In this episode, Dave is excited to welcome Steve Cunningham. Steve is founder of Readitfor.me, one of the most unique and exciting breakthroughs in personal growth and development released in a long time. In fact, Dave liked it so much he became a customer! Readitfor.me, is a service that delivers a summary of a best-selling business and personal development books to their members every single day.
Their mission is to:
Read it for me is used by some of the largest corporations in the world, as well as many major influencers and entrepreneurs. In fact, Tony Hseih, founder of Zappos had this to say about readitfor.me, "We use Readitfor.me here at Zappos, and we love it. Pursuing growth and learning is one of our core values, and Readitfor.me lets us do that in a fun and engaging way."
Steve holds the record for shortest law career ever, one week. He had gone to school for law and business, but within a week found that law was not for him, so he went into a family business and started a media company within it. In order to perfect his craft, he begin to study and perfect social media techniques for meeting influencers and acquiring clients many years before it really became popular.
He also studied and read voraciously as many books and materials he could get his hands on about business and entrepreneurship. He found that many of the potential clients he was meeting with were entrepreneurs and one of the best ways to build rapport was to see what books they had on their bookshelves and discuss them. But the funny thing was that many times, they would admit, they actually hadn’t read the books…they just had them on their bookshelves!
This gave Steve an idea. He could take those business books that everyone wants to read, but doesn’t have the time and condense them down to a 10 minute read, or a quick audio or video. He could then use it to open doors for his content marketing business and use it as a case study to show how things can go viral on social media and grow a business. And that is exactly what happened. Within a very short time, the summaries were shared all over the world, put in email newsletters, and shared on social media. Steve even starting getting calls from venture capitalists.
So a case study, an experiment to gain new clients for content marketing, very quickly turned into a business and recently, Steve stopped doing content marketing and social media services all together to focus on Readitfor.me full time.
Make sure to pay attention at the 7 minute mark when Steve talks about the “in-between moments.” Also tune in at the 10 minute mark where Steve talks about going from knowing nothing about creating and starting an online e-learning business to creating Readitfor.me. It truly proves that anything can be learned.
Steve talks about his tipping point when he did 10x his sales in one month. The key to this was to go HUGE and create an absolutely off the wall offer. And it worked
That is the offer Dave saw that was limited for a very short window and bought the service. What did Steve do? He went from a monthly/annual subscription to a lifetime subscription for a ridiculous price! He only does this for very specific partnerships. His thinking was, "Why plod along and get a subscriber here or there, when you can offer something of such ridiculous value that it is too good to pass up." His rational was, "If I make it such a good deal and get a million clients in a shorter time, it’s the same as getting subscription clients 1 by one over many, many years."
The response was insane!
Here are Tips and things Steve has learned in building Readitfor.me:
Top Books Recommendations from Steve:
Goal Setting and Task Performance (From an old text book delivered via module at Readitfor.me
Best Quote: “Always challenge assumptions you are making and why you are doing what you are doing…”
Steve's Misfit 3
In this episode, Dave is excited to welcome long time friend and quintessential Misfit Entrepreneur, John Ruhlin. John is the founder of The Ruhlin Group – a gift strategy and logistics company. The Ruhlin group helps clients send world class gifts to cut through the noise, Increase referrals, and strengthen retention with their most important clients, employees, and prospects.
John is known around the world for creating unique experiences through gifting. A practice he calls Giftology. In fact, that is the title of his recently released, best-selling book. The Ruhlin group counts everyone from major league sports teams such as the Miami Dolphins and Chicago cubs to organizations like Nascar and many of the Fortune 500 including Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley as clients. They have also been profiled in INC magazine, Entrepreneur, and Forbes to name a few.
How did an Ohio farm boy learn the principles of radical generosity and building a great business from the Amish? John's story gives us the answer. John started out in farm country in Ohio and worked like any of us would through high school and into the early years of college. But, John always had the entrepreneurial itch and it was this itch that led him the most unlikely place for farm kid, selling high quality knives for Cutco. Not only could John sell, but he quickly became one of the top sales people in he company and continued to be the number producer for years.
But, it was an encounter in his early knife days with a friend of his family that left a radical impression on him. John was working hard to reach high levels starting out and had sold everything he could to this family friend. It was then that the man asked what else he could buy. John didn't know what to say, this man had bought everything he possible could. It was then that this man decided to buy sets of knives to hand out to the wives of his business partners. John was confused, what would he want to do that? It was then that John learned his lesson when the man, "Take care of the inner circle." Over the years John has perfected this practice into a concept call Giftology.
And recently John released this strategy in a book titled with the same name. It is already an instant hit and best-seller. Giftology is the Ruhlin Group's play book for the last 16 years. We discuss this in detail and John explains further about his early inspiration for gifting and how it left a lasting impression on him.
John goes in depth on what it means to take care of the “inner circle” and the concept of “radical generosity,” why most people suck at gifting and how you can use this to your advantage in your life and business.
John talks heavily about the difference between a gift and an obligation. Some of John's best advice centers around a very counter-intuitive philosophy - You should not use your logo or company information as part of your gift or in strategic gifting.
As John says, "Most people don’t see the difference between a gift and a promotional item. Don’t turn your biggest prospects, clients, or opportunities into a piece of advertising for you."
John also discusses how to overcome your limiting beliefs and take calculated risks that pay off. As with most entrepreneurs, there are always tough times along the way. We discuss how John lost almost everything and came back and the core principles that help him through. John also explains his unique perspective on how he stays grounded and what he does to intentionally make himself feel small.
Best Quote: "Most people don’t see the difference between a gift and a promotional item. Don’t turn your biggest prospects, clients, or opportunities into a piece of advertising for you."
John's Misfit 3
In this episode, Dave is excited to welcome Roy Huff. Roy is a best-selling author, scientist at the University of Hawaii, teacher, and blogger. Roy has earned five degrees in four different disciplines spanning liberal arts, history, education, and geoscience.
He has worked on projects such as forecasting volcanic emissions from the Kilauea Volcano and training on geostationary satellites for NASA's GOES-R Proving Ground.
He has been published in numerous publications for his work and seen on TV, but his entry into creative writing did not occur until the age of thirty-four when he began writing a creative paper for an English class while working on his fourth and fifth degrees. That paper later became the opening chapter of his first book, which grew to be an Amazon number-one international epic-fantasy bestseller, Everville. Subsequent books in the Everville series have also gone on to become bestsellers and continue to win awards for both cover art design and content. Roy is a monthly contributor for Lifehack.
After learning more about Roy, one of the most amazing things about him, aside from all his success, is his story of hardship that he had to overcome to reach these levels of accomplishment.
Roy’s story is incredible. He grew up in abject poverty in rural Kentucky and North Carolina. His father was manic depressive. His parents divorced when he was 6 and his father died of HIV when he was in 8th grade. He suffered through some abuse and at times only had one set of clothes and was lucky if he had shoes.
As Roy says, "We didn’t even have enough money for a bus pass growing up."
Through much hardship, Roy managed to graduate valedictorian of his class and then set off to Hawaii to fulfill his dream of becoming a weatherman. Withing a year, he ran out of money and had to leave. This started a 10 year journey of entrepreneurship and more hardship for Roy. Roy tasted some major success, but through a series of unfortunate events had to file for bankruptcy and liquidate his businesses as well as his home.
It was at this point that Roy decided to go back to school. While working a full time and part time and raising a family, Roy was able to earn 5 degrees in 6 years!
It was in year 4, that Roy found writing – totally by accident. Listen to the 12 minute mark to hear this amusing and life changing part of his story. It was while getting a degree in Geo-science that a simple creative writing assignment became the basis for his best-selling series, Everville. He struggled to get it off the ground and then was spurred by a book he read and subsequently finished the first Everville book in 30 days. He put the pressure on himself by actually marketing the book before it was even written! It took off and he went onto the 2nd and 3rd books, but had another setback – a divorce.
At this point, Roy made some life changes and created a Life Action Plan for himself focused on his health, relationships, and wealth. Listen in at the 17 min mark to learn how he did it and the results he has been able to achieve. There are some great lessons in this section about how to get an idea off the ground and create a platform to be able to launch it, including how he got accepted as a writer on LifeHack.com. His latest project is a series of books on personal development looking to be released later this year.
Lessons from Roy for Entrepreneurs:
Best Quote: "The universe doesn’t care about the problems that I have. And if I want to succeed at something, the only way I am going to is by taking action."
Roy's Misfit 3
In this episode, I am excited to welcome my friend and longtime investment mentor, Doc Severson. Doc is known as the Options Doctor. He is a principle at TheoTrade, an organization that provides, solid, no hype, time tested advice those looking to trade options and futures in the US Markets. The organization is unique in that is has very specific requirements to be on their team - All of the traders/mentors on the team must have a minimum of 15 years’ experience of hands on trading in their specialty with proven documented results that you can see and review.
Doc is your quintessential misfit – walking out on a 6 figure job to pursue his dream of trading for a living almost 10 years ago. Starting from essentially square one, Doc created a multimillion dollar business.
He is also the author of Hacking the Holy Grail: The Trader’s Guide to Cracking the Code of Profitability, an Amazon best-seller.
Doc’s story of starting over in his mid-40’s because he was displaced by disruption is a great example of how you can reinvent yourself at any time.
Pay close attention to around the 12 minute mark when Doc talks about taking the chance and leap of faith, running through walls, finding what you are meant to do, and breaking the bonds of being an employee. We also discuss writing a “day in the life paper” and what the power of convincing yourself and your mind of what is possible can do for you.
Doc, who is arguably, one of the world’s top option traders, gives us some of this best insights on investing and getting started in investing. Doc mentors thousands of people all throughout the world and gives us some of the biggest pitfalls to avoid in investing.
Doc also discusses some other great success tips such as choosing not to be mediocre and focus on the “one thing” to be the best, challenging the convention norms by being a contrarian and NOT diversifying, putting a value on your knowledge, and advice for starting out in investing and trading.
He also talks about what it’s like to compete against the best every day in the markets and how to create an edge and carve out a place to win. Pay attention to this at the 41 minute mark for some great content on this.
Doc's Misfit 3
1. Corridor effect: When you close a door, you walk into the corridor with many doors– Disassociate yourself from defining yourself by your job title, free yourself to the opportunity around you. You will become alive again and get your life back. Today, take 20 mins to look around you and find one opportunity you never thought about before, write it down, and put a plan in place to maximize it.
2. The Secret of the Entrepreneur: Open you mind and your ears to what problems that people are having…then go solve them. Pick one problem that you know you and other people have, one in which you have clarity and know you could provide a solution. It doesn’t matter if it is large or small – you just need to get in the act of finding and solving a problem. Then go do it. You can start on this right now, today.
3. Learn to recognize disruptive forces in the world. The things that are changing the way we live, work, and play – and seek to be one yourself or align yourself with them. Don’t ever get complacent or comfortable. It’s when things are going well that you need to be most alert for a disruptive force. Take time today to identify a disruptive force in your life. Whether it’s to your work or business or a trend you see coming. Ask yourself how you can use this to give you an edge and ride its wave. Then start doing it!
Welcome Misfit Nation!
Today's guest is a great friend and mentor, Miguel de Jesus. Miguel is the founder of Purpose and Action. He's credited with leading the growth efforts of a Fortune 1000 from $40 million in sales to over $2 billion. We take some time on Miguel’s story as it really represents a trip through history with some of the most storied companies in history. Starting from humble beginnings in New York’s lower East Side. Miguel started out his entrepreneurial career as a Trumpet player in high school, playing gigs around the city. He then started a retail clothing company with storefront on Broadway in Manhattan…where he used everything from arbitrage to unique radio spots to drive sales. Miguel also explains how he learned the hard lessons with this business and those spurred him to continue his entrepreneurial career in the early days at Xerox and was there for 20 years including 8 years in Puerto Rico.
In this episode, we take a little walk down memory lane from my early days at Paychex working with Miguel. Miguel will help to learn the inner workings and perseverance needed to get things done in a larger company, how founders think differently that the rest of us, how to find the sacred cows and don’t be afraid of them, but also be conscious to their importance, and lastly, learn to gain leverage by having all of your assets and resources clearly defined. Assess where you are today and determine where your gaps are.
Tune in at the 16 minute mark to learn how Miguel used his entrepreneurial skill to help take a $40 million company to over $2 billion. Miguel talks about the importance of people development and how Miguel founded the University of Paychex, one of the Top 100 corporate training programs for over 15 years, but more importantly, he gives us model he has used in growing and making businesses successful.
Here's Miguel's model that he has used for 40+ years:
Dissect your business into 4 categories:
Quote from Miguel: "Tomorrow you’ll be the same person that you are today, except for the workshops that you attend, the books that you read, and the coaches that you work with."
Miguel's Misfit 3:
1. Always be and stay curious. The 3 most dangerous words in personal development are “I know that.” You have to check your ego and be open to be coached and get coaching.
2. Stay aggressive. Don't get complacent or comfortable. If you feel you are comfortable in your role or business, everything is about to change, so get moving!
3. Attend as many worthwhile workshops, seminars, podcasts, etc. that you can in the specific areas you want to learn or grow and focus making sure you are working with those that are true experts and SME’s in the area you are focused on. There is a big difference between and SME and a motivation speaker, make sure you understand that.
Learn more about Miguel at www.purposeandaction.com
In this very first and inaugural episode of the Misfit Entrepreneur, Dave discusses what the Misfit Entrepreneur is all about, how it came to be, his goals for the show and helping you. He also gives some details on his background. Dave, then shares the format (or lack thereof!) for the show and explains the Misfit 3 in detail.
The Misfit 3 for this episode are as follows:
Make sure you sign up for the Misfit Minute, the FREE weekly email packed with resources, musings, and Misfit 3 material from the world of Misfit Entrepreneurs. Just go to www.misfitentrepreneur.com/misfit-minute-signup.html