to these things.
  • Working in sprints of say 90 mins at a time and then having a little break is good to help.
  • You can also work in 45-minute sprints with a short break to maximize productivity.
  • You must be intentionally with your scheduling and plans.
  • You must also create days off.
  • Automation is very important to help make this a reality.

​ Any other advice for managing and hiring VAs?

  • There is a big difference between overseas and local VAs.
  • It takes more work for overseas, but there are great people.
  • For overseas, you must be very specific and be willing to work across the different time zones. In fact, local VAs can even help hire and manage overseas VAs.
  • There is a place both types in a business.

 

Best Quote: By doing nothing, you are not going to get anywhere. 

 

Molly Rose Misfit 3:

Time freedom – wherever you can create this in your life, look for it and enjoy it.

There is great importance in human connection. Those your surround yourself with greatly affect all areas of your life. Choose wisely in your connections.

We are here to support and engage with one-another. Give and have gratitude. In the end, it is about the impact and experience you had on this earth.

 

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Apr 20, 2022

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Ari Galper. Ari is the world’s #1 authority on trust-based selling. He’s the best-selling author of “Unlock the Sales Game,” a must read by the way, and “The One Call Sale.” He’s been featured everywhere from Forbes to INC and CNN and is sought after by business owners, entrepreneurs, and major corporations like Citibank and GE to help them improve their sales organizations.

But the thing I am most excited for Air to share is the journey he took to become who he is. In some ways, it parallels my own journey with the Misfit Entrepreneur as we both have a very special why. Of course, we are going to talk all things sales and selling too.

​​www.UnlocktheGame.com for a copy of Ari’s book and other free resources.

Ari met his wife over 20 years ago. She was from Sydney, Australia. He came to meet her family and fell in love with the country. They lived in LA for a while and moved to Australia after the birth of their son. He was in professional sales in tech and other industries prior to going out on his own.

At the 6:30 mark, Ari tells the story of a major sale that would double the size of the tech company he was working. He did the demo and got awesome feedback. It went so well, he thought it was a done deal – until it wasn’t. This was where he learned how important it was to use trust-based selling to succeed.

  • Somewhere along the way, it has become socially acceptable not to tell the truth to people who sell.
  • Instead, we hear things like “sounds good,” “Send me information,” “Send me a proposal,” etc. without the buyer having any intention to buy at all.

Ari asked himself, “Why are people afraid to tell me the truth?”

  • He realized that there is an invisible river of pressure that flows under every sales conversation, and you need to learn how to remove it, so you don’t play the sales game.

You must shift your mindset away from the goal of the sale and instead build deep trust with people where they feel vulnerable and comfortable enough to open up and tell you the truth.

You credit learning to be your son’s dad as a breakthrough for Trust-Based selling – what was the breakthrough?

  • Toby has down syndrome which means he’s open and honest, kind, and a joy to be around.
  • He has no hidden agenda with people.
  • He is honest and open and doesn’t carry a shield.
  • He lives in his authenticity and integrity.
  • This is how it should be with a sale between the buyer and seller.
  • We must detox from the old ways and behaviors of selling to a new way. A trust-based way.

So, what is it that companies and salespeople doing wrong in selling?

  • Most people live in myths such as “sales is a numbers game”
  • It’s not about that. It’s about at how deep you go in each conversation.
  • The sale is not lost at the end of the process but lost at the beginning of the process.
  • Most sales calls are over at “Hello.”
  • The other myth is that sales rejection is part of the game when in fact, it is triggered by old habits and ways of thinking.

Define Trust-Based Selling…

The redefinition of selling as you know it.

  • It’s not about making the sale for you. It’s not focusing on your goal but focusing on their goal.
  • 100% authentic going deep underneath their problem to a level where they feel you truly get them.
  • Trust-Based selling is making the process all about them and not you.

Take us through the process. How does an entrepreneur or salesperson get to the point where a prospect believes that they truly get them and understand them?

  • Trust-Based language: Changing your words and language to show you are different.
  • For example, always be diffusing pressure.
  • Ari gives an example of a sales phone call at the 17 min mark and the moving forward conversation and how it should go. Instead of telling what they next steps are, ask “Where do you think we should go from here?”
  • When you people feel you truly care about them and show it and back it up – it sets you apart.

Why is the sale lost at “hello?” And what do people need to do differently in the beginning?

  • We have been conditioned to start the relationship at hello, to build rapport.
  • Relationship building and trust-building are mutually exclusive.
  • The mistake is made where salespeople try to get people to like and know them.
  • Buyers don’t have to like you.
  • Think of a doctor and patient. A doctor doesn’t have the luxury of being liked as much as they are responsible for diagnosing solving a problem with a patient whether the patient likes them or not.
  • Build relationships after the sale – not before the sale, so it’s not fake at “hello.”
  • Instead as entrepreneur or salesperson, you be the doctor. Peel back their issues and go to the place they don’t even know about and help understand the real challenge to solve.

At the 25 min mark, Ari gives examples of what to say on an initial call.

  • It includes things like “asking for help” or asking if they “would be open” to a problem that you help clients solve.

How is unlocking the sales game comparable to the Japanese art of Aikido?

  • Aikido is all about no resistance.
  • You deflect and diverge energy in Aikido.
  • When you sense pressure or tension in the sales process, you are conditioned to two responses – fight or flight.
  • Instead, don’t try to fight resistance, but diffuse it and don’t go to “fight the battle.”
  • Diffuse and re-engage.
  • For example, if someone tells you that your “fees are too high,” the natural response is to fight the battle for them. Instead, say something like, “You are absolutely right, it can be perceived as high if you haven’t had a chance to actually the product or service to get the result you are looking for, to justify making this happen. Would you be open to looking at this from a different perspective to see how we can build a business case for this?”
  • This is redirecting to a different path of thinking about things.

How does someone develop themselves to be able to practice Trust-Based Selling?

  • It is about unlearning.
  • People typically put on sales armor, get ready for battle, and react in the moment because we are not centering ourselves.
  • People have a pattern of moving things forward and the minute that is broken, we freak out and get defensive, we over-educate, give stuff away – we lose ourselves and the ability to be the “doctor.”
  • We must be 100% present in the other person’s world.
  • It requires practice and coaching, a shift in mindset.
  • Remove this phrase from your vocabulary – never ever again use the phrase “follow up.” Not in email or phone call, etc.
  • The only profession in the world that uses that phrase is selling and sales.
  • Stop being a “salesperson.”
  • Get rid of the old language.
  • Stop using “check in” or “touch base.” Instead use “I’m giving you call to see if you have any feedback from our last discussion or from our meeting.”
  • Change you thinking and language and people will tell you the truth.

Talk to us about the “One Call Sale.” Explain your philosophy.

  • It is Ari’s lifework in a book.
  • It is a refined model that removes resistance at “hello.”
  • It teaches you to be a “doctor” and have the right bedside manner to peel back the onion – like a therapist and patient.
  • At the 37 min mark, Ari walks through some of the thought process.
  • It is all about digging deeper and deeper below the iceberg.
  • You job is not to move prospects forward, but to move them down the iceberg to where they say, “How can you help me?”

Final thoughts?

  • Let go of the idea that your job is to educate prospects of and in your sales process. They don’t want work to do.
  • They are not asking whether they want to buy a solution, but instead – is this person the one I can trust to solve my problem?

 

Best Quote: There is an invisible river of pressure that flows under every sales conversation, and you need to learn how to remove it, so you don’t play the sales game.

 

Ari's Misfit 3:

  1. Stop selling. Build trust instead.
  2. Be the doctor and diagnose problems.
  3. Be present with people in their world so you don’t slip out into your world.

 

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Apr 13, 2022

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Carson Tate. Carson is the best-selling author of Work Simply: Embracing the Power of Your Personal Productivity and founder of the business with the same name which helps clients amplify team performance, better engage their workforce, and increase productivity.

Carson and the principles of Working Simply have been featured everywhere from Fast Company to Forbes to the Harvard Business Review. And Working Simply has helped some of the largest organization including FEDEX, J&J, Chick-Fil-A, and Lowes, just to name a few, improve their performance.

I bet you can guess why I asked her on the show. What entrepreneur wouldn’t want to improve team performance, better engage, and increase productivity? ​

www.WorkingSimply.com

https://www.workingsimply.com/work-style-assessment/

Carson started her career in corporate America in HR/Training. She then went into outside sales for Big Pharma and that is where the light bulb went off for her and where she realized she wanted to be an entrepreneur. It was like having her own business, until they changed her compensation which require her and her team to change how they did things. They had to become more productive, so Carson developed a system that got great results to a point where it became a model for the company. Carson saw that there was a good opportunity for a business to help companies in this area, so she left and launched her business.

What does it mean to work simply? What are the principles?

  • Can you re-orient from output to impact and results only work?

What are the principles?

  • It starts with identifying what is not working well
  • Where are team members burned out?
  • Do you have a communication or meeting issue?
  • Depending on the root cause, that is where you go to work.
  • For example, if there are too many meetings and they are ineffective – then the focus would be on optimizing meetings for results and time.
  • You also have to look at how they team gets work done most effectively and make sure everyone understands it.

Where do you see challenges in productivity consistently?

  • Execution is one area that is consistent.
  • It is also looking at conflicts between individuals and teams. People need to learn how their personal dynamics can work better together.
  • Meetings and email management are two other areas where a lot of productivity and time are lost.

Explain why email management is so important?

  • It’s the primary communication tool in most businesses.
  • Most people don’t know how to use platforms like Outlook most effectively.
  • People are also connected to it 24/7 which means it makes it easier to get burned out.

At the 14 min mark, Carson and I have a great conversation on being productive in training people to be respectful of your time.

Thoughts on running a team to be most productive?

  • Dedicate time to each of your direct reports to ask questions and get updates.
  • A leader’s focus should be on coaching and development during focused time.
  • Leaders should stack 1 on 1’s and do them in the same day if possible. This will help with focusing on the same activities which helps you to be more productive.

The data on multi-tasking proves it does not work. Multi-tasking is an illusion and goes against your biological design of voluntary vs. involuntary focus. You are much less productive when you multi-task.

Any other productivity tips that people should know about?

  • The most important practice is the recognition that people don’t think and process information the same way, so there is not a one-size fits all solution to productivity.
  • Many companies think everyone can function the same way in the same structure for productivity. Some will do well, others will not.
  • Ultimate productivity comes when you are able to personalize productivity based on work style.
  • Carson developed an assessment to help people understand how they process information and how to maximize productivity around it.
  • Just go to https://www.workingsimply.com/work-style-assessment/

What do you see as the most important thing a leader can do each day to help their team’s success?

  • Coach!
  • Transform from manager to coach.
  • A coach invites the individual team member to co-create and problem solve.
  • It is asking questions vs. telling.

What have you learned along your journey about how to consistently perform and succeed?

  • It starts with you.
  • Exercise, rest, and meditation are essential for your ability to navigate entrepreneurship thoughtfully and intentionally.
  • Self-care is essential.

Best advice to an entrepreneur just starting out?

  • Radical self-awareness is needed to succeed.
  • Get clarity around why and what your best way to contribute is.
  • Once you start building a team – the self-awareness allows you to know where it is best for you to focus and work with your team.

There is a difference between being a leader and a CEO. What are your thoughts on how to maximize your success as a CEO?

  • Having an information and eventually more formal advisory board with diversity is helpful.
  • It is important for leaders to engage an executive coach at different stages to help them.

Your thoughts on how to select the right coaches?

  • First, there are credentials for coached.
  • There are processes, methods, etc. that coaches can be certified in.
  • Another important thing is if they have experience in the area you are looking for help in.
  • Above all, it needs to be a good fit. You have to be able to trust them and be open with them. ​

Anything else you feel is important for us to understand for success?

  • Engagement and engaging your team.
  • You must create and engaging environment for your team and your clients.

 

Best Quote: The most important practice is the recognition that people don’t think and process information the same way, so there is not a one-size fits all solution to productivity

 

Carson's Misfit 3:

  1. Know thyself...
  2. Take care of thyself...
  3. Serve others...

 

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Apr 6, 2022

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Alisa Cohn. Where to start with Alisa. She has been named the top startup coach in the world and has been coaching startup founders to help them grow into world class CEOs for almost 20 years. She is also an angel investor and advisor and has worked to help everyone from Venmo to Etsy to Draftkings in their sucess. She has coached CEOs and C-Suite Executives at many of the largest Fortune 500s such as IBM, Google, and Microsoft.

And if that is not enough, she is a top leadership speaker and guest lecturer at Harvard, Cornell, and even the Naval War College. Alisa is the author of the best-seller, From Start Up to Grown Up and I’ve asked her to come on the show to talk everything startup and leadership.

www.AlisaCohn.com

Alisa was in the non-profit world and had a moment of truth when she was working at a university. A provost told her that “you could not manage faculty because the have tenure.” She thought that it could not be. She went to business school at Cornell and ended up focusing on finance and accounting. She ended up working at Price Waterhouse Coopers. She was fast-tracked. After working for some time, she knew it was not what she wanted to do. One Sunday she woke and thought to herself that she hoped to get the flu, so she didn’t have to go to work the next day. 18 hours later, she was rushed to the emergency room with the flu!

She was out for 2 weeks and during that time really thought about what she wanted. She went to a conference and there was speaker and coach. They were amazing. The next day, she followed the coach and watched her speak – she loved it and decided that she wanted to go that route. She took jobs during the dotcom boom and went through coach training. When the dotcom bubble burst, she decided it was time to go on her own and she’s been doing it ever since.

Define Leadership…

  • A leader is like a conductor. They bring people together in service of something bigger and better, coordinated together – and then empowers the people to do the best work of their lives.
  • It’s knowing where you want to go and having the vision and then finding the people and unlocking their potential to help in fulfilling it.

Qualities of great leaders?

  • Great leaders come in all shapes and sizes.
  • The greatest leaders care about people genuinely.
  • They do what it takes to move the organization toward the mission.
  • They make the hard the calls. They make sure everyone is on the same page.
  • Sometimes it means getting in the trenches.
  • Great leaders have situational awareness and do what it takes in the moment to be effective and powerful.

How do you teach people to gain better situational awareness?

  • It’s first checking in with yourself.
  • Second, it is recognizing that all others have their own bundle of emotions, priorities, dynamics, etc.
  • Get curious and super observant as a leader and strive to understand these things in people in the context of what you are feeling.

Leaders have blind spots. What are the ones you see most prevalent in leaders?

  • Leaders do have very similar blind spots.
  • The first one is that leaders sometimes forget they are the leader – the boss. Your suggestions are orders. As a leader, you have authority and need to remember that.
  • Leaders don’t realize how much they need to communicate. They need to repeat themselves over and over to make sure everyone has heard them and is aligned on the strategy and vision.

Most important aspect for a startup leader to get right from the beginning? Most important aspect for a leader in a mature company?

  • Starting up, leaders how to figure out who to even higher and need to be charismatic enough to get people on board and raise money, etc. It’s working a miracle in some ways.
  • Startup leaders must be adaptable and willing to persist against all odds.
  • As a company matures, the leader has to be willing and able to rapidly grow.
  • Alisa’s book “From Startup to Grown Up,” deals with this.
  • All leaders must have emotional self-control and be able to weather the ups and downs.
  • Leaders in mature companies must be consistent and be excellent at delegating and making sure everyone is on mission.

Talk to us about dealing with the internal politics of business….

  • Any time you have more than one person, you have politics.
  • People have different opinions, agendas, ways of looking at things, etc.
  • In large companies, status and power is part of politics and politics in companies is reality.
  • Leaders need to have organizational awareness and be savvy to navigate for good and not for ill.
  • Leaders need to build relationships and network with those have power and align in the right ways with the people making decisions.
  • If you want good things for the company, you need to be savvy enough that your voice is being taken into account when decisions are made.
  • For startups, it’s about creating a great culture and hiring the right people aligned with it.
  • For startups, it is also about being transparent and doing things in the light of day.

Power and Influence – what role do they play in the development of a leader and what should leaders understand about them?

  • You must gain power and influence as you get more senior, or you will be sidelined.
  • This means you must be networking with and savvy with those that make decisions and the key stakeholders.
  • You have to look and see what is being rewarded in the company and make sure that you participate in it.
  • Observe your surroundings and the power/influence dynamic in the organization and what drives it.

How does a leader and organization developer their guidepost and values?

  • Spend a lot of time thinking through what you want the company and culture to be. It’s worth it to slow down and get it as close to right as you can.
  • Sit down and ask what things your really value? What kind of company do you want to work at? What culture do you want to ensure lasts?

Key elements of a successful startup?

  • You have to have a lot of magic.
  • You have to have a strong view of what you can create and why it is significant in the market.
  • You have to get the feedback and take the negative comments and keep going.
  • You then must find the right team who are aligned and committed to the mission.
  • As you grow, you will need to bring in more senior people who know how to grow a bigger organization – maybe even replacing yourself.

Personal mastery – how does someone learn to live and work at their peak?

  • You spend a lifetime doing it.
  • It starts with intention.
  • How are you going to be better tomorrow than today?
  • It’s about learning from the masters and what world class experts do to achieve peak performance.
  • It’s also figuring out which things make sense for you to take on and do with discipline and diligence that make the most difference.

What have you learned that is most important for success as an entrepreneur?

  • Resilience, resilience, resilience
  • The longer you can stay in the game, the better chance of success.
  • Keep putting one foot in front of the other and do the next right thing. ​

What is the most unexpected thing you found on your journey?

  • A pivotal moment was in 2006 when she reached out to Marshall Goldsmith.
  • She met with him personally and he took her under her wing and helped her get her start.
  • She dared to say yes to working with him and it has made all the difference.

 

Best Quote: The longer you can stay in the game, the better chance of success.

 

Alisa's Misfit 3:

  1. Get out of your comfort zone and take more risk.
  2. Build your network early and often.
  3. Be someone who is known for helping other people and the rest will take care of itself. Believe in yourself.

 

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Mar 30, 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.

This Week's Lesson for Hannah

Hannah, I am excited to speak to you about one of my favorite topics, mental toughness. There are many takes on this subject and tons of books written on it. It seems there is a new book out on the subject every week. And I can understand why, achieving true mental toughness is personal to each person. How you find yours will be personal to you. I can only speak from my experience and how I have achieved my levels of mental toughness in my life – and I hope it inspires you to level up in yours.

First, what does it mean to be mentally tough? To me it is the ability to respond rather than react to hard circumstances in our lives. Notice I said respond. Most people react emotionally and let fear drive them when hard times come. They cede control of thought to the basic animal side of humanity and react in ways that are typically detrimental to themselves and their potential.

Being mentally tough is being prepared for the hard times because they will inevitably come, and then having the fortitude to say no to the emotional reaction and instead think logically and work through the challenge to reach the best outcome. Being mentally tough is keeping perspective as hard times come, and they go, and life goes on. You must never lose faith in yourself, but you must see reality for what it is.

To be mentally tough is to be able to endure and outlast. One of my favorite movie trilogies is the Batman Trilogy directed by Christopher Nolan. I like it for a lot of reasons. The series is a great set of lessons on good, evil, how fragile societies can be and of course, mental toughness. In one scene in the Dark Knight, Bruce Wayne and Alfred are talking about how in order to stop the Joker, he will have to turn himself in as the Joker has demanded it in order to stop his anarchy and crime spree. This was a moment of mental weakness for Bruce Wayne as he knew deep down that turning himself in would not stop the Joker and Batman was the only way. He asks Alfred what he should do, and Alfred says, “Endure, Master Wayne. Take it. They'll hate you for it, but that's the point of Batman, he can be the outcast. He can make the choice that no one else can make, the right choice.”

I’ve learned that mental toughness is making the right choice even when it is the hardest choice, even when it may bring pain. It is making the right choice knowing others may not understand why at the time or be angry at you for it. It is enduring through all the things, including your own thoughts, that tell you to stop or quit, or give in because you know what is on the other side. You know the ultimate prize is waiting.

I have found my mental toughness through sports and entrepreneurship. I played football from grade school through college and then after college started endurance racing and ultimately Ironman. Sports provide one of the ultimate battle fields for mental toughness. You will go through highs and lows. You will stretch yourself physically and mentally. You will experience fatigue, not just from the work you must do to compete, but also in the form of doing something for a long period of time. I played football for almost 15 years and there were times where I just got tired of it – after all, I had been doing it for so long.

But something I realized is that I spent all this time getting to where I could be my best at the sport and to quit would be to waste all of that hard work and effort. It is the same with Ironman racing. There are a lot of days where my training plan calls for me to train for 5, 6, 7, hours or more. This means, I need to be starting at 4 or 5am in the morning to get everything in alongside all the other things I do and commitments to our family. I would be lying if I didn’t state that there are days where I get up and just am not feeling it and don’t want to do it. I question why I am even doing it – after all I don’t have to…it is an elective sport for me at this point in my life. Those are all emotional reactions, and I have learned to respond logically. It is in these moments that I think of all the benefits of what I am doing and move forward. For example, I have done all the work to get into the best shape physically and mentally of my life and the training is the practice to keep it. After all, it is a lot easier to stay in shape than to get in shape. I also know that it helps me in my health and my ability to be able to do all the things I do with you and your mom. I also know that it helps me as an entrepreneur and in my life as it keeps me disciplined. It keeps me in a good routine and structure. Lastly, I am being rewarded for the work as I am now Top 10% for my age in the world in the sport. And I also know that I have not reached my full potential yet. So, this keeps me going.

Entrepreneurship is similar to sports in that you have to take a long-term view and have the endurance to keep going through the challenges that present themselves on almost a daily basis. I have learned that the more problems you can handle and the bigger ones that you can handle, the larger your business can grow. And this capability allows you to develop others and help them reach their potential, because you can show them through your experience that they are capable of so much more. And ultimately, as an entrepreneur, you want to develop your systems and people so that the business can continue to grow and thrive without you having to be there for it to do so. The only way you can get there is by being mentally tough and sticking it out until it happens.

Hannah, developing your mental toughness and learning to respond rather than react when challenges and hard times come is a lifelong journey. It is worth it. It is worth to push and stretch yourself. It is worth to live into your true potential and capabilities. It is worth it to endure and develop the fortitude needed to see things through. I’ll leave you with a secret and probably the most important advice I will give you on this topic. You don’t have to do it alone. In fact, you are not alone. While you can rely on others, like your mom and I, to help in tough times, there is something else that is always there for you and by your side and that is God. Knowing God and Jesus are walking with you on your journey will keep you going. In fact, one of the most important phrases I use late in Ironman races after swimming over 2 miles, biking over a hundred, and getting deep into my marathon is “God is with me.” When I am feeling like my muscles don’t want to move any more or that I am too tired physically and mentally to go on, I just say that to myself, “God is with me. God will help me finish.”

And it is in these moments that I truly understand what it means to be mentally tough and keep going, because that is what Jesus did for us. He endured more than any human being every could to sacrifice himself and take on the burdens of this world, and knowing this, knowing I have him by my side means I can see anything through. He is the greatest example of mental toughness there is. Hannah, develop your mental toughness and you will be amazed at how you can see anything through.

I love you,

Dad

 

Best Quote: Being mentally tough is being prepared for the hard times because they will inevitably come, and then having the fortitude to say no to the emotional reaction and instead think logically and work through the challenge to reach the best outcome.

 

Misfit 3

  1. What does it mean to be mentally tough? To me it is the ability to respond rather than react to hard circumstances in our lives. To be mentally tough is to be able to endure and outlast.
  2. I’ve learned that mental toughness is making the right choice even when it is the hardest choice, even when it may bring pain.
  3. Knowing God and Jesus are walking with you on your journey will keep you going. Jesus is the greatest example of mental toughness there is.

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