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 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 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!

Jul 4, 2018

Misfit Nation! Welcome to the 100th episode of the Misfit Entrepreneur! You know, when I started this little experiment as a way to leave behind the best wisdom on success and life that I could find and give for my daughter, Hannah – I had no idea that this show would grow the way it has and have the following and impact it has had around the world. I am so humbled and honored to be doing this with you. This show is as much mine as it yours as it could not and would not be where it is without you, our loyal listeners in Misfit Nation.

From the bottom of my heart – thank you, thank you, thank you for your support of the show. And we are just getting started. We have much more to come for you over the next 100 episodes both in the guests that we are bringing you and other unique opportunities such as the Grow Thrive Revive Retreat.

It is not a coincidence that we are at this point together. I truly believe we are meant to be on this journey with each other and accomplish amazing things. And you better believe that I will do everything I can to bring you the best information, advice, and actionable success strategies to help you do so.

I’ve spent an enormous amount of time going through our first 100 episodes to find what I consider to be the Top 10 Most Important lessons that they have given us and I want to share them with you.

I have also put them into a FREE guide with text from the episode for each lesson with some action steps on how you can incorporate them into your life and business.

You can get it at www.MisfitEntrepreneur/Lessons

The Top 10 Lessons from 100 Episodes of Misfit Entrepreneurs to Help You Breakthrough to You Highest Potential...

Lesson #1

They practice the DCP Formula and use it through the life and businesses. DCP stands for Discipline, Consistency, and Persistence. I go in depth on this formula in the episode as well as the Top 10 Lessons Guide.

Lesson #2

The highly successful don't do one thing exponentially better than others. They do a lot of things, sometimes very small things, just a little bit better or slightly differently and doing all of them a little better adds up to a huge advantage. I highlight some examples of these things as I discuss this lesson in the episode.

Lesson #3

They have a keen understanding of self and their conditioning and have learned to have control over their thoughts and how they react to the different circumstances in their lives. To me, this realization or understanding is ultimate in personal power and allows people to live from true choice instead of being run by other people's ideas and what they've been told they should do. You must learn to choose your thoughts and what you allow your mind actions to do.

Lesson #4

High performing Misfit Entrepreneurs go through a process of transformation. The learn, as my good friend and business partner in our life-changing bi-annual event, Grow Thrive Revive, Evan Money, puts it and talked about in Episode 59 – they learn the power of the return on forgiveness. Sometimes it is forgiving themselves while other times it is forgiving others for the wrongs that they have done to them. Whatever these things are, for many people, they hold them back and once the truly forgive, they remove a tremendous weight from their shoulders and can move forward in their pursuits to greatness.

Lesson #5

This one should come as no surprise - they have a strong "why" that they anchor to. This why is their driver and the thing they rely on to keep them going when things are tough. It is also, talking about the power of little things, the reason they want “it,” whatever it is, more than others. It fuels them and gives them purpose.

Lesson #6

This one should come as no surprise either, but it is such a constant with high achievers that I had to highlight it. Every Misfit Entrepreneur we have had on this show has a consistent personal growth and development routine. They are different in how they do it. Some people work very closely with a coach or multiple coaches. Others prefer to read and study other great entrepreneurs and successful people. Some listen to a ton of different podcasts. And of course, there are many do a blend of these.

Lesson #7

This lesson goes hand in hand with personal development. High performing Misfit Entrepreneurs are very careful who they surround themselves with. They are acutely aware that the people around them have an impact on their success. They are selective in their friends, business partners, employees, and who they choose to spend their time with. Take inventory of who you surround yourself with and spend time. Make sure they are the right people to help you in reaching the levels you aspire to.

If you are looking for a great way to make personal development on a daily basis easy and grow yourself in 10 minutes a day, check out this lifetime offer from our friends at Read it For Me. I used this almost every day as part of my routine. Just go to www.Readitfor.Me/Misfit

Lesson #8

High performing Misfit Entrepreneurs are great problem solvers. They also have figured out that the bigger the problems that they can solve, the bigger their business and success can grow. They seek out bigger challenges. The take calculated, what I call asymmetric risks. Meaning that the risk they take have some downside, but very little compared to the massive payoff they will get in succeeding in taking the risk. Solving big problems requires taking risks and sometimes a leap of faith.

How about you? What problem or problems can you or should you be solving? Are there any problems that you have thought about and are passionate about solving? How can you go about doing so taking an asymmetric risk?

Lesson #9

Systems. Systems are the most important part of growing and succeeding in business and the high performers figure this out. They learn the power of having good systems and implement them across their lives and businesses. This allows them to scale and grow.

We can only do so much with the time and energy we have. At some point we will plateau because we just cannot work any harder or do any more with the time we have. It is at this point that highly successful Misfit Entrepreneurs learn the lesson of putting in systems in place to duplicate the things they are doing or automate them.

Lesson #10

How you do anything is how you do everything. Your habits and choices will define you and your success. This is probably the easiest lesson to understand and hardest to implement because it encompasses everything we have talked about today. All the lessons we have discussed either fall under becoming a habit or a choice. In fact, Tom Ziglar, Zig Ziglar’s son in episode 83 put it perfectly. When I asked him what the absolute most important thing someone can do for their success was, he said “The fastest way to success is to replace a bad habit with a good habit.”

Best Quote: “Embracing these 10 lessons gives you the blueprint, foundation, and guide to success..."

100th Episode Misfit 3:

  1. Review the 10 lessons and ask how you can incorporate them more fully into your life and business.
  2. Ask yourself where you can use DCP to refine these lessons in your life. Just ask, where to do I need to be more disciplined in an area? Where do I need to be more consistent? And where do I need to persistent through take the challenge head-on.
  3. Download and use the Top 10 Guide to help you!
Jun 27, 2018

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Peter Kozodoy. Peter was a 2017 SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year nominee and is a partner and the Chief Strategy Officer at GEM Advertising – and Inc 5000 award winner. The company helps B to C companies make their sales and marketing departments more efficient and effective.

But, Peter is also the author of the forthcoming book, Honest to Greatness, an INC, Forbes, and Huffington Post contributor, and consultant with a very specific focus - helping entrepreneurs build multimillion-dollar businesses by using the power of brutal honesty.

And that is what I want to explore with him and you in this episode.

Peter came out of college in 2008 during the economic collapse. He was a figure skater all through growing up and had planned to work in the industry. When that didn’t work out, he started a business with his business partner shooting television spots for local TV for a $800 a spot – mostly for car dealers.

They started getting requests from ad agencies for work and found that they could do the same things the agencies did, and as they thought, better. So, the pivoted and became a full-service communications agency. They had no full-service experience, but they found a way and made a way. Now GEM is a leading agency in the marketplace.

At the 7-min mark, Peter talks about how he became obsessed with radical, brutal honesty and what that means to him…

  • It came through asking a lot of questions as to why some companies are successful and others aren’t when they employ the same strategies
  • He also asked a lot of questions of himself and what he truly wanted or wanted to be in his life.
  • He realized that he wasn’t being honest with himself

He developed a framework for honesty that calls the “Hourglass of Honesty” that has 3 levels:

  1. Honest about what is happening in the world and how society is changing
  2. Honest about and with others (who are you surrounding yourself with)
  3. Honest with yourself

Talk to us about Honest to Greatness and the shifts coming in business that we have to prepare for and be honest about..

  • Fundamentally, the question executives have to ask are they being honest about where they truly are and what their organization needs to do or shift to succeed.
  • Secondly, are people being honest about having the right people around them and on their teams.
  • At the 14-min mark, Peter gives a great example of Quicken Loans and their “isms” (google them)

What is the best way for a leader to get radically honest with themselves and their organization?

  • Recognize that change, major change, is inevitable
  • Beware of getting comfortable
  • “Comfort is the enemy of innovation”
  • The signs of what we need to do are all around us (Blockbuster could have bought Netflix)
  • Ask about what you don’t know. Always be absorbing information and learning.

At the 21-min mark, Peter tells us about the different cultures discussed in the book – the Inverse Triangle and Flawed Diamond.

  • The traditional business was a triangle with leadership at the top and holding the information
  • Now, we all have the information and the frontline people in an organization have far more information that matters that the execs do.
  • An honest corporate structure in today’s world is a flipped triangle with the wide part at the top.
  • Your customers and frontline people have all the information that is needed to help adapt, innovate, and succeed.
  • The Flawed Diamond is a way understanding how information can clearly and easily get through and reflect back out in the form of taking the information and acting on it. A flawed diamond would have an issue taking in the information and reflecting it back out and you don’t want that in your business.

At the 26-min mark, Peter talks about “the Executive Mirror” and “Heart and Soul” and why they are so important.

The Executive Mirror is about the change executives have had to make in that they now need to have the skill to taking the information and reflect it back out across the organization vs. just setting the agenda from the top. They don’t have to chart a course from scratch anymore because all of the information they need is at their fingertips.

What is the most important concept about advertising that business owners must understand in today’s world?

  • One of the most effective strategies is integrated advertising/marketing
  • Think of Coca Cola and all the ways it markets across all of the different mediums
  • You want all of the different customer touchpoints to work together like a rising tide.
  • You are best off to be everywhere with your message all at once than to piecemeal or be small about your advertising.

With all the changes happening, especially in social media, with regard to privacy – what do you see happening and that business owners need to look for when it comes to advertising on these mediums?

  • It’s not going to change very much, if at all
  • Most people don’t care about their information being out there
  • But, with blockchain and addressable media, the future of advertising is more control of people in which they can choose who they allow to advertise to them and maybe even be compensated for it.

What is the most thing you’ve learned about entrepreneurship on your journey so far? “Our companies only grow as fast as we do…”

What is the most important thing you’ve learned about yourself?

  • That he is human
  • It is extremely freeing to know you don’t have to be superhuman.
  • The successful and failure of your doing is directly related to the beliefs you put into your mind.

Best advice for an entrepreneur starting out today?

  • Start with what you really want – not what others tell you to do or what society thinks you should do.
  • Then go work with people that can help you and teach you to do it.


Best Quote: “Comfort is the enemy of innovation..."


Peter's Misfit 3:

  1. Be honest about who you are and who you want to be. Don’t start with why. Start with who you are.
  2. Be honest about what it is going to take to get where you want to go.
  3. Never settle. You only get one life, so do it all.
Jun 20, 2018

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Brett King. Brett King is a futurist, an award-winning speaker, hosts a globally recognized radio show – Breaking Banks. He is also the CEO of Moven, a $200 million mobile bank startup creating the world’s first “smart” bank account.

And if that is not enough, he’s also the author of multiple Amazon best-sellers including one of the books I highly recommend to people wanting to know how technology and innovation will impact our future, "Augmented – Life in the Smart Lane."

Brett is on the forefront of technological change and its impact in our lives – so I had to have him on to discuss what the future holds, not only for our personal lives, but for entrepreneurship and business as well.

Brett has always been into technology and was a coder early on. He then got into working with companies in the financial industry as the internet was coming about. He has owned everything from an ISP to digital consulting and advertising. In 2009, he wrote the best-seller, Bank 2.0 and started to build Moven, the world’s first fully digital bank. The company has been funded through series C and the technology is being licensed around the world.

Explain the “Augmented” age and what that means…

  • It is much different from the machine age and internet age
  • The Augmented age is driven AI technologies, robots, etc. and has the ability to disrupt our lives completely
  • The technology will change the way we live, work, interact, commerce, healthcare, lifespan, and much more.
  • We will now be sharing our world with computers that have intelligence

What can we expect from the growth of AI over the next 10-20 years?

  • Brett does not believe that advanced AI will be malevolent, but we do need to start making sure we are encoding ethics and empathy into these platforms.
  • We will see dramatic changes in how we work and use resources, especially through automation. Right now, Foxxcon (who builds the Iphone) is replacing 6000 workers per week through automation.
  • Autonomous self-driving trucks and delivery drones will displace those types of jobs
  • High labor-intensive work – even accounting, legal, etc. has the potential to be disrupted.
  • The role work will have in our lives will change – we won’t have to work to live necessarily.
  • We will learn faster and better use resources to be more productive, live longer, and maximize what we have.

At the 13:30 mark, Brett talks about these changes shifting people back to being entrepreneurs and the origin of the word “job.”

  • The current job apparatus and the ways society is molded is from the Industrial Age. Even our school system is built on that. It’s starting to change.
  • The structured skills coming out of school are less and less relevant and this is causing people to adapt and naturally become entrepreneurs.

What has been the biggest development in the Augmented world since you wrote the book?

  • We are seeing deep learning, machine learning, and quantum computing starting to become more mainstream.
  • Self-driving car progress
  • Most interesting is voice technology – the virtual assistant or agent is the next big thing emerging.
    • This will change how we shop, buy things, and the interests we follow

At the 20-min mark, Brett talks about the 3 major technology disrupting themes he has identified.

  1. AI/Robotics
  2. Embedded Experiences
  3. Health Tech/Gene Editing/Life Extension

Do you see us moving away from the smartphone to more human integrated technology sooner rather than later?

  • Yes, embedded sensors worn on the body or eventually ingested are here. Alivcor is an EKG you can wear on your wrist.
  • The input mechanisms will change such as how data is received (think talking to your virtual assistant and getting answers from them instead of typing it out)
  • We will also have “head up display” through smart glasses or contacts, etc.

What is the biggest opportunity for entrepreneurs right now in the Augmented Age?

  • The big opportunity is thinking about behavior and how you can modify it or help facilitate it.
  • Brett uses a great example of saving money and what an app could do to help modify and facilities the required behavior to save money.
  • Look at the behaviors where you can insert technology to enhance or reduce friction.

How is banking going to change over the next 10-20 years?

  • The biggest change in banking is accessibility. The majority of the world has actually not had access to banking. That is changing and by 2022, the majority of the world will be connected and be able to access banking online.
  • The world will be able to transact on a much larger scale because of the technology making it possible.

What is most important for people to know about blockchain?

  • The distributed nature of blockchain creates a whole new sense of accountability and auditability as well as whole new level of security/protection and speed of transaction.
  • Blockchain will also allow the new types of commerce ecosystems to be available.

"You won’t be able to participate in the world of the future unless you are prepared to give access to your personal data. But, in this world, data has the ability to become a revenue source for each of us."

At the 36-min mark, Brett talks about how governments are going to adapt to the Augmented Age.

At 42 min mark, Brett talks about 3-D Printing and Material Sciences and some of the really unique innovations we will see from these areas.

What your thoughts on how to succeed as an entrepreneur now and in the future?

  • Adaptability is key. The world change faster and faster.
  • You must have the passion/belief in what you are pursuing and you must have the persistence.
  • You must be able to infuse the passion and persistence into others.
  • In the future, you will have to change quickly and be able to do this over and over.
  • You will need to learn quickly and pivot almost constantly.


Best Quote: "You won’t be able to participate in the world of the future unless you are prepared to give access to your personal data. But, in this world, data has the ability to become a revenue source for each of us."


Brett's Misfit 3:

  1. Be Connected. Figure out who it is you need to know and be connected to and start the process of a relationship with them. (Social Media, etc.)
  2. Think about things you do in your daily life that are problematic and have friction. Think about how you can use technology to remove that friction and help people to not have the issues.
  3. What is the world you want to create for your children in the future? How can you start today to help create it? Even if it is something small, you can start to make a difference.
Jun 13, 2018

Hello Misfit Nation! Welcome to another edition of "Lessons for Hannah!" In November of 2016, we introduced a new format that we are putting 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 have learned which 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 We’d love to share it.

This week’s Lesson for Hannah

Hannah, I want to talk to you about leadership. As you grow in life, you will find that you will be in many different types of leadership positions. Sometimes without even realizing it. You will be a leader in school, whether is it on projects, sports, or just standing up for one your principles. You will be a leader in your work, whatever you choose it to be. You will be a leader to those you influence both directly and indirectly. And probably, most importantly, you will be a leader to your children.

Leadership is at the core of life. And I must admit, it is an area in which you will always need to grow and learn. I still am. And I have seen firsthand that as you grow yourself as a leader, and yes, leadership is learned, it directly correlates to success and happiness in all areas of life.

So, how do you start becoming a leader? To be honest, I don’t know if I am the best to learn from, but I’m going to give you some things that I have proven to work for me over time.

First, like anything in life, if you want to be good at something, you have to be deliberate about it. You have to commit and say, “this is what I want to do.” It’s a choice. You must choose to focus on becoming a better leader.

Second, learn to lead yourself before leading others. How are you going to help empower people and show them the way, if you do not practice it yourself? So, focus intently on leading yourself. Master the discipline, consistency, and persistence in the different areas of your life: Family, health, work,etc. Create your lifestyle and the habits and processes to keep it and grow it first.

Next, be aware and be conscious that you are a leader – even when you are not in a direct leadership role. When you speak, when you post on social media or put out there, when you do your work, when you teach your children, you are displaying leadership and impacting others. The opportunity to lead is all around us every day and we must realize it. Fourth, if you ever do grow your own business or lead teams in a work setting, here are 4 rules that I’ve found to work well for me to create winning teams.

  1. People support what they help to create
  2. People want to be a part of something bigger
  3. People live up to expectations
  4. Recognize people when recognition is due

And lastly, as we started with being deliberate, that also means that you need to self-educate and establish relationships with other leaders and mentors to help you along the way. The relationships with other leaders and mentors, you will have to find on your own, but as far as self-education, here are a few books that I would recommend to anyone looking to up their leadership game:

  • The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell
  • Extreme Ownership, How Navy Seals Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
  • Wooden on Leadership by John Wooden

There are a ton of other great books on the subject, but be careful not to get caught up in the trap of seeking information and not acting. The best way to become a better leader is to make attempts to lead. Experience is the best teacher. Hannah, I am not sure at which point in your life you will listen to this, but just know that learning to be a good leader of yourself and others is one of the most important things that you can do to be the best you can be for and to the world. I wish you the best as you find your way on your leadership journey and as you’ve heard me tell you a million times – I’ll be here to help if you need me.

I love you, Daddy.

Jun 6, 2018

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Sydney Wong. Sydney is the founder and CEO of VenturX. VenturX is a platform that prepares startups for funding. She bought a one way ticket to Silicon Valley with no job, no VISA, and no place to live.

She attended every MeetUp event, visited the Yahoo campus, and met as many people in different sectors as possible. She met young, confident entrepreneurs who struggled through many obstacles to get to where they needed to be in order to compete. She found that every Uber driver, every dog walker on WAG, and every house cleaner on TaskRabbit knew the direction they wanted to go; they didn’t shy from sharing their ambitions to strangers.

Along the way, though, something changed. She found she had the opportunity to see people and places that others overlooked for decades. As Sydney says , “The startup industry is like a battlefield with few winners but the opportunity I saw and built my company mission around was “What would it take to produce more winners?” That is how VenturX was born.

Starting a business is hard enough. Getting the funding to help you grow and succeed is even harder. I’ve asked Sydney on to give you the best advice she’s learned on how to navigate the startup funding jungle. Misfit Nation,

Sydney is giving you 2 months of unlimited access to the VenturX platform for FREE! Just use the promo code: MISFIT when you sign up!

Sydney graduated university in Canada and then went off and got her MBA in Paris. She got into the tech world working at companies in the CRM automation space. She wanted to get more into tech and a good friend of hers told her that if she wanted to get really serious about tech, she needed to be in Silicon Valley. So she did. Within 2 weeks, she bought a one way ticket to Silicon Valley.

She immersed herself in meeting and learning what made entrepreneurs of all shapes and sizes tick. As she says, she noticed that “They didn’t tell you what they were doing, they told you where they were going…” It was very refreshing and inspiring to her.

Seeing that people had a structure to get where they wanted to go gave Sydney an idea and when she came back to Canada, she knew what she wanted to do. She traveled across Canada meeting with start-ups and investors. The startups told her their biggest challenge was getting in front of investors and getting funding. The investors told her their biggest challenge was finding startups that were prepared and had their company ready to get funding.

It is this understanding that created the foundation of VenturX. The dashboard measures startup’s preparedness helping to do prepare the right way and also pairs them with investors that are a good fit for their needs.

Were you scared when you arrived in Silicon Valley? If so, what were you most afraid of?

  • On a daily basis, she was afraid of being homeless, but was lucky to have a friend who gave her a couch.
  • It was tough not having a US Visa or credit report
  • It’s weird, you are surrounded by great talent and resources, but it is hard to make it

What was the most important thing you have learned in going through this experience?

  • People need to take more risks
  • Taking small risks and seeking small challenges tests your character and your strength
  • This gives you strength to take on bigger risks and challenges – it helps you to grow.

You help startups get funding, but yet you turned down funding for VenturX, tell us about that…

  • There are 2 kinds of entrepreneurs Sydney works with:
    • The first group are idea stage. They have the idea and are seeking funding
    • The other group has an early stage business and knows exactly what they are looking for has a completely different level of preparedness
  • Sydney was offered funding 4 times and turned it down because she feels that the platform has room to grow before she is ready to do what funding can do for it.
  • It really has so much to do with timing and where you story is at.
  • Your startup journey is a story and everyone in it plays a character – you need to be conscious of the characters that you make part of it and when they come into the story.
  • You want to be in the strongest negotiating position
  • “The more that you can endure the startup journey, the better the place you will be.” You will have stronger business success, client relationships, partners, case studies, etc.

At the 20 min mark, Sydney talks about how perspective is important. It is all about your long-term vs. your short-term vision.

What else should entrepreneurs be doing to make sure they are properly prepared to get funding?

  • Don’t think of an investor like a bank – they are people, they are partners and you need to look at them as such.
  • Understand your end goal and make sure it aligns very well with the philosophy of the investor(s)
  • You want to work with an investor or group that has been in your shoes before and had the same goals.

At the 26 min mark, Sydney takes us through the VenturX formula

  • Product/Market fit – How does your target market resonate with the problem you are trying to solve and the benefit that you are trying to provide? What is your target market actually going to use to solve the problem? Sydney uses a great example of two different ways to clean a car for this…
  • Financial Runway – Over 50% of startups are financially illiterate. You need to know you numbers such as your monthly recurring revenue or potential recurring, expenses, your burn rate, and your runway in months (ie. How long can you last before you have to shut the doors). You should have about 6 months runway before looking for funding.
  • Conversion – How well are your prospects converting to customers. This can also include letters of intent. Sydney uses the Dropbox example of how this can be done. You need to be able to show traction.
  • Engagement – Are you users and customers coming back? Are the using the product? How often are they using it, etc? This tells the story of the traction that you have for your solution with or without revenue.

Peel back the onion and really understand how the data in your business can be a powerful tool in selling as well.

At the 34 min mark, Sydney gives an actual example of a client that went through the VenturX process.

What are the top 3 things businesses seeking funding need to understand about investors?

  • Venture Capitalists are very savvy. They research you before you ever walk into the room. They will base a lot on meeting you and they respect authenticity.
    • Make sure that everything you provide is credible and can be backed up
  • You must understand your strengths and weaknesses and be able to tell the story of it. Be very aware of this and be open and honest about it.
    • Weaknesses are something that can be an opportunity for the investor to compliment you and fill the gap – which is a good thing. They want to be smart money, not dumb money.
  • Be future thinking. What are you going to use the money for? What is the vision into the future and how will you execute it? You need to have a good idea of your end goal.

Lastly, making sure to get the word out there about your solution and company is important. Get press. Get on shows. Go pitch at events. Have referenceable content that can show PR. Show that you are willing to put yourself out there.


Best Quote: “The more that you can endure the startup journey, the better the place you will be.”


Sydney's Misfit 3:

  1. Funding is about timing as much as it about money. Ask yourself, Is this the right for this new character (investor) to come into my story?
  2. Make an impact by asking others, “How can I help you?”
  3. It’s not about how often you fall, it is about how quickly you get back up. Speed is your advantage as a startup – use it.
May 30, 2018

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Cavan Klinsky. Cavan is the co-founder of Healthie. Healthie is a practice and client management software for nutrition and wellness professionals. The platform gives providers the tools they need to succeed in coaching and care, allows them to build closer relationships with clients, and helps contribute to a society with better healthcare outcomes.

Here’s what I love about Cavan. He is a self-taught programmer who went to college, met his business partner, took action, and created a software and a company that now services thousands of health and wellness professionals in over 25 countries – and he’s still in college!

There’s a lot we can learn from this young entrepreneur who is wise beyond his years.

Cavan got interested in health and wellness when he was early in High School when he was running on a treadmill and started to have trouble. He felt tired, dizzy, and almost passed out. When he saw a doctor, they told him he was born with a congenital heart defect. He ended up having to have heart surgery, being the in ICU, and for several months was not allowed to do any real physical activity.

It was during this time that he got into coding and built his first webapp. He also began ti immerse himself in health studies and getting himself back to where could do sports and activity. He ended up wrestling during the rest of time at school and winning a NYC championship. He also started a freelance web development business at the same time. He then went to college at University of Pennsylvania that is where he met his co-founder and came up with the idea for Healthie.

They launched and got their first client in just a few weeks.

What has been the most important thing that you have learned so far about success on your journey?

  • The most important thing Cavan has learned about success is to learn about failure, learn from it, and understand it.
  • The ability to keep trying and iterating and with each new pass at a product or solution, you get closer to succeeding.

Most important thing you’ve learned about yourself?

  • How to be persistent
  • Doing the smaller, incremental changes over and over again and persisting through them is where you get your biggest breakthroughs.

Is the trait of persistence natural or can it be learned?

  • Everyone has the ability to be persistent.
  • But, it’s hard for people to be persistent in things they are not interested in or passionate about.

What should people know about Millennials in business?

  • The general view is wrong and stereotypical
  • Millennials are very driven and competitive
  • They may do things differently, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t striving and driven to succeed.
  • But, Millennials are not particularly patient.
  • They have grown up in an instant age.
  • This is good because they want to move faster and find ways to be more efficient.
  • Finding leverage is more abundant that ever with the technologies and capabilities that exist today and Millennials are well equipped to be problem solvers in this area.

What has helped you the most in building Healthie?

  • Asking how things can be done in a different way?
  • Expecting improvements vs. accepting what is already there
  • A culture of constant improvement
  • Being conscious to the little things – the small tweaks here or there make a big difference.

What have you learned about how to build a successful company?

  • Get out of the gate. Get a product out there and start getting feedback to improve.
  • Hiring. Finding people smarter than you in every other discipline. Have a goal to put yourself out of a job. Hire up.
  • Listen, take in feedback from clients, and learn what they really want/need. Then actually do it.

What have you learned about leadership and how have you grown as a leader?

  • Hire well and be open to their ideas. Take them in and execute on them.
  • Hire “good” people. People that are good and that are good for the team and not just good a job.
  • Be transparent with your team
  • Separate business decisions from personal decisions

Tip on creating a good hiring process?

  • Do interviews with multiple people in person and include those in which the candidate may work with or alongside.
  • Look for aptitude skills – how do they think on their feet? How do they interact? Body language?
  • For startups or fast growing companies – scrappiness, resourceful, and self-starters are critical.

At the 28 min mark, Cavan talks about productivity Hacks he has used to balance being a full time college student and building Healthie.

The future of medical care?

  • 60% of Americans are overweight or obese
  • This costs not only the people, but is very taxing on the whole system
  • The big shift we will see if the shift to preventative care
  • Technology will play a huge role in this because it now able to monitor and help people manage their health – not just getting it from a doctor once or twice a year.
  • The biggest challenge is behavioral change and using technology to be able to do this.

At the 37 min mark, Cavan talks about why wearables are so interesting to him and why they will change how we manage our lives.


Best Quote: “There are no shortcuts or silver bullets. Constantly improving in all areas of your business and life is the only way.”


Cavan's Misfit 3:

  1. Show up. Put yourself out there. Engage.
  2. There are no shortcuts or silver bullets. Constantly improving in all areas of your business and life is the only way.
  3. Listen to your advisers, investors, mentors, etc. but make sure you are keeping your own independent thought. Keep your head when all men doubt you, but make allowance for their doubting too. (from IF by Rudyard Kipling)
May 23, 2018

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Seth McKay. For those of you out there who may be have a job, but are building a business on the side – have you ever wondered how you will know when you are ready to make the leap? Or maybe more importantly when to make the leap? Seth went through that same experience.

Seth is the CEO and co-founder of SR Fit Bands, a physical products company that developed a new variation of the resistance band. Seth built the business while working his job and designed it to be infinitely scalable with selling 100% online.

But, the one thing that really caught my attention about how Seth and his co-founder, Ryan Lee, a former NFL player, is how they have grown the business exponentially using Instagram. It is their largest traffic source driving sales to their site besides organic Amazon traffic and I’ve asked Seth to share his system and the other unique things he’s learned in making the transition from employee to full time entrepreneur with you in this episode.

Seth grew up with a pretty traditional view of going to school, getting a good job, etc. as an engineer. He did just that. He came out of college and went to work. He worked at several companies as an engineer. He then decided to go get his MBA.

It was this time that he had his first child. Between traveling for work and study, he started to notice that he was just tired. He was tired at home. Not present in the way he should have been. And he started to realize that there was a difference between what he thought he wanted and what he really wanted.

What it came down to is that “if you don’t control your time, you don’t control your life.” That is when he started looking at creating his own business. It was foreign to him. But, after about 5 months, he started. He began small by selling a website. He then went through a couple of other things. But, he knew he needed something that had the ability to impact at a larger level and that was scalable. It was when he was working out with his friend, Ryan, a former NFL player that they came with the idea to improve on the fitness bands they were using. SR fit was born.

You primarily use Instagram to sell your product, can you talk about the unique process you’ve developed for how to sell using that platform?

  • Like most things – it’s not as easy as you think You have to put in the time
  • Engagement is key – make your followers part of your strategy, especially if you have a physical product and you can show pics of them using the product and help them gain influencer status.
  • Focusing on a very narrow niche works very well.
  • Interestingly, Seth posts only 1x per day – he focuses on quality over quantity
  • Stories work and he uses those often
  • For promoting your product – giving useful and educational posts that incorporate the product work best
  • He uses the full amount of hashtags per post
  • Seth suggests that you should be a member of a Facebook group on Instagram marketing

At the 22 min mark, Seth talks about hacks you can do with Instagram stories using polls, links, and other features. Top Do’s and Don’ts for Instagram?


  • Do use Instagram on your computer. The browser is limited for the website – you can comment and like, but you could also use Facebook messenger. A way to use the full site is using and it functions on your computer just like it does on your phone.
  • Engage, engage, engage. Comments over likes. And quality comments. Don’t write what a bot would write.
  • It is ok to consider outsourcing, but you do have to put in the time.


  • Don’t edit a post right after you submit one. It slows engagement.
  • Posting time matters and consistency matters in posting.
  • Make sure you have good standards for your posts.

How did you know when it was time to make the leap from employee to full time entrepreneur?

  • It is easier when you are single, but when you have a family it changes things.
  • Seth and his wife committed to saving up for several years to have a big enough nest egg that they could live without an income for a while.
  • Set real concrete goals that need to be met before you leave. Keep them realistic. Leave as little as possible to chance.
  • Your business should be making some money.
  • Delay gratification. Even when you think you are ready to leave your job for good…stretch it out a little while longer.

What do people need to know about building a business online with Amazon and sourcing and fulfilling a product?

  • It is not as difficult as it may sound.
  • If you are going to go overseas, Alibaba is the platform. It will give you the details of the suppliers you can choose from.
  • Seth uses “fulfillment by Amazon” which gives you Prime and makes it easier. It is a little more expensive, but being to be Prime makes it worth it.
  • You have to create your listing and is important to have good quality pictures and a good description of things. There is an art to having a good listing page.
    • You get 5 bullet points and they are most important – You need to weave your keywords into these points.
    • Reviews are very important
    • Have a good quality set of pictures or even a video are key as well.
    • Make sure that you take full advantage of the description area
    • Seth uses software called “Manage My Stats” that tells him how his keywords are doing

At the 48 min Mark, Seth tells us about how to get things done on Alibaba…

  • Alibaba is more of a product directory
  • You go on and search for what you want to get made
  • Most likely a product exists and is being made by several suppliers
  • You can then take it an innovate
  • The key is to overcommunicate and be extremely descriptive
  • Get samples from 3 companies before moving forward
  • You can then negotiate terms and move forward
  • Like anything, it takes work, learning, trial and error, but anyone can go through and do it.

At the 51-minute mark, Seth talks about his podcast, Fatherhood Fitness Finance


Best Quote: “If you don’t control your time, you don’t control your life.”


Seth's Misfit 3:

  1. At some point you know enough. You need to stop consuming information and start producing results. Don’t get stuck in learning mode.
  2. You don’t need a product to get started. Your audience can come before your product. In fact, it can be easier because you can learn what they want and what they need ahead of time for creating your product.
  3. We can get so busy that we don’t stop and evaluate our life, life goals. Stop running and check the map. Have a written list of life goals with dates on them. This is especially powerful to do with your significant other or spouse. Another thing to do is put up a vision board as a constant reminder for your goals.
May 16, 2018

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneurs are the king and queen of the wine business. Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey are the co-founders of Barefoot Spirits, the world’s largest wine brand. You no doubt have had some of their product before. In fact, my wife and I toasted in the New Year with some Barefoot Bubbly just this year.

As you can imagine, Michael and Bonnie have won just about every type of award and been featured on every major news outlet you can think of. But, they haven’t just created an amazing business, they have created a mission to help others do the same. After writing their #1 New York times best-seller, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle and Heart Built America’s #1 wine brand, they set out to teach entrepreneurs how they can create their own success using the principles they learned in starting Barefoot with no money, no knowledge of the wine industry, and a vision.

It’s these principles that I am most excited for them to share with you in this episode.

Mike and Bonnie were never really interested in getting into the wine business. But, they did like the wine country. After a year of being together, Bonnie came to mike with a crazy idea. They were both consultants in the area and an opportunity came up to help a client of Bonnie’s collect on some large outstanding payments from a winery. Mike went to help negotiate and found that the winery had just declared bankruptcy. In the absence of Money, Mike negotiated for bulk wine and bottling services.

Now, they had to figure out how to bottle and sell the wine. By the time they had everything together, the winemaker they had worked to get the deal for said he wasn’t interested in selling it. Bonnie and Mike cut a deal to take it over and sell the wine paying the client back in full for the payments that were owed. That is how they got into the wine industry.

At what point did success come and what did you learn that helped it to happen?

  • Mike and Bonnie had to learn that the wine business was totally different that what they thought. It’s understanding distribution, warehousing, selling, etc.
  • It took 3 years before they really saw success
  • They realized that distributors weren’t going make the sale for them, they had to do it all the way down to the individual store level – they had to go direct.
  • They asked questions of everyone they met in all the aspects of the supply chain. It was their curiosity that helped them become a success.
  • What really made a difference was taking on some of the distributors work for them. They secured the orders and services the retailers.
  • The biggest challenge was to understand how to make the most out of all areas of the distribution channel front to back.
  • No one is going to put the focus and energy into selling your products like you will.

What is the Barefoot Spirit?

It is the spirit behind the Barefoot brand. From starting in a laundry room with no knowledge to the success they have had – it came to down to belief. Believing in yourself and your business through the challenges, the ups/downs, and working in a good relationship with everyone that touches your product. It’s about creating the win-win-win.

At the 14 min mark, we talk about why Bonnie and Mike’s book is dedicated to Randy Arnold, how he supercharged the growth of Barefoot, and what they learned from him.

“One of the best ways to grow a brand is to turn your customers into your advocates…”

How can people find ways to turn customers into advocates by being involved in the community?

  • Work with an organization that has a territory that is local to your market. Work with small non-profits or community fundraisers.
  • Become part of the organization and collaborate with them – don’t just give or donate samples of product.
  • Promote your shared goals together.
  • Your brand is a way to help others and make a real difference.

What are the 4 stages of growth?


This is the phase where you have just begun, probably not making money, and learning lessons.


You’ve got 1-2 big customers paying the bills and your company can exist.


This is the stage where most businesses fail This is the stage where customer growth has to happen, but many grossly underestimate the cost of sales and servicing your clients You really have to understand all of the costs that go into growing the business at this stage.


Your company has expanded and is solid But now you have divisions of labor and isolation – this can beget a corporate mentality which can lose the entrepreneurial culture where everyone knew that they could still go out of business, so everyone sold the product and had “skin in the game.” The greatest challenge here is losing that entrepreneurial spirit.

What can companies do in each stage to be successful?


Don’t make the mistake that your product is so good or needed that it will sell itself. At this stage, you have to be more interested in making a sale and getting your product into the marketplace before improving the product. You have to get it out there to get feedback so you can give the market what it wants. Don’t fall in love with your product yet in this stage. Get it out there, learn, make adjustments, and dial it in. The little things matter here.


You have to discover who your strategic allies are. Ask yourself, “who gets rich if you get rich?” Those are your allies. You are looking for that one or two “sugar daddy” clients. Mike and Bonnie use the example of connecting up with Trader Joes when they only had 3 stores and growing with them together.


This is a tricky stage. You are growing your footprint and sales organization You will run into challenges in this stage – good challenges. Like a client wanting more than you can currently service – so you have to figure this out with your strategic partners and find the ways to deliver. You will feel growth pressure and cashflow issues You should have a cost-accountant for your business in this stage. Someone who gives you to cost of your product or service where you sell it. They will help you understand where you can afford to sell and create cashflow.


You must be aware of the disconnect that can happen in this stage between sales and sales support. They must function with the shared goal of growing sales and making the client happy. Each area needs to help the other understand how they can grow together and collaborate. Do not let your company get siloed or become victim to status management where just because you are a C-level or management level doesn’t mean that you are better or even understand what is happening in the business better than those on the ground.

At the 42 min mark Mike and Bonnie give a few points from their programs on skyrocketing sales and “shelf smarts.”

Why is entrepreneurship so important in today’s world?

Entrepreneurship is the growth engine and innovation engine of our economy. The big companies are acquiring the startups and small companies because they are the ones with the ideas and taking the risks. This is an amazing time to be an entrepreneur.


Best Quote: “One of the best ways to grow a brand is to turn your customers into your advocates…”


Michael and Bonnie's Misfit 3

1. Start small. Learn your lessons in a small place. Get your act together before you take it on the road.

2. Find a strategic ally. Ask “who gets rich if I get rich.”

3. Keep sales on top. Keep your communication lines open between all areas of your company. Make sure all areas have a healthy appreciation of what each other does.

May 9, 2018

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

In November of 2016, we introduced a new format that we are putting 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 have learned which 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 We’d love to share it.

This week’s Lesson for Hannah

Hannah, I want to talk to you about the importance of building great relationships. As you grow in life, you will have the chance to meet and develop relationships with amazing people. Cherish these opportunities. Great relationships are more valuable than money or any material thing because if everything was stripped away from you tomorrow, your relationships with your family, friends, and business partners. would be what you have left.

Relationships will also always give you the best return on your investment – meaning the time and energy that you put into building them and keeping them. I have seen this first hand and admittedly, it took me longer than it should have to figure this out in life. So, with that being said, I wanted to give you some tips on creating great relationships.

Great relationships are built on the following:

First, Mutual respect. You cannot create a great lasting relationship with someone if you don’t respect them or they don’t respect you. Look to create partnerships and relationships with those that you respect and that have proven to respect you.

Second, if you are creating a great relationship, it must be based on brutal honesty. You should be able to say what is true and on your mind and they should be able to receive it and work with you as needed. The same goes for you. Demand that your relationships be built on a bedrock of honesty.

Next, integrity. Simply put, this means doing what you say and following through, so make you are committed to it and that those you are in the relationship with are as well.

Fourth is Consistency. Commit to being consistent in your relationships. This means giving them the time they deserve and staying with them long term. And here’s a secret, the longer the relationship goes, the better it can grow and the better it gets.

Lastly, come with a genuine willingness to give. If you are willing to give of yourself and go above and beyond when needed, you will find that you will get it back multiple times in return. It is the universal law of reciprocity that has stood the test of time.

Hannah, if you make these 5 elements part of how you approach your relationships, you will have a very blessed life not matter what happens. Always remember, great relationships pay off more than any other investment throughout your life!

I love you, Daddy.


Best Quote: “Great relationships are more valuable than money or any material thing because if everything was stripped away from you tomorrow, your relationships with your family, friends, and business partners. would be what you have left."


Misfit 3

  1. Relationships will always give you the best return on investment.
  2. Make sure your relationships have the 5 elements: Mutual Respect, Honesty/Trust, Integrity, Consistency, and a Willingness to Give from both parties.
  3. Remember, if everything is taken from you, you still have your relationships.
May 2, 2018

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Lauren Clemett. Lauren is the founder of Ultimate Business Propeller, an award winning personal branding consultancy. The business has helped hundreds of professional service providers around the world to become well known, well paid, and wanted.

Lauren is a 5-time Amazon best-selling author, has won award after award throughout the Asia Pacific region for her business, including the Female Entrepreneur of the Year Stevie Award, and is highly sought after for her speaking. One of the first things that struck me about Lauren was her high energy and quick wit. She thinks incredibly well on the fly. I asked how this came about and she talked about how she has trained her mind for it and has created a process for training on Neurobranding to make sure she is always at her best for her and her brand. I knew I had to have her to teach it to you along with all her other wisdom.

Lauren is from New Zealand. She was born into a tiny little town on a YMCA camp where she got to meet new people every week. She credits this with helping to be able to understand people and feel comfortable in a crowd. As a child, she had trouble reading and writing. She found out that she had dyslexia. She started coming up with unique ways to help spell and remember words. She used pictures or pictures of words to help her.

It was this skill that helped her to be so successful with branding as she could see the “picture” that the brand needed to tell in it’s words.

“It is the things that make me a bit of a misfit that have become my biggest advantage…”

What is a brand?

Most people think of a logo. But branding is a way of setting yourself apart as being different from other people or businesses. When it comes to personal branding, it is something that is instantly communicated to your prospect’s brain. It really is about forming respect. With the overload information, social media, etc. – it is critical to have a brand to stand out.

What does someone need to do and have to create a great brand?

  • Entrepreneurs want to hep everyone, the bright shiny object syndrome. This can be distracting.
  • The most important first step is to find a focus. What is the #1 thing that you want to be known as the expert in? What will you be the “go to” for?
  • Be careful not to confuse brand as it confuses the prospect or potential client. If you have more than 1 business, you have to make sure that each brand is uniquely separated.

At the 14-min mark, Lauren talks about what those that have multiple brands should do to make sure they focused and standing out in the right way to potential clients.

What is neurobranding and how does it play with the entrepreneurial mind?

  • Neurobranding is the way the human brain “sees” brands. But, it is not just the look, it is sound, tastes, texture, etc. everything that helps form a memory of a brand.
  • The human brain see brands with memory and emotion.
  • The human brain makes the same decisions when it comes to choosing things as it always has, even back to the time of cave men. Is it good for us or not good for us (emotionally and physically)
  • The part of the brain that regulates this is that part that deals with fear, the Amygdala

At the 19 min mark, Lauren gives examples of brands that help instantly engage the human brain. She also gives a great example of how our minds automatically paint a picture using “bacon and eggs.”

  • The human brain thinks in pictures – not in words. Then it goes to the emotion and feeling around those pictures.
  • Neurobranding is about creating a brand that has meaning, but then using pictures that help it easy to absorb and cement that meaning emotionally.
  • Lauren uses FedEX as an example by highlighting their colors and the unique arrow in their logo that tells you that they “get it their fast and with good service”

What is the first step that people need to do to make sure they are neurobranding correctly?

Ask yourself “How do I want my brand to make people feel?” What is the #1 emotion you want to make people feel?

At the 27 min mark, Lauren goes through what may be one of the most important exercises you could ever do for your business, finding your “True North.” *Listen to this segment multiple times!

  • Business need a map and compass
  • The map tells you lays out the land for you, but if you are lost and don’t know where you are, it doesn’t help you.
  • A compass does one thing – points north and can help you understand where you need to go with your map
  • Marketing and branding are like the map and compass – you need both
  • Your brand is your “True North”

The compass points you in the right direction..

  • There are 4 points – N, S, E, W
  • West stands for “What.” What is the problem that you solve? This goes deep. The problem you are solving is deeper than what you do. It is all the ways in which what you do affects and helps a client.
  • East stand for “Execution.” This is the “how” of delivering your what. The systems, processes, and actions of how you deliver you value. What are the unique things you do to deliver the service or services that you do.
  • South is “$.” This is all about the value that you deliver. What is the real value that you deliver to people’s lives. How will they feel having worked with you.
  • North is your “True North – Your purpose, passion – your why.” Why are you so intent on being the expert and help people with what you do? Why is it so important to you? What do you keep doing what you are doing – why are you driven?

When you put it all together. What it is that you that you solve? The process that you use that is unique to you? The value you really deliver to people.? And the reason why you are doing it? That is your “True North.”

What is the formula for the perfect “Elevator Pitch?”

  • Once you know your True North, you then have what you need to do a good elevator pitch.
  • There is one purpose of an elevator pitch – to get them to ask your more about what you do.
  • The formula is the B-E-S-T Formula
  • B = Be Clear. Keep it to the point and succinct.
  • E = Exactly who you help. Be clear about exactly who you help. “I work with ___ that want____”
  • S = Solve the problem. It is important to talk about the problem people have. If you have can describe their problem better than them, you stand out.
  • T = Tell them why. They want to know that they are working with someone who cares. That you have purpose and meaning.

At the 42 min mark, Lauren talks about how to find focus and getting 10x more done in one week.


Best Quote: “What it is that you that you solve? The process that you use that is unique to you? The value you really deliver to people.? And the reason why you are doing it? That is your True North.”


Lauren's Misfit 3:

  1. Get really clear on what you want to be BEST at in your business and your life. You have to decide and stick with it.
  2. Stay on track. Make sure you have your true north and are so driven that you cannot be distracted or derailed.
  3. Take action. There is no perfect world. Put yourself out there and give it a go. You cannot achieve anything without action.
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