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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 www.misfitentrepreneur.com 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: February, 2021

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 www.misfitentrepreneur.com 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!

Feb 24, 2021

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Brandon Fong. What if I told you that at any point in time, you are one connection away from huge growth and success in your career or life? Just one connection. Would you believe me? Brandon does…because he has proven it – not just in his own life and businesses, but for the thousands he has helped realize this power in their own lives and businesses.

Brandon is the founder of 7 Figure Millennial. He’s been featured in Fast Company, became the youngest member of the Genius Network with Joe Polish and elite millionaires at age 22, and has helped build multiple 7-Figure marketing operations. He teaches people how to deeply connect and develop real, authentic, and meaningful relationships with people – virtually.

In the current climate we are operating in as entrepreneurs, this skill is invaluable, so I asked Brandon to come on the show and share all of his secrets with you.

7 Figure Millennial Podcast

Brandon-Fong.com

Magic Connection Method Gift: BFO.NG/Misfit

Brandon’s entrepreneurship journey started in middle school. Each day when he went to pay for his launch, when he went to pay, on the screen it would say $0. The reason being is because he qualified for the school lunch program because his family was very challenged financially. It frustrated him and drove him never to have that problem. His parents did everything they could to nurture this in him and taught that many times success comes from being resourceful. And you can be insanely resourceful if you know how to connect with people.

His parents would let him skip school at 16 to go to networking events to meet, learn from, and connect with successful people.

Every time Brandon has leveled up in his life has been because of someone he has met and connected with. He also learned to prioritize health, happiness, and relationships alongside money.

Talk to us about being just one connection away and how real that is for people…

  • The people you look up to are a lot more accessible than you think they are.
  • Just because someone has large success, doesn’t mean they are not open to connecting with you.
  • You just have to reach out. The worst thing that can happen is that nobody replies.

Tell us about the Magic Connection Method. How does it work?

  • If you reach out in a real, genuine way, you will stand out in today’s world.
  • The Magic Connection Method is a process Brandon Developed that has 3 parts.
  • The goal is to get someone to respond and open the door to have a relationship.
  • Step 1: The Hook
  • The biggest mistake people make when reaching out to others is they make it about themselves instead of who they are contacting.
  • The goal of the hook is to make it about them and connect with them in a genuine way in which you are interested in them and can talk to specific reasons why.
  • Step 2: The Irresistible Offer
  • “A compelling offer is 10x more convincing than a compelling argument”
  • Example of normal offer vs. an irresistible offer is the new mattress companies that let you sleep on the mattress for 100 nights and if you are not satisfied, you can send it back and get your money back – no questions asked. It’s a win, win compared to going to a store and buying a mattress and hoping it works out.
  • For your irresistible offer, ask “How can I show that I care about them, minimize risk for them, give them a lot to gain, and make it easy to say yes.”
  • At the 19 min mark, Brandon gives an example of how he worked for free for a short while with Jonathan Levi.
  • Step 3: The “No Oriented Question”
  • When you say yes to something, you are giving away something
  • The exact opposite is true with saying “no.” It is choice.
  • A “no oriented question” may be something like “Would you be opposed me to doing x”
  • It is giving them the opportunity to say no instead of trying to force a yes.

You’ve said you can help entrepreneurs uncover $100k+ in their backyard, explain more on this…

  • There is lots of untapped potential in a business. It just needs to be found.
  • It goes back to the Magic Connection.
  • Identify your best client
  • Refine the offer to be irresistible
  • Communicate with clients and prospects in a better way and you’ll get better results.

Talk to us about the steps you take in a business to create a world marketing program?

  • It takes a systematic process to genuinely reach out to people.
  • Business is people at the end of the day.
  • The Magic Connection Method is key.
  • One exercise is to identify your top 5 customers that are the best and most profitable and who the top 5 worst customers are that are not profitable and drain time.
  • Once you have the profile, you can then create an irresistible offer that is tangible to best buyer prospects.
  • Track everything so you can see the response rates, engagement, etc.
  • Start small in your outreach, see what works and what doesn’t, then scale from there.

What are some of your best practices for how to build lists and find good leads?

  • You have to have a solid client profile and decision maker profile.
  • Then you can use tools like LinkedIn Navigator and Search
  • There are people that scrape lists for specific industries, etc.
  • There are a lot of resources to use and you can search for ones specific to your buyer and industry.

What’s the #1 piece of advice for a new entrepreneur starting out?

  • If you ask for money, you’ll get advice. If you ask for advice, you’ll get money.
  • This is about feedback more than advice.
  • The Ikea effect. People value Ikea more because they had to do the work and build it.
  • How can you become the piece of Ikea furniture to invest in? Asking for feedback, taking it, and then reporting back on the success of it being grateful resonates.

At the 40 min mark, Brandon talks about prioritizing happiness, health, and relationships.

 

Best Quote: A compelling offer is 10x more convincing than a compelling argument

 

Brandon's Misfit 3:

  • You are one connection away from leveling up. People are way more accessible than you may think.
  • Clearly understand what happiness means for you. There is nothing in the way of your being happy right now. Define it for yourself. It’s a choice.
  • If you ask for money, you’ll get feedback. If you ask for feedback, you’ll get money.

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Feb 17, 2021

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Mark Tepper. Mark is a highly successful entrepreneur in the financial space and multi-time INC 5000 winner. You probably have seen him weekly on CNBC and Fox Business where he’s known for his no-nonsense, direct approach. I personally enjoy his honesty, willingness to stand on his principles, and insights and use them in my investing business.

Mark is also the author of 2 best-sellers, Tilting the Odds and Walk Away Wealthy.

But, what I love most about him is that he is an entrepreneur to the core and is a fierce competitor before anything else. And I’ve asked him to come on and share what he’s learned along his journey, his thoughts on how to navigate the crazy markets in today’s age, and what he sees for the future.

www.SWPConnect.com

Twitter: @MarkTepperSWP

Mark grew up an entrepreneur at heart. He’s always been very competitive and as he says, “I would not make a great employee.” He came out of college and started his own business. He loves how rewarding it is to own his own business. He loves the wealth management business because he has a scorecard every day he shows up because he is either performing or he is not.

Tell us about your philosophy on investing and how to succeed as an investor?

  • Mark’s free eBook on his website called Tilting the Odds breaks it down if you want to get it.
  • There are 3 main things Mark and his team look at
  • The first is the management team. Mark and his team look for quality management teams that have tenure and consistency.
  • The second is that the company has to prove it has a sustainable growth story either in the market they are serving or other areas and that is has run room to continue to grow and not be a “1 hit wonder.”
  • The third is price. You must discipline and not overpay for growth.

At the 8 min mark, we talk about the recent event with Gamestop in the market and how it related to entrepreneurship. Its best to just listen.

“Every single lesson I have learned from the stock market can be applied to running a business”

Talk to us about the business of investing and financial planning. What is most important to know about the industry and what should they look for in an advisor?

  • The industry is a lot of smoke and mirrors.
  • A lot of “wealth management” companies are just salespeople that are really glorified middlemen.
  • Most do not have a strong value prop or competitive advantage.
  • Mark and his team are active investors who have sought to have a strong value prop and a competitive advantage through their processes, reinvestment into the company and technology.
  • The best question to ask a financial advisor is “What separates you from your competition?” If they can’t easily answer that, then they don’t have a separator.
  • The next question is “What is your investment philosophy? Active? Passive? Investment vehicles you use?
  • Lastly, ask “Are you a fiduciary?” Fiduciaries are required back law to put your best interest ahead of their own.

What should people know about today’s market and what should they be preparing for?

  • Liquidity and money printing have been a huge driving force behind the current market uptrend. Trillions of dollars are flooding the market.
  • It is long term very unhealthy.
  • The insider buying activity is down. Executives internally are not buying more of their company stocks because they are at all time highs.
  • M&A activity is expected to slow in 2021 because companies don’t want to overpay for acquisitions.
  • But, until bond yields go up, there is some runway. It depends on the Fed actions, Treasury actions, etc.
  • Stocks are still attractive compared to bonds.

Advice for new investors and those just starting out?

  • Have a process and stick to it. Be disciplined.
  • You should go into any investment or any trade, you should know ahead of time how to unwind that trade.
  • If you are not willing to be disciplined and have a process, then it’s maybe best to just use index funds.
  • Check out the book Unknown Market Wizards
    • They all got lucky in some way
    • They all had a system

What are the principles you’ve taken from investing and used to build a business with?

  • Begin with the end in mind. When you buy a stock, you need to when you are going to exit and have the strategy.
  • The same goes with a business. As you put together your business plan, you should also be preparing your business to be able to be sold as well.
  • If you do that the right way, you will build a very efficient, profitable business.
  • Know what the end looks like as you get into your business.
  • Systematizing every is so important.
  • “Nobody ever went broke taking a profit.” The more you can play with the house’s money they more successful you will be.
  • Build liquidity for the rainy day. Set money aside. Don’t think you are invincible.

What has surprised you most on your entrepreneur journey?

  • Having to make lots of BIG decisions along the way.
  • You have to be able to think multiples of steps ahead.
  • The more you put into it, the harder you are willing to work for it, the better your results will be.

What companies have your found through your model that you are liking right now?

  • DMTK – Revolutionizing melanoma testing
  • SI – Fintech Banking Services for the companies like Coinbase and others that the regular banks don’t.

 

Best Quote: "Nobody ever went broke taking a profit" Mark's

 

Misfit 3:

  1. Live in the present. This is the most important thing that can be shared.
  2. Begin with the end in mind…always.
  3. Realize that success is something different for everyone. Create your own standard for success.

 

Show Sponsors:

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www.ROIINTL.com/Podcast 

 

 

Feb 10, 2021

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Jeremy Parker. Jeremy is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Swag.com. Swag.com is the best place for companies to buy and distribute quality promotional products that people will actually want to keep. They work with over 5,000 companies including Facebook, Google, Amazon, Spotify and Tik Tok. The company was ranked #218 on 2020’s INC 500 list and has been growing tremendously.

But, a promotional products company growing massively in age of no tradeshows or in person meetings where these things are typically exchanged, how can that be? That was exactly the question I had when I was first introduced to Jeremy. What is he doing differently at Swag that has people flocking to them?

I thought it best he share his secrets with you.

www.SWAG.com

Jeremy went to Boston University for filmmaking. But he also liked branding. He chose filmmaking because YouTube was just beginning, and he saw a way to tell stories/market through filmmaking. He did a documentary that won the Vail Film Festival. It was this point that he had to make the decision on if he wanted to continue down the filmmaking path or go to his true passion in marketing. He went back for his final year in college and focused on marketing. He decided to start a high-end T-shirt business and use it as a learning process – right before the crash in 2007.

Just after getting started, all the places he was selling his shirts to were starting to have trouble. He decided to index the price of his shirts to the price of the DOW Jones. Every 100 pts it fell equaled a discount on his shirts. Jeremy wrote to Mark Cuban sharing what he was doing, and Mark shared it on his Maverick blog. It then got seen by the CEO of MV Sports, a larger player in the promotional space. After meeting, the CEO committed to help fund his next business.

He decided to re-imagine university apparel and started a brand under MV Sport. He then started a company doing product placement in Youtube Videos which then sold to a publicly traded company.

He always liked the promotions business and new it was stuck in old ways and needed to be tailored to work with the Millennial buyer.

Talk to use about the early days and getting going. What is your best advice for entrepreneurs just starting out?

  • When you start a business, you have to put yourself out there, listen to your customers and adapt quickly.
  • Know the power of a name as the name of your company have a huge impact on your success if done right.
  • They successfully negotiated to get the exclusive license to use the Swag.com domain for 2 years in exchange for a little equity and have the option to buy the domain for $200k during that period.
  • Then, Jeremy went big. He did a top-down approach to get logos and focused on Facebook and others to get any type of sale so it could then be referenced to parlay future sales.
  • They focused on sales first and didn’t even build out the website.
  • They got a number of Blue-chip companies, got their feedback for what they wanted in a buying experience and then built the Swag platform around it.
  • Don’t be afraid to go after the big clients from the start.

Is there a framework you use for disrupting an industry?

  • Look for an industry or niche where every player is doing things the same or not collectively serving a market.
  • You can either disrupt by doing something that no one is doing or by recognizing that the players are doing it wrong or not adapting to the changes in the market because they are “stuck in their ways.”
  • You have to talk to all those you think are customer and get great feedback you can use to fix the problems and pain points they have as a group.
  • Customers will tell you what they are looking for.
  • You will not have everything clients want and have it working properly and that is ok. You solve a problem and continue to improve.

What has been the most impactful decision for your success during the pandemic?

  • Pivoting. They started to sell masks, either blank or printed with logos, etc. Access to their manufacturing power for clients.
  • They kept their team intact.
  • The sped up the release of Swag Distribution where they allowed clients to ship 1 item or a few at a time to individual addresses. Swag would hold the inventory and clients could send them out to whoever they want at any time. This made a huge difference and gave clients a new way to engage and promote.
  • They changed to give the customer experience people needed in the pandemic quickly.

How do you get customers today? What works? What doesn’t?

  • Started with knocking on doors
  • Graduated to Google Ads
  • Once customers were coming in, they thought long term, SEO
  • Content strategy is critical and where they focus.
  • They use content across all channels (web, social media etc.) to drive memory
  • The name of the business is by design because you type it right in. Like “googling” you “swag it.”

What applications do you use to manage your marketing, engagement, re-targeting, etc.?

  • They use Hubspot as their CRM and marketing automation.
  • One of the biggest tools they use for sales is Intercom. It allows them to engage in chat real time on the site with clients and help them to get what they want quickly and make the sale.
  • Intercom integrates into Hubspot

Tell us about your unique perspective on fear…

  • “Fear kills more dreams than failure ever could”
  • People get into their own way.
  • Take the first step.
  • Once you take the first step, you then focus on the problems, listening to the customer, and start building and creating
  • You will never have all the answers, so don’t be afraid of you don’t.
  • Use the fear to make you better and stronger as every time you push through it, you get better.

At the 35 min mark, we discuss fear further and asymmetric risks… ​

At the 40 min mark, Jeremy talks about trends he sees for the future…

  • Work at home is here to stay.
  • No more tradeshows, but buying for Virtual Events
  • People are buying for specific holidays they didn’t used to do like “Employee Appreciation Day.”
  • Gifting is becoming more important.

 

Best Quote: "Fear kills more dreams than failure ever could"

 

Jeremy's Misfit 3:

  1. Be confident in yourself and your ability.
  2. Be a good person. Treat others well.
  3. Be healthy. Stay in good shape and take care of yourself.

 

Show Sponsors:

WorkSocial (2 FREE Months): 

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Feb 3, 2021

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 support@misfitentrepreneur.com. We’d love to share it.

This week’s Lesson for Hannah

Hannah, I want to talk to you about something very important in life, common sense and independent critical thinking. Sadly, as I watch our society, these things are more and more lost every day and yet, they are so important to maintain.

So, what is common sense and independent critical thinking? Well, the dictionary defines it pretty well stating common sense is sound practical judgment that is independent of specialized knowledge, training, or the like; normal native intelligence.

Personally, I like to think of it as thinking that is between intellectual rigidity and total emotional ignorance. Intellectual rigidity being that someone has just made up their mind based a fact, but not all the facts and will not consider any other possibilities or even change when new facts are presented. To me, this stifles the ability to learn and grow keeping people trapped in a single thought pattern. On the opposite end is total emotional ignorance which I deem as a complete disregard for the truth and facts, even when presented, because a person thinks their feelings are the truth.

Make no mistake, feelings are not facts or truth.

To illustrate this point I want to use something that is controversial and happening right now during the Wuhan Coronavirus – Mask wearing, mask mandates and the 6-foot rule.

First, let us look at what our leaders in the US have told us. On March 8th 2020, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the lead infectious disease expert for the US response on the Wuhan virus advised Americans against wearing masks on 60 minutes stating “There is no reason to be walking round with mask.” As we all know, this position was reversed in the summer of 2020 and later Fauci said that the reason he originally said not to wear masks was to preserve PPE at the time and that he does not regret it. Now, for me at this point, common sense kicks in a little to ask a question, “So are you telling us that masks actually do work and we should have been wearing them from the start, but you lied to us because you wanted to preserve PPE? How many lives were lost because of not wearing masks or some sort of face covering because you told us not to?” Notwithstanding that bit of contradiction, let’s take further a look into masks.

You may not know this, but there are actually many contradictory scientific studies on mask wearing. Some studies say they work, others say they do not. Without getting into the do they or don’t they debate which will rage on probably forever, let’s look at things from an angle of common-sense using reason, not emotional ignorance or intellectual rigidity. It’s time to think independently.

When I look at what is happening with the virus a few things immediately standout.

Mask wearing and social distancing is at an all-time high, but cases of the virus worldwide are at an all time high. Think about that for a second. I’m not saying masks don’t help, but they certainly aren’t preventing the spread in a large way based on the data.

Another important fact to note is that the average mask and respirator filters particles that are 30-80 microns in size, but the virus particle size is about 10 microns. That means, even wearing a mask, every time you breath, particles are going through the mask – which may be why the spread has continued.

Another thing I have thought about is how the virus is transmitted. By all accounts, it is airborne and lives on surfaces if not cleaned or disinfected. This led me look at things we are doing such as the 6-foot rule and other practices and ask, do these really matter? Is the virus that smart that it knows how far 6 feet is? I played football from 2nd grade through college. It is a sweaty, bloody, fluid swapping sport and I loved playing it. Nowadays, I love watching it and found it interesting this past year that players would go on the field without a mask, sweating, breathing hard, tackling each other, huddling up after each play, and so on, but when they came off the field, they all had to wear a mask on the sideline. To me, that makes no sense. Does the virus actually know when players are on the field and off the field and only attacks them when on the sideline, so they need a mask?

Or what about how in some states you can go to a grocery store, but cannot go to church. Does the virus really leave you alone at the grocery store vs. when you sit in a pew?

When you think about it, it seems pretty ridiculous. It gets even more interesting when you do a little research on the origins of social distancing in the first place. They actually started from a 14-year old’s high school science project back in 2006 and 2007. If you want to learn more about it, you can read the New York Time’s April 2020 story about the origin and it is not a scientific process.

If you have common sense, even from the football example above, you would ask about the validity of social distancing and its efficacy, but knowing the origin is not based in any real scientific study that was thoroughly tested, you have to at least question it. Is the virus really that smart? Or is it like every other virus in history that works it way through a population until it reaches a point where enough people have gotten it and developed anti-bodies and/or have been inoculated through vaccination that it becomes like any other virus we all deal with in our lives? Based on common sense and what has happened to this point, personally I think it is the latter.

But, I don’t dismiss everything either. Instead, common sense tells me the real answer lies somewhere in the middle. Masks probably help some or in certain situations and so does distancing, but should I have to wear one to walk to my table in a restaurant where I then take it off and am breathing and talking with particles leaving my mouth floating throughout the air alongside everyone else’s particles in the restaurant – no. Should there be such drastic measures for a virus with a less than .9% death rate? Probably not.

One last point on cases. The flu typically has over 30 million cases each year in the US and we are currently past the halfway point of the flu season and there have been less than a million cases according to the CDC. Where are they? I don’t know if people know that the flu is another form of coronavirus, so common sense would tell me that we are probably counting cases of the flu as Wuhan virus and the case numbers are not as large as reported. Additionally, the flu kills up to almost 700,000 people a year worldwide and pneumonia kills a staggering 3 million+ per year (that’s 2016 data). You can find these stats on the CDC website and with a simple search. That’s almost 4 million deaths per year that the flu and pneumonia account for. My question, why haven’t we been wearing masks and social distancing our whole lives? ​

As you can see, common sense and independent critical thinking is more about asking questions and seeking answers than just making a decision based on a little bit of knowledge. Doing that is intellectual rigidity or emotional ignorance basing everything on feelings. You must ask questions and delve deeper and seek knowledge before forming an opinion or set of believes on something, especially major topics. That advice is not new. It can be found in the Bible, and from Plato, Aristotle and others. In fact, Thomas Jefferson told us to question with boldness when he said, “Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.”

Hannah and everyone listening, we must question with boldness in our lives and not take everything at face value. We must use reason, common sense, and independent thinking and not allow ourselves to be too rigid or form our thoughts based solely on emotion. We must also not allow fear to drive our decision making. I’ve said many times that I believe entrepreneurs are the answer to the problems of this world as just about everything stems from entrepreneurial thinking, so we must strive and work hard to become the best thinkers we can be and help others throughout the world to think critically and use true common sense.

The world will be an even better place for everyone if we do.

I love you,

Daddy

 

Best Quote: We must use reason, common sense, and independent thinking and not allow ourselves to be too rigid or form our thoughts based solely on emotion. We must also not allow fear to drive our decision making.

 

Misfit 3:

  1. Common sense and independent critical thinking is the place between intellectual rigidity and total emotional ignorance.
  2. Feelings are not facts or truth.
  3. We must strive and work hard to become the best thinkers we can be and help others throughout the world to think critically and use true common sense.

 

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