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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Now displaying: January, 2019

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!

Jan 30, 2019

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

I want to talk to you about a very famous poem, IF, by Rudyard Kipling. You may have noticed that I have a canvas of this on my wall in my office. Today, I’m going to tell you why. But, in order to do that, first, I need to read you the poem.

You can view it here:

After hearing it, you probably have some idea why I think it is important. It gives some of the best time-tested advice and lessons for life. Now, when it was written, it was written by Rudyard giving advice to his son, but the advice is equally as important to a daughter, a friend, a family member, and of course, you sweetie. Let me explain going through each of the 4 stanzas.

The first stanza says…

If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, Or being hated, don’t give way to hating, And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

What this says to me is that you must believe in yourself and walk your own path doing what is right. You must keep your head when all about you are losing theirs – so think logically and methodically in your actions and don’t follow the herd or lemmings over the cliff. Trust yourself when others doubt you, but at the same time, take the time to understand why they doubt you and ask yourself whether it is valid or not. In other words, believe in yourself, but don’t follow blind ambition or lose your humility in the process. Lastly, if you can wait and not be tired of waiting or being lied about, but don’t deal in lies or being hated – don’t give into hating, yet don’t look to good nor talk to wise. This is great life advice, have patience for what you want, know that others may lie about you, but you must not fall to their level and deal in lies, and don’t flaunt your looks or try to be the smartest person in the room all the time – even if you are. Let others have a chance.

The next stanza says…

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master; If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim; If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same; If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

This gives 3 very important lessons. First, dream and think, but realize that dreams and reality are not always going to be the same. Second, understand that you will have great successes and failures in life and there are amazing lessons and gifts in each of them – so treat them the same and learn from them. Third, know that things you put a tremendous amount of time and effort into may not always workout or be destroyed – be ok with that and be strong enough to rebuild in the face of it.

The 3rd stanza says…

If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breathe a word about your loss; If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

This is one of my most favorite messages in this poem – you must be willing to persevere. You must be willing to take risks and deal with the consequences of them, good or bad. You must never quit and always be willing to start again, and above all else persevere and hold on!

The 4th stanza says…

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch, If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you, but none too much; If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

More very sage advice. To me this is all about remaining true to yourself and who you are. Talking to crowds and keeping your virtue and walking with kings, but not lose your common touch. Hannah, don’t change who you are for the audience in front of you. Be who you are and let it shine through. And the last part of the poem tells us to seize each moment and make the best out of it and that if you do all of this, yours is the earth and everything in it.

It is amazing how much wonderful wisdom can be packed into such a short little group of words…and that is maybe the last lesson for me. The lesson that a small amount of anything can make such a huge difference. A small amount of extra effort can be the difference between winning and losing a race. A small amount of ingenuity can be the difference between inventing the solution and missing it forever. A small amount of perseverance can take you to levels no one ever thought possible.

Hannah, I hope you can use the lessons of IF and the power of small things to help you in your life the way they have helped me. Yours is the earth and everything in it.

I love you, Daddy


Best Quote: “A small amount of anything can make such a huge difference. A small amount of extra effort can be the difference between winning and losing a race. A small amount of ingenuity can be the difference between inventing the solution and missing it forever. A small amount of perseverance can take you to levels no one ever thought possible"


Misfit 3:

  1. Read "IF" by Rudyard Kipling and think about how you can apply the lessons to your life.
  2. You must believe in yourself and walk your own path doing what is right.
  3. Learn and use the power of small things in your life to make a difference.
Jan 23, 2019

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Alex Quin. At just 24 years old, Alex is a Forbes accredited entrepreneur, investor, and influencer. He’s worked with everyone from Adidas, McLaren to Puma and Red Bull through his marketing agency, UADV.

On top of that, he has investments in a number of other entities, owns an exotic car rental company, and produces documentaries on entrepreneurship and other aspects of the entrepreneur life.

One of the things Alex said to me when we first met is that hustle inspires hustle. He’s right and that is just one of the reasons I asked him to come on and share what he has learned on his journey with you in this episode.

@MrAlexQuin on social

Since Alex was a little kid, he had an entrepreneurial mindset and was a master at arbitrage. After graduating high school, he worked in food-service doing all the lowly tasks someone can do while he built his business. His first business was car shows like you’d see in Fast and Furious. They had initial success and had partners like Lamborghini and others. The business blew up, but it was cash suck. They could pay for the events, but not have much leftover. It was the connections he made that would later help his business today.

He kept working in food-service, but also started driving as a chauffeur for the CEO of a major Advertising agency in Miami. After learning some from the CEO, he quit his job and started his advertising business.

Now, they are a private agency that carries out its own projects and invests in others as a partner.

At 6 min mark, Alex explains what it means to “just keep going” and “sometimes it is just part of the cycle and process.” Consistency is the most critical aspect of succeeding.

Was there a time where you hit bottom? How did you claw your way back?

  • Yes! At least 4 times!
  • Entrepreneurship is a roller coaster that never stops
  • There is always something happening that you have to work on, overcome, or work through.
  • Sometimes you are going to doubt ourselves and our biggest opponent is our mind.
  • You must learn to defeat your own negative thoughts and you can always make it through.

Advice on how to overcome?

  • It like a game. Like sports. The big game.
  • You start off on the team as 3rd stringer
  • You’ve got to practice and put your time in.
  • You’ve got to learn the little tricks and habits to make you better. You’ve got to commit and then you work your way up.
  • No one is a “starter” in entrepreneurship out of the gate.
  • All business is training yourself. It’s you that must be trained. 

There is no such thing as a loss…there is only a lesson to learn.

At the 14 min mark, Alex explains “Hustle Inspires Hustle…”

  • Alex loves to infect people with good energy.
  • Doing what you do and doing so well that others gravitate to you and are inspired by you. That is hustle inspiring hustle.
  • We all can inspire someone else in some way. Every day, someone can be looking up to you.

What have you learned about building a business through your experience?

  • If you are creative, at some point, you will have to choose between being a creative and business person. It is very hard to do both.
  • Getting business is about the numbers. If you reach out to enough people, you are going to see a return. If you are not getting a return, you are not talking to enough people.
  • Pivoting requires time and strategy and is not something to just do. You have to really think through what you want.
  • But, you have to be open-minded and sometimes the things you want are not life has planned for you.
  • As long as you stay true to your values, you will be good.

How does someone pivot effectively and make it happen?

  • You have to know when to keep going and when to cut your losses. Your gut will tell you.
  • You have to believe in yourself enough.
  • You can only control YOUR actions and must focus on those things you can control.
  • Sit down, make a plan, and then be obsessed with executing.
  • Entrepreneurship is not for those unsure of themselves and that don’t believe in themselves.

Can someone who doesn’t believe in themselves learn to do so? How?

  • You can learn.
  • You learn by the little victories you have.
  • Every day you will run into little adversities that give you a chance to overcome them.
  • Each time you overcome, you get stronger.
  • You have to go through the weeds to get to the flowers.

What your biggest success hacks?

  • Maintain awareness of world news at all times
  • Maintain awareness of what is happening in culture
  • Taking solid care of himself both mentally and physically
  • Remaining humble and slowing down when it is needed
  • Keep your mind open to learn new things. We know very little at the end of the day.
  • Surround yourself with people that you can really trust and that you know will stick it out through very hard times. It takes time to find them.


Best Quote: “There is no step by step guide on how to succeed as an entrepreneur. There are only takeaways that you can grab and apply to your situation to create your own formula.”


Alex's Misfit 3:

  1. Honesty. Be honest with others and be honest with yourself.
  2. Humility. Materials things come and go. Keep your humility and be true to yourself.
  3. Hustle. If you are honest, humble, and you hustle – you are going to get what you want.
Jan 16, 2019

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneurs are Sania Khiljee. Sania is a serial entrepreneur as well as social media expert. Sania has businesses in everything from children’s private pre-schools to subscription box services.

She is the founder of Losers to Legends, a social media consulting and education company that started out as a motivational movement on social media and has grown to over 1.5 million followers.

The thing that stuck me most about Sania when we met is how humble, down to earth, and willing to help others she is. I knew I had to have her on to share not just her incredible wisdom and advice with you, but her entrepreneurial spirit as well.

@SaniaKhiljee on social

@LoserstoLegends on social

Sania grew up in an entrepreneurial family. But, 10 years ago, Sania was not allowed to be on social media. She had a very possessive ex-fiance that was very dominant over her and would not allow her to be on social media. It took several years to find out why – he was cheating on her using the platforms.

After she got out of that terrible circumstance, she fell in love with social media and its possibilities. She built several brick and mortar businesses alongside her family, but wanted to do something her family had never done before. So, she branched out and created subscription box service using social media and sold it. Since then, she has been teaching others on how to grow their business using social media.

What’s the best advice on entrepreneurship that you got from your father?

  • Sania’s dad is very practical
  • His philosophy is not “follow your passion,” but “Do what makes you money. Do what drives cashflow. It is the lifeblood of any business. Get that right and then follow your passions from there.”
  • Don’t be afraid to be money-minded.
  • Another lesson is that he never let work-life balance get in the way. He made time for family each day. It was a priority. P
  • rioritize money, but not at the expense of the quality of your life.

At the 11 min mark, Sania talks about work-life balance in a 24/7 world…

  • Structure is very important.
  • The more you plan, the better you will do, even with the fires that come up.
  • You have to always be ready for the unexpected demands of business day to day.
  • Ask yourself, “What does a productive day really look like?

What was like going out on your own away from the family business?

  • Sania is not a rags to riches story, but a prove your own worth story.
  • She had beat imposter syndrome by building a business and selling it herself.
  • Creating businesses that make money that were aligned with dreams she had were very validating for her.
  • The lessons learned and what it took to be successful are very integral to who she is as a person today.

What did you do to actually create the conviction you now have as an entrepreneur?

  • You don’t have to be so polar or a binary decision between one thing or another. You can do multiple things at once.
  • Sania still worked in the family business but built her other businesses outside of it.
  • Having a side-hustle that you can build to a point where you can do it full time is a great way to go.
    • Gary Vaynerchuk is a great example of this.

What are your best tips on how to grow a worldwide audience through social media?

  • Have a focus. Don’t jump around between a bunch of different types of posts.
  • As much as you can niche down, you will do better in speaking to a specific audience.
  • Get granular. For example, “30 year old entrepreneurs who live in the US and are looking for morning motivation.”
  • When someone lands on your page, they should know immediately who it’s for, what it is about, and the content they can count on from it.
  • Quality of content is critical as well. 1 piece of viral content can change everything, so every piece you put our should be top quality.
  • Consistency. If you are serious about social media – it is 2-3 hours per day minimum across all platforms. Instagram, Youtube, Quora, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  • It is not enough to just put up content – you then have to go out and engage and attract people back to your pages and take a real interest in you and what you are doing.

Tell us about the 3 hours a day…

  • The 10,000 hour rule. If you spend 3 hours a day on social media, within 10 years, you will become world-class at it.
  • Sania chooses not to outsource, but to use the time to hone her skills.
  • If you do not want to be an expert. You can put in less time, such as an hour a day, and outsource for the rest.
  • No matter what, you are looking a devoting time daily.

What about someone that owns a business and only has 3-5 hours per week? Can they maximize their presence online?

  • Yes – you can hire an intern or hire an agency that does done for you solutions.
  • If you outsource, you may miss out on some of the engagement. If you can still find some time to engage, that is good.

Talk to us about some of the methods you use to grow your account…

  • There are paid and organic growth tactics
  • $5 per day in social media marketing, such as Facebook ads or boosting posts, can make a huge difference.
  • The more exposure you get coupled with high quality content is a recipe for success.
  • You can pay for influencer shoutouts. You can pay a little bit to someone with a million followers or more to promote you.
  • Engagement with other users in a genuine way costs nothing. Leaving comments and posts on other pages that you like will drive slower growth, but the best followers.
  • There are also software available for growth. Automations are touchy as they can de-personalize, but can and do work.
  • LinkedIn has a lot of automation as well.
  • You should also research times to post across platforms as well as which hashtags. You can study others you admire in your niche. Copy them.
  • Social media is a science – doing the right things in a consistent way.

What is a paid shoutout and what do they cost?

  • It is when an influencer promotes you to their audience.
  • You can pay anywhere from $10-$300 for a shoutout.
  • Sania usually pays $10-$20 or does a trade.
  • You have to be very careful when paying for influencer shoutouts to make sure people have real followers, not ones they bought.
  • You can go to and type in an influencers name to see their growth.
  • You want to see consistent daily growth instead of bursts of growth followed by a loss of followers (this is a sign they buy followers).
  • You should also look at the makeup of followers and quality of comments to see if they resonate with your focus.

At the 44 min mark, Sania talks about the types of shoutouts she does and others do…

It is generally best to give something free to potential followers or new subscribers

If you could pick only one social media platform to be on, which one would it be and why?

  • Instagram because it is where she started
  • Data shows Instagram is one of the most lucrative platform and better for organic growth vs. Facebook where you have to pay more now.
  • Instagram also has better ability for viral content
  • But, you should figure out which platform is best for you and for what you like.

What are ways to make money online from your social media presence?

  • Once you have an audience, you can promote your services to them.
  • Books, video courses, masterminds, affiliate products you promote, etc.
  • Referring business to others and taking a cut – so look for partnerships you can do shoutouts for.


Best Quote: “ Do what makes you money. Do what drives cashflow. It is the lifeblood of any business. Get that right and then follow your passions from there.”


Sania's Misfit 3:

  1. Try meditation. 30 mins to an hour a day can change your life. Search “deep-guided” meditation on Youtube. Guided makes it easy for you.
  2. Find your focus(es). Find the 1-2 things that deserve your most focus and that are symbiotic to each other and focus on them intently.
  3. Approach your sales as being a friend or partner first, then your customer. If you try to sell people right at the start without a relationship, it will make it harder.
Jan 9, 2019

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Cameron Brown. Cameron is an award-winning composer, international speaker, and founder of Thriving Collective a world-wide movement dedicated to helping people reach their true potential. Cameron has been featured everything from TEDx to ABC and Millennial Magazine. He was born in the outback of Australia and started playing piano at a young age. His story has a lot of ups and downs and twists and turns which he will share with you today.

In 2016, he sold or donated 99% of the things he owned and embarked on a global initiative called the “Impact diaries” to inspire people to make a greater positive impact in the world. And just this year, he official partnered with National Geographic as a National Geographic Explorer.

Cameron has a developed a very compelling and unique way of speaking and teaching through what he calls Multi-Sensory talks where he speaks to audience while mixing in playing piano and a complete video experience embedded in.

Cameron credits all of his success to the incredible impact that curiosity can have on your life and we break that down with him in this episode.

@AskCameronBrown on social

Cameron says he’s had a number of big defining moments in his life. One of them was in mid-2010 when they heard screaming from his neighbor that her son had just killed himself. He and another went running through the house and found the deceased. Cameron remembers most taking care of the siblings and pretending like nothing was going on, playing with them to keep them occupied, but to then see the father come home with a look of helplessness and the rest of the family. Cameron took away some very important truths from the experience. First, not one should ever have to go through that type of experience. Second, that there are others ways out and that there had to be a way to help people that are going through these tough times.

With a couple months, Cameron had enrolled in his first coaching course on personal development to help people. He learned a lot about himself and started to help people have breakthroughs. This grew and allowed him to start working with businesses to help them overcome their biggest challenges around the country.

Cameron’s work and other experiences lead him to ask 2 really important questions:

  1. What do I really want to experience out of this life?
  2. Am I really living?

The answer to the 2nd question was “no.” He made significant changes to his business to allow him to live more fully and begin to enjoy all aspects of life instead of just being focused on work.

He traveled and had had adventures, tried new things, met new people…and this really made him realize that life really is about experiences and he decided to find a way to blend helping others and companies with doing through a great experience.

What is the most important thing you have learned on your journey to this point?

  • Earlier on, it would have been about taking responsibility for your life.
  • Today, curiosity is the most valuable thing to nurture because it takes you into the unknown and helps to grow as a person.

Pay attention at the 9 min mark as Cameron talks about the benefits of curiosity in our lives and how it serves as the gateway to creativity and innovation.

At the 13 min mark, Cameron answers the question” How did the music side come to be in your life and how does it work with what you do?”

  • Cameron’s favorite question to ask is “If it all ended today, what would the one thing you would regret not doing?”
  • For Cameron, this was having a grand piano on stage while giving a talk. He set out to do it and visualized it daily. 3 months later, it was reality.
  • Music often gets around the conscious mind to the subconscious and opens us in different ways.

Talk to us about the process of manifestation – how does someone go from visualization to get the real result?

  • First, you must believe it is possible to achieve what you desire.
  • One you believe, you can visualize.
  • Then practice G.O.Y.A. Get off your ass! Take the inspired action.
  • Be relentless in your pursuit.
  • At the end of the day, it is about your being in alignment with who you want to become.

What did growing up in the outback of Australia teach you about how to succeed in life and business?

  • The power and potential that technology has to allow to achieve things we would not necessarily be able to achieve. Because of growing up in a rural environment. Cameron took his singing lessons by phone because there wasn’t a singing teach in town.
  • The value of time by yourself. As entrepreneurs, things can get lonely. Learning to be ok by yourself is a great skill to learn.
  • The power of the mind to drive creativity.

What should people know about maximizing technology in their lives?

  • We are already hybrid beings. Things may not be in us, but our phones, tablets computers, etc. are extensions of us.
  • We have an operating system and it is either performing at its best or not. Our lives are the same and we must upgrade as technology allows us.
  • You can choose how you can use or not use technology to upgrade your operating system.
  • Things that hold us back are the scrolling through the social media feed or surfing the net or responding to every notification that comes up on our phone.
  • To maximize your life, first audit and look at what areas you have that you don’t feel like you are in control.
  • Can you use technology to close the gaps? Can you schedule “sprints” of uninterrupted work? Look at how you can create space in your life to make sure the technology does not run you.

Other advice?

  • We have to prioritize ourselves and not the external world dictate who we are or what we do.
  • If you don’t fill your calendar, someone or something else will.
  • Treat yourself as your very best client. You wouldn’t cancel time you have with them.
  • The first thing that goes when we get busy is our time for ourselves.

What are the 3 Impacts?

  1. We make an impact on our lives
  2. We make an impact on others’ lives
  3. We make an impact on the planet

The big insight is that you can be succeeding in your business and taking care of others, but if that is out of alignment with taking care of your environment – then what you are doing in the other 2 areas, you can still have a negative impact.

  • Doing even the smallest things can have an impact.

Tell us about curiosity and being comfortable with being uncomfortable…

  • Curiosity is one of the most valuable and least used skills we practice
  • The quality of your life will be in direct correlation with the amount of uncertainty you can handle
  • Outside of your comfort zone is the unknown, a sometimes scary, but untapped unknown with endless possibility. Curiosity can bridge the gap between these two areas.
  • Audit your believe systems to see which ones give you more level of certainty in your life vs. keep you from doing what you could do.
  • Curiosity allows you to dream up what you could do. Ask yourself, “What could I do?”

Listen at the 44 min mark as Cameron really dives deep on curiosity and curious language and tonality…

What is Meercat Syndrome and why should people understand it?

  • It’s the same as shiny object syndrome
  • You get to into all the things you can vs. picking a few and focusing intently on them
  • This is how curiosity can get you stuck, so you have to beware seeking too many opportunities and not focusing and acting on a few.


Best Quote: “Become comfortable with being uncomfortable.” 


Cameron's Misfit 3:

  1. Responsibility. You must take responsibility because those who take responsibility get to create the change. Those who blame stay with the pain.
  2. Courage. Develop the courage to go for what you believe in – even in the face of fear. You have to become and make peace with the worst case scenario - nothing can hold you back.
  3. Curiosity. Learn to nurture your curiosity as a skill. It is the bridge between where you are now and infinite possibilities.
Jan 2, 2019

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Heini Zachariassen. Heini is the creator and founder of the widely popular app, Vivino, which provides users with any wine's rating, review and average price. It is also the world’s largest wine community, claiming more than 31 million users.

Vivino’s been featured, well, just about everywhere and in every publication from Entrepreneur to Forbes to INC and on and on.

The interesting thing is that Heini started Vivino with no experience at all in the wine business. He has a varied background in software development and mobile innovation and as an entrepreneur, had had success in a few other ventures, but as he says he was a total outsider.

And that is one of the major topics I want to discuss with him today – how being an outsider can actually be the best thing for your business and success.


Heini was born in the Farrow Islands in the North Atlantic. Basically in the middle of nowhere. He grew up there and moved to Denmark when it was time for college. Heini says that he was always entrepreneurial, and his father was a “super-nerd,” so the whole family was into technology.

When he left college, he wanted to start a business. He found success after a few small enterprises with a software security company. The company did well and still exists, but he wanted to create something more fun. So, about 10 years ago, he noticed that there was no way to judge wine. There was no rating, no information, etc. He started building something really for himself and the idea was to create a web-database for wine.

One thing Heini notes is timing. They hit it right on for timing with smart phones coming online and giving people the ability to take a picture of a label and get instant info and a rating. A few years earlier and that would not have been possible, so timing was huge in the success of Vivino.

Talk to us about how being an outsider can help you in succeeding as a business…

  • Heini was definitely an outsider.
  • The priority was building the solution for the average wine drinker.
  • He found that when he talked to people in the industry, they thought alike and were kind of a “herd mentality.”
  • He found that what made the product win was creating a product more for the masses and not the connoisseurs.

Talk about launching the product…

  • When they launched, there were 600 other wine apps, but more geared to the wine expert.
  • Most people are more casual around wine.
  • They wanted something that was easy, could help them quickly, and know they are getting a good deal.
  • They wanted to find a way to empower people in their ability to choose

Over 30 million users, what can you teach us about how to grow and build an online community?

  • There are no silver bullets.
  • The Vivino group has been extremely product focused.
  • Early on, they released the product quickly, but then really listened to the feedback and actioned it.
  • The continuously improved for 2 years.
  • Make sure to have your priorities right. Your only priority is getting people to absolutely love your product.
  • You must know your core user. You can’t please everyone. So, focus on the core and make them raving fans.
  • Keep things simple for people to use and engage your product. You can always add to it, so don’t give too much to start.

What ways did you market and gain visibility as you began to grow?

  • One thing that has helped was building the app around something that people are sociable and enjoy – win. It makes it relatable.
  • Be careful with spending too much time promoting the product early in the beginning. Pour that energy into the product. Your users will be your best marketers

Are there any mediums that you promote through that work better than others?

  • Be humble. Targeting smaller blogs with loyal followers was very helpful for them.
  • This works well when you are in niche and can be a big fish in a small pond.

What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned about growing and scaling a business?

  • Things change a lot.
  • Your role as a founder changes a lot.
  • See it as a layer cake
    • When you start out, you do everything
    • Then you begin to take slices out and give them to others to take one
    • Slowly you get to where you are focused on what you are best for in the business
  • You will have to hand duties off.

Talk about replacing yourself in the business….

  • First you start as a manager as the company grows
  • Then you become a leader of leaders
  • At some point, you will grow to a point where someone out there will be a better CEO for the future growth of the company.
  • You must be willing to let go.

At the 24 min mark, Heini talks about what he looked for when he wanted to replace himself and find a CEO to take the company into the future.

What have you learned from raising capital?

  • If you have a free, community-based product, it is very hard to succeed without raising funding vs. a product you may sell business to business.
  • Raising money is hard, but the hardest part is building something that millions of people can use.
  • There is plenty of money out there, but you must build something that can have a huge footprint and has a path to profitability
  • Investors don’t invest in ideas – they care about what you’ve built.
  • Many times, your first round will come from your network and people you know.
  • Check out Heini’s YouTube channel Raw Startup to hear him talk more about this topic.

Do you have any critical habits that you practice and contribute to your success?

  • Sleep and a good rest routine is important.
  • Commuting to work on a bike giving exercise, but also shutting out the noise and allows you to think and come up with ideas.

Other advice?

  • A lot of successful entrepreneurs that do well have a little bit of insecurity about how they are performing which spurs them to keep over-performing and making sure they are winning. Don’t rest on your achievements.
  • Always believe in your luck.


Best Quote: "Always believe in your luck."


Heini's Misfit 3:

  1. Always build something. When we are building something in our lives – a business, a garden, a relationship, we find purpose and meaning.
  2. Think big, but start small. Little steps lead to the big picture.
  3. There are no naysayers unless you choose to hear them and believe them.