Misfit Nation! Welcome to the Misfit Entrepreneur 2021 year in review where each year I attempt to boil down all of the incredible, useful information, strategies, and tips that our guests have given on the show into less than one hour for you…with a few surprises thrown in. Now, it’s impossible for me to go over every single best piece of advice and that is why I urge you to take some time and go through the Misfit Archives to see which episodes resonate most with you, but in doing this episode, my goal is to spur ideas – to give you a lightning strike that propels you down a path of action to better improve yourself, your life, and your business or career in 2022!
That’s why I do this show – to not only provide a treasure trove of some of the best information to succeed in life and business for my daughter, Hannah, for when she grows up, but to give you a place where you know you can come each and every week to get inspired and find real, tried and tested tips, secrets, and strategies to succeed in all areas of life, and to share different perspectives from some of the highest performing entrepreneurs in the world with you. I truly believe that one great episode can change someone’s life and that’s what we set out to do each and every week.
But, before I begin I want to tell you something. I want to say “Thank YOU.” Thank you for listening. Thank you for your support of the show and thank you for sharing our message. Without you and the amazing feedback members of this audience give me every week, it would not be half of what it is. Because of you, this show has reached hundreds of thousands of people in over 150 countries. I am truly humbled and in awe at what we’ve done together and I am excited about having an even bigger impact with your help in 2022. So, from the bottom of my heart, Thank you, thank you, thank you!
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, and I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I did creating it for you!
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This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Jose “Caya” Cayasso. Caya is a serial entrepreneur who is best known for founding Slidebean and Recurring. He is a TEDx speaker, 40 under 40 recipient and has received a host of other awards for his efforts.
Slidebean is part of the Silicon Valley accelerator, 500 Startups and has grown tremendously. The company helps startups solve their pitch deck needs,
What I love most about Caya is how he has built his companies made them successful through organic efforts through content strategies. In fact, his YouTube channel has over 300,000 subscribers. I’m excited for him to share his strategies with you.
Caya says he made it to where he is a little bit by accident. In his first company, he didn’t really understand what a startup was. He just built a little game and put it on Kickstarter, and it got picked up. That lead to investors reaching out asking if he was raising money, etc. He didn’t know what they were talking about. He had to go through the crash course of learning the startup and investment game with the first company which didn’t end up making it. But, with Slidebean, he has learned from his mistakes and experience and has applied as well as shared with others to help them.
Talk about finding a business accelerator and how that helped you and helps startups…
Benefits and disadvantages?
What makes a great pitch deck?
Any specific elements that should be in a pitch deck?
You’ve built your companies leveraging content, tell us about the content strategies you’ve used to grow your businesses – what works, what doesn’t?
Best practices for creating content and optimizing SEO?
Tell us about using video and your strategy for YouTube…
At the 33 min mark, Caya gives his thoughts on raising capital and then stewarding it and making sure it is used in the best way. Its best to just listen.
Most important things you’ve learned to succeed as an entrepreneur?
Best advice for someone just starting out?
Best Quote: A pitch deck is your business story...
Caya's Misfit 3:
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The David vs. Goliath Podcast
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Many years ago, I introduced a new format that 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 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 email@example.com. We’d love to share it.
Ok, so here goes…this week’s Lesson for Hannah.
As this is the last Lessons for Hannah of 2021, I wanted to share the 3 biggest lessons I am taking away from this past year. First, I have to say, the last two years have been incredibly eye-opening, awe-inspiring, humbling, and scary and exciting at the same time. Thinking about it. It is truly amazing how much has transpired. We entered 2020 like any other year with plans and goals for life and business and just a few months later everything was thrown upside down and seemingly overnight fear gripped the world and life as we knew it stopped. For entrepreneurs like me who have different businesses in addition to my family responsibilities, it was a rollercoaster as we literally overnight had to change our businesses to keep them going and for many, find ways to even stay in business. Our employees depended on us to help them in the time of crisis and we had to step up. Additionally, our family life changed with restrictions, mandates, and a general fear of the unknown.
But, we made it through 2020 and for the most part we were able to keep our businesses and lives going as close to normal as possible. As I think about, it is funny and not funny, how much “normal” has changed for the world in just a couple years.
We then came into 2021 and the world seemed to perpetuate many of the things we were originally supposed to do for the short term in fighting the virus. I know for me, it seemed like things waned on a lot longer than they should have and as I write this, in many places things lockdowns, restrictions, and mandates are all still going on. In fact, Australia literally has camps people are having to stay in if they are not vaccinated or test positive. They are literally going into communities and rounding people up against their will. And that is not the only place things like this are happening. We have been fortunate that we live in a place where we have been able to get back to do things mostly the way we did before the virus, and I thank God for that. I thank God for a lot of things, and I pray the blessings given to us are given to others who need them more.
As I have reflected on all of this, I have found many lessons to take away or that were confirmed for me over the last year or so. Here are the 3 most important for me.
Lesson #1: Press On.
I’ve always been one to push through and keep going. To find a way and make a way. I think any entrepreneur who has been at it long enough and found success has to do so. There have been so many times over the years building businesses where failure and losing it all was seemingly one day away. But through tremendous effort, ingenuity, a little luck, and a lot of miracles, my business partners and I have been able to make it. Being an entrepreneur will teach you what it means to endure. The big thing about the last year or so was that we had to endure in all areas of our lives. It wasn’t just one area – but every aspect. We had to do in business, in our families, relationships, health – everywhere. That is truly something.
As I thought about this and gained a sincere appreciation for what people around the world have had to press on through and endure, it crystalized for me. I am not sure I ever understood what it truly means to do this. What true difficulty and sacrifice on a grand scale looks like.
Many people have probably seen the poster of Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister of England during WWII, that says “Keep calm and carry on.” A lot of people use the phrase or hang the poster up. But, now after seeing what the world had gone through and done to itself over the last two years, I can better understand how important that phrase was. Think about, when this was being said, Britain was being bombed almost every day by the German Luftwaffe, essentially the German air force. The whole country was burning for years, and things were destroyed everywhere, not to mention all of the death. In fact, when it was all over, much of the countries of Europe were in rubble with millions upon millions dead. Keep calm and carry on. Through it all, the people of these countries pressed on.
I don’t believe what we have gone through with the virus is comparable to the devastation and death of World Wars – but then I think the small business, the local gym, restaurant, or haircut shop that was shut down for months on end and many had to close their doors for good. It may not have been a physical bomb that dropped from a plane that blew up their building and business, but the result was the same. Yet, people press on. We endure and we continue to. Hannah after having gone through this experience, I am more confident now that you and our fellow man can handle anything that comes our way.
Lesson #2: The Truth is Precious.
I think we take the truth for granted. We assume people and groups are truthful, when they may not be, or they take a piece of the truth and mix it with untruth. It is important for us to seek the real truth and not just believe what we see in a headline, a twitter post, from the media, or even people who are “in charge” telling us something. We must ask further questions and do research diligently to find the truth – and it’s worth it to do the work.
We have so many examples from this year in which snap judgements were made without the truth or evidence or perpetuating a narrative was more important than the truth. We’ve had top medical experts flip-flop many times on what to do for our health – almost weekly in a lot of cases. We’ve had people that the media had deemed completely guilty totally exonerated when they went to trial and the evidence was finally revealed. And conversely, we’ve had people that the media and even politicians stood behind and said they were victims, only to find when the evidence came out that they were the ones perpetuating the crime against themselves for publicity- creating a hoax.
We must not take things for granted and ask “What is the truth.” Because the truth seems harder to come by and is precious and there is only one version of it. There is no such thing as “your truth” or “their truth,” there is only one truth. And we must, must be truthful not just in our lives with others, but to ourselves. It not only helps us live a better life, but to be better in all areas of life.
That brings me to my last lesson.
Lesson #3: Know Your Principles and What You Stand For. Do Not Sacrifice Them.
There is not much more I should have to say on that point. Do you know what you stand for? Do you know what your principles are? For context, here is the definition of Principles - a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning. So, what is your foundation? What is it that you truly will not sacrifice even if not doing so brings pain, loss, or causes trouble in your life? Hannah, I hope by growing up with your mother and I, you have developed solid principles that you know in your heart and will not give up for anything. Please do the deep work to ask yourself what yours are and know them – because over the last year or so, I have seen many sacrifice what they said were core principles in the lives and on the world stage for personal gain or power. It is not worth it, it never is. And sacrificing these in your life will create much bigger problems than if you had endured and stuck to them in the moment they were challenged.
Hannah, while we are still going through these challenging times, I see more potential and opportunity for people than ever before. People are waking up to finding their principles and seeking the real truth as a bedrock to build from – and they are pressing on and creating a better life for themselves and a better world for all of us. Even at 9 years old, you are doing this in your own way – in fact, it was during this time that you pressed on, endured, and overcame many challenges to get your black belt in Tai Kwan Do. I could not be prouder of you and I hope you put these lessons to work throughout your life.
I love you,
Best Quote: Hannah after having gone through this experience, I am more confident now that you and our fellow man can handle anything that comes our way.
This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Jeffrey Madoff. Jeff is the founder of Madoff Productions, based in New York City. His company collaborates with ad agencies, public relations firms and directly with clients to produce commercials, branded content and live streaming events.
He began his career as a fashion designer and was chosen as one of the top 10 designers in the U.S. then switched careers to film and video production. You have seen his work and probably didn’t even know it. Jeff and his team are the geniuses behind commercials, online content and brand stories for companies ranging from Victoria's Secret, Calvin Klien, and Ralph Lauren to Harvard University and private equity firms that position companies for sale or acquisition.
Jeff is also the author of the best-seller, Creative Careers Making a Living With Your Ideas.
And that is why I asked him to come on the show, not only the share his incredible wisdom gained during this storied career, but to discuss how to make a great living with your ideas.
Jeff was born and raised in Akron, Ohio. He credits his resilience to growing up there. His parents were entrepreneurs that had retail stores in Akron. Jeff got the entrepreneurial spirit from his parents and so did his sister. It was what he knew, so he’s never had a job. He went to the University of Wisconsin for college. Jeff shares a funny story of how he chose Wisconsin. He also made it on to the wrestling team. He got a double major in philosophy and psychology and Jeff said, “It set him up for no job whatsoever!”
Getting the degrees did help him with critical thinking and an intellectual curiosity that are very important to success.
He was working in a small boutique in Madison after graduating. A good friend of his called him up and had saved some money and wanted to put it to work. Jeff told him that he understood retail and could draw/design clothing, so he could start a clothing company. His friend sent him $2500 which was more money than Jeff had ever seen at any one time and he was off and running. He had no idea how to build the business but knew how to sell retail. He didn’t know how clothing was manufactured, etc. He had a lot to learn in a little time.
He was “ignorant, not stupid.” “Ignorant, you can learn, but stupid is forever.”
What is the process you teach for turning an idea into a living?
After all of the work you did for the book and all of the people you interviewed for it, were there any constants that stood out across them that helped their success?
At the 18 min mark, we talk about the DCP formula and how Jeff has seen in his work.
“The only way you get better at anything is to do it over and over again.”
At the 20 min mark, Jeff shares some interesting thoughts on Apple vs. Sony.
Talk about the power of story when it comes to marketing and branding and how important it is.
At the 27 min mark, Jeff shares a story of a conversation with Ralph Lauren where he told him he was like Walt Disney.
Talk about the balance of emotion vs. logic and how it relates to business…
At the 31 min mark, Jeff shares a story of something a guest shared in his class when it comes to how we make decisions with an example of buying a bottle of wine.
How do we make better decisions as consumers?
The difference between wander vs. wonder, explain that.
Running your ideas like a business. Tell us about that.
What has surprised you most in your entrepreneur journey?
Best Quote: The only way you get better at anything is to do it over and over again.
Jeff's Misfit 3:
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This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Kelly Falardeau. Kelly is one of the most sought-after speakers out there today. Rated as a Top 10 Most Powerful and influential Speaker, she has graced international stages all over the world and is a 5x Best-Selling author.
At age 2, Kelly was in a tragic accident that severely burned 75% of her body. She endured numerous surgeries but was left with scars on most of her body. Growing up, she as bullied, made fun of, and ostracized for looking different leading her to feeling unwanted, un-ashamed, and unloved. She endured once again discovering true self-love and as she says, turned her scars into stars, and is now widely successful.
Kelly has proven that no matter where you come from or what happens to you – you can succeed and thrive and I’m excited for her to share all her wisdom with you in this episode.
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Kelly was burned over most of her body when she was 2 years old when a spark from a fire caught her dress on fire. She was in the hospital for 4 months being in the operating room every two days. Every two years after that until she was 20, she had to go back for more surgeries. Because of this, she never thought she’d have a good life and that she would be the “ugly, scar-face, girl.”
When she was 16, she would pray to God asking for him not to let her wake up in the morning, but if she did could she be scarless and pretty like the other girls. Of course, she would wake up and they would still be there. She thought that if her doctor could not take them away or God could not, she was destined to be ugly forever and would not get married or have kids, etc.
Despite all of this, she did end up getting married and having a daughter. She was so excited to have a daughter without scars. She had a miscarriage and then got pregnant again and had twin boys.
She had a home-based scrapbooking business that wasn’t very successful when a friend told her to go to an event. Her friend told her to get rid of the business and be a speaker and the event would help her.
During this time, she was almost bankrupt, her husband was laid off and her marriage wasn’t doing well. She saw her life as a failure. Her friend got her to event and got her on stage to speak and people had a great reaction to her story. She went home and told her husband that she was going to be a speaker. He husband, “Who is going to listen to you?” She didn’t know but knew it could happen. Her husband basically told her it was a waste of time and that it wouldn’t work.
The next day everything changed. She met a lady that was speaking and at the end of her speech, she offered a coaching program to teach people to become keynote speakers. Kelly knew this was her opportunity but had no money to pay for the coaching. The lady told her could pay over time and that normally, people came to her to get coached, but if Kelly could 10 people locally to sign up for coaching, she would come there. Kelly worked with others to get the 10. This was the start of her speaking and best-selling authoring career.
Was there a catalyst for you? What there a moment when you found your voice or flipped the switch?
Everyone had scars in some way, shape or form. How do we turn our “scars into starts” isolating these things and use them as fuel to succeed?
7 ways to embrace the real you? Can you share those?
No risk, no reward – what that mean to you and what it should it mean to us?
At the 33 min mark, Kelly talks about how her experience has made her a better entrepreneur…
Advice for entrepreneurs just starting out?
Best Quote: We all have either internal and external scars, or both in some way. It is totally up to us to decide what we are going to do with them. You can take your scars and use them for something great.
Kelly's Misfit 3:
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Five Minute Journal