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!

Aug 8, 2018

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Matt Schroeder. Matt is just your regular 20 something college student, who started a T-shirt company, Shelly Cove, with no business experience, did $12,000 in sales in its first week and over million in just about year.

Even more impressive is the fact that Matt not only wanted to create a great product, but also wanted to make a difference with it. The company donates 10% of its gross sales to sea turtle rescue.

In talking with Matt, I was blown away by the simple, yet genius ways in which he has grown the business and continues to expand its reach – especially using social media. So, I had to have him on to share his story and these success hacks with you.

Matt started Shelly Cove in college with his parents. They were his business partners. Matt has always had an interest in entrepreneurship, but had never started anything. When he came up with the idea for Shelly Cove came up, he decided to “just go for it.”

When the idea came to him, he was in the middle of engineering internship and one day, he was thinking deeply about if he really wanted to do it. He was talking to his parents and decided he wanted to do something on the side. They got to brainstorming together and came up with the idea. They spent the summer coming up with design ideas and getting things up and running…and when they launched, Matt could quickly see that it was not going to be a side business, but more of a full time business almost right away.

At the 7 min mark, Matt talks about the inspiration that really put him on the entrepreneurial path. Hint: It was a failure and his grades tanked – but it was all he needed to get the entrepreneur spirit.

The original idea for Shelly Cove was to create some T-shirts and sell them on Etsy, but changed to the business it is today. How did that all come together?

  • Matt and his family would go to Topsail Island a few times a year and there is Sea Turtle hospital there
  • His family used to visit and it became part of his childhood memories
  • When starting Shelly Cove, it fell into place. They wanted to do apparel and give back to a charity and it made sense since they were close to that group.

You started giving back from the beginning, what made you start out that way?

  • It was a combination of things
  • Tom’s shoes and others were an inspiration
  • Being a business that can be a hugely profitable venture that can give back can do more than an individual from a donations standpoint, but in helping to create awareness.
  • A company with a non-profit is a more efficient way to do business. People get great value and give back at the same time.

You chose to focus on women and children for your products and niche. Why did you do that?

  • They started out with the logo thinking it could work for both men and women, but when the first colors/patterns were done for the first 5 products, it was very much more focused to women.
  • They tried separate designs to market to men, but they didn’t sell very well.
  • In the beginning, Matt says they really didn’t know they were doing and things just came to be that way by what sold.
  • It is OK to focus on a niche and for them it worked very well.

How did you sell $12,000 in shirts in your first week?

  • Matt read a piece on Reddit about the benefits of using “Micro influencers” – people with 10-100,000 followers that could do things in exchange for product.
  • He reached out to 50 and got 5-6 to respond and send them shirts to wear and promote.
  • The 5-6 had about 500k in followers and they helped post around Shelly Cove’s launch day which did very well for them.
  • Initially, the influencers were only on Instagram
  • The other thing they did was giveaways for follows, likes, tags, re-shares and comments on social media

At the 24 min mark, Matt talks about the marketing strategies he uses today…

  • Still working with Micro Influencers
  • Still doing a giveaway every week Limited Facebook advertising 25% of their sales are from email marketing – list building and then nurturing and selling to that list
    • He promotes weekly to the list and has a nurturing sequence for new signups
  • Has a popup on the site to collect their information for a chance to win a $500 shopping spree.
  • Matt uses for his email marketing and management
  • He uses flows for all types of scenarios from abandoned cart to 30 days after purchase, new sign ups, etc.

Tell us about the “Rep” program you created…

  • They have a “Become a Rep” Ambassador program and anyone can apply. It is focused on the US
  • They get a unique discount code and tracking number for orders
  • They pay a commission on sales
  • They have 1200 or so and 400-500 stay active
  • It has created a mini-army consistently telling their friends and social media about the company and it’s products.

At the 33 min mark, Matt talks about how important the packaging of the products were.

  • They wanted it to be an experience, like opening a present
  • They want the package to be so cool that clients post it to social
  • They hand wrap every shirt and put a sea turtle special charm on it
  • This is a big separator

What advice would you give about making the leap to entrepreneurship?

  • You learn the most by doing
  • You can sit around and say “what if” all day and that will just let your mind time to give reasons not to do it
  • Have a support system to help you
  • You must be driven
  • If you are truly driven and are “all in” then there is no reason you should fail

At the 37 min mark, Matt talks about the most important thing he has learned about himself from this journey…

He learned to find his confidence


Best Quote: “It doesn’t matter how old you are, it matters how driven you are and how willing you are to learn…”


Matt's Misfit 3:

  1. Follow your passion and stop saying “What if?” The worst thing that can happen is that you fail and learn from it.
  2. Think long term and not short term…
  3. Always be innovating
Aug 1, 2018

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Alan MCkenna. Alan is the President and CEO of Business Acceleration Strategies, a firm that has generated over $30 million in additional revenue for clients through implementing funnel optimization, producing 6 and 7 figure evergreen, automated sales and marketing funnels.

Alan has worked with and provided expertise to everyone from John Assaraf, T.Harv Eker, Success Magazine’s Darren Hardy, Lisa Sasevich, and a number of INC 500 companies.

Alan has done the impossible. From adding $600k in additional revenue and shortening a client’s sales cycle by 66% in just 6 months to helping clients go from $0 to over $200k a month in revenue in just 4 months – he is a master at growing a business. So, I wanted to have him on to get his best tips and secrets that you can use to turbocharge your own income.

When Alan was 21, he was working for a company making good money, but kept seeing a guy a few years older than him that was doing exponentially better. The guy was the #1 sales guy in the company. Alan approached him and asked him to mentor him. The guy took Alan under his wing and taught him how to sell and get leads. Alan, sold for a few years and then went into marketing.

The owner of the company then purchased another company in New Jersey and Alan moved from the UK and was asked to come open the office to run marketing and build the sales team.

After a few years, Alan went back into selling because it was very lucrative. He did that for a while and had put away a significant amount of money. He then moved to California and started to study internet marketing and immersed himself in it.

His first clients came by word of mouth and things just grew from there. One of Alan’s secrets is the way he looks at a business and where sales and marketing fits in from end to end.

What was the #1 piece of advice you learned from your mentor in sales?

  • How to get people to a yes before you get to the money
  • How to sell payment plans and structure payments so people can afford the things they want.

What is your best advice for creating a great, consistently producing funnel?

  • First, you need to know who your ideal client really is. You have to get laser-focused on who they are.
  • Once you have your ideal client, it then becomes easy to go out and get joint ventures with others that have those idea clients and grow.

How do you setup a good joint venture?

  • The most important thing is to show the partner how you are going to look after and take care of the client they are introducing to you. It is more important than the revenue share.
  • Make sure that the joint venture partner has no work to do other than “copy, paste, and send.” Make it easy for them and give them everything they need so they don’t have to think.
  • Revenue share – there is a value exchange, so take care of them.

How do you find a good JV Partner?

  • One of the easiest ways is to look in Facebook groups and LinkedIn groups
  • Joining the group will give the ability to get an understanding of the members and their needs
  • The group owner is always looking for how to give value and good content to the group, and in a lot of cases, monetize it if possible.

Brian Tracy taught you a great way to double revenues and you created a system for it, what is it?

If you want to double your sales, you have to increase the face-time you have with people.

  • What this means is that you are either meeting with someone in person, on the phone, on a web- meeting. The more times you can have a conversation and look into someone’s eyes, the more you will sell.
  • So, you have to constantly look at your database and the clients that have spent money with and look for new ways for them to engage with you and continue to help them.
    • In short, create more solutions to sell to your clients that you already and to take future clients on the journey with you not just once, but in multiple ways.

At the 20-min mark, Alan talks about his 9 simple sales conversion strategies and gives us some of his top ones with examples on how they are implemented.

  • You must have a good script with the correct language and verbiage for people to take prospects through a process to a decision point.
  • Make it obvious that if they have questions, they can call or email and get answers. Make it visible on every web page, communication, etc.
  • Email them that you are available for questions as many times, people are just a few questions away from buying.
  • There is so much gold in anyone’s database and there is so much opportunity to harvest it. Don’t neglect what is already there.

Alan gives a FREE 1-page infographic on the 9 Strategies

Best methods for generating more leads

  • Paid traffic works (Facebook, Google, etc.)
  • Joint Ventures are the easiest, simplest, and least up-front cost way to drive traffic
    • Being endorsed by people who have a trust with an audience greatly enhances your credibility.

List size thoughts?

  • It depends on the relationship people have with their list
  • A list that is nurtured through giving great value is much more engaged and does not have to be big to drive great revenue.
  • It doesn’t need to be big, but it must be solid with your “ideal clients.”
  • Building the trust and connection is most important

What are the biggest mistakes that are made when it comes to funnels?

  • It is one thing to know who your ideal client is, it is another to really understand their pain points and the things they really want to move towards.
  • You need to fully understand the needs, wants, worries, and pain points that your ideal client is looking to have solved.
  • Make sure you are going and marketing to where your ideal client is hanging out.
  • You must have a very solid process to capture, nurture, and convert leads – most fall short. You have to build the relationship and educate first. Earn the right to make an offer.
  • One of the biggest things that people miss is the gold in their existing database. Don’t get hung up and chasing the “new.”

At the 38-min mark, Alan talks about how people can create a virtually unlimited marketing budget and how do it… (You’ll want to listen to this a couple times!)

Best tips for maximizing marketing and sales on the following:

  • Facebook: If you are going to do paid ads, the most important thing to have in place is retargeting from your website.
  • Google: With paid Google ads, people searching have “buying intent.” They want to resolve a pain
  • Instagram: Any business that people can engage with beautiful photos needs to use Instagram. If you can evoke an emotion with a picture, then you should be using it.


Best Quote: "One key thing every business must have in their marketing to find the best way to consistently communicate with their perfect audience. You must spend the bulk of your time there."


Alan's Misfit 3:

  • There is absolute gold in your database. Do not neglect it.
  • Build a complete strategy to capture, nurture, and then make offers to the marketplace. Think this through and do the work ahead of time.
  • Have a strategy to pre-qualify and sell with a specific script that still ads value whether they choose to buy or not.
Jul 25, 2018

This week we have a pair of Misfit Entrepreneurs in billion-dollar CEO Scott Morehead and former Pastor, Ryan McCarty. You may be thinking, why is Dave interviewing a CEO of a billion-dollar company and Pastor in the same show? Let me tell you. Scott and Ryan have teamed together to create an incredible organization called Culture of Good, based on the best-selling book they wrote together of the same name.

It all started when they partnered together to grow Scott’s company, the Cellular Connection, or TCC, which now is the largest Verizon Authorized retailer. Scott hired Ryan to help create a Culture of good and drive results. Over 6 years, they took the company from 190 stores and $137 million in annual revenue to 630 plus stores and over $830 million in revenue using the culture of good philosophies. Today, the company is a billion-dollar company with over 1000 stores and more than 3000 employees.

Scott and Ryan’s story and TCC have been featured in Forbes, INC, FOX Business, and countless other outlets. I’ve asked them to come on and share it with you and teach everyone in Misfit Nation the principles of a Culture of Good.

TCC was started by Scott’s parents. He started working in one of the stores while in college. After college, he went to work at the head office and after a few years, he bought the business from his parents for a hefty price tag.

Scott never took any money out of the business and invested it back in to grow the business exponentially. The big challenge was creating a culture that could transcend across the country as the company grew. Everything was harder – communication, motivation, running the business, etc. He realized that he was really in the people business. Scott had to find a way to create and keep the culture as the business scaled.

One day, he went to a church with a pastor that had tattoos and earrings, and a mow hawk. It was an incredible experience. The pastor was Ryan delivering a sermon about you “what equaling your why.” So, Scott took Ryan to lunch to talk more about the concept – and by the end of lunch Ryan was trying to talk Scott in hiring him.

*One lesson I took from the story is how important it is to be open for opportunity because it can come at any time.

Ryan, has been a pastor/minister and doing global missions for almost 20 years. But, as Ryan said, he never really fit into the normal stereotype of a pastor except for he had a goal of making the world a better place. He had no idea that Scott was in his audience that day. Once he went to lunch with Scott and they started talking – he just blurted out that they should work together. It just seemed right.

Scott didn’t hire Ryan right away. It took several months of conversations and even a bad accident where Scott was injured before Scott decide to move ahead.

At the 14 min mark, Ryan shares a great message about how he knew he had to work with Scott. He talks about comfort zones and faith and following your gut.

What is the philosophy of the Culture of Good?

  • Ryan: We teach for profit companies how to operate their businesses with the soul of a non-profit. It aligns being purposeful with profitable and creating a culture and experience that makes work fulfilling – making it a cause that drives results in a business.
  • Scott: From a Misfit standpoint, we’ve been told “for profit business” can’t care and “non-profit business” can’t be run well. That’s not true. The Culture of Good is where those two sectors come together and marry – essentially taking the best of each other and creating a better overall entity. You can run a for profit business that cares…

Taking that from idea to reality are two different things. How do you actually implement this system? You have the 5 Promises for that – tell us about them…

At the 20-min mark, Scott and Ryan go into this in great detail. It is best to listen to what they say, but below are some selected notes.

  1. Caring – What is your cause that your business needs to carry? This cannot be separated from the business intent. They must be aligned and must benevolent.
  2. Inspiring
  3. Connecting
  4. Being Authentic
  5. Drive the Business

All of them have to be carried out equally. The more good you do, the more business you get and the cycle goes ‘round and ‘round.

Examples of implementing each one:

  • Caring – Everyone is involved in the cause
  • Inspiring – Making the cause part of the mission and the everyday values of the company
  • Connecting – Connecting the cause not just with employees, but with customers and making everyone part of doing good.
  • Being Authentic – You are not doing this as a PR stunt. It must be real and be part of who you are as a business and be echoed throughout.
  • Drive the Business – You must not lose sight of driving the business and its growth – you simply want a culture of genuine good to be a part of that story.

What have you learned about the human spirit going through this journey together?

  • Ryan: That it is good. Business is a human endeavor and doing work that inspires others to do good. People just need help connecting their “what with their why.”
  • Scott: The stereotypes of millennials are wrong – they want to work hard and contribute. They want their company to be purposeful. The other thing is that millennials care more than every other generation.

What other advice can you give for growing a great business?

  • Going from a small business, a family-owned business, where you are a massive individual contributor to scale to a large business, you as the owner will need to contribute less and let others do their jobs. You have to become very good at sharing your mission, vision and strategy.
  • Don’t be afraid to share what is on your mind – don’t keep things a secret, but also take the time to understand and make sure you are communicating it correctly and in the right ways to each audience.
  • It is very important for entrepreneurs, early on, to start having the culture discussion and be stating the vision and mission and making it part of your life.
  • Make sure people know where their impact is and where they work matters to the business – no matter what stage you are in.
  • Your goal should be to lead leaders and not just manage systems and processes.

iPhone or Android?

  • Ryan – Android/Samsung
  • Scott – You are good on either side – but whichever one you choose, go all in on the product suite. It all works together when you buy the stuff that works together.


Best Quote: “A business with purpose is a better business for everyone involved...”


Ryan and Scott's Misfit 3:


  • Ryan: You have to find yourself first. Self-awareness is critical. 
  • Scott: A business with purpose is a better business for everyone involved.


  • Ryan: Give of yourself. The need is the call. Look for needs around you and meet them. Contribute.
  • Scott: Don’t trust that the culture is going to be better – you must continue to invest in it purposefully.


  • Ryan: Lead yourself. Whatever you are building in life, don’t forget about the legacy you will leave.
  • Scott: If you can’t figure all of those out on your own, go to
Jul 18, 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 your health. You have grown up with your mother and I and we have done the best we can to model a healthy lifestyle for you. Your health and fitness should be a focus in your life because good health and fitness habits impact all areas of your life from your work to how you feel about yourself to your relationships.

I want to share a few of the best tips that have allowed me to get into even better shape now than I was when I played college football and that make a huge difference in all areas of my life, including success.

Before we begin, let me say this – Your body is a temple. It is absolutely amazing. If you just sit back and think about it for a second, it is truly magnificent how everything works the way it does, how each cell knows what to do as part of each organ, how our brains work, our hearts, how everything comes together to work in an almost perfect harmony. It really is a wonder and deserves tremendous respect. I have realized this more as I have gotten older. Like a lot of people, I was not as kind to it in my younger years, but I have always believed in the benefits of healthy eating and exercise – maybe with glass of good wine or a beer or two sprinkled in from time to time. You’ve gotta enjoy life too!

But, what I am about to share with you starts with a respect for your body no matter what. No matter what society tells you about “perfection” or some airbrush picture displays – none of that matters. Focus on your body with a sense of love and gratitude because as I have said before, for us to even be alive is a miracle. In fact, the chances of any of us being alive right now are 1 in 10 to the 2,685th power…or virtually zero. Seriously, It’s the probability of 2.5 million people getting together — about the population of San Diego — each to play a game of dice with trillion-sided dice. They each roll the dice — and they all come up the exact same number — say, 550,343,279,001.

Ok, enough of my soapbox, here are the top 10 things I have found that you or anyone can do fairly easily to have a great impact on your health.

  1. Wake up and go to bed at the same time each day – even weekends. This small habit makes such a big difference in your ability to be productive. Keeping consistent in your go to bed and wake up times helps you to have more energy and for me, I have found helps me to think clearer and keeps my body in better sync for training.
  2. Drink a full glass of water within 15 minutes of waking up. This really helps with your hydration. Most people live in a constant state of being dehydrated. Water is essential to life and to your body’s performance. Starting out the day by feeding it what it needs, not only helps you to be more hydrated, so you have more energy through the day, but also gives it to critical substance it needs to survive.
  3. Workout in some form or fashion every day. This will be different for everyone, but if you can put in 30-60 minutes of some sort of weight training or cardiovascular exercise each day, you will be much better off. I’m not tell you anything you’ve haven’t heard a million times here. But, what I am challenging you to do is to be disciplined in this area and to be consistent – every day.
  4. Schedule your workouts to help you be more productive (giving you a 2-for). This one has really made a difference for me. Once you start to get into a routine, you will start to notice what I call your “peak times” during the day. These are times where you are at your best. You want to schedule your most important work for these times. For example, my first peak time of the day is from 6am-8am. I am fresh off a good night’s rest, had a good breakfast, and am ready to go. After about 2 hours of solid work, though, I need a break, and I need to re-energize. That is when I go to work out. Most days I work out from 8:30-10:30 am and this energizes me for the rest of the day. I return and get a solid block in before lunch. And the complete the day. Believe it or not, because of my workout fueling my energy, one of my other peak times is right after lunch.
  5. Take a multi-vitamin daily. No matter what you do in today’s age, it is almost impossible to get every nutrient and serving you are supposed to have daily. A good multi-vitamin will fill the gap.
  6. Stretch! Every day for 10-15 mins if possible. Wow does this make a difference. If you can make stretching part of your workout routine every day or find time to do so, it helps in so many ways. It helps prevent injury. It helps reduce tension. It gives balance to your body’s muscles. It will even help with better sleep.
  7. Meditate for 10-15 mins each day. I do this in the morning before I start into my first peak time. There are so many ways to do this, but what matters is that you take 10-15 minutes to center yourself for the day. My routine is simple and you can use it if you like. I write down 3 things that I am grateful for in life – usually they are about you and mommy or something surrounding our family. I then write down my 3 most important items that must be accomplished for the day. And then I say a prayer. A lot of times I will add in a 5-min guided meditation from an app like Headspace.
  8. As far as food and drink. Drink water throughout the day instead of soda or sugary drinks – duh. Limit alcohol intake. I have a rule of no more than 2 drinks in a sitting and it has served me well over the years. Do your best to eat a consistent diet. For example, I have a set eating routine for breakfast and lunch each day of the week that makes sure I get ample servings of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, good carbs, etc. For dinner, just eat for balance – good food lower in fat, etc.
  9. Get a standing desk. Greatest office investment ever! Sitting all day is hard. First off, it’s just hard to do. Second, it’s hard on your body. Our bodies were made to move and perform, so prolonged sitting it just tough all around. In fact, you should be getting up at least once every hour during the day and walking a little bit at minimum any way. A standing desk helps so much in this area, especially if you need to work for a long period of time, 2 to 3 hours nonstop or so. You can stand and keep cranking. Studies have shown that standing can help you be more productive than sitting. If you haven’t tried a standing desk before, I would urge you to. You can get one for a couple hundred bucks on Amazon. You will definitely see a difference in your work. In fact, I am writing this episode while standing right now!
  10. Rest one day each week. This is one that I admit has been a struggle for me over the years, but I am getting better. Scheduling and planning for it has helped. You should take one day a week to rest. This does not mean you do nothing. For example, maybe you stretch or get a massage, take a light walk, etc. But, it does mean you give your body time to recover. When it comes to work, that also means taking the day off. Read a book or focus on a hobby or project. If you are like me and can seemingly find some excuse to do work every day of the week, at first this will be tough. As I mentioned above, it was a real struggle for me not to plug in for a few hours on a Sunday and “get stuff done.” But, then as a commitment to our family and my coach, I started scheduling Sunday’s off – and you know, it is amazing how I still get everything done. I have found that many times, because we all work hard and are driven as entrepreneurs and high performers, we just look for things to do. It’s the nature of the world in which we operate. My advice, re-invent the system. Give yourself at least 1 day or more each week where you completely tune out from work related items and focus on the amazing life you have and the incredible world around you.

Hannah, I know that you have either seen or heard me talk about these health tips before, but I wanted to get them all in one place for you. I hope that you find a way to incorporate them into your life and use them to keep yourself healthy and enjoy life to the fullest.

I love you, Daddy.


Best Quote: “Your body is a temple. It is absolutely amazing. If you just sit back and think about it for a second, it is truly magnificent how everything works the way it does"


Misfit 3:

  1. Good health and fitness habits impact all areas of your life from your work to how you feel about yourself to your relationships.
  2. Your body is a temple and deserves tremendous respect.
  3. It is a miracle that any of us are even alive, so cherish it and make the most out of it by making sure to care for your health.
Jul 11, 2018

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Justin Schenck. Justin is the founder of Growth Now Movement and the wildly successful podcast by the same name. He is ranked one of the Top 8 podcasters to watch in 2018 by INC Magazine and a fellow Icon of Influence at the prestigious New Media Summit.

In addition to running the Growth Now Movement enterprise, Justin is a highly sought-after speaker and founder of Begin Podcasting Now which is a company that helps others launch and grow their own podcasts.

I’ve had the chance to spend a lot of time with Justin and what strikes me most is his willingness to help others and to genuinely help them succeed. I think a lot of this is rooted in his own story of overcoming adversity to create the life he has today. And that is really what I want to focus on with him today – how you can create the life you dream of and grow now!

When Justin was 12, his parents got divorced and it went downhill from there. His dad spent some time in jail and his mom had a 20-year pill addiction. He had 1.7 GPA in high school. He was not a path to any significant success.

But, he realized he was very good at learning from other people’s mistakes and choices, so he started to seek out and learn from entrepreneurs and other successful people. When he was 25, he started a company putting together personal growth seminars and did well for a few years. Then, he and his business partner decided to go “all in” on an event together. It failed literally losing them the business.

He then went into corporate life in medical sales but felt like something was missing – helping others in a meaningful way. That led to Growth Now Movement and the building of his podcast production and coaching company.

At the 6 min mark, Justin explains the Growth Now Movement…

  • It doesn’t matter where you have come from or where you are today.
  • What matters are the choices you are making today to grow into the person you need to be.
  • It’s about total self-development and continuous growth throughout your life.

What have you learned about yourself and what it takes to succeed?

  • #1 - always be authentic with yourself and the things you’ve been through in your life
  • You can be too “self-less.” It is very important to take care of yourself first.
  • Ironically, being more selfish and taking care of yourself, your relationships, your business, life, health, etc. allows you to be able to help more people.

Who is the most inspiring person you’ve ever interviewed on Growth Now Movement and why?

  • Fabio Viviani is inspiring because of his story in overcoming adversity and because of how much he is willing to give and help others
  • William Hollace was once homeless on the street and is now one of top motivation speakers
  • Everybody has a story and it takes a lot of courage to step forward and share that story.

Is there a trait, habit, skill that you see consistent across the guests you interview?

Intention. Every day they set their intention and they go and make it happen. Every single person that he interviews lives a life of intention. Intention is direction.

At the 14-min mark, Justin talks about his best advice for creating the life you desire from what he has learned on his journey.

  • First, get clear on what you are good at. What are your strengths and what things to do love to do and can do for hours on end.
  • Surround yourself with people that have mastered to game in which you want to play. 9 times out of 10, you are not doing something new – you are trying to innovate on what already exists.
  • Listen, follow, and level up
  • Be authentic in every move you make and do

What has surprised you the most so far?

  • In the entrepreneur space, money doesn’t happen as easy as you think
  • In podcasting, it is how willing people you admire are to share their stories and give back and be a part of what you are doing.
  • If you just ask, many times you will be amazed at how people will be willing to help

At the 19-min mark, Justin talks about how he “asks for what he wants” and the methodology behind it…

  • It can work for everybody in different areas of life
  • What people want is to know they are making a difference not so much that you will promote them
    • “I would be completely honored if you would take a couple of mins out of your day to inspire my audience.”
    • “Let’s work together because I feel that you are super valuable”

What are some of the best lifehacks and success hacks you take from guests?

  • Sean Thomas’s “self-check” of the 7 areas of his life (work, relationships, love-life, etc)
  • At the end of the day, what did he give enough to and not enough to and adjust for the next day to keep things in balance
  • Almost every person takes time to meditate and set intention for the day

What do people need to make sure to make part of their life to succeed in today’s world?

  • Mindfulness – live in right now
  • Relationship building is a lot art and needs to be fostered
  • Look beyond social media and create real relationships with people
  • Take “me time” and relaxation time. You need to recharge.

At the 30 min mark, Justin explains why podcasting should be part of your growth strategy…

Best advice for your entrepreneurs starting out today and where is entrepreneurship going?

  • Absorb all the content your possibly can – self-educate
  • Try a lot of different things to figure out what really is your thing
  • Entrepreneurship will grow even more
  • It will be more relevant to be an entrepreneur than an employee


Best Quote: “Live selfishly in order to be self-less…”


Justin's Misfit 3:

  1. Be 100% authentic – don’t be afraid to share your story
  2. Wake up every day with intention and know the direction you are going
  3. Take care of yourself so you can really help others. Live selfishly in order to be self-less
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.
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