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 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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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 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!

Jan 13, 2021

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Eric Partaker. Eric is an interesting guy. He had been ranked "Top 30 Entrepreneurs in the UK", 35 and under, by Startups Magazine, and among "Britain's 27 Most Disruptive Entrepreneurs" by The Telegraph. His work has been featured on a number of major TV stations and networks, as well as in the Wall Street Journal and The Economist. He has also appeared as a guest judge on the The Apprentice.

Over the last 20 years Eric has advised Fortune 50 CEOs while at McKinsey & Company, helped build Skype’s multi-billion-dollar success story, and founded several companies, before becoming one of only 300 certified high-performance coaches in the world by the High-Performance Institute.

But, it’s not just that Eric coaches a very exclusive number of top performers throughout the world, it’s unique experience and way of looking at things that really makes his standout – and that is what I want him to share with you today.

Get a free copy of the 3 Alarms there as well

Eric story takes place over a decade when we got on a plane and felt a little “off” at take-off. As the plane climbed, he began to feel pain in his chest and arm. Luckily, a doctor was on the plane and checked him and determined he was having a heart attack. The plane had to do an emergency landing.

He landed in a small town in France to a waiting ambulance and remembers saying to the paramedic, “Please don’t let me die. I have a 5-year-old son.” He ended up being ok as they got to him in time. Eric says that this was the start of history, because prior to that he was a workaholic working 100 hours a week.

It became his mission to help others avoid what he went through. But it took a little more time. Eric says that it was not even the heart attack that sparked the final change. He changed his health habits, but still 3 years later he still had not changed himself outside of that and woke one day to his wife sobbing telling him she was going to leave him if he didn’t change his ways. He was not present and available to his family. He needed to make changes on the home front. He realized there were 3 domains that we must be balanced in: Health, Wealth, and Relationships.

Define High Performance and what it means. What does a true Top Performer look like?

  • Take a step and look at the why
  • Only 2% of people that reach their full potential. 98% don’t. It’s terrifying and liberating at the same time.
  • The liberating part is that you can be part of the 2%.
  • Think of performing at your best in the life domains: Health, Wealth, and Relationship.
  • Peak Performance gives a set of tools to be your best in each of the areas.
  • Don’t picture the Ferrari. Picture what it means for you to be your best.

Are there habits that people can develop to perform at their highest potential? What are the traps that keep them from doing this?

At the 13 min mark, Eric talks about the 3 Alarms.

He starts with I-P-A.

Identity: Behavior follows identity – you have to choose who you want to be before anything.

Productivity: Knowledge isn’t where the game is played. It’s readily available. The game is turning knowledge into action.

Anti-Fragility: The more you get hit, the stronger you become. The true opposite of fragile. Things will not go to plan. You must step into it, rise to the challenge, and get stronger because of it.

Understanding this is one thing, but putting it into action is another…How does someone choose who they want to be and so on? Focus on 3 things, the 3 domains.

At the 18 min mark, Eric talks about us putting on our hero costumes and instinctively knowing what to do.

Remember, behavior follows identity. We did this as kids all the time.

  • The practice and simple practical tool for remembering this is the 3 Alarms.
  • Take out your phone and set 3 alarms each for one of the domains – but in the alarm write out what you at your best would be called in each of the domains. What is your super hero name for each one?
  • For example, in the health department for Eric, his alarm says “World Fitness Champion” because that is who he is when he shows up in the gym. At 6:30am each day, this goes off for him. He steps into this identity when he works.
  • 9am is “World’s Best Coach”
  • 6:30pm is “World’s Best Husband and Father”
  • Linking this intentionality to the best time of day for it is game-changing.

At the 21-minute mark, we discuss how little reminders like the 3 Alarms and others can make a difference even subliminally and using them to create your future self. We also discuss choice and the role it plays in your success in your life. It is best to listen.

What are some of the traps that you see keeping people from reaching their true potential?

  • Procrastination. It kills success.
  • It ends up being a self-defense tactic because what you know you need to do is not something you want to do.
  • The simple solution is to change the way you talk. When you feel the urge to procrastinate, you should stop and take notice of what is going in your head.
  • Instead of saying “I have to,” change it to “I choose to.” Even if you don’t like it, you are still choosing it.
  • Then give it a small of time, like 5 mins. So instead it becomes, “I choose to start for just 5 mins” - this defeats procrastination.

2 Special Forces techniques to increase success?

  • Some of Eric’s clients are ex-special forces and are masters of anti-fragility.
  • One of the things they do all the time are “pre-mortems” and “post-mortems.”
  • This is a great anti-fragility builder.
  • When you visualize everything ahead of time and note any potential obstacles and how you will overcome, it helps tremendously as you begin the project, task, strategy, or going after a goal, etc.
  • Ask, “If I were to fail completely in this, what are the reasons this would happen?”
  • Then figure out what you can do ahead of time to overcome the reasons. Then, when done, do an analysis of what happened and what you learned from it – and what you could do better the next time around.

The 3-13-3 multiplier. Tell us about that and how it relates to entrepreneurs.

The first 3 is the 3 Alarms

  • The 13 is adding 13 weeks back to your life every year.
  • The average person loses 28% of their work day to the ineffectiveness of multi-tasking. (this stat comes from the book The One Thing)
  • Taking out 6 weeks for vacation per year, that means at 28%, we are losing 13 weeks per year of productivity. Over a 40 year career, that is an entire decade!
  • The solution is to master the art of single tasking.
  • Get old school with a time sheet and track every activity you do in a day for a week to see where you time is going.
  • When you get better a single tasking, you get more productive and you add more time back into your life as you are becoming more productive.
  • You can increase the ability to achieve your goals 3x by taking on the avoidance of loss head on. We have an over-aversion to loss.
  • If you tie a monetary loss to something you are avoiding that if you continue to avoid and not do, you have to pay up. Basically a bet. It will motivate you to do it. You can also make the payout go to something you despise which further incentivizes you as you will not want to pay it. ​

What is the one thing that has surprised you most on your entrepreneur journey and what is your biggest takeaway from it?

  • Becoming world class at something is not nearly as hard as people make it out to be.
  • It requires you really understanding where you are going to be your best in.
  • Blocking your calendar and time to work on and develop those skills.
  • Then show up and have respect for yourself to keep your appointment with yourself to do it.
  • It is so much closer than people realize.


Best Quote: Becoming world class at something is not nearly as hard as people make it out to be. It is so much closer than people realize.


Eric's Misfit 3:

  1. Choose your identity. Choose who you want to be. You did it as a kid and you can do it now.
  2. Measure how you are doing daily. Show up and do you best. At the end of the day give yourself a W for a win and an L for learn. No more than 6 L’s in a month.
  3. Remember to not take things too seriously. Have a good time.

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Jan 6, 2021

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Dylan Blau. What does dog training have to do with massive success in entrepreneurship? A lot actually. Dylan is the founder of Epic Dog Pros and a professional dog training expert and behaviorist. He has rehabilitated thousands of dogs; training some of the most challenging cases from extreme aggression to dogs scared of everything. His consistency & dependability is incomparable allowing him to do what others cannot.

Aside from that, he is a Public Figure, Mentor, Life Coach, and social media/PR wizard who used these tools to create all of his businesses and grow exponentially. In fact, hacking social media was the key to showcasing his talents in dog training to the world and making him known selling millions’ worth of dog training programs. Nowadays, he works with Celebrities, YouTube Influencers, Facebook Public Figures, Authors & other Social Media Celebrities to help them maximize their selling potential on social media.

So, going back to my question at the beginning. What does dog training have to with massive entrepreneur success? Dylan’s shares how he used everything he knows about dog training to create a massive brand and business.

@WeAreDogTraining on Instagram

Dylan has been training dogs for 13 years and never expected to be in that business. He originally went to school for musical theatre and even did standup comedy for a while. He thought he was headed into acting. He ended having an opportunity in Arizona to work with dogs and learn lessons from watching Cesar Milan. This inspired him and a friend to rescue dogs and train them. And he did. He found he understood it almost intuitively and continued to develop the skill. He felt that he needed to share his knowledge and what he learned to help others learn it.

As he went down the entrepreneur path, he found people like Tai Lopez and others. He immersed himself in learning top minds. This let him to fall in love with social media as it became an amazing stage for him to share everything he was doing. It began to take off. After training thousands of dogs and being known for really helping problem dogs and aggressive dogs, his teachings have been adopted by many throughout the world.

“Training a dog is solving a problem. And working with animals is almost more fun than working with people as they don’t give you excuses. They only show you their limitations. The problems to solve.”

Humans put up barriers and resistance. People can go to therapy for years and never solve their problems. And several years ago, Dylan doubled down on his brand on social media as a dog trainer and he now has hundreds of thousands of followers across many platforms and ways to get to his teaching and training. His whole business literally runs on social media and has allowed him to sell millions in his programs.

During Covid, he offered to help others with the strategies he has used to grow online and now his latest business, The Blau Agency has grown tremendously.

What are the principles that make for successful dog training that relate well to entrepreneurship?

  • Consistency – Training a dog is all about creating a consistent day to day routine of actions that will help the dog to grow and progress. It is the same with an entrepreneur. Every day you work on the same things and trying to get better at them. Clarity –
  • Clarity is one of the biggest reasons why dog trainers and dogs, and business owners and entrepreneurs will succeed or not. Things must be clear, easy to follow, and understand. The opposite of clarity is confusion and when we and dogs get confused, we shut down. Dylan uses the example of ordering a black coffee vs. trying to figure out Starbucks’ men. Black coffee is easy and universal.
  • Confidence: You need to build confidence in your dog just as you need to build confidence in yourself as a business owner or entrepreneur. Fear is a terrible motivator. Building confidence builds motivation and confidence comes from healthy communication that is clear (clarity) and consistent.
  • Patience: You must be patient with the process as you put in the work in the other areas with a dog and as a business owner or entrepreneur.

At the 21-minute mark, we discuss these and my DCP formula in more detail and get into overcoming the challenges that happen even if you are doing well. We also discuss structure. It’s best to just listen.

  • When you hit a roadblock, your ability to adapt, evolve, and problem solve comes down to your mantra (your battle cry) and your confidence/clarity in that you can work around it.

Talk to us about hacking social media to grow a business, what should we know?

  • Social media are free platforms where you can show people who you are every day and get attention to your brand and your business.
  • With the right strategy, it can seem effortless.
  • Dylan explains social media using his father, who is a successful, old school entrepreneur who never used social media. These business can and will continue to succeed.
  • But Dylan said that social media is “Missed Potential Income.”
  • Instagram is one of the best platforms to be on.
  • .Tik Tok is now a must and has taken over social media.
  • LinkedIn is still good.
  • Parler is a new one.
  • Dylan focuses the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, and Youtube.
  • Dylan learned that the more he showed people, the more they responded and connect with him.
  • If you can use social media to make your customers feel like they know you, the more successful you will be.
  • If people see you consistently with confidence and clarity talking about a topic that you know, they will come to you because you are always there when the time is right for them.
  • Every day, Dylan wants people to see him, engage with him, and have an opportunity to interact with them.
  • Dylan was not originally a fan of Tik Tok, but now in his mind, it is the #1 place to be currently. It is a goldmine for anybody and Tik Tok will allow you have to fund with social media – it is all about being relatable and vulnerable.

How are you able to put yourself across all these platforms, how much time are spending a day, and what is your strategy to monetize? How do you manage it all consistently every day?

  • First, you need to present yourself in a way that gives you credibility. People judge your social media pages the way they judge a book cover.
  • You want to develop your brand to be credible. It could be with PR, features, etc.
  • Then you need to generate an outflow – a way to connect and develop a relationship.
  • Relationships create opportunities.
  • Connect with people – Dylan does this through Direct Messaging
  • Opportunities create sales.
  • Collaborations are important such as going on podcasts or with other social media influencers.
  • You can certainly hire people to help you like VA’s or direct hires.
  • Focus on what you are good and get help for the rest.
  • At the 40 min mark, Dylan talks about how creates content and documents what he is doing as he goes.
  • Documentary style content is the easiest to make. Show people the inside look at things.
  • To collaborate – Dylan will go onto someone’s page and like 10 photos that he thinks is meaningful to the creator, then comment on 1-2 posts, then follows them. Once they respond and follow back, he direct messages them with a simple message to connect.
  • He and his assistants send messages connecting every day.

“The more you know yourself the more you can show yourself.”

​ Any last thoughts?

  • Have fun. Enjoy your life.
  • Money is a result of doing what you love to do.
  • Play the long game. Don’t think short term.


Best Quote: Training a dog is solving a problem. And working with animals is almost more fun than working with people as they don’t give you excuses. They only show you their limitations. The problems to solve.


Dylan's Misfit 3:

  1. Taking responsibility. You are wherever you are in life, because of everything you’ve done. You are in control.
  2. Ask for help. Life is more fun with people. Surround yourself with great people to help you grow.
  3. Have fun. Enjoy life! Believe in yourself to be yourself.


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Dec 30, 2020

Misfit Nation! Welcome to the Misfit Entrepreneur 2020 year in review where each year I attempt to boil down all of the incredible, useful information, strategies, and tips that our guests have given on the show into less than one hour for you…with a few surprises thrown in. Now, it’s impossible for me to go over every single best piece of advice and that is why I urge you to take some time and go through the Misfit Archives to see which episodes resonate most with you, but in doing this episode, my goal is to spur ideas – to give you a lightning strike that propels you down a path of action to better improve yourself, your life, and your business or career in 2021!

That’s why I do this show – to not only provide a treasure trove of some of the best information to succeed in life and business for my daughter, Hannah, for when she grows up, but to give you a place where you know you can come each and every week to get inspired and find real, tried and tested tips, secrets, and strategies to succeed in all areas of life, and to share different perspectives from some of the highest performing entrepreneurs in the world with you. I truly believe that one great episode can change someone’s life and that’s what we set out to do each and every week.

But, before I begin I want to tell you something. I want to say “Thank YOU.” Thank you for listening. Thank you for your support of the show and thank you for sharing our message. Without you and the amazing feedback members of this audience give me every week, it would not be half of what it is. Because of you, in just a couple short years, this show has reached hundreds of thousands of people in over 140 countries. I am truly humbled and in awe at what we’ve done together and I am excited about having an even bigger impact with your help in 2021.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, and I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I did creating it for you!

Misfit 3:

  1. Listen to 2020 Misfit Entrepreneur Year in Review
  2. Pick 3 things from the episode to take action on in your life and business.
  3. Make 2021 your best year yet!

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Dec 23, 2020

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Patti Plough. Patti is a serial entrepreneur and the President and CEO of Excel Legacy Group. The company works in conjunction with leaders in the ESOP advisory industry. They specialize in tailored solutions to help their clients achieve their ESOP goals. Their unique approach focuses on the goals and strategic priorities of each selling shareholder in addition to the creation of an employee-owned business.

For those of you that are not familiar with an ESOP. It is an employee stock ownership plan. The plan gives workers stock in the company as part of their compensation and they get to share in the benefits of being an owner in the company.

There are a lot of benefits to both the employees and owners of a business and this is one subject that I think every entrepreneur should know about and Patti is the go-to expert in the space.

Patti’s background is in nursing and she spent the first 15 years of her career as a bedside nurse before becoming an entrepreneur. She then had what she calls a “divine appointment.” She was contacted by the company she was working for to do an insurance screening on a VIP for a big railroad. When she got there, the gentleman asked her if the company did wellness programs. She checked into it and her company did not.

She had to find a wellness company and found the one and only around. She contacted them and found out the owner had just lost his only client to budget cuts. She decided to partner with them and bring the service to VIP. From there, she kept going and built the company into a multi-million business in the corporate wellness space and after many years, turned the company into an ESOP.

She created other businesses along the way using the same attitude and persistence.

At the 8 min mark, Patti tells the story of how they went from potentially selling their business to private equity to choosing to do an ESOP.

  • Patti’s biggest concern was what would happen to her employees if they sold.
  • Patti and her partners would come out favorably in a transaction, but there was uncertainty about the fate of the employees.
  • While meeting with a financial professional to discuss the transaction, the concept of the ESOP was brought up and discussed.
  • It was like a light bulb went off.

Take us through the entire concept of ESOP and the benefits to the employees and owners in choosing this route…

  • The benefits to the employees including them keeping their jobs, ownership in the company, etc.
  • The benefits to the owners are that they can get fair market value for the company.
  • ESOP is like a retirement program for the employees, but they are now owners and get shares. They can cash those shares in after a vesting period.
  • The employee can retire and cash in their shares.
  • The owners can still be active in the business.
  • As the company grows the value of the shares grow.
  • It also gives the ability for tax deferral as it functions like a 401k type plan.
  • The ESOP is free to employees and as the shares accumulate in value and that is the retirement fund.
  • Owners realize the value by the company buying the shareholders out over time.
  • There is benefit to selling 100% of the shares as it allows the company to become a tax free entity, like a 501c3
  • The savings in corporate taxes helps produce enough revenue to pay the owners out over time.
  • Leveraged ESOP allow owners to sell their shares over time to the corporation over a period of time (typically 5-10 years)

At the 21 min mark, Patti talks more about the tax side of things.

Other things we should know? Any risks?

  • There is an opportunity to get a second bite at the apple and sell shares twice.
  • The reason Patti is so passionate about the ESOP is that she feels there is no risks and only benefits to the program.
  • It is important to make sure you systems and process are well honed in and the company is not dependent on the president or CEO. It helps valuation.

Talk to us about how you roll out an ESOP to an organization…

  • First, you do a very high level valuation.
  • Then, take time to discuss and understand the structure possibilities and vesting schedules.
  • Decide how the owners will get paid for their shares
  • Decide how you will do payout while keeping the company healthy.
  • Make sure the employees can benefit in the best way possible.
  • You will them select a trustee and do financial due diligence and valuation. This is typically done behind the scenes and worked through before announcing anything to employees.
  • You will then finalize with the trustee to agree on a number an finalize the ESOP.
  • Lastly, you announce, rollout to employees, and celebrate!

What have you learned about how to build a great business?

  • It’s the people that see your vision, believe in your vision and help you to build and grow that vision.
  • The credit goes to them.
  • You have to operationalize and do all those things, but your business will only be as good as the people you have in it. Take care of them. ​

Advice for someone starting out today in a new business?

  • Do NOT give up. Never, ever give up. It took 15 years for Helix to grow and become what it is today.
  • Never give up on your vision and dream.
  • Push forward.
  • Passion and persistence. Things don’t typically happen as quickly as you anticipate.


Best Quote: What have you learned about how to build a great business? "It’s the people that see your vision, believe in your vision and help you to build and grow that vision."


Patti's Misfit 3:

  1. Always listen to your first witness, follow your gut.
  2. Surround yourself with people that are more success than yourself and learn from them. True mentors.
  3. Passion and persistence. Stay committed to your dream. Do not give up.


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Dec 16, 2020

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Samit Patel. Samit is World’s #1 Crowdfunding Marketer. He is the founder of Joopio and several other businesses that help grow, scale, and get companies known. He and his teams create “done for you” campaigns that are unique to each product and service.

Samit has been featured everywhere from Forbes, Fast Company, Alphr, and is tapped by many of the world’s biggest influencers and companies to help them get their products and services off the ground or better known.

Samit has created a process that ensures products and services get the attention needed to be funded and sell into the future. They do everything from making sure pre-launch is right all the way through to E-commerce after launch. And that is what I want to dig into with him in this episode, to have him teach you how he and his teams do it.

Samit got pushed into business when he went to university to help pay the bills. He set up an events company that helping make $1000 or so a week as an 18-year old. He graduated in 2009 into a horrible job market. And after making $1000 a week, was not going to take a job for less, so he started a number of other businesses in sectors like travel, beauty, and he says, “You name it, I tried to do it.” He then got into a partnership for a new business where he worked for over a year to make it come to fruition and just when it was about to launch, got kicked out of the partnership.

He was dejected and lost and hit a bottom. It took a freak accident that happened to his younger brother that led him take a consulting role for a startup and had success. It took him about 10 years and pretty much giving up before things happened for him and he found a big success.

The freak accident that happened was his brother drowning and being brought back to life. It made him realize that he needed to rethink his whole life and really get focused – a wake up call that he was nowhere near where he wanted to be.

It was in this startup that he built a campaign to launch the product it did over $1.3 mil, one of the top crowdfunded products at the time. He then went on to another product in the skiing industry with great success and further honing his skills. And nowadays, he raised over $30 mil launching product across 40 different industries.

Why is Crowdfunding such a good way to launch a product or business?

  • It’s a great way to validate your product or service and see if it is truly worthwhile.
  • It allows you test it out with consumers and get feedback.

What are the pitfalls or bad side Crowdfunding? What mistakes do people need to be careful to avoid?

  • If you look at Crowdfunding as your only channel and pin your hopes solely on it, then most will be disappointed.
  • Think of Crowdfunding as a part of a glorified PR campaign introducing your product to the market, but you cannot just stop there – you need all of the other marketing, engagement, resources and actions to go with it (social media, e-commerce, etc.)
  • You also should use a multi-platform approach across the different crowdfunding platforms across the world.

Take us through your process and how you do what you do. (it’s best to listen, but here are some short notes)

  • First, you don’t necessarily need to create your product. You could go to Alibaba and find a product that is close to your idea and use that.
  • Second, create a landing page which has the product, 3 core features, and why people should buy it.
  • Third, you can start advertising and sharing it on Facebook groups or spend a little money on Facebook advertising. You will be asking for their name, email, etc. and your goal is to get at least 100.
  • Fourth, you will put them in a VIP or community group, so when they sign up, on the thank you page and you can push them to be part of the group.
  • These groups are critical because they give the feedback you need to make your product great and give you ideas for ancillary products.
  • Fifth, you can jump on a call with each of the 100 people to walk through the product and discuss it in detail with them – and sell it to them.
  • At this point, you will have validation of interest in the product or not.
  • You can also test pricing at this point to see if people will pay for it or put a “deposit” down for it once it is available.
  • Sixth, scale the whole process up. If you spend $20k, you should be seeing a 3x return and give you 10-15k leads when the campaign goes live.

What else should we know about how to launch a product right?

  • Samit will always launch on Crowdfunding first because it gives validation and gives early adopters.

Samit has a system he calls TLFES:

  • Traffic
  • Leads
  • Funnels
  • Engagements
  • Sales
  • You should also put your face behind the product – it will separate you and help you connect with your early adopters.

At the 30 min mark, Samit and I discuss other nuances of launching.

  • When you launch, you want to get 200 sales as that will get you trending and get the platform promoting your launch. Samit says it takes about $20k spend to achieve that.

At the 32:30 mark, Samit explains more about how Crowdfunding platforms work…

  • Crowdfunding platforms have algorithms just like social media and if you generate 200 backers on your first day, you will trend on the platform.
  • Kickstarter, for example, has “Projects We Love” that highlights products that are trending. 200 sales are the key.

​ What are the lessons you’ve learned being an entrepreneur? What are the principles you use to succeed?

  • Structure is important.
  • Samit has had to become a lot more patient and less YOLO.
  • Putting systems in place are very important to success in anything. Personal, business, etc.


Best Quote: You should also put your face behind the product – it will separate you and help you connect with your early adopters.


Samit's Misfit 3:

  1. Don’t be ashamed of getting a job to help you while you are getting your business off the ground.
  2. Work to replace yourself. Create process and SOP’s for the actions you do so you can hand them off.
  3. Create the structure for yourself. Health, family, etc. Beware of chasing the money. You do not get time back that could have been spent with your loved ones and friends. Make time for it.

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Dec 9, 2020

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Per Sjofors. Let me ask you something…How do you know how to price your products and services? How do you know which customer segments to focus on that will pay your top dollar for your product and services?

For most, it is a shot in the dark. They either price based on their costs and build in a margin or do what they “think the market will want or be in the range of the competition.” But is that reality? What if there was science behind pricing that could help you know exactly how to price your products and services and the best market segments to sell to with pinpoint accuracy?

Well, that is what Per has dedicated to better part of his life to doing. Per is a serial entrepreneur creating businesses that have gone from $0 - $72m/2 years, $10m - 28m/3 years, 0 - $15m/2 years. His methods have helped over 700 businesses all over the world and has been featured everywhere from the WSJ to the Street. His latest business is called Atenga and it is a culmination of all his work on pricing into a AI powered solution that shows companies how to price their products the best way and the best markets to sell to.

I bet you can guess why I’ve asked him to be on the show and that is to share his wealth of knowledge about what he has learned on how to price products and find target markets. ​

Per had a chance to run a couple of companies in Europe before coming to the U.S. to run companies and build them here. Pricing products and services was always a challenge and hit and miss. Everything per studied was very academic and theoretical that is couldn’t help them understand why some pricing strategies worked and others didn’t. Per saw a gap in the market in helping companies not only price their products and optimize the market fit, but to also find the right target markets to drive the highest sales volume and profitability.

He started a consulting firm providing those services.

What is the #1 thing companies get wrong when it comes to pricing their products and determining their target markets.

  • The first mistake is that companies guess or price on “what feels good.” Doing this leaves money on the table.
  • The second mistake is looking at your competitors and price based on them. But companies have no idea how their competition arrived at their pricing?
  • The third mistake is to price based on the cost of the product. The buyer doesn’t care about the cost – they care about the value they get or perceive to get.

At the 11:40 mark, Per goes through his method for pricing…it’s best to listen

  • It starts with market research that allows prediction of sales volume at different prices. This gives the base.
  • Then, the prediction needs segmented with anything about the buyer to get the persona of the buyer that will buy at the highest prices and see real value. (Attributes that describe a customer – age, net worth, industry, where they live, interest areas, etc.)
  • You then look at the features and benefits that generate the highest sales volume at the highest price. Some things may need developed or created based on the buyer’s need.
  • You will also look at all sales channels and marketing messages to see what works and what doesn’t, so you can focus in on just what works in conjunction with the other areas above.

Can you give some action steps in each area that an entrepreneur could take on their own?

  • Go talk 2 dozen potential customers and present your product or service.
  • Then ask them 2 very simple questions.
    • What do you think is a price for the product or service that is so low that you don’t think the product or service can continue to deliver the benefit that you expect?
    • What is the price that is so high that is so high that it doesn’t matter, however good the benefit, that it will just be too expensive and you would not buy it?
  • Once you have these answers and data, you can take the averages and you will have a good range where your pricing should be.
  • This gets you in the ballpark and let’s you know where your price should fall.

What goes into increasing a customer’s willingness to pay?

  • There are tricks you can use to increase sales volume and value perception.
  • We as humans are fallable.
  • When we make buying decisions, we are influenced by our environment.
  • We also make decisions based on emotion first.
  • Whenever we make decisions, we are always making it in context.
  • Every time you sell something you have to make context.
  • One of the most effective ways of doing this is by price anchoring. This is where you present price in context.
  • For example, start by presenting something very expensive and then from there provide options that are less expensive and what you really want to sell.

A great example is the gold Apple watch for $17,000 when Apple really wanted to sell the $349 watch. The press was covering the $17,000 and made the $349 look very affordable.

  • You should have a “good, better, best” strategy. You start by presenting the best, then the better, and then the good.
  • The idea is to make the option you want to sell your product at look inexpensive and the best value in context to the other options.

At the 28 min mark, Per talks about how buyers lie in giving feedback…

  • Buyers lie because they know the next time they are going to buy from this company, they want a better deal. They want more features and want a better price.
  • This typically ends up with a product having too many features and benefits at a price that is too low.
  • This is why buyer feedback should be done by a 3rd party and anonymously.
  • A great way to think about it is when you go and buy a car. You don’t come right out and tell them the one you want, and you’d be happy to pay a little more to get it. Instead, you act more reluctant and work to get a deal and cheaper price.
  • When working to figure out pricing, you have to put your own buyer hat on.

What advice can you give on starting and growing a business?

  • The hardest part of the entrepreneurial journey is really to understand the customer.
  • Customers may not think like you or see the need or problem like you. Remember, that a customer is not you and you really need to work to understand your key customer types.
  • The #1 thing is to get sales. If you cannot sell, you cannot survive.
  • You must focus on creating a sustainable sales operation in your company
  • Make sure your investment in the company really helps drive sales results – especially in the beginning.
  • Another thing that is really important is NOT TO DELAY! Get started and going. Beware of the “we just need to do X to get going…” There will always be the “X”, Get going! ​

Any other advice for entrepreneurs?

  • People are the most important asset in any company.
  • The one thing that is most important for people is to feel that they have a role in the company.
  • Management needs to open to share successes and mistakes and include your people in your process.
  • It’s about everyday inclusion and appreciation for the people in your company.


Best Quote: Buyers lie when giving feedback, because they know the next time they are going to buy from this company, they want a better deal. They want more features and want a better price.


Per's Misfit 3:

  1. You are going to make a difference. Only you can make your difference for your business, your personal life, and those around you. It is only through your actions that you can do this.
  2. Data makes the difference. Gut feel is not going to get your business to its best place. You must have data and need to focus on meeting objective you set based on data.
  3. Hire the best, give them leeway, include them, and reward them when they do good. Work with them when the screw up, because like you, they will.

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Dec 2, 2020

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Ty Montague. Ty is co:founder and CEO of New York-based co:collective. co: is a growth accelerator that works with leadership teams to develop purpose-led business strategy and to implement that strategy through innovation in the customer experience. Founded in 2010, the co: team has been fortunate to work with everyone from Google to IBM, MetLife, PUMA, Microsoft, Capital One and many more of the Fortune 500.

Ty has been named one of the 50 most influential creative people of the past 20 years by Creativity Magazine, as well as one of the Top Ten Creative Minds in business by Fast Company magazine. He is the author of the best-selling book, True Story: How To Combine Story and Action to Transform Your Business.

And that is where I want to focus with him in this episode – how we can best tell our story and use it to grow our business and ourselves.

Ty was an unlikely entrepreneur and somewhat of a late bloomer. He started out in New Mexico and didn’t really know what he wanted to do with his life. He worked as a raft guide and an auto mechanic before moving to New York where he worked as a bartender.

He met someone across his bar that was in advertising and told him to explore it. He took to it and was good. He ended up working at some of the top firms with a lot of success. About 15 years ago, Ty began to notice the differences between advertising and what companies actually were doing. He also saw a new kind of business, one that had a story and conveyed the story through action and the customer experience than through paid media.

Ty came to call these companies “story-doing” companies rather than “story-telling” companies. As he compiled his list of these companies, he found a new passion for them. This caused him to leave traditional advertising in 2010 and create Co-Collective to help companies define their higher purpose or quest - then help them put their quest to work throughout their business and with customers.

Talk to us about story-telling vs. story-doing…

  • The first company Ty noticed that was a story-doer was Starbucks. He noticed they didn’t advertise traditionally. Starbucks built their company on a quest and creating an experience like no other for customers.
  • Others included companies like Redbull, Tom’s Shoes, Tesla and others.
  • As he studied these companies, he found that they operate in a different way.
  • Ty then codified it.

Take us through what you codified…

  • Companies need to figure out their quest. People want to do business with companies that share their values – and companies need to define their values.
  • A quest is a crystallization of your higher purpose as a business, the generous change you want to see in the world, and the rallying cry that want to use to get all of your employees and customers to follow you to the goal you want to achieve.
  • This comes from experience, truth, and the company’s’ DNA.
  • The story has multiple parts.
  • It has the truth about the protagonist which is the truth about the company’s – the challenges/opportunities they face and secret weapons the company has.
    • It has the about the stage they are on. The truth about the market and landscape that the company’s story plays out on.
    • It has the truth about the participants or customers. Who is the company for and how can the company help the participants get what they need out of the relationship.
    • The truth about the antagonist. Who is the dragon the company is working every day to slay?
    • Once these are defined, you use them to become a story doer.

At the 13 min mark, Ty gives an example of a company using Tesla that has all the elements of the story and what they are…it’s best to listen.

  • A good quest should be the answer to the question, “What business are you actually in?”

The protagonist and antagonist are half of the quest, what is the other half?

  • It is what you do with a quest once you have it.
  • It is important the CEO participates in this and signs off.
  • Once you have the question, you determine the actions to make it a reality.
  • The business model is defined by the quest.
  • The things you do inside your company is defined by the quest.
  • It should determine the things you celebrate and reward in your company, so it is real for employees.
  • The quest informs more traditional marketing. Your branding, messaging, communications.
  • The quest also determines your capabilities.

At the 19 min mark, Ty talks about Apple, it’s quest, and the changes since Steve Jobs’ passing.

  • Steve Jobs referred to Apple computers as bicycles for the mind.
  • Believe it or not the most efficient form of transportation ever created is the bicycle. It is easy, simple, and efficient. Apple’s quest lives in that.

At the 22:30 mark, Ty goes through a checklist of questions a company needs to answer about its quest.

  • Do you have a clear purpose in the world beyond making money?
  • Have you done the work to define and align on your quest?
  • Does your purpose frame the business that you are in and are you using it as a tool to define your internal culture and customer experience?
  • Is your purpose being used to drive and action and engagement with employees and your customers?
  • Does your purpose define a clear enemy, so it’s not just what you are for, but what you are against?
  • Have you focused on a few transformative actions that bring your purpose to life in the world?
  • Are people outside the company engaging?

How does “story-led innovation” fit into this?

  • Ty uses the example of Redbull in thinking they are the action sports sports company that is on a quest to help us push out limits and live our lives to the extreme.
  • Redbull created their own event Flutag, instead of putting their name on advertising at events and now it has hundreds of thousands of participants a year.
  • Your quest will help determine where you innovate and how you differentiate.

What is something an entrepreneur can do today around story-doing that will make a difference for them?

  • Ask the first question. What is your purpose outside of making money?
  • How is your purpose going to make the world a better place, inspire employees to want to help accomplish it, and inspire customers to be a part of it and tell others about it?

What other trends are you seeing in business, entrepreneurship, and marketing?

  • Diversity on your team is something every entrepreneur needs to think about.
  • Millennials and Gen Z consumers will pay attention to that.
  • Beware the shadow side of being quest led it being a novelty. Authenticity matters. If you are not doing your quest, people will call you out and expose you.

With all you’ve done, what has surprised you most on your entrepreneur journey?

  • How much Ty loves it.
  • He worked for people into his mid-40’s and it felt like a real risk.
  • His only regret is not doing it sooner.
  • Make the leap!


Best Quote: Companies need to figure out their quest. People want to do business with companies that share their values – and companies need to define their values.


Ty's Misfit 3:

  1. Quit caring about what anyone else thinks. The best most successful people pursue their truth and don’t let people get in their head.
  2. Figure out what you would do if you won the lottery and start doing it right now.
  3. Try to leave the world better than when you came into it.

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Nov 25, 2020

Hello Misfit Nation! Welcome to another edition of "Lessons for Hannah!" In November of 2016, we introduced a new format that we are putting alongside our regular episodes called “Lessons for Hannah.” Hannah is my daughter and one of the main inspirations for the Misfit Entrepreneur. I wanted to have a place where she could go and learn from her daddy and his Misfit friends throughout her life….even after I am gone. If you haven’t listened to the first episode of "Lessons for Hannah," I urge you to as it gives some more background and tells the amazing story of how Hannah came to be in our lives.

"Lessons for Hannah" are short, very useful, and sometimes comical lessons, that I have learned which I want to share with you and give to Hannah to help in your lives. Because I want Hannah to have these for her life, I’m going to speak as though I am talking directly to her. These episodes are a lot of fun and if you think there is a lesson that we should include in these episodes, please don’t hesitate to send it over to us at We’d love to share it.

This week’s Lesson for Hannah

Hannah, I want share with you an abbreviated version of a talk I have been doing called “The 5 Principles to Thrive, Succeed, and Live Your Best Life.” It is resonating greatly right now during the pandemic, but the principles are timeless.

I want to start by asking you and anyone listening a question. And that is, “Do you know what chances of being alive are? Let me explain. The chances of you being alive are the same as if 2.5 million people got together, roughly the population of a city the size of Chicago or San Diego, to play a game of dice, each person with a TRILLION sided dice, and they all roll the dice and come up with the exact same number. I’m going to let that sink for a second.

To put it numerically, your chances of being born are 1 in 4 TRILLION.

There is no way around it – you are a miracle it.

I share this for perspective. No matter what your circumstances, no matter who you are, no matter where you are in your life right now, you are a miracle. The fact that you are here means that trillions of others that could have been will never exist. Literally, one step in the wrong direction on a battlefield in history and you don’t exist. One rock in space hits another a different way – and someone else is in your place.

You are one of the greatest miracles ever created. Cherish this fact.

And that brings me to principle #1: Keep Perspective.

You must keep perspective in your life. No matter what is happening, good or bad, right or wrong – you will do well to keep yourself grounded and maintain perspective.

Having good perspective will not only help you to think better and make better decisions, but it will also give you the ability to find happiness at any point in your life.

There are always things to be grateful for and to live for and into our lives…Now, that doesn’t mean we don’t have tough times in our lives. We all do. Right now, the whole world is turned upside and will be potentially changed forever creating some challenging time.

But when these times come, it is very important for all us to control what can be controlled and let the rest go.

Above all else, there is one thing we can control that makes the most difference in our lives – and that is our mindset and our conditioning. You see. we have two minds. We have a conscious mind that we are “aware” of… It is the mind that you use when you “think” to do something. But, we have another much more powerful mind…the subconscious mind. This is the part of your brain the runs you without you even knowing. Think about it – how much do you “think” to throw a ball, drive a car, brush your teeth. You don’t – you just do it.

The subconscious is the most powerful part of our mind and the conditioning it has received determines much of our thinking, decisions, and how we operate in life. Have you ever asked yourself or wondered, “Where do my thoughts come from?” or ever made a decision where you said afterward, “Why did I do that?”

You did it because it was the automatic response your subconscious was conditioned to….As powerful as it is, it is actually not that smart in that it doesn’t decide if the conditioning it has received is truly the best thing for you or not. It just follows the programming.

This is why a person’s mind can actually be their biggest obstacle to success – because whatever your subconscious is programmed to is where you end up.

The key is to understand this and use this awareness to stop debilitating conditioning and reprogram your mind with the way you want to think and the thoughts you want to have.

And that is Principle #2: Learn to control your mindset and conditioning.

Principle #3 is short and quick. You must balance faith and optimism. The best example of this is a story I’ve shared before about Vice Admiral James Stockdale, who was a PO in Vietnam for about 7 years. I urge you to go read his story and his interview by Jim Collins. Essentially, the biggest lesson he shared is “You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose-- with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”

You must always balance faith and optimism and come to grips with reality. If you develop the ability to do this, you can make it through anything. Remember, as I started with, you are a miracle and you are here because you were destined to be here. Things are happening as they are supposed to. And you get to choose how you respond and react to them.

And that brings me to Principle #4, which you taught me, Hannah. Our journey to become a family is filled with twists, turns, and miracles. You can go listen to the first Lessons for Hannah for the full story. But it came down to just a few things. One small choice, one tiny checkbox made the difference for us to find you. The adoption agency, at the time only worked with only 1 orphanage directly in all of China And no one in the world new about you but us because of checking that one box and the agency working with that one orphanage. Third, you were mis-diagnosed and should have been considered a “healthy child,” which means we would never have had know about you as it was a different program.

And here is what I learned from our journey. Everything that happened to the point where we became a family, had to happen exactly as it did – Good and Bad. And it taught me to have no regrets.

Aside from the chances of you being alive, everything that had to happen to get you to this point right now where I am speaking to you and you are getting this message had to happen exactly as it did.

I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t change any of it. Oh, that doesn’t mean I don’t learn from it and given the chance to do things again, wouldn’t apply what I’ve learned. I just don’t regret it.

And that brings me to principle #4 which is really a couple of principles in one, but they fit together.

Everything is a choice. Choose wisely. Do not let yourself be saddled by regret from your choices. Learn from them and become better…

When you do that. When you combine everything I’ve shared in this episode.

  • Keeping a good perspective and staying grounded.
  • Learning to control your mind and conditioning to utilize it to help you become the best version of yourself and live into your potential.
  • Having faith that you will make it, but not discounting the reality that is before you
  • And understanding the everything in your life is a choice that YOU make and that those choices have gotten you to where you are and are the experiences you can draw on to make yourself better – not letting your past determine your future

When you put all this to work for yourself, you will find yourself practicing Principle #5.

You will become the best version of yourself – a constant work in progress no doubt, but a light to those around you and someone they can count on to guide the way and prevail no matter what happens

You will be able to give to this world and those around in ways you never dreamed of and make a much bigger impact that you ever thought was possible. You will be able to thrive, succeed, and live your best life.

Principle #5 is be the light you were meant to be in this world. You have so much more in you than you know. Live into it.

I’ll leave you with this quote from the great Jim Rohn:

“The big challenge is to become all that you have the possibility of becoming. You cannot believe what it does to the human spirit to maximize your human potential and stretch yourself to the limit.”

Hannah, and anyone listening I challenge you to use these 5 principles to maximize your potential and stretch yourself to the limit.

I love you,


Misfit 3:

  1. You are a miracle. You are 1 in 4 Trillion. Cherish every moment and thank God for it.
  2. Realize that everything that had to happen to get you to where you are now, good and bad, had to happen exactly as it did. Don’t regret anything but make darn sure you learn from it and become better for yourself and for others. Life is too short to saddle yourself with regret.
  3. Be the light you were meant to be in this world. You have so much more in you than you know. Live into it.

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Nov 18, 2020

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Alex Kuhn. Alex is the founder of Born to Lead – a company that helps business leaders grow & lead 6,7,8...even 10 figure businesses.

Their key is helping these leaders discover their SuccessDNA and learning how to build the business model around the leaders unique, innate leadership style & talent.

Alex started his entrepreneur journey as one of the top collegiate swim coaches, turning around 2 programs before the age of 28. This helped lay the foundation for his work and Born to Lead. He went on to create and sell two other companies in the health and digital space, but his passion for helping leaders tap into their best selves is what really fuels him.

And it hasn’t gone un-noticed, Alex has been featured in Entrepreneur, Forbes, and a number of other outlets for his paradigm shifting leadership that has helped more than 200 clients at least double their business growth – and that is one of the main things I want him to share with you in this episode, how he does it. ($500 FREE Gift, Success DNA Program)

Alex has always had a great relationship with his father, and they love to challenge each other. When Alex was 9 years old, his father told Alex he was a “follower” to push him. Becoming a leader became part of his DNA. At the age of 12, he left home to go train with the greatest athletes in the world in swimming – people like Michael Phelps and others.

He never made it to the Olympics and ended his career at age 22. Instead of taking the Fortune 500 job he was offered, he decided to take a swim coach job making essentially nothing at a tiny all girls school in Iowa. After a couple years, he got his first head coaching job becoming one of the youngest college head coaches in the space and turned the team around. He got awarded coach of the year for it.

He moved up the ranks and took his next job in California. After 7 years, he was in a position to take over a top tier collegiate swim program, but he decided not to. The entrepreneur bug had been in the back of his mind for a long time and he could not ignore it any longer. So, her retired from coaching and start his entrepreneur journey.

After a few years, he was still broke and not reaching success. He had a defining moment where he asked the question, “What was it that had made him so successful in swimming and coaching that he had not translated to entrepreneurship.” The answer set him on a path to the success he has now.

What was the answer to the question you asked that set you on your path to success?

  • It all came down to leadership
  • Finding the specific style of leadership that works best for you and building the business around it was the key.

How does someone break the mold and tap into this for themselves? How do they find their innate leadership style?

  • The first thing is that we have to u-train themselves and unlearn a lot of things.
  • Look back at your life all the way back to when you were a kid – what was it that came so easy to you? That you could just do well?
  • You have to figure out what comes most naturally to you.

SuccessDNA has 4 architypes:

  1. Developer – The person who is really good at getting the best out of others. Think of great coaches or mentors.
  2. Architect – The person who looks a vision or idea and are able to put it into a sequential plan to get it done and get the right people in place to do it.
  3. Motivator – This person has the ability to get other people to say yes and buy in.
  4. Visionary – This person is able to anticipate the future. They know where things are going before everyone else.

How does an entrepreneur use their strength to the favor once they know it?

  • Once you know your innate talent and archetype, you then ask what is going to work best with it in the following areas
    • Marketing and sales
    • Product and service Team
    • If the leader understands where they are going to work best and focuses there, it makes it easy to fill in the gaps around them for the other areas.

At the 17 min mark, Alex gives some examples of this.

  • Don’t fight your natural tendencies.
  • Ask how can you build the business around natural tendencies.

“If a fish came up to you and ask you if it could fly. You would not tell them it is a hustle or mindset problem. You would tell them they were meant to swim not to fly. You must focus on what you were meant to do, your innate ability.”

What makes a great leader? What do they need to have to be successful?

  • Honesty – Are they brutally honest with you and with themselves. Are they willing to be vulnerable?
  • Integrity – How much do the believe in the message they are sharing. Can people feel it from them and know they are behind it 100%?
  • Courage - They’ve got boldness and guts – courage and are not afraid to step out.

What is the process you take clients through that helps them more than double the size of their business?

  • Forget the word process but look for patterns.
  • It isn’t a step by step instruction manual.
  • First, you have to know your SuccessDNA to setup the business structure to succeed.
  • Second is Relevance, Resonance, and Response. At the end of the day, cash needs to be coming in the business.
    • Is the vision relevant to those you want to serve?
    • Does it resonate with them?
    • Is the offer so simple and easy for a client to say yes that the response is very positive?
  • Third, you have to have a leverage program/product/service on the back side that is one to many, not one to one from a sales standpoint that can scale.

At the 30 min mark, Alex gives example of how to leverage and create leverageable businesses

Are there any principles that you used to turn around swim programs that are transferrable to entrepreneurship?

  • There is one thing missing in the entrepreneur world that the best athletic coaches do well.
  • The best coaches fit themselves into the environment and use it to their advantage.
  • The way this fits into business is to think about how you deeply connect to those in and around your business, your customer.
  • How does you business best fit in with clients, employees, etc.
  • Find the differences, highlight them, and use them to build your business around.


Best Quote: If a fish came up to you and ask you if it could fly. You would not tell them it is a hustle or mindset problem. You would tell them they were meant to swim not to fly. You must focus on what you were meant to do, your innate ability.


Alex's Misfit 3:

  1. Listen and trust yourself first and foremost
  2. Understand what you want to define your relationship with others. What do you want them to walk away knowing about you.
  3. Find that one person that will be your rock in your life.

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Nov 11, 2020

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Kevin England. Kevin is the founder and CEO of Vonazon, a highly sought after full-service digital sales, marketing, and media agency that helps businesses expand their reach and impact through well-thought-out and holistic strategic initiatives.

But more than that, Kevin is a top-rated speaker and consummate entrepreneur having started his first technology company when he was 19, which he built into a massive organization and ultimately sold to Gateway computer. At that point, he could have easily retired, but instead he got into whole different businesses leading him to Vonazon.

And that is really what I want to explore with Kevin in this episode, aside from all his insight into entrepreneurship, I want to discuss what it is that keeps successful entrepreneurs going after they’ve essentially “made it.” What is this force that brings us back to the well?

Kevin started at 13. His dad gave him his first computer and told him to figure it out. So, he taught himself how to write code. He started out by writing games. His data realized he had a knack for it and got him involved with some of his business colleagues. Through high school, Kevin wrote programs for businesses and developed applications.

He grew up in surf town and was basically a surfer who could program. Programming brought him into his first business at 19. His goal was to help small-mid sized business grow and implementing technology. The business grew and Kevin became the biggest value-added reseller for Gateway Computer to a point where if Gateway sold a computer in California, one of Kevin’s employees touched it.

Kevin ultimately sold the company to Gateway to help them build out the service side of Gateway and his team were the people in Gateway stores across the nation helping clients.

After cashing out and basically being able to retire, you got back into the game in a difference business, why?

  • Kevin could not sit still
  • He still had the bug
  • He saw a challenge in the tradeshow industry to help prove and get return on investment.
  • Vonazon was born to help create a system to create buzz, connections, engagement, and follow up digitally around tradeshows.
  • It took off and has now become the company it is today.

How do you see entrepreneurship?

  • Besides it taking a lot of time and effort, if you have an idea, passion and drive; that is the basis.
  • Entrepreneurs all have the idea, passion, and drive and feel a calling to get out do them.
  • These things are innate to us as humans. Everyone has an entrepreneur inside them.
  • Great entrepreneurs are inspirational people and can get people to rally behind the idea and get it moving forward.

Talk to us about your philosophies of leading people and building a great business?

  • Not every situation is perfect. There are failures and we must learn from them.
  • His first company did well, but didn’t have a great culture.
  • Creating an amazing culture is critical to success.
  • First, you must have goals and core values – and embody them.
  • Second, communication and collaboration.
  • Third, respect and provide recognition.
  • Fourth, empower those that truly embody the culture.
  • Fifth, HAVE FUN!
  • Kevin goes on the explain more about all 5 and it’s best to just listen…

Move your feet and figure it out…explain that.

  • Figure it out comes from the day his dad gave him his first computer. Kevin asked what he was supposed to do with it, his dad gave him some books and said, “You’ll figure it out.”
  • So, figure it out became Kevin’s mantra.
  • In today’s world, anything you want to learn is at your fingertips.
  • Additionally, for 20 years, Kevin was a hockey coach. He would teach the kids to “move their fee” to get results.
  • It’s the same in business, you cannot sit back and wait, you must move your feet.

Sports is a great metaphor for life, business, etc., are there any other lessons you’ve taken from sports to help your success?

  • Always be prepared. Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance
  • Practice, Practice, Practice, so you are always ready for game time.

Talk to us about pushing someone limits…

  • Kevin has always been a risk taker.
  • You will have to take risks to succeed, especially as an entrepreneur.
  • If you push hard enough and work hard enough, you will find that the risk is more of a calculated risk.

What is your best advice for an entrepreneur just starting out?

  • You have to have knowledge in what you are doing.
  • You have to have passion for it.
  • You have to have drive to keep going and follow through.
  • It is an amazing endeavor to build something from the ground up.
  • The risk is worth it.

How do you overcome fear?

  • Fear slows you down and stops you. It is a demotivator.
  • Everyone has an amazing opportunity to create something.
  • You have the ability to do it, regardless of what you think.
  • The key is to just start and figure it out and do it.

Any other thoughts?

Understand that as an entrepreneur, you will work a lot, but you cannot sacrifice your loved ones and family.

You must create your family time and commitment to spending the time daily with them.

Your loved ones matter more than anything else.


Best Quote: Always be prepared. Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance


Kevin's Misfit 3:

  1. Your employees are your must important asset. Give them the leadership and tools they need to be successful.
  2. Embrace your failures by turning them in an opportunity to learn and achieve.
  3. All you need is knowledge, passion, and drive to succeed.

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