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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: March, 2023

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!

Mar 29, 2023

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Wylie McGraw.  Wylie is a former professional baseball player, competitive bull rider, 3-tour combat veteran, founder of Radical Performance Acceleration, and host of the hit podcast Wise Words & Whiskey.  Wylie works with the world’s highest caliber founders and leaders from Fortune 500 CEO’s to Pro Athletes helping them breakthrough and remove their inner demons to help them find deeper meaning, true motivation, and make their impact.

Wylie brings a no-nonsense, navy seal style approach that gets results and then some and I’ve excited to have him on to talk everything entrepreneurship and how his methods work.

www.WylieMcGraw.com

Podcast:  Wise Words and Whisky

Wylie grew up in a household of athletes and high performance.  He grew up around pro-athletes and California Angels pitching staff because of his dad and was recognized at a young age for having a great arm.  They started to cultivate him, and his focus became sport.  He loved it.  As he got older, he started put the pieces together of how much of a business the sport was and the stressed brought on by it – he started to rebel and push away.  He sought other outlets and different friends to challenge himself.  As he got into high school, he became friends with a group of rodeo cowboys.  He jumped in feet first and found he really connected with it and loved it.  It unleashed the wild side that he had and how to conquer fear and use it as a catalyst for higher performance. 

The next evolution for Wylie was the US military.  It was an environment to continue pushing his limits.  His time in the military helped to understand what it takes to push people and help them find their true self.

You say “leaders call you when they want their life back.”  Explain that.

  • Wylie realized that we have transition moments and periods in our lives. 
  • In those moments of change and discomfort that Wylie realized he had gift.  He was the one that people came to expose the darker sides of their lives and would leave him and the discussion being better off.
  • After he came out of the military, he knew that he could use this to help people in a much bigger way.
  • He could push people, but give them to love, care, and find their path to being truly fulfilled. 
  • He started with combat veterans and through world of mouth was introduced to others that needed support and help. 
  • He found that many people that had done a lot of work on themselves still were not where they wanted to be. 
  • Many people insulate their stress and pain, but don’t eradicate it.  This is why people call him.


With all the work you have done, what have you found is typically the biggest obstacle to people reaching their potential and why?

  • Human beings are good at masking what is truly happening internally for them.
  • Our mind is the biggest liar that we face, but our bodies – we at the core know the truth.
  • Our minds lie to us about the truth and we tell ourselves the lie over and over compounding.
  • And when we get to a point later in life, where we have had success and done great things, we personally feel unsatisfied and unfulfilled.  We chalk that to the cost of being human and that’s the way it is – that’s BS.
  • Because of this many are disconnected from their own truth. 
  • We do things we know we shouldn’t be doing anyway – why?  The people at the top are the biggest culprits of that because they have the means to do so.  And as such, they need the most help live their truly best life.


What is the process you take people through on how to overcome this?

  • It starts with the moment they meet Wylie.
  • We are dynamic beings with many different facets.
  • When we try to approach growth and personal development, we do compartmentalized – trying to find a “step by step” process and that simply doesn’t work since everyone is drastically different.
  • The real magic is in the nuance of working specifically on themselves through not hiding the truth inside them.  This is Wylie’s gift to see this and pull it out of people. 
  • The real breakthroughs happen through an intimate understanding that is addressed head on. 
  • Once this happens, then an individual has to recalibrate and do the work.
  • Fear is part of the transformation and is needed as part of the development.

 
3 tours in war zones, talk to us about your experience as a soldier and leader.  What did you learn about to overcome immense challenges and limits?

  • Combat will stretch you.  The only other thing close is the wars we fight within ourselves.
  • Every man in Wylie’s family served, so it was a time honored tradition, but Wylie was after the structure, discipline, and time honored commitment to excellence.
  • You are pushed mentally, physically, and spiritually to the absolute brink and break you down.  You are then built back up and are better for it.  You can keep calm in chaos naturally.
  • Kosovo taught him how to be still, focused, and grounded.  It was the first place he got shot at and experienced combat.
  • He came back and was in the process of going to Ranger school when 9/11 happened and he was one of the first groups to go into Afghanistan.
  • He then went into Iraq which was a different type of combat being in close quarter and in cities. 
  • All of this helped him in seeing his limits and go through them and overcome fear after fear and break free from any chains that had bound him.  It helped him create a real, intimate relationship with himself, shed his demons and live truthfully with himself.


At the 30 min mark, Wylie talks about confronting ourselves. 

  • We don’t want to face ourselves which is why many times top athletes and high performers essentially hire “yes men” and surround themselves insulating the lie.
  • People are scared of what they need to face in themselves and get exposed.
  • Instead of just admitting it and going to work, we make excuses to stay where we are and feed their demons.
  • This gets reinforced by society.


What are your top lessons from your leadership experience, you feel can help entrepreneurs the most?

  • Being a leader is about service outside of yourself. 
  • You first have to lead yourself to lead others.
  • It is about standards, value, and habits, but it goes beyond that to do the work to master who you are. 
  • Admit that you have been lying to yourself about a number of things and decide to confront these things head on – you’ll be amazed at how fast things will change if you do.  Lead yourself first.


What are lessons you learned from your baseball and rodeo days that translate well to entrepreneurship?

  • We are always going to experience moments where we are not motivated and hit our limitations.
  • This is where we need to become more self-aware and realize you are struggling and being stretched.  This is good and if you push through these times, you will get to a new level.
  • You have to learn how surrender your rigid thinking – you have the capacity and the ability.  Don’t let your mind limit your body.
  • In bull riding, you cannot fight the bull, you need to relax and literally become one with the bull and it’s movement. 
  • When something is really uncomfortable on your path to personal growth, surrender because that is what you really need. 

Wise Words and Whisky, what’s your favorite label?

  • Balvenie and Doublewood neat.

 

Best Quote:  Human beings are good at masking what is truly happening internally for them.  Our mind is the biggest liar that we face.

 

Wylie's Misfit 3: 

  1. You have to be willing to admit to yourself the biggest lie you have been telling yourself and confront it.  Find your truth.
  2. It is time to welcome necessary suffering.  Suffering is important for growth. 
  3. Find comfort in the ambiguity of live and in fear.  It is an ally for your personal growth and development.
Mar 22, 2023

Hello Misfit Nation!  This is Dave Lukas and welcome to another episode of the Misfit Entrepreneur, where it is our job to help you unleash your inner misfit and breakthrough to higher levels of success, wealth, and fulfillment by bringing you the best insight and information from the world’s top entrepreneurs….. with a specific focus on their misfit side…the specific traits, habits, and secrets that have allowed them to thrive and succeed.

This is another one of those special episodes where it is just me and you.  I’ve had a number of emails lately asking my about my thoughts on the current situation in the financial sector and how it might play out as well as how it will affect entrepreneurs. 

First, I think it is important to note that no matter what happens, there are always opportunities for entrepreneurs.  Some of the largest companies you know today such as Allstate Insurance and Hewlett-Packard were started in the midst of the Great Depression. 

Speaking of history, in order to understand where things are today with financial markets and our money and where things might go, we have to take go a little bit back in time. 

Before I do, I want to say that I am in no way a financial advisor or am giving you financial advice.  You should consult with a competent financial professional for your own personal decisions.  You accept that you are responsible for your own financial choices and actions. 

Listen to the episode as the notes are too long to enter here...

 

Best Quote:  Be on the lookout for the opportunities you can take advantage of and don’t hesitate to act when they do.  Steel your mind and be prepared.  And never, ever quit.

 

Misfit 3:

Understanding money and how it works and what it truly is, is critical to success in life and business.

Focus on what you can control, not what you cannot.

Mmoney is called currency because to work, it must be moving, otherwise, it is losing value.  One of the best places I believe to keep your money moving is investing in and owning businesses. 

 

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Mar 15, 2023

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,

It is fitting that this Lessons for Hannah comes after my last one in which I shared how reality always wins.  In that episode, I talked about some controversial topics and how no matter what people say, there are certain laws of the universe that will always prove true and win out over time.  For example, people can tell you that you are a bird and can fly as much as they want, but if you jump off a bridge and try to fly, the law of gravity will win, and you will not fly.  Well, just like reality, the truth wins out as well.

In this episode, I want to revisit some things from the last few years as the truth is now winning out.  Some of these things I predicted previously, but it is important that we recognize the truth and reality.  For example, it has now come out from multiple departments in the US Government including the FBI that the Covid virus was in fact leaked from the lab in Wuhan, China.  For several years, people were excoriated and made pariahs for saying this was a possibility.  People were even called racists.  It turns out they were right. 

One thing I have learned over time is that yes, reality always wins, but so does truth.  But it can take a lot longer than you think it should for this to happen.  You’ve probably heard the phrase, “The wheels of justice move slowly” in reference to righting wrongs.  Sometimes, it can be many years before justice is found in certain crimes or situations.  The truth can take a long time to get out as well.

Another example from the Covid timeframe is that many of the things people were told to do such as lockdowns in their homes, mask wearing, and even getting vaccines and boosters over and over again did not make the impact or difference that people were told they would.  In February 2023, it was reported in the Lancet and many prominent news outlets such as NBC, that natural immunity from getting Covid and getting over it is as protective as vaccination against severe illness and death.  In fact, the study proved that natural immunity may be even better than the vaccine.  Again, this was considered crazy just a year ago.  People were called dangerous for stating the fact that throughout history, natural immunity has been the biggest factor in limiting the spread and effects of a virus and stopping pandemics.  But, again, while it took some time, the truth wins again. 

Here’s another controversial example of the truth winning.  For the last 20+ years, I have heard prediction after prediction that the world is going to end and everyone is going to die from people, usually politicians or those with an agenda, due to climate change.  The truth is people have been saying this forever.  In the 1970’s, the world was going to end from global cooling and a new ice age.  Then it was global warming in the 80’s and 90’s.  When none of that stuff happened, the name of the “crisis” was changed to climate change – which was smart because the climate is always changing, so now no matter what happens, it can be used as a fear and panic inducing excuse that the world is going to end in some way.  Well, guess what, the world has not ended.  In fact, the current poster child for the movement, Greta Thunberg, just had to delete a tweet from a few years ago where she said the world would end due to climate change in 2023.  Former Vice President, Al Gore in the late 90’s said we only had 10 years left and that Florida would be underwater due to rising oceans.  Well guess what, Florida is not underwater and is booming with a lot of Al Gore’s friends living right on the ocean. 

Over and over again, the truth wins when it comes to this topic.  The actual science shows the temperature of the earth has barely moved in the last 100 years.  Yet, every year, we only have 10 years left.  Let me put this in perspective because this topic is one that is thrust on your generation by many people with agendas.  The earth has been around for 4.5 billion years.  4.5 BILLION.  It has gone through complete ice ages to complete scorched earth with volcanoes spewing toxic gases everywhere to meteors and comets directly hitting it and everything in between.  Many species have come and gone like Dinosaurs and others.  We humans have been on earth a measly 200,000 years.  That is not even 1/10 of 1% of the time the earth has existed, yet we are so arrogant that we think we can destroy in our short existence.  We think we are more powerful than the sun which science has proven has more power than we could even hope for when it comes to what happens in our climate.  Or the moon which directly controls our tides and ocean movement as well as our climate.  The truth continues to show that the predictions of these charlatans and hustlers proclaiming a crisis that never ends and constantly having to move their goal posts are not just wrong, but laughable.   

Don’t get me wrong, we should do everything we can to be good stewards of our environment and take care of things, but we should do so working from truth and reality.  In fact, just us breathing gives plants food through carbon dioxide and then they give us oxygen through photosynthesis is a process that helps the environment.  We support each other to live.  And the earth is greener now than in the past, contrary to what is promoted by these people whose real goal is their own personal gain and power – that is my opinion, but I think the truth will bear this out as time goes on as well.    

Hannah, seek the truth and live in it.  Know that there is only one real truth – not your truth or someone else’s.  The real truth will always prevail, not matter what you tell yourself, so it is best to seek it and not fool yourself.  I hope you take this lesson to heart and use it help separate truth from fiction in your life and stay firm in your principles in all areas, personal and business.

I love you,

Dad

 

Best Quote:   Know that there is only one real truth – not your truth or someone else’s.  The real truth will always prevail, not matter what you tell yourself, so it is best to seek it and not fool yourself. 

 

Misfit 3:

  1. You’ve probably heard the phrase, “The wheels of justice move slowly” in reference to righting wrongs.  Sometimes, it can be many years before justice is found in certain crimes or situations.  The truth can take a long time to get out as well.
  2. Seek the truth and live in it.
  3. Separate truth from fiction in your life and stay firm in your principles

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Mar 8, 2023

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Tanis Jorge.  Tanis is a serial, tech entrepreneur and a leading advisor to startup founders on entrepreneurship and building successful cofounder partnerships.  During her career has spanning the last 20+ years, she has cofounded, scaled, and successfully exited multiple data-driven businesses. This culminated with her most recent venture, Trulioo, which she co-founded in 2011 with my long-term business partner.  In 2021, Trulioo reached unicorn status with an over $1.65B valuation solidifying its place as the world’s leading identity verification company and Tanis’s track record for founding successful businesses. Trulioo’s success also made her one of only three Canadian female “Unicorn” founders.

Tanis has a wealth of knowledge in starting and building businesses, but I’m not if you caught something with what I just shared that has a been a constant for her and a big part of her success – all of her biggest and most successful ventures have been with another great co-founder and it has been their partnership that made it go.  In fact, Tanis recently wrote the best-selling book, the Cofounder’s Handbook detailing how she does this and that is exactly what I want to speak with her about today as one of the best way to succeed is by having a great partnership in your business.  I know this from experience.  

www.TheCoFoundersHub.com

Tanis met her co-founder in High School starting in grade 8.  They were locker buddies and their time in high school and getting to know each other laid the groundwork for their future success.  Right after High School, he partner approached her to be the first to do online credit reports in Canada.  It was their first business and gave them a ton of learning experience.  They found their roles and ultimately exited after 3 years.  They then did that 2 more times over the next 10 years.  After that, Tanis took a break to focus on family and her partner went to Silicon Valley to pitch an idea they had had previous.  The idea was well received and she was pulled back in.  A year and half into it, they raised their first seed round and it that helped them to get to a valuation over $1.5 billion.

Talk to us about the magic of co-founding partnerships.  Why and how can they work so well?

  • They are either the greatest asset or greatest liability in your business.
  • 65% of business fail because of issues between the founders.
  • Every business with a partnership will either make or break on that partnership.
  • When Tanis talked to people with bad partnerships, she noticed it came down to values that did not align. 
  • A great partnership that is aligned can take businesses to levels not possible with just a single founder.


Elements of great partnerships?

  • Shared values
  • Intentionality.  Great partners are focused on their partnership.
  • A partnership is not “set it and forget it.”
  • They help hold each other up on the rollercoaster of building a business.


Did you ever have times where you got sick of each other in your partnership?  How did you get things back on track and keep the partnership strong?

  • Your mentality going into the partnership is important.  In the end, you are all striving for the same goal.
  • Honest mistakes happen – very seldom are they malicious.
  • Realize that you are in it together. 
  • Don’t get in your own way when you don’t have to.
  • It is like a marriage, but it is not.  Marriage is focusing on keeping each other happy.  In business, the business is the focus.  The founders need to focus there and make that the priority.
  • Ask what is the best for the business….


At the 20 min mark, Tanis talks about the dynamics of partnerships…

There is a customization to a good partnership.  Look at yourself first.  Look at your model and determine what you need in a partner.  Tanis developed a self-assessment for this.

What is the best way to find a business partner?

  • The first and most important thing is to do a self-assessment.  You can do this at https://thecofoundershub.com/
  • It is worth the time and money to invest in the process of figuring things out.
  • Your network is a great place to start and ask, “Who do you know?”
  • There are Meet-ups in different markets that give opportunities as well.
  • You also want to think through all the major points of the partnership ahead of time and have the conversations in discovery sessions with potential partners.
  • You will also want to look at the legal documents needed to create a great business partnership.


What have your learned on how to build and scale companies?

  • Tanis loves the early stage of a business.
  • Build your business like you will own it forever, but have the long-term vision to build it to be sold.
  • Play chess.  Every month, take time to whiteboard and stay steps ahead.  Game plan and plan intensively the moves in your business.


What have you learned about how to sell a business?

  • It is stressful and like having a second job.
  • It always take longer.
  • It always costs more than you think.
  • You need to prepare ahead of time and know it will not be easy.
  • You must plan for it and ensure you are ready. 
  • Know your number.  You will not get as much as you want, but you can get more than what you would settle for.


What is something you wish you have known earlier in your entrepreneur career?

  • Tanis was very young when she started and green to the business world.
  • It took a couple of businesses to realize that regardless of age, she knew her business the best and to have confidence in herself.
  • Don’t be afraid to take charge and step out in your business.

 

Best Quote:  Co-founder partnerships can be the greatest asset or greatest liability in your business.

 

Tanis's Misfit 3:

  1. Choose the key people in your life carefully and invest in them.
  2. Question everything!  Always look at both sides.  Be curious.
  3. Enjoy the journey.

 

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Mar 1, 2023

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Dean Guida.  Dean has a storied history.  Dean launched his first company Infragistics in 1989.  Being a startup with just 10 people, he went head to head against Microsoft for a $300k deal with Philadelphia Conrail—and won. From there, he never looked back.  The company has grown to 250 employees across 6 countries, without ever accepting outside funding. Today, the company boasts a client roster that includes 100% of the S&P 500, including Intuit, Exxon and Morgan Stanley.

One of the things Dean saw as he built his own business and observed teams at hundreds of others is the struggle they have to bring the right tools together to drive decisions and effectively use data.  He started his latest company Slingshot to help solve this challenge.

Dean has a wealth of experience and knowledge, but one of the things I most want to speak with him about is how you can better use data in your business to grow and thrive.

www.Slingshotapp.io

When Dean was 15, he was saving up to buy a car, but bought an IBM PC instead.  He fell in love with computers and taught himself how to program.  He’d always been an entrepreneur at heart.  As he grew up, he brought these two passions together and 35 years ago, started Infragistics bootstrapping it while freelance consulting for IBM on Wall Street.  He would work during the day and code at night.  They worked out of their apartment building their first product.  After a year, they got a small office. 

He learned quickly that “Sales solves all problems” and taught himself to sell to drive the company forward.

 

You’ve been in business 35 years.  What do you credit as the biggest reasons for that?

  • ·       You need to create a learning organization where people grow, solve problems, and take initiative.
  • ·       Putting processes in place and a culture where people are excited to collaborate and ask for help, share ideas, etc.
  • ·       Be careful not to higher everyone like you.  Get diversity of thinking. 
  • ·       Use data to make decisions and collaborate around it.  It is more than growth hacking.  It is using the scientific method to drive real business outcomes.
  • ·       You need to do experiments based on the data and hypothesis.  You will learn and get better and better with each iteration.

At the 12:30 mark, I asked Dean how he went head to head with Microsoft in a true David vs. Goliath scenario and won….

  • ·       It was early in the company.
  • ·       People were just starting to move from mainframes to PCs.
  • ·       It was with a big railroad company. 
  • ·       Dean had to compete against Microsoft Visual Basic with their tool that allowed coders to use C++ and make it visual.  That was their edge over Microsoft because C++ was better for coding, but harder, so Infragistics  made it easy like Microsoft VB. 
  • ·       Being small and new, the client also needed to trust that the company would be around, so Dean spent a lot of time showing them how they would be and built the trust with a better product to win.

Talk to us about the entrepreneur mindset – what have you learned about the mental game of entrepreneurship?

  • ·       The entrepreneur journey is similar in a lot of respects across entrepreneurs.
  • ·       First, you must have the courage to get started and start.
  • ·       Second, you must be and stay curious.
  • ·       It’s a commitment to grit.  The long-term focus and putting your effort into the things you have control over working toward to goal.
  • ·       Be present and open to opportunity.  Be visible as a company and leader. 
  • ·       Practice outside-in thinking….

Using data to drive a business.  What should entrepreneurs know about making the best use of the data that they have?

·       Data by itself leads to more questions.

·       You need to start with the fundamentals:  Sales data, marketing data, click through rates, targeting/segmenting your target market.

·       If you target well early on, you will be so much better off.  Industry, title, the group of people with the most pain that your solution solves.

·       With data, you need to keep asking why.  Data will tell you what is happening, but you need to ask why and dig into to get the answers to improve outcomes.

Best advice on how to get target market right and how do you use the scientific method with data to drive outcomes?

  • ·       Before you start the company or build the product, you have a hypothesis of the problem you want to solve based on intuition and research.
  • ·       A product can appeal to a large audience, but there is a segment of that audience that is the “best buyer.”
  • ·       You can get to the right segment through testing, surveys, talking to customers.  You are looking for the segment with the biggest need that your product solves that seems to be unmet.
  • ·       The whole process can use the scientific method.  Question, make predictions, assumptions, gather data, analyze data, draw conclusions…

At the 27 min mark, Dean shares more about Slingshot and how it connects data points.

Any trends or data points you are seeing your work with Slingshot that businesses should be focused on to up their game?

  • ·       People expect good digital tools, with great UI and data.  The customer is smarter than you think.
  • ·       If a company is not focused on their digital skills and using their data to best level they can, they will find it hard to survive. 
  • ·       A company needs to implement processes around data throughout the organization to use it daily. 

How does AI and tools like Chat GPT fit into data and technology and business into the future?

  • ·       ChatGPT raised the bar for what you expect a natural language processor to be.  We are in a new game now.
  • ·       We are going to be looking at AI services like we see databases today. 
  • ·       Businesses will incorporate these tools into their solutions as part of everyday features.
  • ·       These AI’s will become just new services to use and will integrate into most things we do.
  • ·       It will cause the pace of things to move faster than they do even now.

Anything else around data or these topics that people should know?

  • ·       We always overpredict innovation in the short term, but in the long term, we underpredict it.
  • ·       Get alignment of execution with data.  Use OKRs – key results for objectives in using data.
  • ·       Know your objective and execute on it.  Defining your core objectives is data!

 

Best Quote:  "Sales solves all problems..."

 

Dean's Misfit 3:

  1. What creates a happy life and long life is your social connections with people.  Figure out the amount you need.
  2. Stay curious and keep learning.
  3. In order to perform well, you need to recover.  Pros train hard, but then take breaks to recover.  You need to set aside time to recover both mentally and physically.

 

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