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Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Mike "C-Roc" Ciorrocco

248. The Mission to Build People, Interview With Mike “C-Roc” Ciorrocco

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What is your vision for the future? Do you know where to begin? What if I told you it’s not about where you are right now, but about where you want to be?

Listen to this interview with Mike “C-Roc” Ciorrocco, performance coach, author, dynamic public speaker, visionary and thought leader, who believes that with enough encouragement from those around, you can achieve anything!

Mike has been featured by Yahoo! Finance as one of the Top Business Leaders to Follow in 2020 and is on a mission to build people.

— Mike “C-Roc” Ciorrocco

Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Mike "C-Roc" Ciorrocco

Topics covered in the interview

Story you tell yourself
Mike’s first business
Imposter Syndrome

Mike “C-Roc” Ciorrocco’s Bio

Mike “C-Roc” Ciorrocco is the CEO of People Building, Inc., and the powerhouse behind the “What Are You Made Of?” movement.

He is a performance coach, author, dynamic public speaker, visionary and thought leader. He has been featured by Yahoo! Finance as one of the Top Business Leaders to Follow in 2020 and is on a mission to build people. He is driven to Inspire others and he measures his success on how he is able to help others achieve greatness. C-Roc had a fire lit in him at an early age. That fire has ignited him with a fierce desire to compel people to see the greatness inside themselves using past life events to fuel their fire.

C-Roc has mastered the ability to zero in on the linchpin of an organization and has helped many businesses exceed their initial goals and expectations. He’s consumed with the passion to help people break free from the confines of complacency and propel to untapped levels of success.

No stranger to setbacks himself, C-Roc has built a highly successful mortgage division with his best friends, twice! In 2020 he was named #1 on the list of Top Mortgage Professionals by Yahoo! Finance. Whether it is his business partners, employees, clients or anyone looking to excel at their business, personal life or develop a winner’s mentality, C-Roc is ready for the challenge.

C-Roc currently resides in Ocean City, MD with his wife, Jennifer, of 17 years and their two children, Nicolas and Sophia.

Follow Mike “C-Roc” Ciorrocco

Show Notes

Read Full Transcript

Mike Ciorrocco 00:00
Yeah, and I can also ask, I have three questions I could ask anyone and I can know their core values, what's important to them, and whether or not they have a future planned out and what they have their sights on, or if they don't have one at all. And if they do have one, what it is? Welcome

Susan Sly 00:14
to Raw and real entrepreneurship, the show that dares to bring no nonsense insight to those who have the courage to start, grow and scale a business. I'm your host, Susan Sly. All right, what's up everyone around the world, I hope you're having an amazing day and your 2022 is off to an incredible start. And I have a question for you. When you are thinking about starting a business and growing a business, are you one of the people in the 92% who think about it, but never do it? Or are you an eight percenter and you actually launch? Well, my guest today is someone I would say, who is definitely going to inspire you to take action, he is going to be someone who is going to maybe kick you in the butt a little bit. And I know some of you like that, hey, I'm not judging. But let's get ready for this episode of Raw and Real Entrepreneurship. And check it out. My guest today is a performance coach. He is an author. He is a dynamic public speaker. He's a visionary, a thought leader. He's been featured in Yahoo Finance as one of the top business leaders to follow in 2020. He's on a mission to build people. He is driven to inspire others, and he measures his success on how he's able to help others achieve greatness. And who doesn't want to do that? And on top of everything, he's a dad. And he's awesome. So my guest today is Mike "C-Roc" Ciorrocco. So C-Roc, Welcome to Raw and Real Entrepreneurship. I'm so excited to have you.

Mike Ciorrocco 01:52
Thanks for having me, Susan. It's great to be here. And I always want to give gratitude anytime I go on an interview just because I'm very thankful to be in a position to do this. And for you to allow me to come on and for your audience to, you know, for showing up and spending investing time with us. They're very, very much appreciated.

Susan Sly 02:09
Yeah, you, you got it. And I'm, I'm so excited to interview you. And you're precisely a person that I can jump out and get raw and real with very fast. We're not going to slow down first, we're just going to get right into it. So here's my question for you, Mike, a lot of people, 2020 was not a great year for them. 2021 was maybe not also a great year for them. If you had to start from the very beginning in 2022, and build something that would support your family within 90 days, what would you do?

Mike Ciorrocco 02:43
Wow, great question. To support my family right away, I would go to what I know best, which is sales. And I would go figure out something to sell— a service, a product, something that I would you know, that, that's what I would do initially, because that's what I know. I would reach out to people for coaching, maybe. Yeah, I mean, I, see I know how to sell so I could really go to any company and make money right away. I know I can make six figures at a company if I needed to just to get by until I got the business up and running. So I think that's what I would do. And I thank God I don't know how to sell. I've been selling since, since I was eight probably but really professionally since I was, 19, 1998. So whenever I was about 21 years old.

Susan Sly 03:27
So what do you say to people who say sales is a dirty word? Like what do you say to that person? Because you and I are cut from the same cloth. If you can sell one thing, you can sell anything as long as you believe it. But what about those people who resist sales?

Mike Ciorrocco 03:42
Well, the ones that resist sales are really, it's a picture that they have of themselves, reflection that they have themselves and experience they've had in the past. Something that somebody said something to them before. It's basically what I would call a facsimile. Like you know what a fax machine was, right? And a copy of something that's a thing in their head, a memory that they have, that they're going off of. And it's based on a failure that they've had in the past with it regarding them trying to sell something or somebody trying to sell them in a bad experience they've had. So that's all it is. And I don't, I don't take things personally from people because I've really done, I've done a really good job of studying a lot of hours in studying the mind and how the mind works, and behaviorisms. And it's to me, it's just, it's all science, and I don't work like, I don't really take things personally from people anymore. So I understand why people say things, I understand why people think things. And so yeah, to that person, I would just say they need, they need to, you know, really revisit the experience they had and the effort that they put into sales in the past and see where they got stuck on that thought because nothing gets done in an economy without sales.

Susan Sly 04:48
Yeah, and sales is the highest paid profession, right? Everyone is selling. And you know, it's interesting. Mike, you mentioned about not taking it personally. Oh, I definitely know what the fax machine is this is my big year, I'm turning 50. So I'm going to ask you an important question later that has nothing to do with entrepreneurship. But anyway, the you know, if, if someone's listening in one of the 130 countries, if they could paint a picture, so Mike, he's, he looks like he can benchpress about 450 pounds. Like, seriously, you don't want to meet him in a back alley. He has a beautiful face, an amazing smile, but he's jacked, okay? If you could see him, you're probably like, Well, Mike, it's easy for you. Because you're all of that. What about me, this person who's been knocked down, and you know, time and time again, and I, you know, I want to be in business. I'm thinking of starting business, I have a business. But I'm terrified to sell. If you could give that person, in your wisdom, with all your experience, Mike, because I know you've mentored so many people. If you could give them one piece of advice, just to take that first step. Maybe it's a book or something they should do? What piece of advice would you give them?

Mike Ciorrocco 06:04
Well, you just said it, take the first step. Just take the first step. Just do it. Just do it. See, here's the thing. First of all, you said something about 2020, 2021. Some people had good years, some real bad years, it's all the story that the person tells themselves. First of all, it's the story that you tell yourself going into the year. And when COVID happened, like what story did you tell yourself when this was happening? Did you curl up in a ball and quit and say, Oh, I got, I got a reason now. See, most people, most people will use things that come their way to explain their failure that they didn't even have yet. They'll look for things to explain a failure so that they can take it easy and relax and say, Okay, well, I'm good, because I have the explanation that'll serve me. It'll explain why I'm not elevating. It'll explain why I'm not having success. And so really, it's all about the story you tell yourself, and whatever story you're telling yourself is what you're going to believe. And that's the future that you're going to have. And so see, I came from a broken home. I don't remember my parents ever together, I came, grown up around a lot of brokenness, a lot of broken people, alcohol, drug addicts, anxiety, depression, suicide, conflict. I mean, just ridiculous, right? And as I was going through it, I thought it was normal. I didn't, ordin ary, I didn't know anything different. But what I did notice is all these folks, family members of mine, would have a story that they would tell themselves and others of why they were doing the things they were doing and why they were being the way they were. I never bought their BS, though. I saw right through it. And I would call them out on it. And it would piss some people off. And I learned that it didn't matter if they got pissed off about it. Because if I don't say something to them when I know it's not true, and I don't say something about it, I'm complicit in it. And I don't want to be, I don't want to be, I don't want that on my conscious. So I figured this out at a young age that the story I tell myself, create my future. And so I started telling myself why I'm going to be successful. And why I'm going to be elevated upon the people that don't tell themselves the right story. And so all my life, I've always was able to accomplish something and elevate beyond that, because I kept telling myself the story of why I was going to be more successful, play a bigger game. And I've had my moments where I had setbacks, and got stuck and all that stuff. But still, as long as I didn't quit, and as long as I always knew that the answer was out there for the bigger game somewhere, I always find it eventually. So to answer the question, what I would tell somebody, first of all, is watch the story you're telling yourself, because you can tell the story. Remember, before you even fail, you will look for reasons that you're going to be able to tell people in yourself why you failed so that you can live with yourself.

Susan Sly 08:36
That's beautiful. Yeah, there's that story, right. And so many people, myself included, come from a very broken background. And the statistic in the United States is three out of five American women have been physically, sexually, verbally abused. Two out of five American men, same thing. You know, and I've, I was raised by a single dad, I have many male friends who were in abusive relationship. This isn't a gender issue. Yet it's that story, to your point, that we tell ourselves in that program we carry from our past into our future, right? Let me ask you this. You, you mentioned you grew up in a very broken home. What is a lesson you learned at an early age, that really you would say help to define who you are today as a family man? Because I know for myself growing up in a broken home, my mom kidnapped me when I was three. There was a lot of abuse and different things that have happened. It really helped to shape me as a mom and I'm just curious, as new friends, I want to ask you because I always you know, anyone I know who came from a very broken background often they make family a priority. So I want to ask you that, you know, not even related to entrepreneurship, but how has it made you a better father?

Mike Ciorrocco 09:55
Yeah, I mean, I saw what not to do, right and I sold that you know, I don't really, I guess that my mom did a great job. When I was about three or four, I remember her talking to me and saying, you're a leader, you're, you inspire me so much. And that stuck with me. And it made me understand that I'm a role model to everybody, because and I think we all need to understand we're role models to everybody that has eyes, and ears, and can can hear and see you. And realizing that if, you know, I wake up in the morning, people are watching, and I needed to make the right decisions, because I'm affecting other people, not just myself. And so I think I realized that. I didn't want to continue the cycle. And I wanted to tell myself a story of why I was going to be successful. Period. And that's, there's no other alternative to me. I don't have any options as far as I'm concerned. I have to be a success, I have to be a role model to provide an example for my kids, and my wife, and my employees, and my friends, and everybody that possibly comes in contact with me. So I have a, you know, I have this mission now that I filter everything through. And it makes things simple for me, because I like binary decisions. Either towards our way, building or destroying, all people are unstoppable to live in the life of their dreams. So if I, that's my mission. And so anybody that I come in contact with needs to know that, that they're unstoppable to live in life of their dreams. When I get done with them, they need to be fired up and ready to go. And they need to start asking themselves questions. That's my goal was I want people to when I'm done with them, ask themselves the question, Am I really reaching for my potential? And am I playing a big enough game? And am I holding myself back in any areas and like faking that I'm stoppable. And that's all I want to— once you start asking those questions, then that leads to elevation. And that's, that's really my intention when I come in contact with people, is to touch them in that way. That's such a beautiful

Susan Sly 11:49
life's mission. And so many people, I'm sure you find don't even bother to think about what their life's mission is, you know, is it going to get you up in the morning? Is it that thing that is going to be your legacy, which is, which is huge. So what was the first business you started?

Mike Ciorrocco 12:07
Well, when I was eight, I was selling golf balls that I found in the pond on the golf course in my house. Snakes, and probably some golf clubs of pissed off golfers, but I remember being chased by the golf course owner on his golf cart, and he would chase us off the golf cart, or off the course. But um, and then he would tell us, it's because of your safety, we didn't want you to get hit with balls, it wasn't because we didn't want you to be an entrepreneur. Um, but anyway, I think the first business that had to be the mortgage thing. Now, when I was a real estate, I was a real estate agent, and you're kind of self employed in that capacity. So I have my own little real estate thing. And then I got into mortgages and developed and started having our own branches in the mortgage space. So yeah, I think that's pretty much the first. The first business.

Susan Sly 13:00
Well, going back to the the golf ball piece. In every, you know, in the hundreds of entrepreneurs that I've interviewed, you know, billionaires, multimillionaires, highly successful people like yourself, the vast majority, if not 100%, of everyone started their, their first initial business, whatever it was, somewhere before the age of 12. That's just a common theme. And I think at some point, my next book, Mike, I'm going to do a big study on that, because I'm very curious about that childhood entrepreneurship bent. So yeah, let's talk about real estate and mortgage. There's a lot of very interesting things happening right now in that space. And so, you know, and we could talk truth or myth or whatever. So they're different people saying, well, you know, the right now the supply and demand, there's, you know, the housing market is, is really priced out. There's no point in getting into that market. And then there are other people say, there's every point and getting into the market, because the markets priced out. And it comes down to perspective. But because you're an industry expert, I'd like to hear from you.

Mike Ciorrocco 14:12
Yeah, I mean, there's a shortage, of course, and there's also the big institutions are coming in and buying a bunch of the single family residences, because they have so much money that they have to invest in something or they, they, their contract says they have to invest the money somewhere. So they're coming in buying a bunch of the single family homes, then renting them out, right. And so what I'm seeing, and I've heard this before from my mentor, my business partner, Grant Cardone has said this all the time, we're going to become a renter nation. And I didn't believe him at first and I'm like, I didn't really see it or understand it, but he was in behind the scenes talking to these institutions that take their money now and there's not enough multifamily investment properties, apartments to invest in. So they're now going and putting it into the single family homes. So that's increasing the prices. The printing of money, I believe the number is 40% of all money in circulation was printed over the last 18 months. So when you print more money, that means the money is worth less, that means that the prices of things go up. And so you're right in the situation where the housing market because of the shortage, and because of inflation, you're seeing a big increase in pricing. So what are the options? You could go rent somewhere, and rent is higher. And, or you go buy something, and you take the chance, but the difference between a lot of people are concerned with now in 2008, the crash. And I think that could happen again. And it won't happen again like that, unless they start doing the same things they did before which when we were in the mortgage business, we were allowed to talk to the appraiser ahead of time, about the value of the property before the appraiser did the job. And there was no regulation on that at all. Now you can't even, you don't, as a loan officer, you don't even know who the appraiser is ahead of time until the report comes back. It's randomly selected and it comes back and you're not allowed to talk to the appraiser about that kind of stuff until the, till the report comes. So that helps with that. We also don't do stated loans where people just state their income and then we base the base the approval based on the value position or the LTV, loan to value position of the property, which was a problem in the past because some, some people would give loans out on low equity positions, and they would even look at the ability to repay the, the borrower, the buyer. Now that's, that's gone. So you, we really run people through the wringer as borrowers now. So that 2008 thing can't happen like it happened unless we release those regulations and release those requirements, which isn't going to happen. So, so there will be a cycle, there will be a dip. But I think that we're in a supercycle right now. And I think we're fine buying properties, if you can find a good deal. Like if you could find a house.

Susan Sly 16:54
Yeah, I, what are you know, firstly, so many great parts of that answer, Mike. Um, you know, I love Grant Cardone too, 10x. We'll talk about that in just a minute, but the, the audience who listens to the show are very bright, some of my colleagues at MIT and my fans know, I'm a student at MIT, in my spare time as a woman turning 50, which I will ask you that question, because every guest this year is going to get to take part and input in my birthday. But you know, we have a lot of my colleagues at MIT listen to show— you said 40, right? Oh, honey, no, 50. But thank you. Love you more.

Mike Ciorrocco 17:31
No, really, I wouldn't have, seriously. I wouldn't have, I mean, I'm not trying to be just nice. I mean, it's Yeah. 50s.

Susan Sly 17:38
That's crazy. 1972 baby. It's crazy, man. Yeah. So anyway, the, you know, I think that the big thing, really bright people listen the show, and I love that you gave such an intelligent answer, because there's this ridiculous fear and fears of paralysis, right? And one of the things I was being interviewed by MIT the other day, and I said, skepticism never gets us paid. And the most skeptical, critical people rarely ever do anything with their lives. I want to ask you this question. So you mentioned Grant. You are a high achiever. And there's a lot of talk right now about imposter syndrome. And it's not just a women's issue, it is an issue for everyone. So my question for you is, have you ever had imposter syndrome? And I'll define it this way. So you said yes to something and then you had that, oh, I have a like really good rating on iTunes. So I'm not going to say the word in Oh, beep moment. And you're like, What did I just say yes to but, you know, forgetting the story, and the drama, you just did it anyway, Has that ever happened to you?

Mike Ciorrocco 18:46
Oh, of course. I mean, it's happened to me, if you put yourself out there enough, it's gonna happen to you. But imposter syndrome comes from you not being prepared, and not living to the standards of whatever you're trying to preach or do. Like for example, if you're coaching and or mentoring someone, and you're going over some, you know, things that you can help them with and asking them questions and getting them to spark questions in their life, but you're not living to the standards that you're talking about, then you should have a problem. You know, I think that when you get an imposter syndrome feeling you should really do an assessment, a self assessment of yourself. And that is what I've done in my past, you know, okay, something's not right here, something's not aligned, what is it? And then just go through those things and go through the areas of your life like, you know, you know, am I getting plenty of sleep? Am I writing my goals down? You know, am I, where's my word? Like, am I, am I honoring my word? Am I doing things like saying that if I do, I'm going to do something, I do it. When I'm going to do it, how I'm set I'm going to do it. My mess up, am I taking ownership of that or am I pointing fingers and blaming people? You know, am I following my routine and my structure? Am I taking care of my body? My studying, Am I learning about the mind? Am I, what am I doing? What like, Do I know where I'm spending my time? Where I'm spending my money, like I look at all this stuff, and I assess. And by the way, I do this daily. I do this daily, because I believe that the quicker you can do it, the quicker you can correct. And if you wait too long, you're wasting all kinds of time to correct. So that's the problem. People, and this happened, has to do with leadership as well, not just coaching and mentorship, but leadership. If you can't hold yourself accountable, you can't hold someone else accountable. Because you'll get the imposter syndrome. And also some people, they'll see through it. Because when I call somebody out, Susan, if I were to say to you, like if you said something to me, and I do this a lot, I don't really care if people get pissed. If they, if they say something that I can't, or they say something like, I don't know, they tell themselves a story. That's just all bull crap. I'll call him out on it. And I can't do that if, if I'm not focused on myself as well, making sure that I'm saying the right things and telling myself the right story. And most people won't do that. And they don't have the courage to call someone out and hold them accountable because they're not doing it themselves.

Susan Sly 21:03
So who calls you out in your life? Do you have anyone that will tell you, what are you doing?

Mike Ciorrocco 21:10
Yeah, I mean, here's the thing, though, truthfully, I have my wife and my kids, they're probably the best at it. Um, but I have partners in my businesses, and I encourage them to, because I cannot do that to them if I'm not welcoming it myself, I want it. But I will tell you that I take, I take the position in my businesses, that I will not let anyone outwork me, put more effort into me and or get more educated than me on any topic that I'm involved with, I will not let that happen. I refuse to let that happen. And so that puts me in a position where people are coming to me looking for answers rather than me going to someone else. Now, I don't stay in that, that environment. Like that's it, I go to other environments where people know more than me, have had more success or been in the game a little longer so that I can grow. But at the end of the day, I welcome that from anyone. And because I want to get better. I'm coachable as they come.

Susan Sly 22:09
And one of the things is that as leaders, so you know, in my life in many roles, you know, I'm a co founder and CO CEO of an AI company, and we're growing rapidly. I think today alone, we're hiring two more data scientists. We have teams in three countries, seven states now, it's, it's crazy. And, you know, one of the things I've always said to the staff is, you know, if you think I've said something, or done something, call me out on it, and that transparency as leaders is huge. It is not our parents' generation of leadership anymore. By the same token, you know, there are a lot of haters on social media, Mike, there are a lot of people who will have opinions. So how, what advice would you give to someone who says, Okay, I can take it, I can take constructive feedback, but what's the differentiator between someone who's just being outright critical, and someone who's giving you something that is actually tangible? Because a lot of people don't know how to differentiate between that.

Mike Ciorrocco 23:14
Well, I wouldn't take advice or anything like that, from anyone just on social media that doesn't know me, that's not around me. So that would even, I wouldn't even put a grain of salt into that, because they're talking to more about themselves than they are about you. So I hope that part answers the question there. As far as someone in my life doing it, you would see a pattern, if that person is a hypercritical person, you'll, you'll see a pattern from that, from that person. And you'll be able to know like I can tell, if I'm interacting with someone, and I'm communicating with someone, I'm going around someone, I can tell where they are emotionally, and know exactly what to expect from that person. I know exactly where their mind is, I know exactly what they're, where they're really coming from and what their, their agenda is based on some things that I can look at. Based on their emotion, emotional state, or the emotional condition. I love that.

Susan Sly 24:09
So what I'm hearing from you, and it's such sage wisdom, is taking a step back for a moment, looking at the source, looking at their intent, right? Does this person really want the best for you? And then deciding what kind of weight to give their opinion?

Mike Ciorrocco 24:29
Yeah, and I can also ask, I have three questions I could ask anyone and I can know their core values, what's important to them, and whether or not they have a future planned out and what they have their sights on, or if they don't have one at all. And if they do have one, what it is. I mean, that, that's a, that's a process that we go through all the time when we're talking to people. And I'm sharing that with you right now. And then I can have a conversation with you like 30 minutes from now and you wouldn't even know that it's happening. But it's not manipulation. It's, it's let me find out where this person is because I care. Because I want to be able to communicate properly with them. And I want to take them and elevate them. Whether they want to or not, I want to try to get to the position to cause and create their future. Yeah. And that's, that's a very attractive thing in business and all parts of life. People that, like if I can help people cause and create their future, and they can see me doing it and cause them creating my future the way I want my ideal life, and I'm unstoppable towards it, it causes an attraction model where people want to be around you, they want to do business with you, they want to learn from you. And they don't even know why they feel that way. But it's because you're being able to lead them in a direction instead of drifting through life. So I forget what your question was, but I think I answered, I hope.

Susan Sly 25:49
I think you did. I really do. I mean, you've provided just beautiful wisdom for people because the, the show is really around what's raw and real. And if you can't navigate on your worst day, the critics, you're not going to stay in business. 90% of startups fail— 90%. That's higher than small businesses. Mike, what was something that you, like getting really raw and real, What's something in your entrepreneurial life you have said yes to that initially scared you or perhaps exhilarated you, however you want to label it, but you did it any way.

Mike Ciorrocco 26:32
Man, a lot of things, especially over the last two years. You know, starting a podcast, as you know, I didn't even know what a podcast was right before I started my podcast. I didn't know what went into it. Then I decided to do it. And then I figured it out. I had no idea what I was doing. And then I went on, like a crazy run, where I went and did 300 interviews, and I, and I'm not talking about just my show, but I went on other people's, I probably did three to 400 interviews between my show and other people's in a year once I got started, like I just leaned into it. And that's, the only way I know how to get good because I don't like that feeling when I first started it, being uncomfortable and like stuttering and saying, uh, over and over again, and I'm like, I can't do that. I'm not gonna do that anymore. What do I need to do to solve it? I need to do repetitively and just go lean into it. So that was one thing. When I decided to write my book, that was a pain in the ass like, Oh, my God, man, sometimes I didn't have any words to say. And then when I did, I said, everybody knows this stuff. But it's not true. Not, not everybody knows this stuff that you know. And then when I decided and committed before I even started writing the book that Grant Cardone was gonna write the foreword for the book, I didn't know if he writes forewords for books, I didn't know if he ever did it before. I didn't know if he charges. But I committed to that ahead of time. And then when I went to ask, I had to go to a friend of mine, who's the president of Cardone and asked him if he would, if he thinks Grant would write the foreword for the book, risking my relationship, because it could have gotten awkward if he couldn't pull it, pull it off, or had to say no to me. And then ended up spending $75,000 for foreword. Um, you know, not knowing that that was going to be the case but I committed before. When I commit to something, that's happening. So and you know, like, the crazy thing about this, I wish I could bottle, I can bottle this. But if I could teach people this one thing, that when you get something in your head and you commit to it, you don't quit, you do whatever it takes to get it. As long as you you know, you're like your missions ethical and your moral and you want to elevate people and help people. If you get something in your head, it's happening. There's no, there's no negotiating, it's happening. And I go back and think about this over the last two years to answer your question. Like if Grant's never written a foreword for a book before and he doesn't really want to, but I got him to. And then to come from there, to think about the journey that I'm on now partnered with him, and a tech company, and helped start an incubator that's gonna launch, build, scale and sell 10,000 tech companies in 10 years. That all stemmed from, from being committed and having a mission in front of you, and then bringing people in that could do some of the things that you can't do yourself or aren't prepared to do yourself. So lots of s*** scares— Oh, lots of stuff scares me. Sorry, I don't want to mess up your iTunes rating. But I said, I said that's it, that's it, is what I said. Um, that's what I do with my kids. No, I didn't. I didn't say I said that. Uh, so anyway. Yeah, a lot of stuff scares me, man. I don't, I don't know, I just know that when I'm scared that means I need to lean into it. That's just what I know.

Susan Sly 29:34
That was the raw and real answer. And I mean, I am going to, so years ago, the list, if you're new to the show, you don't know the story. If you've been listening forever, you do. Forever meaning like 14 months and 300 episodes, but I used to radio you know, in the 90s. I was on radio. I was on television every freaking day. So this is not my first rodeo and people are like, well, how can you do a podcast? How can you be one of the Top Women? It's not my first rodeo, but Mike said, You lean in, you figure it out, and you're consistent. You're consistent. That's the bottom line. And I love, like going back to Grant, this whole piece around, and you paid $75,000. Because people look at rocket fuel. They're like foreword by Grant Cardone. Oh, he must be lucky. There is, you know, people will say there's luck in business. As a tech founder of a company with a valuation of over nine figures, I'm going to tell you something. There's a lot of sweat equity behind what you call luck, honey. That's just my little sidebar. Let's talk about your vision with Grant to launch 10,000 tech companies. I'm very curious about that.

Mike Ciorrocco 30:45
Well, first of all, it's not my vision. To clarify, I met a guy throughout my outreach. And while I was on my mission, his name's Jared Yellin, he had a successful tech company. And he basically made himself obsolete, like every entrepreneurs would love to in our business. And he had a clean slate. And he's in his mid 30s. And he's like, I had a successful tech company, what, what now? And what came to his mind, he doesn't understand why or you know, where it came from. But he didn't want to negotiate with his moonshot with the build, scale, and sell 10,000 tech companies. And this is when he didn't have a whole lot of people with him. He had his team for, from his, his OneTech, tech platform company. I ran into him, I heard the story. And I'm like, Well, I don't know what tech is, I don't even know, like, I know, apps and things like that. But I don't. And he goes, Look, I'm not a tech person, either. I don't have a tech, engineering bone in my body. He said, he always says I know how to sell and do copyright. And he can visualize and vision and follow through and execute. And I said, Man, look, I'm on board. I don't, I don't even know all the details here. But I'm rolling with you, man. I'm in alignment with you. Let's roll. And we hit it off, we became like brothers, great friends. And as that started, I started a company with him called Blueprinted, which is getting ready to launch. And I'll share more details about that in a second. But as we're going through this, I'm like, Dude, we got to get some, like 10,000 is a lot. And that's 84 companies a month, every single month launched over a 10 year period, every single month. So we got to move faster. And what if we got Grant involved and got the big promotional arm of that part? Like, that would be powerful. And he's like, Yeah, I agree. And I'm like, alright, well, I got connections there. We've got friends there. Let's, and by the way, this would set this up is like, would they even open the door and have had a meeting and sit down if I didn't pay 75 grand for that foreword? No. You see, that's that was a tool, right? That was an investment. So they sat down, they hit it off. And then Grant put his hand out because he realized that he wanted to do this too, but he couldn't do it without Jared Yellen. And the, for the, I was gonna say foundation, but the, there's another word I was looking for. But anyway, the infrastructure, the infrastructure that he had, Grant couldn't do it by himself. Most, most people can't do what we're doing if they wanted to without us. And so that's puts us in a very powerful situation, Grant put his hand out said, Hey, I would love to help you do this. And so they partnered up. And, you know, I was excited about that. Because, you know, obviously, that's cause and creating futures for people, not just those two, but for every single co founder that's in this, this incubator now, every customer that we're going to touch, every partner and investor that we're going to touch was caused and created by all these different things that I did, that Jared Yellen did that everybody that's involved with this doing that. So and I don't just do one thing, like I have Blooprinted and there's another company right behind that called tip Aerocity that we're starting as well in the incubator. So there's a lot of things going on, you know, tech, because like you said, I've heard you say this over and over again, already, like you're involved with it, man, and it's not luck. Like you're deep into it, you know, and I

Mike Ciorrocco 33:59
don't know, man, I'm excited. I don't know what's, what's to come except for the vision that we have, you know.

Susan Sly 34:05
I, it's a huge vision and going back to the failure rate, 90%. Right? So here's a fun stat for, you probably know this Mike, but for the listening audience. So for six, I'm, you know, I co founded Radius in 2018. So part of that, I built three award winning sales channels, totaling 2 billion in sales. But here's a fun stat for people to know, unicorns, were only talking the 475 Global Unicorns. Of the unicorn CEOs, if you take out celebrity unicorns like Rihanna and Kylie Jenner, so a company that has a billion dollar plus valuation, those founders on average have been successful in more than one vertical. And the average startup success unicorn, outside of celebrity unicorns, they have lived in more than one country and they speak more than one language. So the reason I share those stats is because it goes back to how we started this discussion, because I'd read about Mike's background, he said, if you lost everything today, he can sell. And at the end of the day, regardless of the stats, regardless of anything, if you can sell and you have grit and you're open, and you're coachable, you're going to go a long way. So let me ask you this, Mike, why, tell in front of the world, why will you be one of those unicorns?

Mike Ciorrocco 35:31
Well, first of all, this is something, you just got me thinking about this. I don't know many tech startups that have cashflow before the product was even launched or finished being developed. And I know how to sell. And my team is very good at coming up with human ingenuity ways to develop cash, and we generated 80, just under 100 thousand. 80, $4,000, prior, and this is in one month, prior to the product even being ready. So if you're able to do that kind of stuff, that's how powerful sales is. That's how powerful being, you know, visualizing and executing on something is. So why, what, why am I gonna, like have a unicorn, because I've already sent it out, the vision's out there, and all we got to do is keep making consistent actions towards that mission. And, and absolutely eliminate non negotiable, anything that falls below our standards and below, something not going towards that mission. So one of the things that's powerful is when I decided to do this, and I sold Jared Yelland's mission, we positioned ourselves to not fail. Like we have surrounded ourselves with the most, the best people in the world marketing wise, promotion wise, we have a company in India with a company that Jared owns, which allows us to produce and develop at cost in India instead of having to pay what most people pay. And we also understand that failure is just a either a fuel or training session, like we understand if we have a setback, or, you know, something slows us down, it's just to tell us that we need to maybe move up a few ticks to the left or right or maybe move a little faster. Or you know what, maybe our attitude's not right, and we need to pick our attitudes up a little bit. You know, so, so we understand the formula. And that's the most people don't. They get a tech idea, they get involved with a development company. And then they don't know how to sell, they don't know how to build relationships, they have no relationship capital. We have every reason to be successful. And if we find something that comes in our way, a person, anything in our environment, we will remove it and eliminate it very quickly.

Susan Sly 37:45
I feel like saying amen right now, Mike. Say it. I'm excited. The, you, I love what you said, because there are a lot of great tech ideas out there. However, they don't bring in people who can sell, who can market, and the company never goes and they don't pay attention to cash flow. That's the number one reason businesses fail. So because you understand all of that, I'm excited to see your unicorn business. I really, really am. So—

Mike Ciorrocco 38:13
Did you say, with all due respect,Susan, did you say business?

Susan Sly 38:17
Well, your first unicorn? Yeah,

Mike Ciorrocco 38:19
because we don't do anything once. And so we, you know, I'm just, I'm just very dead set on. This is the thing that we're going to start doing and it's going to be like a assembly line, you know, an assembly line. And not everybody's going to have a unicorn, not every single one's going to be a unicorn, but we had 13,000 people submit ideas in a year. And, and then proximately 600-ish got through the process to actually pitch. And then from there, we have 120 companies. So this isn't a thing of playing a law of averages type thing as far as the companies that get launched, like, yeah launched. But they're, you know, so I think there's going to be multiple unicorns. I think that every company is going to, I wouldn't say every. I think it's going to be 90% of the companies will cashflow and have some kind of success. Because of the way we're doing the process, you know.

Susan Sly 39:13
So you're gonna reverse the paradigm. So how does someone find out more about what it is you're doing, if they want to be part of it?

Mike Ciorrocco 39:19
Yes. So as far as well, I didn't talk much about Blooprint. But real quick, Blooprint is a marketplace for creating with step by step guides to achieve different goals. So we'll have experts that know how to do things from any, any vertical that you can think of, any industry, relationships or what have you, instead of a course it's a step by step guide that people buy from the creator in our marketplace. And so if you want to check that out, it's Blooprinted, and it's spelled B-L-O-O, Forward slash VIP.

Susan Sly 39:50
Outstanding name. I love that name.

Mike Ciorrocco 39:52
So that's where I would go to check it out. If you want to go to tech You can check out the Incubator, what we're doing with the incubator and to get involved in the community, man. We want everyone involved in the ecosystem in some form or fashion, even if it's to hate on us, we need haters. We need cheerleaders. We need investors, we need co founders. We want people just involved. We want to impact a billion people on this planet. And at the worst case, they're a hater.

Susan Sly 40:17
Well, yeah, that's right. In the face of challenge, you can give up or get better. Right? Right, exactly. That's a huge mission. And I'm very excited to see what you do. I really, and, and thank you for that. Because that is a, it's, it's a big mountain to climb. But I can tell you're excited about it. And the other thing, you know, I want to do a personal shout out, you know, right now, of all the unicorns out there, there are only 39 of them that are women funded, or sorry, women founded and women co founded. It's a very small percentage. And so I want to say, Hey, ladies, you need to check out this community, because in addition to haters, there gonna be a lot of like, epic estrogen in there, too.

Mike Ciorrocco 41:02
Well, well, Susan, we're very keen on this, this the underserved is, and the lack of diversity in tech is a problem. And we are aware of that. And we're bringing that. We already have things on the roadmap. We have people involved to get women, people of color, the underserved, into tech. And we're going to be the catalyst for that. So yeah, that's a great, you know, great point. And I'm glad you brought that up.

Susan Sly 41:25
Well, it's a you know, it's so interesting, because as a, like, as a visible minority woman in tech on my CrunchBase profile, which I found hilarious, like, I'm one of the Top Women in Machine Learning. I haven't written a line of freaking code since 1992. Everyone knows. But anyway, that's as a side. So my final question for you. So turning 50 this year, and I'm going to have 50 new experiences. So one thing I'm asking my guests on every show is what's an experience you've had, that you think I might also enjoy having In this 50th year? Because I'm curating my list.

Mike Ciorrocco 42:03
I would say get involved with us. I would say, you know, I'm gonna set up connection, call up with Jerry Yellin, and you and myself, and we're gonna see what synergies there are, because I know there are from talking to you, without a doubt, we have a future together in some form or fashion. So that's what I would say.

Susan Sly 42:18
All right. I love it. I'm down. I'm a, I'm a, I'm a complete Yes. And you know, the thing I want to you know, just say Mike is for those people who can't see him, please, to me, boys and girls, go to YouTube. He has smiled this entire 45 minutes and he has this angelic Halo about him. You need to go to YouTube. If you're just listening, you have to see this man. He embodies, and my guests will know, like my my audience knows, I don't say this ever. Thank you so much. The, it's from the heart. It's that you're, there's this, there's this energy behind your words. And the you know, on the show, we've had Dave Asprey, Glenn Stearns is one of my dear friends, Undercover Billionaire, Jay Samit, who's a billionaire. I've had a lot of people on the show. You're one of only a handful of people in that rare air, where as you're sharing, and your mission and your vision, you literally light up. You all need to see this.

Mike Ciorrocco 43:27
Thank you for recognizing that, Susan, it means a lot.

Susan Sly 43:29
My pleasure. Well, okay, in addition to going to with two O's, where else can people follow you?

Mike Ciorrocco 43:40
I made it really easy. So being mentored by some of the great people that I've been mentored by, they said to be omnipresent. So I took that to heart. But Instagram, LinkedIn, Clubhouse, I'm all over the place. And I've done tons of interviews, like I said, So made it really easy for you. So you have come find me. I love interacting with people in the clubhouse. And then Instagram is probably one of my favorite platforms. Oh, by the way, Twitter, too, I just started leaning into Twitter and went from like 300 to 3000 followers. I'm not even sure exactly how to do this Twitter thing as much but working on it. High five me,

Susan Sly 44:15
I was on Twitter and then I kind of stopped, Twitter is my new, I love Twitter more than any of the other ones. Partially because I'm in the Shib Army. I'm all, I was doing the you know, I was doing this talk recently about stop discounting the massive. The people driving the meme stocks, driving Dogecoin, driving Shib. Yeah, so Yeah, Go, I'm gonna go follow you on Twitter right now.

Susan Sly 44:26
Awesome. I'll get you back. Yeah, absolutely. I like to get into spaces more too. Twitter spaces. Yeah,

Susan Sly 44:52
places and spaces. Well, anyway, thank you so much, Mike for being here. I want to just wish everyone listening and watching the best 2022. God bless. go rock your day. And I will see you in a future episode of Raw and Real Entrepreneurship.

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How 2 Successful CEO's Are Growing Resilient Businesses Despite the Odds

What These 2 CEOs of Multi-Billion Dollar Companies Do to Produce Massive Growth

By Blog, Entrepreneurship, LeadershipNo Comments

At this year’s National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Big Show, thousands of people have braved the pandemic to attend the largest conference in the world focusing on a sector that has been forced to adapt rapidly over the past two years. With supply chain challenges, employee shortages, inflation, and the aforementioned pandemic, retailers have been hit hard. Some have managed to adapt while others have either shuttered their doors or are close to it. Given a gut-wrenching terrain like none other in recent times, what are these two CEOs of multi-billion dollar companies doing to produce massive growth?

Brian Cornell, CEO of Target lists not losing sight of the company’s north star as one of the many ways the retailer has continued to navigate the arduous terrain. In 2020, Target posted sales of $93 billion, a 20% increase over the previous year. The north star in question is Target’s desire to provide a ‘little bit of joy to the families that come to our stores,’ Cornell shared at NRF. 

He went on to say that Target is also listening to their customers. ‘Customers want newness,’ Cornell stated. That includes adding mini-stores for brands such as Ulta and Apple in select locations and continuing to innovate. Delighting the customer is paramount to Target. 

The other area that Target is vested in is personal growth and development for team members. Cornell stated that Target wants its culture to be about care, growth, and winning together. Where many companies are seeking to replace employees, Target has committed to initiatives such as front-line employee debt-free education to the tune of $200 million over the next four years. 

Although the pandemic shuttered millions of businesses, Cornell remains optimistic about Target’s future citing their ongoing commitment to the online experience and the continuing to provide options for customers who are trimming their budgets. Cornell discussed how during inflationary times, people tend to stay at home to eat as opposed to going to restaurants or choose non-national brands that tend to be cheaper. Target wants to be there at the forefront meeting consumer demand by offering lower cost options.

Sumit Singh, CEO of Chewy.Com, shares customer and employee centered focus which was essential given the increase in pet owners during past two years. 23 million homes acquired a new furry family member since the beginning of the pandemic and with that customer base growing, Chewy understands that enthusiastic team members help to grow enthusiastic customers. With a vision to be the most trusted destination for pet parents on the planet, Singh, and his team, are making that a reality. Revenues have tripled in the past three years with an outstanding $7.15 billion in 2020, the team continues to innovate and think about things differently.

Chewy’s 3,000 customer care reps respond to the needs of 20 million customers within 4 seconds. There is no AI answering phones and the ‘customer first’ operating principle dominates Chewy’s focus. Even when telehealth was added for pets, Singh shared the story of one veterinarian who stayed on the phone with a concerned pet parent for two hours.

‘Each interaction at Chewy should be like going to Disney,’ Singh shared. In other words, he envisions a fun playfulness with customer interaction that leaves people wanting to come back time and again.

What is apparent about both CEO’s is that the customer and employee are equally as important as innovation. Regardless of the size of your business, these are commonalities that can easily be incorporated to grow a substantial, adaptable, and resilient business.

Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Jay Samit

247. Becoming an Entrepreneur: Overcoming Failures to Achieve Your Goals – Interview With Jay Samit

By PodcastNo Comments

You might have experienced failures in the past, or maybe you’ve been told several times that “you can’t.” The truth is, all entrepreneurs face challenges when starting their businesses.

In this interview, Jay Samit shares how to keep going despite setbacks and some of the most significant business ideas that have grown from adversity.

Jay Samit is the former Independent Vice Chairman of Deloitte, a bestselling author and is recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on disruption and innovation.

Jay Samit

Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Jay Samit

Topics covered in the interview

12 Truths
Opinion on disruptive, innovative entrepreneurs
Overcoming failure
Things to succeed in life
Qualities of founders
Three problems a day for 30 days

Jay Samit’s Bio

International bestselling author Jay Samit, is a dynamic entrepreneur and intrepreneur who is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on disruption and innovation. Described by Wired magazine as “having the coolest job in the industry,” he raises hundreds of millions of dollars for startups, advises Fortune 500 firms, transforms entire industries, revamps government institutions, and for three decades continues to be at the forefront of global trends. 

The former Independent Vice Chairman of Deloitte Consulting, Samit helped grow pre-IPO companies such as LinkedIn, been a Nasdaq company CEO, held senior management roles at EMI, Sony and Universal Studios, pioneered breakthrough advancements in mobile, ecommerce, digital distribution, and spatial reality that are used by billions of consumers every day. Called the “guru for the entire industry” by Variety, his list of partners and associates reads like a who’s who list of innovators, including: Bill Gates, President Bill Clinton, Pope John Paul II, Steven Spielberg, Steve Jobs, Reid Hoffman, David Geffen, Sir Richard Branson, and Paul Allen. 

Samit’s previous book, Disrupt You! Master Personal Transformation, Seize Opportunity, and Thrive in the Era of Endless Innovation (MacMillan 2015), is currently published in twelve languages. He has also written for such publications as Fortune, Harvard Business Review, and The Wall Street Journal. A sought-after conference speaker and consultant, Samit provides disruptive solutions for such corporate clients as Adobe, American Express, AT&T, Best Buy, Coca Cola, Disney, Ford, Google, GE, IBM, Intel, McDonalds, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, and Visa and dozens more.

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Show Notes

Read Full Transcript

Jay Samit 00:00
So next time you go to the airport and you're able to get your boarding pass and do anything without a person, think a little old Jay. It came out of the ashes of failure. Most things start from solving a problem. Entrepreneurs do not sell things. They solve things. Welcome to Raw

and Real Entrepreneurship. The show that dares to bring no nonsense insight to those who have the courage to start, grow and scale a business. I'm your host,

Susan Sly 00:28
Susan Sly. Well, hey, everyone, I hope you're having an amazing day, wherever you are in the world. And I have a question for you. Have you ever wondered if it's possible for someone who is so unlikely to succeed, someone who perhaps has had everything thrown against them, in fact, the odds are stacked against them to go on to not only achieve some degree of success, but to become a self made millionaire? Well, my guest today is a best selling author, he is the person who globally is known as someone who teach, teaches disruption, is an expert on disruption. And on top of that, his newest book was inspired by taking 12 fundamental steps, and helping someone, an immigrant who was not very likely to go on to achieve great results become a self made millionaire. And he is a dynamic entrepreneur, an intrapreneur, who's widely recognized as one of the world's leading experts on disruption and innovation. He's described by Wired Magazine as having the coolest job in the industry. And I will second that. I'm a bit of a fan girl. He raises hundreds of millions of dollars for startups, advises fortune 500 firms, transforms entire industries, revamps government institutions, and for three decades continues to be at the forefront of global, global trends. And so Jay Allen Samit, thank you so much for being on Raw and Real Entrepreneurship.

Jay Samit 02:05
Pleasure to be here.

Susan Sly 02:07
So Jay, I want to jump right in with the story. Just before we went into recording the show, you were telling me that in your previous book, Disrupt You, which is an industry standard, especially for those of us in the startup community, that you received an interesting piece of correspondence. Could you share that story?

Jay Samit 02:29
Yeah, so I've been a CEO, I've had hundreds of 1000s of employees, I've sat in an empty room. When you're a CEO of a public company, your inbox is filled with I hate you, I hate your company, we're suing you. Problems, make it up to the, up to the C suite. Not a lot of fun. When you write a book that helps people achieve their goals, you get these amazing, I call them love letters. I wake up every day to an email from somewhere that I can't understand how they found the book. A dentist in Pakistan, I mean, Croatia, Lithuania. And they're thanking me when they did all the work. But I got this one email, was from a young millennial, and it said, this is all motivational, but I could never do it. And I didn't understand why I was unable to connect with this person. What was I missing? And so I came up with this wacky idea of why don't I put it to the test? Why don't I find somebody that is worse off the most people that will read the book? Somebody that grew up on welfare, someone who was on welfare, in this case, an immigrant, so they had no support system, no family, they were homeless, they were couchsurfing, staying with some people that were on welfare. And I mentored him one day, a week for a year, his name was Ben. And I gave Ben no capital. I didn't open up my contacts, there wasn't any hidden thing. And spoiler alert, if you're going to read, future proofing you, he became a millionaire in less than a year. And this isn't a get rich quick scheme. This isn't, I'm not selling anything. This is basically, it took those mentoring sessions, sessions down to what I call 12 truths. If you follow these 12 truths, you will be successful. The problem is we're not taught to be successful. Our teachers, our parents, our well wishers try to shield us from pain and failure. So we've been trained by people that gave up on their dreams to give up on our own. So you go to a job to make somebody else rich to make somebody else's dream come true. Why don't you believe it? If you don't have time to read the book, I'll do it in one sentence. If you think you can, or you think you can't, you're right. And so, if we can teach people how it's done, and I also cite all the studies, people with higher IQs don't end up wealthier. People that went to top universities don't end up wealthier. So what is it? And if you would have told me growing up in a working class family in Philadelphia, that dozens of friends would become self made billionaires with a B, I'd ask you what you're smoking. But I got to work with guys like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and Elon Musk, and all these people before they were household names. Some are very, very bright. Some aren't. But what are they doing differently? Why is it every 32 hours, there's a new self made billionaire? Think about that. Susan, what'd you do this past weekend? Did you make a billion? No, you're a slacker. But seriously, there's no gatekeepers, we're one click away from our phone, 5 billion customers. You only have to be right once to make a million dollars to change the world. And so it can be taught, and I'm not doing this to sell anything, you can't buy a t shirt with my face on it. The books are done by publishers. So they have distribution. Anybody that's written a book, I'll tell you, there's no money in books. But it can be taught. And if you want to take that first step, I can get you on the road.

Susan Sly 06:04
Well, I'm, I'm excited about the book for a variety of reasons. So one of the, in my studies at MIT on strategy and innovation, one of the stats that came out is in the, in the studies that they've done looking at the most innovative CEOs, and you mentioned some of them, Elon Musk is one, the, you know, Bill Gates, and so on, and so forth. Even like, maybe not recently, Bill Gates, but early, you know, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and so on, these guys. One of the biggest things that came out of the studies was that the most disruptive, innovative entrepreneurs had lived in more than one country. And they had experienced more than one industry. And so I was very excited, Jay, because as a co founder and CEO of an AI company, that will be a multi billion dollar company, we're on our way. And someone who's passionate about you know, like yourself, you know, I've traveled, I've worked with people in Africa, I've rescued girls from brothels in Cambodia, and done all of these things. When I heard that statistic, I thought, okay, you know, it doesn't matter if my horrible GPA in my undergrad, I've lived in a couple of countries, speak a couple of languages, I've worked in the different verticals. I would love to get your opinion on that research, do you think? So,

Jay Samit 07:32
um, half of the Fortune 500 companies were founded by an immigrant or the first generation child of an immigrant. And you say, was that a coincidence? Obviously not. And here's the difference. Somebody that can change that voice in their head that says I can't or I, you know, this is my lot in life. And immigrant has decided to leave it all behind and take an improbable risk. This country was created by immigrants, and then settled, settled by settlers. So why settle when you can boldly go for it? So those values of not being afraid. So when you see an immigrant sweeping up in a store, or doing a menial job, that's not their identity. In their mind that is a stepping stone in a path. And so, there was an immigrant to this country who wanted to start a business on his own, but didn't know whether or not he could afford it. So he made a bet with himself. Could he live one month on $30? So a lot of Top Ramen and bulk bags of oranges. And Elon Musk lived a month off of $30. And that convinced him that he and his brother could start their first business. So they didn't have an apartment. They rented an office, they had one computer, the website was up during the day. At night, they code on it, they slept on the floor, they went to the Y to shower, and that eventually became what you know, was PayPal. And yet when Elon sold that for gazillions, I mean, he was a billionaire. He wasn't done. He was on a quest. It wasn't about money. It was about solving other problems. So he took all his money and started Solar City, started SpaceX. And he bought Tesla, took over Tesla. And when I say spent all his money, he had to borrow after, after cashing out a multi billion dollar exit, he had to borrow money from friends to pay rent. So fast forward today. When I wrote my first book, he was worth about $2 billion. He's now worth about $300 billion in five year difference. And he basically sleeps nights in a trailer in the parking lot. He is driven by something greater, and one of the 12 truths is, is having that passion, having, having something greater than yourself that you're solving for, because that'll get you over the challenges, you will fail. Failing is part of the process. Think of a baby. They don't stand up one day and go today, I should walk across the room, they get up and they fall, they get up, they fall. And eventually they figure it out. When you play video games, you hit that impenetrable wall, you can't get past it. And you eventually figure out how to get past. And guess what? There's a new obstacle. That's what your career is about. I work with two guys in the beginning of my career, and they had a brilliant idea. What if we hooked up traffic lights to computers to reduce traffic? Synchronize it, it's called Traf-O-Data. Genius. City planners had no idea what this was. Nobody bought it. So Bill Gates and Paul Allen's first company went bust. Their second company was Microsoft. Henry Ford's first company went bust, Walt Disney's first company went bust, I can go on and on. But when you fail, you don't end up where you start. You either earn or you learn, but either way you're propelling forward. And so that's the process. And once you realize there's no shame in failing, there's shame in not trying. If you want to get proof of this, visit somebody with white hair, visit your grandparents, go to an old age home, and ask people their biggest regrets in life. And they'll never be what they failed at, it'll be what they failed to try. So today, you're going and trading a day of your life for a job that pays you enough to show up and not enough to care, doesn't let you live the way that you want to. And I'm telling you, that'll turn into a week, a month, a year, a career, a life. You would have given away the most precious thing you have— your life on this planet. For what? There has to be something better. And why not show people how to make that happen?

Susan Sly 11:50
You said so much, Jay. And I love that you talked about failure. So I was reading some statistics for a paper that I'm writing. And it's, it's the, 61% of Americans say I want to start a business, 92% of those 61 never do. You mentioned Elon, you mentioned Bill Gates. Honda was another one I was referencing in this paper. He failed in his first business. He tried to sell car parts to Toyota and they rejected him. I mean, there's so many people, even JK Rowling, Harry Potter, rejected by 12 publishers, the Harry Potter company is worth 25 billion. Let me ask you this question because you've worked with the top innovators in the world. Why is it they're willing to keep going after their first failure? Oh,

Jay Samit 12:44
it's real easy. The only person that can stop you is you. And once you realize that, you're unstoppable. Everything you own, your favorite book, record, movie, clothes, or shoes, were created by somebody who was stubborn. Somebody that wouldn't stop. And I wasn't the most introspective person. That comes with with age. And when I turned in my first book, the editor at the publisher said, Boy, you're really resilient. And I didn't think of myself as that. It's what choice do you have? For me, I two sons. When I was young, I wanted them to have a better life. I bought into society's thing, go to good university, get good grades and live happily ever after. When I graduated during a recession, there's no jobs. There's nobody ever asked what your GPA was. Irrelevant, no one cared. Everything that I was taught that was supposed to be important, suddenly vanished, and I had mouths to feed. So I didn't set out to be an entrepreneur. Then the next thing I realized, is if you apply for a job, name it, any job, the fact that it is means that somebody else has already had it, which means there are more qualified people for that job than you. Why should anybody ever hire you? But if you do something that no one else is doing, by definition, you're the best in the world of what you're doing. So go into a new area. Where do you think cryptocurrency experts or social media experts or augmented reality experts come from? They wake up one day and say I will be an expert on this. And then they hold on and defend that turf as long as they can. And I hate competition. So when the big guys come into whatever the next thing is that I pioneered, I'm on to the next thing, because on any day, there's somebody smarter, better looking, better capitalized, better connected, I hate that person.

Susan Sly 14:57
We do call this Raw and Real Entrepreneurship so tell how you really feel. Jay, what's something you failed at recently?

Jay Samit 15:04
Um, I fail every day. I always have. You can't control timing on things. You could be too early, you could be too late. The example that's top of mind wasn't, wasn't recent but but a great learning exercise that I talked about in Disrupt You. Young, I'm in my 20s and California is getting lottery machines for the first time. And back then computers were little green screens with just white letters and my competition made a thing that had just numbers on a screen and that was it. A kiosk, you type in your numbers and you print your lottery ticket. I made a machine that had a whole color screen, did videos, had motion detector when you walk by the supermarkets. What would you do with a million dollars and people are looking around? It's a touch, mean eight different languages. So if you only spoke Vietnamese or whatever, it would then talk to you in that language. It was amazing. My competition, little screen this big, some numbers. I didn't know about fundraising. I didn't know about anything about business. I ran my whole business off my credit cards. I was maxed out. Everything I had was into this prototype. I'm at the meeting and the other guy wins. Later, I would find out that the FBI had a secret camera and hotel room and videoed one of the guys on the state committee getting a suitcase for my competition for $50,000. But that didn't get them to overturn anything. And I wouldn't find out that after another year. Senator Robbins would go to prison over that. So here I am, I'm flying back from Sacramento to LA. I'm broke. I thought it was a sure thing. I thought I was a genius. I thought everything was going to go my way. I don't have enough money to make it home from LAX. Well, back then they used to have a little lady that sat at a desk that told you how to take the buses, there's no public transportation, couldn't afford a cab. It was an Uber. And I get back late at night. I am really depressed. And the little ladies have gone home. There's nobody to tell you how to do anything. And then they talked to me. Those people only sit at those desks for a few hours a day. They only speak one language. There's 15 billion people coming to LAX each year. They speak every language known to man. They need a kiosk. So next time you go to an airport and you're able to get your boarding pass and do anything without a person, think a little old Jay. It came out of the ashes of failure. Most things start from solving a problem. Entrepreneurs do not sell things. They solve things. Southam, something for five people, you have Friend software, millionaire, wealthy, software, billion, you change the world. And that's what it comes down to. If you have problems in your life, you're halfway there. You're not that unique. Other people have the same problems. Figure out a problem that enough people have solvable something, you don't have to invent the new technology. You don't have to be an engineer, you only need two things to succeed in life. Insight, which I teach you in both my books and perseverance, which you either cultivate, or you flounder, and everything else can be hired. Everybody hearing this podcast has written at least as much computer code as Steve Jobs, which is Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah. Okay?

Susan Sly 18:38
I love that you mentioned that.

Jay Samit 18:41
Wozniak was probably the biggest genius of computers at that moment. But he would not have been able to make $5. In their first sale, Steve ripped them off and lied to him what the sale was. I mean, he wasn't focused that way. But Steve could hustle. And you can hire the skill sets that you don't have. Most people would rather just have a job. Jack Ma, who started Alibaba, the biggest retailer in the world, recently finally admitted this. I've known Jack for years. First five years of having Alibaba, he didn't even own a PC and they didn't know how it worked. He was in China. He knew the internet was big, and there's a lot of Chinese and he was going to make something. So he could hire people that knew how to do it. And he did that after applying for a job at Kentucky Fried Chicken and not getting it. The young man who created WhatsApp applied to work for Facebook. Facebook wouldn't hire him. It wasn't good enough. Less than two years later, they paid him billions and billions of dollars to buy WhatsApp, which he would have gladly given them for free for a job. See the pattern

Susan Sly 19:51
here? Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, it, I am so grateful you mentioned that Jay, you know of regarding Steve, and Wozniak, I was at a dinner with Steve Wozniak a couple of years ago. And he does, he's, he's a genius. And he also, he, he doesn't make eye contact when he speaks. Some people think he might be, you know, on the spectrum a little bit and which is cool my son is. But he, it just goes to show you, I think the thing I want everyone to understand is stop telling a story about why someone's successful. If you search me on CrunchBase right now, I am one of the top female funded, female founded. I looked on this list, I was like, wow, I made this list. Female founded machine learning companies in the US. And here's the funny thing. Jay, do you know what? I haven't written a line of code since I, my last year of university in 1992. Not one. And I, you know, I have engineers that code in 13 languages. I couldn't write one line of Python coding, but it doesn't matter. And I love that you're saying this. Because when people read your book, and they go through these 12 steps, and everything I've researched about you, every guest that comes on the show, the you know, and I've had friends on the show, who are you know, billionaires, people that you know, I do a ton of research and everything you're talking about is common sense. But the bottom line is common sense isn't common practice.

Jay Samit 21:26
Yeah. My mom used to say common sense isn't all that common. No. What you get out of reading my books is if a moron like Jay can do it, so can I. And I'm dyslexic. Another thing that's interesting, you talked about immigrants is 30% of CEOs of Fortune 500 companies are dyslexic. When I was raised, the word for dyslexic was, You're an idiot. But I'm wired different. I can think differently. And that's our differences that give us our advantage. Your superpower is what makes you different. Okay? Think of why friends come to you for advice. Okay? No one ever comes to me for fashion advice, not my strong suit. But they come to me for problem solving. And, and so whatever it is that you're thinking, I have a friend who's the greatest connector. He has a personality to drop them in the desert, or make friends with the plants. I mean, he's just that type of person. And he's never had to have a job. I've another friend who's the Silicon Valley connector, just set out to do that. You talked about people in spectrum, a lot of successful people in that category. And she had the personality that could fill in those holes that they were missing. And they would give her pieces of their, their companies. And she made hundreds of millions of dollars. She has stakes now I think in 200 companies, so there's always a way to do it. I help create the first auction, which you now know is Ebay. I work with Reed Hoffman, who wrote the foreword to the book on LinkedIn. First video chat, first video on computers, I could give you the whole list. I'm not an engineer. I've never written a line of code. And yet I've taught and been a professor at the top engineering school in the country. And I've taught how to build a high tech startup. And I've had students make over $100 million the first year. So this is, this is doable. And let's face it, the pandemic wiped out the middle class. And without a middle class ship, no stability. There's never been a war between two countries that have McDonald's. I'm not commenting on the diet. I'm commenting on a stable Middle Class. Right? There's never been a famine in the country that has a free press. So unless we start creating jobs, governments don't create jobs, entrepreneurs do. And half of all jobs will disappear this decade. Now everybody thinks of old truck drivers, you have self driving vehicles or truck drivers. I was independent vice chairman of Deloitte and I can tell you accounting jobs are all going to be software. Yeah, middle management jobs, software, lawyers, software, getting an MBA, software. So white collar has gone away as fast as, as blue collar. But yet, there's always new innovations. 100 years ago, the majority of Americans lived on farms. The other half lived in cities. Two inventions, the tractor and irrigation. And today we have 3% on farms, feeding not just the other 97% but we export to the whole world. But look at that from a job perspective. There's only 3%. That means half of all jobs, farm jobs disappeared. But the Industrial Revolution, the information age, everything else created new jobs, new opportunities. Unless you commit to self disruption and lifelong learning, you're going to be roadkill on what's happening. The pace of change has never been faster. We live in an era of endless innovation. So here's the thing about disruption. Disruption isn't about what happens to you. It's about how you respond to what happens to you. So everything in life is a choice. You lost your job, boohoo, or the greatest opportunity, nothing holding you back from starting something new. And this young man who achieved the near impossible, did he date that here, No. Did he ever watch TV, No. Did he get to watch the game? Did he get any— he worked seven days a week. Daytime was for selling nighttime was for doing the work. No engineering, no, no special skill set. And at the end of that year, what kept him going after he hit the, hit the, hit the million dollars, was he knew he's taking the next year off. Not because a million dollars is enough to live on for the rest of your life. But because, says the title the book says, he was future proof. He knew that he could live anywhere, set a flag down anywhere and do it again. And now fast forward, he has multinational clients, he, he lives in Europe, you know, he spent that year traveling.

Jay Samit 26:28
But you can change the way you think. You ,your mind is malleable. That voice that says I'm not good at math, because in third grade, 7 times 8, then get it, I bet if I put you in a third grade classroom today, you could kick everybody's butt. Okay? I can't do public speaking because in second grade, in Show and Tell, I mean, people get these conceptions of what they can't. The other person saying that you can't is that voice. So self disruption is about changing that voice. And once you change that voice, changing the business world is easy. And I break it down in the steps and I show you a process to give you those ideas that you can then capitalize on.

Susan Sly 27:15
Jay, the, the power in this concept that anyone, regardless of circumstance, if they have the right mindset, they have a recipe, they can be successful is yes, common sense but it's also refreshing, which is incredible. I want to ask you two questions. And this one is personal because I feel like I have the best side hustle in the world that I get to interview amazing people like yourself. So I want you to imagine for a moment, you've got five startups lined up. And all the founder teams are there. You don't know anything about their product. But you know how to talent spot. What qualities do you look for in founders? Because you, you know, you've, you've helped companies raise hundreds of millions of dollars.

Jay Samit 28:13
So I've judged hackathons, I spend most of my life talking to young startups. And what you'll find is, is the truly savvy Silicon Valley, VCs aren't investing in the idea. Because I'll tell you something, and people are shocked when I have big audiences or whatever. And I said, you know, rare opportunity to get, get free advice on your startup if you're brave enough to talk, but I warn people, I'm going to tell you your idea sucks. Because almost all ideas suck. It's not till you get into the weeds past the initial idea, and pivot that you really figure it out. So what you're looking for is that personality that is open to being challenged. More entrepreneurs are ruined by compliments, then grown through criticism. So are they open to being critiqued? Can they can they take a challenge? Can they kind of put on, are they are they so fixed that they're right? I mean, when I was 20, I knew everything in the world. Took me a whole lifetime to realize I'm a moron. But if I knew everything, I knew about business, now, when I was 20, I would know not to start my business, which turned out to be very successful. So naivete is a suit of armor. So it's that personality. The other thing is, I want to know the background of the team. Because if they're all engineers, or they all want the same school, or they're all made up the same ethnicity, you're missing out. You mentioned about people to travel. What's really interesting is when you go to somewhere else, you suddenly realize the whole world doesn't operate the way you do. What you thought is the only way or the right way, is a way. And it is the intersection of cultures where innovation happens. So if you look at the major cities that were on the Silk Road, you know, somebody was going through, they're bringing spices and silk, but somebody said, Hey, everybody's going to be over there, I make chairs, I'll set up my chairs for those of our markets and towns of Damascus, and Cairo. And all those places still exist, because that's where commerce came from. It isn't that you have to sit there in an empty room like Doc Brown and create the flux capacitor while you're on the toilet. It's not this whole thought. Just taking something that somebody uses over here and using it somewhere else. It is that simple. And that somewhere else doesn't have to be geography. You talk about different different fields of study, something that they do in this arena to over there. 2000 years ago, the Greeks were getting carpal tunnel syndrome from squeezing olives to make olive oil. So somebody made an olive press, you put the olives in squish them down. People weren't the age of innovation 2000 years ago, took 1500 years before somebody said, if we make a big ol' press, we can put grapes in there and not have to stomp on grapes. So in the year 1500, in Germany, everybody bought grape presses, they made more recently wine than is made today. And the population was this big. Every vintner went bankrupt. So a guy named Gutenberg is looking out his window and it sees all these used presses that you can get for nothing. If I put my type in there, that's a good idea. He didn't sit there and design a press from scratch. And so much of what we see is just telling those, those little things. Two guys we're in traffic in Israel, okay, has traffic, I'm from LA, I got you beat, okay. And it dawned on them, the phone company knows where my phone is. Simple premise. So if they tell me to go left and the other car to go, right, you can get rid of traffic. That was the basis of Waze. Without a penny in revenue, they sold for billions. Only a year, it is solving a problem. And you don't have to know all the pieces because you can hire those people to do the parts that you can't figure out. Yeah. I,

Susan Sly 32:24
I just took half a page of notes. So thank you for that. The, I invest in, in startups. And one of the things I look for, as you said, is, I really look for someone who's failed, at least once. I—

Jay Samit 32:40
They learned the lesson on somebody else's budget.

Susan Sly 32:42
Exactly. What did you fail at? How did you overcome it? The degrees are not going to impress me, although, you know, as an MIT student, part time, I am, I do have a proclivity for my colleagues there. But I think that to your point, if every one is the same in that founding team, were you getting the fresh ideas? Were you getting different points of view? And you're going to, now I'm really on a little soapbox here. Now you're going to screw up when you hire, because if all you know is you, you're going to hire a whole team of yous. And we've seen it in Silicon Valley startups, we've seen that fail time and time and time and time again. That diversity of thought is so important.

Jay Samit 33:26
Absolutely. I'll give a great example, um, a startup that I'm very involved in, was created by an engineer who worked for me 20 years ago, who grew up on a farm in Kansas. Father, farmer, grandfather, probably back a million generations, but he went to the big city as an engineer. But when he went back to the farm, it's like, who came up with this idea that the best way to grow food is to slather it in poison? I mean, when you say it that way, it's insane what we do. Yeah. It has to be a better way. Make a long story short, made little robots, swarm of them that go out in the field and clip the weeds. So now everything's organic. Farmers don't have to handle Dicamba, these cancer things. The runoff doesn't kill fish in the Gulf of Mexico, farmer makes 40% more per acre. Renting the robots, robots as a service is cheaper than spraying. I mean, slam dunk. But to your point, if you look at the Venn diagram of people that go to Stanford and Silicon Valley, and high tech, and have a farming background, it's not a Venn diagram. It's two different circles. So those people will never have addressed any of these issues. He was looking at a real problem. And he tried everything before he did the robot. Said there has to be an easier way to do this stuff. And here's the byproduct that got me excited why I didn't want to be involved in another company at this stage. But I felt a moral obligation. Farming 101, farmers till the soil to break up weeds. When you till the soil, it releases greenhouse gases and Carbon. Is the single largest source of carbon going into the atmosphere on the planet, above factories, above cars. So if we can go to no till regenerative agriculture, the planet doesn't overheat, we all don't die. And we don't get cancer from eating carcinogens in our food. How can I morally say no, I'm not going to help that company? No, you can't. That's a huge series of giant problems. But he didn't set out to say carbon sequestration organic, he set out to solve a problem make a profitable business.

Susan Sly 35:38
Oh, engineers overcomplicate explanations all the time.

Jay Samit 35:45
People think the elevator pitch is, is, is an expression that doesn't make sense. But if you can't explain your business in one sentence, How is anybody ever going to market that product? Right? How is somebody going to, and, and everything comes down to a very basic problem that you're solving. And then you can have all the back Well, why didn't somebody else try this? Why does somebody else, you know, how are you the first one to think of this? And when I teach things, and I have a, a process called three problems a day for 30 days, I'll tell you about it in a second, I have so many young people that always go, when I had this idea, I assumed somebody must have already had this and I search for this product to buy, and nobody did. I remember a few years ago, when I was buying a house I said, this is not a rich guy problem. This isn't my main house, I'd like to be able to control the thermostat from my phone. So when I'm two hours away, I can turn on not waste electricity. It didn't exist. I didn't jump in do it as a business, I wasn't looking to. Now they exist in common sense problem. But it all starts with what's that problem? If you remember Blockbuster, a guy went in to Blockbuster, forgot to return his movie for a month and they wanted $40 for this crappy movie. So Reed Hastings says there's got to be a better way. And that's all it took to start Netflix.

Susan Sly 37:19
And the CEO of Blockbuster was quoted as saying people will still want to come to the store because they want the popcorn. And for the listeners, that, the ego in that statement, it just, it's, it's the exact opposite of everything Jay is teaching. Super quick as we went up, because I want to ask you for your predictions, but three problems a day, what is this?

Jay Samit 37:44
So today, not tomorrow, write down three problems in your life— traffic, whatever. But you have to do that everyday for a month. First couple days, fairly easy. By day two or day three, you start going I don't have any more problems because you, you're on autopilot. You, you accept the world the way it is, you're not challenging every moment. So a guy named Larry Torski was doing this. Taking his medicine one morning, the phone rings, he gets off the phone, he goes, ooh did I take my pill? If I already took it and I take two that's not good. If I don't take it that's also not, hey, I got a problem. Make a long story short, took a Happy Meal watch, put it on the lid, when you open it goes Oh, I haven't opened it for eight hours or Oh, I opened it three minutes ago. Timer caps, sold millions of them, added Bluetooth so you know whether grandma took her medicine. Just starts from those moments. So a month of that, at the end of the month, you sort your 90 ideas, which is more good ideas than the BC is going to get a month on two axis. This is your your MIT study part. One axis is called TAM, Total Addressable Market, you know, if it's something for left handed jockeys that only eat vegan, not a lot of those. If it's something that millions of people deal with, great. But the other axis is really important as well. What do you really care about? I've had more startups coming to me that have really good ideas that are going to make a lot of money but it's something that I could care less about solving. Yeah. It's not going to get you— money isn't the motivator. Because what you're going to find out is there's no rational reason why anybody should be a billionaire then. Because you can't spend it, right? But if you have a greater problem that you're solving, Elon Musk, the first time I met him said something that stuck with me, because it was bizarre. I wasn't expecting it. Most conversations, you know, where it's going. Said I have enough money to cure cancer. But what good would that do? I'm like, Well, what did I hear that right?Llife on this planet is over, I'm going to colonize Mars. Now you can laugh at that, you can disagree with, but this is a man on a mission. And if he doesn't make it all the way to Mars, think of all the things that he's created to make that possible, including now people don't realize he has more satellites than any government. So your, your AT&T, paying for phone bill, all that can be just wiped away if he wants, right? So he's solving some real major problems that needed to be solved to get to the quest that he's focused on. Because nobody else was focused on these problems.

Susan Sly 40:18
Well, shout out to Elon, he and I both went to Queen's University in Canada. So for a brief hiccup of time, so anyway, let me ask you, Jay, one minute.Ppredictions for 2020.

Jay Samit 40:30
So I'll give you, I'll give you a trillion dollar opportunity. So before I tell you what it is, go back in your mind a decade ago, when the iPhone came out. You talked about what people's reaction, Steve Ballmer, who was head of Microsoft, at the time, it was a video of him on YouTube laughing at it, this thing has no keys on it. What a joke. You know, Apple bombed, okay. Apple created this amazing ecosystem for apps, but they didn't create the apps. So the first year, here's two of the top 10 best selling apps, there was a game with cats, and a fart app, made 10 Different fart sounds. There was no Robin Hood, there was no Uber, there was no, all these billion dollar companies that would come along. Now, the reason I mentioned that is starting this year, and extremely in mass in 2023— AR glasses, we're all gonna have heads up displays that give an overlay to our world. So you can walk into a supermarket and the doctor just told you, you have diabetes, can't have things with sugar. Show me the products without sugar and everything else disappears. Or show me the things that are keto, or Hello, or what's that wine that was on Oprah or whatever you want to see, or show me how I get to the nearest dryclean, whatever it wants to be. If Google doesn't win this race to monetize here, it's an existential threat, they go out of business. If we're not taking our phone out of our pocket, or looking at five hours a day, if Apple doesn't win this, they go out of business. Same with Facebook, LinkedIn, Microsoft. So the big guys are spending billions to get this right. And if you want to know how I'm able to accurately predict the future, year after year, I hang out with the people that are coding it. So there's no Ouija board here. There's no Jay's predictions are ever wrong. I know what's coming in the date and everything else. So here's the thing. What problems can you solve with this that couldn't be solved before? You didn't have to invent these, you'd have to invent the 5g, but the edge computing. All the heavy, it's like somebody built a railroad tracks, gave for your free train car. And all you have to do is say, your seats are cushy and the other seats are wood, people would pay to be on the cushy seat. So this is a trillion dollar opportunity. That's probably the biggest, wide open opportunity where anybody can jump into it. And, and I've watched this happen again and again. When the internet came along, how many stores didn't jump on to make an internet store? And I remember when I made front page news that the sold more than any location and everyone's like, wow, that's amazing. Like, let's see, 5 billion people could click and go to that store, how many people are going to the store, you know, at the mall? So look into that. Look into place that doesn't have established competition, then you only have to solve a problem. You don't have to also compete about somebody else. The competition will come. First person, you educated businesses, the person that should have been doing what you're doing, but they'll still be too lazy. And I'll leave with one, one thing that many people that aren't in this ecosystem don't understand. They see time and time again, a headline of some startup with zero revenue selling for hundreds of millions or billions of dollars. This makes no sense. So I will never be another public company Nasdaq CEO, again, it's a miserable experience. CEOs are worth every penny that they take to put up with it. Now when you're CEO, they'll get on TV that they think about the shareholders, they think about the employees, they think about the customers, BS. The board tells you what to think about. Move the stock from here to here, and they back up the Brinks truck and give you another 10, 100 million dollars. So for 16 weeks, you're on a hamster wheel to do anything to make that number go. So stop doing R&D, stop having all this overhead to make new products that won't happen till next year when there's a new CEO because they fire you. Get rid of all that cost. Now you're profitable. Your company goes up, you make a boatload of money, he got no new products, they fire you and they bring in the next CEO. CEOs are like a piece of cheese. They have an expiration date.

Jay Samit 44:51
But that also means the CEO that wants to save his job since he's not spending that money and losing money quarter after quarter making something new, would gladly do it an acquisition to make it look like they have a new direction. The majority of acquisitions are, by the way, a waste of money and they fail. But it'll buy him more time in that C suite. That is why people are willing to pay for the legwork that some startup has done to get it going. So I can give you a list of companies in the ag business that should be having robotic divisions but don't. It is much easier for them to write a check one day for a billion dollars and buy Greenfield robotics, and then put their name on it and go with it. Google unlimited resources own the desktop was asleep and didn't see the phone coming in a smartphone that we talked about. Had they not bought Android, there'll be no Google today. So what was that worth to buy? This is the way that you do it. And when you start a business, you should target who should likely acquire because that'll help you make decisions of which way to grow your business. What's the value to them? Even if they don't know you exist today, they will. I came up with the, I was CEO of a startup with an ad platform. Nobody's watching TV commercials. I can come up with something that looks like it has a chance of being better. There are multiple multi billion dollar companies. And our little company 18 months later was bought by News Corp for $200 million. And I think we had a million in revenue. I,

Susan Sly 46:35
a good friend of mine is Jason Pfeffer, co founded MySpace has a News Corp story as well, right? And I want to end with this— First and foremost, like, I just feel like putting my hand in the air and saying yes, and amen to everything you said, Jay, because for people who aren't in this ecosystem, it does sound crazy when you hear Facetune was acquired by, for $3 billion. This app that touched up people's faces with you know, zero revenue. It was a free app. When people hear things like that and the, the concept of technology and where it's going in these high valuations and something you just said is CEOs earn every penny. And in the private sector we're indentured to the board, to the seed investors, and to the clients. And it's, it is nonstop. It is a grind. And at the end of the day, though, if you can take a problem that is costing someone time, or their well being and you can solve it, then you have an obligation to solve it. And so I'm excited to get your book, Future-Proofing You, I'm, I was in the process of ordering it just when we actually started the interview.

Jay Samit 47:53
For anybody that made it this far in the podcast, and again, there's no upsell, I don't sell anything. If you go to, J-A-Y-S-A-M-I-T dot com. I have free workbooks for both Disrupt You and Future Proofing You. You can download them immediately. And a lot of times you're reading a book and go oh yeah, yeah, and then you get to the next chapter and when that one year so you can get more out of it and actually start your life plan and start building your business as you're reading. And so those are available to anybody for free. Thank you for your time and sharing your audience today. And I look forward to seeing what people create. Well, thanks

Susan Sly 48:27
so much, Jay. And so go to also go to, get Jay's book. Don't just get one, get all of these books. And I'll be seeing you Jay, through some VR glasses sometime very soon.

Jay Samit 48:40
Okay, be well.

Susan Sly 48:42
Alright, Thanks, Jay. And for all of you thanks so much for being here. If this episode has helped you, which I know it has, go ahead, Jay and I will have a five star review and share this audience, share this episode on social and go ahead and tag myself and tag Jay. With that God bless, go rock your day, and I'll see you in the next episode of Raw and Real Entrepreneurship.

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11 Startup Stats You Need to Know in 2022

11 Startup Stats You Need to Know in 2022

By Blog, Entrepreneurship, StartupsNo Comments

According to the US Census Bureau, 4.4 million businesses were registered in 2020 alone. By January 2021, almost 500,000 people had submitted paperwork to start a business.  With a new year upon us and no end to pandemic uncertainty, many people are deciding to take their future into their own hands and start a business. Whether you have an existing business or are thinking of starting one, here are 11 startup stats you need to know in 2022.

1. Only 8% of people who think about starting a business actually do.

61% of people have at least one idea to start a business however only 8% actually launch their entrepreneurial endeavor. Generally speaking, people lack the confidence or the simple know-how in terms of how to start their business and tend to spend more time contemplating ideas than taking action.

2. Two thirds of people start their business to be their own boss.

According to this survey from Cox Business, almost 70% of people want to fire their boss and take their lives into their own hands. The dream of firing your boss might be quite vivid however with a startup failure rate that is significantly high (see below) you should definitely crawl before you walk…out the door that is. I encourage people to start their business part-time and retain their full-time job until they are at revenue in their business and have at least 6-12 months of living expenses saved up. Furthermore, all consumer debt should be paid off before leaping into full-time entrepreneurship.

3. Passion remains a strong number two.

Although the top reason people want to start a business tends to be the same year-over-year, the pursuit of our own passion comes in at a close second to taking control over our destiny by being our own boss. Coming in third comes down to being in the right place at the right time though I would caution that waiting for opportunities to present themselves is much like watching paint dry.  Success tends to come to those who voraciously pursue their dreams.

Dave Ramsey, media personality and real estate mogul writes in his bestselling book, Entreleadership, “If you don’t own the goal and it doesn’t come from your dream, then you won’t have the toughness to persevere when the going gets tough.” Ultimately, if you aren’t starting a business because you are passionate and have a burning desire to be your own boss, you are very likely to give up when things get challenging and that is the difference between those who succeed and those who do not.

Top Reasons for starting business:

  • Ready to be his/her own boss: 26 percent
  • Wanted to pursue his/her passion: 23 percent
  • The opportunity presented itself: 19 percent
  • Dissatisfied with corporate America: 12 percent
  • Laid off or outsourced: 6 percent
  • Not ready to retire: 6 percent;
  • Other: 5 percent
  • Life event such as divorce, death, etc.: 3 percent.

4. Successful founders are likely more mature than you think – age 50-59 top the list!

The average age range for startup founders might surprise you. People in their fifties lead the pack in terms of those who start a venture. At this point, people in this age range tend to have more wisdom, confidence, and potentially the resources to start a business. Furthermore, their kids might be out of the house and they do not feel that they are done with their career. As an aside, at RadiusAI, the company I co-founded with four incredible people, we are in our fifties, forties, and thirties. There is a wealth of diverse experience which lends itself to leadership.

The Age Range of Startup Founders:

  • 50-59 years old: 35 percent
  • 40-49 years old: 25 percent
  • 60-69 years old: 18 percent
  • 30-39 years old: 14 percent
  • 18-29 years old: 4 percent; and
  • 70+ years old: 4 percent.

5. No degree – no problem!

It isn’t the PhD’s who are out there starting the most businesses. The fact is that the more educated one is, the less likely they are to be starting a business. This report from Small Business Trends illustrates that a high school graduate is almost ten times as likely to start a business as someone with their doctorate.


  • High School / GED: 33 percent
  • Associates Degree: 18 percent
  • Bachelor’s Degree: 29 percent
  • Master’s Degree: 16 percent; and
  • Doctorate: 4 percent.

6. The startup failure rate is 90%.

The reality is that not everyone should be attempting to build a startup. With a failure rate of 90%, there is significant risk. Those lacking experience or possessing the sentiment that they have all of the answers are most likely to fail. Over the years the most common thing I have heard from investors is that they invest in the team. Successful teams tend to be composed of a healthy mix of technical, business, and regulatory individuals with a breadth of both vertical and nonvertical experience. 

As a founder or cofounder one of the critical keys to success is knowing when you need to have additional talent and not micromanage your leaders. Furthermore, strong leaders listen to their end users and adapt. 

7. The number one reason startups fail remains the same – cash flow.

Startup failure remains the same for the past several years. It comes down to one key thing – startups run out of cash. When I am considering investing in a startup or mentoring one, an initial question is – do you have someone managing your cash flow? Next, I ask if they are paying attention to a cash flow statement weekly? Naturally, I want to know what their burn rate is (the amount of money required to handle monthly expenses) and how much runway (how many months of burn) they have in the bank.

After cash flow, here are the following reasons why startups fail:

  • 38% of startups fail because cash flow challenges. 
  • 35% fail because there was no market need. 
  • 20% fail because the competition dominated. 
  • 19% fail because of a flawed business model. 
  • 18% fail because of legal and regulatory issues.

8. One third of businesses start with $5,000 or less. 

This one might be surprising because there is a notion that a business needs to start with a significant investment. Over 30% of startups are funded with less than $5,000 up front. Sara Blakely, legendary founder of Spanx, started her billion dollar plus company with only $5,000. It can be done…if you know what you are doing.

There are many businesses that can start without a capital outlay. Some examples include EBay selling, affiliate marketing, and offering a service that is direct to consumer such as consulting. I would caution though that if you are starting a business where you will be offering services, it is always a good idea to wrap yourself in some form of entity such as an LLC for liability purposes.

9. There are 475 active unicorns in the world. 

Unicorns are real and there are almost 500 of them globally. A unicorn is a company that has a true valuation of over $1 Billion. The valuation is often determined by either monthly or annual recurring revenue (MRR or ARR). It took, on average, six years to achieve unicorn status. 

Building a unicorn company such as Tesla, Facebook, Shopify, or Salesforce comes down to experience, fortitude, and a solid network. Unicorns are able to rally the right people – investors and team members – to believe in their concept. As we go further into 2022, it is anticipated that there will be more unicorns as companies continue to reach high valuations in existing and new sectors.

10. 39 unicorns are women founded or cofounded.

Women are still outnumbered however the landscape is changing. There are now 39 women founded or cofounded unicorn companies. This number is fortunately growing and there is still a large mountain to climb. As a female cofounder of an artificial intelligence company, I can attest to the fact that it is still a very male dominated world. That being said, it is refreshing to see change happening and more women leading, and co-leading, startups in the technology sector in addition to health and beauty. 

If you are thinking about starting a business, or have one that you want to scale, I encourage you to really think about the data. Do you have enough cash and do you have the right person on your team paying attention to cash flow? Do you have a solid sales team or if you are the sales team, do you need to develop your skills? Is the market ready for your solution or do you have more research to do? Do you have the right advisors? Are they specific to your vertical? Do you need to restructure or properly structure? Do you have the right insurance?

I will be launching a learn-on-demand course for people who want help answering these questions and creating a solid path to success with their venture. Make sure you subscribe to my newsletter to be first on the list when the course drops. In any new year, there is ample opportunity to start fresh and I encourage you to carve out some time, consider the questions above, and make this year count.

11. 21% of people list Steve Jobs as their entrepreneurial role model. 

When it comes to an entrepreneurial role model, Steve Jobs remains number one. Although there seems to be mixed sentiment around Jobs as a human there is no doubt that the man was a genius. Many unicorn founders, including Elon Musk, cite Jobs as someone to be emulated.

If you are thinking about starting a business, or have one that you want to scale, I encourage you to really think about the data. Do you have enough cash and do you have the right person on your team paying attention to cash flow? Do you have a solid sales team or if you are the sales team, do you need to develop your skills? Is the market ready for your solution or do you have more research to do? Do you have the right advisors? Are they specific to your vertical? Do you need to restructure or properly structure? Do you have the right insurance?

I will be launching a learn-on-demand course for people who want help answering these questions and creating a solid path to success with their venture. Make sure you subscribe to my newsletter to be first on the list when the course drops. In any new year, there is ample opportunity to start fresh and I encourage you to carve out some time, consider the questions above, and make this year count.


Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Mark Podolsky

246. Finding Land Opportunities and Turning Them into Passive Income Streams with Real Estate Expert, Mark Podolsky

By PodcastNo Comments

So you want to get into Real Estate Investing but don’t know where to start? Well, this episode is for you!

Learn the secrets from Mark Podolsky (AKA The Land Geek), the country’s most trusted and foremost authority on buying and selling raw, undeveloped land. Understand how land is being treated as a commodity and what it means for you, find out where opportunities exist, and more.

For almost two decades, Mark has been actively investing in real estate and raw land, and has completed over 5,000 unique transactions.

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– Mark Podolsky

Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Mark Podolsky

Topics covered in the interview

Passive income with land
Land as commodity
Best land opportunities
Advice in getting started in real estate
Land in metaverse

Mark Podolsky's Bio

Mark J. Podolsky (AKA The Land Geek) is widely considered the country’s most trusted and foremost authority on buying and selling raw, undeveloped land within the United States. For almost two decades, Mark has been actively investing in real estate and raw land, and has completed over 5,000 unique transactions.

Mark’s company, Frontier Equity Properties, LLC, is an A+ rated BBB real estate company. Mark has achieved this level of success largely due to his core business philosophy – “Happy Customers Guaranteed.” Mark is the host of one of the top rated podcasts in the Investing Category on iTunes aptly titled The Best Passive Income Model and The Art of Passive Income. He is also the host of the Land Geek Podcast.

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Show Notes

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Mark Podolsky 00:00
You have to go through some, you have to give some data point. So my first data point is, what did it sell for in the past? Then I'm just going to divide by four. But as far as you know, selling it then, well, I just look at time value of money. And if I'm going to hold this property over the next 5, 10 years, I just do a simple calculation. I know I want a margin on terms to be 800 to 1200%, on average, cash 300 to 500%.

Susan Sly 00:42
What's up everyone, wherever you are in the world, I hope you're having an amazing day. And I have a question for you. Have you ever considered investing in real estate? Maybe you've thought, oh my gosh, Susan, I don't have millions of dollars or I wouldn't know where to begin or I don't have my real estate license. Well, the good news is we're about to dispel a lot of myths and have a lot of fun and even talk about real estate that you can't put your physical foot on. Today, my guest has been featured in NBC, an entrepreneur, he is widely considered the country's most trusted and foremost authority on buying and selling raw, undeveloped land. And we're going to talk about what that is within the United States. He's completed over 5000 transactions, which is amazing. And just to give you perspective, in the non commercial real estate world, in the, in residential, most realtors don't even do two transaction. So that's just you know, those who get licensed. His company, Frontier Equity Properties is a, triple A rated with the Better Business Bureau and it's, which is just amazing. And his philosophy is happy customers guaranteed. So my guest today is the land geek, also known in his non superhero persona as Mark Podolsky. So Mark, it's so great to have you on Raw and Real Entrepreneurship. Thanks for being here.

Mark Podolsky 02:05
Susan Sly, thank you so much. I'm so excited to get raw and get real and talk about entrepreneurship, which is one of my favorite subjects.

Susan Sly 02:14
Let's do it. We're going to talk about land in the metaverse today. But let's talk about land in the real verse, or as one Facebook executive calls it the meat verse. But let's, let's talk about that. So raw, undeveloped land, can you define that for people?

Mark Podolsky 02:31
Sure, it's raw, undeveloped land is when you're on the highway, and you look around, you're like, Oh, look at all this land. That's raw, undeveloped land. So think about hour from the city, two hours, rural land, is really what I focus on. And if you've ever been a landlord, you've ever had to deal with a tenant, you know it's no fun dealing with something physical. You know, three in the morning, the roof is leaking, or the toilet broke, and you have to go and fix it. So what's nice about being a landlord is the passive income. So for me, I thought, Well, why can't we do it with an asset that lasts forever? Nothing to maintain, nothing to protect, and you can't destroy it. And so that is really the model that I use. It's a one time sale, we get passive income every single month. We don't have to deal with the headaches. No tenants, no termites, no toilets, no trash. And so the game we play is we create enough of what I call land notes, where a passive income exceeds our fixed expenses. And then we're working because we want to not because we have to.

Susan Sly 03:49
And this is sort of a mindset shift, because so many real estate investors or people who want to be real invest, real estate investors, they watch a lot of HDTV, maybe that is me, I'll confess. And, you know, they're thinking, Okay, I've got to, like flip a house or I've got to have a physical house with tenants in order to have passive real estate in, or passive income in real estate. But what I'm hearing you say is, you can have passive income with land. How does that work? Okay, so Susan, where do you live? I live in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Mark Podolsky 04:23
Oh, okay. So we're neighbors. Alright, so I'm gonna assume you own 10 acres of raw land in Texas. And you owe, let's say, $150 in back taxes. So you're advertising two important things to me. Number one, you have no emotional attachment to that raw land, you're, Arizona property taxes. And number two, you're distressed financially in some weird way. Because we don't pay for things. We don't value them in the same way and you haven't paid your property taxes. As a result kind of treasure is, you're noticing, Susan, let's get raw, let's get real. Don't pay these taxes, you're going to lose this property to tax lien or tax deed investor. So I'm what going to do is look at the comparable sales on your 10 acre parcel. For last 12 to 18 months, I will take the lowest comparable sale and divide by four. And that's what Warren Buffett would call a 300% margin of safety. So I'm gonna send you an actual offer on your 10 acres. Let's assume that the lowest comparable sale is 10,000, send you an offer for $2,500 you accept it, because for you $2,500 is better than nothing. Now in reality, 3 to 5% of people accept my quote unquote, top dollar off. Now once you accept it, I have to go through due diligence or in depth research. I have to confirm you saw the property. I have to confirm back taxes are only $150. I have to make sure there's no breaks in the chain of title. There's no liens or encumbrances. I want to know what the roads are like. I want to know what you can do around there. What's recreational, what's, what were the restrictions? This whole big property checklist. Now, since I'm only investing $2,500, I'm gonna outsource that to my team in the Philippines. It's 11 bucks for them to do all that, they're connected to American Title Company. But it's 5000 or more, I will take the risk. I'll close it traditionally through a title company, but everything checks out. And now I'm buy that property from you for $2,500. And Susan, I'm going to make it cash flow, just like for those rental homes, 30 days or less because I have a built in, best buyer. You know who it is? Who? The neighbors. The neighbors, spotted out neighbor letters say, hey, here's your opportunity. Protect your view, protect your privacy, protect your views. Know your neighbor. Oftentimes neighbors will buy it. If they pass, I've got my buyers list. My buyers list passes a good route to a website you may have heard of, it's called Craigslist, and most trafficked website in the United states. A good one I know you've heard of it's called meta, buy sell groups, the marketplace or Facebook, either one. And then I'll go to lands. So,,,, These are platforms that people buy and sell raw land all the time. But the magic is my pricing. So all I'm going to ask for is a $2,500 downpayment to control this 10 acre parcel, and then I'll make it a car payment for 449 a month, 9% interest in the next 84 months. So I will get my money out on the down payment, but I could go 6 to 10 months out. And then I'm going 449 a month every single month. 9% interest, next 84 months, no renters, no rehabs, no renovations, no rodents, and because I'm not dealing with a tenant, I'm exempt from Dodd Frank RESPA, and the SAFE Act as owners real estate legislation. That's how I do it.

Susan Sly 07:49
Mark, I love that. And I love that you love alliteration too. You know, I love, rodents, renter's, rehab. That's the best. Alliteration is the best, you know, I just saying that. Since I've an alliterative name and I'm very biased about alliteration. The, the, I have never thought about investing in land that way. Because the way I was brought up is the buy and hold real estate model. My grandmother owned farmland, she had rental properties. My dad has rental property. So that's how I was brought up to think about it. Not in this way. Let's talk about land as a commodity, because this is Raw and Real Entrepreneurship. Bill Gates is buying up a ton of farmland. What's your take on that?

Mark Podolsky 08:33
So, you know, if you're Warren Buffett, you're Bill Gates, you're Jeff Bezos, Ted Turner, these are the largest land owners in the country. So billionaires are buying up productive farmland. And again, it's an asset that lasts forever. So it's a general, generational asset. And it's clipping a coupon. It's like buying a bond at 8%. It's great for them. Very low risk. It's better than, you know, some other investing method. And they're doing good for the American farmer, right? We're not interested in a percent, we're interested in, our average return on investment is 300 to 1,000%. That's what we like to do. And that's what we're going after.

Susan Sly 09:16
Nice. Those are, those are very attractive numbers. There's no question. Where do you think the best land opportunities are right now?

Mark Podolsky 09:25
So Susan, let's be honest, right? Nobody wakes up and thinks, someone says, boy let's roll a land in Iowa today. Unless you live in Iowa.

Susan Sly 09:33
Or you're from Iowa originally.

Mark Podolsky 09:36
Or you're from Iowa. So you know, Iowa. That, like that's great, but your biggest fire pool, they would have been Arizona, they would be in Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and then Florida as well. So the sunshine states, fast growing states with, you know, a ton of inexpensive raw land. That's really focused. Not to say I won't do a deal inTennessee. I'll do till North Carolina, Missouri, you know, very pretty areas, but your biggest buyer pool is going to be in those sunshine states.

Susan Sly 10:16
Well, and how do you find the, the, the landowners who are defaulting? Is there a public database for them? Or I know you have a course we're gonna talk about a free course that we're gonna give people but how do you find them? I'm so curious.

Mark Podolsky 10:30
Yeah, so it's all public, right? So you just go to the county treasurer, or you can go to the county assessor, and ask for the real property list of everybody that owns property in that county. And then you'll scrub that list. So let's say that, the used code is VL for vacant land. So you just do a, an Excel scrub, now you've got all the vacant land properties, you're going to do one more scrub, because if we're sending out offers, I don't want to send somebody the same offer of 40 acres as five acres because that 40 acre person is gonna send you back glitter in the mail. So then we're going to price by list by assessor's parcel number, subdivision, which kind of brings up into the acreage as well. And that's gonna help us with due diligence as well.

Susan Sly 11:12
So how did you get started in this business?

Mark Podolsky 11:15
So I was a miserable, micromanaged, 45 minute commute to work and back, investment banker specializing in mergers and acquisitions with private equity groups. And Susan, it got so bad for me, I wouldn't get the Sunday blues, anticipating Monday coming around. I get the Friday blues, anticipating the weekend going by really fast and heavy back to work on Monday. So my firm hires this guy. And he's telling me that as a side hustle, he's buying up raw land, pennies on the dollar. He's flipping them online and making a 300% return on his investment. A system look at companies all day long. And a great company, great, has 15% EBITDA margins, or free cash flow. Average company's 10%. I look at companies, they have less than 10%. So I don't believe it. I've got three grand saved up for car repairs. I go to New Mexico with him, I do exactly what he tells me to do. I buy up 10 Half Acre parcels and average price of $300 each. I put them online, they all sell for an average of $1,200 each. It worked. I took all that money, went to another auction in Arizona, which is where I live. And this is 2000, there's no one in the room. I have lots of acreage for like nothing. I made over 90 grand on this one auction. So I go to my wife, honey, I'm gonna quit my job, become a full time land investor, and she's pregnant. She's like, Absolutely not. So I said, okay, so it took me about 18 months for the land investing income to exceed the investment banking income. And then I quit. I've been doing it full time ever since and I love it.

Susan Sly 12:52
Well, since you came from the ibanking world, and as the Co CEO, Co Founder of Radius, I deal with a lot of ibankers and there are some great bankers out there, there are humans behind that. But my condolences to you, and I get it, that world you came from and I can get that, that frustration, my husband's a CPA. And so I get it. The-

Mark Podolsky 13:13
Look, if you want to talk about spreadsheets, we can all day long.

Susan Sly 13:16
Well, and I think there's that aspect for you and business doesn't run, the listeners know, I always say this, business doesn't run without accountants and attorneys and make friends with your accountants and attorneys. I've more attorneys than handbags Mark, honestly. So the, but to be able to look at land and assess it from afar, How do you do that? How can you really discern what the value is? There's this, I can't remember who said it, oh, you've got to go walk the land, you've got to like, put the dirt in your hand. You're not doing that clearly. Right? And so-- no,

Mark Podolsky 13:51
no, I haven't looked at piece of raw land. I can't tell you when, I outsource all that. So we'll do like, fo 50 bucks a local Craigslist gig in this area I'm familiar with, give my property report, have them shoot video, take photos, and just let me know. Like because, you know, what are the neighbors doing? Are they dumping? How far from the nearest hospital, Walmart, McDonald's? All those things. So basically, you hit the nail on the head. What's great about the land business, and what's terrible about the land business is no one knows what the hell it's worth. It's an inefficient market. So essentially, you have to go through some, you have to give some data points. So my first data point is, well what did it sell for in the past? Then I'm just going to divide by four. But as far as you know, selling it then, well, I just look at time value of money. And if I'm going to hold this property over the next 5, 10 years, I just do a simple calculation. I know I want a margin on terms to be 800 to 1200% on average, and non cash 300 to 500%. If the market responds, which they do, I've never been stuck with this raw land, I know I'm right. So for me, I'm looking, when I'm making offers at a data, another data point, I should have a 3 to 5% response rate. So if it's under 3%, I know I came in too low in that market, we're in an inflationary period. So the properties that I was buying, you know, a year ago, they've gone up 15% in value, just from, you know, other sellers holding on longer. They wanted that higher price, but the ratio goes up. So that's really what we look at. But now if it's, I mean more than 5% of people saying, oh, yeah, I'll sell you my land. I get nervous. And I retrade Hmm.

Mark Podolsky 13:55
Do you have any, you know, the, the Mark you are now, 5000 plus transactions later, versus who you were when you started, ff you could go, someone listening might say, Oh, my gosh, I want to do this. I have $3,000 saving account or whatever, I want to do something with it. But if you could go back in time and give your starting out Mark self some advice based on what you know now, you've had your Malcolm Gladwell 10,000 hours, you know, what, what advice would you give to someone just getting started?

Mark Podolsky 16:14
Don't wait five years to have coffee with my mentor, Ori. So I worked this business for five years, and I'm doing everything myself, Susan, everything. And I'm reading it all off my computer. And you know, I'm working from home, and I'm raising my kids. And it's like the best job ever compared to investment banking. And in my mind, I'm like, Oh, I, I'm an entrepreneur. So I go to coffee with Ori. And I'm telling you what I'm doing in my day, and he's like, Stop. Don't call yourself an entrepreneur. It's like you're insulting me. Like, what are you talking about? He's like, if you die tomorrow, what happens to your so called land business? Who's gonna run it? I'm like, oh, so then I started putting systems, processes, automation, inexpensive virtual assistants in place, and started getting myself out of the business. So now I can die in peace. And that business will continue throwing off the cash flow for my estate forever. But until that point, I did not understand the concept of still economic dependency, which means if I personally was working, I wasn't making any money at a real visceral level. Now, I understood it from the sense that I used to work with dentists. And I would see the, you know, the problem they would have, like, the hands aren't in somebody's mouth, they're not generating any revenue. But I thought, oh, you know, it's fun to me. You know, go to Kinko's and print off a plat maps, I put out fire packages, and I notarize documents, and oh, this is so fun. And I was making a lot of money. But it wasn't a business. So I would rewind the tape and start playing business from day one.

Susan Sly 17:58
I had the, I love that. You said that I had the founder of Fresh Books on the show. And we actually got into a dialogue. Because one of the, I get a lot of startup founders coming to me asking me for advice, how should they raise money? Should they do crowdfunding? Should they do angel investing, you know, so and so forth. I always give the same advice. What's your exit strategy? And he's like, Oh, you shouldn't start thinking with your exit in mind. And I said, Yes, you should start with your exit in mind and your succession planning because people die. People, you know, they're all, you get sued, like all these different things that happen, and you want to start to think about it. You come from the ibanking world, and I love that you brought this up, because so many people who are building businesses, their heart is in it, and they're, you know, they're in it every day, they're getting their hands dirty, but if something happens to them, there's no business.

Mark Podolsky 18:54
Absolutely, like they don't scale. Mm hmm.

Susan Sly 18:57
Right. Yeah. You can't scale you. Unless you are an AI. So let's talk about this. So I'm, so I am a crypto investor. I'm in the buying--

Mark Podolsky 19:10
Excellent. Are you, you're in the HODL club?

Susan Sly 19:13
I am. Me too. We were talking, Okay, So friends everywhere around the world, 141 countries or whatever we are in now, Mark and I were talking before we started the show about Twitter. So I am my Twitter person. My team does other social media for me, but I enjoy Twitter because I really love the sheep army, it's so entertaining. And I love all the crypto ones on there. And it's, I find it very relaxing. You know, I'll just like go on there, watch all of the stuff that's happening. So let's talk about land in the metaverse. So I go into, onto the Decentraland website and I'm looking at land because it came across my feed that a Canadian company, and I'm originally Canadian. I love you all Canada, you're still in the top five. The, it came across my feed, Mark, that a Canadian company had spent two and a half million dollars to buy a premier, I think it's a building in Decentraland on their fashion street and we were seeing like Louis Vuitton and different huge, massive fashion retailers buying virtual properties in the metaverse. And so let's start there. Have you purchased any Metaverse property?

Mark Podolsky 20:31
So I have not. And it's not that I'm against it. It's that I don't know where Manhattan is in the metaverse. Now, once I can figure that out, and I can, I can also figure out like, I want to, so when I'm looking at crypto world, I don't, I want to ignore the noise of what's hot today. I'm going to think about what's going to be hot, or what's going to sustain 20 years from now, Right? And so I don't have a good answer to that, you know. NFTs are great. You know, x infinity making money with games, buying these digital assets are great, you know, and I love the fact that there's so much opportunity in the metaverse in the space. But when I look 20 years out, so I'm always thinking, if everything's gonna change, and everything is gonna change, what's not going to change? And I don't have a good answer to that, fundamentally, in the space of digital ad. That being said, I want to find the answer. And when I do, let you know, my strategy, but I'm still exploring it, I still need more data points. I'm really risk averse, Susan. So that's it. Now, that's not to be, that's not to say I haven't set up my Metamask wallet, I have. I'm on open sea. I love all this stuff. I'm ready to go. I'm funded with eath. But until I can answer that question, I'm not ready to risk real dollars on it.

Susan Sly 22:11
And I think, and I love that you said that because one of the things, so I'm, I'm in Decentraland, essentially on their version of Zillow for Decentraland. And so they've got their fashion street, they've got different residences, then they have land. And I was looking at this particular piece of land that is three blocks from where the Canadian company spent two and a half million. And it was I think, 8000 that you could buy it in Aetherium or in manna, which is the currency of decentraland. And I started to really think about, I love that question that you ask yourself, what is not going to change? I spend 99% of my work day contemplating what is going to change, right? Working in AI, right? So what is going to change? How are we going to do business differently? I went to tour in commercial office space, Mark, and they gave me glasses, VR glasses. And so they're like, oh, just you know, I had, it looked like a water gun. So you point the water gun and then poof, you go into like, what's going to be their gym and then you point it somewhere else and you go poof into what's going to be like a common area kind of thing. And that is going to happen. We are going to tour things virtually. That is going to happen. A lot of kids grew up with NFTs gaming, that kind of thing. So I'm looking at, now this is just my opinion, and everyone, I'm not giving you investment advice, and Mark and our new friends so we're just like, you guys know the show is like a coffee chat. I know on Mark's show someone's drinking beer the other day. I, it's too early for me to drink wine yet, but that could happen. But you know, it's, to me, I'm looking at it potentially as an investment. But here's the thing with to your point, we don't know where Manhattan is. Singapore is building a whole Metaverse Singapore. But you can't get from decentraland to Metaverse Singapore. You have to go into decentraland and then go into Metaverse Singapore. So it's, it's this concept of where would you buy this virtual land? I mean, that's, that's the big thing.

Mark Podolsky 24:27
Yeah, exactly. So I don't know. I don't know. But I, I am going to come up with the answer at some point. And then when I do, I will share it. But I'd like to, I'd like to do what I'm doing, which is buy the digital land and then sell it on terms with either Bitcoin or eath and get monthly payments for it. Because that way I'm mitigating my risk if I'm wrong and the good, I'm investing, I'm not speculating.

Susan Sly 25:02
Yeah. Yeah, one of the, I was running some numbers with one of my staff. And I said, so if someone did $2 million last year, and they, they had the opportunity to offer their clients to pay in eath, or to pay in Bitcoin, just very conservative, quote unquote, conservative coins, that, even if say 10% of them did it, but they sat on that 200,000 that 200,000 would be worth over 2 million now. And so one of the things I'm saying to entrepreneurs is, and we've run out my own company, one of my companies, is how can we do more transactions in Aetherium? How can we do more transactions in Bitcoin? And what if we build out our funnels and build out those residual streams and just sit on it and you know, and just accrue it? Because there's, one thing we know as we see different countries stabilizing their currency against Bitcoin, certain things to your point, what's not going to change? And I always think, my mentor's Harvey Mackay, you've mentioned mentors many times. So Harvey has always said, Susan, speculate, speculate. So I'll openly speculate in front of 1000s of people that I personally don't think that in the next five years, we are going to move away from cryptocurrency. I think we're going to move closer to cryptocurrency. That's my opinion.

Mark Podolsky 26:28
I 100%. Agree, I think it's, it's kind of like 1996 right now, with the Internet. And I don't know, I mean, you're probably too young, but I was, you know, in, you know, just getting out of college. And, you know, the whole concept of buying something online was so scary.

Susan Sly 26:48
I might be older than you. I graduated college in '92.

Mark Podolsky 26:53
No kidding. Well, whatever you're doing, Susan Sly, you keep doing it. So anyways, we'll talk about David Sinclair's reverse aging after the podcast. Anyways-- Love him. I do too. So okay. That being said, I do think we're at that point in crypto where it needs to be made easier. Like my parents could go online and create a meta mask wallet. They wouldn't understand the security pieces of it. They wouldn't even begin to understand, you know, what, what does this mean, a wallet. Right? It's just right now, the whole thing is just too complex. I think when you have a big life, imagine you're in your 30s, you got kids, you got a job, like who's got time to go down the crypto rabbit hole? So until the technology catches up, and it's like they can amazon it, that's when cryptocurrency is going to explode. And I agree with you, I do think Bitcoin will become the global currency. I mean, if you're El Salvador, or if you're Nigeria-- Turkey, look what happened. Right like, you love the idea of Bitcoin. So I think that ultimately, to me, If you disagree, Bitcoin will be volatile in the short term, long term is going to create tremendous value. Where the dollar is going to be stable in the short term, but long term, we're losing purchasing power every single day.

Susan Sly 28:27
This is like such a fun topic for me, Mark. So Cathy Wood, so I'm going to like ask you to speculate. And PS going back to the internet. So my listeners know, I was the first online life coach in 1995 at a website called Making Fitter Bodies. I was a health and fitness coach, '95. So yes, I was, I'm an OG internet marketer. So Cathy Wood, helms the Ark funds, Cathy Woods said on CNBC, she thinks bitcoin is going to go to 250,000 a coin in the next, I can't remember what Cathy said, it's, you know, fairly short term, she's speculating, but what is your thought on that?

Mark Podolsky 29:09
I think that no one has a crystal ball. Right? I do think fundamentally, it is scarce. So there's only going to be 21 million Bitcoin. And what is money, right? It is just a story we tell ourselves. If tomorrow we all wake up and say the dollar is worthless, the dollar's worthless. If tomorrow we all wake up and say bitcoin is valuable, Bitcoin is valuable. I think fundamentally, there are some really amazing things with the blockchain. And since bitcoin is the oldest crypto cryptocurrency out there, and it seems to be you know, it's gonna get anti, more anti fragile as time goes on. And, you know, countries and governments are adopting it. And we've seen, you know, the fluctuation in price. And it's got built in scarcity. Unlike fiat money, I think it's inevitable that one day we'll look back at 250,000 a coin as a freaking bargain. Bargain. So I'm buying Bitcoin every week. So I, what's happening when you're buying bitcoins, you're selling dollars. I don't want dollars.

Susan Sly 30:29
I'm buying Bitcoin every week, I'm buying Aetherium every week. Mark Divine, who was on the show, he's one of my favorite humans. Mark and I were getting together one afternoon in San Diego, and he's doing such cool stuff. And we start to talk about crypto and you know which ones he's buying, which ones he owns, he has some alt coins like I do. And it's interesting, Mark, because all of the true, I bleed entrepreneurship, I figure out how to add value to people's lives. All of them, as long as they're in a certain age range. They all are buying and holding crypto. And one of my friends called me and he had made millions and millions of dollars in this other venture that he had. And he was like, Susan, I have made more money in Bitcoin that I made in doing that. And you know, and he's like, again, one of the smartest people I know, like yourself, like super smart. And we have an investment banker saying, I don't like risk. Here's how you, you know, here's how you, you make money with raw land in the real world. I refuse to say the meat verse, I think it's insulting, and, and exploring, and we'll have to have another conversation since we're both in Arizona, maybe in person and and have this conversation about what those possibilities are because it is going to involve, evolve. And I think the story is going to unfold very quickly. I agree. I did buy seven real estate domains in the metaverse last night.

Mark Podolsky 32:02
How cool. How fun.

Susan Sly 32:06
I won't tell anyone what they are. But yes.

Mark Podolsky 32:10
Yeah. And you know, there's so much opportunity right now. And there's so many cool things going on, in, in crypto and defy. And it's, it's, it's incredible. I mean, you can put your money in opera right now at 9%.

Susan Sly 32:28
Like, it's just there's, there's so many opportunities for people who work hard to take, you know, I'm not a believer in holding debt. But there are a lot of opportunities for people. One of the things I've said to people is, is okay, don't drink a $50 bottle of wine, just not have wine on your Thursday. Take that money, put it in Bitcoin, put it in ether when you can just take small bits of it. And the thing I love about what you're teaching Mark, and I was like Sherlock Holmes, Holmesing Mark. Before we did the show that you're teaching, a very low risk, salient way for people to take their hard earned dollars, and to invest in something that is a very tangible asset. We're, Mark and I aren't suggesting you go spend a bunch of money on Metaverse land right now, because it's still, we don't have all the answers to that at this moment. If Singapore is selling Metaverse land, I might go buy some there, because that is a whole different thing. But you know, I'm excited Mark. And you have a course that you're going to give away for free.

Susan Sly 33:35
Can you talk about that? Yeah. Super excited about this.

Mark Podolsky 33:39
Yeah. So you know, as we're talking about that model, Susan, the front end of that is a bit unwieldy if you're just starting out, right? So you've got to do county research, you got to get a list, you got to scrub the list, you got to price the list, you got to send out your offers. Now, if we can eliminate that front part, and just buy from somebody like me or somebody else in, who's a land investor that's reputable, and we can buy wholesale, and we can see that there's meat on the bone to say double our money, then that would make things a lot easier. So it's called a wholetailing model. So we're going to buy

Mark Podolsky 34:35
It's a wholetailing model. So we're going to buy wholesale and then we're going to sell retail and double our money. We're, create that passive income. That's we, simply where to start and then once you get proof of concept, and you're comfortable with it, my argument, you'll go deeper into the model and learn more.

Susan Sly 35:00
I love it so I want everyone to go to So once again, it will be in the show notes. And go, everyone knows that I'm just like obsessed with Twitter I told you and you know as we shared. So go follow Mark on Twitter. You know it's his team running his Twitter but they're doing a really good job.

Mark Podolsky 35:31
Thank you, Susan. So Susan's following my Twitter feed more than I am because I have the attention span of a fair and a double cappuccino and I can't go on the socials

Susan Sly 35:43
without-- yeah I'm so, most successful entrepreneurs are severely ADD and Twitter just aligns with my level of attention span so it's perfect. Everything else is just way too slow for me, so it's, it is a lot of fun, but I'm mostly following crypto. So anyway, and go follow me on Twitter @Susan_sly. Someone took the Susan Sly so you know, who knows, but I'm Susan_sly on Twitter, check it out there. Anyway, Mark, thanks so much for being here. What a fun conversation.

Mark Podolsky 36:14
This is great. And I don't know, are we real and raw enough? Well, I think-- did you feel good about

Susan Sly 36:20
it? I feel good about it. I mean, if we're talking about buying virtual land and where things are going, I don't think it gets more real than that as real as the metaverse can be. Alright, well, thank

Mark Podolsky 36:32
you so much. I really appreciate it.

Susan Sly 36:34
Well, thank you. And so for everyone listening, Mark and I would love a five star review. Please do share this on social, tag us, we would love that. And go to the deals and get Mark's course. It is, I'm getting his course. It's, it's down. All right. All right with that everyone, God bless, go rock your day, and I'll see you on the next episode.

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How to start a business in 20221

How to Start Your Own Business in 2022

By Blog, Entrepreneurship, Side Hustle, StartupNo Comments

According to a Harris Poll, sponsored by Zapier, 61% of Americans have had an idea to start a business and yet 92% did not follow through. Interestingly enough, a study conducted at The University of Scranton , and written about in Forbes, found that 92% of people also fail to achieve their New Year’s Resolutions. In other words, 92% of people do not follow through on their goals and if that goal includes starting a business this year, only a small percentage of people will take action. The question becomes this, if so many people fail to start, how do you start your own business in 2022?

‘92% of people do not follow through on their goals’

Hal Gregersen, author of the book Questions are the Answer, and a professor at MIT Sloan School of Business where I am currently studying, writes, “the best way to encourage more of the behavior you want is to create the conditions in which that behavior will arise naturally.” What Gregerson is suggesting is that if we are to achieve our goals, in this case starting a business this year, then we must align our environment with what it is we are intending to do.

‘…starting a business this year, then we must align our environment with what it is we are intending to do.’

Furthermore, as someone who has spent decades mentoring people to start and scale businesses, and has started several successful ventures, having an environment that is conducive to action combined with placing ourselves in situations where we are obligated to perform an act that moves us closer to our goal of starting a business in 2022 are the two main factors that determine whether one starts their business.

My dear friend, Rebecca Zung, best-selling author and global expert on narcissism, was transitioning from her full-time career as an attorney. She had read Russell Brunson’s book, Expert Secrets, and decided that his proposed funnel building model could work for her. Instead of overthinking how she would build her learn-on-demand course, she booked the videographer and worked backwards in developing the course content. Because she had scheduled the video session, she was committed and had no choice but to take action.

In my own life, I am preparing to launch an elegant, simple, and effective learn-on-demand course for people who want to start a business. I have scheduled the videographer, researched the top questions people have, and am building the course content. Because the session is scheduled, I am committed and the degree of readiness I have on that day will be determined by how much time I invest beforehand in preparation.

When we have an idea, it is essential that we take some form of committed action. That could be registering, and paying for, a course. It could be filing the papers for our new corporation. It could be letting the world know on social media that we are starting a business. In my humble opinion, bold action yields bold results and those who fail to achieve, the 92%, are those that spend more time thinking about what they want than actually going for it.

When we take one committed action, especially one where we have committed time or money or both, and done so by letting others know, forces us to continue forward or risk some form of loss. One of the reasons those in the 92% do not take action is because they haven’t put anything on the line.

‘One of the reasons those in the 92% do not take action is because they haven’t put anything on the line.’

When Kara Goldin, founder of Hint, was just getting started, she reached a point of critical mass where the fledgling beverage company was either going to grow or perish. Goldin, and her husband, required an infusion of capital and while some investors were interested, they were waiting until the company hit certain milestones before writing checks. At this point, Goldin took a committed action. She sold her home in pricey San Francisco, took the equity and invested it into the business. 

That committed action left Goldin and her family which included four children under the age of six, renting in a less expensive area while she dedicated her efforts to grow Hint. Against the odds, as the majority of beverage companies fail, today Hint is worth an estimated $150 million. 

The bottom line is this – if you want to start a business this year, take some form of committed action; one that requires you to either dedicate your time, money, or reputation. The longer you wait to get started, the more likely you are to end up in the 92%. 

‘…if you want to start a business this year, take some form of committed action; one that requires you to either dedicate your time, money, or reputation’

One of the questions I constantly pose to my community is, ‘do you want to be in the same place physically, financially, emotionally, and spiritually next year?’ Ultimately, we all want to grow and as scary as it is to take that first step, I will end with the famous words of Lao Tzu, ‘a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.’ Take that step.

‘Do you want to be in the same place physically, financially, emotionally, and spiritually next year?’


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