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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: 2022

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!

Jul 20, 2022

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is David Garofalo. David has 30 years of experience in the creation and growth of over 15 multi-billion-dollar sustainable mining businesses across multiple continents and has led the largest merger in gold mining history valued at $32 billion dollars. That’s a heck of a track record. If that is not enough, David is still at it. He now serves as CEO and Chairman of Gold Royalty Corp, a precious metals-focused royalty and streaming company. The Company acquires royalties, streams and similar interests at varying stages of the mine life cycle to build a balanced portfolio offering near, medium and longer-term attractive returns for our investors.

David has won just about every award in the mining industry possible as well as awards such as Canada’s CFO of the year. While we have had guests come on to discuss the gold and precious metals markets before, the thing that interested me most about David was the way he put his new company together and the wealth of experience he has gained in building not one, but over 15 billion-dollar companies, and I can’t wait for him to share all he’s learned on his journey!

www.GoldRoyalty.com

Ticker Symbol: GROY

David started out as a CPA in the 80’s with Deloitte and cut his teeth there. He was in the mining sector and learned the business from the ground up. Over the course of his career, he has been involved in the construction of 15 mines across the world with the majority of his time in the C-Suite.

What is your secret for continued success?

  • It’s going back to the same people over and over again.
  • David has assembled a great team that he brings with him into each endeavor.
  • David brings the strategic vision, and they help execute.
  • It is about people at the end of the day.

Is there a formula or set of principles that you’ve used consistently to build your companies?

  • For mining, it starts with geology. You must have a sound geological model, sound exploration principles and sound mine development principles are foundational to success.
  • It comes down to having the right foundations and principles.

At the 8 min mark, David talks more about the mining business and minimizing risk and lessons on how to manage it.

Thoughts on dealing with the stress and risk of running a business. How do you handle that?

  • Having a great team makes a big difference.
  • Recognize you are not a master of everything and that you have to delegate or find others to fill the gap.
  • It cannot be all on your shoulders.

Talk to us about your latest company.

  • It is different than what he’s done in traditional mining in that it helps to provide capital for explorers and developers.
  • In return, they get a royalty on the mines and projects.
  • The get a percentage of revenue off the top.
  • Everything David has done to this point has prepared him to build the company.
  • The company is publicly traded under the ticker GROY.

State of the state in the mining industry? What are some of the keys to successfully investing in it?

  • It’s never been a better time for gold as an asset class because of being in the inflationary cycle we are in now. The highest since the 70’s.
  • There are a lot of parallels.
  • Inflation adjusted; gold could go to $3000/oz if things play out like the 70’s.

At the 24 min mark, David and I have a great conversation on rates and the FED and the differences between now and the past. Especially with the debt the US has now compared the past. It’s great to just listen.

Thoughts on how businesses can thrive in an environment of prolonged inflation and higher costs?

  • If you are in an industry that has pricing power, you can take advantage.
  • In David’s case, cost inflation plays into the royalty business and avoids inflation risk.

One thing to note is that in a bull market for precious metals, silver performs better than gold. So, it has potential for a lot of upside.

Prediction for when precious metals go parabolic?

Later in 2022.

  • When capital gets reallocated, it doesn’t go in a steady methodical way.
  • There is typically a catalyst and then a stampede. It happens quickly.
  • All the ingredients are there.

Best advice on M&A and selling/acquiring business?

David tells the story of his $32 Billion merger with Newmont.

  • Recognizing the timing is very important.
  • If there are great synergies and economies of scale, then it makes sense to bring companies together.
  • You have to do a lot of work on making sure the fit is there and that the cultures can align when brought together.
  • You have to make sacrifices in the best interest of the company and shareholders. In David’s case, he had to give up his job.
  • Most deals don’t have because of social issues – ego, who get’s what job, etc.

You talked about you built your core team. How have you created a culture for the team to want to come together again and again?

  • We’ve made it fun and enjoyable.
  • Surround yourself with people you like and respect.
  • Make sure they have the right skillset and values that align with the team.
  • If you do it right, it is like catching lightening in a bottle.

Any specific traits you feel are most important to succeed in today’s world?

  • You must have resilience. 
  • You must have respect for those around you and show it.
  • Treating people extremely well is very important.

Any other important leadership lessons people should know?

  • Don’t give up.
  • It’s ok to be a bit stubborn in realizing your vision. ​

Best advice for an entrepreneur just starting out?

  • Choose your friends well.
  • Surround yourself with people that have integrity, the right attitude, and right skillsets needed to help you build your business.

 

Best Quote: Surround yourself with people that have integrity, the right attitude, and right skillsets needed to help you build your business.

 

David's Misfit 3:

  1. Show up.
  2. Be loyal.
  3. Stay healthy.

 

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Jul 13, 2022

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

This Week's Lesson for Hannah

Hannah, ​

Sometimes I come across things that are just too good not to share. As you know I spend a lot of time on these lessons thinking them through to give you the best advice I can. Every now and then I find a resource where it’s been done for me. I recently saw a post on Twitter from handle named LegacyBuilder_. The post was titled, “Every father should teach his daughter these 20 lessons.”

After reading the title, I could not help but check it out. As I read through them, I felt they were spot on, so I want to share them with you.

Here they are.

  1. The world will try to steal your joy. The world doesn’t like when a person is walking around with joy and happiness. Be ready for trial, drama, and full attacks in your way of life. Meet them with grace and an attitude that you will persevere. You create your own joy.
  2. Your children will learn a lot from you, act accordingly. They learn how to love from you and pick up the worst parts of you as well. Don’t be fake and try to act like a perfect person. Instead, be real with your kids and show them what life is like when you laugh and love.
  3. People can change. People will show you their best and worst sides as you grow up. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that the world is all good or all bad. Have the wisdom to know that no matter what people are going through there is always the power for them to change.
  4. Your mother loves you. You will argue. You will laugh. You will cry. Remember that no matter how mad she makes you, she loves you. Your mom sees endless possibilities when looking at you and wants you to succeed.
  5. If it feels wrong, it is. Nothing should be forced in this life. If you ever find yourself in a situation that feels off, remove yourself. Trust your gut always and stand up for what you believe in.
  6. Don’t worry about the future. Take it from your dad. Worrying about tomorrow only steals joy from the day. All the deadlines, boys, and arguments will work themselves out. Focus on being in the moment and the future will take care of itself.
  7. Your last name matters. Our last name is special because it comes with a lot of history. Not all of it is glamorous, but you are living proof that generational curses can be broken. Take pride in where you come from and keep working to make our last name grow in legacy.
  8. The world is bigger than your hometown. You will think that your hometown is the entire world until the day you leave those city limits. Travel, experience, and learn about different cultures around the world. Open your eyes to all that life has to offer. It’s a big world.
  9. You don’t have to go to college. Maybe you will, maybe you won’t. A college degree doesn’t promise you anything (except maybe debt). The real way to win is by being a lifelong learner and pursuing your dreams with drive and determination. Never stop learning.
  10. Start investing at 20. Learn what compound interest is and put 25% of your earnings into a mutual fund monthly and never touch it. You can live off the other 75% despite what anyone else tells you. As you start to earn more keep the percentages the same.
  11. Sports can teach you a lifetime of values. Sports taught me and your mother what it feels like to give it out all and still lose. It taught us that everything great in life has an ending and it taught us to be competitive in our life but with grace. Play a sport. Grit is learned through experience.
  12. Grit is defined as strength of character in moments of uncertainty. You can read books or watch as many movies as you want but you can’t learn grit until you go through tough times yourself. Don’t shy away from difficult, you will grow.
  13. You aren’t defined by your losses. I’ve seen so many people that have never overcome losses in their life. They are constantly defeated and eventually stop trying. Losses are learning opportunities that will develop true character. It’s okay to lose, but not to be a loser.
  14. Winning isn’t the goal, growing is. Winning is amazing. There is no better feeling than winning after putting in the hard work it takes to win. Remember that if you become addicted to winning you will never be satisfied. Winning is part of growing not the only goal.
  15. If you feel like you aren’t enough, remember you are. You don’t see it but sometimes I don’t feel like I’m being the best dad. Then I’m reminded that every day I get to love you and our family. Never think you are not enough. A day where you move an inch is still progress.
  16. Choose your husband wisely. This is the man that will be with you on your greatest and worst days. Choose a man that will see you for who you are, love your children, and loves the Lord with all his heart. Your marriage will rise and fall with your dependence on God.
  17. Don’t tell everyone what you’re doing. People will use information against you to push their own agenda. Working in silence is a superpower. Let them see what you have been doing when you are standing on the mountaintop.
  18. Take care of your body. You will be unstoppable if you develop healthy habits early and keep them for the rest of your life. Love the gym and maintaining a body that is happy and healthy. You don’t have to be the fittest person in the world, but don’t ever stop.
  19. Your strength comes from above. There is only so far you can go on your own. God has a plan for your life. There will be times where you search for meaning of life. Remember this: Your purpose is to show others the love of the Lord and honor him in all you do. And I might add, one of my favorite passages from Philippians: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
  20. Dad will always love you. No matter what you do or where you go. No matter how you act or what you say. I promise to be the person that gives you the tough love you need and provides a place where you always feel safe. Always and forever. That’s a promise.

Hannah, I really could not have said those any better and hope you use them in your life.

I love you,

Dad

 

Best Quote: Dad will always love you. No matter what you do or where you go. No matter how you act or what you say. I promise to be the person that gives you the tough love you need and provides a place where you always feel safe. Always and forever. That’s a promise.

 

Misfit 3:

  1. Read the list of 20 lessons and commit them to memory.
  2. Remember, above all else, your strength comes from above. God has a plan for your life.
  3. Never stop learning and growing.

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Jul 6, 2022

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Jason White. Jason knows how to create a niche. He is the founder of The Federal Code, a business that teaches the secrets of winning federal government contracts with no certification, no business history, using minimal startup cost, and using subcontractors to support new contracts — the same way he does it. Jason currently manages over 40 Federal Government Contracts worth over $37 million. And the students he’s taught have successfully won over $30 million in contracts. J

ason is a great example of how to find a unique need, create a niche, maximize it, and then teach others to do it and help them find their financial freedom. I’ve asked him on today to share how he does it and what he’s learned along the way.

www.TheFederalCode.com

@IamJasonWhite_ on Instagram

Jason never set out to do what he does. In fact, he was not a good path to success at the time. The opportunity literally fell into his lap. He was working at a gas station in 2008 and his friend came in to get something and told him that he was about to get a federal contract in trucking. Instead, the guy was arrested that night and went to prison. But, the idea stuck in Jason’s head. He decided to see if he could get a contract and started going down the rabbit hole. It took him 3 years before he got his first contract.

Talk to us about Federal contracts. How does your business work?

  • Federal Government contracting is simpler than you think.
  • In its simplest form, it is the Federal Government look to procure a product or service from the private sector.
  • Jason didn’t have any money, a network, resources, or credit – he figured out that he could outsource the work and be the middleman between the Govt and the product/service provider.
  • The Federal Govt is the largest purchaser in the world and provides a steady stream of opportunities for contracting.

How do you find a contract? How do you get started?

  • he main requirement you must have at least an LLC. It is also good to have a DUN’S number.
  • You then register that with SAM.Gov. Y
  • ou will look for opportunities in SAM.Gov.
  • There are 96,000 contract opportunities on average every day in SAM.
  • Jason looks for service-based solicitations that continue for more than 1 year. This created residual income.

Are there some types of contracts that are better than others? How do you distinguish?

  • As newbie, you will consider things easier to understand than others. For example, a lawn care contract is easier to understand than say an IT contract.
  • But, the mindset needs to be not so much, can you understand or manage the contract, but more of can you manage the company you outsource to that is fulfilling the work.
  • The expectations will come from the contract – your job is to manage the expectations.
  • Jason stays away from construction contracts.

How do you win a contract?

  • The Federal Govt is an endless supply of opportunity.
  • You are bidding, so your quotes must be competitive.
  • The only way to do that is to compare and get quotes from multiple companies to find the best price and then your fee goes on top of it.
  • It’s a numbers game. Don’t worry so much about winning as much as consistently creating competitive bids.

How many bids/submissions do you typically do before winning?

  • Jason has found that he wins about 30% of the time for him at this point.
  • For someone starting out, this ratio will be lower.
  • Jason strives to submit at least 10 bids every month.

What is the typical profit margin on a contract?

  • It is all over the place.
  • This happens because the bids are all different and for different types of services, so they have different margins.
  • Jason has created a formula he uses for this process.
  • He price compares with 3-4 companies for every bid.
  • He looks for a middle ground and then adds his fee.
  • He knows based on the companies’ prices where to be to not be the cheapest nor the most expensive.

How you find the companies/resources to fulfill your contracts?

  • Google! He Googles service providers in the area for the contract and interviews them.
  • Remember, you are not looking at opportunities just where you live, you are looking at contracts for the entire nation. It comes down to your ability to manage and hold service providers accountable that matters most.

What causes people to fail in Federal contracting?

  • When you are essentially subcontracting, you are hinging your company’s name on their work. They are working on your behalf, but you are ultimately responsible.
  • One of the biggest pitfalls is not setting expectations appropriately. It is very important that you understand and communicate the expectations of the contract and have a way to measure that they are being followed.
  • You may have companies that find out the job is more expensive or don’t appropriate the right amount of resources.
  • The Federal Govt wants to help small businesses out and understand that mistakes get made and challenges come up, but you must make sure to not make the same mistakes over and over again.

How do you handle working with these subcontractors?

  • You will need to have a service agreement that is legally binding.
  • You can do this through an attorney or through LegalZoom or LawDepot, etc.
  • Try to keep it simple and make it easy for both parties.

At the 27 min mark, Jason walks through an example of a recent contract and how he got it and managed it.

Anything else we should know about Federal contracting?

  • One of the biggest secrets is that you must be consistent.
  • Jason recommends bidding on a minimum of 10 contracts per month.
  • Most people quit because they don’t maintain a high level of activity.
  • Learning to communicate well is critical.

Talk to us about your entrepreneur journey – what made you go from gas station attendant to committing to this and figuring it out?

  • Jason barely graduated high school, but he learned common sense on the streets.
  • Jason kept asking how.
  • When his buddy told him what he was doing, he was surprised the guy was trying to go straight. He was just too late for himself.
  • It was the vessel, the messenger that made the difference.

Talk to us about playing to long game. You didn’t get your first contract for 3 years.

  • Success leaves clues.
  • Someone has to be the pioneer to leave the clues.
  • Jason just kept telling himself he wanted to see it through.
  • He wanted to prove that a guy like him could finish and succeed.
  • He learned a lot about himself and what he was capable of in his journey.
  • He stopped being motivated and started being driven because when you are driven, motivation can care less. When you are driven, you don’t care what gets in the way, if you get sick, whatever, you push through. ​

At the 38 min mark, we have a great conversation on being driven.

 

Best Quote: Stop being motivated and started being driven. When you are driven, you don’t care what gets in the way, if you get sick, whatever, you push through.

 

Jason's Misfit 3:

  1. Be patient. It’s rare to know how long it will take. Keep going.
  2. Have a high level of communication. Build this skill set.
  3. Do not look to your left or to your right. Focus on you.

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Jun 29, 2022

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Craig Swanson. Craig Swanson is an entrepreneur, business coach, and co-founder of the online learning platform CreativeLive. Creative live went from a $100 startup to raising over $50 Million in VC funding becoming a massive success. After leaving CreativeLive, Craig has become the secret weapon behind course creators and business owners such as Sue Bryce, Susan Stripling, and Kaisa Keranen by helping them into the multi-million-dollar mark and even acquisition! Craig is also the board chair of the Seattle Entrepreneurs Organization Accelerator.

I’ve always loved digital assets as a business model. An entrepreneur can take their expertise in an area and have the ultimately scalability with a digital product, course, etc. And Craig has perfected the model. I am excited to get into all of this with him and to share all of his wisdom and experience from his incredible entrepreneur journey.

www.CraigSwanson.org ​

Follow Craig on LinkedIn

Craig started his first business after dropping out of college providing IT services to graphic design companies in Seattle. He did this for 25 years. And then he spun off an internal project which was Creative Live and built it up to massive success. He left there in 2016 and started what he does now - a small investment and incubator company with a fund that invests in and partners with a select few online creators per year to build niche platforms. He also serves his role in EO and is part of their accelerator program.

Talk to us about building a digital business. What should we know?

  • People hold their ideas so precious that they don’t get them out in the market.
  • What drives the success of a digital product is the market that has area need that your solution addresses.
  • It’s not about how good you look or how well you present it. It’s about the market first.

How does someone identify the market and see if there is a fit? How do you test the market?

  • Create a digital version of something that someone is teaching in person to groups of 10-200+ and has a track record of success.
  • If it works for small groups of people, then you can create a digital version to scale.

At the 9 min mark, Craig gives an example of how they test a market with a client. It’s best to just listen.

Which type of product makes the best digital business?

  • It is something that you create once and can continue to sell.
  • A recorded video training program is the classic digital good and a good product.
  • Additionally, digital downloads specific to industries, etc.

What is the process you go through to build the business around the product?

  • The first step is a prototype with a core test audience. (1-10 people that will buy)
  • With your first batch, you are relying on your existing relationships/contacts.
  • After success with the protype, you then build a strategy to get your first 100 sales using success stories from you first group and partnering to get in front of other audiences.
  • Once you serve more than 100 people and prove the product, then you can get to paid advertising and scale.
  • Craig will give out free content to get people into the funnel and fold.

What are the best ways to market and sell a digital business?

  • It is different for each product and different for different stages.
  • Mediums will vary and you probably already have a medium where you get the most engagement and community.
  • If you are starting from scratch, it is tougher.
  • You must create an awareness and some sort of following before creating a digital product.

What are some ways to build an audience from scratch?

  • A niche email newsletter that goes out as broadly as possible.

How do you grow an email list?

  • Find a small community that you can really serve.
  • Once you get some subscribers, ask for them to share it.
  • Go where your market is (Facebook groups, communities, etc. that you can serve and help).
  • Stick to a narrow niche.

How do you build a personal brand the right way?

  • The first step is to become clear who you are servicing and audience and speak to that audience.
  • Don’t approach your brand from a self-centric stance.
  • The purpose of a personal brand is to connect with and draw in your ideal audience.
  • Building a brand telling the stories and highlighting what those in your audience are doing to succeed is a great way to build it.
  • There are 2 fundamental ways to build a brand: Either a student or an expert.
  • You can position yourself as an expert learner and share what you are learning as you grow in the topic. People can follow and gain from your experience.
  • As an expert, you can focus on delivering expertise to a community.

4 elements to scale any business?

  • Scaling a business is when it starts to grow exponentially and can sustain that growth.
  • The first step is to take something that is already successful with an audience and finding out why it has been so successful.
  • Then you use the stories of success and their words to share why something is working.
  • Next is to create a 2-step purchase process in which you have an entry level product from $10-$99 that covers the cost to acquire customers.
  • The 4th step is to convert the customers into the larger more expensive product.

Any tips on how to create the value ladder?

  • A lot of work goes into finding the right combination of offering and price that will scale.

At the 36 min mark, Craig gives an example of how they do this…

  • “A lot of people in business become so fixated on the thing they have built that they want to sell that they stop listening to what the market is telling them that the market really wants.”
  • You need an awareness to this.

What are the traits of good, high performing businesses vs. those that underperform?

  • The difference is in the way they think.
  • A lot of less seasoned businesses entirely fixated on how to make the existing business model more profitable. They are looking for the magic secret that lets them grow.
  • More mature businesses have found that they have to let go of their original offering or change it to make it the best to grow and scale per what the market wants.
  • Smaller businesses “swell” their business instead of scaling their business.
  • Scaling businesses tend to be simpler with a clear focus on just 1-2 products/solutions and build the machine around them to infinitely scale.

At the 42 min mark, Craig and I talk about how businesses are much like life as they grow and gain experience.

  • Don’t be afraid to kill ideas and let go of legacy things in your business. ​

From your journey, what do you feel are you most important and impactful lessons you’ve learned?

  • Letting go of control and learning to trust partners.
  • Build partnerships that work and commit to them to make them go.
  • Have a clear mission.
  • Co-build and co-create.

 

Best Quote: A lot of people in business become so fixated on the thing they have built that they want to sell that they stop listening to what the market is telling them that the market really wants

 

Craig's Misfit 3:

  1. Be clear on what is negotiable and non-negotiable about your brand. L
  2. et go of negotiable elements and stand firm on non-negotiable.
  3. If something is worth doing, it is worth doing poorly. You get better as you go. Fail sooner and learn faster.

 

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Jun 22, 2022

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Mariusz Skonieczny. Mariusz is the founder of MicroCap Explosions and the author of 11 books on the subject of investing. Mariusz has carved out a unique niche investing in microcap companies where the institutions don’t play, and the retail investors don’t focus. And it’s very lucrative. Over the course of a decade Mariusz personally turned $10k into over $7 million investing in Microcaps and now he teaches others to do what he does. I’ve always loved exploring unique niches with the entrepreneurs that find and maximize them, and I’m excited for Mariusz to share his journey and more about the Microcap niche with you in this episode. Mariusz Skonieczny on YouTube Mariusz philosophy is to go where others can’t go or don’t want to go. You have to be very picky about where you are going to be competitive and look for the best place where you can have an edge. Mariusz was born in Poland and grew up there focused on sports. He came to the US in his late teens and wanted to play basketball. He was not good enough and it broke his heart. He was not competitive enough…not to mention he could hardly speak English. This experience led him to discover and look for unique niches that don’t have a lot of competition. He gravitated toward investing. At first, he did what most people do and invested in blue chip stocks. As he found, if you do what everyone else does, it doesn’t pay that well. He then heard an interview with Warren Buffett where Warren talked about how investors need to look for unique opportunities that other investors don’t or won’t invest in and that set him on the path to do what he does now in the microcap space. What is a microcap investment? Companies that have market capitalization of less than $200 million. These are companies in which all the shares outstanding multiplied by the price are less than $200 million. Most of the time, these companies’ stocks trade less than $5. Some of them get a negative connotation of being “penny stocks.” What matters is the business behind them and that is the key – if there is a good business behind that has a path to grow, then it can offer a good opportunity. These companies are publicly traded, but usually on secondary exchanges such as Toronto or OTC. There is less competition there as well. A lot of the companies “grow up” on these exchanges and then move over to the larger ones like the Nasdaq, etc. How do you find a microcap opportunity? You can find them on stock screeners, but Mariusz goes to an exchange like the Canadian Stock exchange that has 700 companies and spends the time to evaluate each one to find the best. 80-90% are not great companies. He will whittle it down to the top 50 or so, then find the top 10% out of those and then do full diligence to decide the best one. He’s willing to do the work where others don’t. What are the criteria you look for in a microcap? Don’t invest in trash companies! Find the diamond with high quality revenue. Recurring revenue is critical. The business model offering should have high switching costs meaning it is hard for a client to drop the offering. The business should have high margin revenues with gross profit margins above 50%. The business should also have a long runway and growth trajectory. How do you predict the success and growth rate of an opportunity? Each business will be different. An example is Voxster which focuses on the real estate industry. At the 17 min mark, Mariusz discussed Voxster’s business model and how he evaluated the company to invest in it. How do you manage risk? The best thing you can do to manage risk is to invest quality companies with proven business models and profitability. You must also not overpay for them. Most companies are too expensive. You must have patience and be selective. How do you determine value, so you don’t overpay? You can look at multiples of revenue or income. With smaller companies, net income is not the best way because they grow faster and sacrifice profitability by investing it back into the company for the growth. 1-3x revenue is a good rule of thumb when it comes to the stock price and how it is trading. How do you stay in an investment? Years – typically 5-6 If you are a businessperson or entrepreneur, you know it takes time to grow. Play the long game. Anything else we should know about microcaps? You must have patience. You must have tolerance for volatility. You can get homeruns if you don’t overpay. ​ What other lessons have you learned on your entrepreneur journey? If you see a problem, don’t wait for others to solve – see if you can be the one to do it. Or look for companies that solve problems and become part of the journey by investing in them. Best Quote: If you see a problem, don’t wait for others to solve it – see if you can be the one to do it. Mariusz's Misfit 3: Think independently. You don’t need others’ approval to do what it is you want to do in business or investing. Do not worry about what others think.

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Jun 15, 2022

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Bryan Clayton. Bryan created the “Uber of Lawncare,” GreenPal. It is a company that makes it easy to connect homeowners with lawn care professionals with the touch of a button. Bryan and his team built the company from scratch to over $20 million in revenue, serving 300,000+ customers in just a few years and their story has been featured everywhere from entrepreneur magazine to INC and Harvard Business Review. Prior to GreenPal, Bryan founded Peachtree Inc, and grew it to $10 million before it was acquired.

For anyone out there who has had a good idea for a business, but didn’t act on it because they weren’t sure how to make it a reality or didn’t have the experience needed to do it, Bryan is proof that it is absolutely possible. In fact, it is probably easier than you think. And that is why I brought Bryan on – to share how it is possible and what he learned in making GreenPal a reality.

www.GreenPal.com

@BryanMClayton on Instagram

Bryan wants you to know that if he can do it, you can do it. He’s spent 22 years as an entrepreneur in one industry, lawn care. He started a lawnmowing business in high school and continued to build it through college and then over the period of 15 years built it to over $10 million in revenue. He sold it in 2013.

He took some time off and after a while started to look at what to do next. He thought there should be an app to make it easier for people find lawn care professionals. He didn’t know what he didn’t know and over the last 10 years has built GreenPal.

Talk to us about how you did it and figure things out…

  • Startups and entrepreneurship are less like chess and more like poker. Chess is more of a logical series of moves that lead to a result vs. a smart bet and playing risk vs. reward in poker.
  • In the early days, they tried to outsource the coding and it failed. They had spent almost $200k getting the company going and had nothing to show for it, so they bit the bullet and decided to learn to code themselves.
  • They went to a coding bootcamp and learned the basics which helped them create the second version.

Biggest lessons from building your businesses?

  • Startups fail, but entrepreneurs don’t.
  • As a founder, you will need to have flexible persistence going from one failure to the next without a loss of enthusiasm.
  • Think of it like an old school video game where you have to figure how to get through one level at a time. It’s the same in business.
  • Small incremental wins add up over time to a big business.

What did you do to help you grow in your business that other could use?

  • First time founders worry about product and second time founders worry about distribution.
  • The most important strategy is how to get people in the door.
  • He learned quickly with GreenPal that if you build it, they will NOT come.
  • He had to create a customer acquisition and development strategy.
  • First, he went old school like he did in his previous business putting flyers on doors.
  • This got them a couple hundred users.
  • Second, you have to get out of the building and go talk to your users. Delight them.
  • They went on a mission to meet people at coffee shops, etc. and ask them how they find lawn care services. Google search was most prevalent, so that is where they put their efforts to gain visibility.
  • They had to learn SEO and organic search and put the bulk of their resources into it. It started to work, and signups began to grow.

Talk to us about how you did your SEO and organic search strategy vs. buying ads…

  • Google AdWords and Google Search get conflated. They are different.
  • It is one thing to pay, another for Google to rank you as #1 organically.
  • It is tough.
  • There is competition everywhere. You have to build it from the bottom up. Start small.
  • They focused on local communities and ranking #1 in those areas – the small little towns that were suburbs around the main city and eventually, they began to be ranked for the larger city itself.
  • Launching a market is launching all the little towns around it.

What did you do that got you noticed?

SEO 101:

  • On page (content). They created guides on the best lawn care services in each township. The best content possible.
  • Technical: Page load and URL structure, key words, indexable, etc.
  • Backlinks: Who talking about this website or page? They would reach out to local reporters of the small-town magazines and give them stories as they launched in their area. Test, then invest. You need to do it yourself before you build out the processes and teach others.

How do you start a business with no money?

  • Even with no money, you have asset and resources you can put to work. Many times, they are in your mind.
  • As you start to get money into the business, the key is to be a good capital allocator to invest back into the business.
  • The least you can live on, the greater your options in a startup gutting it out with no outside capital.
  • You are your business as a founder and the business needs to come first when it comes to money.
  • The first couple of years will be tough.

Talk to us about playing the long game?

  • Genius gets mistaken for consistency.
  • There are very, very few overnight successes.
  • People don’t see all of the work that happened, many time for years, before the success is known.
  • Success is a cumulation of work over years.

Thoughts from your experience selling and exiting a business?

  • It’s the dream and it’s hard to do well.
  • Work a 5-year exit strategy plan.
  • Things like EBITA growth and systems are key to selling.
  • Read the book Built to Sell.
  • Many times, the time business owners try to sell are when they or the business is in its worst shape.
  • Face and fix the things you don’t want to deal with.
  • You want to sell when things are at their best and you’ve optimized. Sell your business when you are in love with and would hate to see it go.

What should people know about the lawn and landscape industry?

  • You can learn so much running a small service-based business in a couple years than in a year of classes.
  • It is also a great place to get your first exit under your belt. You can start a little service business, built it up to $500k or $1 mil and sell it.
  • At the 40 min mark, Bryan shares his message to people who think they can’t do it…

 

Best Quote: Genius gets mistaken for consistency. There are very, very few overnight successes.

 

Bryan's Misfit 3:

  1. Spend less time on things that don’t matter.
  2. Know when to delegate and when not to delegate. Delegate from a standpoint of stewardship.
  3. Are you going to be a fox or a hedgehog from Good to Great? The fox is flashier in style and the hedgehog just keeps it head down and works one to two things really well. Pick which one you are.

 

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Jun 8, 2022

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

This week’s Lesson for Hannah

Hannah, In this episode, I want to speak to you about choice. Not a lot of thought is put into choice in our lives, yet every day we make many choices. In fact, our lives consist of making choices over and over again. Most of the time, these choices are automatic. We don’t think about them. Our subconscious mind just reacts with the stored programming it has built up over the years. I’ve talked many times about our conditioning and how the subconscious mind is the most powerful part of our brain that runs us without us even knowing, or at least thinking about it.

It is important to understand how the subconscious works and how it is programmed because it directly affects our choices. Everyone is born with a clean slate when it comes to their minds. It is the influences and experiences we have in our lives, as well as some primal instinct, that shape how we think and act – effectively conditioning our minds. Sources of this conditioning come from all different areas: Parents, family, friends, culture, school, media, and many of the life experiences we have. For example, the first time you touch a hot stove and get burned, your subconscious registers that and the next time you are near a hot stove, you know not to touch it. Think about things you say or your thoughts – where do they come from? Have you ever noticed yourself saying things that your parents said to you repeatedly as child? Chance are you do. It is an automatic conditioned response, and your subconscious has them for pretty much everything in your life.

Most of the conditioning we get is positive, but we can pick up some things along the way that can hold us back or keep us from reaching out true potential. That is where choice comes in, in a big way. The biggest realization that changed my life and set me on path to reach potential people previously thought was impossible for me was when I learned that I could choose my thoughts. That I had a choice. I did not have to be run by programming built up over the years. And just as important was the understanding that the choices Imake every day, directly affect my path in all areas of my life. We are the sum of the choices we make.

First, I had to learn to recognize my programming and the responses (choices) that I was making throughout each day and start to ask myself if I truly agreed with those responses. Were those something I put in my mind or were they put there by another influence or experience I have had? I then had to ask myself if that was something I wanted to keep or get rid of. And, if I wanted to get rid of it, what was most important to replace it with. I admit this is not easy to do and is absolutely a lifelong commitment and journey. If you commit to it, it will be very awkward at first because you literally have to learn to do what I call “Stop, Ask, and Choose. You have to stop yourself when you recognize a thought or reaction that doesn’t seem to be in line with what you believe or what you want for yourself. You then have to ask yourself if you want to keep it as part of your life or not. And then, you have to choose whether to keep it or what you will replace it with. The first few times you do this, it will be very awkward stopping mid-sentence or mid-thought to ask these things of yourself, but the subconscious picks up things fast. After a few times, it will start to happen quickly and soon be just as normal as brushing your teeth or throwing a ball.

Once you understand how to live from true choice in your life, then the fun begins. Each day, you get to control your choices. Remember, you are the sum of the choices you make. You gain the ability to be intentional in the choices you make and find almost a hidden superpower inside of yourself. In fact, in some ways, it is not fair to those that haven’t figured this secret in their lives. Gaining control over your choices essentially allows you to level up any time you want. After all, it is a choice to do so. Of course, you have to do the work alongside the commitment you have made with the choice, but if you were not aware to the fact you even could choose this for yourself, it would not be possible.

Hannah, I hope you can see how important this lesson is for all areas of your life. And I hope that you can also see how growing yourself in the ability to control and choose your thoughts can give you such an advantage in your life. Like I said, the choice is the first step – you still have to do the work, but that is the exciting part as you make your way to your next level. Here’s to living from true choice in our lives.

I love you,

Dad

 

Best Quote: Gaining control over your choices essentially allows you to level up any time you want.

 

Misfit 3:

  1. We are the sum of the choices we make.
  2. It is important to understand how the subconscious works and how it is programmed because it directly affects our choices.
  3. The ability to choose and be intentional in the choices you make ais almost a hidden superpower inside of yourself.

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Jun 1, 2022

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Andrew Lee Miller. Andrew is a startup expert; in fact, he’s known as @AndrewStartups around the world and has been bootstrapping companies for over 15 years. He is a marketing expert and founder of the award-winning marketing agency, Growth Expertz. He has driven growth for 3 VC backed startup exits to the tune of $450 million and dozens of other funded startups, including raising over $25 million in seed rounds in the last 5 years.

Andrew speaks and trains entrepreneurs throughout the world on paid advertising, growth hacking, public relations, search marketing and more. He is also the author of the best-selling book, The Startup Growth Book.

What I love most about Andrew is that he is scrappy and finds a way to make it happen no matter thecircumstances and I’ve brought him on to share his best with you in this episode.

www.AndrewStartups.com

Andrew was born and raised outside Columbus, Ohio. His whole family were entrepreneurs, but he never grew up wanting to be one. He ended up having his own business at 16 detailing cars and had a problem with authority which made him want to stay independent. He went to college for general business and switched to international business. He started a virtual resume startup in his senior year. He and his partner got investment and the business took off – it actually scared him because he didn’t want to be stuck in this one business through his 20’s, so he decided to travel.

He moved the Mexico when he was 21, then after a few years moved to Dubai. Dubai was much different and didn’t have much of a startup culture. He joined a company that was a sort of Craig’s List type service as head of marketing. He growth hacked the company from 800k page view a month to over 25 million and the company was acquired for a large amount. Andrew realized there was a niche in growth hacking. He had a few more successful projects in Dubai and then went to Silicon Valley and had another successful exit. He then started coaching people and became a digital nomad helping startups and traveling to over 40 countries.

You mentioned a formula for growth hacking that you put into practice and now teach others, take us through it.

  • First, when he starts with companies, the product is never ready to be marketed. Are people sharing or referring the product? If not, then a focus is put there to better market it. Product optimization.
  • Once you’ve optimized the product, then you are ready to grow. Do not rush to paid advertising.
  • It’s never too early to start marketing. Marketing is different than advertising. Advertising is something you do to scale up your marketing. Marketing can happen at any time.
  • You can start building a list, basic SEO, organic social media marketing/following, etc.
  • You can then launch with a waiting set of customers and some recognition in the marketplace.

What is the difference between advertising and marketing?

  • You do not have to do paid advertising to succeed.
  • Paid advertising isn’t necessary for every business.
  • We are shown ads that you need to run ads to grow your business, and that is just not true.
  • Marketing is the actions you take to grow your visibility, your brand, and awareness for who you are.
  • Advertising is paid ads and spots to drive traffic to your business.
  • Focus on organic channels for the first 12 mos in your business. Talk a little more about organic.

What do you advise? What’s the best place to get traction?

  • List building and e-mail marketing is the best thing to do.
  • Next is social media and off-channel marketing such as Reddit or Facebook groups.
  • Using incentives for first adopters is a great strategy whether it is free services/product or a very low cost, etc.
  • For B2C focusing on long-term things such as app store automation for apps, social media, and off page.
  • B2C is harder than B2B. There are a lot more moving pieces to create an eye-catching brand.

What are your thoughts on social media? Where should people be to get the most bang for the buck?

  • B2B – the place to spend money is Google Search because the intent is so high.
  • You also have a higher conversion rate on Google Search if you are using the right key words.
  • For B2C – it depends on the product and service. Google’s UAC campaigns are good for things like apps.
  • TikTok needs really good video creatives to do well, but there is less competition there.
  • In the end, it all about the content on social media and video is the most important.
  • YouTube ads are another inexpensive way to drive traffic and revenue.

At the 22 min mark, Andrew talks about using influencers and micro-influencers to help grow your brand and visibility.

Other PR hacks entrepreneurs can use?

  • Local PR in your local markets is a great place to get visibility and media.
  • Getting on podcasts is a great way to refine your pitch and gain visibility/credibility.
  • You should do PR from early stages of your business.
  • 3 Things:
    • Craft the story – your title is important and having a unique angle
    • Building a list of those that might be interested in telling your story (Podcast hosts, reporters/writers, etc. found on Google Alerts)
    • Distribute your story and your PR effectively to the sources.

At the 30 min mark, Andrew talks SEO…

  • Andrew is big on doing “on-page” SEO correctly.
  • Use Link Building.
  • You can use Free SEO audit tools online. Google Free SEO Audit.
  • You can even do Craig’s List and University Job boards as SEO hacks.

Thoughts on raising money and exiting companies?

  • We are sold that we need to raise money and that is wrong. You can bootstrap and do great.
  • Fundraising is a second job and will take almost 100% of your time over 6-12 months taking you away from your business.
  • You need to really think through and decide if you need to raise money and you need to have the business in the best position to do so.

What is it that you think most entrepreneurs miss that holds them back the most?

  • They go too much with their gut and hunch instead of compiling and working from the data. ​

Any other lessons from your entrepreneur journey that have made a huge difference?

  • Let passion drive you – not making money.

 

Best Quote: It’s never too early to start marketing. Marketing is different than advertising. Advertising is something you do to scale up your marketing. Marketing can happen at any time.

 

Andrew's Misfit 3:

  1. Just go. Stop finding reasons not to do things and do them. Don’t be afraid to break stuff.
  2. Don’t succumb to worry and overthinking.
  3. If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life.

 

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May 25, 2022

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Todd Randall. Todd is a serial entrepreneur. He is an 8-time CEO and business coach from rural Florida who has built businesses in in everything from gyms and spas, to construction and wholesaling. Todd still owns 4 businesses running all of them remotely doing over $6 million a year in revenue.

He is the founder of Beachview Coaching and uses his experience to train business owners how to create sustainable businesses. His specialty is helping small business owners create the lifestyle they desire from the success of their business instead of creating a 100 hour/week job for themselves. Oh, if that is not enough, Todd owns a horse farm in Florida and flies around the world playing polo in different countries.

It's rare to find an entrepreneur with the diverse experience of Todd and I’m excited for him to share his lessons with you.

www.Beachview.biz

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Todd is a classic example of an entrepreneur who didn’t fit the mold. He started out as a pharmacist and worked for 10 years at McKesson throughout the world. But, after a decade he wanted to have a bigger impact and ended up buying a franchise. He used his hobbies as an excuse to create his lifestyle. He’s a grinder and has worked himself into his diversity of businesses, but has kept his focus on having the lifestyle he wants.

Talk to us about your businesses. What are they?

  • He started with massage therapy franchises.
  • He then branched into gym franchises.
  • He owns a wholesale business for construction supplies – it came out of left field that he acquired because he enjoys home projects.
  • He also has a fence business.
  • He’s sold several businesses, one for about $8 million.

How does someone build their business to support their lifestyle instead of being beholden to their business?

  • Making sure you want to have a business is the first thing.
  • You must understand the skill sets needed to run each business and hire and promote high performers to run the day to day.
  • It is like being a conductor in an orchestra. But, you have think that way from the beginning.
  • Know the lifestyle you want ahead of building the business to create it.

Do you have any businesses where you’ve outsources to VA’s?

  • The coaching business because it is virtual.
  • It is harder to do with brick and mortar.
  • Todd uses tools like Upwork, Freelance and others.

Any best practices on scaling and running a business a well?

  • Scaling is all about delegation.
  • Coming from being an employee, you are trained to work employee hours and many entrepreneurs that come from being an employee just work like that as an entrepreneur.
  • An entrepreneur needs to learn to empower and get out of the way. Don’t be a bottleneck for decisions.
  • One example Todd gives is when he had an employee come to him frustrated because the employee was always waiting on Todd for decisions. When they talked, Todd found that the employee was capable of making the decisions – maybe even better ones that Todd, so they put together a process to allow the employee to do so.
  • You don’t need to make all the decisions in your business – in fact, you cannot scale if you have to. Find great people and let them be their best.

At the 12 min mark, Todd talks about his 5 pts for empowerment.

  • Trust - It is important to spend a lot of time interviews selecting for character and trust (good judgement)
  • Patience – You must set reasonable expectations and allow time for people to grow. Use mistakes to teach.
  • Escalation Pathways – List out the situations or events that trigger the owner to be involved.
  • Transfer to Coach – You must foster a culture of learning and growth through imperfection.
  • Build Redundancies – You must do everything possible not to be a bottleneck. Processes and systems must be created. You also need to have trained backups for key positions.

What challenges come up with multiple businesses? What have you learned to do that well?

  • Running a business is a set of skills that can be learned like playing a sport or other things.
  • Necessity is the mother of invention – as a business owner, you will learn by trial and error and needs that must be fulfilled.
  • Dive in and tackle your biggest challenges, but you must delegate to have the bandwidth to do this.
  • Businesses have to be run with heart – at their core, businesses are people. Help people thrive. And don’t worry if you suck at those skills! Most entrepreneurs do to start!
  • Get help earlier and often.

Advice for those that want to follow a path like yours in leadership?

  • Lead with compassion.
  • It all comes down to people.

At the 29 min mark, Todd talks about how he had imposter syndrome when it came to entrepreneurship because he prefers to do it for having the lifestyle he wants vs. striving for more in some cases. His business is exactly the right size for what he wants to do.

How did you come to know exactly what you wanted?

  • Todd can think of a couple instances.
  • The first was when he was still at corporate working overseas.
  • It was right before the collapse in 2008. He has worked on a billion-dollar business plan with a company in an engagement that he led. When done, his company wanted him to come back home. He decided to take a month off and hang in the south of France.
  • It was one of the best months he ever had in his life and it didn’t cost a lot to do it. It made him realize how easily he could have a great life and changed his direction.
  • The second was 5 years into his businesses when he had 3 locations. He had an opportunity for adding a 4th. He invested in the 4th business and got caught. It had issues and ended costing him most of his money and cashflow at the time.
  • He decided he was going to make it out – and it took getting rid of his fancy beachfront condo and nice car. He sold it all and rented a trailer. He figured out what was important and focused there.
  • This helped get out of being capital constrained and get out of trouble and after about a year, things were back to normal and thriving for all 4 businesses. He then sold two taking some money off the table.

Best advice on how to exit a business?

  • Some cliches hold up.
  • Think about and prepare for it years before you are ready.
  • Plan in advance. Plan, plan, plan.
  • Know your business value and when it is at its best.

What has traveling around the world playing polo taught you about how to succeed and run a better business?

  • It really accentuates that business is a set of skills.
  • People come from extremely different walks of life and figure out how to do it. It’s the same as entrepreneurship.
  • People everywhere are curious by nature and they dig in and figure things out and create opportunities. You can too.

 

Best Quote: Running a business is a set of skills that can be learned like playing a sport or other things.

 

Todd's Misfit 3:

  1. Nobody cares what your goals are in comparison to them. Make your goals yours. Take time to sit down and be very honest about what is important to you.
  2. The world is full of people. Study them and appreciate them. The minute you release yourself from being the center of the universe, the more you will learn and grow.
  3. Exercise your body and mind. Physically tax yourself each and every day. It is great for your mindset.

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May 18, 2022

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Michelle Seiler Tucker. Michelle is the founder of Seiler Tucker Incorporated, a pre-imminent company for fixing, growing, buying, and selling businesses. Over 20 years, Michelle and her team have assisted in the buying and selling of over a thousand businesses. She is also a venture capitalist and two-time #1 best-selling author, speaker, TV, and radio host. Her latest book is called, Exit Rich and it’s being hailed by everyone from Steve Forbes to Brian Tracy, Les Brown, Jack Canfield, and many others.

Michelle has been featured everywhere from INC to Forbes to Entrepreneur and holds just about every certification possible in the M&A space. It’s safe to say she is an expert in how to grow, sell, and buy businesses. And I’ve asked her to come on the show to go in depth in all those areas.

www.SeilerTucker.com

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Michelle has always been an entrepreneur going back to when she was a kid. She did work at Xerox and climbed the ranks quickly, but she could not stay and had to pursue her entrepreneurial spirit. She went into franchise space. She had a lot of buyers that would ask to buy existing businesses instead of starting from scratch. She saw an opportunity and began providing these services. Nowadays, her firm specializes in selling, buying, fixing, and growing businesses. She also invests in businesses and helps guide them to maximize their value.

What are the characteristics of a great business?

  • It is an actual business and not a job.
  • 80% of businesses will never sell – Steve Forbes.
  • Most business owners don’t build the proper infrastructure that allows the business to grow and scale without them.
  • A great business maximizes the 6 P’s: People, Processes, Product, Proprietary, Patrons, and Profits.
  • A business is sellable when it has a sustainable, scalable, and predictable structure in place.

Go in depth on the 6 P’s. What do we need to know?

  • 80% of businesses will never sell.
  • Most business owners don’t build their business to be sold and most are emotionally attached to it having created a glorified job for themselves.
  • The business must work for the owner, not the owner for the business.
  • The #1 reason businesses don’t sell is because the business is completely dependent on the owner.
  • People: You build people and people build the business. The right people in the right seats. As the who question? Who does what? What are the characteristics of that person?
  • Product: Your product, industry, and service. A business must always innovate and market. You must constantly ask, “I am on the way up or the way out?” A business must have multiple revenue streams.
    • What is your business best at?
    • What business should you be in?
  • Processes: This is where most businesses fail. You have to identify your processes, but most business owners do this wrong. They design their business processes around their own agenda – it needs to be around the customer agenda. Michelle gives a great example of this with medical clinics. Your process must be concrete and tested and wow your customers.
  • Proprietary: This is the highest value P. Business that are under $1 million in EBITA will trade between 1-3x EBITA. If the EBITA is over $1 million, it starts at 5x and up. Proprietary is a number of things. Part of this is branding – the more value your brand has, the more your company is worth. Trademarks are valuable as well. They need to be registered Federally, not just in the state of the business. Trademark your products as well. Patents are important as well. Contracts are another value driver. Data is valuable.
  • Patrons: Your customers. Customer concentration is something that does happen, but a business must be careful not to have the bulk of the revenue highly concentrated in a small number of clients. It is a risk. Diversify your client base and offerings to grow clients.
  • Profits: Most companies are not making a profit. Lack of profits are not the problem, it is a symptom of not having the rest of the 6 P’s.

How does an entrepreneur plan their exit strategy from day 1?

  • The worst time to sell your business is during a catastrophe or risk event.
  • You want to sell your business at its height.
  • You must have a realistic value of what your business is worth – not what you think it is worth.
  • Follow the GPS exit model: Start with the end in mind. Plan your exit from the beginning. Know the destination before you begin the journey. (what is the goal to exit or sell the business for)
  • Know where you are starting from. (what is the business worth today)
  • Know who your buyers are.
  • Build the company to sell from the beginning.

What are the big mistakes entrepreneurs make in the sales process?

  • Not hiring the right professionals to help you or trying to sell the business on your own.
  • Get an experienced M&A advisor.
  • Get the proper disclosures signed.
  • Be careful selling to customers or employees.
  • Go back to the 6 P’s to maximize value.
  • Make sure contracts, employee contracts/non-competes all buttoned up.
  • Beware telling your employees and clients you are in a process.
  • Don’t negotiate outside of your M&A advisor.

Anything else we should know?

  • Don’t ever divulge your customer list.
  • Make sure you have a non-compete if a competitor is buying you.
  • It’s not what you know that gets you into trouble, its what you don’t know.
  • Many deals fall apart because of taxes. You have to pay taxes – don’t not sell your business because of taxes. There are ways you can defer capital gains.

 

Best Quote: 80% of businesses will never sell.  The #1 reason businesses don’t sell is because the business is completely dependent on the owner.

 

Michelle's Misfit 3:

  1. Build your exit from the beginning. Use the 6 P’s. People, Processes, Product, Proprietary, Patrons, and Profits
  2. It is hard to read the label from the inside of the bottle. You need an outsider’s perspective. Get a mentor who has been down the road you want to travel.
  3. Do your best to have a balanced life of God, family, and work. Keep a 30-day journal and document things. 3 buckets. Bucket A are the things only you can do. Bucket B are the things that you are good at but should be delegated. Bucket C are the things you can outsource entirely.

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