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Shark Tank Pitch Stats

So You Want to Pitch a Shark

By Blog, Entrepreneurship, StartupNo Comments

Jacob*, a fledgling startup founder, and college student, has entrepreneurial visions. He is studying marketing at school, working part-time, and wants to be pitching his idea on Shark Tank. He has a great product idea and is already envisioning spending those millions he is going to make quickly. Although he has the heart, desire, and product, he is going to fail. When I met with him at the urging of one of his family members, a dear friend, he refused to listen to advice, was distracted and on his phone. Jacob had already decided he was going to be successful and didn’t need someone giving him advice.

Jacob isn’t an arrogant person however like many fledgling startup founders, he has delusions that do not match startup reality. Pitching a business that will get funded requires a willingness to learn from those who have walked that path before. The odds of getting an audience with The Sharks are miniscule. Based on data, here is what Jacob, or anyone, needs to know in order to pitch a Shark.

7 Stats About Pitching on Shark Tank
  • Approximately 45,000 people apply to pitch on Shark Tank each year. 
  • Less than 1% of applicants get to pitch. 
  • 56% of founders get funded on Shark Tank. 
  • The average investment is $286,000
  • The average amount of equity given up is 27%
  • 94% of startups that pitched in seasons 5-9 are still in business.
  • 80% are profitable. 

I have the utmost respect for the Sharks. They have an impressive success rate that outperforms time and again. Where the failure rate for startups is 90% , The Sharks, as stated, have over 90% success in terms of their startups staying in business.

If Jacob makes it past over 44,500 other applicants and has the chance to pitch his deal, he will literally get eaten alive. The last time I spoke to him, he referenced a ‘D-Corp’ and said that he was in the process of registering it. ‘You mean a C-Corp,’ I said. 

‘Yeah – that,’ he replied.

As someone who has pitched her share of investors and VC’s, my advice for Jacob and those with dreams of making it to the Shark Tank stage is to start by being coachable. As an investor and tech cofounder myself, I have navigated the tenuous waters of pitching VC’s (venture capitalists) for more money than the average Shark investment. In Silicon Valley and Wall Street, you will hear time and again, ‘we invest in the team and the founder.’ Those with experience, resilience, and tenacity tend to get funded over those that have a great idea led by a founder who is consumed with their own ether.

If you want to pitch a shark, or any VC, be willing to take all of the advice you can from those who have gone before you. You will need it. Famed Shark Daymond John said, ‘I think that in the earlier days, when I was a ‘wantrepreneur,’ I was really doing things because I thought what I wanted was to be rich.’ There are many Jacob’s out there who dream of getting rich; however until they learn how to be coachable, their entrepreneurial vision will remain an unrealized reality.


Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Henry Kaminski Jr.

249. How to Create a Brand That People Trust with Unique Designz Founder, Henry Kaminski Jr.

By PodcastNo Comments

How do you build a brand that people trust? Henry Kaminski Jr. discusses the importance of asking better questions— not just about design but also about what you want your customers to feel when they interact with your product or service. This interview is for anyone developing a brand to stand out in the marketplace.

Henry Kaminski Jr. is the founder of Unique Designz, a full-service design, branding, and digital marketing agency. He has worked with celebrities like Jon Bon Jovi and Fabio Viviani and Internet marketing experts. Henry is the host of the popular “Brand Doctor’s Podcast.”

— Henry Kaminski Jr.

Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Henry Kaminski Jr.

Topics covered in the interview

Asking better questions
Diagnosis, prescription, and application
The 3 different positions: marketplace, messaging, visual aesthetic
Brand Schizophrenia
Brand trust
Value alignment
Top branding trends 2022
Branding in metaverse

Henry Kaminski Jr. Bio

Henry Kaminski Jr. is the founder of Unique Designz, a full-service design, branding, and digital marketing agency that is dedicated to helping personality brands; coaches, consultants, influencers, speakers + authors design / grow their brands,scale their profits + increase their exposure online.

He is the host of the popular “Brand Doctor’s Podcast” where he talks about strategies that help entrepreneurs design reputable and profitable personal brands. As a self-taught graphic designer and brand consultant, he’s overcome all the odds to build a wildly successfulmulti-million-dollar business over the past 14 years. He has worked with a diverse range ofbusiness owners and professionals, including celebrities like Jon Bon Jovi + Fabio Viviani as well as Internet marketing expert Russell Brunson who has named Henry the “Million Dollar Brander ” and recently has been inducted into the Click Funnels 2 Comma Club, by generating over $1 million with one single sales funnel, using the Click Funnels software.

Follow Henry Kaminski Jr.

Show Notes

Read Full Transcript

Henry Kaminski 00:00
I have to, it has, I have to wear this and feel good in it. Mm hmm. I do. And that's what you were saying before, otherwise, I'm not going to promote it. Right? And I agree with that 1,000%. However, when you break it down by percentage of who we're actually designing the brand for, I would say 20%. And then 80% needs to be designed for your ideal customer.

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.

Susan Sly 00:45
All right, everyone, what is up all over the world? I want to give shout out to all the hustlers, side hustlers and the raw and real entrepreneurs. You're here because you want the no nonsense, just get to the point. And my guest today is all that and more because he's from New Jersey. It's just, that's gonna preface everything. So get this, he is the host of the popular Brand Doctor Podcast, he talks about strategies that help entrepreneurs design reputable and profitable personal brands, and I just want to go hashtag thank God. Because you know, one of the things Ryan Deiss, who's a friend of mine, he says like why would we sacrifice our soul at the altar of fame. And so my guest today is going to make sure you don't do that. So your soul is protected. As a self taught graphic designer, brand consultant, he's overcome the odds and built a variety of wildly successful businesses. And you know, when you research the guy, you go, Oh my gosh. He has worked with Jon Bon Jovi, Fabio, I want to ask about that one. And the amazing Russell Brunson. I know Russell, amazing person. And he has been called the million dollar Brander and was introduced into the Click Funnels' Two Comma Club, which is no easy feat. And on top of all of that, he's just an outstanding human. So Henry Kaminski, thanks for being on Raw and Real Entrepreneurship.

Henry Kaminski 02:04
Thank you. What an intro, man. Thank you for having me. Again, I've done my research on you as well. I love what you are doing for the entrepreneur community. And congratulations to all your success as well. I think it's fantastic. And keep up the great work.

Susan Sly 02:20
Oh my gosh, well, thank you. I've got so many questions for you. It's like Henry and I were talking before the show, we're like, let's just have dinner, we're gonna hang out. Oh my gosh. Okay. So Henry, here we are. It's, it's, it's a bananas time we got. The great resignation, 73.4% of people in America alone, say I want to leave my job. We've got 61% people say they start, want to start a business, 92% never do. Here's my question for you. If you lost everything, you had 90 days to build, using your skills to build a million dollar business, what would you do?

Henry Kaminski 02:54
Well, it depends on where I'm at. Right? But the first thing that I'm going to do is I'm going to survey the land. And I'm going to see what resources are there already, what resources they're lacking, and figure out the need, and figure out where the people in this community are struggling. So it's going to be a lot of diagnosis work, before I can strategize a plan to execute. So I wish I have the answer for you. But, but, but that's where I would start. And by, by uncovering all of that, then I would go and present my case and present the the offer accordingly to give them what they want, To make their lives easier, whether it's to save time, whether it's to save resources, whether it's to save money, whatever the case may be, but that's my goal. And with that said, I'm pretty sure I can hit that million dollar mark in 90 days.

Susan Sly 03:58
So you, what I'm hearing is you're going to, you're gonna find out what are the, what's the problem that you know, a lot of people want to solve, and you're going to give them a solution to that problem. So that's step number one. Let's get into tactics because this is your zone of genius. You're not playing here. We've had some great marketers on the show. We've had some great brands on the show. We've had billionaires on the show. And you know, let's get into tactics. So let's say you have that idea. What are you going to build in order to monetize that?

Henry Kaminski 04:30
Yeah, so we're in 2022 now, right? Like we have technology at our fingertips. It's not like we're in the caveman era where we have to use sticks and rocks, right? Okay.

Susan Sly 04:43
Or like my first internet business was 1995. That was like sticks and rocks.

Henry Kaminski 04:51
The dial up modem. Oh yeah. So what I want to do is I'm going out and I am going to ask the big questions. You know, like, what, what's your biggest challenge? What are you trying to accomplish? And what are some of the things in between that are preventing you from doing that? And then I'm going to listen and take Procopius notes. I think a lot of times entrepreneurs these days, or let's just talk salespeople, they want to always show and prove. They, they're constantly trying to sell themselves. They're trying to convince, they're trying to constantly get a yes, when they should be listening more than then talking. And listen, I was horrible at sales, I would talk myself out of deals all day long. And come home at the end of the day, so frustrated, and my wife was like, just stop talking, and start asking better questions. So I'm always going to stay in diagnosis mode. I use these terms a lot, and this is where we got the Brand Doctor from, air quotes, is the way that I really helped my clients get the results that they're looking for, and it's diagnosis, prescription, and then application. Those are the, that, if you want to talk tactics, Susan, that is the, that is my tactic that has proven my business and proven my value to the marketplace. I always tell people, if you try to prescribe before diagnosing, that is malpractice. And you can go to jail for that. So we're not trying to you know, we're not trying to do that. So that's, so we could go as deep as you want there but that, that's the three step approach that I work with my clients on to help them get the results that they're looking for.

Susan Sly 07:04
I love that. You wouldn't you know, you wouldn't prescribe before you diagnose. So you've got the diagnosis, you've got the prescription, you said application. So the listeners know, one of my best friends on the planet is Rebecca Zung. And Rebecca is also a Two Comma Club member. She's you know, known for negotiating with a narcissist, got a huge YouTube channel, also a student of Russell. And one of the things Rebecca and I always talk about is execution. So Henry, like, as an example, Rebecca has some big goals for 2022. I have some big goals for 2022. And we'll, we'll talk and say, Okay, what are you executing on? Because that's the difference between the 8% the 92%, is that execution. What do you say to the person who's like,

Susan Sly 07:54
Okay, I have a problem I

Susan Sly 07:55
want to solve Henry, I know how to solve it. But I'm terrified to execute. Because I'm sure you've had that with your clients. Yeah. So

Henry Kaminski 08:03
I'm going to ask, I'm going to ask a question, what do you have more of, time or money, right now? What do you have more of? And if it's time, then let's roll up our sleeves and I could give you the blueprint, and I'm going to have you get to work. But if it's, if you don't have that kind of time, then we got to go to our old buddy, Dan Sullivan's philosophy, which is, look for the who's and not the house. When I say that, it's who can help you execute this? And don't get so bogged down on how to get it done. You know, I always say if you want it bad enough, you will find a way or you will find somebody with the way. And that's something that we really have to pay attention to like, that was something you know, when, when Russell and I were doing business together, I learned a lot from him as we were building out the brand for Click Funnels, and he was a master at finding the who's, you know, and he just stayed in his lane, did what he did best. Be the face of the brand, he had the personality. And he stayed there and he had his execution team, you know, from John Parks, to Dave Woodward to all these people, but they were very strategically placed to help them achieve the goals that Click Funnels wanted to achieve. And that was brilliant. So looking for the who's not the house, you're not going to build a business all by yourself. I'm sorry, whoever says that if you take my course or follow this, this, this framework, you can be a guru in five weeks, you can be the next seven figure earner. No, it's gonna take a lot more work than that. And one of the things that I really want to emphasize on is if you're attracting unqualified clients to your sales pipeline, you have to take a timeout. And you have to ask yourself, Why am I attracting these types of folks? So I'm going to have you look at three different positions. One being your position in the marketplace. Are you the affordable version? Or are you the more premium exclusive version? It's the easiest way to explain. Sara Blakely says this best in one of her masterclasses, she said, You know, when I got in, Sara Blakely, for those that don't know, she's the CEO and founder of Spanx. And she turned that business into a billion dollar, over a billion dollar business with, and she started with $5,000. That's why I love her. And she said, You know, when I got into Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, I had set a bar for myself, and I couldn't go into Walmart after that, no offense to Walmart. But I couldn't have my brand in an establishment like that, it would just, I would never be able to get back into the Neiman's and the, right? And it would actually dilute my brand. So I stayed accordingly to course. And, and so I really want you to take a look at your position in the marketplace to see where you fall. I had somebody reach out to me one day and say we have a $2,000 program and we keep getting people in our sales pipeline, asking for a payment plan. And he said, I feel like we're the poor man solution to, fill in the blank. I won't tell, I, you know, I don't want to give away his product or anything. Right? And I said, That's horrible. That's how you really feel about your product? And I said, All right, let's move on to the next step. Your messaging, What does your messaging say about you? Okay, that's very, very important to get that messaging right. If you don't know who you're speaking to, how can you speak to them? That's why I say you got to work backwards here. And this isn't revolutionary

Henry Kaminski 12:31
information here. I'm not trying to say that I know it all or this is like groundbreaking, but working backwards and understanding your, your, your ideal client better than they understand themselves. If you could articulate their problems better than they could tell them to you, they're gonna whip out that credit card, they're gonna engage in your product or service, and they're gonna hire you. So it's very important to understand so use their language. Don't use your language, use their language, because there's a power behind familiarity. Yes, yes. I knew I was gonna get tongue tied on that one. And, and they're going to subconsciously, connect with you. And then last but not least visual aesthetic. And I think Susan, you do a hell of a job with this. I I've taken a peek at your videos, and I'm looking at. Right away, I'm looking at the production value, I'm looking at how you present yourself on camera. Are you in frame? What kind of equipment are you using? I'm looking at all of this stuff, right? I'm looking at your articulation, your inflection, in your voice. I'm psycho when it comes to this stuff. Because I'm in the, you know, I'm in the brand space. So I'm just looking at that because I say to myself, Okay, if you want to attract a higher quality client, or a higher paying client, a more premium vendor, a more premium client customer. How are you showing up? Are you putting in the work yourself? You know, are you premium? Are you putting in that effort? Because you're only going to attract what you are. And that's why I always say you have to, you have to elevate. You have to constantly strive for more or better. Yes, you can take some time to celebrate, you can take some time to soak it in. But if you're not setting the bar a little bit higher the next time, that complacency and that stagnation is, will catch up to you. And so be very, very conscious of that. So those three positions, those three things when it comes to branding is extremely important to make sure that you're attracting the right people. Now, if you're attracting a more, if you're looking for more affordable, like if your clients are looking for a more affordable solution, and you look like a Gucci ad, you're gonna, you're gonna, they're gonna run away. Because all they're gonna say is, I can't afford you. Yeah. All right. So it's important.

Susan Sly 15:24
Henry, like, here's the Okay, Lady Gaga. That's the drop. All right, like, seriously, I hope everyone's taking notes. You said so much there. I just do a quick thing. You mentioned Sara Blakely. So all of the raw and unreal entrepreneurs, if you haven't heard my interview with Sarah's husband, Jesse, oh, my gosh, that's hilarious. I do a rap battle with Jesse, Henry. And that's it. The thing I just want to say like, everything Henry said, because I learned from all of my guests, and I've had some brand schizophrenia, which we're going to talk about in a minute. I would just say the thing, you know, I think maybe it's because I'm turning 50 this year, but it's just like, I don't have time to be anyone other than myself. So Jesse is on the show, Henry. And I'm like, I'm gonna challenge him to a rap battle. Because you know, Jesse was the first white rapper even before Vanilla Ice, right? And I'm like, hey, Jesse, you want to do rap battle? And he's like, No, I'm not hearing your rap battle. So I, my claim to fame is, I won a rap battle challenge against Jesse Itzler. Why? Because he just you know, he just didn't participate. So I declare myself the champion against Jesse. So going back to what you said about branding, I, this is Raw and Real Entrepreneurship. So I've had some brand schizophrenia myself, I'm like, pink and black, blue. Um, you know, and there was this point where I finally got to in 2021, where, so I'm half Chinese, and for, in my culture, gold, red, black, you know, Jade, like all these things. And I said, You know what, screw it, I have to brand align with what feels good to me. Because if I don't feel good about those little video clips, if I don't feel good about how the podcast looks, the photo, anything, I'm not gonna freakin promote it. Right. So can you talk about brand schizophrenia? I just made up that term. It's— no, no, no, it's— like, just know,

Henry Kaminski 17:24
It's, it's, it's a thing, Susan, it's definitely a thing. That's why we're—

Susan Sly 17:29
Thank you for putting your white collar on, I do feel better.

Henry Kaminski 17:34
When we, when we design brands for our clients, I have a very strong heart to heart with them before we get started. And I tell them that you have to trust who you hire and hire who you trust before you make an investment and commitment like this one. Okay. And I tell them, I've had clients in the past, where they come in, and they say, Okay, I'll listen, I'll, I'll do it. But there is some inkling of uncertainty or lack of trust. And next thing, you know, they become art director, they become designer, they, and then they're trying to have me and my team push pixels around. And I said, if you have that kind of time, this is not the right program for you. You know, I'm gonna listen to you. I'm going to take your opinion into consideration. And yes, at the end of the day, it's your brand, you have the final say, but I will challenge you on some of the, some of the opinion, I will challenge you on some of your assumptions as well. Okay. So let's get to it. Right? When we are designing a brand, who are we designing it for? That is the big question. Everybody says, me, it's my business. It's my brand. Of course, it's me. And I said, True. Alright, so if we had to break this down into percentage, how much percentage would we be designing the brand for you? What do you think, just take a guess.

Susan Sly 19:11
Oh, it's, it's not for you, really. It's for the, the customer, right, in my opinion.

Henry Kaminski 19:18
So I agree with you of what you said before. I have to, it has, I have to wear this and feel good in it. Mm hmm. I do. And that's what you were saying before, otherwise, I'm not going to promote it. Right? And I agree with that. 1,000%. However, when you break it down by percentage of who we're actually designing the brand for, I would say 20%. And then 80% needs to be designed for your ideal customer.

Susan Sly 19:53
Yes, like, just preach it brother. So there was a, there's a company, I won't disclose the name of the company or my association with it, but one of the founders, he loves like pastel colors, but the sector that that company is in, none of their ideal customers have pastels in their logos. And so I showed them all the logos of the, their top 10 dream customers. And you know, and I'm like, you can design this for one person and that person will feel really good or you can start to do something where there's going to be a trust around that. And, and so anyway, long story short, it's, you know that is an ongoing debate, right, for that particular company. And, and I love what you said, because at the end of the day, it doesn't matter if the founder likes pastels, but if your end users are, let's say in the industrial sector or something like that, you are missing out, because brand trust. Henry, how, you're an expert. How long does a brand have to build trust in that first exposure? Because there are a lot of different theories around this.

Henry Kaminski 21:05
That's a great question. That is a really great question. I think it's going to take time these days. But if you get it right, you can compress that time very quickly. I'll give you a quick example. So the millennial generation, the Gen z's, the Gen X's, they are perfect examples of culture. Like they are looking for brands that stand for something. Right? And it's, and that is the biggest thing. And guys, let's face it, none of us are getting any younger, and our client demographic is getting older. So guess what, these millennials, Gen Z's, Gen X's, they're all going to be our clients one day, so long as we're still in business, right? So I hate hearing all these millennials that, or these, that, and they're, well, you better get an understanding of their buying mentality. The 'why' they're buying and how they're buying, because if you don't adapt, they're not gonna buy from you. So just get back to this point. So if we know that millennials are going to get introduced to a brand, and the first thing in their minds, they're going to ask themselves, what does this brand stand for and who are they for, right? What are the brand attributes? What are the values that this brand stands for, and does those values align with mine? You can have a such an inferior product or service to your competitor, right, and still get the business because your values align with that person. So keep that in mind, when it comes to building that trust is that value alignment is so huge, that's why I tell people like, I'm working with a meal kit company right now. And they're a lot smaller than Blue Apron, Hello Fresh and, and all of those, those, those whales in the industry. And I said you, you know how you're going to beat them? You. When I do my competitive research, none of them have a face to the brand. And this is where personal branding comes in. And it is, it's like, it's, it's like an ace in your back pocket. I said, I would love to see you out there more with your personality behind the scenes, talking to the audience, talking to the community. This is what Fabio Viviani does so spectacularly. He has multiple brands under his legacy, if you will. And he is out there promoting them all on social media, like a 22 year old kid. And that's how he stands out.

Susan Sly 24:14
And that's huge, because what you just said, I hope this is landing for everyone. I was looking, Henry at Startup Funding Statistics, right? And so in the startup world, what we're seeing is a new trend that, that startups in Silicon Valley that have a face to the brand, meaning one of the founders has a brand, they are more likely to get funding then non branded companies. So you can have a group of like, tech people and they've got this great tech, but if you know, no one is out there as the face of the brand, I can tell you. So Elon Musk we all know, he you know, three multi billion dollar companies. And Elon has a personal brand. It doesn't matter like him or not, and the other thing Elon does, I was doing a talk for MIT a couple weeks ago. And one of the things I said about Elon is he's listening to the masses. He just decided, yes, we're gonna take Dogecoin for Tesla merchandise, right? He's listening to the masses. He posted on social media, 2021, How many of my shares in Tesla Should I sell off? He had a huge tax bill. It was hilarious because it, the Tesla shares, and disclosure, I have Tesla shares, the, they go down like 200 bucks a share because he's selling but he's listening to the people. So the next thing Elon does, do you think that he will have, if he doesn't bootstrap it, he'll have any trouble funding it? No. And that's the difference. As a head of an AI company or a co head of an AI company, I have a personal brand. When we did our seed round Henry, we raised over $7 million in friends and family because people are like, Susan, I know you're going to go and you're going to get things done. Right? And it's so different. Even PhDs, who don't have personal brands are not getting the research funded. It is, it is not negotiable. So I want to Okay, Henry, I want to rapid fire some questions for you.

Henry Kaminski 26:12
Let's rock and roll. I see, we could talk for hours.

Susan Sly 26:15
I know, I know. Do you, do like football? I do. Who's your team?

Henry Kaminski 26:22
The Jets, unfortunately.

Susan Sly 26:23
The Jets. I knew you were gonna say The Jets. I just knew it. I knew it. We can't be friends now. Okay, but I'm gonna, I'm gonna, I'm gonna pass. Alright, so here we go. Uh, your pics for top branding trends 2022, go!

Henry Kaminski 26:42
Yeah, So believe it or not, 3d illustration, Sans Serif fonts, you're also going to see a lot of negative space. So let your brand aesthetics breathe is going to be a huge play this year. I see a lot of just vomiting you know of different types of fonts, different types of images, different types of, and that's going away. Simplicity is going to be the key for 2022.

Susan Sly 27:16
Okay, I love it. I just took a breath when you said that okay, cuz I keep saying to my team like, enough with all the scrolly crap cuz I can handle that. Just give me a white background. Just give me the white background, the black letters, a little bit of gold thrown in for the Asian part. You know that, you know, we— hey listen, we have, our biggest listenership and viewership is in India. It's growing. So we'll just like, hey, we're gonna keep the gold. That's awesome. If I ever become your client, that will be the thing we'll have to negotiate that. Let's talk very quickly, next pass, the metaverse, how is that going to change branding?

Henry Kaminski 27:55
It's going to flip it on its head. We're, we're no longer going to be branding websites. We're going to be branding, outfits. We're going to be branding offices in the metaverse. We're going to be branding studios, office, but like all of that is going to be part of the service that we're gonna have to provide as creatives in the design space moving forward. And so from sneakers to everything, it's, it's how you show up in the metaverse is going to be just so fascinating to watch unfold. So I have my ears to the pavement. The minute, what's his name, xox came out in October and put that nice little video out, I've been paying attention.

Susan Sly 28:52
The, it's interesting you mentioned it. So one of the companies that I'm invested in, it's in, and again disclosure, because I have to do it. Just go to you can see the companies I'm invested in. Not my we funder ones, but the major ones, is called Guudguuds. And they're creating a Metaverse of good and they're gamifying Good. So in that whole Metaverse, if you transact and buy things in the metaverse that you're going to have shipped to your home in the real world there's a whole component of give back, good, liberating girls from trafficking, building wells, like all this really cool stuff. So a Metaverse of good. And so any of the companies that I'm looking at now in investing in, Henry they about are going to be in the metaverse, crypto, something. But you know, and it's just, it's, okay next, next pass to. In my dreams, I'm a world class NFL quarterback just pretend. Just play along with me. Okay, so, so my next, my next pass to you is for the touchdown, crypto branding, transacting, what you know, just go for it. Any thoughts there?

Henry Kaminski 30:00
So I think it's going to be the next currency for sure. I will full, full disclosure, I recently got into the crypto game. I'm a little, I feel like I'm a little behind my colleagues but I still feel, based on the research and the study that I've been doing thus far, that I am still ahead of the adoption, the mass adoption that's to come. And so as far as crypto goes, I have a very simple, simple strategy. I invest in bit, I invest in eath. And I put $1 amount per week away in both. And I don't look at it, I don't look at it. So as, as of this recording, crypto's getting beat up right now. But it's the best time for anybody, including myself to get in, because I'm in a debt, right. So I'm going to let this be my 10 year plan. And it's going to be my, my retirement. And I think it's going to be, crypto is going to be the retirement plans for a lot of the younger generation moving forward because they're struggling right now to create that wealth, like our parents. Our parents had the ability to do through, you know, IRAs and stock market and all of that. This is their version. And so if you get in now, I think you're going to be in good shape. But again, there's two ways to lose, right? If you have nothing to lose, and if you could afford to lose. So I'm looking at this, I'm playing a very strategic, not going all in. I'm going in very strategically and knowing that if I lose, I could afford it. And but yeah, I'm just gonna set it and forget it. And you'll see very, very quickly it's only going to go up. Yes, it's very volatile right now. And it will probably stay volatile for quite some time. But if you hang on, and you have the patience. I see us all winning.

Susan Sly 32:10
Yeah. And like you I was late to the party. And even though you and I both know Gary Vee, and I've done speaking events with Gary, that, you know, Gary has been talking about crypto for like, a long time. And so, and the thing, the thing I would say is when you have people like Henry, like Gary, that are talking about things, it's time when you start to hear about it to do your research, right. And so I have, I have stable coins too. I have a cerium, I have bitcoin, Solana, I'm, you know, currently buying more Solana—

what about XRP, you got to get on XRP.

Susan Sly 32:48
XRP, I am part of the shib army on Twitter. And I love it. It's, you know, I just, it's, I find it so entertaining as a little bit of Doge. But I have a lot of shib. And Mark Divine, who I had in the show, he created SEAL Fit. And Mark and I had lunch in, in California, Henry and Mark is such outstanding human genius brander. And, and anyway, so we're talking about crypto and I'm like, so do you have shib? Because yeah, and I won't disclose how much shib he has but he's kind of a shib whale so that's all I have to say. But you know, I think to your point, there's a lot of opportunities. And what I say to people is, instead of having a bottle of wine on a Wednesday night, take that money, and maybe it's disposable. That's what you throw into whatever but you know, you gotta, you gotta be smart about it. Okay, this is my last. I'm going for the touchdown. All right, let's go. You know, if you're, if you're not on YouTube, you can. you can hear me pulling my chair back and I'm scoring the touchdown, which is the Patriots beating Jets.

Henry Kaminski 33:55
Alright, alright. You know,

Susan Sly 33:57
Mack Jones, our new quarterback, he gave all of his offensive line Bitcoin for Christmas. And what a sweetheart, he also gave them a lesson in Bitcoin by the person who started Bitcoin magazine. I'm like, Oh, sweet.

Henry Kaminski 34:15
Wow, that's a great gift.

Susan Sly 34:17
I just want to— so for the touchdown, you have a course. Tell us about your course. So for someone who says, you know, I'd love to hire you, but I'm just beginning but you have a course.

Henry Kaminski 34:29
Yeah. So well, it's free. It's, it's 100% free. It is the Brand Doctor's Masterclass. It's going to be about two hours in length. There's multiple lessons in it, but it's going to help you understand how entrepreneurs scale to seven figures and beyond. The tools they use, the resources they use, the mindset they use, the resources they use. The most important, the questions they use to challenge themselves to get to that level in business. So all you have to do is go to Unique DesignZ, with a Z at the end, not an S, dot net, scroll down, you'll get to that masterclass. If you want to get right to it, it's Unique Designz, again with a Z at the end, not an S, dot net, forward slash, level up my branding. And I hope you enjoy it. I would love to get some feedback from you on it. And feel free to hit me up on all my socials. They're all on my website. And check out the Brand Doctor Podcast because Susan's gonna be on it soon. She just doesn't know it yet.

Susan Sly 35:43
I'm excited. And in our show notes, we have show notes on So we are going to have a link to Henry's course, a link to all of his social, follow him on social and if you're a Jets fan, you should follow him because you know that, that's the law of diminishing returns. I love it. I'm just, I'm just kidding. I have such, all the listeners know I have such an appreciation for football because I you know, I give a lot of props to my dad, Henry and my dad has, my dad has his own YouTube channel. I won't disclose what it is because he likes his green screen just a little too much. Anyway he, my dad is developing this reputation and so, but I was raised by a single dad grew up on Sundays watching doubleheaders of football. So I've watched my share of Jets. Uh, you know, and anyway, I just appreciate good football and I appreciate you. Thank you for your, your wisdom, your insights. I have a page of notes Henry so thank you so much. And I would just encourage everyone get the show notes because we transcribe these show notes just for people like you so you can get you know, all the good stuff. And get Henry's course. Oh my gosh, you need to go there and get that. So Henry, thanks so much for being here.

Henry Kaminski 36:56
Thanks again for having me, Susan. What a pleasure.

Susan Sly 36:59
Thank you. All right with that everyone, raw and real entrepreneurs, thanks so much for listening. If this show has been great, you know, Henry and I would love a five star review. And so please go ahead and do that. Share the show, tag us on social. With that, God bless, Go rock your day and I will see you in the next episode of Raw and Real Entrepreneurship.

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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.

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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?’


Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Dr. Michael Breus

245. Go From Dragging Your Butt to Kicking Butt – Interview with Dr. Michael J. Breus

By Podcast

Sleep is essential, but how do you know if you’re getting enough? Does it seem like your energy levels are just too low no matter how much sleep you get or what you do during the day? If so, then this video is for you!

Dr. Michael Breus, a global expert on sleep and productivity, talked about how knowing your chronotype can enhance the quality of life for entrepreneurs.

Michael J. Breus, Ph.D., is a Clinical Psychologist and both a Diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine and a Fellow of The American Academy of Sleep Medicine. He is one of only 168 psychologists in the world to have passed the Sleep Medical Speciality board without going to Medical School. Dr. Breus was recently named the Top Sleep Specialist in California by Reader’s Digest, and one of the 10 most influential people in sleep. Dr. Breus is on the clinical advisory board of The Dr. Oz Show.

Get Dr. Breus’ book:
Energize!: Go From Dragging Your Ass To Kicking Ass In 30 Days

– Dr. Michael Breus

Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Dr. Michael Breus

Topics covered in the interview

Schools of entrepreneurs
Myths around sleep

Dr. Michael Breus' Bio

Michael J. Breus, Ph.D., is a Clinical Psychologist and both a Diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine and a Fellow of The American Academy of Sleep Medicine. He is one of only 168 psychologists in the world to have passed the Sleep Medical Speciality board without going to Medical School. Dr. Breus was recently named the Top Sleep Specialist in California by Reader’s Digest, and one of the 10 most influential people in sleep. Dr. Breus is on the clinical advisory board of The Dr. Oz Show and on the show (39 times).  

Dr. Breus is the author of The Power of When, (September 2016) a #1 at Amazon for Time Management and Happiness, #28 overall) a bio-hacking guide book proving that there is a perfect time to do everything, based on your genetic biological chronotype. Dr. Breus gives the reader the exact perfect time to have sex, run, a mile, eat a cheeseburger, ask your boss for a raise and much more.His second book The Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan: Lose Weight Through Better Sleep (Rodale Books; May 2011),  discusses the science and relationship between quality sleep and metabolism.  His first book, GOOD NIGHT: The Sleep Doctor’s 4-WeekProgram to Better Sleep and Better Health (Dutton/Penguin), an Amazon Top 100 Best Seller, is a do-it-yourself guide to better sleep.

Dr. Breus has supplied his expertise with both consulting and as a sleep educator (spokesperson) to brands such as Hastens Mattresses, Ebb Therapeutics (FDA approved insomnia treatment),  Princess Cruise lines, Six Senses Hotel and Spa, Lighting Science Group,  Advil PM, Breathe Rite, Crowne Plaza Hotels, Dong Energy (Denmark), Merck (Belsomra), BOSE, iHome, and many more.

Dr. Breus lectures all over the world for organizations such as YPO (Young Presidents Organization) 20+ times in 2018-19,  AT&T (10 times), on stage for Tony Robbins ( Unleash the Power), hospitals and medical centers, financial organizations, product companies and many more. 

For over 14 years Dr. Breus served as the Sleep Expert for WebMD. Dr. Breus also writes The Insomnia Blog (on and can be found regularly on Psychology Today, and Sharecare. 

Dr. Breus has been interviewed on CNN, Oprah, The View, Anderson Cooper, Rachel Ray, Fox and Friends, The Doctors, Joy Behar, The CBS Early Show, The Today Show, and Kelly and Michael. 

He is an expert resource for most major publications doing more than 250 interviews per year (WSJ, NYT, Washington Post, and most popular magazines- list available upon request).

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Dr. Michael Breus 00:00
So eight hours is a myth. Let me be very clear about this. Very few people actually need eight hours of sleep. And there's a reason why. So many people actually get more sleep than they need. Wait, what did you say, Dr. Bruce, more sleep? What are you talking about here, right?

Susan Sly 00:17
So, what's up everyone? I hope you're having an amazing day. And I have a question for you. How's your sleep? Like, let's get raw and real. That's why we call it Raw and Real Entrepreneurship. How is your sleep? So, are you one of these people like I used to be like, I'll sleep when I'm dead, or are you one of these people who is like, Oh, I sleep 12 hours a day? Or are you one of these people who can't sleep through the night? Well, my guest today is in my opinion, for what it's worth, the global expert on sleep. But I promise you we're not going to put you to sleep. So check this out. He has been interviewed on CNN, Oprah, The View, Anderson Cooper, Rachel Ray, Fox & Friends, The Doctors, Joy Behar, the CBS Early Show, The Today's Show, Kelly and Michael. And he has been interviewed in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post. And on top of it, he is on the clinical advisory board of the Dr. Oz Show. He is a best selling author. And we're going to be talking about his new book, which I feel, and we've had many New York Times bestselling authors on here, I feel this book title is probably the best in history. Energize!: Go From Dragging Your Ass To Kicking Ass In 30 Days. So Dr. Michael Bruce, welcome to Raw and Real Entrepreneurship. I'm so excited to see you.

Dr. Michael Breus 01:47
I'm so excited to see you too. Susan, thank you for having me on here. And of course, I love you, love your audience. Love what you are doing. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you for helping me get the word out about Energize.

Susan Sly 02:01
Well, everyone's gonna order Energize. I mean, it's just a given. And so that's the bottom line. But I, Okay, so we haven't caught up in a while. And before we went into recording, you had a heart event like, from the last time you were on the show, like what the heck happened?

Dr. Michael Breus 02:19
So yeah, so the impetus for this book was, so I have a co author, her name is Stacey Griffith. And she's one of the founding trainers of SoulCycle, you know, the bicycle, indoor bicycle class. And she had a broken heart. And I had a cardiac event. And both of which kind of woke us up to what was going on in our lives. And so I wasn't doing the things that I needed to do. You know, it was doctor heal thyself type of moment. So I was running 3, 5Ks a week. So I did the opposite of what a lot of people do, instead of not taking care of themselves, I overdid it. Oh, surprise, surprise, right. So I was running 3, 5K's a week, I was doing intermittent fasting where my feeding window was for only five hours. I was, the good news is I was always sleeping well. I mean, I kind of have to, right? It would be really bad if the sleep doctor didn't get his rest, right? So one of the points of the story is you can't do it with sleep alone. Right? Like, it's important to realize that you can't just fix your sleep. And just to be clear, I'm happy to help people fix their sleep, and I want people to fix their sleep. But sleep appears to be only one piece of the puzzle of being able to be motivated, have energy, be successful, have happiness, all the things that we're kind of gunning for. But I learned that lesson in kind of a harsh way. I ended up having a cardiac event in the middle of a restaurant one night. Wasn't fun.

Susan Sly 03:42
No. And Michael, let's talk about that. So the pre COVID stats, and for the audience who's, if you're a new listener, welcome. We're so excited you're here. And for the audience that doesn't know, so Michael and I met through our mutual friend, Harvey Mackay and one of the ways we bonded is I was a health practitioner. And so when this, pre COVID stat for American women is that American women have more heart disease, die from heart disease more than the top five cancers combined. This is a pre COVID statistic, but heart disease doesn't just show up. There are some warning signs. So what was happening for you, Michael before the restaurant event, because I'm sure your body was giving you some signals.

Dr. Michael Breus 04:28
It was, it was, you know it, what was happening was it was lots of stress, hard to calm down, hard to relax. I learned unfortunately that if I ran a 5k, and just to be clear, it wasn't like I was leisurely jogging along, you know what I'm saying? Like I was doing 26 minute, you know 28 minute 5K's which is not like it's anything super fantastic. But for me that was definitely pushing my limits and I just kept wanting to see you know, Can I do a faster mile, could I do a faster this, could, and challenging myself helped lower my stress. But unfortunately, my body didn't catch up to it all. And I really started to feel like if I wasn't running, then I couldn't relax. And that's, that was kind of a weird cycle for me to get into. The other thing that was happening was, I felt like my intermittent fasting was working so well. I was leaning down, I was trimming down, I was feeling really good because my body was lighter, I could actually run faster. And, and I kind of liked that. And I was like, Well, if it worked at six hours, does it really matter if I only eat for five? Does it really matter if I only eat for four? There are people who do three day fasts out there, right? And so I really started to not look at the science as closely as I should have for me, and just started saying, like, Hey, I'm a doctor, I'm sure I won't hurt myself type of thing. And lo and behold, I hurt myself. And so at the end of the whole thing, it really made me take a quick look at my responsibilities to my family, my responsibilities to my wife, and like, what was that? Like why was I pushing so, so, so hard over there, and not getting the results over here? And so I really had to understand more about balance. And that's really what the book is about. And so it's a feeding, eating, I'm sorry, feeding movement and sleeping program that I have personally adopted, that I use myself, that we've actually tested, and it works really, really well for people. And it's actually easy to do. And you only have to know two pieces of information to completely personalize all three areas.

Susan Sly 06:32
Michael, I'm so excited to get into the program. And I want to have an interfriendtion with our entire audience because they, you know, like myself, like I started several years ago, well, I've been intermittent fasting for almost 20 years. And then I started doing, feeding windows a few years ago, and I went like full on keto. I started losing weight. And then this, starting last January, you and I were talking offline, I went through a very stressful event. And suddenly, I gained a bunch of weight plus, it's Raw and Real Entrepreneurship, I don't care. We'll say it. It accelerated me into perimenopause. So I'm getting the night sweats. I'm grinding my teeth. I'm not sleeping, the intermittent fasting stopped working, the Keto stopped working. And that's what I want to ask you. Why does that happen?

Dr. Michael Breus 07:26
So at some point, your body kind of kicks into survival mode. And it's like, Uh-Ah, you're doing too much, you're losing weight too fast, your metabolism starts to slow down, because it's trying to survive, right. And what you're doing is when you're fasting too much, you're forcing the metabolism to go in and use that autophagy to burn that fat as opposed to any carbohydrates left, and then you start to run out of fat, right. And so then what happens is your muscles start to break down, because your body wants to maintain a certain amount of fat on you. But if you're intermittent fasting, hard and long enough, your muscles start to break down. And I think, and that's partially what was going on with me as well. We were starting to see some of that. So you really have to be careful about fasting. And you have to also listen to your body, not necessarily your head, because that's what I was listening to. But listen to your body, because my body was I mean, I had injuries from running so much, you know, I had weakness from not just fatigue, from not having enough, you know, fuel, basically, I mean, there were days I'd go out for a run, and it was good. I was only running 26 minutes, because I don't think I could run 30 you know, like, I just didn't have it in me. So I think that a lot of people have a tendency to ignore some of those things and say, hey, I'll be okay. I'll be okay. When the fact of matter is, is there's a lot going on.

Susan Sly 08:42
And thank you so much for that, Michael, because entrepreneurs tend to push. And I find there are two schools of entrepreneurs, there are the entrepreneurs who don't take care of themselves. And they're just, I know a lot of people like this. They're mostly men, but business and they're like, you know, between the three or four bourbons at dinner on a Monday night for business, they're living on airplanes, they are, you know, gaining the weight around the midsection. Then there's the other category of entrepreneur, the other extreme, that's kind of where I am. It's like, we're gonna do fasted cardio every day. We're gonna exercise seven days a week. And we're so regimented, that, you know, that's the way we live our lives. But interestingly enough, what I've observed in from research, that those two groups can ultimately have the same outcomes. Yes. Have a heart attack, have, you know, get cancer and, and stress obviously, and we. that's why we need the balance of it all. So Michael, I want for listeners who didn't hear my first interview with you, I just want to go back in time a little bit and then we're going to talk about the new program and I'm so excited to have that conversation because I think I've been living it before the book came out. So you are an expert in sleep. And there are some myths out there around sleep. So I think for fun, let's imagine we're playing a game of football and I'm going to pass you the ball. And I'm going to say a statement about sleep and you say true or false and why? Sure, no problem. Okay, let's have fun. We're friends. So like, okay. So we all need the same amount of sleep every single night, The answer is, it's eight hours. True or false?

Dr. Michael Breus 10:26
False. So eight hours is a myth. Let me be very clear about this. Very few people actually need eight hours of sleep. And there's a reason why. So many people actually get more sleep than they need. Like, what did you say Dr. Bruce? What are you talking about here, right. So we have these things called Chronotypes. And if you know what your Chronotype is, and you sleep within your Chrono typical sleep window, you actually get higher quality sleep and need less of it. Yes, entrepreneurs, there is a way to get eight in six, if you know what your chronotype is. So in my third book, The Power of When, which we talked about quite a bit last time I was on your show, and thank you again for all that help. I'm there for different Chronotypes. Now, people might be saying, Hold on a second, Dr. Bruce, what the heck is a chronotype, Right? Now you've actually known of the concept, you just might not have heard of the term before. If you've ever been called an early bird, or a night owl, those are Chrono types. So back in the 70s, these guys came up with this questionnaire called a morningness-eveningness questionnaire and we could put people into three categories, early bird, night owl, and then people in the middle, we call them hummingbirds, okay? So just didn't have, didn't have a proclivity one way or another. Right? That kind of moved along for quite a while. And then I started to think about that idea. I had a patient who came to me and she said, you know, we tried everything. I mean, she had terrible insomnia, she couldn't go to bed before like, 2am, every single night. And we worked and worked and worked. And honestly, I failed. I could not help her. I tried everything I could think of. Brought her back in, started talking to her again. And I said, you know, help me understand it. She said, Dr. Bruce, if I could just work in a different time zone, my life would be great. And I was like, explain that to me. She was like, if I, because I was, at the time I was in practice in, on the East Coast in Atlanta. She said, If I could just show up for work on California time, it'd be perfect, right? Because it was a three hour spread. And she felt like she was off time zones. So I said, I'm gonna, I'm gonna think about that and look at that a little bit more. And I started to realize she was an extreme version of a night owl. And I was trying insomnia techniques on her, which would never work on an extreme version of a night owl. So then I started to say, I wonder if there's an insomniac chronotype. Turns out prototypes are genetic. Believe it or not, I can look at your 23andme data or your data, I can show you where on your genome, the exact spot that does this, is called the PER3 gene. To be clear, there's about eight or nine places that you could really look at, but this is one of the biggies. And if there's a flip right there, what we see is if you flip one way, you're an early bird, if you flip another way, you're a night owl. But there's, some times where the building blocks of our DNA get a little squirrely, and that's what I discovered was, there was an insomnia chronotype. Genetically determined things like that. And so I said, Holy cow, I wonder how many patients I've had, that have had this problem. It turned out that this is all based on your melatonin production. So let me tell you this, if you're an early bird, you wake up in the morning, your melatonin stops at, let's say, 6am. But if you're a night owl like me, you don't want to wake up at 6am. Let's say you wake up at eight, your melatonin stops at eight. So there's a two hour time lag. But here's what's interesting. When you wake up, most people go through a very similar hormonal progression throughout the 24 hour cycle. But for us night owls, by the way, I'm a night owl. We're two hours behind. So let's say Susan, that you and I were going to go have a meeting and you wanted to discuss something creative and entrepreneurial and decision making and things like that. You said, Michael, I'm gonna, I'm an early bird. I've been up since 5:30. Let's have a meeting at eight o'clock. I'd be like, Oh, that's gonna be terrible, right? Like, there's nothing creative about me at eight o'clock. Like four o'clock in the afternoon, I'm your guy, right? But eight o'clock in the morning? I'm a night owl. This is going to be terrible. And we started to learn that it wasn't just things like sleep, or creativity. We started learning things like intimacy, we started to learn it was things like decision making, we started to learn it was things like email, like there's actually a perfect time of day to read an email. There's actually a perfect time and day to send an email. There's a perfect time of day to work out. There's a perfect time of day to drink coffee, eat a cheeseburger, have sex, ask your boss for a raise. Literally, we found data on all of these things. And that's where the Chronotypes come from. So I created the fourth Chronotype and I named them all animals. So an early bird gets replaced by a lion. Now you'll appreciate this. When I was marketing this book when we were in the, in the meeting with the marketing department, we had these four avatars but we didn't have names for them yet. So I decided I wanted to do animals. Nobody really wants to be a platypus. Nobody really wants to be a porcupine, you know what I'm saying? You had to find cool animals that people would want to aspire to be. But my requirement was they had to have the chrono typical schedule in their natural habitat. So early birds become lions. Lions have their first kill before dawn, they really do wake up superduper early in the morning. We know a lot about these people. They've, not only do they wake up early, they have a tendency to be the COOs of the company. They make a list every day and they go from step one to step two to step, sounding familiar to you. 100% me. Yeah. Right. And they're very staunch in their thinking. And a lot of people say, Oh, I wish I was a lion. And I'm gonna be honest with you, there's pros and cons to being a lion. It's not the best to be a lion when you want dinner and a movie. Lions have been up since 4:30 in the morning. They're like, forget it, dude. I'm not going out till midnight. Are you kidding me?

Susan Sly 16:00
Oh, Michael, I just have to jump in. This is so funny you say thid. Because on the day, we are doing the show. Yeah. So our friend Harvey Mackay gave me two tickets to the Phoenix Suns tonight. And the game starts at eight. My first thought was, oh, Dear Jesus, I just like, you know, I even said to Emery, my 12 year old who I'm taking the game, I'm like, Emy, we might not, I don't care how good the game is. We're, we're not seeing the whole game. We'll finish the rest of it. You know, we'll find out the score or whatever. Because that's so me. Like 4:30 in the morning, let's go. Yeah.

Dr. Michael Breus 16:37
Absolutely. Right. So you're my lion, you're my, you're my, definitely my king Lion, or queen Lion as the case may be. The next are bears. Bears are the folks in the middle. And they are kind, they make up 55% of the population by the way. And to be clear, being a bear is the best. Honestly, I wish I was a bear. Because society works on a bear schedule, like a nine to five schedule is perfect for a bear. They get up at 7:30, they go to bed around 10:30. It actually works out very, very well for them. Bears have a tendency to be a little bit on the extroverted side. They're the folks that kind of get the work done. They're very fun people, they'll invite you to their home for dinner or they'll buy a drink at the bar, that kind of person that's out there. The night owls we call them wolves. Make up about 15% of the population. As many people probably know, wolves are nocturnal creatures. They hunt in packs at night. I am a wolf. Sometimes I feel like the lone wolf, because there's not a lot of wolves out there, only 15% of us, but I never go to bed before midnight. So like never. It just, isn't in me, right. I know, you're looking at me like I'm like-- that sounds exhausting. Right, you're like, I'm never hanging out with Michael again. He's gonna be up too late. But what's interesting is these are my creatives. So these are my actors, my musicians, my authors. Those of, you know that creative mind, like, I don't know if you know any creatives, but try talking to them at eight o'clock in the morning.

Susan Sly 18:01
Oh, no, all of our engineers at Radius, they're all wolves. They're like, Oh, yeah, okay, we'll do a meeting at midnight or I'm not coding like at two in the morning and, but if you ask them for an 8am meeting, they're like, oh, it's not pretty.

Dr. Michael Breus 18:17
They can't even speak at that period of time. It's terrible. It's terrible. So So we had that lions, we got the bears and we got the wolves. It coincides with the early birds, the hummingbirds and the night owls. My contribution to the literature was I added a fourth category, what I call dolphins, which represents my insomniacs, the woman that I learned so much from before. Now some people say well, why did you choose dolphins? Many people don't know this but dolphin sleep unihemisphericly. So half of the brain is asleep while the other half is awake and looking for predators. Right? I know, isn't that interesting? And I thought to myself, that kind of sounds like an insomniac because never quiet asleep type of thing. So you have one of these four characteristics. Now, to be fair, as we discussed at the beginning of the show, I didn't do so well. I stressed myself out, I really burnt myself out. I mean, if you want to talk about burnout, you know, having a heart attack in the middle of a restaurant, that's about as close to burnout as you can get. Yeah. Right. And so when we talk about burnout, it's one of those things that a lot of entrepreneurs don't talk about. You say to yourself, I'm an entrepreneur, I got to do everything, I got to get my business going, nobody's gonna care about it like me, who cares if I only sleep four hours a night? We care if you sleep only four hours a night. You're gonna hurt yourself. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way. And one of the things I learned is that it's all about balance. And the other area that is important about balance is movement. And then the third area is your fuel or food, right? And so when you talk about sleep, and you talk about movement, and you talk about fuel, all three of those have got to be in balance. And one of the things that we've learned is that when we've got people who've got balanced in all three of those areas, they're hyper successful. I mean, it's not like they're kind of successful. They've got everything running exactly the way they wanted and it just seems to move well for them. So I partnered up with my partner, her name is Stacey Griffith. She is the founding trainer of SoulCycle. That's the indoor spin thing. And what was so great about her as we were talking, she was helping me with my fitness, cuz I didn't want to overdo it. And I was helping her with her sleep. And we both said something at the same time. We're both like, why are our patients so freaking exhausted all the time, right? Because I got patients who sleep the right amount of time, and they tell me they're exhausted all day. Why? Because they're not moving. And because they're eating poorly at the wrong times. She says to me, I got patients who will do two spin classes, and tell me that they're unbelievably exhausted, they can't do anything. Well, number one, you shouldn't do two spin classes in a day. But number two, understanding what the right exercise for you and when to do it makes exercise from a draining activity to a gaining activity. And so we started to think about it. And so I said, Well, how do you know who's good in your spin class and who's not? And she said, You know, I look at their bodies aand I try to see what they're, what they would be able to do. And I said, You ever heard of body types? She was like, You mean back in high school like, the endomorph, mesomorph, ectomorph? And I'm like, exactly. I was like, What do you have, like for your long and lean people, How did they do? And she's like, they're awesome. They're cardio junkies, they can get on a bike and spin for hours, and they love every minute of it. Okay, well, what about the mesomorphs, kind of the more V shaped people, a little more muscle and she's like, they do okay, but they're not my gunners in my class. They can keep pace, and they do well. And they seem to be alright. I said, Well, what about the endomorph? Got a little bit more weight on them, maybe in the hips, or in the belly area. She's like, they hate cardio. They hate it with a passion. And it's hard to motivate somebody who hates doing an exercise that you're asking them to do. So I said, So then do you choose different types of exercises for different body types? And she's like, actually, now that you mentioned it, I kind of do. And I was like, I have an idea. Let's mix the four Chronotypes with the three body types. And let's see what happens. Now the good news is, I've got, over a million people have taken the quiz. So if people want to know what your chronotype is, if you go to, we'll have that also in the show notes for you. You can learn what your chronotype is immediately. But we took about 5000 of those people and we asked them to complete body type quizzes. And all of a sudden, even more information opened up. So we learned that if you're an early person, a lion, and you have a long and lean body type, which means you have a fast metabolism, running and cardio is 100% the thing for you to do. And we also learned that if you're a long and lean person, you don't need to intermittent fast, you don't need to have a feeding window of only eight hours, you can have a feeding window of 12 hours. Right? So you start to think about it. Then we say, right, and then we say, because of your chronotype being earlier in the morning, we want you to feed in the morning, and then fast in the afternoons. Whereas me as a wolf, I fast in the mornings, and then I don't eat anything until one o'clock in the afternoon usually, because I'm a wolf. And my feeding window is again based on my body type, which is a mesomorph. So I, my feeding window is 10 hours, right. And I do it starting at one o'clock till about 11 o'clock. So, oh no, until I'm sorry, till 11, 10, nine o'clock, 10 hours. So it's, it actually works out really well. So what you end up only needing is if you understand your chronotype and you understand your body type, I can tell you the length of your fast and where to fast, I can tell you which exercises are going to be motivating for you. And I can tell you a time to go to bed.

Susan Sly 23:37
Michael, I love it. And I love the science behind this. Because where my mind goes as a former nutritionist, trainer, so people would always say to me, Susan, can I change my body type? So I'm an endomorph and I want to be an ectomorph and I, here's my answer to this. You can quote me, you can only shift one. That's right. So an endomorph cannot become an ectomorph, but you can become mesomorph, Yes. That's right. And depending on how you exercise, and you might have to exercise in, I would break it down into percentages. So that person who's the endomorph, who's maybe curvier, who wants to be the mesomorph then they're gonna have to do initially 80% cardio, 20% resistance. And if the person is an ectomorph, and they want to be a mesomorph it's 80% resistance, 20% cardio, and you know, you begin to get the idea. You just helped me with something so much. So going, going back to me, darling.

Dr. Michael Breus 24:37
It's my favorite topic besides me.

Susan Sly 24:39
So as a mesomorph, who is a lion, so what I have been doing is fasting until one o'clock and being exhausted, like just so tired. And I am a cardio junkie. I love cardio, doing weights and like, you might as well tell me I'm gonna do a meeting at 11 o'clock at night because doing weights, I'll do it but it's not my favorite, you know. I'm like two workouts a day, I'll do spinning in the morning, hot yoga in the afternoon. And I'm a happy girl, right? So that, what I'm hearing from you is someone like me, that I'm probably eating way too late.

Dr. Michael Breus 25:19
Well, what I would say is you're eating way too late, and your fasting window may be too small. Right? So thinking through that idea, and again, getting comfortable with it. And what I like to do is give people these parameters and say, try it out and see how it works for you. Remember, there are still individual differences within Chronotypes. There's still individual differences within body types. So you're what I would consider to be a meso lion. Right? So you're a mesomorph body with a lion Chronotype. And so what we know about meso lions is exactly what you said. They could, they're not as, believe it or not, well, yeah, cuz you're a lion. They're cardio freakin junkies, which is what you are, yeah. And we actually have to push them to get them to actually not do as much cardio, because a lot of times they get hurt, or they overdo it, right? Or they're like, Yeah, I can do a spin class. Oh, it's gonna, there's another one with a new instructor? I'll do that one too, you know, type of thing, right? I know you, Right? Like, that's how it works. So you're the perfect example of how using this book can provide balance. So the book's called Energize and the reason it's called Energize is because we want people to think about their energy levels, right. So first of all, what does energy mean? There's so many different definitions of energy. And so what I like to, I like to bring it down to one aspect. Energy means change, Okay? From going from rest into motion, you are changing, right? Energy is something that changes you fundamentally. Now, let's be honest, there's a lot of kinds of energy. There's emotional energy, there's physical energy, there's food or fuel energy, right? There's spiritual energy, there's all kinds of energy that's out there. And so what I tell people all the time is we have such a big toolbox to work from. So once you know where your energy lows are, you can insert an energy gain and bring your energy level up and keep consistent energy. The point of the book is we don't want to have energy that goes up and down like this, right? We want to have smooth, consistent energy because as an entrepreneur, you want to be able to make decisions. You don't want to be stressed out, but you also want to have work out you know, like, you want to have all those things kind of humming and drumming, so that way you can move through your day and be able to accomplish it.

Susan Sly 27:30
So-- I'm so excited about the book, Michael because, well, 50 million reasons. But one of the things I want to say to everyone listening is that the, the thing that Michael and Stacey have done with the book is there's a lot of misinformation out there when it comes to health and a lot of it is well intended. My daughter came to me, my 24 year old she's like, Oh Mama, I, there was this person on TikTok who said you need to take like X amount of vitamin C or whatever. I'm like, Oh, good. TikTok expert is, you know, not a health practitioner, yay! So what Michael and Stacey have done, I want everyone to imagine is they're taking the guesswork out. And here's why. It's very clear what your body type is. If you're, if you're confused about your body type, it's so easy to know. You are the, the ectomorph who, you essentially, you know, this my daughter, Avery eats whatever you want, and you're like a size two, that's her. You're, you're a mesomorph like me, your shoulder-hip ratio is very proportional, you can put on muscle very easily. And the endomorph has a tougher time. They're curvier. And there's a, we, Michael and I could do a whole show. And maybe that's a book down the road. But around epigenetics and how a lot of environmental toxicity have actually shifted our genetics. That's a whole other story. But it's very easy to know your body type. It's very easy to know when you're energized and when you're not. And that's why I'm so excited about this book. So at Radius, I host something called Wellness Wednesdays with our staff, right. So we have engineers, data scientists like, and they, they're you know, they, they are ask, they're asking questions, and I'm so excited to get the book for all of them because then the next Wellness Wednesday is like, here you go people, we actually have like, because they love science. And that's, I love science, too. So I want to ask you, because this is a burning question for me going back to like, you know, something you spoke about about the Chronotypes. What percentage of people are dolphins and what percentage are lions because I'm only at 70% with bears and wolves?

Dr. Michael Breus 29:39
Yeah, 15 and 15. So we see about a 15% spread for lions and about a 15% for dolphins. So it kind of makes it, and to be fair, the numbers aren't perfect, right? Because people, and by the way, you can change chronotypes over time. So as you notice, maybe when you see grandma and grandpa and they're saying, I want to have dinner at 4:30, 5 o'clock. That's because their Chronotypes started to shift earlier and earlier. It's what happens, welcome to getting older. It has to do with your melatonin curve moving backwards a little bit. But yeah, it's, it's fascinating because it's just this key that opens up all kinds of things. It turned out to be more of a communication tool than I ever would have imagined. Let me give you an example. My daughter, Carson is a wolf. I mean, most teenagers are right, most teenagers like to stay up late and sleep late. So I was the person who was responsible for waking her up in the mornings when she lived here at the house. And I would walk in, I'd say, Carson, good morning, what have you got on the plate today? And she'd look at me and she'd like, leave me alone. Like that was the most I could get out of her, right. But if I walked into her room at four o'clock in the afternoon, and said, Hey, Carson, what did you have on the plate today? I'm in there for 90 minutes and having a wonderful discussion with my daughter, which I can't think of anything more important than that. So it becomes a way to understand other people in your universe, knowing where they are and what they're doing. And it becomes so critically, critically important. Because when you want to have an important discussion with somebody, you want them to pay attention, right? You want them to be on point. And there are, there are very predictable times during the day when you can do that. Now, I will tell you that sometimes even, even with this predictability, people aren't moving, especially since COVID. I gotta tell you something. More people stopped moving since that shelter in place and all the craziness that went on there. And, and all the sudden, people's sleeps started getting messed up. They wouldn't follow their sleep schedules any longer, right, because all you got to do is throw on a ball cap to get on a zoom, you don't have to drive to work anymore, right. And so people's sleep schedules are off. We've also seen an increase in both caffeine and alcohol consumption during COVID. A 14% increase in, I think it was caffeine and 27% increase in alcohol. 27% increase, right? So and look, it's not like I don't like scotch, okay, it's not like I don't have a bourbon every once in a while, or, or have a cup of coffee or enjoy something like that. But understanding where it fits into the balance of it all is important. And so I didn't know a lot about movement. And that's where Stacey came into play. And we came up with this idea, we asked people to track their energy five times a day. So you set an alarm on your phone, and we have a scale of one to 10 scale. Now, this isn't just my scale, this is the scale that's called the RPE scale, the ratings of perceived exertion, which I know you're familiar with it, got our board created it. And it's great for exercise to know how hard it exercises. So we're using that to teach people about their energy. You do that for about four or five days, morning, mid morning, afternoon, early evening, and nighttime. And then what we do is we pull a little trick on people that now that they've been monitoring their energy those times, we say, now take those exact same times, and you're gonna move. So we give you a movement schedule. Five minutes, five times a day. You're not breaking a sweat, this isn't, this is, just to be clear, this isn't going to keep you in shape, this is going to keep you energized, right. So the first set of movement is what we call stretch, right? Makes sense. You get out of bed, you kind of need a little stretch here, you know, kind of give it one of these, we got a couple of those going on. Then the mid morning, we have next a shake. Do you ever seen an animal when they get up? What do they do? Right. They do that hold shake thing, right. And it's actually kind of energetic like you see, and then they're kind of waking up. Like if you try it, you'd be surprised at how energy producing it is. The third one is a bounce. So jumping up and down, jumping jacks, skipping, things like that. Now to be clear, I look ridiculous skipping down my driveway. But I do it and I have so much fun. My wife is laughing at me when I'm at, but I come back and I'm like, let's go, I'm ready to, I've got my enerygy.

Susan Sly 33:47
Next time I'm in LA, you all have a promise, I'm gonna sync up with Michael and we're gonna make a video of him skipping down the driveway, it's happening.

Susan Sly 33:55
Absolutely, you will see it, I can assure you that. And then the fourth one is build. So that's where you actually involve a major muscle group, chest, legs, but what have you again, just to keep the energy flowing and keep yourself moving. And then the final one is balance. And so we have people standing doing a tree pose, you know, before bed and the beautiful part is you can't think of anything else but trying to stay balanced. And it helps clear your mind and allow you to fall asleep. So it's really, it's really fun. It's interesting, you know, and honestly in 30 days, you feel like a million bucks. You know, it's really a lot of cool stuff.

Susan Sly 34:33
Well in the chrono like the, the lion type personality or the cortisol cardio junkies. Yes. What they are going to find and I will you know, my 20 plus years, maybe 30 years in health, you're going to lose weight, because I'm going to lecture people Michael just for fun. So. Go for it. Some of you, your cortisol is so high. You're doing way too much cardio, you're waking up between, you know, two and four in the morning, your adrenals are firing, right? Yeah, lose weight, your body's inflamed. And you're like, if I just fast more, I'm going to lose weight. No, you'll probably have a heart attack. So what you'll find is like, Michael, what you'll find is, as you begin to dial it back a bit and be unbalanced, the body naturally is going to release the weight. And I'll tell a story to validate this. So I, recently, Michael you know, with COVID, we weren't having road races, right. And so you know, I was, many people know I was a former professional Ironman triathlete, and so on. Anyway, so I entered a 10k. And so this is the fun thing. So after going through a super stressful q1 and q2, I told you I lost my teeth from grinding my teeth and all these things that happen. I was like Susan, you know better. You know, I was a holistic nutritionist. I told people this stuff. So I said, Screw it. I'm going to, if I don't feel like running, guess what I'm going to walk and when I go on the peloton, if I don't want to do a tough Cody Rigsby class or something, I'm going to do a scenic ride. And as I started to just say, whatever you want body for movement, that's what I'm going to do. So I actually ran less, and here's the fun thing. You ready for this? My first 10k ever, I was 20 years old, because I was a high school track athlete, but there was no reason I would run 10K. So at 49 years old, I ran a 10k only a minute and a half slower than I did when I was 20. Wow, that's impressive. I'm running less. And so my message to everyone is this book, in my opinion, and you guys know, you know, I have a lot of my friends on, Mark Victor Hansen, Mark-- Oh, I love him. Mark Divine, who has five New York Times bestsellers, if you haven't heard Mark's show, you know, Mark is a dear friend of mine. I only, if my friends write a book, they're the only people that get to come on and really promote their book because they're my friends. And that's, you know, part of the Friend Code. Right. But I believe Michael, this book that you and Stacey have created is not just about helping people have energy. I'll be bold enough and say it's gonna save some people's lives because I'm not, I'm more concerned about the high achieving CEOs, you know, driving, you know, that they're the ones who get cancer and heart attacks. I've lost many friends like that to cancer already. You give yourself cancer, you give yourself a heart attack, right. And so I want to thank you for creating this book with Stacey. I'm so excited to order a bunch of them. Oh my gosh. And so let's talk about what you know, people go on Amazon, they, like--

Dr. Michael Breus 37:51
We have, we have a website called Energize Myself that you can go to and you can order the, preorder the book there. Or you can just go straight up to Amazon and just type in energize and it will pop right up. And it's really a lot of fun. If people want to learn more about it, you can actually look at me on social. I, my handle is the sleep doctor, on Facebook, on Twitter, on LinkedIn on I mean, every one of those things. I don't know them all, to be honest with you, but I think I'm on all of them. And oh, believe it or not, you were mentioning TikTok. I have a TikTok video that's had 1.5 million views. It's fascinating. Because we give sleep tips. It's amazing how many people who are watching TikTok need sleep tips. Now. My curiosity is-- I'm not surprised --what time in the morning are they watching these sleep tips? Like it would be, it would be great if I could get a timestamp of everybody who watches them. Because then I could send them back a message to be like, go to bed.

Susan Sly 38:49
If you're watching this, you need to go to bed right? Yeah, exactly. Unless you're a dolphin.

Dr. Michael Breus 38:54
Yeah, it doesn't. Exactly It doesn't matter, Dolphin. So you know, it's it's interesting to sort of see we've had several people do the program ahead of the book. And it really does change people's lives. It really does put you into a place of more calm, more gratitude, more energy, and to be honest with you, more purpose. You know, I know you've got a lot of people out there who, they're purpose driven entrepreneurs, they, they've got something that they want to share with the world that either saved them or a family member or they've discovered something or they know a way to help people. And they're purpose driven entrepreneurs. When you have energy, you have motivation. And when you have motivation, you get success. That's just how it works. Right. And so I want my commitment to everybody out there is try it, give it a shot. I can almost assure you that it will it will work for you. But give me feedback. Let me know if there's something about it you want to add. We've got all kinds of interesting aspects to this book and energy. One of my favorites is what I call energy vampires. So I'm sure you have these people in your life, right? There's somebody in your life that every time you go near them, it sucks the life out of you, right? Now sometimes you don't have a choice, right? You have to be with this person on a fairly regular basis. So knowing and understanding how to maintain your energy without somebody pulling it out of you turns out to be a massive skill set.

Susan Sly 40:19
Well, Michael, I cannot thank you enough for being here. I'm so excited. Everyone needs to get the book. Energized!: Go From Dragging Your Ass To Kicking Ass In 30 Days, because I want you to kick ass and so does Michael. And Michael and I would love a five star review. If you're listening on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, wherever you're listening, give us a five star review. Tag us on social, @thesleepdoctor, @SusanSly. And if you happen to be popping by the YouTube channel, you can see what Michael looks like, you can see him do the shake. And also I am the one who responds to all your comments. So drop a comment on YouTube. We would love that. So with that, God bless, go rock your day. And thanks again Michael for being here. This has been another episode of Raw and Real Entrepreneurship.

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Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Josh Komen

244. What It Takes To Survive a Crisis – with Josh Komen

By Podcast

What does it take to survive a crisis? Life is full of ups and downs, but how do you react when the bottom falls out? I’m talking about a diagnosis. I’m talking about injury. I’m talking about loss.

In this interview, Josh Komen, a former athlete and a cancer survivor, shares his personal story of overcoming the odds to become an inspiration for everyone who has ever felt hopeless or lost in their own life. You will learn about pain, gratitude, and realization.

In 2011, Josh was the number one 800m runner in New Zealand. Then the tables turned when he was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia not once but twice. Over ten years, he would receive life-saving radiation and chemotherapy treatment, undergo Allogenic Stem Cell Transplant, Graft vs host disease, ten days on life support, and trigeminal neuralgia, which is the worst pain known to man, heart attacks and severe depression.

Get Josh Komen’s book, The Wind at My Back –

– Josh Komen

Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Josh Komen

Topics covered in the interview

Mental health aspect of running
Hearing the diagnosis
Taking opportunities
Realization in travelling
Finding the faith
Josh’s list

Josh Komen's Bio

In 2011 Josh was in the form of his life, fit healthy and happy. He was ranked number one 800m runner in New Zealand, only 23 years old. Then the tables turned and he was about to run another race; a race for his life. He was to be diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia not once but twice. Over a Ten- year period, he would receive enduring lifesaving radiation and chemo therapy treatment, undergo an Allogenic Stem Cell Transplant, Graft vs host disease, 10 days on life support, trigeminal neuralgia – which is described as the worst pain known to man, heart attacks and severe depression. Then finally flown to Melbourne Australia receiving treatment for Graft vs Host Disease. Life is chaotic, ardours and downright unfair. For me Josh, this only built courage, resilience, a new-found strength, and an understanding of how people can get knocked down but still have the courage to continue on. And he, for one, feels grateful to be able to share his story.

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Show Notes

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Josh Komen 00:00
I'm not Josh Komen anymore. Who am I? I had no idea. So I went there, put a leg over. And in that moment, Susan, as a runner, as I talked about, you were so connected to the nature, and especially the wind and the sun and everything. I felt this breeze hit the right hand side of my face. And I turned around and I saw my mother's cup of tea.

Welcome to the Susan Sly Project where entrepreneurs rule, startups launch, and the side hustle becomes the main hustle. Ladies and gentlemen, your host, Susan Sly.

Susan Sly 00:33
So what's up everyone, I hope you are having an amazing day. And I just want to thank you for being here. You're here because maybe today you're needing a little bit of inspiration. Maybe you're needing some tactics. You showed up here and you're like, I just need a little something. Well, I'll tell you something, you will leave here inspired, you will leave here on purpose. And you will leave here, feeling that no matter what gets thrown in front of you, you can endure and you can overcome any challenge. And my guest today is an author. He is an amazing former athlete, but someone who managed to transcend almost every odd that was placed against him. So in 2011, he was in the peak shape of his life. He was fit, he was healthy. He was ranked the number one 800 meter runner in New Zealand at age 23. And the 800 was my specialty in high school, I have to say. And my daughter, one of my daughters, she is an 800 meter runner. But then the tables were turned against him and he had to run another race, the race for his life. And he ended up getting diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia not once but twice. And today we're gonna dive into his story, we are going to hear how he ended up going to Everest base camp and becoming a solo skydiver, which is not on my list, but I want to hear about his list, not mine. And really how to persevere. So my guest today, Josh Komen is the author of The Wind at My Back. And thank you, Josh. Josh is live from New Zealand, a fellow Commonwealther. It's wonderful to have you.

Josh Komen 02:15
It's fantastic to be here, Susan. Thank you very much for having me.

Susan Sly 02:19
So Josh, I want to backtrack. So many people are you know, I know curious about your story. But I want to go a little further back. Because before the show, we were talking about being, you know, very high level athletes. So when did you start running?

Josh Komen 02:36
I started running probably when I was about 13, or 14. Yeah, I ran around here on the West Coast. And it's a beautiful place where I live. But um, for me, as a young, young kid, I just love being outside. And for me running was pure freedom for me where I could get out of school and get out of my mom telling me off or whatever. And I could just be myself.

Susan Sly 02:55
We have a lot of young people who listen to the show. And running is a big part of our family. So my youngest daughter, Emery, she's 12. She just started running cross country and all of her older siblings have run. So the young person perhaps who's listening right now, or maybe they're, you know, not, either useful in their attitude, perhaps I'm not on their driver's license. I just want you to share, you mentioned, you know, is that, that escape, and I always tell my children that as long as you have running, you have a form of therapy. But let's talk about running just for a moment. What is it about running that really provides that incredible mental health aspect?

Josh Komen 03:43
I think it comes down to, for me, essentially, it was coming down to my breathing and feeling my heartbeat, especially when I was a kid. I really understood what my body was capable of doing. I could really feel i. Itt wasn't just sitting in a classroom hearing information. I was feeling my body, you know, the heartbeat, how my mind was, the sweat, you know, that all that heat coming out of my body. And I was really in tune with myself. And I really found my feet essentially, you know, excuse the cliche, but I really found my feet, my feet on the ground running the wind and nature around me. And it was it was real freedom. Yeah, that's how I kind of describe it as a young kid. And it was just me, the wind, the nature and myself. Yeah.

Susan Sly 04:27
Yeah, it's, and it's the thing I love about running, one of my life's missions is to inspire people to be healthy. And I started running when I was 11. Because I was an obese child, and the Olympics was on and I think it was LA, maybe 1984. And I saw these women running and I thought, oh my gosh, I would love to look like that. And so I went out my door at five in the morning. And I could run maybe half a kilometer or so if you're in America, what does that mean? It's, uh, you know, around a quarter, not even, maybe, you know, just over a quarter of a mile. And I was breathless. And I was like, doubled over, Josh. And then I, you know, then the next day I went out and I said, I'm gonna run a little further and a little further and just like Forrest Gump. So, you know, here I am, almost 40 years later, still running. I just did a 10k road race last weekend. And, and it's, as you said, it's that that feeling of freedom.

Josh Komen 05:32
It is. And I think too, also setting goals as you just stated, I mean, you were depleted on that first quarter mile. And then all of a sudden, the next day, you're a little bit more, a little bit more, it was hard the first time then it gets a little bit easier, a little bit easier. But it's still hard, but it becomes more comfortable. And that's the part of running I love as well.

Susan Sly 05:51
And the reason I wanted to start there is because you have a reference point. Athletes know their bodies. And at the same point, we will train through pain. I remember doing 800 meter repeaters when I wanted to get my 5K time below 18 minutes. And I had shin splints, I had, you know, something was going on with my knee. But I kept on you know, doing them anyway. We train through pain, we train through adversity, because as athletes were taught, especially if someone's listening, and they've never done an 800 meter, there's, it's, they make it look easy to athletes, but there's, there's a lot that goes into that. So you are at the peak shape of your life. When did you start to know that something wasn't right physically.

Josh Komen 06:45
I did a bike race. I did a bike race, actually, my body was starting to deplete and I started to get onto the bike. So I did this bike race, was 130k bike race. And I collapsed halfway, which was so unusual. And I was just depleted and I had to stop at a shop. I had to sit down, I had to breathe. And I got inside, I got a chocolate bar. I thought I was low on sugar. And I just willed myself to the line. Because then myself, I say just finished the race just finished the race. And I was gone. And I finished dead last. And the ironic thing about that bike race is the last person overtook me was the guy who I knew from my town, and he had been diagnosed with cancer. And I said to myself, even a cancer patient can beat you. And I was just, didn't know what was going on. And I threw my bike down. And I said, I'm never riding a bike again. And I slipped for a week. And I knew something was terribly wrong with my body. But 23 years old, you're young and dumb. And I waited to go to the doctor, I just thought it would heal. And it took a while. That whole week, probably another two more days. 10 days and I collapsed. At the scene, I just collapsed and I got taken up to hospital. And sure enough, I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, that's kind of, that bike race was the catalyst for me going into the to the hospital.

Susan Sly 08:02
And, and Josh I'm so, I'm so happy you shared that aspect of it because there, there oftentimes when, as say an entrepreneur is just pushing through, pushing through, it's like, I'll just live on Red Bulls or Monster Energy drinks, and you know, then I'll take stuff to sleep. I'll sleep for four hours. And, and as athletes, you know, yes, there were times, especially when I was traveling and racing overseas, or you know, on a race tour, where I did, I raced on very little sleep. And like you, I had the sense that something was wrong in 1990, late 1999. And I, my doctor was like, Oh, you're just stressed. And every bike ride just felt so hard. And every run felt so hard. And I went away to Jamaica to go on vacation. I slept for a week, I didn't even leave the room. And that's when I came back and I had my yellow post it and I was like, I want this test, this test, this test. And it's a very, very similar story. How did you react mentally when they gave you the diagnosis?

Josh Komen 09:13
Was pure confusion. I was so confused. I've never seen my mom and dad so upset and I thought, Holy heck, what have I done to them? What have I done to them? And in that moment, I decided to go back into my running phase. It was just me, no coaches or nothing and just do it myself. I'm not going to talk to anybody. I'm not going to do anything. I'm just going to close my door, get this cancer job done, whatever it was, because I didn't even understand what leukemia was. But I was just so confused. And all I knew was to go through what I was going through and get it done, finish that race and then go home. But I didn't understand what I was in for, Susan. I had no idea.

Susan Sly 09:52
When I was in university, Josh, there, I am, one year I was doing a science degree and I could take these electives. And one elective was called love, and the other one was called death. And so, the, in the death course, we studied Elisabeth Kubler Ross's phases of death and dying. And when I was diagnosed, I was so grateful that I had taken that class because there are different phases. So it's, you know, someone finds out they're terminal, it's like their, their, you know, denial, then there's the the, you know, anger, then there might be guilt of you know, about the people who are suffering around them while they're suffering. And so I went through these phases. And I remember when I was diagnosed with progressive MS, and the doctor said, you will be in a wheelchair in 10 years, and you'll be dead in 20, of my first thoughts was Josh, I haven't done the Boston Marathon yet. Like, that was my first thought. Did you have any crazy thoughts like that, like, Oh, crap, you know, I haven't, you know, gone to the Olympic shed or I haven't, you know.

Josh Komen 11:05
Absolutely. I mean, that was just the first part of it, that confusion, and then it became anger, because I was taken away, and it was in an isolation room, and then it became guilt, then resentment that I couldn't participate. And then I reflected on my life of what I hadn't done, you know, all these things, you know, I was on the brink of going to the Commonwealth Games, and representing New Zealand, which is my childhood dream, and it all been taken away. And then after all those emotions that I just expressed, and you just told me about, it became deep depression, you know, I couldn't handle the mental tirade that was going through my mind. You know, I woke up, my body stripped and depleted, ball here, and I was skinny, and I was pathetic. And I used to see myself this fit, physical man that could run, do a standing backflip, you know, he could put his mind to anything he wanted. But here he was spewing and shitting himself in the hospital, crying every night, and calling himself that utter, most horrendous words in his head. And he's never done that before. And I couldn't handle it, I really couldn't. I had probably four months of treatment. So I go in for a month, had a heavy month of chemotherapy and come out for a week. And about four months into it, I got out and this mental tirade was just going through my mind. And as a runner, you understand short term pain, you know, I run the 800, or I train for an hour, then you can come home and rest. There was no risk for me inside my mind, there was no risk whatsoever. And I didn't know how to handle that. As a young 23 year old boy, I didn't have to know how to communicate my feelings or do anything like that. And I just had enough and I thought, I'm going to take my life. And this was the lowest part of my whole journey. And, and I thought, now I'm going to end it, I can't contain what's going through my mind. So I decided I'm going to jump up a balcony where I was staying when I was getting my treatment when I was outside of the hospital. And I was on the fifth floor. And I thought now I've got to go, I can't handle it anymore. I'm not Josh Komen anymore. Who am I, I had no idea. So I went there, put a leg over. And in that moment, Susan, as a runner, as I talked about, you were so connected to the nature, and especially the wind and the sun and everything, I felt this breeze hit the right hand side of my face. And I turned around and I saw my mother's cup of tea. And instantaneously in that moment, I felt my mother's love come inside of me. And I couldn't put the pain I was feeling on my mum that I was feeling. I just couldn't do that. So I stepped away and I just cried hysterically. And I had to really use my strength and ask for help. And luckily, in New Zealand, we've got many foundations that we can reach out to. There was this foundation I came to, and I asked Listen, I need to talk to a psychologist, I really need help because I'm losing control of my mind. And luckily, I got, I got someone to talk to. And I managed to kind of calm down those feelings inside my head or not calm them down, at least control them. So essentially what he told me, but he communicated, it wasn't me that wanted to die. It was just the pain and situation that I wanted to die. So I had to go back into my room and start utilizing some tools that I had. And I was a big fan of journaling. I was a big fan of visualization, I prayed, I meditated, I did all these little things that could, I could do to help myself. You know, I used to sit in my hospital bed and close my eyes and they had this beautiful view of the park in Christchurch of Hagley Park. And I used to pretend I was one of the leaves feeling the wind flowing around and close my eyes and say, you're going to be there one day. You're going to get there. You're not going to die. Just keep calm and continue. And I repeated that to myself so often. Even though those mental tirading thoughts would come in. I use those tools that I just articulated to help mitigate there. So that really helps sustain me. Even though those thoughts did come in, it was finding that balance, I'm in control. This is not going to be forever. I need to persevere, breathe and continue.

Susan Sly 14:50
Persevere, breathe and continue. And I love that, the visualization piece and being able to step away from pain. And, and like yourself, there were so many times, I wanted to take my own life. And because with the, what I was going through with MS, and not to compare us, I mean two different things. I was in pain all the time. And here's a funny story. So I remember, I went in the shower, Josh, and I get out and I'm red. And for those of you who can't see me, or have never seen me, so I am a mixed race. So I'm like, darker skinned. So for me to get red is like, It's hardcore. And I come out of the shower, and my, I'm red and my husband's like, your red, what's going on? And I was in the shower, and it was full on hot, hot, hot, scalding water, and I couldn't feel it. Wow. Because a MS attacks the nervous system. So I couldn't feel it. And he's like, Susan, your red, like, look at your body, and I was like, my skin is all red. And, and I look back at those things now, and I can really laugh at them at the time. You know, I remember after that I just started crying. I was like, I can't even feel hot water. And they were, they wanted me to stop driving because I couldn't, I would just drop things that I didn't have, you know, I would think, Oh, pick up this tea cup, but my hand wouldn't pick up the tea cup. And, and my body was shutting down. And I, in August of 2003, I was going to take my life by running a tube from the exhaust of my car and, essentially is asphyxiating. And there, my daughter was, had a bit of a cold and couldn't go to summer camp that day, and she was home so that you know, wrecked my plan and the whole series of things happen, that I didn't obviously end up taking my life. I look back now, I can laugh about the shower. Is there anything now, Josh Komen at this stage of the game, can look back now and there's maybe something you could laugh about now, but you couldn't then?

Josh Komen 17:10
Yeah, I think, I think just being able to shoot myself, constantly in spew, and the nurses been there for me. I laugh about that now and I laugh about it with the nurses now. You know that kind of, that kind of aspect of it. You know, this is disgusting. Everywhere that you know, I look, look back and I laugh about it now from where I was to being, I've just been in the hospital bed with spew all over me and everything like that. I found that quite funny now. Yeah.

Susan Sly 17:36
Let's just give love to nurses for a minute. My mom was a nurse, my mother in law was a nurse. Let's just give love to nurses. Like seriously, if you know a nurse, give them so

Josh Komen 17:47
much. My wife's a nurse. And she's absolutely amazing. And they do a tremendous job. And they were angels in that hospital room. They were more than a nurse,. They were way above what I thought a nurse was. They were your counselor, your mom, your doctor, your everything you could imagine, you know, sometimes I'd come in and just hold my hand and talk. It was, that was so amazing. You know, they were incredible people.

Susan Sly 18:09
So let me ask you, you eventually go into remission. So talk about that. How long from the time you were diagnosed was it before you went into remission?

Josh Komen 18:24
Yeah, so I had that eighth month of treatment and then I got into remission. And then I got out of hospital. And I was a bit confused there too. I couldn't really associate myself with a lot of friends. I kind of distanced myself from a lot of people, because so much had gone on in that short eight month period of time. And my mind was starting to change. What's life about? You know, you talked about the life and death course that you did. That was my life and death course. And I'm starting to think what's going on in this world, you know, what's this all about? So I went surfing, I used to surf a bit, and I was just out the surf all the time. And I was, I used to pray a lot and think and meditate and trying to collect my thoughts. And I come to a bit of a clarity that sometimes I wasn't in control, and I just had to trust the path I was on and suffering for that 8 months really served a purpose too because it brought me closer to my father, especially my dad, you know, he was a hard man. And it's the first time I've seen him cry. And I saw a real abundant love come from a lot of people that I hadn't seen before. So suffering really gave me that and I was very grateful in that aspect. But I was into surf, Susan and my friend rang me up when I got out. And he said, Do you want to come to Nepal to Everest base camp? And I said, No, mate. I've just been in hospital for eight months. I'm not going up to base camp. No way. So I went back out there and something just hit me about opportunities and there was a high chance my cancer would come back, the doctor said and I thought no, mate, you've just got to grab this opportunity. Take it with both hands and go with it. So I rang my friend, been back up and I said yes, I'm going to Nepal with you, little guy. So five months after my last diagnosis, getting out of hospital in remission, I was in Kathmandu, Nepal, trekking to Basecamp. And landing in Nepal really changed my life, Susan. I mean, I landed there, and it was just sensory overload. You know, the smells, the people, the, the atmosphere, everything can I was in this tuktuk, driving down the road on a bumpy road. And this moment really changed my life, my perspective on life. And I saw these kids, they had no t-shirts on, barefeet you know, shorts and just playing with one another in the, in this rubbish, just pure rubbish everywhere. And they looked at me with these beautiful wide smiles, and were waving to me, now wave back. And it hit me Susan. And I thought how lucky, how grateful was I to suffer in such good conditions? You know, I was in a hospital room, Western medicine. I had my mom, I had good food. I had everything I needed to suffer in good conditions. And these kids were just playing in rubbish. But they had these beautiful smiles and they were happy and content. And I just burst out crying. I said, Thank God, I was in a good place, you know. And thank you for those young kids that just waved to me in their condition. And I just went back with so much gratitude. So much gratitude. So isn't, and I was grateful to suffer?

Susan Sly 21:16
Josh, that's so beautiful. And I, I've always wanted to go to base camp in Nepal. So when I read that about you, so curious about how did that end up happening. And I love, you're such a, you're such a powerful storyteller. And for everyone who's, if you are on Youtube, drop a comment below, about like, seriously, is it you know, it's just like I was there. Seeing these children and, and travel, especially in the developing world yields perspective. You know so many times when I'm going through something, and I think about, I spent a lot of years rescuing girls from trafficking in Cambodia. I've been undercover in brothels nearly being killed and all sorts of crazy fun things that I've done but when you're, you, you see with your eyes, you feel with your heart, you hear with your ears, and it is, it is powerful with that perspective. And my mind also went somewhere else with your story, Josh. So every time Shark Week is on Discovery. They're always in New Zealand with these 36 foot long, great white sharks. So you surf with these sharks, like...

Josh Komen 22:32
No, so I'm on the West Coast. There's not too many sharks down there. Those sharks that you see are down the South Island at the bottom, in the Stewart Island. A lot of big Great Whites down there. So there's not too many where I go surfing. I used to surf, not anymore.

Susan Sly 22:45
Well, it only really takes one but I was like this guy goes surfing in New Zealand. So base camp is like, not a problem. So yeah, yeah, that has deterred me from certain things. Anyway, so Josh, when did you find out that the cancer came back?

Josh Komen 23:09
Yeah, so I went up to Basecamp. And I just want to touch on this Susan, because it was just a small, perfect moment in my life, something that no one could take away from me, you know, I set out a goal and I achieved it. I walked in Basecamp, it took me 13 days. And I was so lucky enough to see the sunrise come over Mount Everest. And you know, that's something that no one, not even cancer could take away from me and I call it, I just bookmark those little small, perfect moments in my life. And put it in my heart and I said, that's going to stay there forever. So I went back down and I backpacked around Asia and you mentioned Cambodia. I hitchhiked around Cambodia. What an amazing place that was. And I come back to New Zealand. And there was another childhood dream that I wanted to do, was become a professional skydiver. So I entered and I enrolled in a commercial deployment and skydiving. New Zealand's the only place in the world that has-- a skydiver. It was just an amazing feeling jumping on the plane, it was pure freedom, just like running. But no, you weren't running. It was just falling, falling, falling. You could see the world above you. You could be in the clouds. It was just incredible. And that was to be short lived. So I was in the course for about seven months. So basically, after a year, maybe 14 months, when I was put into remission, my cancer started to come back. And I found that out by going up to 20,000 feet for my 200 skydive and I got hypoxic, you know, I was low on red blood cells. And I was starting to see about 20 of my friends up there. And it was a scary time, I pulled my chute at 10,000 feet and just floated down and I knew my cancer was back. But I was mentally prepared this time, but I'm on the physicality of what was going to unfold. I didn't have an understanding of the pain that I was about to go through. It was going to be horrendous. I mean, I already knew where my mind would go and I was prepared for that with the tools that I've accumulated with the coming to skydive, over going to Everest base camp, journaling, meditating, praying, visualization. I had it under control. But the physical pain that I was about to go through was going to be horrendous. I was going to have an allogeneic stem cell transplant, which basically means my hemopoietic stem cells, these are the factory cells that create your immune system, we're coming from someone else. They we're coming from a young girl in Germany. So it wasn't a complete match, my transplant. So the protocol was having three months of normal chemo, and then I'd have two months off, and then I'd have my transplant. I had three months of treatment. And then on my last round of chemo, I developed neutropenic sepsis, and sepsis is a bacterium in the blood plus I was neutropenic. And they sent me into the intensive care unit, and I was put on life support. And I told my mum and dad that I, there's a good chance your son won't wake up here. And God willing, I did that after 10 days, it was a miracle that I did, you know, I should have died in that situation, in that position in my life. I woke up and they, and then they said to me, Josh, we found your donor, we found you a transplant, you've got two weeks to get ready, you know, Susan, and I was in a wheelchair, I could not walk, I couldn't talk, I was 51,52 kg. I was like a skinny, little alien. I couldn't do much. And as I stated before, it was two months after your last round of chemo to have your transplant. And I had two weeks to get ready to be able to have this transplant out of getting out of ICU out of a coma. And I didn't know what to do. So the only thing I didn't know what to do was sit and wait, pray, meditate and visualize. That's all I did. And I sat outside, pretended I was around a, pretended my, saw myself healthy, getting through what I needed to get through. And soon enough, the transplant came, I had these stem cells. And during that time, I was like in a semi comatose state. It was a very tough time. I was in isolation for three months. You know, my body was basically rejecting this transplant. It was trying to accept it, reject it, accept it, reject it. And finally it was starting to accept. But one thing that really helped me and I really want to talk about this was I couldn't drink or swallow any food because this, all my stomach lining had stripped off my esophagus and my stomach. So I couldn't put anything in my body. So it's been through a chew, but my mom would come over with carbonated water, sparkling water. Now I used to sit there and wait for it, I'd hang out, I'd see her coming past my window. And I'm like, Yes, she's coming. She put it in a cup and put it in my mouth. And these small little moments that I talked about earlier, these little moments that really sustain you. You know, these little bubbles had slipped through the straw and pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop through my mouth. And holy moly, it was just so joyous. It gave me so much, so much faith to go forward with what I was going through. Those small little carbonated bubbles popping in my mouth just felt so refreshing from all the steroids and immunosuppressants and all the drugs that they were putting into me. And I used to put that back, put my head down, cry and just have a smile on my face and just got back to sleep and visualize getting myself back together.

Susan Sly 28:05
Josh, as you're, as you're speaking, in the day, for all the listeners that we're recording this, one of my closest friends is, he's got sepsis, and he's in a, he's in the ICU right now. He has pancreatic cancer. And he's had three surgeries in the last seven days. And he's in Canada, so I can't go see him. And he's, he's, the last report I had, which was last night which is we're not sure he is going to make it. And that's what I want to, I just got, I just got chills and that's why, everyone knows I'm raw and real like there's, I, like I'll just put it all out there. Anyone I know, and I know a handful of people who've been in that situation where they literally have, like, almost like a choice. I can surrender to this and die. My friend Dottie, she flatlined, she's, she sadly, Dottie Lazard. She's passed now. But she was an athlete. She had she flatlined twice on the table. But she talked about, you know, essentially seeing the light but making a choice, right. Did you have that moment where you knew you could choose to surrender and die or fight to live? And maybe I'm not even articulating that the right way, Josh, but you know what I mean, like, was there that moment when you were there in ICU that you knew you could just give up or you could fight?

Josh Komen 29:40
Yeah, I mean, I can't remember that 10 days. I can't remember it all. But there was a vivid dream or a lucid dream or whether it happened or not. I just, I saw an angel above me and I still remember it today. And there was a choice there. It was just so beautiful. It was just, lit up my room, whether I was conscious or unconscious, but I still can't don't remember anything, I still can't remember getting put in the coma. But I can remember that. And it gave me the face to go forward knowing that there was this beautiful sense within my room. And I thought, when I, when I thought about it afterwards, you know, that was probably the moment that kept me sustaining me forward, that there was something bigger than me out there, helping me go forward with my life, looking after me, protecting me. And that's probably when I became closer to God, essentially. And I started reading the Bible a bit more and things like that. And I started understanding that some things were just out of my control. But I had to have the faith with inside myself that my map, my path had already been mapped out. And I had to have the courage to go forward with whatever situation I was in. Yeah. It was a profound moment for me, to be honest, Susan, it really changed my life. Seeing that image.

Susan Sly 30:51
What do you say to a person, this is a question I always asked myself, What do you say to a person who doesn't have that level of faith, but is going through a challenge? Because people like yourself or myself, the faith is what has helped us endure, Right? But what do you say to that person who doesn't have that level of faith?

Josh Komen 31:11
That's a great question. I mean, it's simple. In a way, I'd say, reach out and find that faith, I really would get out of the head and into the heart a bit, and look for faith outside yourself. Because I do believe something's we're just not in control, even though we, we think we are. And there's something bigger than us, really guiding us along. And if we look inside ourselves looking amazing our body is ,everything's connected together. I think it's just a wonderful homogenous world we live in, and something has to be guiding us bigger than us. And if we kind of give that up sometimes, you understand how much strength you actually do have. And it's quite profound when you find that out. When you give yourself up to something bigger, you understand that you have so much inside yourself. And it's quite profound. I mean, I can only talk about it. But it's hard for people to find it themselves. But if I'm talking and you're talking, and we both have the faith, something bigger than ourselves, maybe if they're listening right now, they can find that for themselves in their own way, in their own way.

Susan Sly 32:19
Yeah, that's powerful. Captain Charlie Plumb was on the show, and if the listeners haven't heard that show, that it was, Captain Plumb was in a concentration camp for years. He was, his plane was shot down over Vietnam. And he talks about, you know, he's being tortured, and he's angry. And eventually he got to the point where he was so broken, he, he turned to God, and he ended up becoming the chaplain for the whole concentration camp. And, and he spoke about that. And I really believe, I think my show ends up being this place where everyone who's had the biggest challenges, they also have the biggest faith, and for my friend, Josh, who is in the coma right now, the night before his surgery, I messaged him because I knew he was struggling with faith. And I said, Can I pray with you? And I called him and it was just like a, you know, a three minute prayer that, you know, we prayed together. And I think that, you know, sometimes if, if you're someone listening, and you have a lot of faith, and you know, someone going through a challenge, just maybe say, Hey, can I pray for you? Can I pray with you? Right? So, Josh, you, I feel like we're best friends already. It's like,

Josh Komen 33:37
There'e so much in common.

Susan Sly 33:41
I know. So, so after you came out of that, you know that, that second time of nearly dying, What decisions did you make about your life that were different than the decisions you made the first time?

Josh Komen 33:57
Basically, I trusted in God a lot more. I really put my faith into God and let Him direct my path. And I said to myself, whatever is ahead of me, I will continue just like the story of Joe, you know, in a way, everything was taken away from him. So I decided whatever was taken away from me, I would try and reclaim it with whatever was put in front of me. And I said that to myself, and I told myself, I'm not going to die, God's got, God's in control, and you can control what you can do. And that was continue to go forward. And I just told myself that even though the mind came back and told me, Hey, you gotta go, you know, all that depressing thoughts that we just talked about. So that was the biggest thing for me. And also to just, the love that I had for my family and friends just escalated. It was just profound, you know, I had great relationships with my parents and family, but it wasn't that sure, that I had before because I know it could have been taken away from me and seeing them when I got out of a coma, you know, it's, it was so profound, Susan. And I really hung, hung on to that. And every time I say goodbye to someone, I looked them in the eye, I told them, I love them. And I said, I'll see you later. Whether I woke up tomorrow or not, I just made it so meaningful, being able to see them later. Because it was such a privilege to have those people in my life. For that minute, that hour, that day, whatever it was, it was just an honor to have them in my presence.

Susan Sly 35:23
And so that, that, so often, we say things like, see you later, but we don't meet it, right? Or even I love you. But it's just like we're saying, hey, love, you know, love you whatever. To say something and to be present, and mean it. Because suddeny it has more meaning. Yes. It's huge. So the

Josh Komen 35:47
meaning behind my words were just more profound. I would, Yeah, they were just more profound. And and you feel it more.

Susan Sly 35:54
Yeah. So what's, what's next for you now? What's what's on your list?

Josh Komen 36:01
Ah, to be honest, Susan. I mean, I've been through a bit more than what we just talked about, you know. I got this, I'll just touch on this quickly. So I got, this graft versus host disease, this graft, graft rejection, and I had numerous complications with it. You know, I got to this point where they gave me trigeminal neuralgia. Trigeminal neuralgia is described as the suicide disease, which is the worst pain known to man. I was put into hospital for three months with this pain. The pain was horrendous. The trigeminal nerve goes around here to describe that pain. It was like someone was burning my face while stabbing my eye while a cheese grater was on the back of my face. It was just immense. And this GvHD, this graft versus host disease that I talked about, this graft, this rejection was gluing my body together during that time. So I got this pain diminished, I went up into the ICU room. They give me lidocaine that numben the nerve. I can still feel bits and pieces today, but nothing to the extent it was, but the graph versus host disease really got out of control, and I had to get sent to Melbourne, Australia to get the special treatment. It's called extracorporeal photothermolysis. And I was away from my family there. So I got sent over to Melbourne to get this treatment to dampen down this GvHD. And you can see my face, my eyes, the pigmentation, it's kind of gone from my skin. And this is what this, this rejection was doing to me. It was basically eating my skin away, my endothelial cells and my epithelial cells in my body. So I went over to Melbourne, I was away from my family and friends, and the treatment was starting to go well, and three months, four months into it, I woke up one day with a massive heart attack. And I had a huge heart attack and I got taken to the Geelong hospital, and I got taken to the Peter McCallum Cancer Center. I was getting treatment and they sent me to the Royal Melbourne cardiac unit within the Melbourne Hospital and I was in there for 24 days, Susan. And I had 12 heart attacks, tuning the ECGs upside down. And this GvHD was really attacking my body. And it was the endothelial linings within my heart that it was attacking. And the doctors didn't know what to do with me in the situation. And I wrote them a note. I said, listen, they weren't too sure whether they'll give me a heart bypass or stent, my leaf main. They didn't know whether to cut me open just due to my skin, this thickening of the skin that I had. And I wrote them and I said, I don't care if I live or die, just please make a decision. And we can learn from me as a patient. Just make a decision. Next day I had a heart attack. ECGs went upside down, went into the cath lab, they stented my left main artery, and I was out after three days and the pain has started, the pain went. But the GvHD had flared up and I had to go back into the cancer unit in Melbourne to get intensive treatment. And it was starting to kind of flush it out and the body was growing stronger. And I started flying back and forth to New Zealand to Australia. After about a year. I spent a year in Australia. Then I started flying back and forth for this treatment. And as I say, this has been about when I was flying back and forth. This is probably about seven years now. And there's always a silver lining with you. Whenever you persevere there was so many times I wanted to give up. But guess what, Susan, I sat down on the plane, the whole plane was full. One seat was empty between me and this beautiful girl that I was sitting next to from Switzerland. And I said hello to her because I was starting to get better. My depression was starting to lift a bit and she said hello back. We had a chat. She was an amazing woman. And I asked her what does she do for a job and she was an oncology nurse and she was backpacking around New Zealand and Australia. And I said to her, this is a great pickup line. I said listen, I'm going to get, going to get some treatment graft versus host disease and I said, you want to come and see it since you're an oncology nurse? She had never heard of it. And she said yes. So our first date was going coming to see me in the in the Pedro McAllen Cancer Center getting this four hour treatment. So we hung out, we had a lot in common and we spent the week together. And, um, this is, this was four years ago when I met her and started this year, she's been living with me for three years. And we got married at the start of this year in this beautiful beach and she's my wife. And yeah, she's changed my life. And she's been the catalyst to real health. And she's helped reclaim my house. And I've got a real purpose with her. And she's an absolute beautiful angel that I feel God sent to help me. So there's always a silver lining. Well,

Susan Sly 40:30
I love that story. And I've never heard that pickup line before. You're right.

Josh Komen 40:35
I don't recommend it. I don't recommend it to anybod but worked for me. But yeah, so we've been, we've been married now. And we've been together for about four years. And it just blows my mind to be where I was before. You know, this is, I got diagnosed 11 years ago, 10 to 11 years ago. And here I am. Happy, healthy, strong. I'm coaching. I'm coaching young, young kids athletics. You know, I'm part of that, again, I'm playing a bit of sport, I've got a full time job again, I'm doing a lot of the talks, I've written a book and my life's completely changed. And I'm so grateful for it. And I've got so much in my life that I had have now that I didn't have prior to cancer. And every day, I'm just so grateful to wake up and seize the opportunities that present themselves. So what lies for me, Susan, just continue appreciating what I do have to continue with that. That's what lies ahead for me. And if any opportunities come in, to be able to have great conversations with people like yourself, just to help other people through those, for their own arduous times. And that's what lies ahead for me, you know, to help them and that's what I'm here to do. To share my story and hopefully, my story can help other people because I'm a big fan of books and I love reading other people's stories, you know, Viktor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning, I don't know if you've read Unbroken, Louis Zamperini. They were two big books when I was first diagnosed, that really helped me through what I went through. So my story is just really articulating the same message that you and I are doing, persevere, trust, believe, go forward, things will change.

Susan Sly 42:07
Josh, I am so grateful to have this conversation with you. And I know the listeners and the viewers are as well. And, and congratulations on your marriage. I love that story. You could do a whole side book called, you know, Pickup Lines For People Who Are Undergoing Treatment. And I think it would be an international bestseller. And you know, and I really hope and pray that people listening today have been touched and blessed by your words and your message. And I would encourage everyone to go to and order a copy of your book. And, and really one, one thing I'm taking away from the conversation, I love that you said is, reach. If you're struggling with faith and belief just reach for it. Right, just reach for it. So thank you so much for being here. I so appreciate you.

Josh Komen 43:07
I appreciate having this conversation, Susan. Like you said before I just can't believe how much in common we have. So no, it's been an absolute privilege. Thank you so much for having me on board today.

Susan Sly 43:17
Well, thank you. When I come to New Zealand, we will, I would love to see you. I'm racking up a list of new friends in New Zealand. So when, when the world opens up again, I will be there. But thank you, Josh so much for being here. And for all listeners, we, Josh and I would love a five star review. Please share, tag us on social and by all means if you're here on YouTube, just drop a comment below. I am the person who responds to all the comments. So with that, God bless, go rock your day and I will see you in the next episode of Raw and Real Entrepreneurship. Thank you.

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Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Julie Foucht

243. How to Manifest Money – Interview With Julie Foucht

By Podcast

Do you feel you’re doing everything correctly, but the money isn’t coming in? There are several possible explanations for this.
In this interview, Julie Foucht, a certified coach, business expert, and entrepreneur, discussed the factors that can keep us stuck in a cycle of lack and offered advice on breaking free!

Julie teaches female coaches, teachers and healers who are frustrated with traditional marketing to build 6-figure businesses through the Art of Feminine Marketing.

– Julie Foucht

Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Julie Foucht

Topics covered in the interview

Art of feminine marketing
Finding a mentor
Who shouldn’t start a business
Money and energy
Limited supply concept

Julie Foucht’s Bio

When Julie Foucht decided she needed to take her coaching business seriously, she hired a high end coach and learned to ‘market like a man.’ She doubled, then tripled her income in less than a year, but felt drained, uninspired and restless.

Urged by Spirit, she embraced her essential ‘Womaness’ and birthed a new way, The Art of Feminine Marketing.

Today, Julie teaches female coaches, teachers and healers who are frustrated with traditional marketing, how to build 6-figure businesses through the Art of Feminine Marketing.

Julie’s clients report having clearer vision of their divine purpose, greater passion for their work, the skills to be attracting the perfect clients, and are being paid well for their gifts. 

Julie received her coach certification in 2006 from The Coaches Training Institute. She has served on the boards of numerous non-profits, and was named Woman of the Year by the Professional Women’s Network of the Monterey Peninsula in 2013.

She is married to the love of her life, has 4 children, 2 stepchildren, 2 furry babies and 7 spoiled grandchildren.

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Show Notes

Read Full Transcript

Julie Foucht 00:00
Money is the root of all evil. And what happens if you said to your girlfriend, you know, I really love you, I love when you're around, but you're the root of all evil. Like, really, if you just showed up more, my problems would be solved.

Welcome to the Susan Sly Project where entrepreneurs rule, startups launch, and the side hustle becomes the main hustle. Ladies and gentlemen, your host, Susan Sly.

Susan Sly 00:31
So I have a question for you. This is the question, Do you struggle energetically with money? A lot of people do you know, and I see it in the startup world all the time where you have someone who has a great idea, they're building a team, but they really have a hard time. They have a hard time when it comes to raising money, pitching investors, asking for a sale. And it's an essential skill that there is an energy around it. And so we're going to talk about that today because my guest is an expert in this area. We're going to also have a lot of fun. And if you haven't already, I want you to head over to, we have an amazing event coming up, The Ultimate Marketing experience, and our keynote speaker this year is none other than my dear friend, Glenn Stearns from Undercover Billionaire. It is a day and a half, it is live, it is virtual. You can be in your pajamas, you can have a glass of wine, a Martini, a Perrier, whatever it is you want to do. And tickets are only $77. How cool is that? And they are tax write off. So go to and I would love to see you there. That is happening in January 2020. So with that, my guest today knew she needed to take her business seriously. And don't we all, my goodness. So she hired a high end coach and learn to market like a man which you know, I want to hear what that's like. She doubled then she tripled her income in less than a year. But she felt drained, uninspired and restless. And I know that many of you can relate to that. She eventually embraced her womaness, her femininity. She aligned with herself and who she was meant to be. And she birthed the art of feminine marketing. And so it doesn't matter a man or a woman, whoever you are, if you are struggling with that alignment, if you're struggling with money, this is the episode for you. So whatever you're doing, you know, grab a pen, take notes, unless you're like, you know, driving, don't do that or on a treadmill or something. But my guest today is certified coach, business expert and entrepreneur, Julie Foucht. So Julie, welcome to the show.

Julie Foucht 02:41
Thank you. I'm so excited to be here.

Susan Sly 02:44
We're state neighbors. Julie's in California, and I'm in Arizona, it's all good. So Julie, I want to jump in right now. We are in a very interesting crisis right now, the great resignation. We have people who are making decisions like crazy to leave jobs. And it doesn't matter what someone's belief is, politically. We're talking, we've never seen this. Millions and millions of people who are saying, No, I don't want to work in an office. No, I don't want to be told what to do with my life, with my body, with whatever. And so they're looking at starting a business and maybe they're not experienced. So what advice would you give to someone who says, I want to start a business, and I've never started one before, but I feel like I have to.

Julie Foucht 03:30
Well, this is gonna sound a little self serving, but it's to find a mentor, whether that be a coach, or, you know, maybe a previous boss, or a girlfriend who's done it, or boyfriend, who's done it before you and really find somebody who has walked the pathway. And I think for me, that's been the greatest. One of the greatest things that have led to my success is I have chosen mentors who have been where I am and who are where I want to be. And I just don't jump in with a mentor but being really careful. Most of the time, excuse me. Little allergy season here. We're having a second summer or something with this little allergy but um, you know, I have interviewed coaches and, and I will honestly tell the coach, I'm interviewing three people. And I'm gonna see which one is right for me. And I don't just jump into the first one, but I really take my time and I find the right mentor. And I think that's super important because I, a lot of people get sucked in, you know, they get sucked in. I saw an ad the other day. That was, you know, I made $100,000 just from these two emails I sent. Join my program, I'll teach you how. And what the ad didn't say is, and I've been in business for 15 years, and I've had lots of failures, and I have a list of 100,000 people I'm sending it to, and I have really high credibility in the world. And if you have all those things, then two emails will do it. And people will buy into that, because they just don't know where to start. I think podcasts like yours is a great way to start to get to know the business world, and it's free, you know, you can listen, you can get a feel for people, you'd be like, Oh, that person is really nuts and crazy. I'm not going anywhere near them. But I really feel attracted to this person. And then to take it out of a head decision. You know, our heads aren't designed to make decisions. Our heads are designed to gather and store data. And so that's what you're doing when you first start. You're you're storing data you're looking for who can help me, you're looking for which path is right. And then your body is designed to make the decisions for you. Your emotions, how it feels, what your gut says. Different people have different parts of their body that speak differently. And really start to utilize your body and your decision making.

Susan Sly 06:27
I love that. Julie, the you know, getting a mentor, getting a coach. So the, over the years, we were, before Julie and I started you know, the the recording, we're talking about, you know, as many of the listeners know, unless you're new, this will be new to you. I was a certified coach and I was an executive coach for women, high achieving women. And even as a coach, I don't do private coaching anymore. I have people like Julie who I feature and you should go check her out. The, even a coach has a coach, right? And that's a question, ask your coach, do you have a coach? Because the, when Dave Asprey, Julie was on the show, the founder of Bulletproof, everything Bulletproof coffee, Bulletproof you know, bars everyday, I love Dave. And Dave, you know, Dave is very successful, his companies are approaching combined billion dollars in annual revenue. And he was saying, you know, every executive needs to have a coach. And that's the thing. Your, if you and I, were, Julie and I are both grandmothers, by the way. So we have Julie and I, were about to, I'm just gonna pick, I don't know, maybe you do know how, but let's say Julie and I were on a girls vacation. And we were in Tahiti, and we're like, we want to learn how to surf. But we had never surfed. Do you think we just get surfboards and go out there? No, we'd hire a surf instructor. Right. And it's the same thing. If you've never had a business, like Julie said, podcasts, get a coach, read books. Julie, is there, this is raw and real entrepreneurship. We're not afraid to have this conversation? Is there anyone who shouldn't be starting a business? Maybe they're, it's the wrong reasons, they don't have the right personality for it.

Julie Foucht 08:14
Sure, I think that it's really a personal decision. And I think there are some people who are better suited to it. You know, my, my husband is a government worker, don't tell people. But he's the assistant city manager to small, small community around here. And he had his own business for a while. But he so much enjoys public work, that is more fulfilling for him. So I think there's this place for people of having that discernment. And you know what, you're not stuck forever, say you start your business now. And two years down the road, the perfect job comes along that you never thought you'd be offered. But you always wanted with the perfect company, then make the change. It's not a failure. But I think that you have to follow your, it's like your inner mission, your sole mission. Can you do work that you love, that fuels you, that feeds you, that really allows you to express all of who you are in the job or the business? And, you know, like, my husband loves public service. When he had his own business, he started a community organization because he needed to have some of that too. And so you just have to look at what's right for me, and it's really a personal decision. But I think, I think the key is, can I live my personal mission in this organization, or am I better suited to do it in my own business?

Susan Sly 09:56
Yeah. And there's the, it's so different to being an employee or owning a business. I started my first business when I was 11. And even at times when I've been an employee, I always had a business. So I haven't, like for 40 years, I haven't been without having a business. I think that the biggest advice I would give and I bet Julie would second that is, if you have a business, you need to show up as the employee of your own business. Because if you treat it like a hobby, you will make a hobby income. And if you're one of those people that says, I'm a flight attendant, I'm you know, whatever and I need to replace this income, the moment you start putting that energy around, need have to, that's almost like you put a chokehold on your business. And that's where I want to talk about, let's talk about money. Yeah, let's talk about money. It's like salt and pepper. Let's talk about them, no. Anyway, I want to keep my non e rating on iTunes. So the, the question I have for you is the, one of the, one of the startups I advise, they have just a beautiful soul mission about what they want to achieve in the world. And there's this a lot of dialogue going on around fundraising and raising investment capital. And there's different energies around it. So there's the, I'm, I'm kind of like Julie, the lawyer, let's go in, let's raise the money, let's get this company capitalized. Let's go, let's go. And then there are different energies there. Like, if the person's not the right investor, we don't want them and you know, and it's just, it's so, there's so much energy around this concept of money and around the concept of receiving. So the first question I have for you around this is money and energy. And especially when people have that struggle, mindset. Let's, let's diagnose it first. What are some of the symptoms of that? How does someone know that they have an issue energetically with money?

Julie Foucht 12:04
Well, the first symptom is that they're not bringing in what they want. Maybe they've hit an income ceiling, and it's not coming in, or it comes in, and then it flies out instantly. Like, you know, I just brought in an extra $500, and my car broke down. Right, that kind of exchange. I think it's really important to understand where our money mindset comes from. And in our society, especially think as women, but in our society, there's this underlying thing that money is evil. Right? Like, money is the root of all evil. And what happens if you said to your girlfriend, you know, I really love you, I love when you're around, but you're the root of all evil. Like, really, if you just showed up more, my problems would be solved. And, but you know, I don't really want to look at you, I don't want to like, look at my bank account. I just want you there when I need you. So could you come sit in the back room, try not to be too evil, because I don't want a lot of evil around. Right? If you were saying those things to a friend, you would lose the friendship. And yet that's the underlying thoughts that go through our head around money, right? There's this very Protestant money is the root of all evil. If I'm a good person, then I won't have too much of it. And I won't pursue it too hard. And it just filters into everything. And so we've got to do that mindset work, we've got to dig out those beliefs and separate them out. And the real quote is not money is the root of all evil. I don't think it's the love of money. It is. But I love-- Love of

Susan Sly 14:00
money is the root of all evil. And if what, and I'm going to just go well weird and geeky, so I might as well do that. And so and you know, my daughter's cat is make-- if you're watching on YouTube, the cat is making an appearance in the video. So I just don't know what to tell you if you're listening. He's a white Balinese cat named Theo. And so he's decided he needs to be a star in the, in the video. So what the, in the, in the Hebrew the original, when that was originally written, what it said was if you put money, the love of money above God, then that is evil, but money itself is not evil. And so to your point, the Protestantism, I grew up in the Presbyterian Church, that concept was so mismessaged, right? And so it became like, Oh to be, It's glorious to be poor, it actually doesn't say that anywhere in the original translation of the Bible. So I just wanted to say that that's, that's where that came from. You know, I've had, you know, so many different thought leaders on the show, Julie, I've never had anyone explain money the way you just did about being your girlfriend, and how you would treat your girlfriend. And I love how you broke down the symptoms. So you know, you, you get a bonus. And then suddenly your car breaks down or there's, you know, it's, it's this in, out. So once, anyone listening, they're like, oh, no, she she knows me. She's seen that. So what can someone do? What are, how does someone begin to fix this?

Julie Foucht 15:43
So the first thing is, we need to change our mindset, always. Right, we always go inward first. And I'm going to use the word Source, Source energy being God, energy, the universe, whatever resonates for you. And it's understanding that money is an energy of source. Money is an energy of appreciation. We give it to people in exchange for products and services that we want. And so it's an energy of appreciation. And when you begin to understand about money being this energy of appreciation, it switches the neural pathways that say, money is bad, run. And so we begin to open up the pathway for more money to come. Now, there's some really cool tricks that you can well, I don't know if they're tricks, but universal laws that you can then employ in order to open up for more money. And there's super simple and, and people will look at me like, really? But when you try it, you begin to see. And the first thing is to understand what your desires are. Not the surface desires, not the Oh, my neighbor got a new car. Now I need a new car, kind of, like competitive stuff we do. Or the, oh, I'm gonna go buy shoes, because I got in a fight with my husband, and that'll make me feel better, but the really deep desires, because the deep desires are things we're meant to have. We're talking about this is people. You know, I am meant to make a difference in the world. I am meant to take my clients on retreat to Bali. And if that's something that is your true deep desire, you've got to open up for source to source it. For source to bring the income so that you can do that. Okay, so here's how we're going to do it. Number one, learn to receive. How often does somebody give you a compliment, you go, no, it's just good genes. Now this, dad had this forever, right? We downplay. So you've got to learn to receive that. I was, my granddaughter's 10. The other day, and she's now dyed her hair, teal. I was like, Maddie, your hair is so beautiful. And she was like, whatever, Grammy, and I stopped her. And I said, No, no, receive it. Just receive that. So you've got to learn to receive. When you go to the grocery store, and they say, Can I help you out? Do you say no, no, I've got this, I'm strong. Or do you say thank you, I receive that gift, right? You've got to start learning to receive even with your partner, your, or your spouse, or your kids like, Honey, thank you for giving me the glass of water, I really received that and really being open to it. And that opens your channels. It opens the flow so that more money can come to you. That's, that's one trick. Okay. Another one is the art of gratitude, and gratitude, the more we can be in gratitude for what we have, the more of that we will attract. I track my money daily. When money comes in, I have a little spreadsheet here on my desk, and I write it down. And I'm like, Oh my gosh, I'm so grateful. Such a miracle. That's so awesome. Thank you money for coming. And whether it comes from a client, a high end client, you know, giving me their debit card or their credit card number and you know, a big chunk of money or whether it's, I find 10 cents on the ground. I have that same attitude of I love you money, thank you so much for coming, and opening to more money coming. And then that was what oh, here's the other one. This is a ninja mind trick that I love, is the art of giving. So if you're feeling broke, if you're feeling like you just don't have enough, give to a cause you believe in and give completely without strings. It's the most amazing thing because the brain releases, the brain opens up and goes, Oh, we can breathe. And when you know, if you've got the money to give away,

Julie Foucht 20:23
maybe we don't have to stress so much about paying the bills. And when that happens, when that release happens, when we open up, then that allows things to come. When we're in the state of, oh my god, how am I gonna pay my bills? What's gonna happen? What is this? What if that, then we get all tight, and you can even like, imagine it in your body and think about how your body feels. And when you tighten up, then you create a wall, like nothing gets in. Imagine if you went to your spouse and went, Okay, try loving me now. Right? They'd be like, get your attitude together, and then come back to me. And money the same way. So we can release the fear, and one of the ways of doing that is to choose a charity and give to your charity. And I've got a couple of charities that I love. I've got one that I've been giving to regularly for, oh my gosh, I don't know, years, six, seven years. And they actually call me now. I get phone calls from them. Thank you for being a supporter for so long, right? It's really great. Um, but if I'm ever feeling really nervous or tight about money, I just shoot some extra money off to them. You know, I know that I've already got them picked out. I know, they're doing good work. I know where their money goes. And I don't have to think about how, where do I send it? And that's really, you'll be amazed what happens when you start doing that.

Susan Sly 22:04
Those are three great steps, Julie, because it's, you know, I know a lot of people and even myself at times, it's like, I do these things, and I get into flow. And then whatever happens, and I get out of flow, like to your point, I tracked my money every single day. And it's like I write down, you know, and I'm thankful for it. And I'm grateful for it. But sometimes I forget to literally say out loud, thank you. And I say God, Thank you God for you know, whatever money is coming in. And those simple things, and doing them from that place of openness. And let's talk about this. This concept that there is a limited supply. So a lot of entrepreneurs are walking around with a concept that there's limited number of clients out there. And you know, if their competitor gets a bunch of them, they're like, well, there's none left for me, or there's a limited number of good employees. So there's a limited number of, you know, sales contracts available. Let's talk about that. Because that is another, let's call it a pathology of belief. That's a pathology that is like a cancer for the soul. Because when you feel limited in one area, you're going to be limited everywhere, right?

Julie Foucht 23:19
Absolutely. So if we believe that money is the energy of appreciation, and the money is a part of source, God, the universe, and if we believe that God source, the universe is unlimited, then money therefore must be unlimited. When we get into competition, competition shuts us down, it tightens the flow. When we are in collaboration, community connection, we open up, also raises our vibration, makes us more attractive, so that more clients come. And if we just look at the numbers, how many millions of people, somebody told me this yesterday, I can't remember, how many millions of people are on the planet? How many of those you actually need to be your client in order to be successful? Now there's another piece of this we have to remember as well. And that is that clients are not responsible for our financial success. Clients do not make our financial success. Your spouse's income doesn't make your financial success. They're not the source of your success. Source is The Source, God is the source. And when I remember that, and I don't always remember that but I'll tell you it's on the wall behind me here. It sits there so I can see it. I've got a plaque on me that says source is my source. When I remember that source is my source, I can let go. I can write copy without having desperation, because the more desperation you put in your copy, the more you'll repel people. I can have sales calls where I can let people be in their process of deciding, versus me being in the process of pressuring, and manipulating, which is a horrible place to start a relationship anyway. Yeah. Because source has got my back. And you have to remember that source, God, the universe, wants you to have a good life, wants you to have a good experience here on the planet, wants you to feel loved and supported. And we'll do everything that you will allow. It's all up to you, you have to allow, and source will do everything it can to support you. And it's unlimited. You know, source is unlimited, source is love, love is unlimited. So, it's another, it's a mindset shift. And I will tell you, when I made that shift, not only did my income grow, and my business grew, and my credibility grew, but life just got easier. Like, it feels better. I don't have to be on a sales call going, I need this person to sign up, I need this person Oh, right? Like, I can be like I can, I can honor this person, let them be in their process. And, and they'll say yes or no, depending on whether it's right for them. It also has helped me in making sales, because occasionally, I'll be in the space of oh, this is not the right client for me. This is not somebody I'm meant to serve. And I'm able to say that because I don't need the sale. That has nothing to do with what my income is that month, it has to do with the fact that I know that source is going to take care of me.

Susan Sly 27:01
And that's powerful, because it's, it's so easy for people to get caught up in that lack mentality. And, and so many things affect us, what you know, when we're hungry, when we're tired, when we're maybe feeling alone, or maybe we've gone online and watched a bunch of stuff or listen to a bunch of stuff that's, you know, really designed to scare us. And we find ourselves so closed up. And one of the things I do is sometimes I'll just like, open my arms. And this helps me like remember not to be so wound up, just open my arms, and take a deep breath and say thank you. And it's, sometimes it's not even Julie, for anything in particular is, just thank you. Okay, and now move on. And as you said, open up that energy, because from that place, you know, when we started this conversation with the great resignation with all of these people who are, we never seen a climate like this before, with people switching jobs, walking away from jobs. I mean, in my five decades, I've never observed this. And the biggest thing, and I hope you're getting this loud and clear from Julie and I is that if you're wound up, if you're in that lack mentality, if you're in the half, two months need to, that's the wrong energy to start a business, to grow your business, but you don't need to spend months and months unwinding that stuff. You might just need to listen to the show again. Right? And, and you know, honestly, Julie, I love that, that place of the reminders, they, even you, a highly respected, highly credentialed coach, have a reminder that you see all the time that source is your source, right. And we do need those reminders. And my final question for you is that this concept of when someone has had a string of frustration, let's say they, they're pitching their startup, and they've had close friends and family who said, No, I'm not investing in you. But they, they've just, you know, I can think of someone I know and they've just had, you know, no after no, after no, and this has been going on for months. What do you say to that person who says Julie, what do I do? I just feel like I've lost my, my, my my, you know, ability to attract?

Julie Foucht 29:28
Yeah, I think the first thing would be to pause. Right, really pause. Come back to what your mission is, come back to the reason that you started this and start to rebuild your passion for that. And that would be the first thing. You're going to get NOs, you're going to have failures, you're going to have people say no to you, you're going to have launches that fail. That's part of being an entrepreneur. I've been doing this since 2003. And I've had massive failures. And the people who are successful are the people who learn to fail forward. So the first thing is to pause, to really get re centered in what your purpose is and what excited you in the first place. And then go back. There's this great book by Daniel Coyle, I think is his name, called the Talent Code. And he talks about how genius is made? Yeah, same thing in business, go back and go through the process. And where did you get off? Maybe it's that your, your pitch wasn't strong enough in the beginning. So you look at that, and you make the tweak there and you try again. And you see if that works better. Maybe you're asking the wrong people. Right? Are you going to the wrong people? Maybe there's something that happens to your voice, when you're making your pitch, or when you're making the sale. I know that because I do live events in front of the room. And there's this thing that can happen when you move into sales, where all of a sudden your heart tightens and your voice will shift. And it's very subtle, and people will hear it. And so it's, where did you get off track? And there's some, some techniques you can use to keep that from happening, but it's, where did you get off track? Go back to that place, practice that place until it's perfect. If it's you're asking the wrong people, go back and say, Okay, who are the right people? Let's define that first, then let's go make another Ask. If it's that your voice gets all tightened, twingy when you're doing it, then practice stopping and breathing at this moments where you start to get, if you're in the middle of a pitch, if you're in the middle of a sale, and you're feeling that tightness, stop. Don't try and play through it, stop and take three breaths, nobody will care. And you'll be able to finish the pitch in your power. So really do the dissecting where it's not happening, and then practice that and keep failing forward. If you go from failure to failure, you will continue to grow your business, improving each time until the the number of failures become fewer and fewer and fewer. I've been at this a long time. Like you, my first business was when I was 12. Actually still running in the town I grew up in.

Julie Foucht 30:25
What is the business? We all have to know this now.

Julie Foucht 32:42
I, I was a little smartass. I saw, I grew up in this little town, touristy town in the mountains of Southern California. And I saw somebody dump a bag of trash on the ground. And I picked it up, dumped it back in their car, course upside down, right, because I was a little smart aleck. And so one of the guys in town told me he would give me a dumpster. And I could sit on Sunday afternoons, I would sit in front of the dumpster, and people would pay me to dump their trash. So they didn't have to haul it home with them. people who'd been there for the weekend. And I made quite a bit of money that summer, collecting trash. And if you go back to that town now, there's a big permanent dumpster, that on Sundays, you can go down there and pay somebody to dump your trash. So it was a great idea that took off. I don't even know where we were going.

Susan Sly 33:36
I, Well, Julie you know what, this is so perfect. Because generally, you know, with the show, I start with the question, What was your first business and I didn't ask you that. Because there was so much I wanted to ask you and it was so perfect that you told the story because now it's like, what a great way to end the show. And I just, you know, I want to say to you in front of the 1000s of people who will listen to the show is you know, thank you. Thank you. And I would encourage as a, you know, Julie coaches high achieving women, and go to her website. And we were laughing before the show because originally being Canadian, I want to make everyone's last name French, but it's, it's Foucht, not Foucht. But if you're, if you are in France, which we have listeners in France, if you're in France or Canada, it would be FOUCHT you'll want to say Foucht too, but it's Foucht. So go to And on Twitter, it's @Juliefoutch and on Instagram, it's the Art of Feminine Marketing. And so Julie and I would love, if this show has been helpful, please share it on your social tag us. We'd love a five star review. If you're on YouTube, drop a comment below because I'm the one who responds to all your comments. I love to hear your comment. And I'm, Julie, I'm gonna do a special shout out. This is really funny. So my number one fan of the show is my dad. So we know there's at least one person, and he sends an email to all his friends. His name is Joe, every single week to all of these people. And so they, he, he just sends an email, This is Susan's latest show. So if you would like to say a special message to my dad's friends, including Chris Gravelle is one of them. If you would like to say a special message to my dad's friends, I would love that.

Julie Foucht 35:33
Oh, I just get chills all over. So to your dad's friends, Thank you so much for being such a blessing supporting the work of women in the world and supporting Susan's work. We appreciate you all. Thank you, Dad.

Susan Sly 35:50
Thanks, Julie. I've actually never asked anyone to do that. But they always message me every week. So I'm so grateful. So anyway, Julie, thank you so much for being here. Thank you for the work that you do. If you are looking for a coach, go to Julie's website, we all need a coach. And with that, check out our other episodes on money and mindset and entrepreneurship and do a deep dive if you're interested in starting a business. Head on over to, I have a great free resource that's going to give you the steps on how to start your business. And with that, God bless. Go rock your day and we'll see you on a future episode of Raw and Real Entrepreneurship.

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Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Kim Daly

242. Is a franchise right for you? – Interview with Top Franchise Consultant, Kim Daly

By Podcast

What is franchising? How do I choose a franchise? What are the trends in franchising right now? If you are thinking about franchising as a business model or looking to buy a franchise, then this is the show for you!

In this episode, Kim Daly, one of America’s Top Franchise Consultant, shares her experience with franchises and provides some great advice for those interested in exploring the opportunity.

Kim has helped thousands of people explore franchise opportunities. For over 20 years, she has traveled the country as a keynote speaker and business break out leader and has hosted her own live events educating, motivating and inspiring Americans to the dream of small business ownership through the proven systems of a franchise.

– Kim Daly

Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Kim Daly

Topics covered in the interview

Kim’s first business
Franchising basics
Choosing a franchise
Financial entry points in franchising
Hottest franchising trends
Finding skilled labor

Kim Daly’s Bio

Kim Daly is one of America’s Top Franchise Consultants who has helped thousands of people explore franchise opportunities. For over 20 years, she has traveled the country as a keynote speaker and business break out leader and has hosted her own live events educating, motivating and inspiring Americans to the dream of small business ownership through the proven systems of a franchise. 

Prior to becoming a franchise consultant, Kim ran her own health & fitness based consulting firm and worked with Dr. Denis Waitley, Denise Austin, eDiets. com, Gold’s Gym and many other national health and wellness brands. She launched the first health and fitness marketplace at called BeHealthyNow. She was a personal trainer in college and a Miss America contestant. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Nutritional Biochemistry and a minor in sports nutrition.

Kim has been a business owner for 20 years. She has the wisdom that comes from experience and combines that with her knowledge of the franchise industry and passionate personality to inspire people to achieve their dream of business ownership. In all her pursuits, she desires to be a role model and influence others to live their best life!

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Show Notes

Read Full Transcript

Kim Daly 00:00
Starting a business, franchise or on your own is hard. Even some proven track record and their support, if it's your first time owning a business, there's a learning curve.

Welcome to the Susan sly project where entrepreneurs rule startups launch and the side hustle becomes the main hustle. Ladies and gentlemen, your host, Susan Sly.

Susan Sly 00:28
Okay, so all over the world, people are leaving their jobs. They're saying no, I don't align with what's going on and I want to start my own business. The question is, What business do I start? And my guest today is an expert in starting businesses and de-risking it, not just from the physical aspect, but from the mental aspect. I'm so excited to interview her. She is one of the top franchise consultants in the United States and she's helped 1000s of people explore franchise opportunities for over 20 years. She's traveled the country as a keynote speaker and business breakout leader and has hosted her own live events, educating, motivating, inspiring Americans to live the dream of small business ownership. And because we're in 141 countries, the team just updates me weekly, I don't even know it's like, over 140. This episode is for you. It is for you, whatever country you're in, not just in the United States. And so prior to doing this, she ran her own health and fitness based consulting firm. So we have that in common. She worked with Dr. Denis Waitley, Denise Austin, he diets, Gold's Gym, so we share that world. She launched the first health and fitness marketplace at called Be Healthy Now. She was a personal trainer. We were both personal trainers. And a Miss America contestant. I was never that. She graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Nutritional Biochemistry. She's a very smart lady and a minor in sports nutrition. So I want to welcome Kim Daly to Raw and Real Entrepreneurship. Thanks, Kim, for being here.

Kim Daly 01:59
Hey, Susan, thank you so much. Thank you for reading all that. You're amazing. I am the one who's blessed to be here on your show. So thank you. Well,

Susan Sly 02:08
thank you. And Kim, let's, so you know, people are like Miss America, she's so accomplished. What was your first business that you ever started?

Kim Daly 02:18
You're gonna laugh. The first business I ever started was a martial arts school. Like, really? Like, so the story goes, I was dating a competitive mixed martial artist. This was like about the time when kickboxing, it was before this, but very shortly after we started our martial arts school, so what happened is, he's, I was an athlete, and I had always been in the gym training. So I was in shape, but he started training me in boxing. And I'm like, This is amazing, like, and basically, it's like what we call today, cardio kickboxing, or right, so I'm like, we could sell this. We rented the aerobics studio at night, from our gym owner, when all the classes were done. And we would recruit people from the gym floor, take a class, take a class, and it turned into an amazing, amazing school. So much fun. It was a martial arts school.

Susan Sly 03:13
Nice. And I am, I used to do martial arts like a million years ago. And one of the things that you know, it's, so the audience knows, well, if you're new, welcome. You don't know this, but I'm turning 50 next year. And so for my 50th, I'm going to have 50 new experiences. And so one of those experiences is a martial arts experience. Stay tuned, you'll have to keep listening to the show, because I'll be talking more about that. So Kim, what, you know, let's jump into this concept of risk. So we have millions and millions of people in the United States and Canada, in Australia, in the UK, everywhere around the world who are saying, You know what, I want to start a business. I don't know the first thing about owning a business, but I just know I'm tired of my boss dictating to me, what, you know, how I should live my life essentially or what I'm worth. So, you know, there's this whole concept of franchising that, you know, one, people don't really understand it, but two they, they just don't consider it when they're thinking about starting a business. But as my audience knows, I've always spoken about franchising and saying, hey, you know, if you're going to start a business, it is a great lower risk way to start a business. So let's just jump in there. Can you walk people through, I guess the basics of franchising?

Kim Daly 04:42
Yeah. So the real value proposition, Susan, when you invest in a franchise, what you're doing is buying down the learning curve of starting a business because you're partnering yourself with people who have already figured out how to make money, right? So, so you're buying down the learning curve, and therefore you're buying up the ramp up speed. So franchisees pay a one time fee called a franchise fee. And I call that, The Daly Coach calls that the cost of entry into Disneyland. So it opens the gate, and buys you instant access to the information like who is the customer? Because a lot of entrepreneurs have to kind of spend time and money and figuring out like, exactly who is my exact customer avatar? And where do I find those people? And how do I market to them? And how much money do I spend? And how long is it going to take? And it's, it's in that trial and error period that most startup businesses fail simply because they run out of money. And I also, I think energy. So in a franchise business, you pay this franchise fee, the gate opens and you get instant access to the toolbox that has that proven marketing. The definition of the customer avatar, technology that you may need to run your business effectively and efficiently. Now, the other thing that you're getting when you invest in a franchise is the training and the support. So franchise owners do not have to be widget masters. We need people with general business skills. You're going to work on the business, and in many cases, you're going to hire a team of people to work in the business. Okay, so we do not need you to be the person who knows how to give a massage if you're looking at Massage Envy, or the mechanic if you want to own an automotive shop. We need you to be the one that can drive sales and marketing that can make sure customers are coming through the door, that can, and most of that's taught to you by the franchisor. People who can hire and train and build a culture where your employees love to come to work, and they want to work hard for you. So the general business skills. And what it does, Susan is it allows somebody and wants to leave corporate America, leave the WTO world behind, to step into an industry that maybe is only a hobby for them, maybe an industry that they know nothing about, especially if they work with Kim Daly and go on to become a multimillionaire, live the life of their dreams, scale that business, but to be successful without having prior industry experience. So ultimately, to sum all that up, when you buy a franchise, you're buying down the learning curve, you're buying up the ramp up speed. And the number one thing that you are buying when you invest in a franchise is people. You are investing in a relationship. This idea that you are in business for yourself, but not by yourself. Does that make sense?

Susan Sly 07:35
It absolutely does. And you know, when I think about franchising, one of our favorite family movies is The Blind Side. And so remember the, the family he had like several different franchises and in real reality too. Let me ask you, Kim, so there's, you know, there are different, I read Entrepreneur Magazine all the time, you know, in the back are all these different franchises. How does someone go about choosing a franchise?

Kim Daly 08:04
So, another really good question. If you're out there on your own, and you're trying to figure out like, Okay, first of all, what do I want to invest in? Like, what matches my skills, I mean what business, and could I run successfully? And then if Kim Daly just said, I'm buying leadership, how do I even know if these are the right people? Like there could be 10 companies in an industry, Well, which one is the best one? And do they even have open territory where I live or want my business to be? If you're out there on your own, you know, I think it's a, it's a daunting task. And in fact, this is why I have a business. So I offer a free service, my services, I'm paid by franchisors like a recruiter. So that enables the listener here to use my service for free. And what I'm going to do is, first get to know you. Understand your background, your interests, your skills, your finances, and most importantly, your goals. I look at the franchise as the vehicle that's going to drive your life. So I want you to get clear with yourself and then communicate that to me. What are you trying to achieve personally, professionally and financially? And in what time? And when you can communicate that to me, guess what, I'm the expert at figuring out what the business is. So you don't have to worry about it. And what we do is through the coaching and the process, I help people focus more on the characteristics of the business versus the brand or what the business does, like I love to work out but does that mean I have to own the gym to be passionate about my business? No, it means I have to be in a lifegiving environment where I'm inspiring people to better their lives. I want to be you know, in a business where I'm, I'm, I have a one to one impact with people. So I can apply those characteristics to a multitude of businesses and know that I can get in my office everyday or walk into my, my location every day and be 100% passionate about what I'm doing. Makes so much sense. That's why I have a business. And what I'm hearing as well is choose something that really aligns with a passion whenever possible, right, because at some point you said, you're working on the business, not in the business.

Susan Sly 10:21
But let's talk about the raw and real fact that in, a lot of my understanding, and I could be wrong, is that a lot of the large franchises you are expected to, as part of your training and onboarding, work in, you're in, in that business, at least for like, it might be a day, it might be a couple of days, just so you can understand that business. And if you're not passionate, it doesn't mean you have to do massages, but you might be at the front desk, right? Or if you're buying a fast food franchise, you might be behind the you know, check stand or whatever. So choosing something that you are going to get fired up about is really important.

Kim Daly 11:02
That, yes, and yes, I agree with that. But I'm going to add one thing to it, I think it's because look, starting a business, franchisor on your own is hard. Even some proven track record and their support, if it's your first time owning a business, there's a learning curve. And so if you don't have that strong, powerful, motivating why, and a business that you are interested in, like I tell my investors, look, I don't need you to be passionate. Like if I'm bringing you junk removal, I don't need you to be passionate about junk removal. I need you to be passionate about the, the money that this business can afford is going to return to you and the quality of life. Because ultimately, that's what, that's what most people are chasing, right. We're really freedom seekers, in my real experience. If you break it all down, I have done this for 20 years, I've interviewed 1000s of people who come to the idea of owning a business. And I say so for you, what are you trying to accomplish? Freedom. But whether it's said as control or quality of life, or you know, I'm going to, stability in my job because I'm going to lose my job, or I've hit a glass ceiling and I want to make more money, it all funnels back to freedom. That's what this is about. So to start a business, that is a hobby, to where you love it so much like if I owned a gym, I wouldn't be able to leave the gym, like I don't want to own a gym, because I don't want to buy a hobby, I want to invest in a business that gives me my life back where I can utilize my skills, leverage myself through the proven systems and the infrastructure in the brand and the location and my team and the technology. And then scale that because you know, Susan, in a business, the wealth is always created through scale. So most entrepreneurs who start mom and pop businesses get stuck in working underneath it, and they can't ever figure out how to scale it. But most, I could take a franchise owner who has the dream to own three or five or 10 locations, and in 3,5,6 years, can have 3, 5,10 locations open, right? Because no one location needs you so you can focus more on the strategic growth, right? So it really, it funnels back to your definition of freedom, and the skills that you have, and the role that you want to play. If I can find those things or pull that out of you. I've proven it to myself again and again and again. And on my website, there are hundreds of testimonials where people say I would have, I would have never, I would have never found this company you know, if it hadn't been for Kim, but I'm so grateful that I did.

Susan Sly 13:56
And Kim, Kim knows, I was on her website prior to the interview and I will attest to that. There's so many happy people and, and I don't think anyone should say, I want to go into the franchise business without speaking to someone like Kim. Because there, even though there's not a lot of risk, there could be risk, especially if you do choose the wrong business for you. Let's talk about barrier to entry, Kim, because there's one of the things about franchises is there are like, there's a whole sliding scale. Right. So let's talk about the financial entry points. Okay, so someone's listening and they're like, I'm a flight attendant, I don't want to work anymore, can I do this? I don't have $3 million. Like, please walk us through that.

Kim Daly 14:45
I love that misconception. Yes, there are franchises in every investment range. What I do with my candidates, when they initiate the relationship to me is we gather their net worth. So I'm going to teach you, before we ever talk about what you think you can afford to invest in, The Daily Coach will give you the, or once the opportunity, to teach you what your money buys. I want to teach you the relationship between money and time and a franchise. In a nutshell, Susan, they're inversely related. So the lower the investment, typically the more owner time commitment that will be required to drive that organization. The more stuff there is, a big location, infrastructure, people, a general manager, the less time. So consider like a little sales coaching franchise starts home base, right? You need an owner that can go out and drive B2B sales, can find people, customers. Compare that to a laundromat, which we have as a franchise, right? So a bigger capital outlay to build a laundromat, put all of your equipment in there. But I mean, what kind of time commitment ss it, right? Three, four or five hours a week maximum? Most of that's collecting your coins and going to the bank. Right? So, money and time. So I like the opportunity to educate people, because I want to inspire the dream. What good is it if somebody comes to me asking for help and to change their life and I say, oh, sorry, you don't have enough money. It's no good. But if you can come to me and say I have the dream to own a business, and I can explain to you what your money buys. And we can relate that to your liquid assets, your debt, to your, your, your net worth, your debt to income ratio, what you're trying to accomplish, and I can set it up for you and explain how you can get your money to work for you. You may say to me, You know what, Kim based on this, I don't think I'm ready. But like, I know exactly what I need to go do and when to call you back. Yeah, that's an up top moment. And I've, I feel satisfied that I've done my job to inspire somebody's dream.

Susan Sly 16:54
I love that and that, it's so practical, because the listeners know, I'm always a big proponent of do what you can afford. Right? So my first, I, my first business was when I was 11. Kim, but my big business I started was actually a health club when I was in my 20s. I was 24 years old, negotiated while I was in labor for my daughter, I negotiated the last business loan to be able to do it, and ended up losing the business because to your point, it wasn't a franchise, when I had to go buy a brand new Life Fitness treadmill, it was in the 90s it would cost me $12,000. But the, the franchisee, it would, it would cost them $7,000 Because they were buying in bulk across the franchise. And so I learned a long time ago, the difference between in a business like that, the benefits of a franchise versus say a benefits of a sole proprietorship, plus you're, you're getting, and we'll talk about this in a minute, the marketing benefits, right? The out of the box, here's what you do, here's how you market, you know, so on and so forth. So, um, let's talk about what are some of the hottest trends in franchises right now?

Kim Daly 18:06
Okay, that's such a great question. Well, I wouldn't, and this is going to kind of circle back to the statement I made that when you invest in a franchise, ultimately you are buying people, not widgets. And I want to relate this back to the moment we just all lived in in 2020. Right. So brands, widgets did not keep doors open, but strong leadership did. The reason to invest in a franchise has always been about leadership. After 2020 it is 100% about leadership. So I sat back with so much pride watching my franchisor partners adapt, overcome. I don't mean just barely survive. I mean industries that in your common sense, in my common sense, we would say there's no way that business thrived after they reopened in 2020. But I'm telling you, if you go to Kim Daly TV, I have multiple interviews with President CEOs, founders of multiple brands, from everything from senior care, to beauty brands to fitness. I work with the largest fitness franchisor in the world. During 2020, not only did they sell another 300 locations, adding to their 1700 to make it 2000, they opened during 2020, during a pandemic, they opened 250 new clubs. Like how did they do that? You got to go to Kim Daly TV to hear the interview. But I will tell you it was leadership. It was a moment for leadership to come out and say, we are going to collectively, we're stronger together. And we are going to figure this out. People who have abundant attitudes who don't look at the obstacle. They can see the opportunity in the midst of the obstacle and the beautiful thing about franchising, Susan is in that moment, those, the franchisees, we all had fears, we didn't know what was gonna happen, right. But the franchisees did not have to do it alone. You know this, again, I said earlier, you're in business for yourself and not by yourself. You didn't have to figure out how to turn your business around, how to turn your head around. You were part of something bigger than yourself. And you had other people to rely on. There were franchisors. I said this in a video. They, they were, they were like counselors, because some people needed that. Some of their franchise owners needed more than physical like PPP loans and PPE to safely reopen for them and their customers. They needed, They needed a hug. Yeah. They needed a human being to say, it's going to be okay. Like, together, we are going to figure this out. So I know that I am completely unemployable. You probably sounds like, you probably know that too about yourself. Like I'm completely unemployable. My dad would say that's been a true statement since I was two years old. But I'm completely unemployable. I've always sort of said, One day, I'll be an entrepreneur again. After 2020 I say to myself, no way. The fees can always be justified in a franchise if you are partnered with the right people. But therein lies the statement. It's the right people. And this is why I have a business because not every franchisor that's out there, cares. Not every franchisor out there has the financial resources, not every franchisor out there has a track record of success. You don't have to waste your time sifting and sorting through all of that, if you work with an experienced franchise consultant like me, or just anybody that's out there that has experience as a franchise consultant. Ultimately, they have relationships. That's what you're leveraging through me. 19 years of relationships.

Susan Sly 22:00
And Kim, I love your passion. Because if someone is thinking about franchising, they should be talking to someone like you, they should just talk to you. The, going back to the trends for a minute. So here's what's something I'm thinking about. There's a new franchise-- I didn't answer your question. No, that's okay. But-- I can answer it if you'd like me to. Yeah, I'll give, I'll give it you know, because I think you know, people who are listening, they're going, Oh, okay, well, I think Kim has got me sold, I'm going to explore this. What are some of the newer ones? So I think about, near my house, there is a, like an IV place that is a franchise. So that is something that 10 years ago, there weren't vitamin, I need to book an appointment, I go there by the way. There was, you know, 10 years ago, that wasn't a franchise. When I've you know, considered in the next iteration of my life, I'm looking at things like storage facility, franchises, and different things like that. What are some of the things, what are some of the top trends right now? Okay,

Kim Daly 23:00
I love everything that you just said. So like health, wellness, fitness, beauty, those are things that regardless of what's happening in the world, and sometimes in moments like this more and more people start thinking about their health but they thrive. Beauty, the beauty industry, anything in beauty. Look, women, if you color your hair pandemic or not, you're coloring your hair, right? If you do your nails, if some women do their eyelashes like all of that stuff, those are never, those are very sustainable businesses. I love what you just said. I, so I work a lot with investors, along with my W2 transition people, but I work a lot with investors. And so my investor groups are love storage. I have an amazing, Have you ever seen the pods business? The portable on demand? Okay, so that's a big corporation, but I work with the franchise version of that. And there are some huge advantages to a local office in a market with that kind of business, though. I love salon suites. In this, do you know what Salon Suite is? No, no. So a Salon Suite is an investor's dream business. So imagine Susan, if you were like the landlord of a strip mall. So it's a big capital investment. Maybe you have to build it out. But then you're going to rent to business owners and you're just going to collect rent. So a Salon Suite is where it's like a mall, but only for hairstylist, nail techs, lash artists, estheticians, massage, people in a beauty brand or beauty space. They're independent business owners, they have a full book of business. They come in, they rent the suite from you. And they bring their clients in and so you are the landlord providing an amazing beautiful space for them to run their business out of and basically just collect rent. So my sweet spot, for 19 years I have told people like, I'm not your girl if you want food now. You can come to me asking me for food. I'm just gonna challenge you on it. There are faster, easier, better ways to make money than food. I'm not a retail girl. Like, I don't want to help you get into a business with 1000s of SKUs. And industry, that inventory that you can't move. And it's a sunk cost to you and the margins get so slim. So then what's left? Well, service. Yes. Service that can't be sold on Amazon and requires a human in some way. Like the ones we've mentioned, like a yoga studio, or Massage Envy or an IV, you know, one of these Wellness Centers that's doing not just like CoolSculpting and fillers, but they have IV drips and holistic approach to help. What else haven't I mentioned? Home health services, our baby boomer population, it's never like, these are, that's a long term sustainable business, right? You're always gonna have clients. So anything that caters, whether it be transportation or delivering caregivers in the home or companion care, just sending somebody to come in and stimulate grandma or mom and dad, you know, and make sure that their beds' made and help them make food. Those kinds of services are never going to go out of date. I love, right now trending from COVID I would say the biggest industries that exploded because the COVID were puppies and pools.

Kim Daly 26:24
Everybody got a puppy. So, right? And so, but in the home, we were home, the junk removal company went through the roof, all of them because we had time, sadly to clean out those closets and empty the garage. And then the reorganizational spaces like Taylor living or California closets or the flooring companies, blind companies, home painters, home remodelers, because now that we were working from home, schooling from home, the home had to be redesigned, wanted to be upgraded. People weren't taking big vacations. So they were spending their money beautifying their yard. So the grass like, Lawn Doctor, Lawn doctor is a 55 year old brand. They had a record breaking year in 2020, after 55 years, why? I don't know people were home, paying attention to their grass saying I wish my grass and my shrubs were more green. I don't know what the answer is. But I just know the facts. So and then with all the pool explosion, it's all the pool cleaning companies and then the cleaning companies that come in. So people are a little more focused on the sanitation in their home. And so the residential cleaning companies exploded. So I love service, I've always loved service, I've always been an advocate for low fixed costs, or big, fat, healthy margin. Either way, you want to stay in the same bay during 2020. That proved to be a very strong way to be in business. Right? If no one's coming in, at least we're not bleeding to keep our doors open. But for me, that's always been the way I wanted to help people start a business because you know, when you, you've, if you've talked or coached business owners, and you find the people that are really disheartened that are not really living the life that they thought they were going to have, it's, they're losing sleep at night, it's usually over those expenses that they can't control or can't escape. Like I love anything wrapped in a membership. Because if you, like a little yoga studio, you can cover your fixed expenses with 200 members. Well, what happens when you get to 300, 400, 800 members? What happens is your bottom line grows like this, right? Your expenses stay the same. So this is where you see people really making the kind of money they want to make without a lot of stress. And, and I don't mean there's no stress, there's always stress in a business but, and then being able to scale that to two or three or four locations and really, really feeling wealthy, having one or two managers. So the owners managing just a small team of managers who then manage the day to day operation. I mean, that's the life that most franchisees aspire to live. And that's the life that I encourage my people too.

Susan Sly 29:13
This Kim, the, there's so many different opportunities that didn't exist before with franchising, and because it's raw and real entrepreneurship, so one of my friends was the co founder of Massage Envy. And I said to him, what was the biggest challenge, because he, when he exited he actually went and started a brand new franchise model in the service space. And he said- Waxing City? What's that? Waxing city? I won't say what, what it is but-

Kim Daly 29:43
They recycled themselves, they have several brands and they all have the same track record as Massage Envy. Yeah, yes, it's successful people know how to do it. It just, that's the thing, you find the people, it doesn't really matter whether it's Massage Envy or waxing or orange theory or you, they know how to do it and it

Susan Sly 30:00
replicates every time. Yeah, exactly. So that I, the biggest thing he said was finding the skilled labor. So if I have a franchise, and I'm in storage, the reason I like storage down the road for me is because it doesn't have to have a specific skill. I don't know how to, like I wouldn't have to hire people who know how to do a blowout or nail tack a certified esthetician. So what do you say to people about finding skilled labor, especially during the Great resignation, because this is your, this is, I want everyone to understand this, and you're all going to go to The Daly Coach, D-A-L-Y coach, not D-A-I-L-Y, The great resignation and this deficit of labor. So what do you, what do you say to your clients in terms of that, if that is one of the things preventing them from making the leap?

Kim Daly 30:51
I love that question. So I just interviewed last week, I just interviewed the president of a service based organization, just to hash this one out, like how much is on a franchisor? How much is on a franchisee? So the main thing I'm going to say to that, my feeling is this is one moment in time. You cannot put your dream to own a business and own your life on hold because of that. That's like the person Susan, who says I can't lose weight, because, they're looking for the excuse, rather than the way around it. Don't stay focused on the obstacle, look up at the opportunity. If you have the will, there will be a way. So I say, I said to him, to this President, How much, How much support is there in terms of like, you know, we have all these great leaders in corporate America, and then they want to own their own franchise, and then they're like, whining a little bit over here. There's no, you can't find good help. And I'm like, how about we learned to create good help? Like how much leadership course is there given? How much support is given to help people become the boss or the business owner that can attract people to them, that can build people up to where, you know, your employees then are start asking, they're telling their friends about the great job they have in recruiting for you? And I know sometimes I'm a little too Pollyanna, a little too idealistic, and I get it, but like, why can't that, I mean, look, if we are the creators of our reality, which we all are, it is not an insurmountable obstacle, unless the owner of the business believes it's insurmountable, then- I want to have five

Susan Sly 32:39
of you right now. Because this is th,e so at Radius, we're hiring 60 people. We're hiring front end engineers, and UI, UX people, and we're hiring data scientists and all these people. And it's so funny, because I'm probably the, the, like the optimist of the cofounders. And I'm like, there are good people everywhere. And they're like, Susan, you know, there's like, we're advertising or we're doing this and like, we will find the good people, because good people attract good people. And if you really understand what employees want, and that is, you know, you're, you're seeing like a lot of people, especially Gen Z, what they want is to be treated with respect, they want to be valued, right. And so to your point, good people attract good people, there are good people out there. And if you love developing people, right, then you should be a leader. That's what good leaders do. One moment

Kim Daly 33:39
in time. Those people have to come back to work eventually. This is one moment in time. For anybody who's gonna say yes, in the next 30, 60 or 90 days to their dream, who knows, by the time you're actually ready to be open for business, because saying yes, and then opening, it's, there's a timeframe, there's a delay in there, you know. If you're in a home based business, not that big of a delay, versus if you have to find real estate and construct a store and all of that. But there's still a delay. And so you know, this is going to turn around. Every month, it's going to get better, it's going to get better. It has to because those people need jobs.

Susan Sly 34:15
Well, and to your point, I know Kim and I could just riff off on this. With a service based industry, what everyone has to understand is a lot of people leave jobs to go into the service based industry. I'll use hairstyling as an example. There are a lot of people who want to go into esthetics, hairstyle, massage, they want to do those things. They're in another job, and they're looking for the opportunity to transition. So in franchising, and Kim, please correct me if I'm wrong, you may have a very significant part time employee base initially, right, where you're, you have two people filling one job. That's okay too.

Kim Daly 34:59
Right. Yeah, you can get creative. And franchisors are taking, they've always played a role in helping. But I was on a launch call yesterday with a new brand. It's actually an outdoor lighting company. But their real sweet spot is I mean, who knows, there's so many ways to make money in this world. Yeah, their real sweet spot is holiday lighting. They make like three quarters of their money for the year, in the holiday season from putting up holiday light. I'm like, I'll stand up for that. Like, I would love to have somebody out there putting up my holiday lights. So, so anyway, but they were, they use, so this company, you have, you need a lot of laborers to do the work. They're using, I don't want to say the name of it, but they're using a service, the franchisor I mean, the franchisees are going to pay for it. But the franchisor has aligned a partner, a vendor, to help recruit the laborers for, especially for the holiday season when you're going to be staffing up. So the franchisors have one level of support. But ultimately, like I tell people look, when I was a personal trainer in the gym, I could have the most up to date, like science beat back workout. I could have the best equipment in the industry on the, on the gym floor. But if you didn't show up with consistency, with put your head in the game, put some intensity into your workout, I can't make your body change. Well, the same thing is going to be true to franchise. The franchisor can have the best toolbox in the world. But if, but if they, and create the best environment for you, the most abundant culture for you to get in there. But if you don't show up and put your head in the game, you can't be successful. So, you know, when people say like, Why do franchises fail if it's such a good thing? Well, in my experience, it's not franchisors that are failing, its franchisees that are failing. It's people just not having clear, specific goals, not having powerful why's that get them out of bed every day and get them through those tough moments, right? I mean, I, Susan, you've been a business owner a long time. By the way, we both share that big important birthday next year. So high five to 1972. That's right. So I've been self employed for nearly 25 years, I've been high, I've been low, I've been excited, I've been frustrated, I've made money, I've lost money, it's all part of it. I'm still alive, I'm still going, I'm still passionate about what I do. And maybe more so today than I was because the more that you go through, the stronger you get, like going to the gym, right? The more you can push that heavyweight, the stronger your muscles get. And that's, so you're buying down that sort of struggle to when you say yes to the franchise, but you still have your own muscles to build and to the extent that you're willing to put yourself in the arena, and start building those muscle with the mentorship of the franchise. That will determine whether you can find those employees, whether you will be successful.

Susan Sly 38:11
Kim, I love it. Everyone needs to go to your website.

Kim Daly 38:17
You know where I'd really like them to go? Yes. To my YouTube channel. So for me, when COVID happened, I used to travel all over the country and host live events. That's how I would share my message. And then I couldn't fly. But I had a few videos out there at the time. But instead of staying focused on what am I going to do, I said Get that camera out. I hired a producer and we launched Kim Daly TV and I'm telling you Susan, this is the most fun I've ever had in anything I've ever done professionally in my life. So please, even if it's only to humor me, if you're listening to this podcast, go check out some of my videos. Like we made a video, the title is Laying in Bed at Night Worried About Your Business? And I'm literally in my bed with a night mask on, you know and then I, and then we're sitting at the breakfast table in my pajamas and I'm giving tips on how not to lose sleep over your business. And we laughed and had so much fun producing that video. At the end, if you watch all the way to the end, it ends with the tips coming up on the screen and we put one of those like starry lights on the sky and the feeling, is playing Brahms lullaby. I mean I watch it and I still laugh every single time. And as I'm doing my top 10 tips, the little sheep go across the screen like you know, when you're trying to fall asleep and your counting sheep. Tell my producer. I've either lost my mind or I'd become a genius. I think there's a fine line between.

Susan Sly 39:03
Nice, so go to Kim Daly TV on YouTube and hit the subscribe button, hit the like button. Go like every single video because leaders ask for what they want. So Kim, thank you so much for being here. I know I've learned a lot about franchising today. So thank you for that. What are you doing for your 50th? Thank you.

Kim Daly 40:07
My plans are a little bit up in the air because the plan was to go to Positano, to go to Italy but I'm not sure yet. So we are, my best friends and I are in heads down trying to figure out what we can do.

Susan Sly 40:20
Yeah, it's such a, it's such a different time, right? And I you know, I had originally all these plans for my 50th year and I wanted to have 50 new experiences. Jesse Itzler, Sara Blakely's, his husband was on my show a couple of years ago, and Jesse was turning 50. I was like, Jesse, what are you doing? And he's, he's like, I'm going to learn 50 new things. So I thought I'm going to have 50 new experiences. That's what I was gonna do. And then cofounding Radius and Radius taking off, my whole plan to take a whole year and like go scuba diving in the Dead Sea and get tutors for my kids and you know, do all that stuff. So I might be postponing that. That's all I'll say about that, Kim. But yeah, I will be coming to MIT in the spring. So you never know. We might have to do an episode with us together because I am all down for some hilarity on YouTube. I would love that. I would love it. Yes, that would be amazing, Susan. I've already got an idea. We could go on the MIT campus with a microphone and be like, What are your thoughts on franchising? So like, just do random with all of the you know, rocket scientists that you know, everything. It'll be awesome. Oh,

Kim Daly 41:35
it will be the best blooper reel ever. Because I already know what, what people think. Like I, when I do my live event, one of my slides on debunking myths is that franchising is for Dummies, right? Because truly smart, educated people, in my experience sometimes look down like, you know, really smart people don't start franchises. And I can show you the leverage. And I love the challenge of it anyway, it's not for everybody. There's we, listen. We didn't have entrepreneurs, we'd never have new franchises.

Susan Sly 42:06
There you go. You don't need a- At MIT they understand math because every class I take they're gonna put math into it somehow, like I get, I can promise you. So I'm, I'm partway through my four year program, everything is gonna have math. So when you see the math, it does make sense. So everyone be on the lookout, Kim and I in Boston, or Cambridge actually, in Cambridge, this is gonna happen. All right, well, Kim Daly thanks so much for being here. Make sure you head over to YouTube and subscribe to Kim daily TV on YouTube. And with that, if you have a comment, question, don't hesitate to go, I'd love to hear from you. And lastly, the thing I want to say to you is be an entrepreneur, embrace entrepreneurship, you've got this. And if this episode has been helpful, share it all over social. Tag me @Susansly on Instagram, Susan_sly on Twitter. Lately, I'm in a Twitter mood so not so much Instagram. I'm everywhere on social media just not TikTok at the moment. So with that, God bless. Go rock your day and I will see you in a future episode of the Susan Sly Project.

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Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Mike Walker

241. Empowering Kids With Learning Differences to Become Entrepreneurs – Interview with Michael Walker

By Podcast

What if we could change lives? What if we could be the difference? In this interview, Mike shares his story in guiding and mentoring his class on their journey to becoming successful business owners.

Watch this video for some inspiration that will help you find your why and be the difference in someone else’s life.

Mike Walker has been an educator at New Way Academy in Phoenix, AZ for the past 17 years. He has served as a teacher, coach, mentor and principal for his students and loves what he does. Mike started a High School Business and Entrepreneurship program at the school in 2018, and his latest class has successfully launched a business, B The Difference. This young company was created to bring positivity into daily interactions based on the reminders on their shirts, hoodies and hats. Mike is guiding and mentoring this class (and co-workers) as they navigate the journey of entrepreneurship.

  • Michael Walker
Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Mike Walker

Topics covered in the interview

New Way Academy
Team philosophy
Identifying strengths
Advocating yourself
Recognizing what you need
B The Difference
Finding your why

Mike Walker’s Bio

Mike Walker has been an educator at New Way Academy in Phoenix, AZ for the past 17 years.  He has served as a teacher, coach, mentor and principal for his students and loves what he does.  Mike started a High School Business and Entrepreneurship program at the school in 2018, and his latest class has successfully launched a business, B The Difference.  This young company was created to bring positivity into daily interactions based on the reminders on their shirts, hoodies and hats.  Mike is guiding and mentoring this class (and co-workers) as they navigate the journey of entrepreneurship.

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Show Notes

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Mike Walker 00:00
Honestly, and I really want to get away from sounding cheesy and corny, but that's like so rewarding for me for, to see them understand what it is that they're really good at because again, going based on the philosophy of our school, a lot of students that come here, all they've been known as is what they struggle with.

Welcome to the Susan Sly Project where entrepreneurs rule, startups launch and the side hustle becomes the main hustle. Ladies and gentlemen, your host, Susan sly.

Susan Sly 00:33
Well, hey, what's up everyone? I just want to give you some shout outs, I know that now we're over 135 countries all over the world. And you're here for one of a couple reasons-- you're thinking of starting a business, you have a business. In my most recent poll of all of you, 50% of you were thinking of starting a business. And if you're one of those people a shout out to you. Don't forget to drop a comment on social on Instagram @Susansly, @Rawandrealentrepreneurship on Twitter, @rawandrealentrepreneurship, @Susan_sly on Facebook, on LinkedIn, just wherever, we're everywhere. Anyway, my guest today is actually one of my favorite humans and really was, you know, responsible for changing the course of my son's life. And I have been so excited to interview him. And we've been working on getting this time together for months and months and months. So he has been an educator at New Way Academy in Phoenix for the past 17 years, he served as a teacher, coach, mentor and principal, you should see him coaching football, I just have to say.

Susan Sly 01:40
He also started the high school entrepreneurship program in 2018. And the latest project that his class is working on, and successfully launched and I invested in is called B the difference, the letter B. And this young company was created to bring positivity into daily interactions based on reminders. So shirts, hoodies, like all kinds of cool stuff. And so in addition to running school, the entrepreneurship, program coaching, he's also a dad and just an outstanding person. So Mike Walker, thanks for being on Raw and Real Entrepreneurship.

Mike Walker 02:19
Thank you, Susan. So happy to be here and appreciate all the, all the all the kind words, it's a, it's a pleasure of mine to be here. So thank you.

Susan Sly 02:26
Well, thank you. And I have to say this is my second season not coaching New Way cross country and I miss 120 degrees like, you know, having the kids run mile repeat.

Mike Walker 02:41
Yeah, they definitely miss you as well. They appreciate everything that you did. Kind of solidify the Cross Country Program here at school. And so yeah, you're missed on here as well.

Susan Sly 02:51
Well, thank you, I'm not returning my coach T shirts. So just so you know. Well, Mike, let's jump in, you know, there, at New Way, there are a lot of kids who have learning differences. And just I'd love for you to set the stage. And let's talk about New Way because the you know, there are a lot of young people who listen, there are parents who listen, and having a learning difference in this day and age doesn't have to change your entrepreneurial trajectory, but tell everyone about the school.

Mike Walker 03:25
Okay, great. Yeah, so we are a nonprofit private school who serves kids with a variety of learning differences. And mostly language based, you know, kids have dyslexia, high percentage, you know, struggle with focus, we have kids who struggle with memory, you know, their working memory with processing speed, we have some students who struggle with communication. Might be high functioning autism, whatever the case is. And so what we do is we really structure our classes in our curriculum, to be able to give these kids an opportunity to thrive. And so there's small class ratios, each class usually has between 6 and 10 students in them. They're all grouped by ability level, it's not necessarily grade level, but where they are in the fall. They're in a group of kids that are very similar to them, whether it be you know, the cognitive skills, the social dynamic, their executive functioning skills, and we take them from where they are in August. And we really work with that entire group all the way through, you know, the following May. And so all the classes are broken up into content areas. And so you know, you have math, even our youngest kids, they transition for the math class, for their language arts class, for the Reading Comprehension class. And so it's a very customized, individualized, unique schedule for each student.

Susan Sly 04:51
Yeah, it works. Like let's, it's, there's such a difference there even every single morning, Mike is there and shaking kids' hands and looking them in the eye. And I remember the first time we went there with AJ, like just backing it up a little bit. So, you know, a lot of listeners know. And AJ and his friends listen to show that, you know, AJ really struggled in mainstream school. He was bullied, he was beaten up. And he was, he lacked competence. And so when we first started New Way, there's Mike in the morning, and he's like, you know, shaking kids' hands. They're looking him in the eye. Good morning, Mr. Walker. And I'm like, This is awesome. And AJ had never played team sports. He played flag football, didn't love it, played soccer, didn't love it. But we found that he loves to run. And he was like Forrest Gump, he started running, he just didn't ever stop. And, and Mike's philosophy was different. And let's, let's talk about that. Because I think this is so powerful when it comes to entrepreneurship. If you can't work on a team, you're not going to be a good entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship is not a solo sport. But can you talk about the team philosophy?

Mike Walker 06:05
Oh, absolutely. I mean, I think part of what I enjoy so much is how sports, athletics, you know, really kind of correlates just like you said, with business. I mean, I, the group that I have now for the B The Difference team, it's five, it's five of us, it's me and four students, and we are legitimately a team. What we would look for is, all of our teammates strengths, we recognize what our own strengths are, we recognize what our weaknesses are, and really kind of lean on our teammates to make sure that we have a well oiled machine. And so it is, it's the exact same concept. I take the same philosophy that I have on the football field, and I bring it to the entrepreneurship class, we really kind of talked about what individual strengths are. And we also talked about how to give our teammates, you know, good constructive feedback to make sure that they're able to continue to progress in some of their areas. And it works out really nicely. And so this is so much more than just learning about the ins and outs of business, it's learning how to work as a team.

Susan Sly 07:07
And how do you, I'm so curious about that, Mike, because, you know, in, in, in my, you know, startup that I did with four guys, so I'm the only girl, there's four guys, and you know, at times, you know, I look at the mirror and like, and this isn't like, you know, some kind of false vulnerability, it's like, I have to really check in, like, what are my strengths? What am I bringing to the table? So how do you work with the students for them to identify their strengths?

Mike Walker 07:38
Well, the great part about this class is because it's the second section last year was entrepreneurship one where, you know, they learned about marketing and sales and leadership style, and management, and all those different types of things and some of the vocabulary, and we started our business at the end of the year. And so it launched in June. And so this year, it is purely the application of continuing to grow and diversify our product line, and just kind of become better as a company. And so what we do is, the kids are able to really figure out, it's like, on the job training, it really is, it's just, okay, so this particular student, he's very creative, he has a lot of really good ideas, but is he great at follow through, not so much, and then you have the others that definitely just need the structure, they need a task list. And once they get that, and they know what their responsibilities are, they're workhorses, and they're ready to go and get after it, then you have others that are just great communicators, you know, they really have just a natural knack for how to communicate with the teachers, with customers, you know, vendors, and all those different types of things. And they're starting to discover what their own strengths are, you know, and so that's, that's, honestly, and I really want to get away from sounding cheesy and corny, but that's like, so rewarding for me for, to see them understand what it is that they're really good at, because again, going based on the philosophy of our school, a lot of students that come here, all they've been known as is what they struggle with, you know, what their weaknesses and why there's so much more extra work for other people. And so they, their strengths are never really celebrated. And a lot of times they're not celebrated, because they're not even known yet, right. And so you have to expose them to different opportunities, whether it be sports, whether it be entrepreneurship, whether it be you know, theater, it really doesn't matter. A lot of times, they don't know, because they're so closed off, they don't have the confidence to kind of put themselves out there. So if you put out a platform for them to be able to do that, then they start to recognize and they get this inner confidence that is just so powerful, reminds me of AJ, become so powerful, and then it just spreads to the other parts of their life. All of a sudden, they're going into science with a little bit of pep in their step. Or they go into you know, maybe, you know asking out a girl or something and they just have a little bit more confidence because they know how to put themselves out there, kind of navigate through tougher situations and come out, you know, positivity. So it works out

Susan Sly 10:07
iI love that you said that because I have this, you know, so many times, I would be driving the kids to a cross country meet. And they would, and I loved it, you know, the parents are like, Oh, is it okay? If so and so gets a drive with you? I'm like, Yeah, because we'd be in the car and going to the meet, and the kids are telling me, you know, what their experience was before they went to New Way and so many, to your point, they have been told, this is what you can't do. Okay? You can't read as fast as everyone else. And you're so behind and your grades are behind. And they, the focus was so much on what was a weakness, I guess, right. And one of the philosophies of New Way that I love so much is Yeah, okay, yeah, you're gonna have all these experiences. And yes, you may learn differently. But that doesn't mean that things have to be so different for you. And I used to say to the boys, I'm like, Listen, you may have a learning difference, but y'all don't have a physical difference. And if you don't leave it all out on that cross country course, then we're gonna have words. And, and that was, you know, it carries forward into, you know, I'm still friends with the moms and I see some of the kids and it's fun. One of the things that you taught AJ at New Way was how to advocate for himself. And you and I haven't spoken. So this will be the first time in front of 1000s of people all over the world. So AJ, at universities, he's had some, one of his first big challenges was, Oh, you're 18. Guess what, that means that the Disability Center, you have to advocate for yourself. And that was really tough for him. Because suddenly he had to go and say, here's where I need an accommodation, or here's where I won't need an accommodation, but I might down the road. I feel like Mike, most adults don't know how to advocate for themselves. So how, how do you teach that to the kids?

Mike Walker 12:10
We integrate that, that's a huge part of our daily lessons. I mean, again, you have your academics, you have your content, but especially for our high school students, our main goal is for them to know what the clear then to leave, I should say, with a clear understanding of who they are. They need to know themselves as a person, as a learner as a communicator, what it is that they actually need, what it is that they struggle with, because so often, you know, any challenges that people have, you know, either parent or themselves, they want to kind of sweep it under the rug, and just like kind of really stick to the things that might be easy for them. And they just, you know, kind of just drive towards that, as opposed to just like facing real adversity. And so when people start to recognize their own profile, like, wow, I really struggle, it really helps when I have these notes written down, or if I have an extra day to prepare, or, you know, if things were pre, you know, given to me ahead of time, any of those different types of things. Because most people, whether they be college professors, high school teachers, they're going to be so encouraged, and they're going to just be so motivated to help people who are trying to help themselves. And again, that's another cliche term, but if they recognize that a kid understands themselves so much, and they're asking for help, I mean, that's what drives us as educators. Oh, my goodness, this kid really cares. And this is what it is that I can do to help them because educators, whether it's public school, private school, they get into this profession, because they want to make an impact on students. They want to make sure that somehow that they're able to make a positive impact on their students' lives. And so because of bureaucracy, or you know, testing, red tape, or this or that, sometimes it's limited, or you know, how many students they have in the class, but the heart's still there. You get into teaching because you want to be able to make that positive effect. And so when they have a student that also wants to make themselves better, and they're coming to you for help, I mean, there's nothing better as a teacher so...

Susan Sly 14:10
Well, and I love what you said, is that recognizing what you need, and I want all the adults out there to hear that because a lot of adults aren't taking that step back to go, what is it I need? So when I'm preparing for a meeting, or I'm preparing to pitch my business, and I'm asking for millions of dollars or whatever, what do I need? How do I advocate for myself? And I think that watching AJ go through that process, it really caused me, you know, to go through in my 40s and go okay, what is it I need when I'm coming into situations that might feel intimidating to me and to step back and to recognize things like, I know I'm going to be sharper if I have a workout or you know, have like time in the morning to meditate or taking you know, the deep breaths. And for those people who didn't hear my interview with Mark Divine, who's the Navy SEAL Captain, wrote five New York Times bestsellers, Mark spends a lot of time talking about breathing, right? In the SEALs, it's like, got to breathe. And so this is another AJ story. So this summer, AJ took a summer school's course in communication. And he gets his mark back and he calls me and he's crying and he's like, I got zero. I said, How many classes did you miss? Was none. I said, Okay. I said, AJ, that last assignment you did, it was worth 20% of your mark, what did you get out of 200? He goes 210 out of 200. I said, AJ, why do you possibly think you fail this class and got a zero when it's not logical? And it's just, he had to step back. So I said to him, I said, What would Mr. Walker tell you to do? Would you just sit there and take it that you wasted all this time? He goes no, I'd advocate for myself, I said, So you pick up your you know, computer or your phone and you message your professor, and you get it sorted out. So anyway, to make a long story short, there was a computer error. And he ended up, he did, he got like, an A minus in the class or something like that. And that's, that's the power in not just accepting that in business, we are going to be rejected, not everyone's going to invest in our idea, not everyone's going to buy our product. But at the end of the day, if we aren't advocating for ourselves that, you know, seriously. Yeah.

Mike Walker 16:34
Well, that's, that's a great story. And I love that. I love what you said, where you said, it's just the logic because he is so logical. And he's just like, you know, you have to put yourself in that situation. If you got 210. And you've been there participation points, you should be okay, man, like, how could it be a zero? And so yeah, I'm glad that he was able to work that out. Yeah. Use my name anytime.

Susan Sly 16:56
What would Mr. Walker do, it's a common one. And yeah, it's, it's, it's so you know, when when, when a child has a learning difference, and then you become a young adult who has a learning difference, and they're out of their, you know, their school environment, and now they're out in the world. It's, it's fascinating to watch. Let me ask you, this talking about B The Difference. So I remember going into guest teach in the entrepreneurship program, happy to come back any time, I just don't want to stand out 120 degrees and yell at the boys. But I'll come back into the AC and guest anytime. But the, you know, you're putting together this team, how did you guys come up with the concept of doing the clothing and B The Difference?

Mike Walker 17:46
So you remember when, with a day's class, it was before it was pre COVID until we had all of that class time. And so we were able to focus on that particular group, each of the students chose their own business that they wanted to start from start to finish, you know, go through the whole process. And last year, obviously, with COVID, and some quarantines and us not necessarily being in person, it was just a better opportunity for us to be able to do something all together. The kids were really struggling not being in in person being able to kind of figure out some of the different things to drive their own individual businesses. And, you know, some of them wanted to do products, and then had to teach them about research and development costs, and all those different types of things. And it was just like, Oh, my goodness, so what are we going to do? So one of the things that I knew that, that the kids would be, that we'd be able to get into, was clothing, and one of our kids was, it's actually really funny. He was very indifferent about everything. And he was just like, Hey, did you finish that assignment? He was like, hmmm, you know, and everything. Well, How did you feel about that? He's just like, I didn't really think about it. And so we always kind of teased him about being indifferent. Right? And so I suggested to him when we were still thinking about doing individual businesses, dude, you should open up your, you should start your own clothing line called Indifferent. You know, just have it like, you know, all black shirt with white letters, just like with all these sayings, just like man, that, that, that, and all these different kinds of things are, does it really matter and all those kinds of things. And so it almost started off as kind of like a joke. And he was just like, that doesn't sound so bad. He was still kind of indifferent about it. But he was, he was open to it. And but anyway, once we all started to just we're like, okay, so of all the different companies that everybody is thinking about which one's like the most feasible, which one's the most realistic? And so we were kind of drawn to like, Okay, well, let's do the indifferent thing, right. And so because people like the idea that that it was funny, but it was a little bit, and this was the first real lesson for these kids. It was a little bit contradictory that we have the school that's, you know, promoting positivity and just like self advocating and just like being your best person. And then almost being indifferent about school and life and all those different kinds of things. And so as we started going through the process of how are we going to get this thing started, I had to take a step back. And I said, You guys have to think about this from like a kind of like a PR perspective. Does it make sense that we're starting a, a clothing company that's, that's saying that, you know, we're kind of indifferent about school, life, everything else, is kind of contradictory to what we do. And there's just like, Oh, right. But it was the first real lesson, that's when they really started thinking about, it's not necessarily what we think is funny, or what, you know, a couple of our friends would think would be cool. What would be that overall message, right? And so we said, okay, so we really were already into the whole apparel idea. And we definitely wanted to have a positive spin on it, I have a couple of kids in the class that we're very adverse to having anything cringy or corny or cheesy. And so even though we want it to be real positive, we really wanted to kind of tone it down a little bit and make sure that we had a positive message, but we weren't doing rainbows and flowers and bright colors, and all those different types of things. And so they were adamant about doing something really slick, clean, sleek, it's the words that they often use, but had a positive message. And so we read, we went all the way around, like, how can we do this? And it was just like, Okay, well, what about if we just have like, you know, how can we be the difference in the world? And, you know, what can we do? And so we came up with the phrase be the difference, you know, it was just like, be our, it was like, ignite the difference, or spark the distance, or all these different kinds of things like, Dude, why don't we just keep it as simple as we want it to be, and just have it be the B, which is how we got this symbol here. And so it was really cool, because our digital media class gave what we gave them the project, we're just like, you know, we're really trying to come up with a logo, with a brand, a design, can you help us out with that? And so they gave us a bunch of different prototypes of different ideas. None of them really kind of fit us. But what it did was, it gave us a springboard of us really understanding what it is that we wanted, right. And we wanted something very simple, we wanted to make sure that it really kind of, you know, stayed with a, with black, white Gray, we didn't want to just like really go out on on color, we wanted to really remain kind of on brand, but still have good positive messaging. And so we ended up with this logo, which one of our kids created and designed. And, you know, with the difference. And, and here we are.

Susan Sly 22:24
I love that. And that, and for everyone listening, like what a great creative process, right? So something you can take from that is, you know, you have an idea, and maybe you're, you've got some business partners, you know, sitting in a room, asking some of the questions, you know, what are we about? What can we stand for? What, what's gonna get us up in the morning? What's gonna keep us wanting to do this? And how do you, you know, inspire this, this kid who's like, yeah, I could probably even guess here. Like, how do we, how do we inspire this kid? And you know, and, and that's another message that I believe there's a spark of an idea for everyone out there, right? If you ask yourself the right questions. So what's going on with the brand now? So what are the boys working on? And like, where's it going?

Mike Walker 23:11
Right. So we knew that it was going to be kind of a layered approach, what our ultimate goal was for us to get the name out there. And so we knew that it needed to be a B, and then the difference next to it. And so we really wanted to kind of promote the general idea. Because if you just saw the B, you're just like, well, what does that mean, you've, obviously got to build up some brand recognition, etc. But the ultimate goal is for us to be able to have hats and for us to be able to have shirts with the B symbol on it, and then what we call motivators that would be underneath, Be patient. And to be honest, be aware, be present, all those different types of things. So then that way, the customer can really kind of pick out a, they can pick out a shirt that really kind of resonates with them, whether it's something that they want to remind themselves of, whether they want to give it to a, gift to a spouse or a child and saying this is a family value of ours, we're always honest, we're always present, we're always patient. And so we just launched that part of our business, which has been a lot of fun. Because now people are really starting to understand Oh, okay, so this is, this is really starting to come together because when we say that, you know, we want to have our, our clothing or apparel be reminded of how to be when you're walking down the street and you see somebody with a be present shirt on, just like kind of really kind of makes you think about stuff or kind of be patient, be honest. We're really trying to just make sure that people take that extra step, extra second to really kind of think about how they can make whatever interaction they have a more positive one. So as the year started, we, we dropped our motivator, our customized shirts motivated, motivator line. We've also kind of really kind of dove into women's, the women's line because we recognize that a lot of people who support our cause are moms, and teachers and educators. And they just love it because they're just like, either they want to be the difference themselves, they want their students to be the difference. They want their kids to be the difference. And so they really kind of gotten behind that. And so it's been really fun to see the kids really recognize who their target market is, because at first, it's like, oh, yeah, it's just gonna be high school, college or college boys that, you know, get these cool shirts. And this isn't that. But when it really comes down to it, like, Who is it, that's buying it, who's supporting it, who's buying it, so to see the mindset shift, and to see how these young entrepreneurs are kind of evolving, kind of based on what the target is looking for? That part has been a lot of fun. And so we introduced a women's line where we have baseball tees, and we have V necks and, you know, some different, some different variety of types of shirts rather than just your standard t shirt. And so then we have snapback hats. And we are so excited because starting next week, we are going to introduce our hoodies with the B symbol on them as well. And so we're just really slowly but surely just making sure that we're doing it with being very intentional about how we're layering this stuff out. Obviously, now that it's getting warmer, that's when we're doing the hoodies, you know. And then we're also going to have, which I'm really excited about. You mentioned the fact that I'm a dad, I got two young sons and I got our, I don't even know if you know, we have a daughter coming in January.

Susan Sly 26:33
I didn't know Oh, my gosh, congratulations. Thank you. Yeah, January

Mike Walker 26:37
27th. The whole sports team. So we want to get like an infant and toddler line where we have onesies that with the B on it. And it just says B patient. So then the moms can really remind themselves and so we really want to make sure that we're kind of hitting all of those different areas. Because this is not just about a high school kid or college kid or a mom or like, we ultimately want this to be for everyone. So..

Mike Walker 26:43
I love it. I'm going shopping. So yeah, this is, so what, let's talk something raw and real. Okay. Supply chain. Supply chain is like, you know, it's crazy, right? There are, there, Lululemon is having issues with supply chain, there's so many companies having issues with supply chain. So has that been something you've had to deal with? If so, how are you dealing with it? What's your kind of lead time when someone's ordering from the site?

Mike Walker 27:31
So, Susan, you're going to be, you didn't even know this, but you're gonna be so happy to hear this. Our main vendor manufacturer is an alum, as well. Awesome. So he recently started his own silkscreen business, and he got all the equipment, and he does the patches. And he does everything else. He graduated, I believe it was in 2016, or 2017. We've stayed in touch, you know, just, you know, how we do. I let him know about this, he just like, good, I'm, you know, I'm starting this line also, are starting this business also. And so we have, we can say that our manufacturer is connected to our schools. So we're giving him an opportunity. He's helping us out big time. And he's really good. And luckily, I mean, he's organized, he's, he's the kind of person that that'd be the difference. I mean, he's a perfect representative of who it is that we are. So he very much make sure that he has everything that he needs. Luckily, supply and shirts and hats that have not been an issue, even the fact that he's able to do those customized shirts, and so we can get the turnaround quick. Because you know, every time there's a screening circumstance, you'd almost have to buy 75 to get your, get your money's worth, right. But he's able to do a lot of those custom ones, and have a pretty quick turnaround time. And so it's, it's a very effective for our unique business. And so with that being said, supply chain hasn't been an issue to this particular point. But that's because we're really, really close with our vender.

Susan Sly 29:13
I love that. Well that, that is good problem solving Mike, that's awesome. I, uh, you know, one of my, and whoever wants to shop, you need to go to, Let me ask you. So from a business perspective, so the kids are learning a lot. They're learning, design, manufacturing, you know, getting the word out, sales, marketing. Now it's the finance part. So, you know, they're obviously learning about profit margins and things like that. So where, you know, where where did the profits go? Are the, probably currently being reinvested into the business? Yeah.

Mike Walker 29:51
I am so impressed with these kids. Because of course, when you're talking about 15, 16, 17 year old kid, you're thinking about man, we're selling all these shirts, when do we get a check, you know. Their whole intention is really understanding the value of reinvesting into the company and really kind of building and putting the money into your inventory, and understanding the whole concept of, you know, the liquidity of, of your funds. And just like how much inventory, how much money is sitting in the closet as inventory versus how much is out there, and how much goes into advertising. And we just did a Facebook boost. And, you know, we spent a certain amount on that. And from that, we got a couple of people from Illinois and Texas and Florida and all these places, buying our, you know, shopping at our, at our, at our site, and they automatically made the connection of, wow, we've already paid off the advertising for that just based on this, this and that, and all those different kinds of things. And so they're already kind of thinking in that way. And again, a lot of that comes from kind of the pre work that we did in the business and entrepreneurship class. Last year, I really keep it simple as far as making sure that you know, the flow of money, if we have the bank, we have our PayPal account, and we have our website, so we don't have a hole in our credit card, right. And, and so all of your expenses, and all of your profits are all in, in areas that we go over either weekly or bi weekly. So then that way, they have a real pulse on what's going on. So I didn't want to make it too complicated, where you have all these different sources of money going in and coming out and making it like overwhelming for them. And so, because I mean, again, we're still working with students that, you know, we want to really kind of make sure that we're keeping it, you know, keeping it you know, modified to a certain extent. But again, these guys are, these guys are amazing. And I look forward to being their business partners well beyond their graduation.

Susan Sly 31:52
Oh, I know you will be. And then you know, your whole like, next Phoenix sons lineup that you're, this happened at the Walker household. The final question I have for you, I'd love for you to speak to, you right now, maybe someone listening who either has a learning difference themselves, or they've got a child who has a learning difference, like you, you know, as I said, you know, say it publicly in front of the world, like you changed our child's life, which means you changed our family's life. And that's why I was like, Yes, I'm volunteering. Yes, I'm doing this. Yes, I want to get the word out about this company. Because there are lots of kids out there like AJ, who, you know, for whatever reason, they're, you know, mainstreamed or their schools lacking the resources, the suicide rate with kids who are Asperger's, autistic is so much higher. Then on top of it we have social media, we have all these different things going on. What do you want to say to that young person or parents, grandparents, godparents of that young person out there who has been told you're not going to make it you have all these differences. What do you want to say?

Mike Walker 33:05
The main point that I would love to make to that student, to that family is really being diligent about finding your why. You know, I've heard that from for, you know, in another setting, but it's, it's so perfect. And when I think about my kids in my entrepreneurship class, they would tell you, they struggle with spelling, they struggle with their executive functioning and getting their work in on time, or you know, this or that. But the way that they think about this business, and the next steps, and critically think and problem solve, and all those different kinds of things, those are all things that would be kind of smothered or squished and squandered, because of all of the different muck that they have to go through just to make a grade or just to do this or just to do that. So once you really understand what it is that you're passionate about, and you have an avenue and opportunity to be exposed to that. I mean, you just taken it and you run with it, you know, and you just really recognize like, Man, this is what it's about. This is what it's about. It's not all necessarily first through kindergarten through 12th grade, going through and being great at all of these different subjects and, you know, the study skills and this and that. Not everybody kind of fits into that mold, right? Do you have to get through it? Yes. I mean, there's no way around that, you have to do that. And that's the adversity that you, that you go through. But once you do that, and you really start to understand and recognize what it is that gets you to wake up in the morning and get you to tick and don't be afraid to put yourself out there and get yourself immersed in that and that's what's going to ultimately lead to that happiness.

Susan Sly 34:48
I love that. Know your why and really have that you know that, that clarity and putting yourself out there. I want to, I want to close with this. So Mike, every single day, AJ, Monday through Friday, sends me something to motivate me. So I'm gonna read you yesterday's message. It says mama, though you may not recognize that all the time, your thoughtfulness and prayers have saved the lives of many. It can be tiring at times to be of service to others frequently. However, in doing so, the Lord rewards our lives in ways we could not imagine. There are many today who desire what talents, positions, attributes and qualities that you have as a leader, friend, and as a mother. However, some do not know that only through thoughtfulness and service to others, that you may reach your level of success. You continue to change the lives of many each and every day, whether or not you realize it or not. Therefore, I know that the Lord has promised favor, prosperity, abundance, victory and wisdom in your future to improve and strengthen you in every area of your life. Sending you lots of love and prayers, AJ. And I can tell you, Mike, that that message could have been meant for you. So thank you for everything you continue to do. You're absolutely amazing. Everyone needs to go shopping. Well, we're gonna test the supply chain for B The Difference.

Mike Walker 36:17
Test it, because we got a contingency plan. So we've been working on that as well, because I went to Facebook, I said, Hey, if for some reason we get a crazy surge like, we got to be ready for it. So let's go.

Susan Sly 36:29
Alright, we're about to test that supply chain. All right. Thanks, Mike. Take care. It's so great to see you. And to everyone around the world, if this message has been helpful for you today. We would love a five star review and please share it. Please, please share it if you have friends family, who have a child who has a learning difference. This is the episode for them. So take care. God bless. And I'll see you in the next episode of Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Susan Sly..

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Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Dr. Bill Dorfman

240. Extreme Makeover Star’s Inspiring Entrepreneurial Journey – Interview with Dr. Bill Dorfman

By Podcast

Celebrity cosmetic dentist Dr. Bill Dorfman has practiced for over 30 years in the Beverly Hills area and is known as the ‘America’s Dentist.’  He has transformed the smiles of celebrities such as Katy Perry, Usher, Anthony Hopkins, Hugh Jackman, Jessica Simpson, Mark Wahlberg and Eva Longoria, among many others.

In this interview, Dr. Dorfman shares life lessons that have guided him to pursue success and happiness. In addition, Dorfman discusses how believing in yourself can change your life, how to recognize and capitalize on opportunities, and the value of giving back.

Dr. Bill is the founder of the non-profit LEAP Foundation. LEAP is a week-long motivational/leadership program taught at UCLA every summer to more than 400 students between 15-25+.

More than just a dentist, Dr. Bill Dorfman is an author, entrepreneur, philanthropist, TV personality, health and fitness enthusiast, proud father of 3 daughters, and much more!

– Dr. Bill Dorfman

Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Dr. Bill Dorfman

Topics covered in the interview

Dr. Dorfman’s business
Image in business
Lessons from childhood
Confidence is currency
Confidence versus arrogance
Commit to not quitting
Practice makes permanent
Copy Genius

Dr. Bill Dorman’s Bio

Celebrity cosmetic dentist Dr. Bill Dorfman has been practicing for over 30 years in the Beverly Hills area and has had a career unparalleled to any other dentist in history!

He has transformed the smiles of celebrities such as Katy Perry, Usher, Anthony Hopkins, Fergi, Hugh Jackman, Michael Strahan, Jessica Simpson, Mark Wahlberg and Eva Longoria, among many others.

Dr. Bill was the only dentist featured on ABC’s hit show Extreme Makeover, and is currently a recurring guest co-host on the CBS Emmy Awarded daytime talk show, The Doctors.

Referred to as the ‘Michael Jordan of Dentistry,’ he has also appeared on numerous TV shows including Larry King Live, Oprah, Access Hollywood, E!, Extra,  and Entertainment Tonight.

As the founder of Discus Dental – one of the world’s leading dental companies – he helped lead the company from its inception to more than $1.3 BILLION in sales primarily with award-winning tooth whitening products such as ZOOM! and BriteSmile.

Dr. Bill has received 20 lifetime achievement awards, 2 Guinness Book of World Records, is a New York Times Bestselling Author, and recently was the first dentist ever Knighted by the Royal Order of Constantine.

As a passionate philanthropist, together with country singer Garth Brooks and the Crown Council of Dentists, he has helped raise more than $44 million for children’s charities.

Dr. Bill is also the founder of the non-profit LEAP Foundation. LEAP is a week-long motivational/leadership program taught at UCLA every summer to more than 400 students between the ages of 15-25+.

More than just a dentist, Dr. Bill Dorfman is an author, entrepreneur, philanthropist, TV personality, health and fitness enthusiast, proud father of 3 daughters, and much more!

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Show Notes

Read Full Transcript

Dr. Bill Dorfman 00:00
I think that having confidence is really supported by achievements. Whereas arrogance is just inflated. You know, baloney.

Welcome to the Susan sly project where entrepreneurs rule startups launch and the side hustle becomes the main hustle. Ladies and gentlemen, your host, Susan Sly.

Susan Sly 00:30
Well, hey, everyone, wherever you are all over the world, I just want to send you some love and acknowledgement. I'm so excited. You're here. My guest today has been on ABCs hit television show Extreme Makeover. He is a recurring guest and co host on the CBS Emmy award winning daytime talk show The Doctors. He's referred to as the Michael Jordan of dentistry. I mean, well, we'll be talking about that he has appeared on Larry King Live and it's something we have in common. Both knowing the former now deceased Mr. King, Oprah, Access Hollywood, E!, Extra and Entertainment Tonight. He is a celebrity cosmetic dentist who has been practicing for over 30 years. But if you go over to Raw & Real Entrepreneurship on YouTube, you're not going to understand how that is because you'll wonder if he started practicing when he was five. He has two Guinness Book of World Records, which is incredible. He's a New York Times bestselling author. He was the first dentist ever knighted by the Royal Order of Constantine. He's also a dad, a passionate philanthropist and an outstanding human. So with that, Dr. Bill Dorfman, thanks for being here.

Dr. Bill Dorfman 01:46
Thanks so much, Susan. It's an honor.

Susan Sly 01:50
Well, let's jump in. I want to ask you this burning question right away. What was the first business you ever started?

Dr. Bill Dorfman 01:59
Oh, my gosh. I mean, the very first business, cliche, lemonade stand. I mean, you know, eight years old, living in Granada Hills, which is in the San Fernando Valley, and it's hot in the summer like 100 degrees. My best friend who I'm still good friends with. Brad Sherman and I set up our little lemonade stand in a way we went.

Susan Sly 02:26
Did you? So I asked all of our guests that question and we I've had several different lemonade stand stories I've had, you know, doing laundry for people in college, all sorts of different things. What is something from that initial business that you started with Brad that is perhaps something you, maybe it's a philosophy or a, an attitude that you would say you still have today?

Dr. Bill Dorfman 02:54
Um, I mean, image is everything in business, you know, I mean, our lemonade stand was spotless, we had the best sign. We, you know, I mean, it was just it, I mean, he and I are both overly compulsive. It was, like, meticulously set up. And we had our little cash blocks. And like, we were like, we were on it. You know, I mean, that actually wasn't my first job. My first job was as a gardener, when I was five. We grew up pretty poor. And, you know, my parents, what I wanted this toy or something. And they said, well get a job. Well, what could a five year old do? So, I started pulling weeds for my neighbors and I got, I don't know, 25 cents an hour. And I pulled weeds. And then I did that until I was old enough to get a real job, which was babysitting. And I did that. And then my mother was a nursery school teacher, so they hired me as a janitor. So I would come out to school and clean up the nursery school. And then when I was legally able to work, I got my first real job at at Ralph's grocery store. And then I upgraded to Swensen's ice cream parlor. And literally I started working at five. I have never not worked my entire life. All through school I worked, I've always worked and, and I've had a lot of really weird bizarre jobs, but I've always worked and I've always made money.

Susan Sly 04:34
What is the job that you've had that's very bizarre that people might not read about in the news or hear about on Extra?

Dr. Bill Dorfman 04:45
Okay, this is probably the most bizarre, I don't ever really talk about this. It's kind of funny. So when I started dental school, I had an aunt and uncle that lived up in San Francisco near the school that I didn't really know that well, because we never lived that close. I mean, you know, I saw them at family events and stuff. And so when I started school, they had me over for breakfast. And, you know, they said, hey, we'd really like to help you with school, we're going to give, you know, $500 a month, which was a lot of money back in 19, you know, 80. And, and I'm like, wow, that's really nice. I appreciate it. But, you know, I, I don't even know when I'll be able to pay you back. They said, No, we're not loaning you, we're giving you. So I was very appreciative. And about a year later, my aunt calls me like, panicked. And, and I said, What's wrong? She goes, Look, I have a huge favor to ask him. Like, don't even ask, I'll do it. She goes, No, no, no, you need to hear it first. I'm like, I'm like, I'm just telling you, whatever you need me to do. I will do for you. You have been so incredibly kind. Well, her best friend was having her bachelorette party. And the male entertainment canceled. Like 30 minutes before the party, he was sick. And she needed entertainment. And now this is something I had never done before. And I said, I said, well, I can do this. But you're getting, like, speed up. I mean, like, I'll take off my club, but you're getting speed like no jockstrap. No. And she's like, We'll take it. I did that. And apparently, her friends liked it. Because I got to do that again a few times. And it was pretty funny when you come home from work and you're getting undressed, and there's like dollar bills falling out your clothes. But the weirdest thing was like two months after that, I went to my to my cousin, her son, his soccer game. And as I was walking to the seat, I realized all the women in the audience, the soccer moms, were all pointing at me and showing me to their husband. So I would say that was the most bizarre thing I've ever done.

Susan Sly 07:27
So Channing Tatum if you're listening, Dr. Dorfman is a yes to the next Magic Mike movie. He's got some moves.

Dr. Bill Dorfman 07:37
Yeah, I wasn't so magical. But it was actually really funny.

Susan Sly 07:42
It's, it's, I love that you're so candid about that. Because the, one night in LA, I was doing a speaking event the next day with John Assaraf, and a bunch of people and I'm sitting there and I can't sleep. I'm in the hotel, and I'm watching A&E biography. And it was Natalie Cole. And I'll never forget this. She said, You only see the glory, You don't know the story. And so people can look at you and they're like, oh, he's been on television and you know the, your company's, zoom, BrightSmile. Over 103 point billion dollars in sales and they can look at all of this success and not know that origin story. And I would love if you would share, you and I, before we went into recording mode, We're talking about your childhood. And that you came from very humble beginnings. And the question I have for you have had so many guests who've endured trauma, poverty, Brandon Steiner, he was on food stamps. What is a lesson you learned from childhood or hardship you endured that has helped shape the person you are today?

Dr. Bill Dorfman 08:54
I mean, we'll talk about my LEAP Foundation in a little bit. But kids always come up to me and say, Dr. Bill, Dr. Bill, what's the secret of success? And I'm like, It's no secret. Work your bums off. That's the secret. I have always worked hard. You know, my parents never pushed me. My parents literally had no clue. I mean, when I applied to UCLA, I did it all on my own. You know, the, the acceptance letter comes in the mail. I opened it at dinner. I'm like, Mom, Dad, I got into UCLA. They're like, Oh, sweetie, that's so nice. Congratulations. When my kids got into their colleges. I feel like I got accepted. Like, I did the applications with them. I hired the woman who helped me. I mean, it was like a whole, my parents literally had no clue. I mean, I was just, I'm just, I'm not a normal person. I was born different. And I realized that at a very early age I was, I was in kindergarten, I'm five years old. And I came home. My first day, my parents said, you know, son, how's school? I said, you know, school is okay. But the people, my class are so immature. I'm five, who does that? Then a year later, I come home at six. And I told my parents, I wanted to have a conference with them. They're like, a conference? I say, yes. So they're like, Well, what kind of conference? I said, Well sit down, and I'll explain to you. And I said, this is very simple. I know how to read now. They said, Yes. And you do very well. I said, so I don't see why I need to go to school. I could just read everything I need to learn. They're like, No, you need to keep going to school. Okay, and that's the other thing. Okay. How weird is this? I never got in trouble my entire life. Like never. And I thought, well, maybe I forgot. So I asked my parents this recently, I said, Mom, Dad, didn't I ever get in trouble for anything? They're like, No, you were an easy kid. I just, I kind of always just did what I was supposed to do. You know, I mean, it's like, you knew right from wrong. Like, why do wrong? You know, I just, I don't know, I am wired really differently. And this is, this is the, the pinnacle of it. So I'm graduating UCLA, right. And I get a phone call from the chancellor's office, congratulating me on being awarded the Outstanding Senior in my graduating class of 1980. Like this a kind of a big deal, right? So I call home and my dad gets on the phone, I'm like, dad put mom on also. And they're, they're both there. And I said, Mom, Dad, you won't believe this. They said, what? I said, I just got a call from the chancellor. I'm going to be outstanding senior for the class of, of 1980. And my mother says, what's not to believe? And my mom, she goes, Do you honestly think there's anybody better? I'm like, no mom. There's 10,000 people graduating with me, they picked me. She goes as they should. My parents never got it. It was just the funniest thing. And then we go to this big banquet, and my mom's like, wow, this is really impressive. I'm like, I know, Ma. So it's funny, they were so naive. I mean, but, but so loving, and I'll tell you something, as a parent, the best advice I can give any parent, the greatest, greatest gift that you can ever give your children. Not a car, not a wardrobe, confidence. Give your kids confidence. Confidence is currency in life. And my parents did. I mean, they always made me feel well, and thank God, we didn't have a two story house, I probably would have tried to fly. You know, they always made me feel like I could do whatever I wanted to do. And it's priceless. And, you know, that's one of the things that, you know, we really work with, with kids at LEAP is, you know, giving them the power to believe in themselves, and then supporting them with a community of kids to help, you know, boost that when they're not feeling 100%.

Susan Sly 13:32
I love what you said confidence is currency. And there, because this is Raw and Real Entrepreneurship, there, there is a massive difference between confidence and arrogance. So how would you define that? Because someone listening who's thinking of becoming an entrepreneur is gonna say, Wow, Dr. Dorfman, you're so confident. I'm not as confident as you are. And maybe they perceive that there's an aspect of arrogance, but you're not an arrogant person. So how do you delineate between those two?

I think that, that having confidence is really supported by achievements. Whereas arrogance is just inflated. You know, baloney, you know. And the one message I love to give to people who really want to build businesses and become successful, is that you need to shift your thinking in this way. I never fail. Okay, that sounds arrogant, right? Not really. I never fail because if I do something, and it doesn't come out the way I want it to, I don't look at that as failure. I look at that as practice. And then I'll do it again and again and again until I get it right. And you really only fail When you quit, so if you commit yourself to not quitting, you will never fail. You know, you will always be successful. And, you know, you also need to kind of shift this, this thinking we always say, you know, practice makes perfect. No, practice makes permanent. If you're doing it wrong over and over again, no, you won't succeed, find a mentor, go online, do research, you know. Change and find out what it is you need to do to become successful. You know how I became a successful dentist? I went to Beverly Hills, I researched and found the five most successful dentists, I call their office, and I went in and I shadowed them. And I sat there like a sponge, and I wrote down every single thing that they did that I thought would be valuable to building a practice, and I didn't shadow them. And I'll tell you something I've had over 500 students come and shadow me, in my dental practice, not a single one has done what I'm telling you right now I did. And this is back in 19', This is after I finished my residency program. So that was 1986. I walked into the office early. Oh, that's a new concept. I sat in the waiting room. I watched the patient come in. I looked at the intake forms, I watched what they filled out as they entered the office. I then walked with the patient to the treatment room, I saw them diagnose the treatment. I saw them explain the treatment. I saw them go through the financial part of how you're going to pay for the treatment. I then saw the dentist deliver the treatment. And then I watched the patient go back to the front office, I watched how they collected money, how they check the patient out, how they set up the next, like the whole ball of wax, you know, and I watched the five most successful dentist in Beverly Hills. And then you know what I did? I went and did it better. And within two years, I literally had the most successful practice, the busiest practice, in all of Beverly Hills. And all these people are looking at me going like, how do you do that? I'm like, well, it's easy. It's called Copy Genius. I looked at the most successful people, I looked at what they were doing, I copied it and I tried to do it better. And for anybody in your audience who wants to start a business, go out and look at another business that's incredibly successful doing what you want to do. And then do it better.

Susan Sly 17:33
Yeah, that's beautiful, because that, visualizing you there observing, taking notes, internalizing, thinking about it almost from an engineering process. Right. And Dr. Dorfman and I were speaking just beforehand, because the listeners all know my latest venture is an artificial intelligence company. And Dr. Dorfman, I haven't written a line of code since 1992. So how did I, you know, how did I become the co-CEO and co-founder of an AI company? I observed, I learned, I went back to school at MIT, I got an AI mentor. And then everything that everyone was telling me, I compiled it, and I said, Okay, what if we can do it 30% faster? What if we can exit 30% faster, we can raise money 30% faster. And now what if we can do it? 30% better, right? And it's challenging yourself. I love that. So, as someone who's self proclaimed a little bit like OCD, as you said a little bit, you know, going back to lemonade stand, walk us through your day, because modeling success is the fastest way to get to success, as you've said, so what does your day look like? When does it begin? What are you doing? Walk us through.

You know, I know a lot of people like to do like this morning ritual and da da da. Like, I'm a simple, simple guy. I wake up, I shower, I have breakfast, I love word games, I play Word with friends while I'm having breakfast, that kind of just, I don't know, it's fun for me, I pack my lunch, and then I go to work. I see patients all day. And then after work, I always go to the gym, I go to the gym every day. And then typically, I'll have dinner with a friend or one of my kids. And, and that's what I like, it's pretty simple. Um, I don't have any big secret morning magic things or anything like that. But I did want to comment on what we're talking about just prior to this in that, you know, probably the biggest break I ever got in my career that really helped my company grow exponentially was when ABC put me on Extreme Makeover. And you know, this was in 2003 that we shot the pilot and I auditioned for the show. And you know, the thing, the thing that really helped here is I, you know, I invented Zoom. I wish it was video conferencing but it was Zoom tooth whitening. And we started that company and we grew 2 million, 4 million, 8 million. And we kind of plateaued at like 76 million, we just couldn't break that barrier, there were Crest White Strips, and all these other products. And then Extreme Makeover comes out. So I get an opportunity to be on the show. And, you know, we had the highest ratings of any pilot ABC had for years. And then we immediately get picked up for 24 episodes for our first season. So we go in and we, we shoot, and I'm watching. I'm watching the, the TV show, and I'm thinking, I stink. Like I'm really not good. I mean, the dentistry was good because I've been doing dentistry, but like, they don't teach you how to be on TV, when you're in dental school, right? So instead of sitting there and waiting for ABC to fire me, what did I do? I took acting classes, hosting classes, teleprompting classes. I researched and found a woman who worked with all the kids on American Idol. And I had her teach me interviewing skills, how to read a teleprompter, like all these things. And so little by little, you know, I became a lot more adept at being on TV, and I was the only dentist on that show. You know, they had 10 plastic surgeons and weight trainers and all these. And I'll tell you something else. I'm the only person on that show that didn't get paid.

Really? Yeah. Wow. And I'll tell you how that happened. At least I always tell students, you will have life defining moments. Sometimes you plan them, sometimes you don't, sometimes they just happened. And this was a just happened one. I met with the producers. You know, in the pilot, I just did three zoom whitening. That was it. And I met with the producers before we did our 24 episodes. I said, Listen, dentistry can do so much more than just zoom whitening. And I showed them a bunch of before and after case of how we really transform smiles. And they say oh my gosh, we didn't even really think about that. I said, Yeah, this could be a big part of the show. And so the first patient I had for the first episode needed 20 porcelain veneers, 10 uppers and 10 lowers. Well, at the time that, we're charging like $1,500 a tooth that was like $30,000. So I get a phone call from ABC like, Doc, like, we didn't budget that much for dentistry. I said, What do you want me to do? They said, Well, can you just do three veneers? I'm like, No, this go with work, weird, like three white teeth? Her teeth were black. So I made a deal. I said, Listen, I'll do all the dentistry for free under the following conditions. Number one, I'm the only dentists. Number two, you highlight Zoom Whitening in every episode. And number three, you mentioned DaVinci, my lab for the veneers because I didn't want to have a $10,000 lab bill, especially when I'm not getting paid. And they said fine. Now that would never, ever, ever happen in reality TV today. But we were the birth of reality, they didn't know. So they said fine. So no, ABC never paid me. But let me tell you what happened. The first year on extreme makeover, our sales went from 76 million to 101. The next year 135. And the last year I was on the show we did almost $200 million in sales as a result of this little deal.

Susan Sly 23:57
It's genius. And it also is a reflection of your heart because I remember watching you on that show. And I don't watch a ton of TV. It was not long after that ABC asked me to be on undercover millionaire. And I actually, I turned them down because my, my thing was I said, listen, the only way I'll do it is if you have educational courses for the people on the other end because it, you know, if you give someone a bunch of money, but they don't have the skills to handle it, they're going to be in the same place. Right? And they said no, that's not what we do. I said then I have to pass. And I love that you were in that place where you said no, I'm gonna stand by this. I'm still going to serve the people because it was it, you know, you're very humble. I thought you were excellent. Even in the earliest episodes. The dentistry was not just good, it was great. But it was life changing for the people. It really, really was. And so to think about that, and, and that leads me to the next question because so much of entrepreneurship is still standing for what you believe in and what would you say to that person who is listening right now, who says, I don't know if I can stand up for what I actually know is the right thing to do. Even though I know it could be a career make or break for me.

You know, my mantra for life, learn, so you can earn and then return. Hmm. My career has exceeded every expectation I ever had. And, you know, I told you, you know, the year I applied to college at UCLA, you know, I had to fill out financial aid papers. My family's combined income was $11,000, with five kids. Wow. I mean, we didn't even hit the poverty line, you know. And as soon as we started our company, I give a lot of credit to my partner, Robert Heyman, who started Discus Dental with me, Robert grew up in one of the most successful families in Beverly Hills. His father was Fred Heyman, who started Giorgio cosmetics. And Robert grew up with a background in the cosmetic industry. Plus, he was an MBA from Boston. And the very first thing he committed to doing with our, with our company was to give back to the Children's Dental Center, we then formed a partnership with the Crown Council of dentists and Garth Brooks, we raised over $45 million for children's charities, and we gave and we gave and we gave, and we gave, so you know, it doesn't really matter what business you're in, you can give and you know, we talked about this prior to the show, you can give on different levels. Yeah, giving money is awesome. You know, and a lot of charities need that. Giving time is even more awesome. And that's why we started the LEAP foundation, I was actually invited to come as a mentor to the program that was a precursor to LEAP. And the founder was 85 and passed away. And I thought, you know, this is too important. This is a program that teaches kids skills to be successful in life. So I changed the name, I took it over, and I created the LEAP Foundation. And for the last 15 years, every summer for one week, we do a one week program, where we get amazing speakers and mentors that come and teach these kids I mean, Paula Abdul, Mark Walberg, Michael Strahan, Hannah Brown from the bachelor, Kathy Bates, Anthony Hopkins, Apollo Ohno - the most decorated winter Olympian. Eric Garcetti, our mayor, and on and on. Usher and Jason Alexander, I mean, I could go on and on and on. And, you know, we, we get these kids there. And, you know, we give them skills to be successful in life. And for me, that that's the one week every year that I look forward to most. I would, if you can make it to LA, I would love to have you come. The program culminates on Friday with something we call a mentor workshop, where I bring in over 100 different professionals from doctors and lawyers to, you know, firefighters and police officers to restaurant owners. I mean, you name it, and the kids get an opportunity to sit, it's like speed dating, and every 30 minutes we rotate, and they just fire away questions. So they ask you about your challenges in business and how you overcame them and what your goals are and it's really, really phenomenal.

Susan Sly 28:34
I feel like you need to do a LEAP for adults.

Well, you want to hear something funny. This came out of a program for adults. So there was a program for dentists to go to that taught them how to be successful in business, because they don't teach you that in dental school. And it almost became cultish, this group. And at one point, some of the dentists are like, Why can't we do a version like this for our kids? And so they formed a group that did this. And so they would invite me every year to come as a mentor, because, you know, my career as a dentist is not normal. Yeah. And you know, and so I did this for several years. And then unfortunately, the founder of this other program passed away. And I thought, you know, this is too important to go away. So I brought it back. I made it a nonprofit, and we're in our 15th year.

Susan Sly 29:29
It says stand and then though, I want everyone who's listening to check out the LEAP Foundation, and I would love to come as a mentor. I'm so passionate about empowering children, right? That next generation. I have two more questions for you.

Wait, before you do, I have to interject something because you had a rare opportunity right before we started this podcast. My daughter, Georgie was here. And Georgie was a featured speaker at LEAP this year, and it was really, really cool because my daughter started up her own clothing line. And for those of you who have daughters that are in their 20s and 30s go to, all one word and you can see George's line. And I actually had Georgie come to LEAP this year, and go through the steps of starting up a business, how you got your business license, how you create an LLC, how you got all your domain names and your social media. Like she did the whole thing, soup to nuts. And I was like, I was in the back like bawling. I was so proud of her. It was like such a great, like Daddy-daughter moment. So it was pretty cool.

Susan Sly 30:43
Georgie is going to be on the show. And her site is ridiculous. I know I'm going to be doing some Christmas shopping on there for my girls, but shhh, don't tell them. It's a, it's a global secret, right?

Susan Sly 30:54

Susan Sly 30:55
let me ask you this. You and I were speaking before. And there are a lot of professionals who listen to the show. And they, they come to me and say, you know, how do I transition from being an attorney, being a physician, being a dentist to becoming an entrepreneur? And we had, if the listeners haven't heard Blake York's show that was one of our top listened to shows, he put himself through school, was going through divorce. And you know, working full time as a nurse and then opens up a med spa clinic in Dallas, is like on fire. And people love that. And so Dr. Dorfman, if you could speak to that person, that professional right now who's listening, going, I want to be an entrepreneur, but I've been programmed to be an attorney, be an, you know, a physician, be a dentist, what do you say to them?

Take it from my mantra, learn so you can earn. Okay, so we start Discus Dental, right? And kind of, at the very inception of it, we're sitting in a boardroom, we're going through all the finances of the company and projected growth, and, and. And I felt like a complete idiot. Like, I didn't understand any of this, EBITDA, what's that? You know. I mean, I didn't like, I never learned finance. I never learned accounting. So, you know, yeah, I can create dental products. Yeah, I had a vision, yeah. But to really add to the company and be in the boardroom with all these brilliant businessman, I felt like a zero. So I went back to school. And so I took extension classes at UCLA. And this was not easy, you know, I would wake up at five in the morning and go to the gym, because my wife insisted that I was home for dinner, and she was right. And then I would work an eight hour day, and then I would do charts. And then I would come home and have dinner. And then I would go to UCLA, and I would take courses, you know, 8, 9, 10 o'clock at night, and learn the skills that I needed to be the best that I could be at what I'm doing. So it's education, you need to learn, you know, pick up a book, you know, find a mentor. But if you are an incredibly skilled baker, and you want to now become a yoga instructor, learn what you need to learn. You have to learn everything there is to know about yoga, I mean, and don't just kind of do it. My philosophy is when you go, go big. You know, I want to be the best yoga instructor in the world. I want to be the best dentist I can be. And that's always worked for me. So you know, copy genius. Find people that are doing what you want to do, look at what they're doing that's successful, look at what they're doing that's not successful, and copy the successful parts. And you know, and start your business.

Susan Sly 33:59
I love that because the, I've done several speaking events with Tony Robbins, one of the things Tony always says is immersive learning, right? Immersive Learning is the fastest way to learn. And you're not going to have immersive learning, sort of just sitting back and getting a lot of theory. It's like Dr. Dorfman, I'm going to go and observe and I'm going to do and I'm going to learn do review and wash, rinse, repeat and do it over and over again. And going to school as an adult and a parent is not easy. I have a massive MIT assignment due this weekend. And people always say, Susan, how do you do it all? And I'm sure they say the same thing to you. How do you do it all, how do you respond to that?

Dr. Bill Dorfman 34:39
I have a lot of help. You know, especially as a man it's really hard to ask for help. A lot of men look at that as a sign of weakness, I don't. I look at it as a sign of strength. You know, I have Nicole who is my PA, my personal assistant. She runs all my personal stuff, all my travel, all my lectures, all my everything. I have Janine, she's my agent, she negotiates all my business deals with me and everything. I have Sennet, she's my office manager, she runs my office. And she's amazing people, like dentists from all over the world come and watch her work. She's, she's a one of a kinder, and I have Evelyn, my ex wife, who runs all of our family stuff, we're still best friends. In fact, she just left here 10 minutes ago. So you know, having the support that you need to run your life and your business is really important, and you need to put that team together. Because without that, I couldn't do 1/10 of what I did.

Susan Sly 35:38
I thank you for your vulnerability there. When Dave Asprey was on the show, we were having similar conversation. I remember he said, you know, Susan, he had a checklist of all the things and it was two dishwashers. He said, You have to have two dishwashers, and someone to do your laundry and he was going down the list. And it was in that moment, you know, I have a lot of help, I do. I have a whole team of VAs and all these different people, but I didn't have someone doing my laundry. And so when Dave Asprey, who you know, invest in Bulletproof coffee, very successful entrepreneur, amazing human, when he tells you to do something, you do it. So the very next text I sent, was to my housekeeper, I said, Do you know anyone who wants to come in and do our laundry? And it was like, yes. And now that would be the other thing, any, you know, when you hear someone as accomplished, as Dr. Dorfman saying, go do something, just do it, just, just do it. Now, speaking of big goals, and all sorts of things. Rumor has it that you are potentially the oldest person to be featured in GQ magazine in a spread? Is this true?

This is true. So right at the beginning of the pandemic, they asked me to do a feature article on home fitness routines that you can do, because people weren't going to the gym for men over 50. And I'm 63. So I'm like, Okay, well, I'll do it for, they didn't think there was a big enough audience for men over 60. So whatever. So I did that. And yeah, that was pretty funny.

Susan Sly 37:14
So yeah, I'm very excited about that. So my, my husband's in his 50s. And we both are avid, you know, we work out like, it's no matter how tired we are, if I've just gotten off an airplane, whatever, like, we're gonna get that workout in it. It does. It's a standard, right? We don't get our goals, we get our standards. So last question for you is, what's your favorite body part? So someone's gonna like Google that shoot like, you know, what's your favorite?

So this is really funny. This was, they asked me this, they, you know, they, they always say like, you know, how, how can you be in such great shape? I said, Well, it's three things really, diet, exercise, and genetics. You control to the other one, you're lucky or you're not. So I was lucky there. My favorite body part. I told them, I won't let you photograph it. But I have a really big part.

Susan Sly 38:17
And that is quite obvious, photoshoot or not.

And I love what you said, when Dr. Bill says do something, do it. I want to say something, sign your kids up for LEAP, I promise you, it will be one of the greatest experiences. And we now offer the program virtually and in person. So if they can't make it to UCLA, the dates this year are going to be July 17 to the 23rd. And they can do it virtually. And the program is phenomenal, virtually, but it's even more phenomenal. And I'll tell you why we work Susan, I'm a dad, I have three kids. If I tell my daughter to do something, she's not gonna do it. Now, if 10 of her little girlfriends tell her to do it, guess what happens? She does it. And that's why we worked. We put the students in a group with 10 other students their age with their same interests, who act as a support group to help them be better versions of themselves. And it works. And most kids who go to LEAP will tell you that they're best friends in life, the ones that they've been friends with for years and years and years are students that they met at LEAP. It's really phenomenal that my director, Charlie Gallagher is now 30 years old. He came to LEAP when he was 16. Both his parents are dentists. He saw a LEAP brochure on their desks, said, Mom and Dad I want to go. He was a LEAP student. He went through the program a few times as a student, then came back as a coach then came back as a speaker and then I hired him as our Executive Director.

Susan Sly 40:01
Well, I'm very coachable. So as soon as we're done this interview, I'm signing up my 16 year old for LEAP. So we will be there. We have lots of friends in LA so it's an easy yes and one of our good friends and shouts out to Giorgio. He's the executive chef at Eataly. And they live near UCLA. So shout out to Eataly, Mario Batali, you know, restaurant if you've not checked it out, do. That's an unsolicited plug for Eataly. You'll need your dentist afterwards. So Dr. Dorfman, thanks again for being here. I would encourage everyone to go and follow him on Instagram, at And here's a secret. So he answers all of his DMS, but don't send him like weird ones. Okay, just cool ones. But something you're getting from the show, follow him on Instagram, check out the LEAP foundation. They're doing amazing things for this next generation of leaders. And once again, Dr. Dorfman, thanks again for being here.

Yeah. And one last thing, Susan, I also have my own podcast. It's called ‎Meet the Mentor™. And we started it because I interviewed all these amazing people like Mark Wahlberg and Anthony Hopkins, and Eva Longoria, and Kathy Bates, and Usher and Jason Alexander and whatnot. My podcast is ranked in the top two and a half percentile of all podcasts worldwide. We're weird, like number one in Yemen. Number two in Iceland, number three, and I don't even though. We just got this, I don't know if you could see in the back. There's this crystal microphone back there. I was awarded for being in the top 100 podcasts in over 100 countries. So it's, it's really fun. And these people are phenomenal. And I mean, like Mark Wahlberg literally talked about being put in prison for being a gangster. You know, Anthony Hopkins talks about his battles with alcoholism and how, you know, it almost destroyed his life. Kathy Bates, insane. It's really riveting. So please, you know, listen, to Meet the Mentor. And, you know, Susan's not lying. I actually am the only, I think I have more followers than any other dentists in the world. But I actually answer all my DMs myself. So if you DM me on Instagram, it's easy at @DrBillDorfman, I promise you, it's really me answering,

Susan Sly 42:25
Which is so cool. So and check out Bill's show, ‎Meet the Mentor™, which is awesome, and the LEAP Foundation. And once again, thanks for being here. And to all of the listeners all over the world, we would love a, wherever you are, Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, wherever we are, wherever you were, we would love a great review. And so whatever you're getting from the show, and we'd love for you to share the show. Go ahead and tag me on IG or Twitter or wherever it is that you found out about us. And with that, God bless. Go rock your day and I will see you in a future episode of Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Susan Sly.

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Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Captain Charlie Plumb

239. How to Survive Anything – Interview with POW Survivor Captain Charlie Plumb

By Podcast

Have you ever wondered how some people can withstand intense pressure and still maintain their composure?

Captain Plumb survived nearly six years of torture as a POW after being shot down over Hanoi five days before his deployment was to end. In this interview, he shares how self-discipline, self-control, and the ability to forgive were integral parts of his survival and future success. Plumb believes that everyone has the choice whether they succeed, fail or become a victim of circumstances, no matter where they might be.

Captain Charlie Plumb is one of the most sought-after achievement speakers of his time. His insights on how to cope with the difficulties and the opportunities in life have a positive impact on those who hear his message, those who read his books, and those who come to know him as a friend. Since his return home, more than 5,000 audiences in nearly every industry have been spellbound as fighter pilot keynote speaker Captain Charlie Plumb shares his story and the lessons he learned from it.

– Captain Charlie Plumb

Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Captain Charlie Plumb

Topics covered in the interview

Plateaus of pain
Self control
Love the Lord
Shifting identity

Captain Charlie Plumb’s Bio

One of the most sought-after achievement speakers of his time, Captain Plumb’s presentations are as he is: sincere, straightforward, humorous, and tailored to motivate each specific audience he encounters. His insights on how to cope with the difficulties as well as the opportunities in life have a positive impact on those who hear his message, those who read his books, and those who come to know him as a friend.

Captain Charlie Plumb graduated from the Naval Academy at Annapolis and went on to be a fighter pilot flying the F-4 Phantom jet on 74 successful combat missions over Vietnam. On his 75th mission, with only five days before he was to return home, Plumb was shot down, captured, tortured, and imprisoned in an 8-by-8 foot cell. He spent the next 2,103 days as a Prisoner Of War in communist war prisons.

During his nearly six years of captivity, Captain Plumb distinguished himself among his fellow prisoners as a professional in underground communications, and served for two of those years as the chaplain in his camp. Since his return home, more than 5,000 audiences in nearly every industry have been spellbound as fighter pilot keynote speaker Captain Charlie Plumb shares his story and the lessons he learned from it.

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Show Notes

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Capt. Charlie Plumb 0:00
And I was bleeding and sweating and crying all at the same time. And then my thought was, but if it doesn't get any worse than this, I'm going to survive. I'm still alive. I'm still breathing, I'm still thinking, I'm still in control. If it doesn't get any worse than this, I'll be alright. Then they tightened the ropes and it got worse.

Unknown Speaker 0:23
Welcome to the Susan Sly Project where entrepreneurs rule, startups launch, and the side hustle becomes the main hustle. Ladies and gentlemen, your host, Susan Sly.

Susan Sly 0:35
I want to ask you all a question. Do you ever suffer from self sabotage? Do the thoughts in your mind have more power over your actions, especially the negative ones? Well, my guest spent, it's amazing to me, 2103 days as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. And he's one of the most sought after speakers and authors in the world. He is someone I read about actually well over a decade ago, and I had set the intention that one day I wanted to meet him. So I've been preparing these questions, obviously, for a very long time. He is considered sincere, straightforward, humorous, and tailored to motivate each specific audience he encounters. So the bar is set really high for him. But the thing I want to say about this man, as you know, for the vast majority of people that can't fathom being shot down, and then captured and tortured, and imprisoned in an eight by eight cell, and then coming out to tell the tale. So my guest today is the one and only Captain Charlie Plumb. Captain Plumb, thank you for being here and thank you for your service.

Capt. Charlie Plumb 1:51
Susan, it's great to be with you. I'm honored just to be on your program.

Susan Sly 1:56
Well, thank you. And just so everyone is aware, after this, Captain Plumb is going flying. So we're going to have a rapid fire interview so we can get him out on his airplane. My first question for you is, is this-- why, in your opinion, do you feel people give up hope?

Capt. Charlie Plumb 2:13
It's all a mindset, you know that you talk about that a lot. You know, it's a decision to give up hope. And I, you know, there were, I had a lot of opportunities to give up hope during the nearly six years, I was a prisoner of war. And I kept talking to myself, you know, and in thinking to myself, listen, I'm good enough, I'm strong enough, I can overcome this. In fact, not only can I overcome this problem that I have, that I can emerge from this a better person than I was before I came into this prison camp. And so I kept telling myself that over and over, and when things got tough, you know, the enemy would torture me with ropes and irons and whips. And, and, and I just had, had to keep that in my mind that it's going to get better than this. I know that it will. And it's all in my mind. It's just a question of the decisions that I make not the things that surround me, but the decisions that I make about the things around me that will, that will create an environment of success for me.

Susan Sly 3:19
And that is applicable to so many things. I know we have listeners who are perhaps going through chemotherapy. I have a, one of my employees, his wife is going through Red Dragon chemo, and she's exhausted and in a lot of pain, but she's so positive. She's just, and I love what you said about it being a decision. When you were, when you were being tortured, when anyone's under physical pain, they can either amplify that pain by their thoughts and focusing on their pain, or they can focus elsewhere. And all of the clinical studies illustrate that choosing to focus elsewhere actually does numb the body's processing of the pain. So how did you do that?

Capt. Charlie Plumb 4:06
You know, I set up what I call plateaus of pain. And we get to a point in those ropes and irons, and I would think man, this really hurts. This hurts a lot. And I was bleeding and sweating and crying all at the same time. And then my thought was but, if it doesn't get any worse than this, I'm going to survive. I'm still alive. I'm still breathing. I'm still thinking, I'm still in control. If it doesn't get any worse than this, I'll be alright. Then they tighten the ropes and it got worse. And then I said well, yeah, it's worse now but I'm still alive. I'm still breathing. I'm still, I still have control. I, you know, my mind is still active. If it doesn't get any worse than this I'll be able to survive, and then it got worse. So I set up these levels of of pain, these plateaus that I would get in and then believe in myself that, hey, if it doesn't get any worse than this, I'm gonna be alright. Yeah. And of course, eventually that they loosened the ropes, and then they gave me some freedom from that. But I use that in life as well, when I get, when I, when I get upset, and I don't get upset very much, I very rarely get ever get angry, I'm just really a pretty mellow guy. But when someone cuts me off, you know, on the freeway, or that kind of thing that happens to all of us, you know, we just settle down and sort of coach ourselves and just say, hey, you know, if it doesn't get any worse than this, I'm gonna be alright.

Susan Sly 5:41
Yeah, it's that perspective. Right? Before you were captured, did you have this type of resilient mindset prior to or was it something you developed under duress?

Capt. Charlie Plumb 5:56
You know, that's a very good question. And, and when you, when you change a day at a time, it's tough to really look back and say, well, when did that happen to you, sas there a moment in your life? I grew up a farm kid in Kansas. We didn't have indoor plumbing until I was seven years old. And so I was, I was rich in many ways, but not materially. I was rich in a family and the unity and the love that I had, and we were, had a very strong faith in my family. And, you know, we sang together, and it was a very cohesive unit. And so I think I had that foundation when I went into the prison camp. But I think that, that, that the torture, and the, and the prison experience, sort of validated, validated a lot of the principles that I had learned as a child. And of course, you know, one of them, again, was just, you know, self control. I, I am the master of my fate, I'm the captain of my soul.

Susan Sly 6:55
The self control is interesting as a topic, especially in today's world. So there are so many distractions, and, you know, the science talks about dopamine, it's that, you know, hormone of, of pleasure. So if, if someone likes my post or comments on my post, then I get that dopamine hit, right? And, and we see, and all the studies are illustrating, you know, the drug addiction is on the rise. COVID, you know, alcoholism was on the rise, obesity is on the rise. A lot of these things are symptomatic of a lack of self control. So someone who is listening right now, what advice would you give to someone who says Captain Plumb, I have not developed that self control muscle and, you know, we're not going to have anyone be in prison for over 2100 days, but how does someone, what tips would you give to develop self control?

Capt. Charlie Plumb 7:57
That's a great question. And, and something I really believe in. My father, World War Two era guy, okay. And he was quite a disciplinarian. My mother was a very religious person, and she taught me a lot about forgiveness. And those two items, discipline and forgiveness would serve me well, in the prison camp. I needed them both, you know, seriously. But to give someone advice about discipline, I would say what my father told me. He said, he said, you know, challenges in your life can, can be very beneficial to you that if you discipline yourself, you actually will give yourself more options in life. And I didn't believe that at the time. Because I mean, to me, the definition of discipline is restriction, you know. When you discipline someone, or even when you discipline yourself, you narrow the guidelines. But what he said was, right, was that when you, when you use self discipline, you have more options. If you discipline yourself to lose weight, you know, if you discipline yourself to stay healthy, then you have a lot more options in life. You don't get diabetes, you know, you don't get problems with your joints, you know, if you're, that you do when you're 50 pounds overweight. And so that kind of discipline actually gives you the freedom, I think. And if you can believe that, you know, if you can really believe that, hey, if I can get through these experiences by making the right choices and disciplining myself to stay with the course, and don't deviate from what I know is right. And I think that's where a lot of people go wrong, is that they know what's right. There's no question about that. It's just they don't have the self discipline to stay the course.

Susan Sly 9:52
Yeah, I love what you said. Discipline gives you more options, and I'm glad you mentioned diabetes. So, my father, who is one of my mentors, he's almost 82. And he's, he listens to every show. And he's he's an outstanding person. He was an engineer in his career. I was raised with tremendous discipline. I was raised by a very strict grandmother and a very strict father. And we owned a family restaurant. And so we worked seven days a week, and there wasn't a job in a restaurant I hadn't done from folding napkins to cleaning toilets, all of it. But you mentioned self discipline. So both my father and my late mother, were type 1 diabetic, Captain Plumb. So I made a decision. I'm turning 50. With everyone knows next year, you're all invited, I don't know what I'm doing yet but it's going to be good. And, and I refuse to entertain the idea that I too, will be diabetic. And so it's about that discipline. And also, and I want to ask you about this, I had to change my identity. I used to be the person that read the menu and looked at the desserts first. So I had to change my identity to someone who didn't identify as someone who even ate dessert, and many of my close friends know, I just don't. I don't eat it. I don't like how I feel. So let me ask you this. You, I've read that you forgave your captors, the men who tortured you violently, and you forgave them. How did you do that?

Capt. Charlie Plumb 11:33
It's, yeah, I am a Christian. And of course, forgiveness is a very foundation, I think of the Christian belief. But I found in the prison camp, it was more than just a religion to forgive. It was self preservation, it was survival to forgive. Once we established communication in the prison camp, we were tapping on walls in a secret code that we had developed. And we were passing around patriotic quotes, and poetry and Bible verses, and one of the quotes that I got, which was very meaningful in my life, and this is, at a time, this is several months in the prison camp where I was very bitter. Just so angry about this enemy, that it was violating the Geneva Convention and torturing prisoners, and I was the brunt of all this and I felt like I was the victim of circumstances beyond my control. And, and Lieutenant Bob Shumaker, he's an admiral now, was tapping on the wall, and he tapped to me this quote, he said, you know, Charlie, he said, acid does more harm in the vessel it's stored than on the subject it's poured. Hmm. What that meant to me was that all this vitriol all that I harbor in my heart against these people that have been torturing me, he's gonna hurt me more than it hurts them, and the vessel story in this acid. And it's, you know, and the irony of the whole thing is, it probably made them them feel good if I was killing myself. And I made a promise to myself, that moment, I promised myself if I die in this prison, they gotta work for it, I'm not gonna kill myself. I'm not gonna do the, do the dirty work here. They dragged me out here, feet first, man, they gotta, they got a job on their hand, I'm not dying, because of this attitude that I've got. And so from then on, and this was just a few months into the prison camp. From then on, you know, I, I forgave everyone and I, and I continue to do that today. I went back to Vietnam, four years, five years ago, I had been asked to come back there to, to see the camp commander, the guy who had been in charge of all of our torture, we call him the rat. He was a rat. And they asked me a couple of years straight, and I decided I really didn't want to do that. Then they said, well, bring your family, and we'll make a vacation for you. And so I took three of my four kids over there to Hanoi, Vietnam, and I met this guy who'd been in charge of all our torture. Well, and I think the people that asked me to come thought that I would want to punch this guy out. And, and I think that my family, you know, my kids, even after, I mean, they've been listening to me talk to them for many, many years, thought that I would be very upset to meet the guy who would inflict all this pain on me, but I'd forgiven him a long time ago. And when I saw the guy, he wanted to hug me. And you know, he stepped back and he said, I'm really happy to see that you're alive and, and well, and my proudest moment, he said, I was your, I was your award, he said, from 1968 to 1972. He said, my proudest achievement was to keep you happy and healthy. And I said, Wait a minute, Baba, it's me, you don't remember? But you know, he, he'd gone past it. And I'd gone past that we became great friends.

Susan Sly 15:22
I love that you spoke about faith, because I'm a Christian too. So all of our listeners know. And I keep going back to Mark 11. What, you know, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe in it, have faith and you shall receive if you believe, if you, if you pray that this mountain be removed and cast into the sea, it will be cast in the see, but what everyone forgets is the 26th verse of that, which is, but first you have to forgive. So you can have what you want but you have to forgive. Was there a verse that got you through?

Capt. Charlie Plumb 15:56
You know, Romans 8:28 was was very beneficial, I think, and I, you know, had learned some Bible verses and I started as a matter of fact, at prison camp by trying to sing every hymn I could remember. I can remember 72 hymns all the way through. Well, and here's the deal-- is that it, when you have nothing else to do, you have no distractions. You know, you go back through your mind, and it's all there. It's just amazing. But 8:28 seemed to really resonate with me. All things work together for good for those who love the Lord, and I'm thinking, Wait a minute, even at prison camp, something here is going to work for good. And all I have to do is love the Lord. This can't be right. I'm going to try to, I'm going to try to prove this verse. And so I, I sort of challenged myself to think what, you know, what ever could come out positive from a situation like this and my responsibility's to love Lord. Yeah, that's pretty simple. Well, a study, here's an essay thing, A study was done several years ago about all the combatants in Vietnam. 30.6% have post traumatic stress disorder, PTSD, of the prisoners of war, 4% of us have PTSD. And it's mostly the guys who were shot down near the end of the war. We're only prisoners for a few weeks or a month or two. And so we've gone, 591 guys came home, we've gone to, to be CEOs of major corporations. We have 17 generals and seven admirals, most of us retired as senior grade military officers. We have two United States senators, two ambassadors from our number, a governor, several mayors, a vice presidential candidate, a presidential candidate, my old fire instructor, John McCain, and they're telling us that they were healthier mentally and physically than if we hadn't been shot down and captured. So things do work together for good even, even in a prison camp, things work together for good. And all you have to do is love the Lord.

Susan Sly 18:12
Amen to that. And Senator McCain, so I live not far from where he and Cindy used to live about two miles away, I guess. And, and the reason, one of the reasons my husband and I were able to immigrate to the US is because of Senator McCain. So it was, you know, I, I was very sad when he passed. And you know, and that's a, that's a whole other story. When we're talking about shifting our identity, you, in the prison camp, you shifted your identity, you became a chaplain. So it could have gone so many ways. I'm still a soldier, I am, you know, I'm a son. I'm a, you know, I'm a victim. You had a whole buffet of choices, Captain Plumb, in which to say, This is my identity right now. But you chose to serve. And that became your identity. How did you do that? How did you go from that person who is bitter and angry and being tortured to say, Well, I'm here. I'm going to serve everyone.

Capt. Charlie Plumb 19:24
Very good question. I'm not sure I can even answer that. It was sort of a matter of needs. I can see that there are a number of guys in that prison camp who needed a baseline, you know, they'd lost all the material things. But when you're a fighter pilot, and most of us were, you know, you live a high flying fast life. You know, we were jet fighter pilots zooming around at the speed of sound, living the life, the Top Gun life. And suddenly, in a descent in a parachute of two or three minutes, we were, our life was changed from king of the skies to the scum of the earth. And, and so folks didn't have the fancy airplane, they didn't have the nice uniform, they didn't have the baseline that they needed. And so I saw this need, and I saw that the guys were sort of floundering. And I thought, Well, if there's any way that I can give them hope, I'd had a little bit of instruction, and I'm certainly not, I'm not ordained. But I had some instruction at the Naval Academy and in the officers Christian Union. There aren't enough chaplains to go aboard every naval ship. And so they were training us to be lay leaders aboard ships where chaplains weren't available. And so I knew a little bit about the structure. I, I challenged a bunch of my Catholic buddies in the prison camp, they were the ones that knew all the Bible verses, you know, they'd been through the catechism and everything. And so they supply, they supplied the Bible, for me, in memory. And, and so I set to work. And it was very interesting to see the mood of these guys turn around when they had something to stand on, something solid, because everything solid is gone, you know. You're, everything that you, that you think is real, that you can see and feel and taste and experience is gone. And, and you have nothing and, and so you grasp, you know, for this effort. Really, it's the same thing in life sometimes when you're diagnosed with a terrible disease, or you go through a divorce and, and suddenly, you're just sort of hanging in that parachute, you know, you're looking up at the, at the panel that's holding you in the sky and looking down at the unknown, and you're scared to death. And, and so it was it was just that, that need for a foundation that I saw, and that if I can provide that, then it was a service that I felt, I felt blessed actually to be able to provide that service. That's beautiful.

Susan Sly 22:01
And I, I hope everyone who's listening really gets that concept that no matter what you're going through in your business or your life, maybe you're going through a divorce or the loss of a family member or an illness or a downturn in your business, there is always a way to serve, especially when you don't feel like it. And that changes everything. I want to shift gears. So we have entrepreneurs of all ages who follow the show. So we, you know, I've had you know, 12 year old entrepreneurs, we were talking about Harvey Mackay, my mentor. Harvey's turning 90 soon, I can't even believe it. I want to hear your best tips because you're writing, you're speaking, you're out there. What are your best tips for someone who wants to, I guess you know, have an encore career regardless of their age.

Capt. Charlie Plumb 22:57
Basically find a need and fill it. When I you know, when I came home, and people asked me to tell my story, I said it's a very boring story, you don't want to hear this, you know, find somebody that swam the English Channel or climbed Mount Everest then there's a story for you. It's been nearly six years and little bitty prison cell. There's no story there. I, I really, I truly did not think I, I, you know, I wrote my autobiography early on, and a guy came to me, said, you need to write your story. I said, it's not a story. You know, this is just a very boring time of my life, you know, to the time that I wanted to forget. Not how you write a story. Well, my book is in its 34th printing. Because he convinced me I had something to say. So what I found was early on as matter of fact, I was still in the hospital recovering, and they asked me to do a little press conference. And so I was surrounded by 150 photographers and reporters and this is just a, just a couple of weeks after I came home. And I told my story and on my way up to the hospital room the elevator door is closed and, but not before a young reporter sneaked in, and nose to nose with this young guy in this crowded elevator in hospital going up to my room and, and he was crying. The guy had lines of anguish in his brow and tears in his eyes. Mr. Plumb you, he said, you really got to me in there, man. I've had a miserable year. My family is falling apart. My job is just terrible. He said, I even wondered if I wanted to go on living. He said, you've given me hope. Well, I didn't quite know how to respond to that because I hadn't really intended to give anybody new hope. I'm just telling a boring story. But it told me this, that there is a reason you know, that there is a purpose you know, that there is a, an intent here. And if I can give somebody hope, then it's almost a calling, you know, it's, it's necessary for me if I had that ability, if I can help somebody out, you know, certainly I would, I would, I would give them hope. And, and in fact, and so that was the impetus for my starting to speak. And, and I've spoken over 5000 times since that day, and, and, of course, written books and articles all over, just because that guy told me that I had something to say that I didn't think I had to say, so, you know, find a need. And that was the need that I found that the connection between my story and stories of everyday life, because see, I don't think you have to be in a prison camp to be lonely. I don't think you have to be in a prison camp to lose communication with your loved ones. I don't think you have to be in a prison camp and feel like you've failed your mission. We all do that. You know, that's it's part of, it's part of the life process.

Susan Sly 26:06
It's so true. There are so many people who are lonely. They're on social media, they're, you know, they're, they're surrounded by opportunities to connect, but they're not connected. So I have a final question for you. And I have a whole bunch of notes. So my goodness. I knew you were amazing. But like, oh my goodness, anyway. So going back to Harvey. He called me a couple years ago. And he's like, Susan, I just finished every item on my bucket list. And he said, I went, wow. And he said there were 150 items. And I said, okay, he goes, ask me what I'm going to do next. I said, What are you going to do next? He said, I'm writing another one. And so I'm a big believer. One of the things for when I turned 50 actually, do you know what I'm doing? I've committed myself to learning 50 new things. I've almost died several times. I'm a Boston Marathon bombing survivor. I did a lot of forgiveness and prayer over the two young men who did that. And so I thought, how fun turning 50. I'm gonna learn, I'm gonna have 50 new experiences. So let me ask you this. If you had some items on your bucket list that people might be a bit surprised about, what would they be?

Capt. Charlie Plumb 27:37
Wow, you know, I've done, I've done most everything in life I wanted to do. I have lived and continue to live a very active beautiful life. I've never been to Saudi Arabia, I'd like to, I'd like, that's on my bucket list. I have four grandchildren now, obviously. And I'd, I'd like to be able to teach them to fly. Flying is a very spiritual experience for me. You know, when I first got my wings, I told you about my mother, a very simplistic person, not very well educated. And, and when I first got my navy wings and went by to see her and I was so proud. And she was proud of me as well. But she said, Son, when you're up there flying your jet so high, do you feel closer to God? And I thought to myself, silly lady, you know, God's not necessarily up there. And this guy, you know, he's all, but of course I didn't say that, but that's what I felt. Well, the longer I live, the more wisdom I see. Because when I fly, then look down into Earth, there's no evil here. There's no filth. There's no homeless. It's beautiful up there. And I really feel like that, mentally, I'm closer to God. And my mother was right.

Susan Sly 28:57
They often are. At least that's what I tell my children. Their mother's often right. Well, Captain Charlie Plumb, thank you so much for being here and, and I love that right after this you're going to be soaring up there in the sky, looking down at the beauty and and as Mark Divine said, you know, we all have to retain hope. And at times this world can feel very dark, but regardless, without hope the people perish. So, thank you Captain Plumb for being here. And I would love for everyone to connect. You can go to and find Captain Plumb's books, and you can also--

Capt. Charlie Plumb 29:40
There's a better way, if you will, I have every book that's ordered from my office. So and I'll personally autograph every book that, that's ordered from that one. So, C-H-A-R-L-I-E-P-L-U-M-B dot com

Susan Sly 29:59
And we will include that in the show notes. I'm about to place an order so, to my--

Capt. Charlie Plumb 30:04
Don't place an order. I'll send you an autographed copy, Susan. Thank you. and wish you happy birthday.

Susan Sly 30:10
Oh, thank you so much Captain Plumb. Thank you everyone for being here. If this show has lifted your heart and given you some hope, Captain Plumb and I would love for you to share it. Go ahead and tag us on social. And with that, God bless. Go rock your day and I will see you in the next episode.

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Human Connection and Trust-building in Sales – Interview with Ari Galper

By Podcast

People do business with people they know and like. To gain prospects’ and clients’ trust, we must first understand how our actions affect their perceptions of us as individuals and service providers (problem solvers).

Ari Galper discusses his sales strategy, encouraging business owners, entrepreneurs, and sales professionals to be honest when selling and the importance of building strong client relationships.

If you want to improve your sales cycle performance, this is the interview for you.

Ari Galper is the World’s #1 Authority on Trust-Based Selling and is the creator of Unlock the Game, a completely new revolutionary sales approach that upends the way we think about selling today.

– Ari Galper

Topics covered in the interview

Unlock The Sales Game
Sales Myths
Building trust in sales
Three core problems that your business solve
Advice to someone new to the market
Getting feedback
Meetings during Covid
Sales manners
Trust first, sale second
Lessons from Toby

Ari Galper’s Bio

Ari Galper is the World’s #1 Authority on Trust-Based Selling and is one the most experienced sales growth advisors in the world. He is the creator of Unlock The Game®, a completely new revolutionary sales approach that overturns the notion of selling as we know it today.

With clients in over 35 countries, his global sales systems have become the most successful Trust-Based Selling systems of our time.

Ari has been featured in CEO Magazine, SkyNews, Forbes, INC Magazine and the Australian Financial Review.

In a day and age where technology rules the selling world, for many growth-oriented business owners and sales consultants, authenticity and trust have taken a “back seat” to the sales process.

Unlock The Game puts trust back into selling in such an elegant and natural way, that the truth quickly emerges between seller and buyer, so the painful and arduous “chasing” process no longer has to happen to make a sale.

Ari is now the most sought-after trust-based selling authority among major corporations (Citibank, Telstra, General Electric, etc) as well as for small to medium-sized businesses worldwide.

His new book “Unlock The Sales Game” has become an instant best-seller among business owners and entrepreneurs across the globe.

With a Masters Degree in Instructional Design and over a decade of experience creating breakthrough sales strategies for global companies such as UPS and QUALCOMM, Ari discovered the missing link that people who sell have been seeking for years.

His profound discovery of shifting one’s mindset to a place of complete integrity (read the story behind Unlock The Game here), based on new words and phrases grounded in sincerity, has earned him distinction as the world’s leading authority on how to build trust in the world of selling.

Ari’s deep understanding of human communication and how it can be maximized in the sales process has lead him to discover the solution to the most dreaded selling experience of all: personal rejection.

He has completely redefined how to connect with people over the phone. In his corporate training sessions, Ari demonstrates his mindset by calling new prospects in front of live audiences.

Ari is a practitioner of Aikido, a special martial art that diffuses conflict between two parties.

 He has been featured in major publications like INC Magazine and on global news networks such as CNN/Money and SkyNews — and is also a sought-after international speaker and trainer, having shared the stage and mastermined with successful entrepreneurs such as… Tony Robbins, Janine Allis, Joe Theisman, Mark Victor Hansen, Dan Kennedy, Joan Rivers, Harry S. Dent, Christopher Howard, Frank Kern, Eban Pagan, Perry Marshall, Chris Cardell, Bill Glazer, Alexandria Brown and many others.

His personal insights on how to build trust between buyers and sellers continue to break new ground in the sales industry.

Ari is based in Sydney, Australia with his wife Michelle and their two sons and daughter Toby, Nathan and Jaime.

For over a decade, Ari has been the trusted advisor to sales professionals from the following companies: Telstra, Motorola, Gateway, Clear Channel Communications, Brother International, Fidelity National Mortgage, Oracle, ERA, Pitney Bowes, The NPD Group, AFLAC, State Farm Insurance, Coldwell Banker, Radisson Hotels, AON Consulting, Pre-Paid Legal, Telecom Plus, Century 21 Realty, Executive Search Group, RE/MAX and Realty Executives.

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Show Notes

Read Full Transcript

Ari Galper 00:00
That's what real trust is. I tell my clients fall out of love with your solution and fall in love with your clients' problems. Because if you can connect that deep level with them, they're gonna say themselves, she just gets me. Something about her just feels right. And that feeling, we have to create with people.

Welcome to the Susan Sly Project where entrepreneurs rule, startups launch, and the side hustle becomes the main hustle. Ladies and gentlemen, your host, Susan Sly.

Susan Sly 00:32
Well, hey, everyone, I hope you're having an amazing day, wherever you are in the world. And I have a question for you as an entrepreneur. Someone thinking about being an entrepreneur, someone thinking about getting back into entrepreneurship, when I say the following word, how does it make you feel, an