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!

Apr 29, 2020

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


It’s been 5 weeks since I gave the background and my first status update of the Wuhan Coronavirus and its impact throughout the world. And it is incredible what can happen in 5 weeks. I wish I could say things are much better now, but we have not yet turned the corner.

First, let me review some of the biggest things that have happened over the last 5 weeks so they are on the record. I am probably going to miss some, but here is my best list of them:

  • At the time I am putting together these thoughts there are over 2.7 million cases in the world and over 190,000 deaths. In the U.S., there are almost 850,000 cases and over 47,000 deaths. At this point, the U.S. seems to be testing more thoroughly and giving the most accurate numbers so the totals for the world on both cases and deaths are probably higher.
    • I do want to point out as I did in the last update, because perspective is very important, that each year upwards of 50 million people get the flu around the world and in an average year between 30,000-40,000 people die from it in the U.S. alone. So currently, it looks like the coronavirus is more deadly than the flu, but we may not ever know because of the lack of testing on a worldwide scale. The amount of people that may have had the virus may be dramatically higher than what is being reported.
  • Almost all states have been shut down and “shelter in place” orders have been put into effect basically keeping people in their homes. The same is true for most countries around the world. Some states are even arresting or fining people for being outside or driving.
  • Almost all businesses have been ordered closed with the exception of what the government deems essential such as grocery stores.
  • Almost 25 million people have filed for unemployment losing their jobs in the U.S.
  • Many businesses have closed and some major ones, especially in the retail sector, are starting to file for bankruptcy.
  • Trillions of dollars have now been printed by the U.S. and other governments and are in the early stages of making their way into the economy to help.
  • Major sectors of the world economy, such as travel, are in a terrible state with most airlines cutting over 90% of the flight routes and having to get money from government to keep afloat.
  • Most recently, in just the last week, it has finally hit the oil sector to where the price of a barrel of oil actually went negative. That means oil producers were paying people to take oil from them.
    • This is just an indicator of how low demand is in the marketplace for fuel and the other things oil is used for. Most people don’t realize that oil is used to make everything from your clothes to your computers – but if all these businesses are shut down or drastically have cut back in their production and very few are driving cars, flying, using transportation, etc., the demand is almost non-existent. And because just about 8 weeks ago, the U.S. and the world economies were doing well and there was huge demand, we have a major supply issue in that there is too much oil out there. So, it’s not a surprise that oil has cratered, but it is a great barometer of how decimating this has been to the world economy.
  • Additionally, from the medical area, things like elective surgeries have all been cancelled where people will have to wait.
  • In Ohio, we have about 500 deaths from the virus and from talking to the many members of our family that are in medicine and on the front lines helping patients, the major surge of cases that we were told would happen – has not. In fact, most hospitals are operating with most of their capacity open. (more on that in a little bit)
  • Lastly, many states, including ours in Ohio, have closed school for the rest of the year and have not indicated yet how and when things will fully open back up.

Now, Hannah, at this point in your life, you are 7 years old and you probably don’t care much about unemployment numbers or what the price of oil is or what that even means. I know that, but I also know that you will listen to this when you are much older and understanding what happened in the past will help you in determining things that will happen in your future.

I think, it is also important that I share my thoughts, feelings, and opinion on our current state. First off, I can say, and I thank God every day, that your mother and I’s businesses have weathered the storm to this point. While my largest business is in the travel space, because of the diverse markets we serve, we have been able to hold steady. We are seeing some major impact across travel and I think we have a ways to go. We haven’t gotten the full brunt of it yet. At this point, we have been able to keep our employees and benefits in place for them and plan to continue to do so as long as we can. There are some government programs/assistance that have been created over the last few weeks that will help us in being able to keep people employed. We have applied for them and been approved but have not yet gotten any relief.

At home, we have settled into a pretty good routine with your schooling. You mother, like so many other parents that have been thrust into having to teach and school their children, is an angel for taking on the bulk of this while I work to keep things going across the different businesses. As you’ll someday remember, she has created lesson plans, works with you every day, and is fully immersed in making sure you thrive in your learning.

Each Sunday, we have been doing a family video conference with all our family and your cousins where we play games, share updates and eat around the table together.

The spring has warmed up outside so you now can go play outside and enjoy things like going on bike rides and playing in the yard. And we have set it up so you can Facetime and have virtual play dates with your friends. I know it is not the same as seeing them and doing the things you used to do, but it is the closest we can get for now. And you’ve adapted amazingly. Your resilience and ability to adapt to whatever life throws at you is amazing and has been evident ever since the day you were put into our arms in China.

Ok, so up and until this point, I know I sound pretty gloomy, but to tell you the truth, I’m not. We just must understand and face the reality we live in. Once, we do that, we can then see the opportunity and good things all around us. For example, in business – some of the best opportunities of my lifetime are showing themselves and I’m not wasting any time on actioning on them. More millionaires are created during recessions and economic downturns than at any other times. That is because those that are willing to go after opportunities and do what is necessary to seize them will get them. This is a great lesson that people can learn right now. On the other side, because life has “slowed” down, I believe we are finding as people, how to get back to truly connecting and caring for one another. There are so many examples of this from people helping go get groceries for older people stuck in their homes to people giving and donating to provide medical gear to first responders and on and on. As families, we no longer have the go-go-go of work, organized sports, after-school activities, etc., so we have more time to spend with each other and become closer. We have found innovative ways to still do things and participate. For example, you are currently having your Tae Kwan Do lessons virtually on Zoom with your entire class all learning and practicing with your instructors from our living room. 3 days a week, you are dressed in your full gear and go at it. It’s great.

As they say, when life gives you lemons…or maybe its better stated, when the Wuhan Coronavirus gives you lemons – you make lemonade!

There are some things that I am watching that are important and will be into the future. First, I am watching and concerned about how states and governments are suspending rights and liberties, in our case, given to us by our Constitution. They are doing this in the name of keeping people safe, but there is no reason for you to be arrested for going for a drive in your car like they have done in states like Michigan. This concerns me because when things do get back to some normalcy, will these governments give up this power? It’s been shown through history that they typically don’t or at least not all of it.

The other thing I have been doing over the last 5 weeks is studying epidemiology and reading and listening to the thoughts of the top epidemiologists from places like Standford, Yale, Rockefeller University, and others. And ironically, most have been saying the same things, which concerns me. First, it is important to note in the U.S. that people in charge of the response to the pandemic are not epidemiologists, whose job it is to study and understand how viruses spread and how we handle them as human beings. Don’t get me wrong, the people in charge as some of the greatest medical minds in the world. But, in listening to what top epidemiologists are saying, there are some important things I think we have missed. First, we do not have and may never have a vaccine for the coronavirus. There are some treatments that are showing promise, but nothing on a grand scale.

I found it interesting that almost every epidemiologist has stated that the absolute best way to fight the virus is herd immunity. Herd immunity is when a large majority of the population has gotten the virus, overcome it, and development antibodies as an internal defense. Their argument is that this is what naturally stops the virus because it makes it very hard to spread it once this level is reached. Logically to me this makes sense. If you have 100 people in a room and 80 of them have had the disease and there is herd immunity, it makes it a lot harder for the virus to jump from one person to the next because there are essentially 80 barriers in the way. The next thing they’ve almost unanimously said is that closing schools was the worst thing we could do. Wait, what? Yes, and the explanation is that children are designed specifically as part of their growth and immune system development to be able to get and overcome viruses and diseases as they grow to build up the immunity for when they are adults. The epidemiologists argue that in closing schools, we have hurt our best vehicle for creating the herd immunity that ultimately slows the spread of the virus. They are stating that all we are doing is delaying what inevitably has to happen in nature to overcome a virus. Until we reach herd immunity, it will continue to have its impact and come and go. Again, this logically makes sense to me and why we keep being told that even when we are allowed to come back out of quarantine, that this can come back. It still needs to work its way through. The last point they have made was that we should have focused on the most susceptible groups like the elderly and people with existing conditions and let the healthy go through the process of herd immunity.

Now, whether you agree or not with that, in studying past outbreaks like this, even Swine Fu about 10 years ago, it killed almost 20,000 and infected about 60 million in the U.S. in the span of a year and then essentially disappeared. It didn’t go away. It’s still out there. But, in less than a year, herd immunity took place. The government did essentially nothing. Nothing was shut down. No quarantine was done. In fact, it was hardly mentioned in the news. So, this is something I will continue to monitor and watch in the coming months.

There are few other lessons I’ve take away over the 5 weeks that are important for me to share.

First, I believe that we must prepare for a “new normal” after things begin to come back online and restrictions on our lives are removed. We will not go back to the way of life we were used to before this pandemic. Wearing masks will become a part of everyday life. Distancing ourselves will become the norm. Testing for the virus will become an annual event. Things like going to restaurants will change and tables will be spaced much further apart. They may only allow a certain number of people to sit together. Travel will change dramatically. It already is. I read an article this past week that Emirates Airlines is now requiring a blood test to be able to fly. Can you imagine giving your blood to fly on a plane? Professional and Collegiate sports and organized sports for kids will change. We may not be able to have crowds at events. Close contact sports may be more limited or in the interim be stopped all together. (think football, wrestling, etc.). I could go on with example, but the important thing is that we have to prepare for the changes in our lives and mentally to be able to accept and manage these changes in our lives and adapt to the new normal. The ability and willingness to adapt will be one of the most important skills we can possess coming out of this.

Second, there will be huge opportunities for innovation and new industries as a result of the “new normal.” As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. And with people working from and staying at or closer to home for the foreseeable future, there will be an explosion of new services for you at your home. Many of them will be innovations on what have already existed, but even a small innovation can create a whole new industry. For, example, in home haircuts existed prior to the virus, when a stylist came to your house and cut your hair. Was it a huge industry? Was it something that was reserved for the wealthier? Yes. But coming out of this, there will be a higher demand for such services and thus the prices will come down and the market will grow. Innovation will take place and a whole new version of that industry will take place. Same thing for things like massages, etc. Could Massage Envy pivot to having their people do house calls? Things like this are possible and thus, for those that are innovative and willing to look at things differently, whole new business verticals could be created. AirBnb was a great example of this pre-virus. But, to show you how fast things can change. Post-virus, who knows if AirBnb will be able to thrive at the level they once did. They will have to innovate and pivot I would expect. So, the lessons, innovators will thrive in the coming years.

Lastly, parents have learned that they can school their kids at home supported by the local school districts, so I think we can expect to have more of a blend of schooling with virtual at home classes and going to an actual classroom. People may now be given the choice out of safety concerns and parents will have more involvement in their children’s schooling than previously. I think this is a great thing and I think it will lead to better learning experiences and better overall results for student learning. The lesson for me is that while parents have always been encouraged to be active in their child’s learning, it is now going to be more part of our everyday routine and we as parents have gotten used to it, making it easier for us to be more active in learning. The lesson I am taking is that we should embrace it as it will usher in a new renaissance of learning and development of our children and lead to what I believe is a brighter future.

Hannah, it is clear that we are going through another shift in the way of life of the human race. This has happened many times throughout history and each time has led to the betterment of the society and our lives. Whether it was early man learning to create and use tools and harnessing fire, to the Renaissance, to the American Revolution unleashing the power of the individual and it’s capability, to the industrial and technological revolutions sending us to space and leading to the technological capability we have today – each time our lives changed for the better. The changes that are happening will lead to a different way of life, but one that will ultimately lead to a better one as we innovate and grow into it. Maybe that is the biggest lesson of all.

I love you,



Misfit 3:

  1. We must prepare for a “new normal,” especially mentally coming out of the virus. Everyday life will change and the ability to adapt will be a critical skill to thrive.
  2. Innovators will thrive as whole new industries will be created to serve a new way of life.
  3. Each time there has been a major shift in the way of life in human history, it has lead to better quality of life as we innovate and grow into it.

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Apr 22, 2020

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Tom Libelt. Tom is the founder of Smart Brand Marketing, a company that focuses specifically on helping people better sell their online courses.

Tom has had a very interesting life that basically made him an entrepreneur from the time he could walk and talk. He was born in communist Poland. By 7 years old, he was laying on the back seat of a car smuggling liquor into the country and his job was to cry and scream if immigration stopped them and wanted to check. At 9, he started helping his dad push products at soccer stadiums in eastern Europe. As he says, “He was hustled a few times by Russians and learned his lessons.”

At 11, his family was able to escape communism and make it to the U.S. Tom became an entrepreneur because his family had to use entrepreneurship to survive. He then took those skills and used them succeed in a number of business ventures proving he’s a true Misfit Entrepreneur.

Tom has always had drive toward two different things, music and business. Early on, he focused more on music. He was creating his own music and working as an engineer, but was also working on businesses, etc. He’s tried a lot of things – retail, online businesses, selling products, etc.

He knew how to sell, but wasn’t sure why he knew. He worked from everyone from Nestle to Metlife to learn the art of selling.

Lessons from run-ins with Russians?

  • When he was younger, he would sell VCRs and video tapes to make good money because they were illegal. He and his dad would move them.
  • He learned hard lessons like when he got conned by Russians selling him soccer balls with no rubber inside.
  • Or in trying to sell comic books and create value
  • He also learned how to have a poker face and utilize human behavior and psychology.
  • In studying human behavior, Tom learned to focus on the things that don’t change.

What is it that doesn’t change? What can you teach us about how to sell?

  • The drives, emotions, and whys don’t change for people. Health, wealth, happiness, etc.
  • Selling is basically a transfer of emotions.
  • You have to tap into people’s imaginations and let them bring their emotions into it.

At the 11:30 mark, Tom talks about selling online today….

  • The way you sell doesn’t change – even in a changing world.
  • First, you need to meet people where they are and on the level they are thinking. Empathy and understanding is key.
  • Feel, felt, found.
  • Stories sell and you need to use them to connect.
  • Selling in person is easier because you can see the other person, their emotions and reactions. When selling online, you have to anticipate these reactions and have the answers and solutions baked into to your promotion.

Where is it that most course sellers breakdown? What don’t they do that prevent them from making money?

The main thing is the simplest thing – Does this course make sense and is there a compelling reason to buy it?

  • It has to easily show it’s value in how it’s presented.
  • You must be very clear and easy to understand on how you can truly help solve a problem.
  • As an example, some of the easiest courses to sell are for things like a test to get a job and there is a very short time frame such as a Series 6 license or selling life insurance. In order to get the job, they need to pass the test and maybe have a month to do so.
  • And the pitch becomes, “I will help you pass this test in the timeframe you need so you can (insert emotional need such as make more money, but the car, get the girl, etc.)
  • Some of the most successful courses are prepping for tests or certifications.
  • Tom does not work with courses on abundance or manifestation because he doesn’t believe in them and thus won’t work with them out of integrity.

How do you help someone create an online course in 14 hours?

  • Making the course isn’t the most important thing. 80% of success is marketing.
  • But having a good system to create a course can make it easy and able to do quickly.
  • Keeping it simple and basic is easiest way.
  • From A-B, it is about a 14 hour process.
  • Focus on the simple steps you need to bring your course to fruition – you can always make it better as time goes on.

How do you market it and make upwards of $30,000 on a course?

  • First, focus on the messaging.
  • Even if you have 500-1000 of an audience, you have enough.
  • You then take messaging after seeing the results from the audience, you then “rack the shotgun” and try across all platforms. Everything from Facebook to Quora.
  • Based on the results, you then just keep narrowing in to see the best place to sell the most and focus.
  • And focus on one course at a time, don’t try to do multiple courses at once and market them.

Can you give an example of how you market on different platforms?

  • Pull marketing
  • Get people interested to come to them (sales page, etc.)
  • Using case studies, social proof, and sharing unique processes.
  • You need to do 2 things: The right audience and the right product, but also a 3rd thing – education. You need to educate people to have them like you.
  • You have to make the connection as to why the course creator is the right person to learn from.

At the 31 min mark, Tom talks about the challenges of being successful with courses.

What are some of the best entrepreneur lessons you learned from the music business?

  • In music, it about knowing the right people – a lot of gatekeepers. It was lesson in how important it is to build your network well.
  • For most, it is a short career, so you have to be setting yourself up for life after music and as entrepreneurs, we need to be setting our business up the market changes that come our way.
  • Do it your way. Hold your ground.
  • Don’t try to copy other exactly the way they are as you will be a crappy copy of them. Craft your own style.

At the 39 min mark, Tom talks about why meeting his heroes was such a disappointment and lessons learned from working with “stars…”

  • You don’t’ always get to do what you like. Professionals get in and get it done – regardless of how they feel or how things are going.
  • Lauren Hill left the studio because the “grapes were soggy on the table…”
  • TI was someone who came in and was lesser known at the time. He was all business and got it done.
  • You can see someone’s career trajectory by how the operate in the studio. Are they focused, serious, ready, and go to work or do they mess around, waste time, etc.

“Don’t be the person who needs special slippers and McDonald’s from 34th Avenue to record a track…” ​

You started a coffee shop in Atlanta, but don’t drink coffee? How did that work out?

  • We all have our impulsive buys. This was Tom’s.
  • He was in a place where he was deciding to do next and wanted to buy a business.
  • He sold within 6 months.

Any favorite place you’ve lived around the world?

  • Japan is amazing in a lot of ways.
    • Very nice, organized, great culture, etc.
    • But at times, it is too rigid and too organized.
  • Thailand is exactly the opposite – it’s the wild west.
  • Splitting time is good.
  • Standard of living is different where you are.
  • One issue with digital nomads is that because things are less expensive, many times they coast and end up not being able to go back because they don’t make as much from coasting and have lost their edge.


Best Quote: “Don’t be the person who needs special slippers and McDonald’s from 34th Avenue to record a track…”​


Tom's Misfit 3:

  1. Do your thing in your own way. Own your success.
  2. Nothing lasts forever. Past performance doesn’t indicate future results. Don’t rest on your laurels.
  3. Have your own opinion and stick to your guns.


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Apr 15, 2020

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Sharon Vinderine. Sharon is the founder and CEO of PTPA Media - Parent Tested, Parent Approved. She created the company to help consumers make the best purchasing decisions for their families and it has become the leading global recognition agency for family focused products and services. The Parent Tested, Parent Approved Seal of Approval program helps brands worldwide stand out from their competition and provides instant trust and credibility to consumers. As a result, PTPA is one of the most sought after awards in North America.

In fact, Sharon and PTPA have received numerous awards including the prestigious RBC Women Entrepreneur Award. So, how did Sharon take a simple idea and simple seal of approval and create a massive brand and worldwide standard in just a few years? That's just one of the topics we discuss in today’s episode.

Sharon actually has a tech background and had owned a tech business. When she became a mom, she decided to invest a baby product. She was trying to market the heck out of it, going from store to store to get it on shelves, and was not having any luck. Then, she found an “awards” program that promised if she worked with them, they would help her get her product into stores, get media attention, etc.

She submitted her product to win the award. And she won it. But, the feedback she got was terrible. She got the seal for the award, but found out if she wanted any marketing or publicity, it was thousands of dollars more.

So, Sharon unleashed her inner misfit entrepreneur and decided to compete and do it bigger, better, and build something that would truly help people.

Talk to us about the business…How does it work?

  • It is a seal of approval that is marketed and has be shown around the world to signal great products for families and parents.
  • Sharon has been on over 200 tv shows and outlets sharing what PTPA does.
  • PTPA has a database over of 150,000 moms and parents that give an extremely thorough test of each product and provide a very detailed survey and evaluation of their experience.
  • Everything is based on the feedback.
  • If a product meets the standards required, they get a license to the PTPA seal of approval, marketing to PTPA’s entire consumer database, facebook campaigns with over a million impressions, and so on.
  • It allows companies to put their money where their mouth in an economical way and get it tested and receive detailed feedback on their product.

What are the thresholds you use to decide if a product gets the seal of approval?

  • Qualitative and quantitative data is used.
  • Subjective feedback is taken out.
  • Quality Does the product live up to what the company says it will do.
  • Does it give great value for its price.

What should a company that is looking to use a seal or award to recognize their product or service look for in award service and what’s the value of that to them?

  • The recognition of the program itself amongst their target audience is important.
    • They need to have good recognition in the target audience and your target audience.
  • You must make sure they have the target audience that you are looking for – not just a big audience.
  • You also need to make sure that they have an audience that they can promote you to.
  • Ask lot of questions of how they will market you because an award without any marketing assistance is just a sticker on a package.
  • It comes down to making sure the award is well recognized in the target audience you are focused on and ensuring they will partner and really market you if you are chosen for it.

What type of marketing should be provided from an award service?

  • Their sole goal should be to bring awareness to your brand – otherwise, they are just a “pay for play”.
  • You want a company that you can see online the results they get, the campaigns they do, the points of reference of how they support winning products.
  • They must have track record of results they’ve gotten for other brands.
  • It must have value to you. It is also a two-way street – you must be ready to use the award and market it in conjunction with the award service for best results.

Talk to us about your marketing. How did you get Mr. Wonderful to endorse PTPA?

  • Paid endorsements never hurt!
  • Mr. Wonderful went above and beyond and really took the time to understand what PTPA does as his endorsement was much more than expected.
  • TV is still a very good avenue for brand awareness.
  • Podcasts
  • Print
  • Articles
  • Social media

Tell us more about how you leverage TV…

  • Sharon spent over 6 months coming up with different pitches for TV producers.
  • Every single day, she would professionally harass producers until they gave her a chance. She was relentless.
  • Persistence absolutely pays off
  • You can to be creative in how get attention.
  • Going against the norm or smashing stereotypes is a great way to get attention.
  • Sharon also invested heavily in building her parent community so she had an army behind her that backed her up and gave social proof to what she was doing.

How did you start building your parents’ community?

  • Offered free product to friends and people she knew.
  • She then asked them to tell 10 of their friends, etc. I
  • t grew very slow for the first few years.
  • TV was always being relentless.

At the 21:40 mark, Sharon tells the story of how the Rachel Ray reached out and she thought it was a joke.

  • It ended up being real and after her segment, she got over 10,000 sign ups for the community.
  • She got a similar bump from being on Steve Harvey.
  • It was 4 years into the business before PTPA was on Rachel Ray, etc.
  • It never comes easy.

What have you found that makes the best pitches to TV?

  • “Ditch this, get that” is a good one. Where you get rid of one product and replace it with another.
  • A little bit of negative and controversy while also showing a positive or better way is good.
  • Current research that is unique and not in the mainstream yet is good.

You have a lot of data – are there any trends you see happening right now or that we can expect?

  • The impact of trust is the biggest thing they have seen at PTPA.
  • Consumers aren’t sure who to trust anymore, which means it is very important for businesses to focus on.
  • First – does your business stand for something? If not, it should and you need to let everyone know about it.
  • Price is next. You have to be as cost-effective as possible. People are by nature conservative with their dollars and will be even more during 2020 and the pandemic.

What are some of the best lessons you’ve in your time in business that have made a real difference for you?

  • Hiring a good team and surrounding yourself with people that can add a lot of value.
  • When you bring someone into your world, they need to have strong passion that you can see and feel.
  • You cannot take everything so personally, either.
  • For example, if an employee leaves – you cannot take it personally. It’s what they feel is best for them and their family.

What has been most surprising to you on your entrepreneur journey?

  • It goes back to losing great people.
  • At the 5 year mark, Sharon lost one of her best salespeople, who went to one of her clients.
  • Sharon was devastated and thought it was over as this person was driving all the sales at that time.
  • Her husband reminded her that she started the business, that she has made all the sales, and that ultimately, she is what makes the business go.
  • It made her stop and take the time to realize what she had actually accomplished.
  • You need to stop and celebrate your accomplishments and give yourself a pat on the back. It is ok to be proud of what you’ve done and realize it from time to time.

How are you adapting to the global shutdown we are in now?

  • It has not been easy.
  • She’s had to do some layoffs
  • The uncertainty makes things harder, but sales can be made.
  • Everyone has the exact same issues that most businesses are dealing with.
  • She is discounting services to give people willing to work with them better rates.
  • She is taking to reboot and reorganize to be prepared for when things pick back up.
  • Connecting with the community is very important and there are happy moments to focus on. ​

You started with $5000, an idea, and made it happen. We have people listening right now that are just like you. What is your best advice for those that are in the same position you were?

Look at your idea and present it to a group of people that isn’t family. Use friends or LinkedIn.

Determine if there is a market opportunity.

Your passion must be big enough for the idea to ride the peaks and valleys of entrepreneurship.


Best Quote: “You need to stop and celebrate your accomplishments and give yourself a pat on the back. It is ok to be proud of what you’ve done and realize it from time to time. Entrepreneurs have a hard time doing that.”​


Sharon's Misfit 3:

  1. We must always challenge ourselves to be better than we were yesterday.
  2. Love what you do so much that you are willing to go through what it takes to succeed in it. Have a PURPOSE!
  3. Don’t rely on the word “luck.” Luck is the result of your hard work and innovation.

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Apr 8, 2020

This week I have special episode for you with a good friend, JV Crum III. In this episode, we are going to share our best thoughts, advice, tips, and information on how to best navigate your business through the global shutdown due to the Wuhan Coronavirus.

For those of you who don’t know JV. He is a serial entrepreneur who became a self-made millionaire in his twenties, a best-selling author, keynote speaker, certified business coach, licensed attorney, has his MBA, and is host of the #1 Ranked “Conscious Millionaire Podcast”, listened to by millions weekly worldwide. Through his Conscious Millionaire Institute LLC, he provides entrepreneur business coaching, training globally.

The reason I wanted to have JV on for this special episode is that he has one of the best minds I’ve ever encountered for seeing the bigger picture and thinking through challenges thoroughly to see and act toward the best outcome. We regularly coach each other in our businesses, as our skill sets complement each other very well.

And in this episode, we are going to interview each other on how to not only survive but thrive during these times.

JV's FREE Weekly Webinar

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CARES Act Detail:

JV, talk to us about the psychological side of this – how does life and business change after this?

  • JV shares how he is a great test case as he’s had a heart attack and has diabetes and chose to self-isolate in the middle of nowhere for 4 months.
  • JV is single and talks about the psychological side of being single during this.
  • He is doing virtual Zoom dinners and finding ways to be social virtually.
  • He’s created celebration days to have gratitude and had even started cooking
  • Routine is important – structure is critical during this time for people at home.

At the 9 min mark, I talk about the adjustments to life and the routines that I’ve put in place and had to adjust.

  • I’ve been able to keep my schedule, but now are sharing homeschooling duties.
  • I started doing “Real Life Lessons with Daddy” to teach my daughter the lessons for life that she needs to learn outside of school.

JV: How are kids adjusting to this new way of life?

  • Kids are the most resilient beings in the world.
  • They can adapt to just about anything.
  • The biggest challenge has been sitting down and coming up with the daily and weekly routines.
  • We have a points system for Hannah where she can earn points toward things and now that she is home during the day, she has more chances to earn them and is excited about it.
  • She also friends to play with in our private drive.
  • She uses Kids Messenger with her other friends.

At the 13 Min mark, JV talks about the 3 ways we can respond to this…

  • #1: A segment will immediately go to fear and panic – a sort of Psychological shock.
    • JV relates an experience he had after being in Kenya when the American Embassy was bombed, and he barely got out and had psychological shock for a few weeks after.
  • The virus is like a Hurricane hitting the world.
  • #2: Survival mode. This is where about 75% of people will end up.
    • This is the worst place to be as you will miss all of the opportunity around you.
  • #3: People that decide to thrive and prosper.
    • If you can commit everything to thrive and prosper you will.
    • You will look for all the ways you can thrive and open up new opportunities and doors around you.

At the 18:30 min mark, I share my thoughts on the mental side and share the story of James Stockdale.

  • Faith is key.
  • Don’t confuse opened ended optimism with faith.
  • You must confront the true reality of your situation while keeping your faith.

JV uses an example of stating reality as it is with Great Britain’s example.

  • You need to make a plan that takes into account that this isn’t a 2-month thing and its done. You should be prepared for it to go on longer and be worse than it is.
  • It is easier to plan for that scenario and have things turn out to be better than expected.

What will it take for things to get back to normal?

  • Belief. When people belief things are better, they will be.
  • We have the power to control our mindset, emotional state, and our actions on a daily basis.

“Stats show wore millionaires are made during recessions and bad economic times than at any other time.”

  • This happens because those that have the characteristics of resilience, adaptability, and agility find opportunity and solve problems.
  • It’s the entrepreneurs.
  • The biggest key is “are you willing and ready to act when opportunity presents itself and not let it pass by?”

JV, what are you doing in your business right now to thrive this year and beyond?

  • It’s time to put less emphasis on lowest level group that you serve because they are the ones most likely not to make it through.
  • It’s not heartless – you have to understand who you truly serve and want to serve and the best place to do business.
  • Who is most likely to be your “premium” client in a recession?
  • It’s time to level up higher and go after a higher level of client.
  • The premium group are the people that still have the money and will pay premium prices to those that can solve real problems for them that will be worth a lot to them because they got the solution.

At the 36 min mark, I talk about what I am seeing in my business in the travel sector and the impact and reality of things.

At the 41 minute mark, JV shares some of the unique offerings he is doing now.

  • Double down on your marketing and sales, but also double down on your relationships. Now is a great time to better the most important relationships that could provide the best opportunity in the future for you together.
  • JV is doing “Infinity Calls” with the top minds he know, because on those brainstorming calls – anything is possible!

At the 44 min mark, I talk about what it means to “Be There…”

  • Share your best tips, insight, and ways to help your clientele.
  • You must still sell, but sell through helping clients. Share ideas with them that they can take and use. They’ll remember your help.
  • You also have to know what is on the mind of your clients and where they are – meet them there.
  • Bring your heart to service, but combine it with good business practice (Dave’ Diner example)

At the 50 min mark, JV and I discuss the opportunities for small business in the CARES Act in the U.S.

  • Review the SBA 7a loan program.
  • Collateral requirements are being relaxed.
  • Loan forgiveness is possible through the Payroll Protection Program
    • 250% of 1 month's payroll, rent, and mortgage
  • Loan that can turn into a grant
  • Here is the link to learn about it:

At the 54 min mark, JV and I talk about the stock market.

*We are not giving financial advice in this segment. We are simply sharing our opinions. Please consult your financial adviser when it comes to investing and the stock markets.

  • Markets and the economy are two different things.
  • Markets at the very core is a forward-looking instrument for earnings. It trades on what it believes earnings will look like in the future.
  • So you can understand why the market dropped when the virus started to take hold because it quickly became clear that earnings would be impacted in the future to the downside.
    • You can’t shut down the world of commerce and not have earnings go down.
  • True certainty in the markets will come from a real treatment or vaccine.
  • There are amazing companies at firesale prices, but it take a long-term view.

It’s time….

  • Choose how you to operate in this environment.
  • See the opportunity ahead for you.
  • Commit to it and go after it – act daily toward your goal.
  • Decide to make 2020 your best year yet, because you can and you will.
  • We challenge you to MAKE THE DECISION!


Best Quote: "Stats show more millionaires are made during recessions and bad economic times than at any other time."


Misfit 3:

  1. You have the ability to choose how you will respond to the current environment.
  2. What you believe about the world, your environment, your business, and ultimately yourself will become the reality you live in - as long as you are willing to see things as they truly are and act toward your goal(s).
  3. You must totally commit to succeeding if you want to thrive in 2020.

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Apr 1, 2020

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Emmanuel Straschnov. Emmanuel is the founder of, a company that empowers anyone to build software without code. On Bubble, people can start businesses and tech startups without engineering talent or knowing how to code and launch products and whole businesses in just the fraction of the time it used to take. In fact, many of the businesses created today like AirBnb or Twitter could be built with a solution like Bubble. It truly opens a whole new world for entrepreneurs. And thousands of products and companies have started using the platform worldwide.

But Emmanuel didn’t start out to create a solution like Bubble. In fact, at 22, he was a waiter in a Chinese restaurant and went on to become a management consultant in China for a number of years. He and his partner bootstrapped Bubble over the last 7 years and only just recently took on venture backing. It’s the lessons learned in this journey that I’ve asked him to come on and share with you in this episode.

Emmanuel is also very active on Twitter​

Emmanuel’s path was not a direct one. He grew up being fairly technical, but at 18 decided that he wanted to be in management and after college took a job with the French Government. After some time, he realized that if he didn’t go abroad early in his life, he would most likely never be able to, so he negotiated a 3 year delay in his start date as a government employee. He wen to China and did management consulting for 3 years. He did a lot of different projects and unique things. After 3 years, he decided to discover the U.S. and ended up going to Harvard for his MBA. It was during this time that he began to get more clear on what he would do with his life. He took an internship in the fashion industry with Prada. It was one of the best jobs he ever did.

He decided to not go into government because it was too slow and to stay in the US and work in the corporate world. During this time, he started to get the entrepreneurial itch to build software. It was a passion for him as a kid and he re-discovered it. He dropped going into the corporate fashion world. He graduated Harvard without a job, but had a mission to become a software entrepreneur.

He started networking across New York, Boston and other cities. During this time, he got connected with his now partner, Josh, who was working on a “no-code” development concept and as Emmanuel says, “Partnered up after the first coffee meeting.” They have built the company together ever since.

Did your experience as a management consultant in China help prepare you to build Bubble?

  • Yes, it taught him to deal with uncertain and ever-changing environments.
  • His less technical background, but manager experience helped provide balance with his business partners skillset.
  • Working in China taught him how to still thrive and contribute when he didn’t necessarily understand everything and it was useful for building Bubble as well.

Did your experience being a waiter in China do anything to help you in your business?

  • It was the most efficient way to learn Chinese
  • It teaches you that you are not above any task. You have to learn and do everything.
  • This helped him in business because he was not afraid to take on every aspect of the business and learn it and do it as they built the company.
  • In fact, this lesson led to the policy at Bubble where all employees have to be on “success rotation” in customer service for 2 weeks.

Tell us what you’ve learned about bootstrapping a company…

  • There are tradeoffs.
  • You go slower at first.
  • You will be more customer centric because you don’t have investors to talk to, you only have your clients.
  • It teaches you to be careful with cash.
  • It forces you to have to generate real revenue so you can grow and hire, etc.

What advice do you have on getting the first few customers?

  • They focused on the non-technical tech savvy founder struggling to find engineers for their product.
  • They found them in Meetups.
  • They went to their first Meetup at NYU and started networking with founders.
  • The in-person connection really made a difference in getting people to give them a chance.
  • They were able to help people take an idea and turn it into reality.
  • The first couple years was finding clients by word of mouth and used their feedback to build out the solution.
  • Once they had gotten the product to a good place, they launched on Product Hunt and started getting new clients from the recognition.
  • Best advice is to not try and get too many clients up front. Find 5 great clients that are willing to work with you and your initial, somewhat ugly solution and work with them to make it great.
  • “If it is an idea where everybody says, “that’s great,” it’s probably not because most likely it would have already been done. But, if it is an idea where most people say, “That’s stupid or not going to work,” but about 5% of people are extremely excited about it and want it – then that is a good idea.”

You recently took on a funding partner, tell us about it and the benefits so far…

  • It was something that had to happen at some point.
  • They needed to be able to balance growth while really building out and scaling the platform and it made sense to get capital to do so.
  • The raise was just over $6 million. Half of it went to product/engineering.
  • The rest is being used for marketing, etc.
  • They chose a group that has a longer term view in how they operate. The benefit for them was to get in early.

What makes a great business partnership?

  • Emmanuel and Josh didn’t know each other.
  • There was a good personality match. It is a relationship like a marriage.
  • They are direct in their feedback.
  • They are extremely complimentary from a skill set standpoint.
  • It has allowed them to be extremely efficient.

What advice would you give a new entrepreneur starting out today?

  • Don’t let excuses stop you from getting started.
  • Get clients as soon as possible on your MVP.
  • But wait as long as possible before you make the “big splash” and launch in large way in the market.
  • Get yourself in position for growth before you take on the growth.


Best Quote:  “If it is an idea where everybody says, “that’s great,” it’s probably not because most likely it would have already been done. But, if it is an idea where most people say, “That’s stupid or not going to work,” but about 5% of people are extremely excited about it and want it – then that is a good idea.”​


Emmanuel's Misfit 3:

  1. Use your college and school years to do things that you would never do once into a career, etc. Learn things that you don’t think will be relevant to what you expect to in your future work. You’ll be amazed at how useful these things can be.
  2. If you have the opportunity, spend a few months abroad once in your life. Go live somewhere else in the world for a few months. It will give you valuable perspective for your life.
  3. When it comes to facing a hard choice, ask yourself this question, “If you will be successful no matter which decision you make, which one will you choose?” That will give you your answer.


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