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: March, 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!

Mar 27, 2019

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Dr. Diane Hamilton. Diane is the creator of the Curiosity Code Index (CCI) assessment and the author of Cracking the Curiosity Code.

She is a nationally syndicated radio host, speaker, moderator, consultant, and educator. Her radio show Dr. Diane Hamilton Radio showcases successful individuals including C-Suite Executives, Time Magazine’s Most Influential People of the World, Forbes 30 Under 30 Inductees, Nobel Peace Prize Nominees, New York Times and Wall Street Journal Best-Selling Authors, and other successful individuals who share their stories and insights. Through her work as the MBA Program Chair at the Forbes School of Business and at several other universities, she has taught more than 1000 business courses. She has a Ph.D. in Business Management and is a certified Myers-Briggs MBTI and Emotional Intelligence EQ-i instructor. If that is not enough, she is highly sought after speaker, speaking to groups to improve employee relationships, increase engagement, improve productivity, and reduce conflict.

One of the most important, and least understood skill sets for entrepreneurs, leaders, and well, anyone is emotional intelligence and we could not have a better person on the show to talk to about it on the show.

Diane started in sales doing a number of roles from pharmaceuticals to real estate. After a few decades, she wanted to get into teaching. She thought thousands of courses and this led to her being the MBA program chair at the Forbes School of Business. Through this, she got to work with and learn from some of the top business minds in the world like Steve Forbes. This got her interested in interviewing and started her down the path she is on now.

What is emotional intelligence and why is it so important to develop in our lives?

  • It is understanding your own emotions and those in others and then reacting appropriately in your behavior.
  • It’s extremely important because your behavior and soft skills are some of the important things that impact your success and career.

Is this something that comes naturally to people or something that has to be developed?

  • It is something you must work on
  • Influences in your life impact your emotional intelligence
  • Your environment has a large impact as well
  • If you were around people with high EI throughout your life, chances are that your EI will be higher than someone who did not have that environment.
  • No matter what, it is something you can continue to improve.

One of the best resources on Emotional Intelligence is work by Daniel Goleman

At the 11:30 mark, Diane talks about Curiosity and how it relates to your EQ?

  • Curiosity is a big part of improving EQ and succeeding.
  • In fact, there are 4 factors that influence curiosity which relate directly EI:
    • Fear
    • Assumptions
    • Technology
    • Environment

Steps to improve EI/EQ?

  • The most important step is to become aware
  • Get a foundational baseline measurement of where you are by taking one of the many assessments online.
  • Get input from others that will be honest with you and be open to it.
  • Be present in the moment when communicating
  • Be careful to develop your empathy which will improve your EQ/EI

What is the difference between emotional intelligence and critical thinking?

  • EI is about understanding your emotions and how they impact how you are feeling.
  • Critical thinking is about looking at a bunch of different content/data and process it to make a good decision.
  • A lot of people don’t know how to make decisions by putting everything together and getting to the best decision.
  • You have to learn to separate emotion from logic very well to master both of these concepts

How do people avoid analysis/paralysis and become more decisive in this area?

  • Beware of planning too much because of data overload.
  • A lot of leads try to take on too much by themselves where they need to get help, outsource, or delegate.
  • Learn what you are truly good at and focus there – find the resources to handle the rest.
  • Look for the simple, unconventional method.
  • Try using a simple checklist.

At the 27 min mark, Diane answers the question, “Why is curiosity so important and what were some of the big things you learned about it while researching and writing the Curiosity Code?”

  • There are so many things that come back to curiosity – it all seems to revolve around it.
  • Inspiration, motivation, drive, growth, etc. all happen because of curiosity.
  • The big “aha” was that there is no research on how to improve your level of curiosity.
  • There is no system or training for it. We must move from “Are you curious or not?” to “How utilize it to grow and succeed at higher levels?”
  • For some reason, we lose our thirst for curiosity as we grow and we need to learn how to get it back.

Define curiosity…

  • It can be confused with drive or motivation but is so much more.
  • It is the spark. The strong desire to know more.
  • What is important is to look at the factors that impact it – that is how you can grow your curiosity.
  • Curiosity is figuring out how to overcome challenges instead of shying from them.

At the 38 min mark, Diane takes us through each of the 4 factors and what we should know about them…It’s best to just listen to this segment

  • Fear
  • Assumptions
  • Technology
  • Environment

How do people take these 4 factors and use them to gain more results in their lives?

  • Once you recognize that under each factor, there are specific areas to work on
  • Diane has created a quiz that will help you understand each area and show you where you need to go.
  • (Assessment)
  • Once you know where you are in the areas, you can go to work on them and start to make changes.
  • In the end, as with anything, it takes ACTION!

What are 1-2 things you see consistent across the high performers that you interview and spend time with?

  • They are curious
  • They are tenacious
  • They read a lot
  • They take calculated risks and have a good ability to handle risk
  • They know they don’t know everything, but they focus on what they do need to know and bring together the rest


Best Quote: “Companies hire for your hard skills and fire for your soft skills, so you must work on your soft skills – your Emotional Intelligence and Critical Thinking."


Diane's Misfit 3:

  1. Companies hire for your hard skills and fire for your soft skills, so you must work on your soft skills – your Emotional Intelligence and Critical Thinking.
  2. Learn something new. You must develop curiosity use it to your advantage.
  3. If you don’t have goals to drive toward, you are missing out on what you are capable of accomplishing.
Mar 20, 2019

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Nick Santonastasso. Nick is a medical miracle. Not only is he one of four people alive with the rare genetic condition, Hanhart Syndrome, but the inspirational keynote speaker is also an internationally known bodybuilder and fitness model – despite missing both his legs and one arm since birth.

Nick has been featured everywhere from Forbes to the Today Show, FOX, TLC, BBC, Inside Edition, and MTV. He got his start on Vine making prankster videos and I have to say, they are hilarious, especially the zombie pranks. As owner of Raw Mettle Enterprises, Nick is a speaker, coach, consultant, and author of the new book Victim to Victor, How to Overcome the Victim Mentality to Live the Life You Love.

The Rock said this about Nick, “think about this for a second, Nick was born with one arm and no legs. In his mind, there’s nothing he can’t do and he’s right. He’s right because he does everything he sets his mind to. Life deals us cards on a daily basis, but we always get to decide how we’re gonna play them. Thanks Nick for helping me frame my perspective on life just a little bit more.”

Now, it’s time for Nick to help you frame yours a little bit more…

@NickSantonastasso on Social

Nick was born with Hanhart syndrome, a super rare syndrome that either leaves a baby born with undeveloped limbs or organs. Nick was the 12th person ever born with this syndrome and 8 of the other passed away due to undeveloped organs. Nick was given a 30% chance to live but made it as his organs were 100% healthy.

From there he was just a kid like any other until he got to middle school and high school where he began to be noticed as different. Middle and High school were his low points. He hated his body, he questioned why he was born the way he was. Nick sought out support and joined wrestling – but to do so, he had to voluntarily amputate 5 inches of his one limb to be able to move in the ways he needed to. He wrestled his junior and senior year which lead him into having fun doing skits on Vine. That lead him to body building and then into motivation and keynote speaking and even fitness modeling.

With all that you’ve done, what is the most important thing you’ve learned that you feel others must know?

  • Life is all perspective. Your mindset is your biggest superpower.
  • The way you think, your mind, is the one thing that can allow you to do everything or hold you back from everything.

How do people train themselves to control their mind and ways of thinking?

  • Our mind is basically a computer and it is programmed through our environment.
  • The key is to identify the bad habits – admit to them and then start instilling good habits.
  • Then repetition is needed to make the change to the new habit stick and become normal.
  • Working on yourself takes a while – it is a process can only be done through time.

How do we maintain perspective?

  • Sit and think about a moment in the past that you felt was negative.
  • Pull out one good piece of information from that event – a lesson, a thought, etc.
  • There is always something good…
  • The habit part is to develop a mantra that every time something negative happens to us to ask, “What’s the good in this?” Find the good.
  • Focusing on the negative doesn’t serve us.
  • There is a way to gain in everything.
  • Nelson Mandela, “You don’t lose. You learn, or you win.”

At the 14 min mark, Nick talks about his book “From Victim to Victor” and we start a big discussion on the victim mentality.

Nick favorite story from the book and lesson?

  • The story of how no one wanted to sit next to him on a plane.
  • The lesson is the meaning you attach to things. We dictate how we look at things, respond to them, and how much we let them affect us, etc.
  • When faced with a tough circumstance, challenge, or negative situation – Ask yourself, “What’s it going to be? What meaning will I choose to give to this?”

Thought on Leadership?

  • Great leaders are people persons
  • Everything you do has a lasting effect
  • You have to connect with people and help them and guide them to all rowing the boat in the same direction
  • People know when they are getting BS’d. Don’t BS people.
  • If you don’t genuinely care for people – it is hard to be a leader.

Tell us your thoughts on victimhood and those playing the role of the victim and what you think the answer is…

  • Parents are having a difficult time raising kids in today’s world.
  • We seem to be missing some core beliefs being instilled in our lives such as gratitude.
  • The solution to Victim mentality is not only instilling a core set of beliefs but also confidence.
  • When people feel better about themselves and gain confidence, they move out of victimhood.
  • The way you build confidence is to set “micro-goals.”
    • For example: You make the goal wake up 30 mins earlier so that you can workout for 30 mins, etc. and you do it. Very quickly after doing it, you will feel better, accomplished.
  • When you do this, you build that relationship with yourself, so you know who you are, you create and know your self-integrity. You know when you commit to something, you will get it done.
  • Confidence is having a relationship that is so good with yourself that it doesn’t matter what the outside world thinks of you or does to you.
  • The biggest limiting beliefs come in the from of not having confidence in yourself.
  • If you are in a slump, do one thing, big or little, that you know will make you into a better person and you will begin to build momentum.

Nicks biggest realization:

You have one life. The chances you are alive are so small. Get moving and make everything you can out of that life.

“Regardless of whatever hand that life has dealt us, it is our duty to play that hand to the best of our ability.”

At the 38 min mark, Nick talks about how to annihilate excuses…the flips the stables on me.

Best pieces of advice on entrepreneurship?

  • Things are always going to go wrong.
  • If you are going to blame someone for the bad, you have to recognize and acknowledge them for the good as well.
  • Do your best to work with people that honor and share your core values and have alignment.


Best Quote: “Regardless of whatever hand that life has dealt us, it is our duty to play that hand to the best of our ability.”


Nick's Misfit 3:

  1. Live in a state of gratitude and implement it into your life. Starting your day off with gratitude is starting your day off on the right foot – and I don’t have a right foot, so if I can do it, you can do it too!
  2. Perspective is the meaning you attach to things. Ask, “What good is there in this?”
  3. You have to be your biggest cheerleader. Change your language and change your life. Use only empowering words for yourself.
Mar 13, 2019

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Kevin Smith. I’ve always said that one of the most powerful ways to sell a product or present a business is through story and Kevin is known as the Story Architect.

His company helps startups and tech companies figure out what their story is and how to take that to market. He spent almost 2 decades leading sales and enterprise marketing, most notably with Dell, crafting and delivering thousands of powerful messages using story. In fact, in his career, Kevin has done over 10,000 pitches.

Kevin realized the process he created could be adapted to all forms of communication for any company and decided to go out on his own. The company has been nominated for the best small business marketing company by the Canadian association of marketing professionals and has helped companies throughout the world significantly grow revenue and secure funding. In this episode, I’ve asked Kevin to come on give you the step by step processes for crafting the perfect story and pitch.

Kevin spent a fair amount of time at Dell, but says his story is somewhat “accidental.” He had been entrepreneurial since high school but struggled with what he would do. He went to school for entrepreneurship, but it really wasn’t teaching what he felt he needed. He started doing IT jobs and thought he would have a career in IT as a help desk person. After one company he worked for cut their workforce including him, he was asked by a recruiter if he wanted to go into sales for Dell.

Kevin was reluctant and wasn’t sure that he wanted to do sales. When he went to interview with Dell, it turned out the guy interviewing him was a former boss and hired him on the spot. He was still reluctant to do it, but found he liked the combination of selling, but helping people with the technology. He fell in love with it. He sold for 3 years and then wanted a position for very high-end technical sales, especially servers. He was rejected but studied and became the foremost server expert for Dell in Canada. He sold for a few more years and went through a few years of other promotions and then became a brand manager.

He loved brand marketing and setting the marketing strategy. He did that for 6 years. It was during this time that he found some of the secrets to how to pitch because he did a lot of high-pressure pitch meetings with CIO’s, etc. He became “the go to guy” for pitching to the C-suite. He immersed himself into presenting and learning all of the secrets of great storytellers. He then was promoted to the acquisitions team and was put in charge of one of running one of the acquisitions that he spearheaded.

In building his process to pitch, he realized he was building out his system/strategy for his business today, The Story Architect.

At the 14:48, Kevin talks about starting The Story Architect…

  • Startups think differently than large organizations
  • There is a fine line between bureaucracy and getting things done. A lot of companies fall prey to bureaucracy and lose their advantage.
  • Your goal in a startup is to find that line and make sure not to cross over it.
  • Kevin was able to start his business and put things together for it while working.
  • Kevin says that it is critical to put away money and plan/prepare to make the leap – it makes it so much easier.

At the 18 min mark, Kevin goes through his PACES framework and answers the question, “What is the most important thing that goes into crafting the perfect pitch or story?”

  • Problem: The only reason someone you are trying to persuade will listen to you is if you are talking about a problem they have.
    • The most important thing to keep in mind when relaying story to someone is credibility. Credibility is how we judge the value of the information that we are getting.
  • Answer: How do you solve the problem?
  • Credibility: You must provide credibility as to why your solution will work. This can be show through your experience and knowledge of the problem and potential solution(s)
  • Evidence: Social proof, case studies, examples of how you solved the problem before.
  • Step to take next: You have to show where things go next…

How do close the deal after you put PACES into effect? How do you get to ‘yes?”

  • This is where the storytelling part becomes so important.
  • At the 30 min mark, Kevin gives an example by asking the question of “Do you own a cat?” He then goes on to tell the story of his cat getting sick…
  • It’s very hard to change someone’s mind because of our innate tendency to think as “our tribe” does.
  • Over time our brain’s have become hardwired that “new information = death.” It is a fear response that happens automatically.
  • For people to accept new information, you have to put it into something they like. People like stories and the brain really likes stories because it is hard wired to do so.
  • Don’t just present facts to people, instead make the story the wrapper to the fact.
  • Anecdotes and stories of other people, customers, instances, etc. that were in the same position, but found that there was a different way of thinking or to solve the problem help to change people’s minds.

What is the story blueprint?

  • The blueprint begins with really understanding the buyer and what pain they have, how they are trying to solve it currently. It also understanding what they are looking for and how they are looking for it. You can do this on your own just by surveying potential clients.
  • Things that are consistent across all stories are the following:
    • Everybody has a problem that they are trying to solve
    • Everybody is trying to find the right way of solving the problem
    • Your job is to tap into what that is
  • Sometimes people aren’t looking for a specific solution, but they have a problem that needs solved.
  • And a lot of times people are focused on what “their product does” instead of figuring out what the really problem is that needs solved and figuring out how their product or service can solve it.
  • Sometimes you have to take a step back and brand the problem instead of the solution…

What is important about the delivery of the pitch?

  • Always keep the audience in mind.
  • The mistake made most often is that people do a great pitch around their product/service, but they are pitching to the wrong person.
  • Are you pitching to solve the problem the prospect has with your product or service or are you pitching your product service to solve a problem the prospect doesn’t have?

Anything else we should know on these topics?

  • The basic elements of a story are important…
  • A good story has hero
  • There is a story “arch”
  • There is a setup to the story
  • There is challenge/risk
  • That challenge has to be resolved

At the 45 min mark, Kevin gives a great example of the elements of a great and the story arch using Star Wars.

  • Biggest lessons learned about entrepreneurship?
  • Be flexible and experimentive
  • What you think will not necessarily prove out to be reality
  • Stick with it until you breakthrough


Best Quote: “It's hard to change someone's mind. Over time our brain’s have become hardwired that “new information = death.” It is a fear response that happens automatically. For people to accept new information, you have to put it into something they like. People like and our minds gravitate to stories. ”


Kevin's Misfit 3

  1. Persistence. The long game is critical to life, not just business.
  2. Get started no matter how hard it is…
  3. The stories that we tell ourselves are the most important stories.
Mar 6, 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

Hannah, I want to talk to about the difference between being rich and being wealthy. I recently wrote an article about this because many people confuse the two.

Most people, if asked the question, “Do you want to be rich?” would say “absolutely.” If you asked them if they want to make more money or be able to buy more of the things they want or live the lifestyle of their dreams, they would say “yes” as well.

But, what if I told you that this would be focusing on the wrong thing.

Most people are focused on getting “rich.” They measure their wealth by how much they make. If they have a huge paycheck and make a lot of money, they think they are rich or wealthy. Being wealthy is not about how much you make, but about how much you keep. And more importantly how long what you have kept can support you without having to get a paycheck.

Wealth, simply put, is the amount of days you can live without having to work. For example, if your bills are $5000/mo and you have $10,000 in the bank, you are 2 months' wealthy. Most people that make a lot of money are not wealthy. They are rich because they make a lot. But, they also spend a lot. In fact, if a lot of these people lost their primary source of income, they couldn't get through a month at their level of lifestyle.

If you really want to have what you want, you need to change your focus from getting rich, to getting wealthy. Part of that is understanding that getting a big W2 paycheck is the worst way to make your money because it is the highest taxed form of money. The wealthy know this. That is why Warren Buffett says he pays less taxes than his secretary - because on a percentage basis, he does. His money is made from dividends, capital gains, and distributions from his businesses, which are all taxed at lower rates than the W2 income tax rates. Remember, it's not how much you make, it's how much you keep that matters.

Additionally, the wealthy have their money work for them in the form of assets such as business ownership, real estate, and investments. This helps to ensure that they remain wealthy and never outspend their ability to be wealthy. For example, if you have 10 rental properties that pay you $1000/mo each after expenses and your personal monthly bills are $7500, you are effectively infinitely wealthy.

This is a major secret that most never realize or come to understand in their lives - so they work for a paycheck their whole life, live large, but many times have little to show for it.

Furthermore, they give up their best years in this pursuit and miss out on enjoying life to it’s fullest with the ones they love. That may be the second lesson for today and one that you have really helped me to realize as you’ve grown. It’s not about having all these things in our life. It’s about the experiences we get to share with our loved ones and the memories we create. Those are lasting. A fancy car is not. But, one thing I can say is that if you turn your focus to creating wealth and not getting rich, you can have it all. You can have the lifestyle you want, the experiences that matter, and yes, even the fancy car.

This is possible because you focus on accumulating assets that work for you and put your money to work for you instead of you having to work for the money.

I also want to address another point about wealth. A lot of people will say another way to do this is to scrimp and live way below your means. They advocate clipping every coupon, going without things like TV or a car, and spending hours upon hours to save some money. Look, saving money is a prudent thing to do and where possible you should. You don’t stay wealthy by outspending your ability to create wealth, but your goal should not be to retreat and live below your means. Your goal should be to expand your means to increase your capacity for wealth. If you ask just about everyone, no one wants to live below their means or really spend a whole Sunday clipping coupons so they can save $1.00 off a box of cereal. It’s just what they think they need to do. Instead, I encourage you (and them) to change your thinking to spend all that energy you would spend to save a few pennies on finding a way to expand your means and your wealth, so you don’t have to worry about saving the pennies. Focus on growing your wealth, your investments, your businesses, etc.

This has served me very well. Any time, your mother and I have increased our expenses in a large way, whether buying a new house or investing in an experience for our family, we have focused on creating the wealth to support it and expanding our means so that it isn’t a onetime thing but becomes a regular activity and is supported by our wealth. By putting our efforts into expanding our means, we have created entire businesses to fund a goal and those businesses have gone on to create much more for us and continue to do so today. Just remember, don’t live below your means, put your effort into expanding your means – but don’t increase your expenses until you’ve succeeded in expanding!

Hannah and for all those listening, can you see the difference between being rich and being wealthy? Can you think of a change you need to make in the way you approach money that will help you begin to build wealth and expand your means? Maybe you can set a goal to be so many days' or months' wealthy by a certain date.

Hannah, whatever you do, focus on being wealthy, not being rich!

I love you,



Best Quote: “Focus your effort and attention on growing your wealth and expanding your means - not being rich and/or doing it by living below your means."


Misfit 3:

  1. Focusing on being wealthy, not rich and increasing your number of days’ wealthy.
  2. Make sure you are building your wealth with the right reasons in mind such as creating experiences that give lasting memories. Work hard but enjoy it along the way.
  3. Focus on expanding your means and not living below them.