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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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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 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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