This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Andy Mowat. Andy has helped build 3 $1Billion+ companies, Upwork, Boc, and Culture Amp. He is a serial entrepreneur who knows how to build a scalable company that gets results. His specialty is building successful sales and marketing organizations.
But, at the core, he’s a great entrepreneur. He knows how to spot a trend, create the vehicle to capitalize on the opportunity, and make it go. Most recently, he is doing that in his latest company, Gated, which is a unique twist on how people can access you.
I want to discuss all of this with him today and squeeze all of the wisdom I can from him on how to start, grow, and build a brand.
Andy’s path was not a straight line. He went to college on the East Coast and ended up in finance and banking. He took Czech while he was in college and ended up going into private equity in eastern Europe.
He ended up running the finance function for every grocery store chain in Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Poland. It was early in the days of coming out of Communism and was eye opening.
He then went to business school but came out in 2001 and things were slow. He found a family office to work for and they tasked him with finding a new business to buy and get into. He suggested health clubs and ended up building high end athletic clubs throughout the west. He knew tech was where it was at, so he then reached out Elance and others and cold called the CEO’s ending up working for Elance. He ran sales and marketing operations. He then went to work for a company as a co-founder outsourcing administration assistants. He then went to work for BOCs running all their post-sale operations and then leading marketing. He then went to work for CultureAmp taking it from $5 mil to $80m. Along the way, he noticed the need to need to better guard a person’s email, so he built Gated.
At the 7:30 mark, Andy shares what Gated is. It is an email management system that keeps people from getting to your inbox unless they are willing to give a donation to charity. It helps to make sure you are communicating with people that genuinely want to communicate with you.
What elements are needed to build a unicorn – a billion-dollar company?
Talk to us about Go to Market Machines. How do you build a successful, scalable business?
Any specific part of the 6 that you feel is most important?
What are the key elements to building a successful sales team and growth engine?
What should business owners and entrepreneurs do from the start to avoid some of the common mistakes in building a sales organization?
At the 17 min mark, Andy talks about being a non-technical founder….
What type of data should people be looking at to maximize the impact of a sales team?
What does it take to build a great brand?
Most unexpected thing that you have found on your entrepreneur journey?
Routines or best practices you do every day to help you maximize your success?
Best Quote: The classic mistake is that founder’s hire a salesperson thinking they can figure out how to go to market. The founder needs to do that and figure it out.
Andy's Misfit 3:
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5 Minute Journal
Hello Misfit Nation! Welcome to another edition of "Lessons for Hannah!" 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.
This week’s Lesson for Hannah
Hannah, I want to share something with you that I’ve learned over the years. It’s something I have noticed about human nature. And it’s pretty consistent. Most people give up too early or right before they find success or get the breakthrough they have been seeking.
This usually happens because people cannot stay in the game long enough for all the work and effort to truly payoff. To be fair, some of this is because society has conditioned us for instant gratification. Everything has to be now, now, now.
In some ways, we all have what I call a “chaos switch” which is a pattern in human in nature to disrupt and change when things have been consistent for a while or even when things have been good for too long. It’s almost like in some ways we are wired to self-sabotage. And that is what happens to people over time and the reason they don’t succeed in reaching the levels they want.
But the secret to lasting success is to stay in the game. To outlast. Where everyone else is throwing in the towel or letting their chaos switch get the best of them, we need to focus on press on. When you feel these moments in your life is when it is most important to keep going. We need to continue toward our goal or stick with our endeavors.
I will give you an example. At 9 years old, you just got your Black Belt in Tae Kwan Do. It’s an incredible achievement that you worked several years to achieve. And after working for that long and achieving the goal, you may feel a little like it is time for a change. Time to do something else. In fact, I sense you feeling a little this way recently. That is the chaos switch in action. At 9 years old with a level 1 Black Belt, you are really just getting started on your journey. You love Tae Kwan Do and there are many more degrees of Black Belts to go. To achieve true mastery, you will need to keep going. After all, you’ve put in years of work to get this point – and now is when things get really good, and you start to learn the best stuff in the sport – it would be a shame to stop now. But that is what a lot of people do. They stop or give up right before all of the best stuff comes their way!
Hannah, and everyone listening – don’t be one of those people. You must have the fortitude to keep going and see things through to their best levels and outcomes. Don’t let the chaos switch sabotage you from achieving your dreams, goals, and reaching your best self. Resolve to follow what I’ve called the DCP formula. The D stands for discipline. The C stands for consistency. And the P stands for persistence or perseverance. Now when you hear that you think, duh, yeah those are needed to succeed. But what do they really mean? What is discipline? Discipline is doing the things you know you need to do, even when you don’t want to do them. Consistency is doing that day in and day out. You can be disciplined for one day, but that won’t do you any good. You must be consistent. And even if you are disciplined and consistent, you are still going hit walls – major roadblocks that seem insurmountable. That is where you must be persistent and persevere and keep going because it is beyond those roadblocks and walls where the great things in life are found.
Hannah, I hope you take this lesson to heart as it will serve you well for your whole life. Stick with the things that matter, give them everything you have and see them through – and practice DCP as a way to help you do it.
I love you,
Best Quote: Most people give up too early or right before they find success or get the breakthrough they have been seeking.
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Five Minute Journal
This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Josh Landon. You may not have heard of Josh and his holding company, Wings and Arrow. But you’ve certainly heard of his products such as Ashland Hard Seltzer, Voyage Hard Lemonade, and several others.
Josh is a serial entrepreneur. He sold his first business, St. Archer, to Coors for over $100 million and built Wings & Arrow’s portfolio to millions in revenue from the ground up. In fact, he was given a hefty offer from Anheuser-Busch after only 11 months of building Ashland Hard Seltzer, but he decided to hold on and keep growing the brand.
Through it all, Josh hasn’t compromised his passion for his craft and mission to create unparalleled products for customers. I'm excited to unpack his journey and his lessons lessons learned on the way.
Josh took an unconventional path to becoming an entrepreneur. He started out as a filmmaker and still is. He still does all the film for the brands. He was documentary filmmaker making surf films. He won a number of film festivals and was a working filmmaker.
How did you go from film making to building St. Archer and selling it?
What are you doing different from your experience with St. Archer with Ashland? Anything you learned that made it easier?
At the 13 min mark, Josh talks about the life of the entrepreneur and putting his family through everything over the years.
You’ve raised $50+ million with no venture money and giving up big chunks of the business?
At the 17 min mark, Josh talks about when he made the decision to go all in on St. Archer and move from Ventura to San Diego with his family. He had nothing and had to win and that was part of the story and why people invested. He was all in and had to make it happen.
What have you learned about building a successful brand and community?
How do you market and sell it once you’ve built the brand?
Did anything from your time as a filmmaker cross over to help you as an entrepreneur?
What has surprised you most on your entrepreneur journey to date?
Best Quote: Create the brand you want to see and be a part of...
Josh's Misfit 3:
Straight hard work…especially when you don’t want to.
Humility. No matter how successful you get, keep yourself in check. Nothing ruins businesses more than ego. Self-care.
Take time for yourself and take care of yourself mentally and physically. You must perform at the highest level.
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Five Minute Journal
This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Liz Elting. Where to start with Liz. She co-founded TransPerfect, the world’s largest provider of language and business solutions. The company does over $800 million in revenue per year and employs over 6000 in 100+ cities across the world. She has been recognized and awarded with everything from Ernst and Young’s entrepreneur of the year to being named one of Forbes richest self-made women many years running. She and her story have also been highlighted in numerous books and publications.
More recently, Liz is known for her philanthropic efforts with her foundation, the Elizabeth Elting Foundation which works to advance the economic, social, and political equity of women and marginalized people.
I’m excited for Liz to share her story with you and the lessons she’s learned along the way.
Growing up, Liz lived in a number of different places. Everywhere from New York to Portugal to Canada. She went to college in the US and realized she could pursue her passion of languages. She just didn’t know what she would do with it – but her dad told her to follow her passion. After college she worked the translation industry in New York. She found a company that was the largest translation company in the world that helped combine her passion for language and business.
She worked in the company for 3 years and learned the industry. She then went back to school and got her MBA. While in business school, she decided to go into finance and briefly tried out investment banking. She realized she made a huge mistake and then started TransPerfect in November of 1992. In 2018, she sold half of her company and started her foundation.
When we first spoke, you said, “The harder you work, the luckier you get.” Explain that…
At the 9:30 mark, we discuss the first products developed and how Liz got her initial clients, then scaled…
Then they found a way to offer it to them. Talk about going through the stages of business growth – which ones did you feel were the hardest?
Tell us about the core values. What are they and how have they made a difference for the company?
Is there a skillset or mentality that you feel is most important for success in today’s world?
What did you do to stand out in the area of service?
Talk to us about the entrepreneur journey. What have you learned about how to consistently succeed as an entrepreneur?
What are the most important things leaders should do to ensure success and make sure they are doing the best for their employees and organization?
Advice for CEO’s? What have you learned about being a great CEO and how it is different from other areas of leadership?
Anything you’ve learned in selling your company and starting into Philanthropy?
What was the most surprising thing that happened on your journey?
Best Quote: Work today like no one else will, so you can live and give tomorrow like no one else can.
Liz's Misfit 3:
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Five Minute Journal