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Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Nick Cavuoto

271. Unlock Your Superpower to Succeed with People Catalyst, Nick Cavuoto

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Do you know your superpower?


In business, as in life, it is essential to know what sets you apart and makes you unique. In this interview, Nick Cavuoto shared his journey to understanding his superpower and how it helped him achieve success.


—Nick Cavuoto

Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Nick Cavuoto

Topics covered in the interview

Being a great listener
Nick’s first business
Pastor to entrepreneur

Nick Cavuoto’s Bio

Nick is a people catalyst, brand strategist, and executive business consultant for today’s most influential brands. In addition to his accomplishments as a business consultant with Fortune 500 Companies like Verizon, Microsoft, and Paychex, Nick serves as an inspirational figure, activating the next generation of global leaders

Follow Nick Cavuoto

Show Notes

Read Full Transcript

Susan Sly 00:00
Hey, what's up Raw and Real Entrepreneurs wherever you are in the world, I hope you're having an amazing day and shout out like, this just popped up. So every week our team is giving me the 411 on our top five countries, and Malaysia, you just popped up at number four. I haven't been to Malaysia since 2001 when I did the Ironman there with a fractured pelvis. It's also the last time I ate at McDonald's on Kelly island. So there you have it, Malaysia shout out to all of you. Love, love, love you. And, you know, with our guest before we started, and I almost forgot to start the show because we were having this huge conversation. So I was like, Oh, we've got to bring this to the listeners. So I hope you are going to get as much out of today's show as I've already gotten in the time we spent before we actually started doing the show. Before we get into the show today, I just want you all to know that whatever is going on, you get to create your own reality. There's a lot of you know, I have so many people in our Raw and Real mentorship group, it's a free invitation only group that I run, there's some fear around the economy, around inflation, around, I just received an email from Malawi where my oldest daughter's from this morning, their Malawian Kwacha has devalued by 25%. I mean, there's so much going on in the world. But when you're in fear, you're not in action. And remember, you get to control that, and my guest and I today are going to talk about that because he is so amazing.

Welcome to Raw and Real Entrepreneurship, the show that dares to bring the no nonsense insight to those who have the courage to start, grow, and scale a business. Here's your host, entrepreneur, investor, and best selling author Susan Sly.

Susan Sly 01:49
And check this out. He is, I love this, a people catalyst, brand strategist, and executive business consultant for today's most influential brands, I mean, fortune 500 companies like Verizon, Microsoft, Paychecks, and on top of all of this, he has like, check this out, four times serial entrepreneur, over $2 billion US, not Kwachas, by the way, in product management. He's an investor. He's a speaker. He's the host of Mentoring Millions podcast. He's been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, Gary Vee, Fox, NBC, CBS, Verizon, HubSpot. He was a marketing executive of a multi billion dollar brand and technology company. And he's the founder and CEO of And so before I bring him out, and I know what you're all thinking, like, oh, my gosh, what are they going to talk about, because you never know, it's Raw and Real Entrepreneurship, I just want all of you to know that this is an episode, you're going to want to stop your car, don't do this while you're in your car, pull out your phone, take notes, whatever it is you're doing. If you're on your treadmill, I love that you're on your treadmill, because you're gonna want to stop the treadmill, and you're gonna want to take notes, because I already know this is going to be an amazing show. So Nick Cavuoto, thanks for being on Raw and Real Entrepreneurship.

Nick Cavuoto 03:03
Thank you for having me, Susan, I'm so pumped to be here, today's gonna be phenomenal. And you're amazing. Thank you for all you do, and just the contribution you make into the world is incredibly meaningful. And I mean that from a really sincere place. So thank you for all you do. And I'm sure that comes on behalf of your audience as well, we really appreciate you.

Susan Sly 03:21
Well, thank you.. Thank you so much for saying that. There's this ongoing debate like Lady Gaga born that way, you know, were you born an entrepreneur? Did you come out of the womb and just be like, yes.

Nick Cavuoto 03:37
You know, I was born a competitor. And I, you know, kind of have the roots of being a really incredible athlete, I had a near death experience when I was a kid. And the combination, I think of that near death experience, in addition to being a fifth generation entrepreneur now, but my dad was a street pharmacist, you know, like, he sold drugs from the time he was 13 Till he was 30. And my grandfather ran franchises. And, you know, he came from a family of farmers. So it's just been in my, mostly in my genetic makeup, and in the generational stories that I've heard, have all been, you know, truly around, never giving up and having perseverance and pushing through. And both on my, on my father's side and my mother's side as well. So I just, you know, I'm sitting in the chair, I'm sitting right now. And it's really heavy, because I have like my grandfather talking some of the time and my dad's talking to the time and I'm talking to the time and then my great grandfather is talking some of the time. So there's just a lot of wisdom, because one of the things I got complimented on early in my life, my dad said, uh, you know Nick, you're a really great listener. And it wasn't that I just did whatever he said, but I really slowed down to contemplate what the lessons were behind the words that were being spoken and what the wisdom was. And that's just something I've carried with me like I really do care. So I pay attention. And I try to integrate those lessons so that I don't necessarily have to go through the same things that someone else already paved the road on so yeah.

Susan Sly 05:02
Love that. Being a great listener I think is is huge, especially in relationship building, right? And I was, one of my friends, he's the head of business development for Nvidia global. And he's also a very spiritual person. And so he had posted something on LinkedIn this morning just talking about this concept of relationships, right? And how can you build relationships if you aren't a good listener. Because you're not a good listener, you're hearing what it is someone's not just saying, but what they're saying beneath the surface. So five generations of entrepreneurs, I'm sure it encouraged you very early on to start a business. What was that first business that you started?

Nick Cavuoto 05:46
Well, well, the first thing I want to do is be in the NBA, but that didn't work out. So the first business that I got into, I was more accidental in this part of my life, because I was actually a pastor for the first seven years of my career. So from 21, to, or 20, roughly, to about 27, I worked in ministry, and I built a church from 1000 to 10,000 people. Every single weekend, butts in seats, and was really focused on this, the superpower that I carry is the understanding of human beings and understand how people operate. I just did life in reverse, most people get to that point of where they're in connection and contribution, after they've had all the rewards of life and the success of life, the accolades. I started there, so it kind of went in a reverse angle, but I kept contribution and connection at the top. And then everything else just came really easily. So, you know, first client ever worked with coming out of, you know, ministry was a primary competitor to Invisalign. And I just brought leadership to problems. And I just navigated the people problems really, really well, and just built the allies that were required. And when I really had to die in a mountain, you know, I took the risk to do that. And it was a startup and absolutely blew that company up. And they were wildly successful in the first 18 months of our collaboration. And that's what got me in the door to working with Fortune 500 companies. So it was like, nearly instant. I mean, I couldn't have planned the path. But I realized, you know, when I did leave ministry, I wanted to go to the next step. And the gentleman who was the CEO, basically, he was like, You're not going anywhere. And I'm like, Whoa, wait a second. Like this is, this is a decision that I needed to make, but I had kind of carried sonship in a way. And he kind of put a sword in front of me like, you're not going anywhere. And I was like, that's not going to work for me. That's a no for me, dog, you know. So I made the decision to go like, well, then I'll start over. And I think that's where the grit kicked in to be an entrepreneur, was actually on the backside of someone telling me no, you cannot pursue what you want. That's a really, really bad strategy with my DNA and makeup. So-

Susan Sly 07:57
Brother, I need to back up, okay? Like pastor to entrepreneur, like we just have to like, it isn't just like, you know, people listening, and shouts out to one of, one of the pastors in our church, Todd Boffo, who's good friend of mine. You know, like, there are a lot of pastors who want to be entrepreneurs. Um, but you just kind of be like, Yeah, but I left the church that I became an entrepreneur, no, like, was there a moment that you woke up or even a reckoning with you and God, or was like, Hey, I have a different calling. But how did that happen? How did you go from pastor to entrepreneur?

Nick Cavuoto 08:37
Confidence and competence. Those were my best friends. You know, at that time, I hadn't even graduated college yet, like my, the lifespan of like, those middle years happened so, they were so rapid. When I left ministry, I stopped going to school when I was in ministry, and because I wanted to go all in. So I went all in. I waited on the school thing, I got done in 2013, 2014 with ministry. I went back to school, I started a business, I had a kid and I had gotten married the year before. All that happened at the same time. So we're talking a decade's worth of things that were accomplished in 18 months. So essentially, like the pathway was just the level of responsibility was raised. And because I didn't have a degree at that time, and I did end up going back to school and finishing everything, but because I didn't, I had to hinge on a relationship to get a gig that put me into marketing, right? And it's funny, because right before I left, I went from number two in the organization and they chose to put me over marketing. So without that title before leaving ministry, I wouldn't have had the tie in to the next position. And I was just like, Dude, I need you to hook me up. Like I called one of my buddies, and I was like, I just, find a way you know, that's because that's what I do. So I just assume that's easy for everybody, just figure it out. So anyway, he got me an interview. I crushed the interview that got me in and I mean, absolutely explode the company. So at that point, there were things that I knew that I didn't have, I guess, in the practical sense that I was counting on a relationship and my presentation of my interview to kind of compensate for it. Take a chance on me was kind of the conversation. Then I went back to school and finished. And before I was even done at that company, I had finished my degree. I tested out of my whole senior year of college with straight A's, because I just stepped into a different reality of what I knew that I knew. Because I had the practical knowledge of running, you know, almost a nine figure organization from the time I was 22. It's just, that's just not, this is so not normal. So yeah, that's the transition point. It was like, confidence and competence were the two things that allowed me to actually champion my mind and give me the ability to just burst through walls and have audacious faith. Some of it was probably young buck, faith, you know, just believing, you know, ignorance is bliss, because I didn't see all the obstacles. But I am neurodiverse. And, you know, there's certain things about the way my mind works that's very different than most people. And so I have less industriousness but way more of a, let's call it a spiritual intelligence to try to solve problems in a unique way that most people would never think of. And that's really where the magic is.

Susan Sly 11:21
A neuro diverse. I love it.

Nick Cavuoto 11:24
Yeah. I mean, I could put like, you know, that— yeah, go ahead. I could put like 30 letters of the back of what a clinical psychologist would say about the way that my mind structure works. But I just, that you know, I think the most highly gifted, highly sensitive, highly creative people in the world are different by design. It's not an accident. You're not a rare breed on accident. You know, you were absolutely, to your point about born this way, people are wired to be different to solve unique problems in the world. And I think that a lot of times we find ourselves as like, NPCs, just going with the flow. And not in the spiritual sense but in the practical sense of just like, allowing the autopilot to kick into our life. I just see so many people are so talented that have given up on themselves because there wasn't someone behind them going, like, that's not going to happen, that's not going to be your story. And I think that's the people who I champion, are those rare breeds who struggle with doubt and a lack of belief, but I can see something in them different.

Susan Sly 12:27
Yeah. It's something you mentioned that because I was in, all the listeners know, you know, my morning is like, it's not five minutes of meditation. It's like almost an hour of prayer, meditation, listening. And so I decided to open up this free community for listeners of the show. And I wasn't even going to do it until 2023. But sometimes you have to execute before you're ready. And I was like traveling a ton, Nick, and you know, doing all this stuff. And plus, I'm finishing MIT. So July, everyone shouts out, I'm going to be graduating from MIT. Actually at MIT with Dr. Peter Hirst, we're doing a little ceremony, it's fun. But you know, Nick, I'm kind of like, sometimes we're called to do something, and we're not ready. But we have to do it anyway. So we had the the first kind of gathering of the group and, you know, just sharing and interacting. And almost everyone who showed up the first night, and it was only 25 people invited, like it's very, very small, was over 60. And here's the, here's the interesting thing, because what we're seeing in the economy is people are retiring into poverty. We're seeing, you know, Social Security, they're saying, What is it, 2030 it's gonna run out, sometimes it's 2032. You know, really, it's simple math, like, I'm sure they could figure it out. But you know, that then, you know, we have record inflation, the highest inflation in 40 years, we have a very interesting climate. And then, you know, big companies like Tesla, and you know, all these different ones are saying, No, we're doing a hiring freeze, or we're laying off 10% of our workforce. And we have this whole group of people in their 60s who are saying, wait a minute, I'm not done. And so it was, it was interesting to me who actually showed up or who was put in front of me, this community, and I'm here as their cheerleader and their mentor, and you know, hey, go out and start a business, have that encore career. It's never too late, right? It's never too late. It's never too early. So you just saying that and saying, Yeah, we all need that person who kicks us in the butt and says, Hey, there's more to you than the life you're living and the results you're giving.

Nick Cavuoto 14:42

Susan Sly 14:42
Actually that you know, that could be a t shirt.

Nick Cavuoto 14:48
Do it, I love it.

Susan Sly 14:50
Yeah. The pastor at our church, and shouts out to Impact Church, AZ. We have a YouTube channel but he is also the chaplain for the Phoenix Suns. Um, you know, and sadly our Suns didn't progress this year. And the Arizona Cardinals, which there's hope it's the new season of NFL coming up, but he always likes the, anything that rhymes is going to be good. Let me ask you speaking of the economy, you're an investor, I'm an investor, one of the things we were talking about before we got into the show was, Are you pulling back on investing this year? Or are you still investing? If so, what are you investing in?

Nick Cavuoto 15:26
Yeah, so definitely still investing. You know, there's kind of, there's two lateral, you know, turns that I think are corrections. I, you know, I don't, I don't like to play into all the hoopla and use the words they use in the media. So I just call it a correction, which is actually a good thing. Corrections are great, it puts the money in the hands of the right people and takes it out of the hands of the wrong people in a lot of ways. And so for me in this season, right now, I'm looking at it also post COVID. While traditionally there have been a lot of different industries, whether marketing, tech, housing, and real estate, and other, other kind of facets within that, within that arena, I'm looking at a lot of salt of the earth type of businesses. And you haven't followed him very close. But Dan Pena, you know, QLA, a lot of the methodologies are around, you know, baby boomers who are exiting. And this is something we've known for a long time. But what really got me was, my best friend is an M&A attorney at Baker Hahn in Cleveland, it's a top 10 firm, and he's a partner there. And I just was starting to really understand what the M&A world looks like right now. And, and also starting to understand, you know, some of the different complexities and opportunities that COVID created. And I met with Vision Source, which is the largest marketing group for optometrists. And they shared some information around, I'm just kind of working through disclosure here in my brain, around a lot of PE groups that are, that are pursuing the optometry offices, that it's been rather disruptive actually. So I think there's a lot of truth in things that in the post COVID world aren't that are a little bit more reliable, practical, salt of the earth type of businesses, franchise opportunities that are, you know, much more consistent, reliable, and hiring the right entrepreneur. I think that empowering factor for me is what feels right right now versus you know, giving up a lot and through a spat or something, and then driving that through where my money gets tied up or something. And, you know, there, it's just really being consciously aware of where the money is gonna go and how the return is going to happen. And again, my decision making processes weigh more on my gut, weigh less on anything more than a practical assessment, like I don't read into it too far. But I just believe that there's kind of multiple industries, within health and also within, you know, kind of the everyday things like restoration companies, for example, are extremely profitable. You can really empower, you know, an entrepreneur to be a founder in a way and you could be an investor. And I want to bet on people. There's something just I don't know, it's gritty about me that I want to bet on individuals that want to start and get their, get their entrepreneur, you know, guns firing in a way, and that just excites me in a different way. But it feels like the right timing for that. So that's where I'm at. How about you?

Susan Sly 18:27
That's, that's how you would say that. Yeah, I'm happy to talk about that. The, because I hadn't really been thinking about businesses there, you know, targeting a rapidly aging population. And I think that's, that's a really interesting come from. So I'm being definitely more cautious this year, not so much because of the economy because I firmly believe we make our own economy, we adapt, adapt to our terrain, whatever is going on. So my biggest investment right now is a company called BlocPal. And so they, speaking of people, so I've known one of the co founders, Rob Stewart for like, almost 20 years. And he's, he is a lovely human, amazing person, but he will not lose. He is like the person you want if you're backed in a corner in a street fight, you don't want to fight but you know, it's going to end up in a fight, you want Rob, he's very scrappy. And so they're providing crypto payments in the developing world and going back to the Malawian Kwacha, I think this is the only episode in almost 300 shows where I've said kwacha now four times. Anyway, I still have some, I've been to Malawi, so many times I have Kwachas at home in my wallet. Anyway, so you know, we're seeing what's happening with the Turkish Lira. We're seeing what's happening in a lot of these countries, and they, because they're not stabilizing against, say, a gold standard, so the currencies in some of the countries are run by dictators. They don't have that stability. So they're facilitating payments for people and the company is growing like wildfire in India, in Mexico, and so they're only a few years old. And already in Q1 of this year, I believe they facilitated a billion US in payments. So, that one is one I'm super bullish on and they're, you know, they're just doing great things for their investors. For me, I look at the founding team. So have you had success, it doesn't have to be in the same vertical, because look at Adam Neumann, WeWork. They just gave him $70 million. And dude is like, you know, if you watch the documentary, we crash, right? It's like, dude is like, you know, but Silicon Valley's like, here have a bunch of money, right? Oh, my gosh. So I'm looking at 10 founder get an ROI on that company. Can we get an EBITA that is going to be strong for investors where we can have like a 10x or 20x, multiple, what is that exit timeline? How long am I going to tie my money up? And then I also, I like to invest where I have a say. I'm not trying to micromanage, but I do have a wealth of experience. So I don't just necessarily want to be a sideline investor. In my incubator, Fem Boss, we're gonna do a pitch-athon in July. And so we just accepted one co founder team, and I've known these gals for over 10 years. And they have made millions and millions of dollars in a whole other sector. So do you think they're going to be capable to do it in a new sector, Yes. So that's what I look for personally, like you said, it's really about the team. Now, let's talk about, still on the topic of the economy. If you lost everything today, like everything, what would you do in this economy? What would your first steps be?

Nick Cavuoto 21:58
Well, I did lose a lot when COVID hit. And it was primarily cash flow. So then I had to rely on you know, investment in order to close the gap. So I think the primary thing I would focus on, if I was to lose everything today, would be truly looking at what's the most realistic, beneficial way for me to generate consistent and growing cash flow. Because when the correction happens, and you have things that are tied up, and either opportunity markets, or they're tied up in real estate, or whatever, you know, I think liquidation was like, if someone, for example's in housing, Zillow started selling all their properties 12, 18 months ago. Like that, to me was the signal that like, this is happening. May have been nine to 12 months ago at this point. But I saw that wave coming. So even some, you know, decisions in my world, were switching around of like, you know, you don't want to sell when that bell curve tips in the opposite direction. And I think it was, I think it's a good time because of the length of the run of the real estate growth. And it's been rather extreme, as we all know, but that's what I would, that's what I would position. I would I would liquidate what I can, I would reinvest it into cash, cash flow generated opportunities, and I would just build a mound of cash and bet on entrepreneurs who, who I have relationship with. And then I'd make some really smart investments when it comes to something that has high growth, you know. People gotta make sure they don't forget that in 2008 to 2010, you know, that's like when Venmo was created. And you know, Instacart and, like Uber. So like, the best things are definitely right here in this market correction. And so that's just what my gut says right now. It would be leaning into high cash flow opportunities. And I think that would put me in a cash position to start investing towards the talent of that, you know, this, this 18 month to two year cycle, and then I would just, I'd bet really hard. Really, really, really hard.

Susan Sly 24:03
I absolutely, and when Zillow started selling off the properties that was one for me. The other thing was looking at the student loan crisis, and when the freeze was going to end on evictions and student loan repayment and everything else, and then I was saying to my team, I'm like, listen, we never operate from fear, we operate from facts but if you, if you look at how things are charting, and then there were, there were things like Ukraine, right? That was just you know, another factor in this whole equation that was inevitable anyway. So taking a cash position, and I know many friends who advise a lot of people and they had their people putting 25% of their portfolio in cash toward Q4 of last year, right? So being, if you're in a cash position, you're in a great position. And that's, there's always that, you know that come from. So if you had a crystal ball, and you were given one of the gifts of Corinthians and you could prophesize the future, how long do you think in your humble opinion that, you know, only 1000s of people are listening to you right now, but how long do you think we're gonna be in this economic cycle?

Nick Cavuoto 25:22
Yeah, I think, you know, I look, I look at it, I would say 18 to 24 months at the most, but I think 18. You look at the timing of what's happening with midterms right now, which I think are not going to turn out too well for the established party. And I think that they are going to have to do something, you know, within the next 18 to 24 months before we're hitting a point of where there's a presidential election. So a lot of those optics are almost like I know, in marketing, the most amount of money is spent in the least amount of time in politics. So it's kind of like, we know there's going to be a lot of cash expenditure happening there, there's gonna be a lot of lobbying, there's a lot of things, a lot of people trying to get their bite of the apple, and they're gonna have to do something. You know, in recent polls, Biden's numbers are at about 53%, for COVID response, but they're 20 to 23% when it comes to inflation, and also when it comes to the gas prices, and what's affecting the, you know, everyday consumer, and, you know, middle America, and everything else is lower than 35%. So, the confidence scale, like they've got to tip that and the other direction if they want to win, which will require some policy changes. Here's the thing I'm looking at, though, with the inflation part. And I know that there's plenty of probably on both sides, but plenty of conservatives who are like, they're using it as a talking piece to say, What is he doing? What is Biden doing? What is the administration doing? I don't think there's heavy action being taken at all. At the same time, I don't know if there should be. These corrections are actually really beneficial for people who do the right thing. Just like anything in life, you know, where there's not a void, there's not a need. And so wehre this creates a void, it's going to create a need for everything to rise back up. And I think that's part of the entrepreneurial spirit. So while I'm rather moderate in my own views, I think that, uh, you know, I love our economy booming, I predicted six to $7, you know, gas prices two years before it happened. But I could see the, I could see the change happening, and I could see some of those challenges. So that's my prediction. 18, I think 18 ish months. And they're gonna have to do something simply because there's another election coming. That's it.

Susan Sly 27:34
I think there's gonna be a wave of, and I saw this during the last recession, there was a wave of middle class, middle income people who were professionals. They were attorneys, they were chiropractors, they were engineers, they started looking at side hustles that were not, I mean, back in those days, we weren't DoorDash, driving DoorDash and Uber and stuff. And these aren't people that were looking to add five to 100 to 1000 a month to their bottom line. They're already living very high consumer lifestyles. They have two cars, they have car payments, they have kids and the you know, whether it's hockey camp, I'm from Canada, so it just had, but that was, it came out of my mouth. Whether it's you know, hockey camp, soccer camp, whatever it was, all of the mortgage. So they were looking for ways to add an additional four to $5,000 to their bottom line. So I think we're going to see a wave of people who look at whether it's affiliate marketing or whether it's some form of way that in, or Astra consulting, even we're going to start to see this cohort of people, and I was one, wanting to add money. And that I believe is going to, is starting right now and back in, and what a lot of people maybe, depending where you live, you might not remember, but back in '08, '09 we had a SARS pandemic. And so in Canada, we, a lot of the, a lot of the things they did when it came to COVID were based on the failures in SARS, right? So we had an economic downturn, we had a massive recession, we had a pandemic, and tell me when it's not sounding all familiar. So what I've been saying for the past two years is it's just inevitable because everything goes in cycles. Where do you want to be in this cycle? And I think if we had time, we could even riff off about during COVID where 40% of Americans who didn't need to, pull money out of their 401 K at the highest tax rates, because they were afraid. And I think my my message is, don't panic. Just work harder.

Nick Cavuoto 29:41
It's true. It's so true. Yeah. And, you know, I think that's what's, you have the inflation, you have the housing market that has really boomed then you have the inflation on top of that. I mean, I'm in Denver. We've lived in this house for almost three years and it has doubled in value. And it's over tripled what happened in the first house it built in 2010. So in the first like, I don't know, nine years, it's tripled that growth just in the last two. So like, that's actually what we chose to do, because I'm predicting these things that are happening and looking at the market. So we'll be 100% liquid from anything, no doubt, and 100% liquid, our house is, you know, in the process of being sold right now. So all that timing and just hitting those moments correctly, heavy cash position, exited all the right things at the right time. Like when I saw the thing with evey cars pop, like I sold the Tesla for like, a couple $1,000 less than I paid for it three years ago. So I just monitor these things on the gut level by just understanding how these cycles are changing. And that's just the same reason of why I'm really good at understanding human behavior and people. Like I use that same gut responsive, If This Then That, Deductive reasoning, risk tolerance. And a lot of that comes from growing up as a kid and, you know, having to understand what the temperament in the house was going to be when you know, when dad got home. And you've learned a lot of lessons around, How's this situation gonna play out? And I can do it very quickly in my mind of what's the risk? What's the reward? What's the response? And I do the same thing with markets, I do the same thing with, you know, analyzing opportunities. And yeah, so I just, I think people let your, your intuition is your compass and your intellect is your calculator, just use the right tool for the job. And I think a lot of people are trying to calculate what's going to happen. Let me just nose dive into the data. No, the data is good. It doesn't lie. It's there. But what does your gut say? Because that's how billionaires make decisions. They're relationally driven and they base everything off of their intuition. And that's the superpower.

Susan Sly 29:47
I was doing a talk and it was like being simulcast like all over the world. 1000s 1000s. And just out of the blue, I'm like, I believe in two things, God and Math. Like, it's just like, I believe in God and Math. And like, that's the bottom line. Right? And, you know, like you said, the billionaires are making, they're looking at charts, they're making calculated decisions, but then they've got the wisdom of the gut. And this brings me to my last question for you. So we were talking before the show about this concept of redemption. And there are people listening to the show right now. And they're like, you know, I've had so many highs and lows, and maybe I can think of one of our listeners, I know who's going through a cancer battle right now. And many of the listeners are friends. And they were just, you know, they they send me messages, would you pray for me, you know, and they're going through a cancer rattle, and they had started a business, and then suddenly, they're sidelined, you know, by focusing on surviving, not thriving. And we were talking about this concept of redemption. And this, you know, so often, we want to talk about, oh, you know, all these starters, or so and so raised money or whatever. But what about redemption? Yeah, I'd love for you to speak to that person going through cancer right now, very positive, listens to every single show. What do you say to them?

Nick Cavuoto 33:21
This too, shall pass is a very important concept of just remembering. And the analytical part of me says that, you know, death is required before rebirth. And that might be to an old idea and old paradigm, an old way of, of being. It might be to an old version of your physical body. And this will invite in a new form of your physical body that is undefeated, you know, and that is looking towards the future in a beautiful way. And with a story of overcoming. I've always been for the underdog. I've always been the type of person who has always championed people who are wildly different, who are rare breeds, who have unique things about them that most people would never understand. And that was the bridge of acceptance. And so I've walked the line with a lot of people and a lot of unique situations, and those who certainly who have found physical ailment to be a challenge, whether it's sickness, or whether it's just the way that they were born, and maybe they're different. And so I think it's an acceptance that our awareness can increase and we can ask what is our responsibility in this. You champion your responsibility, and then you allow your story of redemption to be the thing that actually pulls you into the future of what that looks like. And so I just remember, I'm just remembering, and this is just like a, this is my dialect. So roll with me. But I was just remembering yesterday the story of the Israelites going into the promised land. And so for that person who is struggling, you're about to go into your promised land because I know that right when you feel like you need to give up, you're right around the corner from the breakthrough that God has for you. And so just stay the course, stay the line. I remember as a kid drowning going, like if I can just last like five more seconds. Hopefully someone will come get me. And it did, it happened. And I thank God that my dad did. But I'm just asking you to hold on because here's the thing, when the Israelites were crossing over from the, from the desert into the promised land, you know, first the priests went in with the Ark of the Covenant, which is just really the representation of having God on their side. As they walked through the water, it started to part and at the bottom of the sea, it became dry, and every tribe of Israel, so there's 12, that walked through the bottom of the sea grabbed the stone. And when they got into the promised land, and they were getting ready to face the Giants, they stack the stones on top of one another. And they looked back and remembered every great thing that God did for them, that literally he parted the sea, parted an ocean, if you will, so they could grab a dry stone from the bottom of the frickin Earth. And if he can do that, what else can he do in the season of trial that you're in right now? So people who are trying and you may be tired, but you're trying. My encouragement to you is to allow your strength to just be found in the reflection of your past. I think redemption has a lot more to do with reflection than just blind faith. So that's my encouragement. If God did it once he can do it again

Susan Sly 36:27
I just wrote that down, redemption has a lot to do with reflection. And on social, so all of you know our team makes quote cards, that is going to be a quote card. That is like, Nick Cavuoto, that is the quote card, like seriously. And it doesn't, you know, like Nick and I are obviously believers, but it doesn't matter where you're at, but you've got to believe that there is a higher power out there that is benevolent and can work miracles because that, miracles have been worked for billions of people throughout history. And so why not you? Nick, I love that. So Nick and I are going to be new best friends and I encourage you to go to his website Nick, I definitely want to have you back because I think there was so many things that we could have spoken about that we just didn't. But for all of the, you know I love it. I love it when you guys go to drop me a note. I actually read the notes for all the shows, I read all the reviews. If you're, wherever you are iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, wherever it is, iHeart Radio, just go drop a review. I read them all. And just, if this show has touched you, please let us know and share it on social. Tag Nick and I because that's the whole goal of the show is just to spread all over the world with this message that if it's possible for one person it is 100% possible for you. So Nick, thank you so much for being here.

Nick Cavuoto 38:02
You're welcome. Thank you for having me. It was an absolute joy. So I appreciate you so much. Thanks again.

Susan Sly 38:08
Well, thank you. And with that everyone this has been another episode of Raw and Real Entrepreneurship. God bless, go rock your day, and I will see you in the next episode.

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Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with John Cerasani

270. What Makes a Company Investible – Interview with Serial Entrepreneur, John Cerasani

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When considering whether or not to invest in a company, all investors look for a few important factors. We’ll look at what those aspects are in this interview and how you can make your company more investible.

John Cerasani is a serial entrepreneur, venture capitalist and author.  He shares his experiences to help the masses in the business and entrepreneurial landscape.   At the age of 27, John was featured in Crains 40 under 40, in his mid 30’s he had a private equity exit for his insurance company.  He founded his early-stage VC firm Glencrest Global with a portion of those proceeds.

—John Cerasani

Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with John Cerasani

Topics covered in the interview

The fuel to be an entrepreneur
John’s recharge
John’s first business
Becoming an entrepreneur

John Cerasani’s Bio

John Cerasani is a serial entrepreneur, venture capitalist and author.  He shares his experiences in an effort to help the masses in the business and entrepreneurial landscape.   At the age of 27, he was featured in Crains 40 under 40, in his mid 30’s he had a private equity exit for his insurance company.  He founded his early stage VC firm Glencrest Global with a portion of those proceeds.  

He has been featured in many sales publications and business journals including the Chicago Tribune and the New York Post. He has been a guest as a business expert numerous times on WGN, ABC, NBC, and Fox.  John is a single father that resides in Chicago and Los Angeles, and is also a former football player at the University of Notre Dame as well as Northwestern University.    Follow John’s instagram @JohnCerasani for regular business related advice.

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Show Notes

Read Full Transcript

Susan Sly 00:00
Well, hey, what's up Raw and Real Entrepreneurs wherever you are in the world, I hope you're having an amazing, amazing day. And you know, any chance I get to talk about football, I am going to talk about. I know most of you are in countries where football is soccer. And I totally get that as originally from Canada, a Commonwealther, but my guest today is a serial entrepreneur, but we will figure it, well, I'll figure out a way. You all know I will always figure out a way. I do have a question for all of you. And the question is this. I mean, we're living in a very uncertain time. And I know that right now, in terms of our top shows, I get the report every single week. You know, US, Canada, UK, New Zealand overtook Australia. I don't know Australia, what is going on with you? And then Malaysia slipped into the top five, which is awesome. So hello to all of you. But everywhere in the world right now there's this crazy uncertainty. And my question for you is, do you truly feel that you control your own destiny? Because you do. You have to understand that if you want to be an entrepreneur, and my guest today definitely believes that.

Welcome to Raw and Real Entrepreneurship, the show that dares to bring the no nonsense insight to those who have the courage to start, grow and scale a business. Here's your host, entrepreneur, investor, and best selling author, Susan Sly.

Susan Sly 01:28
Check this out. He's a serial entrepreneur, a venture capitalist, and I'm sure not one of the bad ones, one of the good ones, and an author and he is someone who loves to share his experience to really help people in business and entrepreneurship, which is messy and gritty and rewarding and fun. And at the age of 27, he was featured in Crain's 40 Under 40, and in his mid 30s, he had a private equity exit for his insurance company. And he founded his early stage VT firm Glencrest Global with a portion of those proceeds. He's been featured in so many publications, New York Post, Chicago Tribune, he's been featured on WGN, ABC, NBC and Fox. And the most important thing to me is, he's a single dad, and I was raised by a single dad. So you know, I love single dads, and my dad listens to the show every single week. So hi, Dad. Thank you for listening to the show. And on top of all of it, he's a former Notre Dame football player, although he did transferred Northwestern, we will probably talk about that. But John Cerasini, thank you for being on Raw and Real Entrepreneurship. I'm so excited to talk to you.

John Cerasani 02:38
Thanks for having me, and hello to your dad as well.

Susan Sly 02:42
I want to jump right in with a question I've never asked anyone. What is it about being a single dad that gives you the fuel to be an entrepreneur?

John Cerasani 02:54
Oh, gosh, you know, I think it's kind of goes hand in hand if you really think about it. For me, at least. I guess not really for everybody. But but for me, I think it's the same characteristics, you know, the willingness and mentality that I want to do what's right, you know what I mean? And I want to, I want to be good at what I do as well. And, you know, it's kind of funny, I'll share a quick story. I, as my career kind of took off, and I left corporate America and started making money in the entrepreneurial world and my own business, I didn't feel fulfilled as I could have been in and should have been, as what you would have thought of when you're, when you're making 70 grand in corporate America and then okay, now I'm making a half million dollars, or whatever your numbers are, the numbers don't really matter. But, but when you're here, and then you get here, you feel like, Oh, I'm gonna have all this fulfillment in my life. I'll tell you right now, raising my kids has really filled that, filled that gap more than money ever would. And I thought about it even while it was happening. I don't look back and just think about it as it was actually happening. I knew that. So hopefully that answers your question a little bit.

Susan Sly 04:06
Yeah, it does. And we had, you know, my friend, Blake York. He started a med spa business. He was on the show. He's a single dad. And it's, it's tough, right? Because when you're the only game in town, there were,many years ago I was a single mom. And when you're the only game in town, it's on to on. So it's like I wake up in the morning and I'm on and then I'm in business I'm on and then I you know, when the kids come home from school, I'm on and it's that being on all the time and that, you know, let's face it, John, like this responsibility to lead 24/7. So what do you do to step back from leadership to regroup? Like what's your recharge?

John Cerasani 04:49
Oh, you mean besides some drinks after work? That's actually not what-

Susan Sly 04:55
I'm not kidding. But yeah, sure.

John Cerasani 04:59
You know, I'll, you had mentioned football earlier, I get away from things on the weekend, especially in the fall watching some good college football in the NFL. But I'm from Chicago, some of the Chicago Bears fan, even though we don't have much to cheer about right now. I still, I still work out quite a bit as well. Going into the gym. And I got to tell you, like a lot of people say that, maybe it's cliche. I hurt myself last year with a back injury that kind of laid me out and I couldn't work out for like eight months. And I mean, talk about having a gap in your, in your life. I never realized how much I needed that. And it was still kind of during COVID, too, so there's really nothing to do. So that is, that is an outlet for me. Oh, and I have two dogs too by the way. So-

Susan Sly 05:43
And they're very cute. If you're not on YouTube, if you're listening, they're adorable dogs. Oh my gosh. I was just, so we were talking before the show. And I was in Chicago for the National Restaurant Association, big show. And I was speaking there, as I was speaking and you know, and this show is like 20,000 people. And I was staying at the Marriott Marquis. And I went running and I got to run by Soldier Field, which is so freakin cool. And I was like, Oh, this is the best. Like, you know, the waterfront is gorgeous, but like I'm running by Soldier Field. So my favorite Bears player, I told, so I know some of you, I know you're like, if you're not following football, you're like, What is she even talking about? But back when I was growing up being raised by my single dad, some of you are old enough to remember we had rabbit ears, John. So like on top of the television, you have those little antenna that you have to move. So the only station we got was CBS and I grew up on the Canadian US border. So on Sundays, we watch, my dad and I will watch doubleheader so when the Bears were playing my favorite player was William "The Refrigerator" Perry. Oh, so yeah, so that, he's the one Bears player that I can name, The Fridge.

John Cerasani 06:58
I'm gonna tell you why. So anybody in our age bracket or around this age bracket, Susan could, that's from Chicago, could name every starter on the 1985 Bears. Okay? And I'll tell you right now, it's pretty darn impressive that you said the refrigerator, Perry, because I think it he was on the Bears for like three years. He didn't have like some kind of stellar career. So the fact that you're bringing up that name, you're one of us, Susan, we'll let you in. You're in the club.

Susan Sly 07:22
Well, thank you. Thank you. I have to go back to Chicago this summer. The you know, when The Fridge was playing, so my dad and I, John, on Sundays would, and I was a competitive nationally ranked track athletes. So on Sundays, it was like running, piano, church, and football. And so I would go out for my long run in the morning and then come back then we go to church, and then come back, we watched doubleheaders and my dad and I would do quarter bets. And I'm like, I would always bet on the Bears. And when The Fridge would come on, I'm like it's over. Like the man would just stand there and be like, I'll carry, you're 300 pounds, you're going down against The Fridge. Anyway, so I digress. So as a, as a serial entrepreneur, you know, so many of us, we start a business when we're a kid and there's that first business. What was your first business?

Susan Sly 08:17
Oh gosh, I'm gonna tell you what I remember doing stuff is like, a kindergartener trying to like, sell candy that I would take from my mom's cupboard and try to sell it for 50 cents or the quarter back then. I was always to and things like that. I had a little store set up in my bedroom of like comic books and baseball cards. I go, I go buy a pack of football cards and they became like eight in the pack for 25 cents and then try to sell them each for 10 cents or a nickel depending who the player was and but I was just gonna always wired that way. I think the first thing significant though, Susan would probably be when I was in college. I had a look at, you had mentioned I transferred to Northwestern University, which for those that don't know is right outside of Chicago. We're pretty darn good at football. When I, a lot of people ask them why did you transfer from Notre Dame Northwestern? Well, I tell them, well, a better education. How about that? No, I'm just kidding. They're pretty darn good in football.

Susan Sly 08:39
A bunch of people just cancelled subscribing to this show. And a bunch of people are subscribers now.

John Cerasani 09:19
Exactly. Well, anyone that's, I have my Notre Dame mug, out of coffee I'm drinking right now. And I actually have allegiance to both of the schools. Both of them have done great things for me. But um, anyway, so one of the things I did want to transfer to Northwestern was there wasn't like the same social circles that you might see at other universities, especially other ones at the big time. Like you know, the Michigan State, Ohio States of the world. Shocking, right. But Northwestern didn't have a big, big social scene, right. So I put together this company that would hold events at various downtown Chicago nightclubs and kind of cater to the, to the college crowd which really otherwise these nightclubs didn't even want us in there. So I was dating the girl from DePaul at the time. So her and all, DePaul University is in the city. It's like a Catholic school in downtown. And you know, and then I had a friend at Loyola University, another friend in University of Chicago, put this big group together and really formalized an actual company that got recognition. And actually, that's one of the reasons I was in that Crain's 40, under 40, under article years later. It was a you know, it was substantial. I mean, as I look back, I think, I think I passed the statute limit, the statute of limitations on this, we weren't supposed to be making money while we're in college playing football back then. Now, now you're allowed to. Not only all you're allowed to, it's encouraged, seems like, but yeah, so that was probably my first real entrepreneurial journey. I think, other than lemonade stands.

Susan Sly 10:49
Yeah, it's so interesting. When I'm, you know, I'm reaching like 300 episodes, and to hear people's first entrepreneurial venture, and that it tends to be something as a kid, it's like, there's a problem, I want to solve it. I, you know, and whether it's a personal problem that, you know, I want to make some more money, and I have to figure out a way or whatever it is, it's just like, it just seems so natural. What do you say, because in the VC world, you often hear invest in a team, invest in a team, invest in the team. And I want to ask, you know, it's, it's no different than sports, right? We bet on the team. But I want to ask you, taking a step back from that, do you think it's possible for someone to learn how to become an entrepreneur? Or do you think it's something that they're born with?

John Cerasani 11:41
You know, I, I think it can be learned. And I think, you know, the, the broad definition of entrepreneur, definitely, in some contexts, it could be learned, right? So like, if you're like, if you're a career-long architect or engineer and a firm for the last 20 years, and you have a bunch of contacts, and something happens with your boss, and you decide to go on business on your own, maybe you're not even wired for this, but you can go start up your own company, and probably do well for yourself, because you've learned the business, and it just makes sense to do. But the people with actual grit, that don't have that kind of, I guess you would say, like that bridge in that example that I just gave to, to get into it. No, everyone's not wired for it whatsoever. And especially with this early stage venture capital, this early stage VC stuff that I do, it becomes quite clear, quite obvious, you know, you got guys like, like, I got a guy in Atlanta that I'm invested in right now. It's called Money Line, is, it's a sports gambling app. And hopefully, it's gonna get bought by FanDuel, or something in a couple years. And I'm gonna tell you what, he barely raised any money. I gave him some. And now all of a sudden, two years later, Comcast sports Ventures has given them money. What? Look at how much is done with a little, that's impressive. Now I'm in some, and I'm in some other deals that are well funded, that we barely have a website up yet. It's like, what are you guys doing? You know what I mean? I like to think that maybe there's a method to that madness. I'm just the investor. I'm seeing where this is gonna go. And I do have some confidence in those. But I've been involved in a couple that it's like, you got so much, man, you're doing very little with a lot. And I want a lot with a little and you know that I think it truly is Susan, the way people are wired.

Susan Sly 13:34
I love that you brought in the investment piece. And what, let's talk about what makes a company investable, because I heard a story yesterday, John, where this company had raised, it was in like, the med tech space, and they had raised $150 million dollars, and the company went bust. $150 million, and they still couldn't get it done. And so one person's purview was, oh, it's because med tech is so hard. And I'm like, yeah, $150 million and you still couldn't get an MVP beyond a pilot stage to some form of production? Even if it was limited production in one hospital, you couldn't get that done. Right?

John Cerasani 14:18
They didn't have an MVP?

Susan Sly 14:21

John Cerasani 14:21
Oh my gosh, okay.

Susan Sly 14:23
And so, and you see investors like, you know, you see investors who are willing to throw millions and millions and millions of dollars at you know, a concept, but not necessarily look at the founders ability to hustle and sell. And so even with Radius where we're at, so we had raised, you know, it's on CrunchBase, so I can disclose it right, at about $7.1 million. We're already in the market. We're in production. And we've gone in 12 months from eight people to 86 people and we haven't even done our A round yet, so we're not even diluted that much. That's because we've been able to do, and in AI, that is not a lot of money to get to the point where we're, you know, production working with enterprise customers. But to your point, can that founder do a lot with a little? And that, that's a great question. So let me ask you this, like, if you had a checklist, and you probably do, have what makes a company investable, especially an early stage company, what are those things?

John Cerasani 15:29
Yeah. And you know, for your listeners too, when I'm talking, when I'm speaking of early stage, I'm talking about in this context, at least, I'm speaking a very early stage. There's no money coming in yet. There's, there's no, there's no money coming in yet. There's no, there's really no clients. It's really just an idea and sort of a platform and they're developing the minimum viable product. I'll look at the entrepreneur himself or herself. And just see, do they have that grit? Do they have the ability to fight through some adversity? I'll ask them questions that are tough. You know what I mean? And if they put their nose up early to those questions, gosh, that's such a telltale, you know what I mean? There's a very big difference between people being humble, which I love, your likeable person, if you're humble, okay? But not to be confused with passive, okay? When you are passive, how can I count on you to be aggressive and go get clients, okay? It's one thing if you're able to get this funding from me, but you need to actually be able to turn around and go do something with that funding. Okay. So that's, that's really the biggest thing I look at. And there's, there's really no formula. It's a series of conversations, and really just that gut instinct I get from a person. Now, beyond that, when I'm just talking about the company itself, then it's a little bit different, because then I gotta look, okay, what's the concept? Okay. What is, what is the reason you know, we think this is either going to disrupt the industry or exist in the existing industry, or exist to compete in the existing industry? And from that standpoint, you know, sometimes these founders don't know what they don't know. And maybe none of us know what we don't know about something. If it's new, like, if you would have told me in 1998, that I was going to be paying all my utility bills online and not sitting down for two hours and writing checks out, I never would have believed you, you know what I mean? You know, now technology has caught up so much. We're all starting to kind of look at life a little bit differently. We're like, okay, oh, this Metaverse, okay, this virtual reality. Okay, well, now we could actually see it happening, because we're so like, almost desensitized to the fact of how quick technology is moving. But some ideas though, it was safe saying all that Susan, some ideas are just stupid. Like, like, seriously, you get a lot of people right now, especially young, tech types of entrepreneurs, that, gosh, they want to do something with social media, or they're gonna take over Twitter, or they're gonna do you know, monetize hashtags, because Instagram hasn't figured it out properly. It's like, okay, and how much you guys raising? Okay, you're doing half a million dollars. Okay, you're gonna, you're gonna take over Instagram with a half a million dollar raise? I gotcha. Okay, you know what I mean? So, I think the combination of all of these things really just kind of gives me, you know, gives me an instinct and whether to do it or not. The other thing that I'll look at is, is this a person that could somehow add to my current network? Is there an expansion of my network that's valuable by working with this person, right? So like, Susan, you know, I'm just using it as an example here. But if say we didn't know each other, and I never knew about your podcast or anything, and we crossed paths and you were raising money down the road for your company. Okay. You know, is Susan someone I want to be associated with? Wow, look at her background. Oh, she's got the successful podcast, okay. Okay, now I'm getting, you know, I'm putting credibility to that. You know, so a little bit of all that.

Susan Sly 19:24
I think that I love that broad perspective, John. I had Nick Cavuoto on the show, and he is also an investor and entrepreneur, and we're talking about trends. And so he's investing his allocation for investment this year, are like salt of the earth style businesses that really target people who are aging, because we have a rapidly aging population. I think, in technology, for my incubator, Fem Boss, what I look for, for the applicants that come through, do you have one problem? Can you solve that problem with, based on your experience. Right? So what is, I'll give you an example. So one of the companies that's coming through our incubator, the two co founders' in another venture. They have made millions and millions of dollars. These women know how to hustle. I've known them for over 10 years. They aren't techie. But they have one problem that they want to solve. And it's very simple tech to build and you can stack it, you can add AI to it, you can do all sorts of things to it. But can we get that MVP out the door in 90 days, beta test? How long is it going to take us to get 1000 testers, and those are the things that I look for in a company, but it comes down to the founders. I have seen ideas that are okay, but founders that know how to hustle. So let's have this conversation. So I'm kind of obsessed with the, we crash story. And so there's Adam Newman, and I had, you know, I had this conversation with Nick, because Adam Newman in Silicon Valley just got $70 million, if you're not familiar with who that is, he was the co founder of WeWork. And the big documentary on Netflix, and you know, he's doing all these drugs and stuff. And the, you know, the C team comes in and kind of oust him much like a Steve Jobs kind of move. And yet, there are people who are willing to throw money at people like Adam Newman, who had a success, but a personal failure, because they know that he's going to be able to get it to a certain point, even if they take it over after. And I want to ask you about your opinion about that. Do you think if the founder is grittyy and hungry, even if their ideas mediocre, Can they do it?

John Cerasani 21:36
Yeah, yeah. And you know what? Yes, I do. 100, 1000% actually, so I'm in one right now, actually. It's called Lightning Fit. And they're going to take over, approaching and getting too many details about it. But there's some technology associated with it, it could really revolutionize physical therapy, and sports medicine, just kind of leave it at that, okay. But they also have a proof of concept with it being popular in the, in the fitness world and working there. And they've multiple locations set up with that now. Okay, the big thing over here is, let's be a billion dollar company one day, let's get an insurance code. Let's change the world. Okay. Over here, though, we can just keep setting up these locations. There's one in Brentwood, there's one in LA, they're not popping up, we have an app people work on there. Okay, there is no way this thing goes to zero. Because even if this doesn't work, which, by the way, it will, and I'm very impressed with the founder. And hopefully she's listening, she understands what you know, that I believe in her. And I'm one of the early investors because of this. But even if that doesn't work over there, you still have this, they will make something out of this no matter what we do. Sometimes, it's not almost, it is impossible to go to zero, because we already have a proof of concept down there. Now, the one thing with that Susan, as you probably know is okay, well valuation or you're coming in, okay, you know what I mean? I'm early stage enough now. So I still have that hedge down here. But if you come in a little bit later, and that's a half a billion dollar valuation, Okay, you know, workout centers in the strip malls are probably not going to be enough to have, ever had that half a billion dollar valuation. Right? Again, I'm early enough where I have that. But you know, that's, that's the exciting thing, because with this company, particularly, because you don't have that, and a lot of them, it's either gonna work or it's not, you know, what I mean, and this just has so much diversity and the different avenues that could go. And, and, you know, not just the concept, me having confidence in the founder, Colleen McKnight, that she's going to be able to find something to do with this regardless. She's convinced it's gonna be a billion dollar company. And I'm not arguing with her. So we'll just go well-

Susan Sly 24:00
We'll have to have Colleen on the show, because I would love to interview her. So how many companies are you invested in right now?

John Cerasani 24:06
I'm in about so, so Glencrest Global is set up as, it's just, I just was not comfortable calling it the John Cerasani family office, I call it Glencrest Global, it's my capital. We don't, we don't have limited partners. And my, my big money is managed by the professionals and you know, various hedge funds and private equity things and then I have a big, aportion of my net worth, that I manage myself through Glencrest Global go into these early stage pieces. And I'm in I think, 28 different ones at the moment. But 24, early stage and then I'm also in some for other random things that like, like the Newport Beach Marriott, I'm part of an investment group that bought that hotel, and now it's the Via, if you're ever in Newport Beach, go to the Via. It's amazing. But yeah, so.

Susan Sly 24:55
It's actually funny you say that because I was just at that hotel last year. So-

John Cerasani 25:02
That was, that was after we bought it. But during that they probably hadn't started the remodeling yet, if you go back now you will never recognize it. It's awesome. So

Susan Sly 25:12
In this episode today was brought to you by

John Cerasani 25:16
The Via, Newport Beach part of the Marriott family.

Susan Sly 25:20
So 28 companies, and it's, and you're, so when you're, when you're investing with an early stage startup, are you a hands off investor? Or do you get in there? Because there are different types of VCs and some want to get in there, John, and they want to change things up and they want to install a different CEO. How do you approach that aspect of it? Because I know there's some people listening who are like John and I, and they do invest in early stage companies, I have not 28, a couple of them. But then there are some of you who are thinking about investing in like a Wefunder kind of company or whatever, or you're investing in your retirement portfolio or whatever. I personally think there are some things that remain the same in terms of what to look at when investing in companies, whether you're spending $40 on United stock, or you're investing $736 In Tesla right now, or whatever it is. But I want to ask you, for you and your investments, what kind of relationship do you have with all of the founders?

John Cerasani 26:25
Yeah, so a lot of times now, I'm trying to have some kind of advisory type of position. One that I have a pretty big stake in and we're at the series B level now to government tech company, I'm actually on the board, because I was I'm involved well into the seven figures on that account, it's called QuicKutz solutions and other amazing company. But other than them, my checks are usually on the early stage stuff more in the six figures, and I try to go after or work with companies that I could actually bring something to the table, and it might not be specific to my background or my industry, but is there something complimentary that I could give them, you know, okay, these guys are a great tech product, and they're going to apply it to, I'm just making stuff up, but they're gonna apply it to the sports world. Okay, these guys are kind of like techie, geeky guys over here that don't have any context in the professional sports world. Okay, I do, maybe I could give some advisement on how to do that. So okay, here, I'll throw in, you know, X amount of dollars, and also put me as an advisor on your advisory board, and we're gonna get together once a quarter or once a month, you know, whatever makes sense. And then I could guide you through the process or even make some introductions. To me, that's where it's fun. Because an early stage venture capital, you're gonna get the crap diluted out of you over time. And, you know, even if I put a half a million dollar check into something that has a $10 million early stage precede valuation, look at me, everyone's kinda, you know, throwing me a party and, you know, treated me like God. And they should be, by the way, but in a couple, in a couple of minutes, I'm talking about that kind of money, making evaluation, but in a couple rounds, guess what? No one's gonna remember, man, that could have matter. I'm gonna be,you're gonna, if it goes the way we want, some funders gonna come in with a $10 million check and an $80 million valuation. That half a million I put on, my 10 million, hey, that's awesome. But you know what, and I'm making money on this from an investment standpoint, but I'm just not relevant, I'm just not significant anymore. So I want to be significant. And I'm not going to be able to keep up with these funds. That especially when we're talking about, you know, eight, nine figure check, not nine figure, but eight figure checks, it's going to be very few and far between for me because again, this is just my money. So so, you know, what do we do about this? If I'm an advisor and actually bringing more to the table than just money? You got my you got my attention.

Susan Sly 29:00
So what I'm hearing and I love and in, in my world, so we talk to people like John to invest in the company, right? And that's why I said he's one of the good guys because he wouldn't be on the show. He wasn't. I only have people on the show, John, that I would have the dinner table with my children.

John Cerasani 29:21

Susan Sly 29:21
So I'm very focused in terms of that, but what I'm hearing is it's not just about the money, it's also about how do I add value. And early stage investing is so risky and that, you know, that risk tolerance, and that's, you know, why I have so much respect for you because you're able to discern, you're able to look at risk and say what kind of risk tolerance do I have? How do I mitigate this risk? And if I'm an advisor to the company, that's gonna help to derisk my investment. Now speaking of So, you're getting the workout in, your single dad, 28 companies, plus a portfolio, plus you know, plus, plus, plus, plus, plus and you're writing a new book. Yeah, like the the last question I have, like, tell me about this new book and all your spare time that your writing.

John Cerasani 30:07
So, so my background is that I came up in corporate America and unlike other entrepreneurs, I didn't just, you know, come up with this earth shattering you know, groundbreaking idea, you know what I mean? So, so when you, I never raised money, I never did any of that stuff. I just came up in corporate America working at a publicly traded insurance company. And I was actually at a company called Arthur J. Gallagher, which anyone that's in the corporate insurance space should be familiar with. And I just decided, You know what, it's like the Wizard of Oz. And that's a great company. And they're all great. But it's like, when it comes to actually serving the client, when it comes to the deliverables given to the client, is there anything happening here at this billion dollar organization that I can't be doing on my own? So I left this job in my late 20s. And I just left corporate America behind me and I had that big title. I was an area Vice President, I had an office, I had an assistant. I mean, it was all the stuff that they had won. And a lot of people that do what I do on their own, go after littler clients. You know what, forget that, Susan, I'm gonna go after the same types of clients. And I'm gonna compete in that space. Because I've pulled back the curtain, I understand what it takes. And there's nothing I can't do here. Now corporate America might brainwash us with our business cards and everything else and our, our job titles and everything else to convince us and convince the clients that this is what they need, but you know what I know otherwise. So my book, it's called, it's called The 2000% Raise. And it's about leaving your job in corporate America, going to business on your own, and doing the exact same job, Okay, not changing a darn thing. And you know, I'm not oversimplifying it, it is really that simple. And this book really guides you through the process. It includes my past. It's not a memoir, by any stretch of the imagination. It's using my experiences as a guide, and also what I've witnessed with others. And the way it worked out for me, as I was making 140 grand, left that job in corporate America, started my own company, ended up selling it 10 years later to a private equity backed competitor, took a bunch of stock in that private equity firm that tripled three times, you know, twice in a five year period because it recapitalized twice. Holy cow, all of a sudden, I'm 42 years old and never have to work again the rest of my life. Never in a million years, well, maybe in a million, like literally maybe in a million, that would have happened in corporate America. So that's, that's the, that's the topic,

Susan Sly 33:01
The 2,000% Raise, and we'll have to get the foreword by Lou Holtz for that book.

John Cerasani 33:08
There you go. Exactly.

Susan Sly 33:09
Yeah, we can make that happen. Well, John, it is been a pleasure. And everyone listening, whatever platform you're on, Spotify, iHeart Radio, iTunes, wherever you are. John and I would love a great review. I actually read all of your reviews. And so please give us a great review. Tag John on IG. That's his hangout. So it's JohnCerasani on Instagram. It's actually his real name, which is cool. and tag me SusanSly on Instagram as well. But anyway, John, thank you so much for being here. You're absolutely amazing. I love what you're doing in the world. And I hope everyone here you know, just send us, send us a note if this episode has helped you because I've definitely taken a page of notes as we've been talking. So John, thanks so much.

John Cerasani 33:52
Thank you. Appreciate it.

Susan Sly 33:54
All right, entrepreneurs, well you go out there, rock your day, God bless, and I will see you in the next episode of Raw and Real Entrepreneurship.

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Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Camilita Nuttall

269. How to Shift Your Identity and Achieve Greater Success with International Speaker, Camilita Nuttall

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Are you struggling to achieve success in your life?  If you want to achieve greater success in your life, then you need to start by shifting your identity. Too often we get stuck in a rut and don’t believe that we can be or do anything different. But with the power of mindset, discipline, and consistency, you can achieve anything you set your mind to!  (Live event recording from UME 2022)

The World’s #1 ‘Rock Star’ International Speaker, Camilita Nuttall is an Influencer, Founder & CEO of Event of Champions, Multi-Millionaire Property Investor, Business & Wealth Coach, 7-Time Award-Winning Sales & Growth Expert, Entrepreneur, Author, Editor in Chief of Global Champions Magazine & Radio Show Host at The Camilita Podcast.

—Camilita Nuttall

Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Camilita Nuttall

Topics covered in the interview

Camilita’s early life
Shifting identity
Building a list

Camilita Nuttall’s Bio

The World’s #1 ‘Rock Star’ International Speaker, Camilita Nuttall is an Influencer, Founder & CEO of Event of Champions®, Multi-Millionaire Property Investor, Business & Wealth Coach, 7-Time Award-Winning Sales & Growth Expert, Entrepreneur, Author, Editor in Chief of Global Champions Magazine & Radio Show Host at The Camilita® Podcast.

Camilita has been featured in FORBES on How to Use Events, Social Media and Keynote Speaking to Increase Your PR & Profits Globally, Quoted in the New York Times Bestseller ‘Think & Grow Rich for Women’, she has appeared on SKY TV, BBC Business News, Canada’s B2B News Network, graced the USA and European covers of Celebrate Business Magazine and many others. Dr. J B Hill, Napoleon Hill’s grandson quoted Camilita in front of 20,000 people as saying, ‘There is no better time than the present to take action to succeed’.

As Founder of Event of Champions® Camilita also brings together the best in the industry to deliver valuable content that promotes success, so attendees leave armed with tools to immediately increase their wealth, gain prestigious recognition and grow their newfound network across the world.

As Editor in Chief of Global Champions Magazine (launching 2022), Camilita interviews global experts on their success principles and gives entrepreneurs the exposure they need alongside those experts to elevate their brand. Global Champions Magazine also teaches start-ups as well as seasoned business owners the success tips and tools they need to Live Their Champion Life.

As Host of The Camilita® Podcast, Camilita interviews experts to help her audience stay on target as they navigate through life’s ever-changing landscape. She also offers entrepreneurs the chance to get featured and co-host with her for global exposure.

In the face of extreme adversity (hustling on the public dump at the age of 13 just to attend secondary school), Camilita rose against all odds to become a dynamic powerhouse of success and inspiration to help others reach their full potential. With a “think big” philosophy, her message has changed the lives of thousands across the world. Her larger-than-life personality is relatable and genuine, and she gives everything to fulfilling the dreams of others. Camilita is who entrepreneurs across the globe trust to take their business to the next level. Now, it’s your turn.

Camilita enjoys inspiring others, traveling, cooking, walking, drawing, reading & writing books, and giving back through Nuttall Foundation to support children, entrepreneurs and families.

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Show Notes

Read Full Transcript

Susan Sly 00:00
Okay, I just want everyone to take a deep breath right now and let it go and get ready. Because you are about to laugh. You're about to cry. You're about to be inspired and your hand is going to hurt from writing. This amazing lady, I love her so much and she is incredible. The number one thing in her bio is world's number one rock star. I don't know if Chris Martin knows he's got the competition or what's going on. She's the number one rock star, world's international speaker. She's an influencer, founder and CEO of Event of Champions, which has spoken out twice, is amazing. Some of you have been in attendance at that. She's the editor in chief of Global Champions Magazine, business and wealth coach, seven time award winning sales and growth expert entrepreneur, author, multimillionaire, property investor, which we are going to talk about, and we're also going to talk about the metaverse. Radio show host of the Camilita Podcast, and her vision is to help business of, businesses of all sizes increase their wealt. And so, Camilita Nuttall from the UK live. Forget Princess Kate, forget the queen. Because the real queen is in the house. Camilita , I'm so excited to talk to you today, girlfriend.

Camilita Nuttall 01:23
Yes, you're my sister from another mister, listen, you know, I love you. I love you.

Susan Sly 01:29
I love you too. And, you know, okay, super diva. People look at you. They're like, she's the queen of LinkedIn. She's the queen of Twitter. She is like, she is everywhere all at once. She's like a Marvel superhero. But what they don't see is that you like, you know, many people here had some very challenging beginnings and, you know, including, you know, foraging in the dump. And can you, can you talk about your early childhood, because, you know, the people only see the glory, they don't know the story. And they're like, oh, it's easy for her to be a multimillionaire and her to be like the, you know, the guru of real estate investing, in speaking and coaching. But let's talk about your early life.

Camilita Nuttall 02:20
You know, I love when you say that, the girl because I just love that. I call myself the blackbrook, do you know what I mean? And you know, you know, growing up, I always saw television, the black and white version, I would watch a Dallas and Dynasty. Growing up with no food, very little to eat, struggling to go to school. Some days we had, I mean, just, it was, it was so, it was bad. Living in a country. So I don't have access to things. But I would watch television. And we'd watch Dallas and Dynasty. And I would see so and I'm one of them with the polls and JR. And in the end who shot JR? And I was like, I want to live like them. But I want to have that kind of wealth, that kind of money. But I had no idea. But my mother, and we talked about your dad, I can't wait to meet him. My mother said to me, look at my friend down the road. She's got five properties, six properties, and she doesn't have to work anymore. You want to do that? You want to live like her? And I was like, okay. But as I said, mother, what do I do? She said, take your education, take your education, at least do something to get you out from where you are. So I studied hardest. And it was cool. I was topping this and topping that. And then I decided to come to London to start law school. But Susan, I had no money, so I came to London without any money. But prior to that, at the age of 15 and a half, my mother said, we're going to find a way. My father said we no longer have money. I'm the last of 11 children. And my father said I'm tired of spending money for school books. You're just not going to go to school. I said to my mother, mommy, what can we do? She said, Well, we'll do something. And my sister said, well, people are hustling on the dump. Why don't you go there? At least so you can attend secondary school. It's like Mommy, let me go. What am I supposed to, I know where I'm and I know I don't want to be, let's go and hustle on the dump. And two and half months, big shoe rubbish. The things that you throw away that people take for granted. Dig into rubbish to get glass bottles to sell just so I could attend secondary school, Susan. I had no shame because I wanted to win so bad. And some people look at me and they think yeah, you know what, all the accolades stuff you've read. But that's what I had to do to do what I'm doing right now.

Susan Sly 04:37
And you haven't stopped with that attitude. As your sister I so see that it's that tenacity that you're still willing to essentially dig through rubbish even to dig through people's emotional rubbish, to help to find those glass bottles which is like been this, this whole beautiful overreaching theme of your life. And you know, there are a lot of people who will live Camilita in their story, and in victimhood, but you are one of these rare women that you know what, I'm not going to be a victim, that's not going to define me. So how did you shift your identity, because a lot of people can't, right? And then they, they'd much rather on social media, talk about how rich people are horrible, and no one can get ahead, because they, they have, they haven't managed to shift their identity. How did you do it?

Camilita Nuttall 05:39
For me, it was why? Why did I want to make money? Why did I want to be different? Why? What's the why behind the money? For me, it was never about the money. It was about helping my mother. Because I saw my mother taking pretty rubbish with me. Having an old house, in the Caribbean, we call it a latrine. And having to go up the hill in the water at night to go and use the toilet. That is what I saw growing up. And I said, I don't care what I have to do, I am going to look like a dog. And I'm going to help fix my mother's house. So she never has to do that again. And I want to be in a place where I can always help her and give her money. And then I also saw other people that were just like me, who I helped when I was in the same situation. And I thought, I want to help more people like that. So for me, it was never the money situation. For me, the money came because I had to make money, because I wanted to help my mother. And that was my driving force. And then it became, I want to help other people, then it became I want to help children who were just like me, then it became, I want to teach humans how to build allies, because if I could do it, they can do it too. So there was a reason behind the drive. I think for a lot of people who are struggling and have this victim mentality, oh look at me, always me, find something like fire you up, find something that will put some some fire in your assets, and use that as your driving force to win. That's how you're going to do it. It's never about the money. And when you make money, when we became a millionaire, we didn't even know. So it was never about the money. The money is a byproduct of you giving value. Your focus has to be on the why and the value you intend to live in this world.

Susan Sly 07:23
I wish you would be a little more passionate. A little more! Could you be a little more? You, you know, I'm thinking about you digging through the rubbish to find the treasure. And there are people watching this right now who have a business and they're saying, Oh, well, that industry isn't alive anymore, or no one's making money in this business. But you found a way to make money with rubbish. What do you say to the person who has an asset but they aren't making the money they want to? What do they need to do?

Camilita Nuttall 08:03
I'm a Christian. So I'll say this from a Christian perspective. I've been to a conference recently. And it was Matthew 20. You think it was Matthew 11, 20, and 21. And I said, No, Matthew 18, 20, 21. And I said, it talked about your talents. Yeah, we all have talents in us. We we're all born with something. I don't care how broke you are. None of you have to dig through the rubbish so don't come in and crack craziness to me. Every single one of us have got talents. And the talent may be to write, it may be to read, it may be your voice, it may be to so, it may be to create, it may be to protect. Everybody's got a talent. I wish I had your kind of tech knowledge, Susan but I don't, I don't. And I have a tenacity to win. And I have a knack for property. So you've got to find what is that one thing that you're different from everybody else and learn monetize that. Because that talent don't get that to me. Because Susan, because we decided to utilize our talents not to get rich but to help other people. Zig Ziglar, you have enough people get what they want. So all our goal was never about oh, gonna make millions. It was about how many people can we help get what they want? That's the plan. So don't come and say oh, you know, what is me? You know, how do you know I don't have much and I don't have anything. Use what you got. What is your talent? What can you do? Can you do hair? Be the best at it. Can you do eyebrows? Be the best at it. Are you going to tech? Be the best at it. Can you create some NFT's? Do that. I don't care what you can do. Do something. Just do something. Lead, follow or get out of the way.

Susan Sly 09:44
Oh, okay. Lead, follow or get out of the way. I want everyone to write that down, lead, follow or get out of the way like, it's yeah. Let's talk about, we'll talk about NFTs in a minute. I can't wait. Camilita and I should make an NFT. And people will be like, yes, there'll be like a digital version of us screaming at people. It'll be so good. But people will love it. It'd be weird. Let me ask you, let's, we've, you know, branding, branding, branding, branding, and, and there are people who don't think they need to have a brand. Preach it, why does everyone need to have a brand?

Camilita Nuttall 10:31
Look behind me? People buy brands, okay, if either by personal brands or by business brands, but people by brands, people align with brands. If you have an empty cup, where you got a cup of with Starbucks logo, you tell me the price. The brand, it is the brand, because people align themselves with the brand and is what the brand stands for. Is it one of a mission brand? Is it a celebrity brand? Is it a you know, business brand? What is the brand because people are lying with that, why? Because everybody wants to feel as if they're part of something. They want to feel as if they belong. So your job is to create a brand, whether it's a mission, to save the world, to save the world, or whether it's a celebrity, because you want people to look at your lifestyle and believe that they could do it too. Or it's a business plan where you're providing a service or product. Your job is to build something that people would recognize, because that recognition is what people buy into, that don't necessarily buy into you or your name, they buy into the brand you or your business brand name, because that's what they remember. So everybody that has a business, you are focused. I tell all my clients this that I coach, your main focus has to be first, you are building a brand. Trademark it, protect it, keep it going, make sure you got the right colors, the right, the right everything first. If you run off and go and make money, because some people do you know what to do? Oh, yes, I've got an idea. And they just start posting it on social media. And oh, they buy a domain name. A domain name is not a brand. They buy a domain anything. Yeah, I'm in business. You put it out there, somebody snap it up, then a shot, your job is to protect that brand. Make sure you have all the trademarks in place, and build brand loyalty because people will pay for brand loyalty more than they will just pay for some other thing. So regardless, build a brand, align with somebody who knows what they're doing. Get to work.

Susan Sly 12:31
Camilita, I love that. And I love the Starbucks analogy. It's like that, you have the cup with the Starbucks logo, you have a plain white cup, which are you paying more for? And we are our own brands. So even for the people who are watching and they have a product or service that they're promoting, say they're in direct sales or something, they're promoting someone else's product, at the end of the day, who do people choose to follow? It's that person with a stronger brand, who's associated with a brand, right? So how has your brand evolved because I know it has evolved.

Camilita Nuttall 13:10
I tell you what, when I started off, so I have got several brands. I'v got the Camilita brand which is my main which is my personal brand. And I got my business brand, Event for Champions and I've got a property brand that I'm building and then I launched another one last month, that retirement kind of brands anything that launches. It's trademarking as we speak. Everything set up, everything right for it. For me, how I built my brand was number one, I protected a brand. I had everything trademarked and I was very clear on what the brand stands for. I was not going to be cheap. And I was not going to be like everybody else. I didn't care what everybody else was selling, I was selling what I was selling. Your job in building that brand is to focus on what you are doing. I don't care who else is doing what you can carry on, as my mother says, mind your own business. So my focus was building this, this Camilita brand, this is how you're going to do it, these are the people we're going to serve, this is how much I'm going to charge. You think I'm too expensive. Then I'm building Event of Champions, this is my hot brand. This is where I teach entrepreneurs how to build their lives and I have amazing speakers like Susan come on stage and share her story. And then help all of those people if they want to work with all the clients. It's not, that brnd is not about me. That grant is more about how do we help entrepreneurs like us become who they want to become. And then my property brand is giving people a home, people who don't can't afford a home, people who have lost their home. And they're like, thank you so much for helping me. I'm so grateful to have a house. I'm so grateful for what you've done for me. So you're going to decide how you're going to build it, who you're going to align with, because you need to align with influencers. You need to align the people who have money, and most importantly people who have initiative that will get off their assets and do something, that's key in building this brand. Honestly, that's what I did with the Camilita brand. I aligned with people that I know was going places and also, Susan, and this is one thing people don't like to talk about. You have got to spend money to build that brand. I live in that world either.

Susan Sly 15:11
Yeah, yeah, that is such a good wisdom. And I love what you said about what you're, quoting your mom, mind your business. Your brand is going to evolve however, it is an extension of you. And that includes what you post, what you say, the colors associated with the brand, everything. Let me ask you, if you could go back in time to some of your early branding, just like if we were going back in time and looking at some fashion, because you mentioned Dynasty in Dallas, you know, the big hair, 80s. Is there anything from your early branding that you look at it and go oh my gosh, what was I thinking?

Camilita Nuttall 15:55
I didn't have any brand. Just for me, Susan, it was just slapped down, slam bam, thank you, ma'am. It was just slapdash any old how, but and I wasn't thinking that I am building something. I thought I was just starting a business. I thought I was just making money. And anybody could start the business and anybody could make money. But it takes a different type of person to build a brand. I look back and then I think, Wow, you actually did that, you actually did it like that? This is, that is bad. Because people just let, let me give you a perfect example. Why I am so glad I built a brand that I built. A lady came to me for coaching, and actually tell her, she came to my event in Toronto. I had an old website without any branding, it looked dire, to say the least. And somebody invited her to come with them. Do you know when she came, she saw an event, she was amazed. She was like, oh my god, this is amazing, Event of Champions is brilliant. I love it! You know what she said to me? When I spoke to her one to one, she said I looked at your brand. I looked at your website. And I almost didn't come and I almost didn't pay you 25 grand to coach me. Because I thought how could you say one thing and your brand looked like that? But because I heard you, that's when I bought into you. How much money I missed if I had got that right from day one? How many people-

Susan Sly 17:24
I hope everyone is taking notes. How much money are you missing because you are not paying attention to your brand? And everyone has heard me say if all you're doing is posting on social media, that's like building your dream home, on rented land. So Camilita, let's talk about your email list. Because Oh my, I'm gonna lose my mind. People are like, I don't need to have an email list. I have 3000 followers on Instagram. Let's talk about that, shall we?

Camilita Nuttall 18:03
3000 followers on Instagram. 100 of them is probably broke and can't afford your products, brand or service. They just want to see nice pictures of your videos and they just love your personal development. Another 1000 of those people are probably people who are in school or university and who can't afford and it just you know, they're learning from you from afar. And then a 250 of those people are probably people who are just like you who trying to glean from you what they should be doing to build their own brand. Then you've got another maybe 100 of those people who are jealous who don't even want to like you, who'a just there because they want to watch what you do. And then you've got about 150 people who actually may want to learn and grow and know more. And we know how Instagram and Facebook and everything else change their algorithms. You can you can just email or message people as is. It goes into the other folder so that the primary or secondary folder. So how are you intending to reach those people, really? Your job on social media is to take them off the platform and bring them into your platform. Because those platforms don't belong to you. They can shut it down. If there's a problem, you're in a mess. So your job is to take them from there by offering a product, bring them into your list where you could nurture them with information and then you could sell to them. Because then they become a part of a community of what you're doing. They're not your people. They belong to Facebook and Instagram.

Susan Sly 19:29
They belong to Mark Zuckerberg and he has more money than you do. Camilita, how do you list build? What are, what are some of your excite your your most effective lead magnets? What are you doing right now?

Camilita Nuttall 19:50
Definitely. I give away a lot of things. I give, I do summits, I do webinars, I give away ebooks. I promote you know, you know, some other stuff. Anything whereby people will find it easier to give you their name, phone and email, because that's what you want. Names, listen, you don't want email alone. Let me tell you when you sell, you don't want email alone. Give me your name. Give me your email. Seriously, you could ignore me. I want name, phone and email, and then you get my ebook. Because I'm giving you a tool that I will try to build. My life is in that ebook. So give me a name, phone and email. With that I have a chance to sell to you. So I do, I do webinars, a lot of webinars. Again name, phone, email, give me a blood type and all if you choose. I do summits, I mean, any way I could data capture, that is what I do. I give away free things, I offer 15 minutes, I'm not doing it, my team's gonna do it. And anything where I can get people to respond. I'm not bothered how many people I've got in Facebook, because there are people who've got 3000 people and has monetized a lot more than someone who has 20,000 people, for instance. So your job is to be able to get that lead by giving away a lead magnet, ebook, whatever it is you can give away. I remember last year, but no, not last year, before now, when Facebook was running really well, I did quarter of a million in a short space of time, a month, two months, three months on Facebook, by just doing webinars. Just through webinars. I wasn't trying to sell, I will just wanted to give people information and just say to them come, you want to know more, come to me. I did the same thing on purpose. I did almost half a million in four months. Why? Because I'm saying to people, come take this entrepreneur assessment, take my free ebook, take my three days, take it free. But in that little note, you're gonna tell me what you're looking for. Are you looking for coaching, training, speaking, who you're looking for? And that is what I'm looking for to sell to you. Because I know everybody does downloading. A book, a program, a plan, a podcast, they're actually looking for help. They're not just coming to you for, they're looking for something. Your job is to make sure in that form, they tell you what they're looking for. So when you call them up, you can say, Hi, John, thank you so much for downloading my ebook. I see you're interested in business coaching, can you tell me a little bit more?

Susan Sly 22:03
And now you can sell. And I hope everyone got that. Half a million in four months on clubhouse, a quarter of a million and a couple months on Facebook. And here's the thing everyone has to understand, some of you are like, I've just planted my flag on Facebook for Camilita and I, we are everywhere. We are going to haunt you. We are on Twitter, we are on Instagram, we're on Facebook, we are on LinkedIn, we are haunting you all over the place. Because those algorithms change in terms of how much people can physically see. And it is a hustle. It's a daily promotion multiple times a day, putting it out there testing, doing a lead magnet. Have you helped lead magnets that didn't work so well?

Camilita Nuttall 22:50
Of course, we all do. Especially after Facebook had the audacity to change the algorithms after I made all that money.

Susan Sly 22:59
We need to call Mark. Does he know, I mean really.

Camilita Nuttall 23:04
He knows. People we're cursing him off on Facebook. The Facebook groups don't look anymore. This doesn't happen. That doesn't happen, then people are still there. It's good to build a personal brand. Okay, I'm really grateful with Facebook, it has helped us to connect with a lot of people. We're grateful. Don't get me wrong, we're grateful. But it has not worked. So there are some times I've done some stuff and I'm thinking what the heck, why did I waste all that time? But listen, let me give you, let me give you, let me give you a little tip, everybody. Your work is never in vain. You may not get paid today, but you will get paid. There are some people that need to see you 50,000 times because they're following 10,000 other people and some people come and go, they spend hundreds of thousands with this one, and all they're thinking you're just the same, and they spend with this one, and this one is there for three, six months, two years, and then they're gone. Your consistency will pay off 3, 5, 7, 8, 9 years later.

Susan Sly 23:56
Amen to that. Like seriously, and Rebecca Zung, one of my good girlfriends, Camilita's coming to my 50th in Italy, Rebecca will be there with you. There is going to be a lot of wine consumed. That's all I have to say. And cheese. Anyway. So Rebecca had produced this Learn on Demand. She brought in the videographer, the work with everything, doesn't sell anything. But as she's growing her YouTube following, she's getting her narcissist checklist going, this past year, in that course she produced two years ago, she made almost $2 million. And that's the whole point. The first year like, almost none. She was telling me. She's like, Susan I hardly sold any of them and I invested you know,tens of thousands of dollars make a quality product and that is what is going to happen. Entrepreneurs give up because they expect the payday to be today, but it might not be today. And so let's talk about LinkedIn for a minute. Because you, all hail the queen. So Camilita has over 20,000 connections on LinkedIn. What are you doing on LinkedIn?

Camilita Nuttall 25:07
LinkedIn has changed again, like Facebook. You know, LinkedIn has allowed more videos.

Susan Sly 25:11
That's Bill Gates. It's Bill and ark. They're not our friends.

Camilita Nuttall 25:15
We love you guys. But I'm telling you, we don't like you.

Susan Sly 25:18
We need a social media platform designed by Camilita and I, because it would be different.

Camilita Nuttall 25:25
It will be very different. With LinkedIn, it has changed a lot. LinkedIn obviously is b2b. It has, it's moving a lot into b2c, but it's still b2b. So it's clearly a lot of people would like us after the name, oh, people have a lot of ego. But a lot of people have moved on to LinkedIn, because they realized a Facebook crowd won't be making any money, okay? When when that whole Cambridge analytical problem started, people start shifting across Instagram and everywhere else. LinkedIn is a platform whereby you've got to be very consistent. The statistics show the average person, and there's millions and millions of people on LinkedIn, they probably have a very minute amount that actually use LinkedIn every single day. And why is that? Because people feel they just have a LinkedIn profile. Some people don't have a website, they use LinkedIn as a as a place where people can find them. And they can make money that way. With LinkedIn, post engaging stuff. A lot of people to comment on your stuff. I post a lot of stuff about my story on my journey, and a lot of stuff about what's going on in my teams, I want people to know what we're doing. But where I get traction, is posting stuff, where you're giving value, number one, and where you're touching people's hearts. Everybody on LinkedIn has a business of some sort. And everybody is looking for the same dollar or the same pound, the same Euro. Okay, so your job is how do you differentiate yourself and you differentiate by the story, making sure that your content is very different. If it's very visual, you know, keep it like that. And change with the times. I mean, LinkedIn brought in LinkedIn live. I tried it out a couple of times, not really bothered, didn't really work for me. So you got to find out what actually works for you within the platform, and how your audience responds. My audience will respond the way your audience responds. But you got to find out how your audience responded. You got to feed that audience, because they are looking for you. And just like I said before, there are people on LinkedIn, Susan, who saw me for years, didn't do a thing. And all of a sudden, Camilita, I need your help. I need, I need a coach. So, but you're gonna build it. And it takes time. And you've got to comment on other people's posts. Be interactive with a lot of other people, comment on LinkedIn news, because then LinkedIn, if you have your set featured, you go way at the top of that of that news feature, and then everybody else wants to add you then on LinkedIn and find out what is is you do, so there's a lot of things to do with it. But it's, it's a very, very, very underutilized, powerful tool.

Susan Sly 27:59
I could not agree more. And people are willing to spend more on LinkedIn, it is a higher ticket item, because you are dealing with, the average income of someone on LinkedIn is over, household income is over $20,000 higher than it is on Facebook. And that you are dealing with it just a different group of people. I think smart, funny, and I love what you said touching people's hearts and that consistency. And I can't emphasize enough about commenting on the LinkedIn news. And then going in and if someone says something you like, connect with them, follow them, reach out, tell them because they're, it's amazing. It's like voyeurism, Camilita. Like people will say, they're watching but they don't comment.

Camilita Nuttall 28:52
LinkedIn is the best place where you can get to the CEO. Which other platform on this planet, you could send a direct message to a CEO of a major company, and potentially have them or someone respond? Very, very few. And I'm gonna make one tip, for those of you who are looking for funding and you are looking to build a business whereby you can potentially get investors, they are watching your LinkedIn profile.

Susan Sly 29:19
Yes, they are. Let's talk about hashtags for a minute. Because hashtags are so key. And I see people, Camilita, they're using certain hashtags on one platform and certain hashtags in the other platform. They're all over the map. I look at who they are on Twitter, they're different than who they are on Instagram. They're different than who they are on LinkedIn. What is your advice for hashtags?

Camilita Nuttall 29:45
One of the things I find, especially on Twitter because it goes quickly, whereas on LinkedIn, stays there a lot longer and on Instagram, especially on Twitter, find the hashtags that's happening today. Not controversial hashtags, of course. Find a hashtag, so what's trending? You want to put up a lot more on Twitter than anywhere else, what's trending, but have the consistency of the same hashtags on Twitter as you do on LinkedIn, as you do on Instagram, because then people can see that consistency across the board. But for Twitter, what's trending, what's in the know, what's in the now, what's happening in the news, not the controversial stuff or the craziness, but everything else, you might want to comment on something and hashtag that, because then that encourages a lot of other people to see you. And then obviously, Twitter spaces, if you're there, you're hashtagging, what you're doing use with the spaces as well, because that will also help you but at least be consistent across all platforms. On LinkedIn, you can put your hashtag on the top, or you can find everything to do with that hashtag. And again, you don't want to put, I have a lot of hashtags on Instagram, on Facebook or on Twitter, because I know that people are looking for different things. But if you, if you want to go a niche, then have very few hashtags that are very, very focused on your brand or your product in a different way. Because people will hashtags and look for things a lot quicker. And they will actually type in a word.

Susan Sly 31:10
I love that. Hashtags are part of, they're like a Google search. And that's how I've been, this year getting free press. So I was just interviewed in a magazine, I love it. See, this is my sister, good friends celebrate when other friends have wins. And so when Camilita has the real estate empire that she's building, we'll talk about that in a minute. But I want to, so that's how I've been getting free press, Camilita. So I do hashtag CEO women across all my platforms. And then so I was just reached out to by a major magazine and the gal's like, I found you because of your hashtag. And so one thing I would say is that on Twitter, I use hashtag CEO women, hashtag women in tech. And there are different bots that are going to retweet some of your things. But pick a couple of hashtags that follow you across all of your platforms based on what your brand is, which is so key. Now Camilita, let's talk about one of your favorite topics, money. You are a self made multimillionaire, you have coached six figure earners, and you've coached millionaires. In your opinion, what is the difference in mindset between someone who can get to six figures a year versus someone who can get to seven figures a year?

Camilita Nuttall 32:33
So there's two things there's this mindset, and your ability to not worry about failure. Besides taking risks, that's that's a whole different thing. But it's, for me, when I went from five to six, and six to seven and multiple seven, it was, the mindset was, I have got nothing to lose. I've got nothing to lose, I've got nothing to lose, if I fail I'm not going to be worse than I was today. I mean, a bit closer to where I want to be. But it's so, so what if I fail? So what? And I just did it anyway. Feel the fear and do it anyway, we know the book, just do it. And that's the difference in the mindset that people say, you know, get into action, action dispels fear. Get into action, start doing something towards where you're going. The more you get into action, even if you do it wrong, you're not doing anything at all. Get into action, because this feels that mindset of disbelief and the fear and just get on and do it. Regardless of how you feel. There's no feeling. My whole, see my success formula is focus, plus work, times belief, minus fear, equal results. Because all of those things play in you going from five to six, six to seven, seven to multiple seven. Focus on what you're doing, mind, plus mother says, mind your own business. Focus, plus work, from nine to five. If fortune is made after five, work, focus, times believe. You gotta believe. Who do you believe in? You believe in you, your brand purposes. When everybody else says no, you believe. And believe is action. Remember, believe is action. Focus, plus work, times belief, minus fear, because you will be afraid every single day your future quit when you're building. Your ability to carry on regardless, it is working, that's what determines whether you are winning or losing. And the pandemic has actually taught us about an old thing to do with fear. The ones that made more, we make more money in the pandeic. We got more property, we quadrupled our income. Why? Because we weren't focused on the fear. Focus, we were focused. Plus work, we were working like a dog. Times believe, we believed. Minus fear, equal results. That's my success formula for your mind and your pocket.

Susan Sly 34:55
And when Camilita speaks, does anyone else feel like I either need to say amen, I need of a coffee mug with her Camilitaisms, or like a T shirt or motivational signs like, girl your, everything is like wisdom bomb, wisdom bomb, wisdom bomb. Oh my, I love you so much. I want to talk about using your money to make more money. It, there is a great shift of wealth happening. And when I did your event, we talked about the metaverse, NFT's, crypto, means stocks. And there's a massive shift in wealth happening because there are a lot more opportunities, entry level opportunities, whether it's crowd funding or whatever, for people to invest in things that were previously privileged. So when people hear about you buying up all this property, in their minds they're like, but Camilita, I'm not sitting on millions and millions of dollars. Right? So will you share with us a little bit of the behind the curtain scene into your burgeoning real estate empire?

Camilita Nuttall 36:06
Listen, I love property, like I could buy everybody's house, honestly. Everybody knows. I love it. I want to give you, I want to tell you the backstory first. But then I want to tell you this. In 2020, I had a major surgery, major surgery, most people don't know, I told you, most people don't know. And it was like a month and a half after I said, I said to my husband, we need to keep going. I mean, we were buying loads of property before. But at that point, I decided, You know what, I'm just gonna, I'm just gonna do it. And this was the start of the pandemic. And everything went haywire because everybody went home, and nobody was in the office and everything else. And I said, we need to buy every single property that we need to buy, even though we've had loads before that we can find. When you have no money, you got to find money. There are, there are loans, there are, I'm not telling people to use credit cards, because I don't do that. There are loans you can take, legitimate loans, there's funding, you can do rent to rent, you could do rent to buy, you can, you have a lot of people living in one house, HMOs we call it here. There are at least 20 or 30 different ways to buy property with zero money. So your job is to educate yourself and find how you can do that. Because there was a report from Forbes it was sometime last year during the pandemic, it said 64% of the wealth in this world is in real estate. 64%. It said 20 something or the other people that was wealthy, the wealthiest people in the world, I'm talking about all people that had, all the Sam Waltons that you know, his children and grandchildren, great grandchildren, all of those people, that the majority, 64% of them had money that wealth was in real estate. 30% was in listen to this, digital assets. I was like, what does that look like? So it was all, to do with anything, any digital asset you can think about. And this was before crypto and blockchain and all that business. This was before all of that. And then you had a percent this is just other things. So I thought, right, I'm definitely in the right game. So as an entrepreneur, your job is to make money and to buy income generating assets. Whether it's crypto, whether it's property, whether it's whatever, that's your job, because the plan has to be your money to make money so you don't have to get up out of bed. You know, my plan, three years, done work. I'm done. Because I've been working on this now for years. Because I've been investing for the longest time into income generating assets, most of it, a huge portion of it, I've got lots of digital assets, but most of it is property, because that's what the book says. Most of the wealthiest people in the world have 64% of them. They own the wealth in real estate. So what should you learn from that? And I'm, this was last year, when I mean this, we were doing this for years. last 15 years. This was last year, what does that tell you? Where should you put your time? And then I said the digital assets and what we're going to talk about. So where should you put your time? Right now you got no choice. You want to stay ahead? You got no choice. And especially when everybody is freaking out and worrying, you need to get to work and you need to get busy.

Susan Sly 39:26
Well, you were just given the recipe, everybody. I mean 64% in real estate. I couldn't, I can't even believe it. And it's, I just got back from New York, National Retail Federation Big Show the single largest retail show in the world. So you have Brian Cornell, the CEO of Target. You have Patrice who's CEO of Ralph Lauren. I was in sessions with the head of the metaverse team for Estee Lauder. They're talking about these digital playgrounds and all of these companies are acquiring virtual real estate in Roblox, in Decentraland. I'm looking at real estate in Decentraland. I just need to be home for a hot minute to make my acquisition. I messaged, when I was in, Camilita, when I was in New York, I'm messaging Emery, my 12 year old I'm like, Are you on Roblox? She's like, Yes, Mama. I said, Will you teach mommy about Roblox? And she's like, okay, sure, I'll teach you. Like, there is so much money to be made. And I predict that the people who love real estate in the real world, they're gonna start snapping up real estate in the metaverse. I want to, you and I, when I did your event, we were talking about NFT's. We're talking about crypto, we're talking about all of these things now. So what is on the roadmap, for in addition to acquiring properties in the real world here, what is on the roadmap for wealth building for you?

Camilita Nuttall 41:03
Well, I mean, if setup is property in the metaverse, then so should Camilita, right. So if I'm looking, yeah, I've got sort of that piece. And I've got a bit of the other piece. My goal for the next 12, 18 months, two to three years, is to focus heavily on the digital space. To focus heavily on creating NFT's, my own, you know, whatever, we tend to do it. Connected with some people already. Focused heavily on investing not just in the crypto but all different types of digital assets. And looking heavily on buying land in the metaverse. I like to do my due diligence. I've studied law, I did land law, I kind of understand that whole contract side of things, I ain't buying nothing until I see the paperwork. So I focused on that. But I want to learn because that's where the world is going. Your job as an entrepreneur is to find out where the world is going. And you need to be ahead not behind, because then all those people would have made their money. And then you know, tailing along trying to buy scraps of what they don't want or selling what they don't want. That's not happening. I'm going to learn, you could learn, we could learn anything, you could learn to fly a plane, you could learn anything. So if this is the area where the world is going, go and learn because I am going to learn and I'm diving into that, and I'm going to get the right advice. And I'm going to learn because if that's what the billionaires in this world are doing, that's where I'm pitching my tent.

Susan Sly 42:33
And you can tell that Camilita is serious. She's not just curious, and that's the difference between someone who becomes a multimillionaire is because they can execute, right? And Camilita executes, she executes and she is not afraid to fail. So in the chat right now, what I want to see, based on what Camilita has shared, what are you going to execute on? I want to see that right now. Because here's the thing, we can be here a year from today. And I am very confident in a couple of things. One, I will be a year older, and I will be wealthier, and Camilita will be a year older, and she will be wealthier. And the third thing I'm confident in is we'll both be looking really good. Last question I have for you. Walk us through your day, you know, like people, you're you know, you are such an achiever. Walk us through your day. What time do you wake up? What's your morning routine?

Camilita Nuttall 43:38
So I get up at six. I try not to get up before because I really want to mentally sleep right. I don't, I don't want that day to be my last. So sleep. I get up at six. I read personal development, I pray, just talk to God, get my mind in the right space, I go downstairs, I go on a treadmill. I go, I walk on my treadmill. I do a reel while I'm on my treadmill and I might be reading something on social media or I'm making notes of all the things are flooding out of my mind. And I'm making notes on my phone while I'm walking. When I'm done, I come upstairs, I have a team meeting with my team. After breakfast, I do not have breakfast at my computer. Zero. I stop dance. I stay downstairs. I have breakfast with my husband, cooked breakfast. We eat and then I come upstairs.

Susan Sly 44:30
Who cooks the breakfast?

Camilita Nuttall 44:32
Me, of course. I love to cook, darling. I'm Carribean, I love to cook.

Susan Sly 44:37
I didn't want to be insulted. I dind't know. Maybe,

Camilita Nuttall 44:39
I love, that's one of my pastimes. I absolutely love to cook. I love to cook nice things that I can enjoy. I think, it's for me it's savory and it's nice. So I come upstairs, shower, and then I get in front of my computer. First thing, I message my team. You know, Hi good morning, Hope you guys have an amazing day today. I give them the task but it, you know, whatever. And then I get on with my beat. Sometimes I'm doing, my day is very structured. I have a planner. My planner here is very structured. So it's every hour, every half hour is minuted and structured in what I need to do. So when I'm doing property, and it's color coded, color coordinated as well, what is urgent, what is important or what can wait. And so it's structured, where I know exactly what's happening, and what's going on. If it's property stuff happening, if it's Camilita stuff, it it's Event of Champions stuff, and I make use of every single hour of the day. I stop for lunch. I might have a salad. I stop for lunch. I am not going to eat lunch at my computer. I am not going to die for this business. No chance. I'm going to stop and we'll have proper lunch. And then I'm going to come back in my office and then I will carry on. And when I, if I'm doing calls and stuff in evening, fine. I can get that done. Have some food. I have a whole lot right here. I will show you. I'm playing because I'm not gonna do junk all day to try to make money, not happening. Right here, right here. Nice, I'm having fruits because I'm not going to eat junk. So it's right next to me. When I'm done with you I'm gonna have some oranges. And then when I have a show it would be in my bag. And I'm going to talk to God. And I'm gonna just mentally be in a place of rest. And I'm going to make notes of anything else that I forgot. So I can empty my mind as a whole of those things. I pray and I go and sleep.

Susan Sly 46:22
That is beautiful. And you're not going to get scurvy.

Camilita Nuttall 46:29
Right here.

Susan Sly 46:34
Camilita, the discipline, that is the difference between an achiever and a non achiever, you know, as Jim Rohn used to say, either you run your day or your day runs you, and that, it's that deliberate, that consistency. And, uh, you know, one of many things I love about you is you have your wall kicking moments that you dig in, and you get gritty, and you're like, okay, but you know, I'm not going to be down for long, maybe a minute or two minutes, and then I'm going to get back in my routine, and I'm going to get in there. I'm going to make more money. I'm going to serve more people, and I'm going to crush it. I love you. I can't wait. I cannot wait until Camilita and I are in Italy. It's going to be Camilita, Rebecca Zung, and my friend Alexandra, who is, she runs a magazine called the Global Fashion Lawyer. And she's from Milan. And it just, it's over. It's like, I can't. We will have to make a YouTube series of this. Be like,

Camilita Nuttall 47:48
You guys need to fly into London. You can have dinner at, before you go darling. One has to do that when one is in London. Of course.

Susan Sly 47:57
Of course. Because I love lemon curd. Like I can bathe in it. I'm not even kidding. I'm not kidding. That's a whole other story. Camilita, where can people connect with?

Camilita Nuttall 48:10
Oh my god, all you need to do is with a very simple. One name, Find me everywhere on social media and you know what, go get one of those ebooks. Remember don't forget, get some things, some tools that can help you win fast and win big. Do it right now.

Susan Sly 48:35 It's one name, it's like Lord of the Rings, one ring can rule tham all it's like, one Queen to rule them all. I love you. Everyone in the chat right now, a love note to Camilita. What are you taking away? Go to And thank you Camilita, again so much for being here.

Susan Sly 48:37
It was my pleasure. You know I love you. I love you. You're my sister. You my sister. I love you.

Susan Sly 49:06
I love you too, girl.

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Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Glenn Stearns

268. From Pain to Gain: Lessons Learned From Adversity with Glenn Stearns

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There’s no escaping pain when it comes to achieving success. But if you’re willing to make the necessary sacrifices, you can turn your failures into stepping stones for greater achievement.

In this episode, Glenn talks about the lessons he learned from his biggest challenges and how they’ve helped him become a successful entrepreneur. If you’re looking to make a big change in your life, you need to be prepared to make sacrifices and take risks. Are you ready to leap into success?

From underdog to Undercover Billionaire, Glenn Stearns is a rags-to-riches story that shows what can be accomplished with grit and determination.

Glenn is known for his unrivaled track record for turning his vision and passion into reality through hard work, determination and grit. As a serial entrepreneur, Glenn is going back to his roots and is the Founder and CEO of Kind Lending, a new mortgage banker in the industry. He is creating a collaborative environment where individual input matters and having fun is mandatory. In 2019, Glenn starred in the television show, Undercover Billionaire, on the Discovery channel. The show featured the importance of team building, accountability, and perseverance.

—Glenn Stearns

Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Glenn Stearns

Topics covered in the interview

Breaking the cycle
Using your past to get to the place you want to be
Taking a leap
Finding people that can do your job
Importance of relationships in business
Adapting and shifting in business

Glenn Stearns’ Bio

Glenn was born to alcoholic parents, diagnosed dyslexic, and failed 4th grade. He fathered a child at the age of 14 and graduated high school in the bottom ten-percent of his class. While some of his friends lost their lives to drugs and alcohol, and others spent time in prison, Glenn’s path intersected with mentors who gave him motivating examples of how to not meet the fate of his friends and instead take control of his destiny. He took that life-changing encouragement and ran with it. Glenn became the first person in his family to attend college and graduated with a degree in economics from Towson University. Inspired by stories of people who took risks and achieved their grandest ambitions, he then moved to California where he slept on the kitchen floor of a one-bedroom apartment that he shared with five other recent grads. While waiting tables, Glenn continued to search for new opportunities to rise above his humble beginnings.

At 25, after working as a loan officer for 10 months, Glenn formed his own mortgage company, Stearns Lending. By 2010, Stearns Lending reached nearly $1 billion a month in funding while experiencing record growth. Stearns not only survived the 2007 mortgage-lending crisis, it emerged as one of the top lenders in the country. Glenn attributes his resilience to putting “people before profit” and having transparent integrity in lending standards. Since 2010, Stearns Lending has funded over 150-billion dollars in loans, making the corporation America’s #1 Wholesale Lender in 2013. The company has helped nearly 1,000,000 families achieve home ownership. In 2014, Blackstone purchased the majority share of Stearns Lending for an undisclosed sum.

Mr. Stearns is also the founder of Anivive Life Science, Stearns Wholesale, Stearns Holdings, Stearns Ventures, Artemis Holdings, TriVerify, TriMavin, United Housing Services, Inc., and Mortgage Services Providers Holdings. He is an investor in and Lender Price and the largest shareholder of California-based Infinity bank.

In 2011, Mr. Stearns was inducted into The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans. The Award is given to individuals in recognition of personal and professional success despite humble and challenging beginnings, in addition to personal initiatives and accomplishments in giving back to others. In 2013, he became the youngest Member elected to the Horatio Alger Association’s prestigious Board of Directors.

Mr. Stearns and his wife Mindy are very active in the community having been honored for their dedication to community service and philanthropy with Muhammad Ali’s Parkinson’s Foundation “Couple of the Year” Award, Starkey Hearing Foundation’s “American Couple of the Year,” Orange County’s “Giving is Living Award” and the Orangewood Children’s Foundation’s “Golden Heart Award”.

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Show Notes

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Well, thank you, Susan, really appreciate that. And I am excited to be here. I'll give you a little background about myself. I've been an entrepreneur for over 30 years, I started out, I grew up on the East Coast, grew up in Maryland. And, you know, I had been a son of parents that struggled with addiction. We grew up very, very hard. My dad was a printer, my mom was a grocery checker. And, and, you know, we, I knew only what I knew, right? I mean, you grew up the way you grow up. And so as I kind of developed along the way, when I was in fourth grade, I had been held back, so I failed fourth grade. By the time I made it to eighth grade, I had a child. So I was 14 years old and had a daughter, and, and then kind of moved along in the 9th, 10th, and 11th grade, falling in my dad, mom's footsteps, having my own intervention with alcohol and a lot of other things because I was a lost kid. And I tell you all this for a reason, because I think that when we look at our past, and we see that we are made up of all of our experiences, obviously everybody is. And what happens is, I think the more adversity that we've had in our lives, it builds for us, it gives us this foundation that I think a lot of people don't understand that you can use this as your fuel, you can use this as your kind of your coat of armor, as we get older and as we grow. And so in my case, I ended up being the first to go to college, I went to university, not because I was a smart kid, but I was following my girlfriend to college. Again, I tell you that for a reason. Because sometimes we find ourselves in places, not because we're the brightest guy in the room or gal in the room, but because of luck, we just get there. And we adapt, and we learn. And in my case, you know, my parents again, being pretty humble. They didn't ask me to go to college, they didn't expect me to go to college, no one in my family had ever been to college. So by getting there, I found myself in a situation of kind of breaking the first cycle, so to speak of where my family had been. And I, I learned pretty quickly that, you know, as I was developing and growing in college and getting all my friends and becoming, you know, we started a fraternity and again, it was all about having fun and in growing and learning. But I found that a lot of people were relying on me heckling, you go do this, you go get us out of this trouble, you go you know, with the landlord, whatever it was, but I began to like the fact that other people relied on me. I you know, I didn't have many mentors growing up. I wasn't fortunate enough to have people that said, you should go down this path and do these things. But I did have some people along the way that planted the seeds, that said, you know, there's something about you, you know, you're going to do well, and, and I would always be embarrassed. And I'd say, you know, just thanks. I appreciate it, but it didn't want to hear it. But it was, it was in the back of my mind. And it made me believe that maybe I could be bigger than any dreams I've ever had before. And so, again, I say this because as, as we are young, and as we grow, you know, holding on and having dreams are very important. And having a goal is very important. And in my case, it was very loose. And yet, you know, I didn't want to prove the people wrong that believed in me, I wanted to prove them right. And so I held on to that and started to grow. And I found now that I am in my 50s, being a mentor and being a positive influence for others is so important. To plant those seeds in young people is so important. And so as I grew through college, I you know, I still wasn't a great student. I didn't do very well. Actually graduated with a 2.1 to be

frank. It was a, it was not the greatest grades. But it was more about the lessons I've learned about how to pay for college, how to navigate the waters. And so all of those things, I think help lead us to becoming an entrepreneur. And so for a lot of people out there, I know you guys are either young entrepreneurs, you've been around the block a while and you're still entrepreneur, or maybe you're just getting started. And the reason I think it's important is you don't have to have come from this Ivy League. You don't have to come from a group of parents and people that have just molded you correctly. You can use your past, you can use your, all of your experiences, to help lead you in the right direction and get you to the place you want to be. So when I got finished with college, I figured that I, actually what really happened was I was sitting one night, doing the same thing I'd always done, go out in a bar with my friends. And I was laughing at something very silly, at one o'clock in the morning. And as I did, I remember putting my head back and laughing and I said, Man, I've left at the same dumb stuff last night, and the night before. And I'm like, you know, this is old. I don't want to do it anymore. And so the next morning, I told my, my buddy from, my roommate, I said, Why don't we get in a car and let's drive cross country and go to, go to California? And so off we went, we drove in and we just kind of thought we'd be there for a couple of weeks. And then we'd see where we went. And so I ended up, there was, we knew one person in Southern California. We slept on the floor, there were four other guys, there was five of them in a one bedroom, plus my buddy and myself. I slept on the linoleum floor in the kitchen, did that for about four or five nights. And I knew a girl that was my, my manager when I was a waiter in college. She happened to be in Southern California as well. And she, I got a hold of her. And she said just come over and sleep in a bed. So I did. And the next morning, I woke up and I walked down to the beach. I sat on this beautiful shoreline on a bench. There was beautiful people, beautiful cars, million dollar homes. I sat there, I got inspired. Right, I said, I want this. This is the, I want this life. And so there's a man in his yard and he was sitting there just, you know, pruning the rose bushes and and I walked up to him. I said, what did it take to get this house? Like I know, I can do it. Tell me what it takes to get a house like this. And the man says, senor, I'm sorry, but I'm the gardener. And I think the man's in real estate. And so I laughed and said, Alright, thank you very much, but, but I'm gonna get into real estate. So went back to my friends. My one buddy from college, he said, let's start driving back. And I said, You know what? I think I'm gonna stay. And so I did, I took that first leap, the first kind of jump of, I'm on my own. This is scary, what am I going to do? And as an entrepreneur, you'll find that when you're on your own, when you take that first jump, that's the hardest one, right? Because, you know, we don't have a tether. We don't have anything to hang on to. And failure is scary. You think, you know you're, how you're going to pull yourself out. But what I found by doing that was it was a wonderful feeling to then say, I've got to figure this out. And again, what I find is some people feel that fear, and they run from it. And as I began to make certain decisions in my life that causes anxiety, excuse me, cause anxiety of what am I going to do? How am I going to figure this out? I began to like it, I began to take that feeling and use it to my advantage.

I want to feel that feeling again of anxiety, what am I going to do? How am I going to figure this out? So it can either be something that holds you back or isn't something that excites and and motivates you forward? And so, I stayed, I became a waiter and I started a job as a loan officer. And I didn't know what I was doing. I was pretty lost as far as you know, not having a lot of friends. But I spent the first 10 months learning that business and then I decided I'm gonna go on my own. So they say ignorance is bliss, trust me, I did not know what I did not know, which is nice, because if I did, I wouldn't have done it. And that's okay. It's actually a good place to be. And I don't know, also, now that I look back, there's a lot of people who were planners, right? I gotta have everything right. I get it all right, then I'm gonna go off. And you know what happens? You plan and plan and plan and then you miss the opportunities. And all of a sudden, you know, you, they're gone. I'd rather kind of be building the plane as we're flying. And that's been my way, my whole life, which is just, you know, go out there, start it, put the stake in the ground, say, I'm going to do this, and then hang on for dear life sometimes, because we don't know what we're gonna get ourselves into a lot of times. And if we are full of integrity, and we keep our word, and we surround ourselves with great people, great things can happen. In my case, I started out, like I said, as a loan officer, 10 months later, I opened my own company, and began to fail quickly, right? I did not have a lot of business. I did it with a partner who didn't know much about the mortgage business, he was a real estate agent. But we began to put the pieces together as fast as we could. And what I found was if I surrounded myself with other loan officers, and I brought them in, then they could take some of the job that I was doing, and we could keep growing. So I became a recruiter. I became someone who brought more people in and thought if I keep replacing myself, if I keep finding people that can do my job, I can continue to build and do other things. And so again, not knowing where you are, but that first step, first steps of taking on employees is hard. Because we've, we find we, now, they're relying on us, what happens if we make the wrong decisions?

Do it, move forward, be authentic, communicate, and everything will be okay. And so we did that. And off I went, like I said, I started the mortgage business. It was tough in the beginning. And as we grew and continued to learn, we were very small for years, but prior to the third year, so I thought, there's more to this real estate game than just the loan. There's a bigger pieces of the pie, because you've got escrow and title. You've got audit, credit, appraisal, there's many things that involve a mortgage loan, and a mortgage transaction. So I opened up a Title and Escrow Company. I went out and failed at that very quickly. Did not get any business. I think we had three deals in the first month. And I had six people working there. So that was a big bust. But I thought, wow, there's, the federal government sells a lot of assets, a lot of mortgage, a lot of homes, and that they have acquired through lenders. And so I went to the federal government, and I said, How can I get some of these Title and Escrow work? And they said I needed a contract. You know, what's the contract, right? Again, not having all my homework done. But as I went out and figured it out, they explained to me how that worked. I actually had a very nice lady, the receptionist at HUD, Department of Housing and Urban Development, she would call me and tell me when there were contracts. And it quickly made me realize that you don't have to always think of the president of a company as the person you need to get to. The receptionist, people that work in there every day. They're just as important because you need relationships. That's what's so important in what we do as entrepreneurs , it's all about the relationships. So this woman whose receptionist gave me the phone call about an upcoming contract, and I went out and decided to bid on this contract. I got the contract. Again, just little backstory, it was $150 a transaction. I bid $149.50 because the previous contractor had it at 150. It was about all the research I did. I went and flew to Denver for the bid opening. I was the only one at the bid opening. There were 30 bids but no one else flew out there. I felt like a fool, not realizing that, you know, it's only about the lowest bid. It didn't matter if you were there. But what happened, again through these mistakes is I got to under— I got to meet the contracting officers, I got to start these relationships. And off I went, I won, because I had the lowest bid. And I started to do a lot of business for the federal government. Problem was, every deal I did, it cost about $300 in labor, and I was getting paid $149.50. And so I went back to the government, and I explained to them that I made a mistake. They told me that if I chose to give up the contract, or if they had to pull the contract, that would never work in the, with the federal government again. So I had to figure out how to make it work with $149.50

when it costs $300 a transaction. So as I continued along, I would notice that more than half the transactions, that these lawyers would put these $5,000 fees in there, and that the homeowners association would put 5, $6,000 of back fees from the last 18 months. So there was 10, $12,000 of junk fees that people would put into foreclosures, that I didn't feel it was fair for the federal government and my tax dollars to be paying for. So I went to the government and explained to them that I thought I could save 4, 5, $6,000 on every transaction by negotiating with the lawyers. And I would do that if they would give me an extra $300 per file. And so we agreed to that, they put it in my contract, they paid me on each file, and I've got to negotiate on behalf of the federal government. And actually, all I did is I put a letter in the file saying the government refuses to pay these fees, I saved millions of dollars, of our tax dollars, and I got to make a little tiny piece of it back, which kept me in business. Again, reason I tell you this is that when we get into a business, it's about adapting and shifting, and it's about looking and going we think we know everything, when you really get into something, you realize, there's so much more to learn, always. And if it were easy, everybody be doing it. And in my case, I got to learn, see where I needed to go, adapt, negotiate, thank goodness, I had gone out and I was the only one that ever went out there to the bid opening because I then knew the contracting officers. I got to call them up, I got to fly back down there, sit down with them. And it worked. So as it continued to grow, I had my mortgage business, I had my title and escrow business. And then I said, Well, I'm gonna go out and do audits for the federal government. We also need that. So I became the largest auditor for HUD in the country. I became the largest title and escrow company in the country for HUD. I began to work with the Secretary of Housing, I began to do things that this little kid from Maryland that had, you know, failed fourth grade and had a child in eighth grade, and never dreamed of these kinds of things. And all along, I'm growing this mortgage business on the side now, because I have these other businesses that have, that have taken off. And and as I was doing this, the government decided to change gears and they went from large business contractors, and they want it small contractors. And so I didn't qualify anymore. And so slowly over a period of three or four years, I lost my contracts because they went to small businesses. But what I learned in those years, it was just, it was amazing, because the government were people that just were relentless. Nonstop, we want more and more and more out of you, and they would pound on me. And I would go to my people, and I would say, the government wants you to know how much they appreciate you. They're so happy that you're working hard, thank you. And then I would go to them and they'd say, tell the government to screw off. There's, they're thankless, and they would yell at me. I would turn to the government. I'd say my people are so thankful for job, they care. So I stayed in the middle but got beat up by both sides. But it was the, it was where I need to be as the owner, and it worked, because you've got two sides that have some contention, and yet neither one really knew, because I just wanted them both to know how thankful we were on both ends. Because if it came down to it, we did a very good job and they got a lot of good work out of it. And so now, as I moved on, I continued to evolve and grow my mortgage business, I ended up buying out my partner, and I came sole owner.

I remember one time when I was working, and I had a loan officer working for me. And he got really nervous because he said, There was a borrower that was very, very upset. And the borrower said he was going to sue us. And I, I've never been threatened with a lawsuit. I didn't know what to do. And so I talked to the borrower. And I said, What's the problem? He says, you've sent me to somebody, they're not doing my loan. And now you've ruined my wedding and I won't be able to move. They were very upset. And I said, Well, sir, we sent you to, we brokered out your loan, and they turned you down. He said, No, I put my effort and my thoughts into what you were doing, I wanted you to help me. And now you have chosen that group, and they so this is your fault. And I turned around to go like, Who do I talk to about this, but I was the end, right, I was the owner. And there was nobody to back me. And it was a lonely feeling. It was a feeling of, wow, we're gonna get sued. And I don't have somebody I can flip this to. And it was pretty scary thought. And so again, I don't know where you are in your evolution, but when you realize you're the last stop, you can take that in a couple of different ways, I guess. And you know, what I finally buckled down and realize is I had to step up. So I talked, I called back the gentleman and I said, You know what, I owe you an apology. I do take responsibility on who we chose as your lender. This is before I became a direct lender. And I said, let me see what I can do. And we worked on the file lights, flipped it around, got it to someone else, and they did the deal and everything worked out. But the reality is that as we grow, and as we become our own boss, as we have other people working for us, we have other people depending on us, you know, there's that saying, it's lonely at the top is very, very accurate. And you need to thrive in that environment. I was also very young, as I was making a lot of money, and I went to see a therapist, because I told the woman I said, Look, I've got a big issue. And she said, What is it? And I said, I'm making more money than my father ever made. I'm doing really, really well. My business is booming. And I just think it's all going to blow up. She said, why? I said something tells me I don't deserve this. And something tells me that this is just not going to last. And the lady, probably the best advice I ever got, She said Okay, now that we do me a favor. She said I'd like you to get up and get out of my office. She says you are trying to sabotage yourself. You deserve everything you have, you've worked your a** off, and you deserve it. Big, it's great, you're making more money than your father, it's great that you're so celebrated. Don't think it's going to end, just realize that you deserve it. And that was you know, these little things, again, are so important. Because as we grow and learn, we see that you know, that there are ceilings that we hit, we think of at the top, I can't go any farther, we have to break free of those thoughts. We have to just realize that we have unlimited ability, if we put our minds to it, surround ourselves with the right people. And we continue to have that, just conviction that we will do the best job we can and if we do, we will succeed. And so when that happens, do not sabotage yourself, do not feel that you don't deserve it. Do not allow those little demons in our heads to get in the way. Because all they are is distractions. And the reality is that we deserve everything we get when we work our tails off and we sit there and work when other people are out taking their kids to soccer and they're doing the Little League and they're doing all this stuff that we'd like to do, right? It's all about sacrifice. Where are you going to sacrifice?

I have a lot, my ex wife, I have a lot of friends that are teachers. Guess what? Eight o'clock they quit at about four o'clock they get to go home and do all that, wonderful. That's their sacrifice, they don't get to go and drive the fancy Rolls Royce and all the crazy trips and stuff. They've decided to, to have their own kind of sacrifice, we've decided to have our own sacrifice. And that's just part of the game. You choose what you want to do. And hopefully, as we get a little better at it, as we grow, we find our balance, we find the place to do it all. When asked about balance before in my life, I've always thought I had great balance. It didn't come in daily balance, I didn't get up and like, you know, sit there and meditate and then work out and then go to work. You know, I had balance in maybe weeks or months. I worked my tail off for a couple of months. I coast for a week, I had a balance in maybe a year. I didn't have balance daily. And as I've gotten older, that balance has come closer to, you know, weekly and daily than it was so far out. Would I change it? No, I wouldn't. I have an ex wife, Okay, that's part of the unbalance, right? But the reality is that, you know, I, again, it's just part of what happened. She's today a very close friend of ours, she attended my other wedding, I attended hers, she's the godmother to my children. When I went around the world on a boat with my kids and family, she came along and taught our little girls. So I'm proud of the fact that sometimes things don't work out the way we plan them, but it's what we do with it. Okay, I have a child, like I said, she's going to be 43, the next two months. All right. And I'm great friends with her mother and her stepdad that she's had, since she was really young. You know, life is what it is. And again, what do we do about it when it doesn't go the way we plan it. So. So anyway, as I continue my evolution of where I am, I hope you're getting tiny nuggets out of this, but I began to grow my mortgage business. Now focus 100% on that, because all the contracts had left, so now in the early 2000s, 2001, 2002, 2003 and the world starts catching on fire, the real estate businesses start booming, everything's going on. And we start realizing because if you're in a segment long enough, you're going to get lucky, so to speak, I'll give you my example of luck, okay, for some, for some of you that know the East Coast and know, Baltimore, then you might realize that Camden Yards, the stadium, was built in a warehouse district, pretty recently, in the last 15, 20 years. And I remember walking out and there were 1000s of people at this pub. It's called Pickles Pub. It was right across the street. My friend said, What a lucky person that is to have that bar across the street from the stadium. And I said, That's exactly my definition of luck. Do you know that that puppet been there for 100 years, it lived for about 50 years in a warehouse district that was basically shut down. It had nobody there. So luck, is exactly what it is, you wear out the competition. And eventually, you're going to have opportunity, hopefully land on your feet. In my case, you know, I go back to the fact that I've been doing this mortgage thing now since 1989, have gone through the 90s. And now in the early 2000s. The government has said we want homeownership for as many people as we can. So what did they do? That forced all of the loan companies and other people to say let's loosen the guidelines. So as it continued to loosen and loosen and loosen, more loans are done and more homeownership than ever before. It became wonderful, except for the fact that we were doing really poor, crappy loans as an industry. If you Google my name, Glenn Stearns and google 2005, you'll see I'm out there gone, stop these loans. These are horrible loans. And everybody else was telling me I was out of my mind. What are you talking about? You don't know what you're saying. I said there's going to be a huge correction. And this is going to be very bad for people that are in over their head with loans that they don't qualify for, with loans that they're not putting any money down on. And

as many of us remember, 2007, 2008 the worst financial crisis ever right? Well, where am I? Right in the crosshairs of everything being in the financial institution, I mean, being a financial institution, and now being a pretty large one that that half the people that were on The Big Short, I've dealt with yelled, argued over all of these loans that were going bad. And it was a rough time. I found myself with over $100 million of buybacks of the loans that went bad, class action lawsuits, the Department of corporations suing me for interest issues, all these things hitting me at one time. I lost 85% of my business. I was out, there was nothing left that could do. I could not find a happy place in my life. And as an entrepreneur, again, we ride with the son, we get to tool around in the fancy cars. And then when it sucks, boy does it suck because everybody gets to watch his fault. Everybody gets to see us fail. And especially now I've got my name on all these buildings, and they're all coming down. What am I going to do? I remember I was in a Bible study with Robert Schuller, I don't know if you know him, the Hour of Power, the Crystal Cathedral. I was in a Bible study. And he says, let's all pray, get a hug. Let's pray for Glenn and Mindy. And as we did that, I said, Robert, I said, You know what, I just want you to know one thing, I said, I'm going to be okay. I realized something, I might lose all the fancy buildings, and I might lose this business. I said, every successful business person that I know, when I mean successful, I mean, the ones that were the ultra successful ones that had built Southern California, I said, every one of them faced a hard time like this. They lost it all. And they've had to grow it back and go, this is just my time. So if you can find yourself, when you do in one of those situations, you have to ask yourself, is it your time? And if it is, the answer is then you just know that you're going to go through a hell of a lot. And you've just got to deal with it. You have to figure out how to communicate to people, how to tell them that you're going to be short on the bills, how you're going to tell them that you need to renegotiate the leases. You've got to sit with every single person. And that's what I did. I took a clipboard. This is in, this is September 2007. And I wrote down Bear Stearns, 30 million, Morgan Stanley 20 million. I owed these people all this money, supposedly out of these hundreds of millions of dollars of buyback loans. I had, I had 50,000 square feet of office space, I needed 8,000. I had a class action, I had this, that and I just went down the list. I flew to New York, I sat with each one of those people. And I argued and argued and then got to the point, I said, Look, are you on the side that you'll work with me? Or are you on the side of pounds, and I don't care. And I gotta to be honest, I'm just going down the list. Tell me which side you want to fit on. And then I'm going to add up all my checkmarks. And if I have too many on the pound side, pound sand side, I'm just gonna give back the keys. And I'm done. I said, But if you and others tell me you work with me, I'm gonna work my tail off to get you every penny I can get you. And so by doing that, went through, I walked into the lawyer's office, the people that were suing me at the class action. I said, Tell me, how bad are you going to stick it to me? I don't have money for a lawyer. I just need to know and the guy sits there. He looks at me. He goes, Are you out of your mind? I go, No, I'm just dead broke. And I just tried to figure out whether I'm going to have a business or not. And he just started laughing. He took this card. He says call this other guy, is a different lawyer because we'll reach out a lawsuit. So I began to go through every single person. And what I found is every single person said they work with me, every one of them. And so

by communicating in the hardest of times, because it wasn't just me, every single lender. They have, again, Google this, Google Hundreds and hundreds of lenders were going out of business every single day. And all you got to do is go on there and see the next three or four or five that went out that day. It was very difficult time. So I made sure everyone in my office, nobody can be on that site. It's a negative site. I don't care. It's not good to see other people going out of business. I'm not happy for this, for the competition, having to go out of business. These people, we have to align ourselves. You have to take your competition and use them as part of your support group. Don't think of them as the enemy, think of them as your friends. And so, as we kind of navigated through there in November, well, actually, in September of '07, two of my biggest competitors went out of business. And I decided that day, because I had to go from 50,000 feet to 8,000 and they were knocking down my cubicles. And they were getting rid of them, which by the way, they were $200,000 in cubes, that I was going to sell to some friends for 100,000 that became 50,000, that became 25,000. I had to give the cubes away. One guy, the only guy could find that would do it for free, Okay? Give them just to get them out of there. And as you start to realize, when you have no leverage, that life isn't as fun. And as that guy was putting the cubes that I needed them out, or they were going to charge me rent starting on that Monday, I said, I have to have a mount, my assistant came to me and said, two of our biggest competitors went out today. I told them and I said, Hold those cubicles right there. I have an idea. And I called my competitor. And I said I want to talk to you about your offices, because I don't think you should close them down. And he says, Well, I'm closing and I said, Okay, well, then I'm gonna talk to you about me taking them over. And I said, Can I see you tonight? And he says, I've had a bad day so let me buy you a beer. He says, no. I said, we'll see me tomorrow. And so tomorrow was a Saturday. And he said, Okay. I said, Come to my office. So when I hung up the phone, my CFO and a couple other people said, Why are you having them come here? We've just knocked down all the cubicles, it's the ghost town, he's going to be scared to death when he walks in here. So I said, do me a favor, put like 10 desks over here, put monitors on, computer monitors. And he said, Okay. So as he came in the next morning, the gentleman that had closed his offices, I said, come this way. Now, as I turned him, if he had looked that way, in the middle, he would have seen an empty place. But as he went down through the desks, I brought him to the corner of the building, which was where my office still was, because I still have the 8,000 feet over there. And we sat and we talked about it. And I said, I want to hire your people. And I brought him back out to that area where the the desks are with the computers. And I said, I want you to imagine your people sitting here Monday, because I can have them up and running by Monday. I want so rehire those people, I don't think they deserve to be laid off. And so again, the reason to put those desks up and the monitors and a chair was I wanted him to visualize people sitting there. If it had been empty, it's scary again, but just visualizing his people being comfortable and being in a place. So he called me on Monday, and he says, You can have my offices. So by the way, he then asked me, How much do I pay for his furniture? You know my answer, right? Zero because, obviously, I wasn't getting any money on mine either. I did pay him $1 because, the contract but um, so we ended up I opened up five offices. November is the date they actually got open '07. I got five more offices open in '08. Now the whole world's crumbling and I'm taking the greatest offices and opening them because they had talent. They had people that I never could have gotten before. When people are running out of the fire,

you should always ask yourself, is it my turn to run in the fire? Right? Because there's opportunity and people are just too scared to see it. So we go from this. Okay, mortgage lender to now I have these great businesses. And now I'm off and running. By the way my HUD contracts are running out where I had auditors that have been underwriters before. They were FHA underwriters. So now I've repurposed them back into being FHA underwriters. And the world goes back. There's no more stated income loans of the, what got the whole world in trouble. It's now all full document loans and everybody's kind of forgotten how to do that. Well, I've got my old school auditors and underwriters back in there. And now I'm growing. I become the largest lender in the country, became the largest wholesale lender, the second largest lender in the country. And all from running in the fire when everybody else ran out. And I also didn't do it overnight, which I want a lot of you guys to think about, right? This is now 2008, 2009. I started in 1989. Okay, it takes time, do not think that overnight, you're going to end up being the most successful, biggest player. You've got to learn, you've got to understand all the pitfalls, you've got to have your support team, you've got to get to know your competition, you have to be in a position to be able to grow and be that big. Because if you're not, you can't, we can't handle it. We don't know a lot. By that point I knew a lot about the mortgage business. And so I grew and grew. So now here I am, I become the biggest lender. I am invincible once more. And then I get cancer. Okay, it's like, you know, whenever you think that you are better than someone else, you should get collaborative at the head. And that's where I believe it's, it's a God thing, because he's taught me every time, you're not better than anybody else, that receptionist at HUD is equally as important as the president. And I've always remembered that, but every now and then I get a little cocky, and I'll get hit down this time, bam, hit down cancer. So I ended up taking my business. And I partnered with Blackstone, Blackstone is the largest private equity group in the world, they took 70% of the company, I said, I'm gonna go be with my family for a while, and hopefully not die. And then you handle the company. So off we went. And we ended up, I went around the world with my family on a boat, nice boat, had a helicopter on it, I, not to brag, but hey, and I deserve that by that point. And, and off, we went. Well, the company took a different, you know, kind of a different road, because now it's being run by private equity guys, and it doesn't have the same, you know, kind of thumbprint that I had put on it, it's different. And so eventually, after a few years, they take that thing and drive it straight into the ground. Well, I

couldn't compete. Now I want to get back into it, I want to come back in, I want to try to help them. And they want to find somebody that can take the company public that's already been public. So I realized at that point, I'm out. And again, I tell you guys this for a reason. Your career will not just go like this, it's not, okay? There's going to be lots of ways and reasons and things are going to happen. You're going to screw it up so bad, you're gonna think, why did they do that? And that's part of the process. It's never in even row, you need to understand as you grow and really, and really do that you need to make mistakes. It's okay to make mistakes, just accept them, move on, do not worry about it. In my case, after five years of being in this partnership, they went and reorganize, filed chapter 11, took me out, by the way, they owed me a lot of money, and I had a lot of stock. All gone. Took me literally five seconds to realize, wow, now I can compete. I can go back at it, did not worry about the money, did not worry about the stock. You know, I cared about the people that had worked there. So now here it is, I have an opportunity to go back into it one more time. And so that's what I did. I went out and started a new company called Kind Lending. And yes, that was purposeful because I want it to give back and go help people understand that this is a people business. It's not just a bunch of Wall Street guys with P&Ls just, it's about people. This is about giving someone an opportunity for homeownership, which is probably the biggest investment you'll ever make in their life. So grown this company over the last two years to become a formidable company. We're now nipping at the heels of the big guys that I used to be, but it's coming back and I'm having such a fun time because it's not all about money. This is about other forms of currency. Because once you get over the fact that money is just one lover, and you realize there are other currencies such as happiness, such as health, such as other things that you can put into your formula, you begin to realize that people who work for you for probably more time than they're going to be able to see their families, right, they end up spending 40, 60, 80 hours a week working and devoting it to your business, that they need to feel the love. They need to feel that you care. They need to be inspired, so that they are knowing they're doing something that's more purposeful than just money. And so by focusing on that, I've been into a whole new place in my life of purpose of just being able to really feel that what we do is very important for individuals. And so it's, it's gotten me to that place of significance. And so I'm very thankful for that. So with all this, that's the arc of my business life, I guess you call it. I've had a lot to learn, and lots of growth from a lot of mistakes, a lot of mistakes. And I tell you, because if you think anyone out there is just the most perfect human being that's done it right, you've got to understand that either A, they don't tell you all the the dirty parts, or B, there's something really up and I'd run away from it. Because everybody has blind spots, we all have places. And what we need to do is fill them in, fill the blind spots in with other people that can help us, that can get us to see where we can't see. And so, you know, I've always found surrounding myself with people that are much smarter than me, people that have visions in other directions that I'm not looking at, are what's going to make our company great, right? It's not surrounding yourself with people that are yes people. I love surrounding myself with people that challenged me every day, it's important, because then you know, whether you're doing the right thing, let's figure it out, let's duke it out in a closed door and see what we have. And then we can realize, Wow, you got a good point, or you know what, I'm still going to do it, you know, whatever. But you know, but at least you get to hear all the sides of everything. So I think that's very important. Another little thing that happened in my life that, you know, I don't know if it was brought up earlier or not, but is I was off, like I said for those years after the cancer came, and I was just sailing around the world on my boat. And I realized that

there was more to life. And so what I ended up doing is I went and put a kind of proclamation out there and had a lot of people asking me if I wanted to do a television show. And long story, I'd done one 15 years ago, and I ended up winning this show. And so people for 15 years have been calling, Hey, you want to do a show? And you shouldn't always say no, I always thought I said, You know what I will do one thing. Put me anywhere in the country where I know no one. Take away my name, my contacts, money, I bet you I can rebuild a business. I'd always say that the people thinking, Alright, we're gonna do it. And then I get a call back one day, and it's from the Discovery Group. And Discovery says, Hey, if you're serious, you want to put your money where your mouth is, then let's make a show. And so I said, Okay, let's do it. Well, as we started the show, or right before it, I was in contact with a bunch of my friends. And I was telling them, Hey, I'm going to do this show. And they said, what is it? I said, Well, I'm going to be taken to a place I've never been before. People are going to follow me around for 90 days, I'm going to build a business, hopefully worth a million dollars. And I'm going to do it with no money. I have $100 to start with. And I have friends like Richard Branson that I had owned an island with out in the British Virgin Islands, John Elway who he and I own a ranch and a few other things together. A bunch of people telling me you're out of your mind. Why in the world? What upside is there? You already have done well, Glenn, now you're gonna go out in front of the world, and probably fail. 90 days, build a million dollar business and you're, How are you going, Where are you going to sleep? And I thought, I don't know. I'm just gonna wing it. And what I learned, again, this doesn't have any, it doesn't have to do with being an entrepreneur, but it has to do with, I guess, feeling alive. When we're an entrepreneur, we, we take chances, and we go out, we surround ourselves with people and we say let's march up this hill together. And let me tell you why. And it feels good when we can do something where we collectively, you know, bring people together and do great things. Well, I said, I'm going to try this. And yet I have all my friends telling me, I would never do that. Never. I don't see any upside. I have Richard Branson who I always thought of as the biggest risk taker going, I wouldn't ever want to fail in front of everybody like that. Look, why? I thought you know, it'd be fun. I like digging out of holes. I like when I got out of the 2008 hole. I've liked when I've gotten out of my cancer. Well I liked being deep in and saying how am I going to figure this one out? So I thought I'd do it again. So I ended up, I'm on my boat, and axiom with LA and we're on Jet Skis. And we're having fun. And now here comes this group of people coming up to the boat wonder this is, its Discovery. They say, we're here, they got cameras, time to go. They take me, fly me to Erie, Pennsylvania, where the lake is frozen. It's like, the first march. And it gave me a beat up pickup truck and 100 bucks and say, go out and make a million dollar business. And for those that didn't watch the show, it's called Undercover Billionaire. And I got in my truck, I drove, I got to Erie downtown, and I got out. I turned around, I looked at the cameras, like, where do you want me to go? And they're like, just go. It's kind of like be an entrepreneur, like, there's nobody. Where am I going? What am I going to do? You know, you're on your own. And so I ended up building a business that I failed so many times in that show. And so many times it couldn't even put in because it was too much going on that there was a point where I start to realize, maybe I can blow the show up, maybe if I quit right now no one will ever see it. Because I am not going to succeed. And the world is going to watch me fail. And everybody that I knew, they were right. And that's this little tiny guy right here, right, that we all have that tells you you're gonna fail, you're gonna fail, you're gonna fail. And I remember looking, if I watch the show, I see myself staring at a part during Rib Fest. This is part of the show where I'm failing. And I said,

I've got to pull the plug, somehow, I've got to run and hide. And the end of the story is I pull out, the company succeeds. And I'm very, very proud of what happened in there. I'm very proud. And to this day, Underdog Barbecue is a thriving restaurant in Erie. Very, very proud of it. But what again, I when I look back, and I learned that hole, that deep hole of, and all the demons telling me give up, give up, don't believe that you can do it, all of those things that happen. I love fighting those guys off. I love it. And at the time I don't. I am in pain, it's miserable to sit back thinking, there is no way out this time, this time for real. I'm not getting out. I don't care how I got out all the other times when I said there was no way out. This one, no way out. Every time I figured it out. And so I think as you are an entrepreneur and you're in a way, you're never getting out of this one, right? Don't listen to those voices in your head. What you need to do is surround yourself again, get people mentors, other people around you, talk to them, explain what's going on, talk to your vendors, talk to your suppliers, talk to other people you need and say we're in a little situation here. But I'm going to communicate with you. Here's my cell phone, let's talk it out. So and by the way, and if you're doing great, congratulations. But don't go spending your money foolishly. Put your money away for the rainy day, Okay? There, it will rain again. And the money as far as I'm concerned is not my money, or your money. It's the company's money that you have, hopefully hundreds of 1000s of people that rely on it. So you need to think about the fact that it will rain again, and you need to be prepared. And that's part of why the longevity of companies and businesses. So anyway, my point to all this is that part of being an entrepreneur is about enduring pain. Part of being an entrepreneur is about communication. Being an entrepreneur is about trust. It's about honesty, and it's about making hard decisions. It's about being honest, and it's about just getting real with people. It's about appreciation, gratitude. Being an entrepreneur is not about driving a fancy car and saying, Look at me, I'm the s*** because you know what it is? It's not that easy. It's all the pain. It's everything else you go through. And then when you are able to drive that car, you feel humble, you feel that you feel like you deserve it, but you also are out there flashing it, because you realize all the pain that you went through to get there. So, you know, it's a long road. And I hope you guys are on the journey and on the path that you're in an area that it's not so hard, but guess what? It will be. And if you're in that part, this too shall pass. Okay? And if you're not keep going, congratulations, because the good times, they won't last but neither will the bad times. So anyway, I appreciate this opportunity. This has been amazing, Susan, thank you for allowing me to be here. How exciting. And anyway, thank you for the opportunity.

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Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with David JP Phillips

267. The Power of Storytelling in Business With Communications Guru, David JP Phillips

By Podcast

When you can tell a story that connects with people on an emotional level, it opens up a whole new world of possibilities for your business. In this interview, David talked about the power of storytelling and how you can use it to create more value for your customers and clients.

David JP Phillips is an international speaker, author, coach and a global authority on public speaking, communication and self-leadership. He has recently been awarded the number 8 in the world of Global Gurus in Communication. He is Best-known for his three TEDx-Talks, the first one being “How To Avoid Death By PowerPoint”, and “The Magical Science of Storytelling” – together accumulating over seven million views.

—David JP Phillips

Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with David JP Phillips

Topics covered in the interview

David’s first business
Seeing value
How to start the journey of being an employee to entrepreneur
The courage to change your narrative

David JP Phillips’ Bio

David JP Phillips is an international speaker, author, coach and a global authority on public speaking, communication and self-leadership. He has recently been awarded the number 8 in the world of Global Gurus in Communication. He is Best-known for his three TEDx-Talks, the first one being “How To Avoid Death By PowerPoint”, and “The Magical Science of Storytelling” – together accumulating over seven millions views.

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Show Notes

Read Full Transcript

Susan Sly 00:00
Well, what's up Raw and Real Entrepreneurs, wherever you are in the world, I hope you're having an amazing day and I have just returned from so many flights, I think I did six flights in six days, living out of a suitcase, speaking for Nvidia, Lenovo, Intel. And it's so interesting, especially in business right now. And the trend is taking a look at not just what is the real value in a business, so your annual recurring revenue or your EBITA, whatever it is, it's, what is the perceived value? And it's the founder of WeWork, Adam Neumann a couple of days ago, he just got and we know, if you saw Netflix, we crashed, that he just got 70 million in funding for his new startup. So it didn't even matter that he had or the perception is that he had somehow decimated that company, they were willing to give Adam $70 million because of the perceived value of what he can bring. And whether you agree with that or not, there's a lot of very interesting trends right now when it comes to business. And there is no one in the world in my humble opinion for whatever that's worth, that is more qualified to talk about business value than my guest today.

Susan Sly 01:21
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 01:36
He is an international speaker, author, coach, and global authority on public speaking, communication, thank you, God, because that is so essential, and self leadership. He has recently been awarded the number eight position in the world. Listen to this for being a global guru. And if you aren't familiar with the word guru, what it actually means is bringer of light, in communication. He is best known for his three TED talks, the first one being How To Avoid Death By PowerPoint, because that is not a good way to die, I will say, and The Magical Science of Storytelling, together accumulating over 7 million views. And I loved his TED talk on avoiding death by PowerPoint. Because as someone who creates a lot of PowerPoints, it really was career changing for me, because I start to think about it more, not just about I had to get so many things on that PowerPoint but what were those key messages. So my guest today is David JP Phillips. David, thank you so much for being here.

David JP Phillips 02:39
Thank you, Susan, it is such an honor and a pleasure to, this is the, I love the subject. So any opportunity to bring it out to the world is, it's a treat. So thank you for having me.

Susan Sly 02:52
Well as an expert you know, I would love for people to get to know your story. And so for many of my guests, I will ask them, you know, what was that first business they started. Even that first business as a child, so what was your first business?

David JP Phillips 03:11
My first business was probably finding things at the bottom of a river and fixing them and selling them. Because drunk people threw down bikes and stuff into the river and I just found this hook method and just brought them up and sold them. And it was quite a fortune.

Susan Sly 03:34
Okay, that, I never had that answer before. We've had lemonade stands. We've had mowing lawns, we've had all sorts. That was the first one. What was the most interesting thing you found at the bottom of the river?

David JP Phillips 03:45
A milk wagon, like which you put at the back of your bicycle. It was pretty old. So it took me weeks to fix that. But it caught a pretty penny. So it was worth it.

Susan Sly 04:00
Do you remember how much you sold it for?

David JP Phillips 04:03
Wow. Well, you know, I was 14 at the time. So it was a lot of money. It could have been, I think it was close to 50, 50, $60, which was like, wow, that was fortunate for me at the time.

Susan Sly 04:18
One of the favorite children's books that I used to read my children was a book called Something From Nothing. And it's this essentially this beautiful story of this family during the Holocaust and how they, they you know, they keep losing things and losing things until they have almost nothing and then they're down to this one button that they have from a vest. And it's this, either this appreciation of something that other people would disregard, but how much value it could have. And as I'm hearing your first business, it's no wonder that you are a global expert in this topic because for you to be able to see value, not just in something that you found, I had, you know, Camilita Nuttall was on the show, and Camilita you know, very impoverished family, she used to go to sort through the rubbish and find things and then resell them. But you are taking things at the bottom of the river. And that's just a different lens. You have to be able to see that value. So in your career now, how do you see value in things that other people might discount?

David JP Phillips 05:29
Well, the last seven years, my speciality has gone into storytelling. And there are absolutely awesome studies done on storytelling, one by Rob Walker recently, which showed that just by a story, it was possible to increase the value of an object by close to 6,000%. And that was the only difference. So the object without the story was worth 6,000% less, and whether it was worth 6000% more, and that is insane. And studies like this have been replicated over and over again. So that is, the perceived value of the object is down to the story. And I think that's amazing.

Susan Sly 06:11
I was saying that the, my friend Perry Belcher had referenced that study, and he was doing so from the lens of marketing. So with this show, it is Raw and Real Entrepreneurship, so many people would have seen Netflix. So why is it you think these VCs gave Adam Neumann $70 million, even though he almost destroyed a company?

David JP Phillips 06:42
Goes down to trust, you know, it's the story of him. His story is built on connection and trust with other human beings. Otherwise, I don't think it would work. You know, it doesn't matter how good your idea is, if you don't trust the person that you're talking to. And the last study I did was on 5000 public speakers. And I did that, it took me another seven years. And I've found 110 Common skills we all human beings use when we communicate. So for instance, you're nodding your head at the moment, which means that you're fulfilling skill number 82. Well done.

Susan Sly 07:18
I love taking notes.

David JP Phillips 07:19
Yeah. And you're smiling, which is another skill, which is 80. So anyhow, what I found among these skills is that we're something called synchronicity, among five layers when we communicate, and it was facial expressions, gestures, body language, voice, and words. And when a person like him, describes what they want to do, and all these five layers synchronize, you fall in love with those people, you trust them beyond anything. Because people who are not authentic, do not synchronize in all five levels. It's a bit like walking into a room, and you fall in love with a person like their personality, you just know that they have a big heart. And then sometimes you may have felt this, so someone, you walk into a room and suddenly you just feel this weird sensation with this person, and you can't put your finger on it, but just doesn't match, it doesn't add up. And that's usually because the synchronization of these five layers is off. So I think that's a part of it.

Susan Sly 08:22
Let's go deeper into that just for a moment, because I think about who listens to this show. And there, there are many people out there between the great resignation, between this point of self actualization for whether one is a nurse or a you know, a flight attendant, or a police officer, whomever they are, and they're thinking, I want to start a business, but in their mind is, but I'm a teacher, but I'm a nurse, but I may, whoever they are, what is the first step you would give someone who let's say, as they want to start a business, they have had a career for many years, and they know they have to shift the narrative about them in order to shift their mindset from employee to entrepreneur, how do they begin that journey?

David JP Phillips 09:20
I think there's many ways, but from my perspective of communication skills, the stories you're telling yourself are the most important stories in your career, life, whatever you do. If the stories you tell yourself a hero stories, then you can accomplish practically anything. And I went through a long, long, long depression in my life. And I realized that the stories I was telling myself, were horror stories about myself. And what I hear a lot of entrepreneurs do is just tell their own story. So I'd say get your story straight. Sit down and write the story of who you want to be. And then just use that as an affirmation over and over and over again. Because the weird thing with your brain is that it will believe anything that you input it. Anything literally, like people believe in the weirdest things in this world. And that is not based on the meeting a pill or anything, it's just them repeating the same thing over and over again.

Susan Sly 10:21
And thank you for your vulnerability. The aspect of how many people are struggling with mental challenges, and I won't even say illness, but challenges. My own son who listens to the show, every single episode, he was diagnosed as a child on the autism spectrum. And he just turned 20, David, and he is, he had created a story for himself that I have a learning disability, and therefore there are certain things I can't do. And every morning, I send all of my children and my husband, even if my husband's being a bit of a Get up, no, just kidding, we've been together for a very long time. But I send them all uplifting notes. And, and AJ recently embarked on some new projects that challenged him. And initially, there were some tears, there was a lot of frustration. But I watched him begin to shift his own narrative. And I guess the question I have for you is when someone, when you were struggling with depression, because it's so real, and I can feel like a very dark, tiny box that it's very hard to break out of, how did you take that first courageous step to changing your story? Because a lot of people might be listening, and they might say, Oh, my gosh, I am listening to the show for a reason. David is telling me exactly what I need to hear. Because this, these are the the comments that come back. How did you take that first courageous step, especially in such a dark place?

David JP Phillips 11:58
I don't think it's possible to change your story and then get out of depression. What I had to do was increase my serotonin levels and decrease my cortisol levels. And that was the major part of my depression, I had simply stressed my brain into a depressed state. So the first thing I did is something called a stress map, which simply means that you just write down every stress that you have in your life, and you remove or reduce them, with the help of others. And as soon as your stress goes away, your serotonin levels will go up. And then when I done that, my brain was ready to rewrite my stories. And I actually did just what I said to you that I sat myself down, and I looked at the stories I told myself, and I kind of rewrote them, you know, like on paper, and then I just repeated them until they became who I wanted. And I knew I could be because in the best of moments I was that person, I just wanted it to be there more often.

Susan Sly 13:03
And could you share with everyone what were some of those tenants of the new story of David?

David JP Phillips 13:12
I think my life story is, well, it's been shortened. So first of all, I started writing a pretty complex story. But to repeating it over and over again became too time consuming. So I just boiled it down to the smallest elements, which goes something like this, that I want to live in a vibrant place, where I love my family, I love myself and everything that the universe has created. This, in order for me to grow and prosper, so that I can, I can give to others. And that was my just consistent story of myself. And I just pictured this, this story. In my head, I saw everything that universe is created, I felt my family, I saw myself grow and prosper in order to be able to give to others. And that became my story, of my life. And it still is, and the beautiful thing with it is this that every time I take a decision in life, I think this is important as an entrepreneur. And that is that every time I take a business decision, I ask myself, is that in line with my life story? Does it increase the vibrancy of my life? Does it allow me to love myself, my family, my wife and everything that universe has created even more? Does it allow me to grow and prosper and does it allow me to give to others? And if it doesn't, if it matches three out of those four, I'll go. But if it matches, like one, I was walking back from the gym with my son and I pitched this investment with him and to him and stopped me, he was 17, stopped me, and he said David, he said dad, does this, is this in line with your life story? And I said no. And it was the easiest decision I've ever taken to not go ahead with it.

Susan Sly 15:00
David, that was so incredibly moving. And thank you for being so raw and real, because it's, it's often those things that we were, David and I were chatting before the show. And one of the things that we discussed was, for this show, we want you to understand the entrepreneurial journey, and it is fraught with ups and downs, and how you perceive any of those ups and downs is really aligned with who you are, where you're going, and ultimately, your character. And David, as you're sharing that story, one of the things that comes to mind is, because you are a consultant, and very, very successful, and you get to choose at your level that you've attained, not a level in a one upmanship kind of way, but just a wealth of experience, I guess, let's put it that way. In wisdom, you get to choose who you get to work with. But from this process, it sounds to me that a business that is trying to craft a story or a startup that is trying to craft the story, it might embark on a similar process. Would you agree?

David JP Phillips 16:18
Absolutely. Yeah, it is. It is so strange as so many companies and startups, they do, they don't have their story straight. And I've heard that so many times that maybe the founders have it straight. But as soon as they start employing, you start growing, and there's like 20, 25 people in there, they no longer share that story. And those two founders need to be able to tell that story. Because the story at the end of the day is what's going to drive these people and then they'll, they'll do anything if the story is right. If the story is wrong, they'll leave. Like if you work for a company, and a story, which does not add up or doesn't contribute to the world or whatever that person's values are, then you're done. But in the middle of not telling the stories at all, it just, you're not using the momentum of what storytelling can truly bring to an organization.

Susan Sly 17:15
And it's funny, you mentioned that because even going back to Adam Neumann and we work and the story and the vision and there's this scene where his wife, played by Anne Hathaway, is saying you are a supernova, you are a supernova. And it was interesting to watch as more sort of investors came in and they hired their different CT. And there he is in bed, whether true or not true or whatever. And you know, he has to do drugs just to get up in the morning or whatever the case is. But he was a master storyteller. And that story of not what we work was but what it was going to be and all of the employees that came in and bought into the story and to your point, knew the story. The same thing with Apple, why did Apple become the company that it became? Because Steve Jobs was an amazing storyteller and casting the vision. I've met Steve Wozniak, and as lovely as Woz is, and super smart, he was not the person telling the story and casting that vision, David. And as you know, one of the things that I'm going to take away from our show today is at Radius we have gone, recently where I think it, I set out an all team communication with Aykut and I, co CEOs, and there were 86 people on the distribution list. And I went, we had eight people, you know, in 2018, we can't hire people fast enough. And, and we have really been growing the story as we've been going to human centric AI to empowering humans not doing things that would take away from humans. And so we've been growing our story as we've been going, not because we didn't have a story, but because we had to figure out who we are. And do you see that with startups? Is that common? Or are we doing it wrong? I don't know.

David JP Phillips 19:15
No, it is so common just as your life story changes your company stories, it changes and that is still it's just super brilliant. And I love it that you're on top of that, and that you're listening to the new story and creating that new narrative for it and giving that to these 86 people that is just brilliant. I applaud you for that. Too few do that. Truly.

Susan Sly 19:39
Well, thank you. Yeah, it's such a, it's such an interesting process to when, when you know, doing a tech event, okay. Tell us about yourself. And you know, everyone's like, Well, I went to Carnegie Mellon or I went to Stanford. And they're, they're sort of just giving me bullet points, but you don't really know who they are. They're just, you know, life events on a resume. And I've been thinking very deeply about the story of Radius and who we are, where we're going, and what it is we're willing to stand for, especially in artificial intelligence. And, and I'm so grateful for this conversation. And I don't know where gratitude falls in the communication skills, but I hope you feel it, in addition to my words, like my heart is literally bursting, because this is something, when I think about what gets me up in the morning, or what might keep me up at night is, what is it we're willing to stay on for? Even you know, we're very blessed. We haven't, you know, had a lot of criticism yet, but we're small. But as we grow in computer vision, as we grow on a global tech stage, what does that story we're willing to stand for? Right? Do you think, so we know, all know the story of Ponce de Leon, burning the boats, right? Burn the ships, you you're not going back to Spain, there's only one way, you've got to win the war right? Do you think that a person who say a solopreneur or a business, a founder, when they get their story, is that what they should get to that they that's the story no matter what or is the story in evolution?

David JP Phillips 21:24
To begin with, I think you have to be very clear with your stories, and it doesn't work. Your story does not work until you thoroughly believe it yourself. When you thoroughly believe in yourself, that is when a story creates emotion. And emotion is the driving force of everything in life. So strong story will create dopamine. And dopamine is the core neurotransmitter of motivation. And when you believe in a story, you can do this like it'll overcome anyhow. It'll win over everything. You can't just go changing that story over and over again, that'll confuse you. Because it has to become part of you. So I'd advise to use this first story, live with that story until it needs changing when too many parameters or whatever has changed, then you change it. It also very confusing for your staff if you're like, day one, you go like this is the story. And then things happen after day 100. You're like this is the story. And then 150, this is the story. That will be confusing. So I'd say yes, revisit the story, not too often. And every time you revisit it, you have to make it part of you so that you feel it

Susan Sly 22:41
I wrote that down. I feel like it needs to be a coffee mug, a t shirt, a screensaver. Your story won't work until you believe it yourself. That is so good. That could be a New York Times bestselling next book for you. Just a, just a thought. Right? And in the comments for the show, David and I would love, if you please do comment, I read all of the show comments. If this show is helpful to you please share it on social, tag us on social. David and I would love a five star review. Raw and Real Entrepreneurship is really about sharing the skills and the heart that is required to solve, entrepreneurs solve problems. What are the problems we're going to solve that exists today as business owners? And what are the problems that don't yet exist that we're going to solve? Because I believe, David, that the world's, you know, a lot of people see a lot of negativity. But one of the things for me is because I did as a teenager struggle with depression and suicide that I decided, you know, every day I'm going to look for the good, I'm going to look for the positive, I'm going to look for that. As challenging as it is at times. And I really cannot thank you enough for this show. And I know that we're gonna get a lot of amazing comments. So thank you so much.

David JP Phillips 24:04
Thank you so much. Thank you as well. It was so, so awesome to speak to you.

Susan Sly 24:09
New York Times number one best seller 2023. Your story won't work until you believe it yourself. David JP, go to and then go to YouTube. Binge watch. Yeah, and binge watch.

David JP Phillips 24:27
And as well.

Susan Sly 24:29
And Take this away from this episode, write a new story for yourself and write a new one for your business and I'm taking away that is we're actually leaving on a family vacation. David and I am going to be rewriting my own story based on this interview. So thank you for powerfully impacting my life.

David JP Phillips 24:51
You will become unstoppable. Wow. I look forward to that, Susan, thank you so much.

Susan Sly 24:58
Thank you David for being here. And For all of you wherever you are in the world, God bless, go rock your day, and go check out more amazing episodes of Raw and Real Entrepreneurship. So with that, this has been another episode and I will see you next time.

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Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Jess Glazer

266. Turning A Side Hustle To A Multi-Million Dollar Business with Business Mentor, Jess Glazer

By Podcast

When it comes to business, two things are always true: you can’t be afraid to pivot and you have to be constantly growing and scaling. In this episode, Jess shared how she turned her side hustle into a multi-million dollar business by doing just that. If you’re looking to take your business to the next level, then this is for you!

A former celebrity personal trainer and elementary school teacher, Jess turned her once “cute side hustle” into a multi-million dollar business in 2 years.

Since leaving her teaching job in 2017 she has hired a team of incredible heart-centred leaders, served hundreds of clients, helped create over 10 million dollars in revenue for those clients and is committed to helping 100 entrepreneurs create 7-figure impact-driven businesses (7 down, 93 to go!)
As a result of donation/awareness, she and her husband built a school in Ghana, Africa with Pencils of Promise.

—Jess Glazer

Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Jess Glazer

Topics covered in the interview

Jess’ first business
Discovering entrepreneurship
Jess’ selling history
Overcoming rejections
Growing a side hustle to a multi million business
Entrepreneurial ADD
Jess’ moonshot

Jess Glazer’s Bio

A former celebrity personal trainer and elementary school teacher, Jess turned her once “cute side hustle” into a multi-million dollar business in 2 years. 

Since leaving her teaching job in 2017 she has hired a team of incredible heart-centered leaders, served hundreds of clients, helped create over 10 million dollars in revenue for those clients and is committed to helping 100 entrepreneurs create 7-figure impact driven businesses (7 down, 93 to go!)

As a result of donation/awareness she and her husband built a school in Ghana, Africa with Pencils of Promise. 

She’s been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Yahoo Finance, The Today Show, Good Day New York, The New York Post, Shape Magazine.

Her mission is to cause a ripple effect and inspire change for generations to come; making a massive impact and leaving a lasting legacy beyond her singular actions.

Follow Jess Glazer

Show Notes

Read Full Transcript

jess audio
Tue, 5/17 3:54PM • 45:22
canva, people, jess, side hustle, sell, trainer, learning, years, build, business, started, scottsdale, husband, teaching, call, pivot, friends, thinking, money, teacher
Jess Glazer, Susan Sly

Susan Sly 00:00
Well hey what is up Raw and Real Entrepreneurs, wherever you are in the world, I hope you're having an amazing day. And we're gonna have like, I'm just so excited about my guest today. We were, we would not stop talking prior to the show. So I was like, we better get into actually doing the show. And you write in, and I want to acknowledge Mandy for your most recent review where you said, you know, you love that the show gives you reassurance. So if you want reassurance that it's okay not to feel okay, it's okay to know that you gave away your power, you can get back your power and you can clean it up then today's show is for you.

Susan Sly 00:39
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. And my guest is absolutely amazing. She has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Yahoo Finance, on The Today Show, Good Day New York, The New York Post and in Shape Magazine. She's a former celebrity personal trainer. So we share that in common, an elementary school teacher which we do not share in common. But I've had plenty of elementary school children in my you know, that I've given birth to. She once turned her quote unquote, cute side hustle into a multimillion dollar business. And she did that in two years. She's going to tell us about that. And right now, she is traveling across America with her husband and brand new rescue child and, it is a fur child by the way, and coming live from Alabama. So Jess Glazer, welcome to Raw and Real Entrepreneurship. I'm so excited to talk to you today.

Jess Glazer 01:49
Thank you for having me here. I'm so excited and just realized that we live super close to each other. So when I'm back on the west side, west coast, love to get together.

Susan Sly 01:58
Oh, absolutely.Yeah, like look at Scottsdale.

Jess Glazer 02:03
So nice. The weather.

Susan Sly 02:04
Yes, yes. Yeah. All of you listeners, you're all invited. One of my, Yeah, actually one of my guests who does live in Scottsdale, Jeffrey, who has the, YouTube channel's like millions of subs. JR Garage. He hosts fan meetups in Scottsdale in this park. And Jess, like all of these, like a lot of his fans are like kids, and they all come for meet and greets. And he has like, it's just awesome. So you never know. You never know. I might do like burpees and wine with Jess and Susan. Who knows what it's gonna be. We'll have our mutual friend Lori Harder sponsored with Lite Pink. So you can have like no carb, alcohol beverages and burpees. But in the order of your choosing. Anyway, Jess you are a serial entrepreneur. And another thing we have in common, I, before I did my science degree, I actually prepared a art portfolio and a fashion portfolio because I wanted to go to art school and I didn't even tell you that. But you know, going back, you know people look at you and who you are online and all of your success. What was the first business you ever started?

Jess Glazer 03:18
Oh, gosh, did I have to be making money?

Susan Sly 03:21
No, no, yes.

Jess Glazer 03:23
So I probably was seven. I think I was seven. I started selling those little hair clips that flipped, like the pop clips that you put underneath your ponytail. And I would paint them with glitter nail polish and I sold them to my teammates in gymnastics, I would sell them for four for $1 or 35 cents apiece.

Susan Sly 03:41
So your margins were not that high.

Jess Glazer 03:43
It wasn't great, but you know what? My mom bought them for me. So I profited everything.

Susan Sly 03:48
You know what? That's, that's awesome. Like we you know, one of the questions I asked every guest is about that first business. And we, we have a lot of entrepreneurs like yourself, it was some kind of thing they did in childhood where they thought this could be a good idea, right?

Jess Glazer 04:05
Yeah. The funny thing is actually didn't grow up with any entrepreneurs in my life. That was not an option. That wasn't anything that anyone in my life did. We grew up very traditional doctors, lawyers, accountants, that was sort of my family. And I don't think I knew what an entrepreneur was until I was in my late 20s.

Susan Sly 04:22
And how did the, how did you figure out what an entrepreneur was?

Jess Glazer 04:27
I had people asking me, and this happened a couple of different times, whether it was in fitness, or it was in fashion, I would have people asking me to give them the service that I did, or to make them the thing that I was making, which when I was in fashion was I was making purses and belts and jewelry just for myself and people would ask me all the time, where can I buy it? Do you sell it? You should sell it. And so it was in those moments. Same thing with personal training. Could you train me and I'm like, No, I don't, That's not what I do. Right? But it was what I was doing and it was what I was making and so these little lightbulb moments started to go bing, bing bing, kind of in my late teens, early 20s. And there was a time where it just kept coming up, kept coming up. And so I finally started to take action on those things and make some sales.

Susan Sly 05:12
And are you naturally a salesperson? Because there's this whole, like Lady Gaga thing when it comes to sales, and people are like, they're just born that way. Or if people say, I couldn't sell, but we all know it's essential to be able to sell as an entrepreneur. What, what is your history with selling?

Jess Glazer 05:30
So if you were to ask me, no, I am not natural. It did not come easily to me. I was in network marketing for a couple of years. And I, that's where I learned how to sell. I did hundreds and hundreds of cold calls. And no one said yes. And so it's where I sort of grew my thicker skin and started to understand psychology of sales. And I started to do more research and learning about just how it all works. But if you were to ask my husband or my parents, they probably would say the opposite, that I am a little bit of a natural, or just really good at connecting. I think that's one of my superpowers is networking and connecting. So I thrive in a room of strangers. And I think that and sales are very closely related to one another.

Susan Sly 05:31
Yeah, they have to be because when, when someone's trying to sell but they're not connecting, it's so disingenuous, right? What's the worst thing that has ever happened to you on a cold call?

Jess Glazer 06:15
I don't think there was ever anything bad. I think it was just rejection, getting ghosted, getting hung up on. But in that moment, it was the worst thing. Because you attach it, you attach it to, we're meaning making machines. And so the meaning I made out of getting rejected or ghosted, now goes deeper, deeper, deeper into layers of like childhood trauma or wounds of not feeling good enough. Not feeling loved, not feeling worthy, when in reality, you're still safe, you're fine. Everybody gets rejected. Right?

Susan Sly 06:51
Yeah, it's, it's interesting. I love what you said about it's that, you know, it's that perception. And it's also that trigger. I was running ads in USA Today. And this is many, many years ago. And I had some guy leave a message on, you know, on the Ad call in number that I had set up. And he said, There were things because I like a PG rated show. But he said, a whole bunch of things he was going to do to me, and then he was going to like, he was going to hunt me down, he was going to do some horrific things to me. And then he was going to kill me. And I looked at my husband, and I'm like, I'm done. Like, and my husband's like, he can't even figure out how to find you. Because there's no, you don't have your name associated with that ad. It you know, and on and on and on. And I purchased it through an ad broker anyway. But um, you know, that was how people used to bully you before it was on a phone or to your face. Now they just do it on social media with fake accounts. That's a whole other story. When, when you, when you, when you were getting rejected early on, how did you overcome that? Because, as you said, there, it definitely triggers any past insecurities or places where you're out of alignment with your power. How did you overcome it though?

Jess Glazer 08:08
I don't know that I overcame it. I think it was more of a competitive, I have a very competitive nature and a very prove it type of attitude. And for a really long time, now I'm just almost 40, but for a really long time it was having to prove it, having to show that I'm worthy, having to validate external validation, accolades, awards, that's really what I was fueled by. So simply being told no or ghosted, was enough fuel for me to do it again. But also at the time, I had a full time job, I was an elementary school teacher, I was a part time personal trainer, bartender and waitress. So I was very busy. I also had safety nets financially. And so I had a job and this stuff was practicing, or these things, these skills I was learning, were for this kind of cute side hustle, which at the time was a miss. So I didn't put too much pressure on the outcome. And I think for me, that was huge. I think there's also just a level of ignorance is bliss. And so I just kept running into the wall. I just kept running into the wall over and over again. And it wasn't until years later that now looking back, I realize all the different lessons and probably also the interest that I had in learning more because from that was birthed, Let me go actually figure out what's not working. Let me ask for help. Let me recognize that ego truly is your biggest overhead and it's not a weakness to ask for help, but rather a strength. And so through those experiences of not getting what I wanted, it was just kind of pushing me towards trying in a different way.

Susan Sly 09:34
Ego is your biggest overhead. I love that.

Jess Glazer 09:38
That's correct. That's Chris's. Yeah, he said that to me a couple years ago, and it changed my entire business.

Susan Sly 09:43
Yeah, well, I might have to borrow that. I'm doing a talk for a Real Estate Association on AI in the metaverse in the real estate sector, and that will be a good opener. So what's your biggest overhead? You go. Love it. And Wayne Dyer always said ego stands for edging God out. Right? And, and there's no place for ego, especially as an entrepreneur. Let me ask you this. So you grow the side hustle into a multi million dollar business in two years. So what was the business? And how did you do that?

Jess Glazer 10:19
Yeah. So while I was working as a teacher, the side hustle was a bunch of different things. It really actually started with online personal training. This was back in 2012. So I had been a trainer at the time for probably at least 10 years, maybe longer, 12 years. And I started doing fitness competitions. And my coach was in Massachusetts, but I was in New Jersey. So I had this idea because I was paying her to email me my workouts and my macros. And so I had this lightbulb idea of Wait a minute, all of my friends from college who live in different states have been asking me since we've graduated college, how can I train them. So if I'm paying this woman, then I could do the same thing. And so I started training people online, just through emails, and then it morphed into blogging, which I wasn't making any money. And for the record, my mom was the only person who read my blog, but I still did it weekly. And I went and started building 12 week workout programs and $79 ebooks. And then I started doing paid Facebook groups. And so this iteration of still not thinking it was a business. But the cute side hustle was morphing into what I saw in 2013, '14 and '15 as the trends in this online industry. Still working as a teacher. So 2016, I'm driving to work in October, listening to a podcast, this woman is a teacher, and she sells jewelry on Etsy. So my ears are perked up because I'm a teacher and I sell jewelry as well. And the man interviewing her said, If you gave it your best shot, because she wanted to go all in on entrepreneurship, if you give it your best shot, you gave yourself one year, and it didn't work out what would be the worst case scenario? So she said, I don't know I'd probably go back to teaching. I've been a teacher for a decade, probably just get another job. And his answer changed my entire life life. He said, Oh, how does it feel to wake up every day and live in your worst case scenario? How does it feel to wake up and live in your worst case scenario? And I pulled my car over on the highway, I was bawling, crying. I texted my husband Mike and I said I can't do this anymore. About eight weeks later, I walked into my principal's office and resigned with absolutely no plan. The plan was do whatever I have to do to make ends meet. And at that point, it was how can I grow this cute side hustle? So to answer your question, it first started with online personal training and ebooks. And then it went into low ticket and high ticket group courses all in the health and fitness space. We left New Jersey, moved into New York City which he was working there and commuting anyway. And I started working as a trainer because I had been for at that time now about 15 years. So I walked into a gym, got myself a job, had to wear the little name tag and do the whole front desk thing and picking up weights which again, I had to put my ego aside because for 15 years, I had already been training celebrities. And now I'm back to the quote unquote bottom.

Susan Sly 13:00
Floor trainer. Yeah, and for people who don't know, so well and Jess knows the story, but I was the, I was the top Personal Training Manager in the world for Bally Total Fitness back in the day when we had the television ads with the ribbed abs and stuff. So when you start in the gym, you are starting at close to minimum wage, and you are what is called a floor trainer. So that means when new members come in the gym, you have to do their fitness assessments. And if you can sell them on personal training, then you will be able to get a percentage but the, when you first start you get a very low percentage of what the, the quote unquote billing rate is. So it could be as low as 30%. Back in the days, Ballys doesn't exist. So I can disclose this. Like our peak trainer are like most seasoned trainer, they're Paul Chek certified, there are every certification under the sun. They would get like 65% of their billing rate, 65 to 70%. So you were, you, Yeah, but that was like, that was like before Bally, before all those clubs got acquired where the most than a person could get as like 50% of their rolling. So you had to be a floor trainer, which is what happened to me after I was homeless. I was like, I went to work for Bally's and I was in management. But when one of my floor trainers would call in sick, I was a floor trainer and the day I met, re-met my husband Chris, I had cut off all my hair, I had sworn off dating. I was wearing Danskin flair tights and an oversized men's Bally Total Fitness sweatshirt. And I had no makeup on and it was five in the morning. I was so mad because Kimberly called in sick. I knew she wasn't sick. She was hungover. And I had no one I could call and I walk across the street to the club and I'm stocking towels, Jess and I'm like, And he walks, I'm like, anyway.

Jess Glazer 14:56
That's funny.

Susan Sly 14:57
Don't do this at home kids but Chris and I moved in on our second date, and we've been together now for 23 years, but I re-met him when I was being a floor trainer.

Jess Glazer 15:10
Isn't that funny? So it was very similar not in the meeting of my husband, but I had been doing about, I was taking home about 100, 225 a session when I was in New Jersey training. I go to New York, and like you're saying floor sessions, I think I was taking home like $20. And you're picking up weights. But to answer your question from earlier, this is also where I got really good at sales, because I hate this term. I hate this term. But, you know, you eat what you kill. And so when you're a floor trainer, if you don't sell the session, then you're not making money, and they're not going to just give you clients and so 18 years as a trainer, I did get pretty good sales through that, just learning that. So I go back to floor training, and I'm just hustling on the computer building my business. And what once was this cute side hustle making, Gosh, 300, $500 a month while I was a teacher, quickly scaled to multiple six figures in about three months. Because I went all in, I had nothing else, I had no safety net. And what happened was, a lot of the trainers in New York started asking me, What are you doing? Now this is 2017, 2018. What are you doing? Why are you always on computer? How are you making so much money? And so I just started sharing and teaching. I'm a teacher. So I just started teaching my friends. And I was teaching them for free. And in between clients, we'd sit down behind my computer. And I was teaching them how to build landing pages and email lists and how to launch and the first friend had an $80,000 launch. So very similar to what had happened when I was in fashion, which we didn't really get into. But I basically had my purses, and they were prototype that I brought to the gym I worked at, and I'm like, let's see if we sell any, I don't have any inventory. But people kept asking me for it. We sold like $4,000 worth of orders that day. And so I say, my mom was helping me. And so we went home and made those orders. So now the same thing happened, I'm helping my friends for free. They're having $80,000 launches? And so I started to recognize, wait a minute, I think I have something here. So I used a bunch of my friends as beta, not use them. But I gifted them sort of this methodology that I started to put together. Because in teaching, I wrote curriculum for eight years. So I wrote a curriculum on how to help people build businesses. And that's really where our signature program started. So it was fitness and business both for a couple years. And actually only in 2020 did I finally retire from all of the fitness things and just go business.

Susan Sly 17:30
And that, yeah, I need I want to acknowledge Jess because in that space, she, when she was building that business was the go to person for trainers to learn how to build that kind of business. And because, I was just doing a speaking event in Miami, and I was talking about fundraising for your company and one of the people in the front row, she's a Clickfunnels' Two Comma Club member and personal trainer, and she built a million dollar plus per year business, doing the whole ClickFunnels funnel thing with the paid membership that was very small, like free paid levels, events, and so on. And but you were one of the people to go first. Just like you know, '95, I was doing email fitness programs. I was, I was a fitness coach online in '95, when the internet was just getting started and it was still on dial up. Right? And thinking about, thinking about that, and you do learn how to sell it. Because if not, you're going to be one of these floor trainers who's living with like three roommates who are like just a train wreck, and you come home and there's someone else sleeping in your bed and they're not supposed to be there. And it's just like, you know, you either say, I surrender, this is what my life is gonna be like, or I'm getting out of this. But you know, someone listening to the show and they're like, Okay, yeah, I get it. You know, that makes so much sense. But if you could go back in time now, so you know, as you mentioned, you're about to turn 40, if you're not seeing Jess, she doesn't look it, she looks like she's 23. What would you go back and do differently?

Jess Glazer 19:13
It's funny, I don't know that I would do anything differently, because then I wouldn't be here with the lessons that I have. But I do think I could have used support earlier. You know, thinking back to two times I've dealt really, really dealt with burnout, adrenal fatigue and a breast cancer scare from just overworking, overstressed, not taking care of myself. I do think I could have used support earlier. And I think so many solopreneurs and entrepreneurs run into this where we think it's the chicken or the egg and they're like, Well, I have to make money first before I can outsource or hire. I'm not there yet. I'm not, I didn't hit this proverbial goal that I need to hit, who am I to hire? And I think just even, even maybe an extra mentor coach, maybe having a family member help, a barter situation, an intern, anything that I could have taken something off of my plate but Again, I wouldn't have changed it because I know for me, I don't learn the lesson until I'm like whacked upside the head. So had I not gone through the moments crying on the floor, terrified for my life, that I wouldn't be here.

Susan Sly 20:13
Yeah. And it's interesting because you, Lori and I are all friends. And when Lori was on the show, when we're doing the Lite Pink launch, you know, similar question and she had a similar answer, I would have leaned into my network earlier. And my mentor always says your network equals your net worth and, and thinking about who is your personal board of directors or support. When Dave Asprey was on the show, and if you all haven't heard that show, go in the archives, there are lots of shows there. So Dave was talking about Jess, the, you know, and I have so much respect for Dave, because, you know, here at Radius, I was telling you before we went like, our current valuation for this company is about 120 million. I haven't built a billion dollar company yet. So I'm learning from people who have, right? And I have friends in my network who have, but there are some common themes. And it all goes back to what you said. And so it's about that support, you know, do you have a business coach? Do you have a therapist, do you have that friend, whoo you call and go, I'm having a wall kicking moment, or, you know, I'm thinking of doing something crazy, like getting a forehead tattoo, you know, and they're like, Okay, wait a minute, you know, that's okay. I still love you, you know. And it's that, it's that support. And I don't think that's something just for women. I think that's, I think that's for everyone. Did you ever give away your power in the journey?

Jess Glazer 21:44
Yeah, a couple of times, and probably more than a couple of times. It's interesting. Looking back, there were times that I gave away my power that actually catapulted me to take action. And I can think of a specific example, and I'll give that, and then there were times that I gave away my power and it sort of sucked me down into this dark hole of inaction and being paralyzed, which is really interesting. And when I look at what those things were, for me has always been comparing. So there were moments in the gym, I was a gym teacher, so phys ed, in the actual gym, where in between classes, my students would, I was Elementary School, they'd get walked down to me, and then they'd get walked back, you know, to their classroom. And I would quickly look at my phone, and I would scroll and I would watch what all of these other people were doing on Instagram, whether it was the network marketing company I was with, or some of these kind of new influencers. This was back in 2012, 2013. And I would compare, not my life, but where they were in what I perceive to be their successful business. And then where I wasn't like, you know, cute side hustle. And so that comparison, at the time was the fuel to say, I totally can do this. There's nothing that he has, or she has, or it's nothing that they're doing or teaching that I'm not capable of doing. I just don't have the capacity. And so for me, it was really the fuel to leave my job, and to go all in, but at the same, all in the same breath, I've gotten caught in comparison, specifically, about a year ago, where it was just, it was taking me down. It was paralyzing me, I was going through an experience, I was going through an ego death or a shamanic death, just a shedding of an old identity. You know, Mike and I used to live in Manhattan, we were doing the whole big New York City thing in an incredible apartment with the big business with the celebrity, you know, training and all the events and TV shows. And when we left New York, we jumped into an RV, a 40 foot motorhome for 14 months, traveled the country for 27, 27 states for 14 months. And I feel that it was the first time that I actually could hear myself. Like in 38 years, it was the first time that I could hear myself and I wasn't sure that I liked what I heard. But then when I was seeing online, from other people that were mentors, or peers, or had been clients of mine, what I saw them doing and then what I was questioning myself of what I was doing, and us just bopping around the country together with no noise. It was the first time I didn't realize how loud it was in New York. And if you're listening right now, you might be laughing because like, of course, it's loud in New York, Jess. But when you're in the vortex of it all, it's not loud, it's energizing. And so those 14 months in the RV, there were definitely a lot of moments where I was questioning just everything. What are we doing? And where's the business going? And who am I and what do I believe what I stand for? What do I not stand for? So it's interesting how the comparison could both for me fuel me but then also really sort of take me down.

Susan Sly 24:35
Yeah, and now that, now that things are quieter, when you are scrolling, when you see say someone else who might be up here, what's the narrative in your head now?

Jess Glazer 24:46
You know, it's so interesting. I think the worst part of the comparison wasn't even necessarily about the other people. It was about myself and the previous year or two of work. So if we, we've doubled the business every single year I've been in business, and it was the first year last year, which we didn't double it, we were right there. We didn't double it. But it was an intentional not doubling it, because we were traveling, I intentionally shut off a stream of revenue. So we knew going into the year that unless something crazy happened, we weren't going to be doubling it. But the stories that we tell ourselves and all of a sudden what we make that mean about us, and how dare I bring my husband into the company and not double it? And how dare I not double it just because I always have and what does that mean about me? And um, is it, was the other shoe gonna drop? Is it over? Like, has it been a great run? Do I just quit? Do I give up? So the interesting thing was, it wasn't even always about the other people it was about me. But to answer your question, and you might think I'm crazy, I actually shut my account down and started a brand new Instagram page. Completely new from zero, I had, like 24,000 followers on the old page, it was eight years old, I shut it down, I created a new one, I changed my name. So you can't even necessarily find me with ease, and had to just detach from, but all of the old podcast episodes I've been on and all the media and all the press and how people know me, it didn't matter. I just, I shut it down and started fresh, I wanted to be detached from old stories, old beliefs, old pivots, old people, old energy, and just start again. So that's what I did in December.

Susan Sly 26:15
So healing, it is so healing and, and the, when we decide, you know, to have that, whatever anyone wants to call it, you know, divorcing of an old self or the dying off of that cell for the birth of a new self or a new chapter, that the, the biggest thing is the mixed messages, right? Because you can't move forward if you're always looking backward. And so, and it is so cathartic to do that, and I get interviewed a lot on the career pivot, you know, there are less than 2% of tech companies have at least one woman founder. And then for visible minority founders is like, so small. And here I am in artificial intelligence, right. So you've like, You've known me for like, a very long time, or, like, have me. And, you know, it's it's so dramatically different than what I was doing. But it aligns so much with who I am now. And I, and the same thing, anyone who has tried to keep me in their version of who they need me to be that is convenient for them, is no longer in my life.

Jess Glazer 27:33

Susan Sly 27:33
And as entrepreneurs, if we aren't growing, then our businesses aren't growing.

Susan Sly 27:39
Yeah, my mentor now always says your business is a direct reflection of you, and it will only grow to the extent that you do. And the amount of times people have said to me, oh, my gosh, you've changed like, it's a bad thing. I'm like, Yeah, I have, I've actually been working really hard for the last 15 years, or 20 years or 10 years. Thank you—

Susan Sly 27:57
Thank God, you changed, because I don't want to stay the same.

Jess Glazer 28:01
Yeah. And that old version of me was not bad. This one is not better. It's just that's the, that's the journey. And so funny enough when I was kind of going through it, if you will, that's when we finally named the company, which is like our umbrella company. And we named it Digital Business Evolution, because it's constantly evolving. And I've been able to even reframe the pivots because there was a point in my life where I thought all these pivots and quitting this job and that job, I thought they were bad. But it's just an evolution of self, an evolution of the business. So they're not bad. It's neutral.

Susan Sly 28:31
So as an entrepreneur, a lot of people get entrepreneurial ADD, so they dabble. Like you had your cute side hustle that you had like several different jobs, and the quote unquote, cute side hustle. Right? So but by the same token, you have been in the same vertical for a very long time by entrepreneurial standards. So how did you resist? Or did you ever have it, that urge of entrepreneurial ADD to jump from one thing to the other?

Jess Glazer 29:04
I definitely have entrepreneurial ADD for sure. I know, it's interesting, the more that I learned about myself, which I think is the key self awareness is the key. And so whether that's Myers Briggs and Enneagram, or if you're into astrology, or just sitting with yourself in journaling, over the years, I've learned a lot about myself. And I've learned that the way that I'm wired, I love, I'm a visionary. So I'm constantly getting downloads and ideas. And I like to bring them maybe birth them maybe, but I could care less about finishing them. I really don't care and I don't care about bringing it to market. And so I'm always up in the sky, like pulling down all of these ideas and downloads and constantly wanting to change, pivot, pivot. Before we started recording, I said you know, Mike, and I've never lived anywhere longer than two years ever, because we just get bored easily. He's, he's very much the same as I am. So in my daily routine, I like to be grounded and I like my routine, but in my life and my job and my ideas and where I live, I'm constantly changing it because when I get bored, I'm done. I like to master something, and then I move on. And so it's been really interesting in entrepreneurship. I think for me, surrounding myself with an incredible team, we have the most amazing CEO, our integrator of operations, she kind of brings me back down to earth all the time. And she'll keep me a bit more grounded, because I am always up in the clouds wanting to do the next thing. The amount of ideas we joke all the time, you know, I use Canva. If you're listening Canva's like a really great kind of graphic design program.

Susan Sly 30:27
It's a, let's just, just have a moment. There might be an addiction to Canva that I have. Just—

Jess Glazer 30:35

Susan Sly 30:36
Even, even for Radius, this is so, so concessionary, but we have the money, we're an ad revenue company to hire an agency or whatever, I still do. I do them. And I put in my calendar, I'll have like, focus time, and I'll be like, three hours. And one of our co founders is like Susan, you're so good at putting focus on it. I'm like, Yeah, Bobby, cuz you know what I'm doing. I'm on Canva. And I'm like, my favorite thing, if we're not doing anything as a family, Friday night, glass of red wine, and I'm on Canva.

Jess Glazer 31:12
Literally the same except white for me. Same. And I, we joke all the time, this, my integrator and I always say we should just sell, you can steal this idea, go for it. But we're like, we should just sell a membership. It's like $10,000. And you get lifetime access to my Canva. The amount of programs that I have created and never launched, the amount of workbooks that are in there, especially being a teacher, like my Canva, you can build a multiple seven figure business just by sifting through the content in my Canva. That's never actually made it to social media, because I just like to create it. I don't really care about the the rest of it. So, you know, to answer your question, I think it's just having people around that keep me grounded and keep me on track and being okay with that as well. Because initially, there's a lot of resistance and control. You know, I'm the boss, I'm the visionary. I'm the founder. What do you mean, right? And now it's okay, her name is Lauren. All right, Lauren, you're right, you know, we're not going to get through the first project if now I'm already on to the second. So bring me back to Earth. And just recognizing that. And the interesting thing was too, part of my, my ego death and part of my comparison journey last year was just that. So I'm teaching a lot of the same stuff that had been teaching for years. And I started to compare myself to some of my peers, who, through our own evolution, they started teaching new things, right. I'm not reading the same books now that I was six years ago. But my clientele are reading the books that I read six years ago now. And so I started to get lost in the shuffle, if I'm being honest. And I started to feel that I wasn't growing, or who is I, or how embarrassing that Jess is still teaching about niche and ideal client, like she's been teaching them for five years. And what I had to recognize was, I had a choice, there was a fork in the road. And the choice was either continue to serve that person who I serve very well. And we get incredible results for and I love working with the newer entrepreneur. Or if I am going to start teaching and sharing other content, recognize that I'm also going to have to pivot my messaging, maybe build a new audience. And I won't really be teaching, I still can, but I won't be teaching that information to the capacity at which I was. And so through some of the confusion, we birthed a couple of different programs and products. And my team allowed me the space and freedom to kind of figure out what I wanted to do. And about three months after playing around with some new stuff, I was like, wait a minute, guys, you know what I'm really good at. And they're all laughing, you know, they're like, We you know this and I'm like, I'm really, I really love that newbie stuff. And they're like, Yes, welcome back, you know, so I kind of had to go off on my own journey to recognize I'm not any less than, and now, what we've done is instead of just having me teach or have a course or coaching program, we've built a machine that really, we can put people through this machine and the results they get just keep getting better and better. And our program keeps getting better and better. And I would rather be known to help with this one particular thing than doing a million different things. And on my own time, I can be learning about higher level stuff.

Susan Sly 34:12
Well, you know, it's not surprising since you were an elementary school teacher. Kindergarteners need the same learning every single year. It's a new class of kindergarteners and, and very similarly too, like in my, for my my tech incubator, I chose to focus on women who didn't come from tech backgrounds who want to start a tech business because that is my passion about teaching those fundamentals, especially since I've walked them. And it's so like, this whole conversation, so I have like to totally digress I was like forget book club. We should have wine in Canva club. So we could have a membership. And if you all are like as you know, creative as we both are, then you can, you know it's once a month you come up and we just build stuff on Canva whether I go..

Jess Glazer 35:06
That's amazing. I'm into it. And you need to just be creative. That's the best part. There's no right way to do it.

Susan Sly 35:12
When you come back to Scottsdale, it is so on.

Jess Glazer 35:16
Canva party, screw the burpees and the wine, we're gonna do Canva and wine instead.

Susan Sly 35:23
We can have it in my new house if it ever gets finished renovation.

Jess Glazer 35:28
Canva and cabs.

Susan Sly 35:32
I've already, in my mind, Yeah, I'm already thinking like, who are we inviting to this party. Going back to this, it is this whole realization, and especially as the, as an athlete, right? So this athletic mindset, it almost feels like to say, Okay, no, this is my zone of genius. And this is the group I want to focus on. Even though I've been focusing on them for a long time. It almost feels like a downgrade maneuver, when in fact, it's the opposite. It's a place of empowerment, because suddenly, you have this space and grace to go, Yeah, this is my zone. And it feels really, really good. And as you were sharing, you know, and as you know, so, you know, for years, I spoke on big stages, 20,000 people, you know, Tony Robbins speaking, Jack Canfield speaking. So when I, when I pivoted and had that moment of after I almost died in 2016 and going if I had have died, what in my career have I not yet done that I want to do? And so I made a list. And there were only a few things on this list. And I'm doing them now. And so when I started in tech, it's like I had to earn the right to be here. And so now, three years later, I'm speaking on these stages, but I'm on panels. Now I'm on panels with people like McDonald's, NVIDIA, Deloitte like, it's a whole different thing. And my friends who is, there are hardly any women in AI, Jess like, there's like five of us maybe, but we'll all be at the Canva party, because we're all like. Anyway, she said, you know, the first year, you have to do the panel, but they watch you, they go in and they watch all the panels. And then the next year, your panel goes to the mainstage. And then the next year, they take the individuals from the panel, and they're the keynoters. And it was, I felt like it was a downgrade maneuver in so many ways from a money perspective from a career perspective. But now I just feel so in my power. And so I get it, I so get it. And I hope everyone listening, I know it's like Jess are just having a girlfriend chat, which is I hope you are all loving this. And Jess and I ask for what we want. So we would love five star reviews, thank you and share and tag and all that good stuff on social. But it's not a downgrade maneuver to be in your zone of genius and to serve at that level.

Jess Glazer 38:14
I love, I love what you just brought up though, because I'm getting this visual. And you're the one who mentioned sports. But it's, you know, you look at these pro athletes. And I just think of, my husband loves football, Patriots, right? So we think of football or baseball. And it's like that athlete at that pro level, taking an hour at practice to just do one skill over and over and over. And for me I was a gymnast. So getting up on the balance beam and doing your you know, you're tumbling series over and over and over and over, and you'd fall and you scrape yourself and you stick some and it's great. And you do it and to the point where you're exhausted, but it doesn't make you, it doesn't make you less than, you're not going backwards when you're honing in that skill. And so it's kind of the pullback to sling forward and from an outside perspective it's incredible to see you going on the panel and then moving forward. But what it is, is it's delayed gratification. And I think that's what people forget about. And I think all of us humans, we are just living in such a world of instant gratification where, and it does feel and look like a lot of these businesses are successful overnight. It was easy for her. He has a lot of followers. They have a big email list, but it's delayed gratification. And so just do the live. Just put up the post, just speak on the panel. And you know, my favorite quote, you've said part of it before, which was funny, is a Steve Jobs quote. And you can't connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backward and have to trust that they'll appear. And I'm a visual person. So for me those dots are stepping stones in a river and we're just working our way across the river. And so yeah, you're standing on a stone right now that represents the panel and the stone in front of you is, you know the next version and then the next version is the keynote but you wouldn't have gotten to those rocks if you weren't willing to get on the ones before it.

Susan Sly 39:57
Beautiful. And I'd read you were a gymnast. Since since you brought up the Patriots, which I love, look at Tom Brady. I mean, he retires for like a second, and then comes back. And some people are like, Well, why would you do that? Because he still has his moonshot. So that leads me to my last question, what is your moonshot?

Jess Glazer 40:19
Oh, I love that we're having this conversation. Because I have this, I call them crazy, stupid ideas. And I have amongst all of the downloads, I have a crazy, stupid idea too. Yes, build a company to sell but it's actually in the tech space. And I know nothing about it, and I don't know how to do it. And I'm still going to just figure, I'm gonna do it, I'm gonna figure it out. But that's definitely in the business arena, like, still want to do all the coaching, I love that and really build a company out so that we can just help more people, we're all about impact. We've built a school over in Africa, and I can't wait to get there to visit it because it opened during pandemic, but moonshot would definitely be building a company to sell specifically in the tech space. And then just being able to take care of the people that we love, you know, we always say, don't judge your carrot, the thing that's sort of dangling in front of you. And so many times our carrot is just to make money or to retire a spouse or to be able to take a vacation, go to dinner and not look at the menu price, not stress out and and then we get into this like weird cycle of judging ourselves. And then we don't take action, because oh, gosh, I'm not a good person, if that's the thing that I want. And you know, from training, I mean, you've trained 1000s, and 1000s, and 1000s of hours, everybody comes in to change their physical body. I don't think I ever had someone come in for another reason that wasn't a vanity metric. But it's over time that they come back, because now they feel good. And they're addicted to it and the endorphins, and they want to do a Spartan Race, and they want to learn a pull up, and they want to get faster. But it starts, the carrot starts usually with some sort of a more vanity type metric. And so for me, there are a lot of things. I'm super unapologetic about wanting to create a lot of wealth. And we want to so that we can do good things and can take care of the people that we love and just provide opportunities for other people, provide jobs for other people, provide a work environment that might not exist. And that's something we're working on right now with our team and team culture and creating whatever it is that we want to create and having that freedom is, is really part of it.

Susan Sly 42:18
Well, the good news is, you know, someone who knows how to create a tech company, and with, with Fem Boss, with the incubator I created, so when women come through, once their pitch is accepted, we actually build their MVP tech for them. We come alongside them, we help them raise the money. And then the moonshot with that is to launch, grow, and scale, and sell 1000 Female led tech companies in the next 10 years. So we have applicants. And if you're listening and you want to apply it's We have applicants coming through right now. One woman is in her 60s. She's a nurse and her tech company is all about helping care from home with the elderly who are isolated. So she's going through the process right now and I think she's done a second stage. So yes, I do know I can help you do that. We can chat over Canva and wine. The title of this episode is gonna be Canva and Wine. Like what is that episode about? See, yeah.

Jess Glazer 43:25
I created the logo for this fake company on Canva already, like I have the logo created. But I think that's the only action step because I was dreaming about it. I was thinking about it. So I did get that far.

Susan Sly 43:36
Excellent. I love Well, hey, Jess, thank you so much for being here and go to I did, I totally did that. And on Instagram. Jess.Glazer.

Jess Glazer 43:50
Oh, I changed it.

Susan Sly 43:51
Oh, you changed it.

Jess Glazer 43:52
So IamJessicaDeRose, which is my name.

Susan Sly 43:58
IamJessicaDeRose. So don't go to the one I told you because that is wrong on the bio. Don't do it.

Jess Glazer 44:04

Susan Sly 44:06
Well, Jess, thank you so much for being here. I can't wait to welcome you back to Scottsdale, your new hometown for at least two years. And everyone, please tag us on social, please give us a review. I do read all of your reviews. So I would love a review. And just so everyone knows, most podcasters, 90% of podcasters haven't put out a new show in the last 90 days. So it's like, the fact you're here, the fact you're listening, the fact your fans. I love you and I appreciate you. Thanks for being here. And Jess, thanks for being here. This has been like such a great show.

Jess Glazer 44:40
Susan, thank you so much. I love it, can't wait to come back.

Susan Sly 44:44
Oh Thank you. All right Raw and Real Entrepreneurs, this has been another episode of Raw and Real Entrepreneurship. And don't forget to go back and listen to some of the past episodes. Go check out Lori's show, check out Dave Asprey's show. And by all means, if you have a business, you want to be a guest, Go to You can apply. We are taking bookings I think six months out but I would love to have you. So with that, God bless, go rock your day and I will see you in the next episode.

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Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Chana Mason

265. Why Entrepreneurs Should Write A Book – Interview with Author, Chana Mason

By Podcast

There are a lot of reasons why entrepreneurs should write a book.

Books can be used as lead magnets to attract more customers, they can act as a portfolio piece for potential clients, and they can help you position yourself as an expert in your field. But the best part is that writing a book is simple – you don’t need to be an experienced writer or have gone to school for journalism. In this interview, you will learn how to get started and get some tips on how to write a book that will help you achieve your business goals.

Through her Business Strategy and Life Coaching Practice, Chana Mason works with clients and students around the world, guiding them to clarify a vision for their lives, unravel the thought patterns that hold them back, and giving them the tools and support to actualize their dreams.

Chana holds a BA in Theater and Engineering from Dartmouth College. After working for Bain & Co. management consulting in Sydney, she worked business development, technology, education, and graphic design. After mentoring others in the personal development for decades, she threw herself passionately into coaching and into sharing the tools for health and success she’s gleaned and developed.

She is the author of Hold That Thought, which teaches readers how to gain Clarity, Peace, and Joy, by gaining Mastery over their Thinking, The Size of Your Dreams, a novel which teaches tools for Manifesting your Dreams; and The Cash Machine, a tale of Passion, Persistence, and Financial Independence.

—Chana Mason

Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Chana Mason

Topics covered in the interview

Writing a book
Self-published books
Books as lead magnet
Coaching entrepreneurs in writing a book
Keeping your book simple
Key writing components
Average word count

Chana Mason’s Bio

Through her Business Strategy and Life Coaching Practice, Chana Mason works with clients and students around the world, guiding them to clarify a vision for their lives, unravel the thought patterns that hold them back, and giving them the tools and support to actualize their dreams.

Chana holds a BA in Theater and Engineering from Dartmouth College. After working for Bain & Co. management consulting in Sydney, she worked business development, technology, education, and graphic design. After mentoring others in the personal development for decades, she threw herself passionately into coaching and into sharing the tools for health and success she’s gleaned and developed.

She is the author of Hold That Thought, which teaches readers how to gain Clarity, Peace, and Joy, by gaining Mastery over their Thinking, The Size of Your Dreams, a novel which teaches tools for Manifesting your Dreams; and The Cash Machine, a tale of Passion, Persistence, and Financial Independence.

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Show Notes

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Susan Sly 00:02
So, what's up Raw and Real Entrepreneurs, wherever you are in the world, I just hope you're having an amazing, amazing day. And I have a question for you. Have you ever had that inkling to write a book? And then there was part of you that was like, oh, but what would I really say? Or should I even write a book or who wants to hear my story? And that imposter syndrome kicks in and you're wondering, Well, should I do it? Or should I not? Well, my guest today is going to talk you off that ledge and get you in a place where you are going to leave this episode and say, I'm writing my book, I'm writing my book. Anyway, before I bring her out. And I'm so excited to talk to her, I just want to do a couple of quick announcements. So number one, at, we have a brand new checklist. So if you're an employee who wants to become an entrepreneur, I've created a checklist for you. So all you have to do is check off those boxes and get yourself started. I have also updated the Power Presentation. So if you are in startup mode, you're looking to raise money. Believe me, I know all about that. I have taken all of my strategies that I use to help raise millions of dollars for Radius and put them in a white paper just for you. So head on over to So with that, my guest today has an incredible story of triumph. She is someone who is using her superpowers for good to empower entrepreneurs to help them take their stories to the world. She's been featured in Medium, which is no small feat, my friends, and on top of all of that, she's just incredible. So my guest today is Chana Mason, Chana. Thank you. Welcome

Susan Sly 01:44
to Ron and Real Entrepreneurship.

Chana Mason 01:46
Thank you so much for having me. It's a pleasure to be here.

Susan Sly 01:49
Well, Chana, as we were saying before the show, so it is Raw and Real Entrepreneurship. So the listeners know, so I'm in the middle of the move, right? And so we sold our house, and we decided we were going to, I just woke up one day, and I'm like, this house is too big, and kids are moving out and I would come home and I'm like, there's too much to do. And so we sold our house, and then we're renovating another house. And despite like, all the best intentions and everything, it's of course taking longer. So we're living in this, Airbnb. I've done episodes from hotel rooms, I've done episodes from, you know, wherever. So anyway, that's what's going on in my life. Right now for all of you. So have you been listening for the last few years? But anyway, Chana, I want to jump right in. What do you say to that person who says, you know, I've thought of writing a book, but who's gonna read it?

Chana Mason 02:40
So it's actually really interesting, because as I was hearing you talk about, like, Oh, what if I don't have anything to say? My experience is that actually people have too much to say. Not too much, but they have more than one book in them. And particularly if they've really become experts in their field, somebody who's a coach like me, or someone who's even an accountant, or an attorney, or any kind of service provider, or somebody who has really specialized in a type of tech, and really wants people to be able to understand what it is they do. Their challenge is they want to pack too much information into a book. And it makes the book kind of information dense. And it actually makes it a little bit harder to learn. We learn best through story and repetition. And if you just get one story after the other nailing in the point that you want to deliver, so somebody might come out with one really solid lesson that because they experienced it through so many stories and anecdotes, they really digested it and had a much easier time integrating it. That's much better than if you pack a book with hundreds of lessons, which we've done. But then sometimes things get lost along the way. So don't feel like oh my gosh, you have to be the greatest expert in the world. chances are, you are a much bigger expert than the average person. And even though there might be let's say, 150 books on how to make the perfect widget, Nobody wrote that, Like all the people who wrote that book, weren't you. And nobody has your unique way of delivering that widget material the way you can. And everybody resonates with different types of teachers in different ways, or different types of anecdotes, or different presentation styles. So I oftentimes teach other people's personal growth tools, but I do it through my voice and in my way and through my examples, and I get clients who come my way and say, I actually studied under the original teacher that you're teaching, and I like you more. And I'm like, very complimented by it. My ego has a field day but the reality is that there's just something about my energy that resonates better than that person's energy and that's okay.

Susan Sly 04:58
Chana, I've never heard anyone say that, you know, and we've had, you know, amazing entrepreneurs, authors, New York Times bestsellers on the show, I've never heard anyone say people have too much to say. So I love this. It's like an episode of Mythbusters. So you don't have a book at you. I love what you said, you're probably lots of books with you. And, and so what about that person who says, Well, okay, I get it. But what if no one buys it.

Chana Mason 05:28
So to be perfectly frank, the average self published book, I work with a lot of people who self publish, because people who have small businesses and are service providers, the energy that it takes to, to get a book published by a big publisher is oftentimes not worth it, partly because it can take two years for the book to come to market. And oftentimes, you end up having to hire your own publicist anyway. So a lot of people end up just self publishing. And that I just suddenly realized I forgot the question. aAsk me the question again.

Susan Sly 06:03
It is is Raw and Real Entrepreneurship. We're human, right? Yeah. And if it's, if it's any consolation, last night, we had a business dinner, and I definitely, I don't normally drink during the week, but I definitely had a glass extra of wine. And it was one glass too many. So the question was, and all the listeners remember, this is one of your favorite shows. So we're real, we're raw, we want that five star rating regardless. The question was, what if the person you know says, Hey, who's gonna buy it?

Chana Mason 06:32
Oh, who's gonna buy, okay, so the reality is in self published books, the average book only sells 250 copies. That's the average book, right? So there's some self published books that do amazingly well, for example, The Martian, The Martian was literally originally just posted on the author's on Andy Weir, I think his last name is on his website, and people are just reading it off of his website. And eventually, long story short, when it got a movie contract, then it got picked up by a publisher. But originally, it was totally self published. So many people read it. But then you get some self published books, and only five people read. If you're using it as a lead magnet, so the goal is not to sell books, the goal is to get books into people's hands. So I have a book called Hold That Thought. And I have 10s of 1000s, of free downloads of that book, as opposed to individual 1000s of actual book sales. And if your goal is to sell books, then you have to get to be a really good author. And you know, which I happen to be super passionate about writing between my husband and myself, we have six books, this is something we're you know, really into, and we are constantly producing more books. But if you just want to use a book as a lead magnet, as a brand builder, and business builder, you don't need to be the most fabulous writer in the world, you just need to strategically place your book as something that lots of people can get their hands on. One thing that's really interesting is that, in addition to Amazon being a place where people can get free digital downloads, and things like that, there are hundreds of websites all over the world, where people can get digital books for free, in addition to the fact that you can put one on your website for free. And I get emails from people in Pakistan, from people in Latin America, in Africa, in Australia, who found one of these websites, downloaded my book for free and want to tell me all about how the book changed their life. Like, that's crazy. Like, that's such a, it's so mind blowing. I get to service all of these people who I'll never meet. And in third world countries, they can't afford my coaching. And that's totally fine. But I'm happy to be of service to them anyway. So the books, when, when I self published books, I make it such an inexpensive process that I don't care how many books I sell. It's not, that's not really the point. But what I can do is I can give it to a client, so that they can learn much faster than they do, just in the one on one time we have together and I can use it as a calling card. It's just like a much better business card than a little piece of cardboard.

Susan Sly 09:13
I love the paradigm shift as well, because the purpose of writing, unless well thinking about, I can't even remember her name, the gal who wrote Twilight, right, the vampire series. So Arizona housewife sitting there, you know, thinking I'm gonna just do this creative process and look what happened with her versus so the gentleman who wrote the book, The Shack, that was self published, and they went on to sell millions and millions of copies, right? And one of the things I've always thought about writing, you know, in my first book, I tried to put too much into that book, that was in 2007. I wrote that, but the, that whole process, Chana, about this concept of the book, as a tool, as a business card, as a validation piece, right? And, and that it doesn't matter what business you're in, it makes sense. And if you start to think about it as a way to serve your clients and customers or your future clients and customers, that begins to change that narrative, so I'm very curious. So when you're coaching an entrepreneur who wants to write a book, what does that process look like?

Chana Mason 10:27
So I have a book coaching program called Power Publishing. And I really take them from clarifying, okay, what is this book going to be about? So remember how you said, you tried to shove too much into that book? That's, so I've totally been there. And the last book I had, I actually had to sit down with my husband. And every time basically what happens is, every time I come up with a new insight from working with a client, my husband says, Did you write it down, and I'm like, No. And he says, Go write it down. Right now put into Scrivener, which is the writing software I recommend to everybody buy. So I pop it into Scrivener. And what basically happened is when I was looking at all of the new insights that I had, my husband's like, keep it simple. So I realized I had three books where I thought I had one. And when you slow things down, that also, that also means you have to slow down your thinking, because one of the challenges we have as authors is we suffer from the curse of knowledge. We're experts in our fields, so we know so much. So we often take leaps in logic, that for our customers, they're like, ooh, whoa, slow down. Can you explain that again? Can you really break it down step by step? So that's the first thing is they tell me a little bit about what you know, what it is their expertise is in, and I help them break it down into, okay, let's take this book, let's cut it into, let's say, three sections, or five sections. And in each section, we're going to have a handful of chapters. And you're going to break things down in every single chapter. For me, this is central, every single chapter has a story. It can be short, it can be long, but it has to have a story because we learn through story best. And ideally, it doesn't always have to be this way. But ideally, the story is one where people are able to better connect to you as an expert. So that happens one of two ways. Either the stories about you, yourself, where you're being vulnerable, and raw and real, like we're talking about here right now. And when you're vulnerable and raw and real, then people understand that you've been in their shoes, and that you're a real human being. And they can connect to you in a deep way. So it's really rapport building. The other way that you can do it is by positioning yourself as the hero of the story. So one of the ways I do that, in my, in my books is I'll present actual coaching situations, obviously, I, you know, protect my clients by changing the circumstances, and the names and all of that. But I make the coaching conversation look like a dialogue from a place script. So you see my name, Chana, colon, and what I said, and then you see, let's say, Melissa, colon, and what Melissa said, and it just keeps going like that. So people are seeing my name, hundreds of times while they're reading the book. And I didn't even realize until after I wrote wrote the book, I'm like, Oh my gosh, they're just being planted. My name over and over and over again, no one who reads my books forgets my name. And I see why. Because it's just like so in their heads, because they keep seeing it. But also through the dialogue process, they're learning so much. Dialogues are really great, because they're very, very fast to write. We think in terms of dialogue, when you actually have to write description, it takes a lot longer. And so if you're just putting in a dialogue, you don't have to do any of that detailed description, which I happen to be super passionate about as a, as a fiction author also. But most people really struggle with that stuff. So that's like a sort of a secret, sort of cut away. So we break it down, and I say, okay, find an anecdote or a story to fit every single scene. And once you do that, it's like, oh, now I know what I'm writing. So when I sit down to write, I'm writing a chapter that's titled, How to build a widget. And I'm gonna have an anecdote about my widget making machine and the time that it broke, and how everyone in the company teamed up together to fix it. I don't know, I'm just making something up, right? Yeah. And, and there you go. And now you're like, Oh, I'm just writing this one chapter. And writing this one chapter is kind of like writing an article. And there's a concept of my husband and I talk about a lot, which is, ideally what you want to be doing over the course of the book is bringing people back to the map. So the map is, we're starting at section one, we're ending at section five. And I'm taking you on a journey from section one to Section Five a journey of growth or journey of process, whatever you want to call it. So within each chapter, somehow bring people back to that map. Okay, so now that we've done A, let's look at B. So now you can see how A leads to B. Now let's look at how C gets us there, for example. So those are the key writing components. And then it gets into, should I just keep going? Or do you have a question?

Susan Sly 15:17
Oh, yeah, no, I was. So I was curious about the, from the process, and I love how you're breaking down. I love that you get that pro tip there, too. That was, that was like excellent insider information. So let's say someone listening, they have an idea, or they have many ideas. And now they're like, Okay, I'm gonna do what Chana says. And I'm now got one idea, right? And so let's say they reach out to you, and they want to go through the process. How long does it take them to go from ideation to I have a book?

Chana Mason 15:51
I get that question a lot. And it really comes down to how much time people have, I get a lot of female entrepreneurs who are also moms. And they're juggling a lot of different things, the clients that they see and the business development that they're doing. And this happens to be the one part of their business that in the short run, doesn't bring any revenue. It's a long play activity. And so and so Oh, yeah. And in the short run, their babies are, you know, calling for their attention. So. So it really just depends on how much time you have to sit and write. Because creating this structure takes two to four hours. And once you have that down, then it's just how much time do you have to sit and write, you know, most people can do 2000 words in a sitting. It's very long to get to a book.

Susan Sly 16:40
The length of book has changed, because it used to be like, you know, War and Peace style, like massive, you know, hundreds of 1000s of words. So in, you know, what is the average word count you're seeing now for the writers you're working with?

Chana Mason 16:55
So for nonfiction, you can really do 30,000 to 120,000. But for this type of thing, where you're, you're really just using it as a business card. If you have 30 to 40,000 words, that is totally enough. And most people don't think in terms of word count. But if you think about the typical online article, is usually two to 5000 words. You know, the typical blog post is like one to 3000 words, something like that. So to kind of wrap your head around that it doesn't take that long to get to 30 to 40,000 words, you can do that in 15 to 20 sittings. And then you just have to edit it. So it's not totally impossible. It can be done in six months, if you dedicate yourself to it. So the last book that I wrote, I had my outline done, but the actual sitting and writing took me two months. And that was putting in, I don't know, six to seven hours a week, not a huge amount of time.

Susan Sly 17:57
No. And to that point I, my husband and I were, we were in Koh Samui in Thailand. And I wrote a book in a week. I just got up at four in the morning and busted out this book. It was like very industry specific. It was a short book. And yeah, in a week in Thailand, it was done just with coffee early in the morning while he was sleeping. And I think to your point, it, it's having the outline. It's the key. It's like anything, right? Going back to high school or college. It's like, if you have the outline, you are good. But if you sit there and just try and start writing and do a brain dump, that's going to be all over the map. Let me ask you this. So, Mark Victor Hansen is a great friend of mine. And you know, and I've done speaking events with Jack Canfield, the Chicken Soup for the Soul authors. And when they wrote that book Chana, they were rejected by 125 publishers, you said no one wants a book of short feel good stories.

Chana Mason 19:00
I'm so into those books, it's so funny to hear.

Susan Sly 19:03
Yeah, well, and Mark laughs about it, he still tells the story. Right. So one of the, one of the things that I think about, say for my next book, is the concept of using interviews to expedite the process because the interviews validate the position. So can you talk about that, especially with an entrepreneurial book, like client stories, you know, all of those things.

Chana Mason 19:27
I think there's nothing like actual real world applications of the principles that you are teaching. That's part of why for me also writing is just so fast, because I'll have a client session that went really well. Or that really elucidated a certain type of lesson and I just write two sentences about what that session was about. And I have my notes from the session. And then you know, I just write, I just write the chapter and outcomes and it's so helpful to already have like a real world example. And then along the way, I can sort of pull out of the dialog sort of pan out of the scene and talk directly to the reader and say, Okay, I want you to see what's going on in my head right now, I'm going to break down my process. This is why I decided to ask the client this specific question, or this is why I decided to use this specific tool. Oh, remember that tool that we introduced three chapters ago? Here it is, again, you know, and, and, of course, I'm using my tools in every single dialogue, I'm using multiple tools. And so I'm reminding them, hey, look, look, here, we're using this tool, and some reminding them of the name of the tool, which brings me to something I think, is really key. So where I fit in as a coach is I'm not doing the writing for them. And I'm not teaching them how to write. The the core stuff is really helping people clarify that outline, which is so helpful to have somebody mirror that back to, somebody really hear you, create structure, that's been the most helpful piece that I do. That piece, and also understanding branding. So the tools that you teach, if you can brand those tools with really sticky, clever titles, then you can not only use them in your business, they become a way that people are like, Oh, wow, this person really knows what they're talking about. Because they have all of these tools. I've never heard those things before said in any, in that way anywhere else. So I talked about a thought bank, and then going to the ATM to pull your thoughts from the thought bank. And, you know, I have something called Resource replay, like all sorts of tools that just, they're sticky. And then when I teach workshops, I use those names. And it also helps people to remember. Another thing that's really important with books that you want to use as a lead magnet, if you know the book is a lead magnet, plan that in advance that comes with your outline. So as you're writing your outline already planned, where am I putting my note to the reader to go to my website, to download the bonus materials that come with this book. So in my first book, hold that thought, I have 10 different places in the book, where I say, hey, this chapter comes with bonus materials, you can access that at bonus materials, you know, and they might not click on the link the first time. But by the fifth time, they're clicking on that link. And now they're my lead, which is a really big deal because most people who self publish, do so through a platform like Amazon. And they're Amazon's customer, I don't have their name, I don't have their address, I don't have their email address, I have no idea where they came from. I know they're from like the United States or France or something like that. But that's about it. And so, this way, they become my customer, because they go to my website, they put in their name, they put in their email address, they get valuable content. But now I have their email address. And now I can also pitch them on upsells, courses, and coaching and all sorts of things like that. So that's really how I use the book. So the book might make me, a sale of a book might make me $5. But if the person buys coaching, that's 1000s of dollars. So the goal is really not the $5 from the book, like that's why, that's why I'm perfectly happy to give it away for free, because I'm hoping that enough of those freebies are going to lead me to enough, you know, multi thousand dollar coaching packages.

Susan Sly 23:25
I love that. So thinking, thinking about someone listening right now, what I'm hearing is, you're writing a book, it's your business card, it's a lead magnet, or if you're using it as a credibility piece, then know that in advance, right? But one thing we didn't talk about, which is unless you are a Chicken Soup for the sole author, or you are JK Rowling, who says I'm putting out you know, a, you know, a new Harry Potter series or whatever, you're not likely to make millions of dollars as an author, just you know, out of the gate, right? So you really have to start with the end in mind, which is what I teach in fundraising. So when I'm working with startups, Chana, the first thing I say is, what's your exit strategy? And in one of the shows I did, I was interviewing a billionaire founder. And he said, Well, I never asked people what their exit strategy is. And I said, Well, that's crazy. Because if you don't know what your exit strategy is, you don't know how to structure yourself corporately. You don't know what kind of fundraising you're gonna do. You don't know what kind of optics you need to have all sorts of different things. Right. And what I'm hearing from you is the book is, and I love that, that perspective, the book is the exact same way. It's like, figure out the purpose of the book first. Yeah.

Chana Mason 24:48
It's almost like what's the exit strategy for the customer? In a way, like how, what, what are you hoping to get out of, out of that book? So everyone's like, looking to be really altruistic with boiks is I'm just trying to teach or I'm trying to entertain. But even with my fiction author, I said, Okay, how do you get your readers from Amazon? How do you get those readers of which there are, she sells 1000s of books. And then every time she publishes a new book, she has to put ads up on Amazon all over again. Like, that's ridiculous. Get those people on your list, so you can advertise to them directly for free. That's huge. So now, every time I come out with a new book, my readers already know about it. Another thing that you can do so my first book was Hold That Thought, for my personal business, my second book is called Inner Voices. At the end of Hold That Thought there are four chapters from Inner Voices. So Hold That Thought is free but Inner Voices is not. The Inner Voices is now like, Hold That Thought as a lead magnet to Inner Voices, but they're both lead magnets to my bigger business. And the other piece, it's like a big deal that most people don't get, because I'm sitting here talking about oh, most people self publish on Amazon. And everyone's like, how do you do that? It seems like the biggest thing. So I'm gonna be super transparent. My book Hold ThatTthought. I paid $50 for the cover of that book. And that cover works really well. And I know that because when I go to fairs, almost everyone who picks it up buys it, which means that the cover's effectively communicating what the book is about, that once they look at the cover, it pulls their attention. And then they read the back. And they're like, yeah, what I thought it was, it is, which is a really good sign. 50 bucks. Oh, I'm so sorry.

Susan Sly 26:40
And I love that you mentioned that. And for the listeners, if you, we did a, we did a show with Jessica Leichtweisz who did a self published book on Amazon. And she had multiple contributors, she took it to number one in her vertical because it was very specialized on autism. And there's a whole, there's a whole show, you can go back and listen to I don't know what show number it is. But that you go, if you listen to Jessica's show, she walks you through all of that. And it's a very same story, the only thing she paid for was the cover art. That's it. And because she had multiple authors, she had multiple people mailing their list, super, super, very secular and was able to go to number one. And so there's a whole strategy for that, if that's what you want to claim as an Amazon number one best seller. That's not for this show. What I'm going to suggest to everyone, if you're sitting here listening, and I am, because I took a page of notes, and then I came up with a title for a new book, I've been deciding on what book number eight is going to be for me because I'm half Asian. So it's a lucky number. Anyway, like, you know, thinking about it. But if you're sitting here thinking about it and going, oh, yeah, I could write a book, go to Chana Mason, and it spelled and hire her. Hire her to help you get your infrastructure done for your book. And then just coming from that place of once that outline is done, sit your behind in a chair, write your book, give yourself the credibility. And if you're you know, for those of you who are entrepreneurs, you want to make money speaking, when you have a book, you can build more as a speaker, there are all sorts of things, it's going to help you with clients, it's going to help you. Even my dentist Chana, has a book that's called The Holistic Dental Matrix and he gives it out to all of his patients. He's holistic, but he charges 30% more than any other dentist but you go in and your new patient orientation you get this hardcover book. So to your point,

Chana Mason 28:47
So valuable, Wow. He wrote about this stuff and totally, even though we know how easy it is to self publish, we're so suckers for it. Like it totally works.

Susan Sly 28:55
Yeah, and then a $3,000 dental visit later, but I got a book right? I got a book and a toothbrush and some charcoal toothpaste and I'm feeling good.

Chana Mason 29:06
Little plastic toy and then you know you're really good.

Susan Sly 29:09
Yeah, you're, you're winning all the light. Well, Chana, it's so great to have you on the show. And for everyone who's listening, please go ahead and share the show. We'd love to hear in the comment section what you're taking away. Tag Chana and I on social media. And if this episode has been helpful, share it, share it with friends, share it with all your entrepreneurial friends. So with that, Chana thanks so much for being here.

Chana Mason 29:32
Such a pleasure. Thanks so much for having me.

Susan Sly 29:34
All right, my friends. This is another episode of Raw and Real Entrepreneurship in the books and I will see you in the next episode.

Check on previous episodes

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8 Stats About Female Founders

8 Stats About Female Founders

By Blog, Entrepreneurship, Female Founders, Female Founders, Startups

Female founders are in short supply however the statistics illustrate that companies with at least one female founder perform significantly better than those without.  These 8 stats about female founders  exemplify both the power of having women at the helm and also demonstrate how far we have yet to go.

We have a long way to go to bridge the gap between 2% of tech companies that have at least one female founder and a healthier 50%. 

The good news is that the support for women founders has never been stronger. With incubators like Fem Boss which I founded and women-led VC funds on the rise, the time is right for women to jump into the startup community and boldly take their ideas, wisdom, and drive to build the startups that will become the household names of tomorrow.

Here are 8 statistics about female founders in the 2% that serve as starting point metrics that can allow us to build from until the numbers truly represent beautiful diversity.



Less than 2% of US based tech startups have at least one female founder.

The average female founder is 42 years old. The average age of Silicon Valley tech founders who have a successful exit is 47 years old.


Female only founded companies raise less than 17% of companies that have both a male and at least one female on the founding team.

In the last five years, 2,000 female only founded companies received funding versus 4,000 for male-female founded companies, and 22,000 for male only founded companies. 

Female-led startups receive only 2.3% of traditional VC funding. 

Female-led startups have a 69.5% success rate with crowdfunding.


Private tech companies led by women achieve 35% higher ROI.

US based female-owned businesses generate over $1.8 trillion dollars per year.








Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Charlie Cina

264. Why Business Is All About Creating Relationships with Sales Strategist Charlie Cina

By Podcast

Business is all about creating relationships. It is not about pushing a product or service on someone; it’s about developing trust and understanding so that you can provide what the customer actually needs. In this interview, Charlie and I talked about the importance of relationships in business and how to create them.

Charlie Cina captivates his audiences and teaches them how to master the right mindset, missions, and moves to reach their personal potential to drive massive revenue. Through his writings, speaking, and consulting, he has built a vast group of followers known as Disciples of Sales. Charlie believes that the ability to present and persuade are necessary life skills that everyone needs to succeed. He will teach you that your primary responsibility in business is to expose your brand, expose your products, expose your services, and expose your solutions to build long-lasting revenue relationships.

—Charlie Cina

Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Charlie Cina

Topics covered in the interview

Charlie’s first business
Skills versus mindset
Misconception in client acquisition
Starting One Tap Connect

Charlie Cina’s Bio

Charlie Cina captivates his audiences and teaches them how to master the right mindset, missions, and moves to reach their personal potential to drive massive revenue. Through his writings, speaking, and consulting, he has built a vast group of followers known as Disciples of Sales. Charlie believes that the ability to present and persuade are necessary life skills that everyone needs to succeed. He will teach you that your primary responsibility in business is to expose your brand, expose your products, expose your services, and expose your solutions to build long lasting revenue relationships. 

Charlie leveraged his expertise in sales and marketing to work with and collaborate with billion-dollar brands. He has acquired clients that are the top motivational speakers, trainers in the world like Tony Robbins, Les Brown, and Eric Thomas. His 30 years of boots on the ground and under fire sales experience has led him to create proven techniques and strategies to activate, acquire, and achieve massive success.  

Charlie will transfer to your audience his simple formula to make sales easy, so anyone who implements can potentially connect with high-level clients and billion-dollar companies.

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Show Notes

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Susan Sly 00:02
Well, hey, what

Charlie Cina 00:03
is up Raw and Real entrepreneurs, I just want you to pause for a moment and take a deep breath. You made it, you made it. And I want to give a shout out to Mandy who gave such a great five star review on iTunes. Girl, you rock and I'm so happy you are loving the show. I'm actually doing today's show from We Care spa in Palm Desert. And I've been coming here for 10 years to juice fast and I am on day five today. So you never know what I'm gonna say in the show when I'm so excited that I have a brand new dear friend who's going to be my co pilot today. He's got a lot of wisdom to share. And I just wanted to do a quick announcement. If you haven't gone to lately, I have some new resources up there for you. Number one, The Perfect Presentation is up and I just updated it to include how to pitch to raise money for your startups. You want to check out that white paper, it is epic. I also have a new checklist for those of you who are employees who want to become entrepreneurs. And of course, it is all free. So go to, I would love to give you those resources. Anyway, my guest today, I just met him actually. I was speaking at The Weekend NBA event with Bradley and Sean Castrina in Miami and I sit down, and there's this very well dressed gentleman. So friendly, helps me get my chair adjusted. And we start talking. And it turns out he's from Las Vegas, he works with Brad, he's consulted to some amazing companies, including fortune 500 companies, and we start this conversation and I'm so engrossed in the conversation, I literally almost missed my time to go up and speak. It turns out that he has some incredible tech that he just found, we're gonna talk about that. And I'm using it myself. I'm so excited. Just before we went into the show, I saw what it would look like. We are going to talk about that. And overall I mean, he's just an awesome human and his specialty is client acquisition. And he has built seven figure businesses from the ground up getting gritty knocking on doors, asking for the sale, being rejected. And I know some of y'all are like, I just want to post on you know, Facebook, or do a reel or have a TikTok video and make millions of dollars. Sweetheart, as lovely as that is, this is Raw and Real Entrepreneurship, and even my friend who make a ton of money as Instagram influencers, they didn't do that with their very first reel. So you're here because you want it raw and real. And here's the thing I want to tell you, because it's common sense doesn't make it common practice. And that's what this show is all about. So in addition to all of his accolades, my guest today is an amazing husband, incredible dad, and he is the founder of a new piece of technology called One Tap Connect. So with that, Charlie Cina is here live from Las Vegas and Charlie, thanks for being on the show.

Charlie Cina 00:18
It's my pleasure. Thanks for having me.

Charlie Cina 01:30
Charlie, I want to jump in. You know what, I asked every guest the same question because we have a lot of children who listen to the show. They're listening with their parents in their car. What was your first business?

Charlie Cina 03:25
I started selling newspapers, in Buffalo, New York. And yeah, I,

Charlie Cina 03:34
I, the lady down the street, this is when

Susan Sly 03:37
Well, I was born in Toronto. My dad is a huge Bills fan like he lives and breathes the Bills, Charlie.

Charlie Cina 03:37
newspapers were a thing, right? So a lady down the street used to have a hub where all the kids from the neighborhood, the news truck would pull up, drop the papers in their neighborhood and all the you know, kids from a mile radius would come and pick up the papers to deliver them. And I always saw this one older guy that would pull up in a you know, I think it was like a 1971 Cutlass Supreme. Like back you know, this was, I was, this was probably 1979, '80 for me, I'm dating myself here. But that being said, I used to watch him pull up his car and throw the papers into the back of his car and leave. And I'm like, Why is that guy, he's older, like, what is he doing? So one day I rode on my bike. And I found out that he delivered the papers in a high rise tower. And literally I clocked him one day, he would go in there with two bags over his shoulders. And five minutes he was out. And the cool thing is the building was air conditioned in the summer and he did in the winter. And I don't know if you've ever been to Buffalo, New York since I've ever been— well, you're from Canada, right?

Charlie Cina 04:51
So there you go. So similar weather, right? So buffalo is no joke. It's freezing cold. We get the blizzards. So I approached the guy and I said, you know I said hey, you're pretty old. We have this paper, why don't you give it to me? So, about whatever, six months, a year later he, he saw me and he said, Do you want to buy my business? And I said, Sure, what do you want for it? He goes, give me 100 bucks, kid and it's yours. So that was like my first business deal, right? I gave him 100 bucks, I got the premiere paper route, in the Kenmore, New York area, this little village that I lived in outside of Buffalo. And in the summer, I get there, start on the sixth floor. And literally in six minutes, I was just dropping the papers in front of the door, and I was out. And then in the summer, it was, it was air conditioned. And what I didn't realize, I wrote a book called Expose and Close. And what I didn't realize is how that business opportunity impacted me and how it really set me up to become a sales professional. And I learned, you know, a simple tactic, the more you introduce, the more you produce. So the more doors I knocked down, the bigger my distribution got, the more papers I delivered, the more money I made, and then back then, you used to have to go around

Charlie Cina 06:09
and collect for the subscription. So every

Charlie Cina 06:13
Sunday, Monday, I go knock on my client's doors and say, Hey, it's $1 and a quarter, if they got the paper for the week, and they'd give me two bucks, or they give me three bucks, or they'd give me five bucks, and I'd make tips. So I didn't realize it at the time but I was really preparing myself for a career in business. And you know, more importantly, in sales, and learning how to present, overcome rejection, and, you know, create something that helped me go next level.

Susan Sly 06:40
I love that sorry. I had a paper out too, the Ottawa Citizen. And Ottawa, Canada is also very cold, and it is no joke, and especially the weekend edition, that thing is heavy. And so, Charlie, now that you've said, I've never really thought about that, you know, with regard to the paper route, and how much character it builds, and having to collect the money, and then, you know, being a little kid and knocking on the door, and the person isn't there. And they haven't paid their bill for a couple of weeks, and all of those things, and now, you know, they just drive out and buy the car and sling the papers, right? And it's, it's so different. And kids don't deliver papers anymore. It's adults who deliver papers. So how old were you when you bought that business?

Charlie Cina 07:23
I don't know, somewhere, maybe, you know, 11, maybe 12. And then, and then, and then

Susan Sly 07:31
So you had a lot to learn. You had to, you had to find, you know, essentially employees, people to do the work when you weren't available. You had to have those management skills, you had to be organized. These are all excellent skills for an entrepreneur. So what was the next business you started when you were, you know, older, let's say you know, either in college or out of college.

Charlie Cina 07:31
I started getting more, I delivered the Buffalo News, the Courier Express, the PennySaver. And, and really started getting my buddies to help me so if I was, you know, short, or didn't, you know short staffed or didn't have time to do it, or when on vacation, I would sub it out to my friends and pay them.

Charlie Cina 08:14
As I progressed, I was always in some type of sales. In high school, I sold, I became a waiter. First I was a short order cook. And then I realized that that's not for me. I, it did teach me how to handle a certain level of stress. Because very hectic, very hectic job, then I said, I need to be in sales, I went and got a job selling shoes. And then I became a waiter and get on the other side of the restaurant business, which if you're a waiter or waitress, you're selling, right? You get a piece of whatever that ticket is. And a lot of people that are in that industry really don't understand that. How you, how you present yourself and the experience that you give people is where their gratuity comes in. So that was a huge lesson for me. And then my first real sales position where I learned how to present, learned word tracks, I learned the art of closing, I cut my teeth on the phone, and I was selling advertising specialty products to contractors. So I get on the phone and call these contractors and someone ball hats, key tags, T shirts and swag for their business. And if there was no internet, there was no warm lead, there was no Hey, get online and see a picture of that or watch the video. Your words that you said how to trigger the right pictures, to trigger an emotion to say, you know, for the people to say great, send it, send it out, give me, give me two dozen, give me 100, give me 500 Or whatever the deal was. So that taught me a ton. When you learn how to sell on the phone with just words and raw emotion and learn how to connect with no pictures or videos involved, that really that really taught me a ton.

Susan Sly 09:59
Do any of those from, during the cold calls, do any particular conversation stand out, especially perhaps a negative one or, or something that still sits with you today?

Charlie Cina 10:13
Every time somebody hung up on me, it was devastating. Everyone's time— someone said, I'm not interested initially, it was devastating. But it's no different than what you're doing now. You're at a place right now going through we'll call it a fasting experience or exercise, or even better a commitment, because that, what you made is a huge commitment over a five or six day period, or however long that you're there. So how you overcome the mental game of being able to pick up that phone again. What can you do differently to get that person to say yes, instead of say, No. So I learned grit. I watched other people and some were kicking button, and taking names and taking orders. And they made it look seamless. So it's like anything else. Iron sharpens iron, as they say. And when you're starting out, you have to be willing to be terrible and know what you don't know. And that's the key. You don't know, we've all heard this, you don't know what you don't know. And then you know what you don't know. So once you're able to identify what you don't know, and you're willing to make that commitment to do whatever it takes,

Charlie Cina 11:28
here's what I've learned.

Charlie Cina 11:30
It's not about skill set. If you just make that commitment, and you keep working at it, you're gonna build that skill set. The real key, what I'm learning late in my career is skill set is great, mindset's the key.

Charlie Cina 11:46
So if I can share anything with your

Charlie Cina 11:47
audience, you asked me a question before we got on the call. What's something that somebody never has asked you before, Charlie that we can talk about? I think that's it. I think a lot of us in business work so hard on our skill set, we go to school, they say read this book, take this test, you're trying to you know, you're trying to get a,

Charlie Cina 12:07
a grade on a test

Charlie Cina 12:10
that really doesn't develop your skill set. Doing it does. But now doing, it's not enough. It's the mindset that's attached to it. That's going to help you get over all the negative self talk, uncertainty, insecurity, lack of confidence, and everything that goes along with it, or when you hit an obstacle.

Charlie Cina 12:29
How do you overcome that? Most

Charlie Cina 12:31
people stop. So if I can share anything with your audience, for me personally, skill set now has become rather easy for me in business. I feel confident that short of going out and representing a company that's you know, nuclear science, or some intense medical product, I could probably go into any company based upon the formula that I now know of how to sell a product or service. And with my skill set, succeed. When you couple that with a superior mindset of how to, of how to think and knowing how to control your emotions, that's just going to take you next level.

Susan Sly 13:13
Ultimately, it builds character, right, Charlie? So you know, as you're aware, so Jim Rohn. I used to say, I shared the stage with Jim three times back, and I'm dating myself now. But Jim Rohn, and Zig Ziglar, and I've had Tom on the show a couple of times, his son, there was this ongoing debate, you know, education versus motivation. And Jim was always saying education, skills, right? And then Zig was always a motivation. And so one day, Jim says to Zig, he's like, yeah, if you only have motivation without any education, now, these are Jim's words online, you're going to have a bunch of motivated idiots. And to your point, it's garnering the skills because there are skills, right, and you are masterful at teaching them, their skills to acquiring leads, acquiring clients, closing a sale, but the close is just the beginning. Because in the long game, it's about the relationships. And then it's the mindset to see things through when it's challenging, and that's what builds our character. And even for myself, I mean, you and I are cut from the same cloth. So whether the deal I was closing was, you know, $300 or $150 million, that range is not that significant, because the skill set and the mindset stays the same. It's just a number on a screen, really and truly, so let me ask you this. What was a big character building moment for you?

Charlie Cina 14:50
Well, me moving to Vegas.

Charlie Cina 14:52
I come from an Italian family upbringing in Buffalo New York so I had the privilege of knowing my great grandparents. My mother's side, my great grandfather came from Sicily. My dad's side, they came from Sicily as well. So they didn't, they spoke no English. And I grew up every Sunday, after church, you were, you were at dinner. And if you weren't, there was a problem. Right? But the whole family showed up. Aunts, uncles, cousins, and there was always 20, potentially 30 people, there were three dining room, three dining rooms set up. One of the kitchen, one in the, another area and one of the main dining area. The kids sat in the kitchen, the young adults sat in the middle dining room, and the married couples and the seniors sat in the living room. And no one really left Buffalo. Very, very few of my family entered in to college. I think my uncle on my mom's side was one of the only people that actually went to college in my family that I can, I can remember my immediate family. That being said, no one left the nest. So when I came out to Vegas, I came out cold turkey, 19, 20 years old, with whatever I had— four or 500 bucks in my pocket. And you know, from there, I grind it. And when I look at a lot of the millennials of today, and again times are different things are way more expensive. But that being said, that was a defining moment for me. Like I left, I got in my car, I knew I wasn't going to stay in Buffalo. My goal was to excel in the hospitality industry. I went to a junior college in Buffalo, New York, and I had scholarships to finish up at UNLV from the Hotel Motel Association and the Statler Foundation, and that was my dream, to be in the hospitality

Charlie Cina 16:52
business. And then I started advancing my

Charlie Cina 16:57
sales career while I was in college, got into sales, got into management, and never, never pursued hospitality. Looking back, though, I mean, the skills that I built, priceless. The ability to present and persuade, and, and learn how to shake a hand, priceless, priceless skills

Susan Sly 17:21
I could see where that would definitely be character building. It's hard. You know, leaving, when we left Canada, we left all of our family. And my husband, Chris, and I grew up in a town of 20,000 people and our dads went to the same high school, Charlie, and my aunts went to the same high school with my father in law. And so when we left there, it was there was a lot of pushback, you know, why are you leaving, and, you know, this isn't the right thing to do. And I'm an only child. So even, you know, some of my other family members felt like I was abandoning my father. And, and but at the same point, it was about us creating a life for ourselves and for our kids and making our choices. And it is hard. I've walked that walk before and I completely understand and all of those dinners and everything, and I completely get it so I can I can relate to that. And anyone listening, if you've ever left home, especially, you know, leaving the nest, so to speak, it is, it is very character building. So Charlie, you know, you have spent decades really teaching people how to acquire clients. And what would you say one of the biggest misconceptions there is out there right now about client acquisition?

Charlie Cina 18:45
The biggest misconception for me, with where we're at, as a world, things have changed.

Charlie Cina 18:58
Everything's on social media. Everybody wants to learn sales, and everyone wants to be a closer but the reality is people don't want to be closed. That's number one. And two people may be on social media

Charlie Cina 19:16
but that doesn't mean they're social. What I see, when you

Charlie Cina 19:22
meet people in person, they might be, a buddy might call them keyboard warriors, right? There's people that get on line and they can articulate something online or they'll get aggressive and cocky online. But when you meet them in person, they don't know how to shake your hand. Now you said something at the beginning, because it, because it's common sense doesn't mean it's common

Charlie Cina 19:47
practice. I believe that the concept of "you had me at hello," works.

Charlie Cina 19:59
And then that's how I brought up. And what was common sense and common practice for me is if I walked into my house, if I walked into a place of business, from the time I was old enough to communicate, my parents taught me, you make eye contact, you shake a hand, you say, Hello. If you walk into the house, and you were front of family, or friend or family member, if you were in my house, male or female, I went up to you, I hugged you, I kissed you. I said, Hello. If I went in and didn't kiss my uncle's Hello, I get a beating. And I don't mean that literally, right? But I would say key, hey, come over. It's just, just the culture. Now, I'm not suggesting that that's what everybody should do. I'm just saying that's how I was raised. Respect wasn't a word. It was a common sense practice. So you said, because it's common sense doesn't mean it's common practice. And I believe that's why I'm on your podcast, why? I was sitting down at an event, a woman sat down next to me, her chair was not properly positioned.

Charlie Cina 21:15
Before she got comfortable, I

Charlie Cina 21:17
said, allow me, you stood up, I fixed your chair, you sat down and said, thank you. And I stuck out my hand and I said, my name is Charlie, what's your name?

Charlie Cina 21:30
And that's where it started.

Charlie Cina 21:33
So I believe that if people just get back to common practice,

Charlie Cina 21:39
your life will

Charlie Cina 21:41
change. And you can still shake a hand, both online and offline, by using the you know, using the right words, but that's the whole thing for me, how do you introduce yourself? How do you build rapport? How do you gain credibility, and then you'll start to have a conversation, and you'll start to see if that person has a problem, or a need or a want, or something that you can fulfill. And then if you could fill that, that void or present that product or service for, again, just the interaction of a relationship.

Charlie Cina 22:20
They'll want what you have.

Charlie Cina 22:22
And then before you know it, that person is calling you saying, Hey, would you like to be on my podcast?

Susan Sly 22:29
Exactly. Well, and—

Charlie Cina 22:31
that's how we got here. Because we're, you know, I've known you, I think we've tried to reach out to each other. I think I pulled up an email, where I was reaching out to you five years ago when you responded, but we're not, we're not besties. But here's the good news, in a very short period of time, we're now building a relationship, where, you know, truly, I feel like I've known you for five, six or seven years. And it was just at the small time that we spent at that event.

Susan Sly 22:58
Well, and it's the impact, right? And I think that, I love what you said about you know, how do we, how do we introduce ourselves? And that's a perfect lead in to your new tech company. And I want to, I want to paint a bigger picture for the audience, too. So Charlie, and I, after I spoke, I had to run and catch a plane, but I had a few minutes. So we sat down, and we're talking about his company. And I got really excited because one of my zones of genius is really taking a look at someone's idea and really taking it even farther, and how big can we stretch it and you know, using, you know, technology to amplify the effect for the consumer. So Charlie's walking me through this tech. And so I got it set up. It was super, super easy, even while I'm fasting and maybe a bit delirious. And, you know, I'm already thinking because naturally, when I have a new friend, and I want to support them, I'm like, Oh, my gosh, who needs to know about this? And I was telling Charlie, all these different people. And so it isn't for Charlie, it isn't just him being a gentleman, how he introduced himself, you know, having a conversation without an agenda. What can I do to serve you, Susan? And I'm like, What can I do to serve you, Charlie? And I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I'm going to be introducing this new company and this technology to everyone I know who's raising money for their startup or who's in technology, does trade shows. I'm about to go to a trade show and speak at a 3000 person, one for Lenovo. Then I'm going to speak at the National Restaurant Association, big show in Chicago. It's 20,000 people. I'm going to meet so many people and so with One Tap Connect, Charlie's new company, I'm beside myself like I really, really am. So Charlie, let's talk about firstly, you know why you started this company. And then we'll talk about what the technology does, but why did you start it?

Charlie Cina 24:58
Well, a friend of mine immigrated here from Israel like 15, let's say call it 15, 16 years ago came with nothing, got into the construction business. And I helped him scale. His company helped him get clients. And one day he shows up at my office at lightspeed with a young gentleman, who also came to the States from Israel. He was a tech guy. And he said, I have this technology for a digital card. I said, Well, what's that? Show me. So he showed me the technology. I liked it. But it was missing something. So I didn't invest in the company. And I didn't get involved. And my buddy was telling them, if anyone could teach you how to network or get this on people's radar, it's Charlie. So listen, I appreciate it, not for me. Then I started buying some stuff off the shelf. And I used a lot of them or researched a lot of them. And I would go out and text people to digital card or have them take a picture of a QR code. And then the whole tap thing came out. And they were always missing something. And then I did an event, Susan, just before COVID hit. And these two guys came up to me and said, We could make you a better, a better digital card. Because when I'm presenting at an event, I would put up the digital card to give people my information. And I said, Okay, how much is that? They said, well, we can't afford to hire you as a consultant, why don't we do a trade deal? you can coach us will help you with your card. Started to make further headway. Long story short, I really wanted to develop something that wasn't a digital card, not just a transference of information but something that allowed you at the first point of contact to brand position and differentiate yourself. So with One Tap, it's based around my sales process. And when you tap somebody's phone to transfer the information, or you have them take a picture of your QR code, or you text it, email it or send it through social media, the objective is it allows you to present a micro presentation of who you are, what you do, and what problems you can help people solve. So literally, everything's right there, your LinkedIn, your Instagram, your Facebook. People can call you, text you, email you, as you scroll down, there's a video on your company. There's video testimonials, before and after shots of your products that you know, like the contractors, the house before they did the addition, the house after they did the addition. So it becomes almost like an infomercial for you. And rather than just handing somebody a paper card, it's not interactive, where people will take it and dismiss you. This allows you to start a conversation that converts. And it's, and I based it around everything that we just talked about for the past 20 or 25 minutes, how do you knock a door? How do you meet somebody at an event and pull their chair out? When they say do you have a card, How do you impact that person so they know exactly who you are, what you do, how you can help them? How do you get them at the first point of contact to want what you have, instead of you having to convince them that you have what they need. So—

Susan Sly 28:23
It takes the friction out, Charlie. That, and that's the thing, sorry to jump in, like I am, I you know, when I sat down with Charlie, I'm like a million users, a million people in every aspect of sales and connecting and there's no friction. The you know, I love it. Because, you know, we meet someone, it's like, oh, let's connect on LinkedIn. And then that person, you know, oh, I'll send them a video. And then I'm like, Oh, my gosh, there's so many steps and people lose interest, right? And this is like, all right there. And I love that it literally creates the app on the person's phone. So it's like, you can't forget that person.

Charlie Cina 29:02
Not only do you have my information in your phone, I'm right on your home screen aren't I?

Susan Sly 29:10
Yes. And that's the, that's the power in this. And the thing I want to say to everyone, especially, you know, women out there because I have Fem Boss Incubator. Charlie didn't code this himself, right? He has lived and breathed sales since he was 11 years old with buying his first business. And so you have to understand to be a tech founder, you don't need to be a tech coder, you just have to have the idea. There are lots of amazing people out there who can take what's in your head and turn it into a tangible product. And I know this is going to be a winner. And I you know, I don't say that lightly because people come to me all the time. And they'll say look at my pitch deck. I mean, this happens almost on a daily basis. And I'll say no, you're not there yet. You have to hyper verticalize, you have to take the friction out whatever it is, this is such a winner Charlie, I'm so excited for you.

Charlie Cina 30:05
Well, thank you so much. I'm very excited. And it's, it's almost like everything that I've done since I was 11, now I've created this, this tool. And what's

Charlie Cina 30:17
more exciting, the whole

Charlie Cina 30:22
analogy of when you, it sounds cliche, but when you bring people value, when you really love

Charlie Cina 30:28
what you do, it's just so refreshing that people

Charlie Cina 30:32
are, are calling me or texting me after they purchase and saying, I love it. How do I get more? I just refer to you know, my boss or this other company and, and people are now networking as well. I'm bringing other people together and helping people put different deals together. So it's, it's really been a dream product service that is now growing some tremendous legs, and we're excited to take it next level.

Susan Sly 30:57
Oh, everyone needs to go to one tap Connect and check it out. It's awesome. It's awesome. I'm not an affiliate, just go. I have to disclose that. For the FTC, I'm not an affiliate. Just go check it out. It is awesome. I love it. Love it. Love it. I'm like, Who else can I send it to? And after we're done the show, Charlie, we have to talk because I just had an idea for you. Anyway, so if you want to find out more about Charlie definitely visit And it Cina spelt C I N A, the Italian way of course. And Charlie, thank you so much for being here. I can't wait to see you in the future. And everyone Hey, If this episode has been of value to you, Charlie, and I would love a five star review, share it on social, tag us on social and you know, just know that you heard Charlie's storiy today, you know, for whether buying a business at 11 for 100 bucks, or getting out there cold calling, knocking on doors, building his character to now being a tech founder of a company that I feel will actually have some significant value very, very soon. So Charlie, you are amazing. And thank you for being such a bright, shining light in the world. And thank you for being here today.

Charlie Cina 32:09
Thanks for having me, Susan, looking forward to working with you on other projects. And hopefully I'll see you here in Vegas in a couple of weeks.

Susan Sly 32:16
You know

Charlie Cina 32:16
it. Well with that, thank you everyone, Raw and Real entrepreneurs for joining us today. And check out some other great episodes of other founders like Charlie who are willing to get Raw and Real and share what it is they've learned to help you thrive as an entrepreneur. So with that, God bless, go rock your day, and I will see you in the next episode.

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Female Founders are in Short Supply

Why Are There Not More Female Founders

By Blog, Entrepreneurship, Female Founders, Startups

Research shows that companies with female founders generate a 35% higher ROI than those who lack at least one woman at the helm. There has been speculation as to the cause ranging from the notion that women have more empathy, a greater propensity to have grace under pressure, and possibly are better at creating a culture where people feel supported. Despite mounting evidence that female founders improve growth, the number of companies with at least one female founder remains in the single digits. If these powerhouses are putting numbers on the board, why aren’t there more female founders?

Women Still Shoulder the Bulk of Childcare

Despite society’s purported move toward equality, women still shoulder the majority of the weight when it comes to childcare, running the home, and making decisions in terms of summer camps, after school programs, and the overall wellbeing of the family. These are all time consuming tasks. The pandemic shifted responsibilities for women as they took three times more unpaid leave to care for children than men did. Furthermore, working women worked on average 7 additional hours per day homeschooling children and running the household compared to less than 5 hours per day for men.

Women Do Not Necessarily Want Another Job

In the modern workforce women are leaving their jobs at record rates (insert blog) with a desire to be self-employed citing flexible schedules, not having to commute, and childcare as the number one reason. In 2020, McKinsey published findings that 1 out of 4 women was thinking of dropping out of the workforce. As women, if we do not want to go to an office everyday and have to choose between work and children then why would we want to start a company that would require them to work even longer hours than the job they dream of leaving?

Female Founders Get Less Funding

The odds are stacked against female founders when it comes to raising capital. Women receive less funding than our male counterparts. Shockingly, pitches by women to venture capitalists are funded only 2.5% of the time. With odds like this, why would a woman want to launch a startup when she has a 97.5% chance of her pitch being rejected? Women are being forced to explore nontraditional funding and actively seek out funds who have women in decision making roles.

Female Founders Are Not Seen Through The Same Lens As Male Founders

In this study, it was found that women were asked different questions during a pitch than men. Venture capitalists tended to ask women about protection versus asking men about growth. Inherently, the gender bias comes with a very specific lens on how women are viewed versus men. There seems to be a perception of women as nurturers and caregivers as opposed to titans of growth despite what the evidence illustrates.

Now The Good News for Female Founders

Despite the reasons why women are not starting companies at the same cadence as men, there is an uptake in the number of women willing to defy the odds. In the first three quarters of 2021, female-founded startups received $40.4 billion in funding which was a significant rise, shattering previous records. Female investors have risen from 12% in 2019 to 15.4% in 2021. That is a move in the right direction.

The Solution

As a female tech co-founder and Co-CEO, I have experienced the frustration of being spoken over in meetings, having venture capitalists completely ignore me even though I was the one doing the pitching, and speak only to one of my male colleagues, and been infuriatingly discounted in terms of my views. I also have experienced being valued, have my opinions considered, and given tremendous grace. I am extremely fortunate to get to work with some incredible men who see me as an equal and not through the lens of my gender. In my opinion, the solution to having more women in the role of startup founder comes down to how we view the journey. There will be challenges however in my opinion, the people behind those challenges are challenging people and that is not necessarily due to their gender.

As women, it is going to be messy. We will have to juggle childcare and home obligations however we would have to do that with a job. We will face rejection and candidly, that happens whether we are pitching a VC or we are going for a promotion. We will lack confidence at times however that is always an opportunity for growth. Yes, we will encounter non supportive individuals however they can also come in the form of our female colleagues, sisters, mothers, and best girlfriends.

Ultimately, what we require is to be supportive of one another. You could start with dipping a toe in the water and investing in female-led startups on Wefunder or other platforms (I just invested in Ashley Black’s funding round as a big Fascia Blaster advocate). If you are an accredited investor  you may wish to fund female-led startups as I did with my friend Lori Harder’s company, Lite Pink

If you are a woman with an idea that you would like to turn into a tech company, I have started Fem Boss, an inclusive incubator where we come alongside you and help you take your idea to inception. You do not have to have any tech experience, just a great idea. We are taking applications for pitching now and would love to help you bring your idea to the world. 

With the number of female funders rising and incubators such as Fem Boss, we are finally starting to shift the landscape to a friendly one for female founders. If you would like to read some statistics on the startup landscape, read 11 Startup Statistics for 2022.

Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Tom Ziglar

263. The Power of Hope in Difficult Times with Ziglar Inc. CEO, Tom Ziglar

By Podcast

When times are tough, it’s easy to lose hope.  But the truth is, hope is one of the most powerful things we have.  It can be incredibly strong and can help us get through even the most difficult challenges. Watch now for a dose of inspiration and encouragement!  (Show excerpt from live event recording of The Summit of Hope Seminar)

As CEO of Ziglar Inc., Tom Ziglar shares not only a last name with his father, Zig Ziglar, but he also carries on his philosophy, which is simply, You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough people get what they want.

Prior to being named CEO, Tom began his career in retail and direct sales. He joined the Zig Ziglar Corporation in 1987, learning every aspect of the business as he climbed from working in the warehouse, to sales, to seminar promotion, to sales management and then on to leadership.

—Tom Ziglar

Topics covered in the interview

Attitude of gratitude

Power of hope

Tom Ziglar’s Bio

As CEO of Ziglar Inc., Tom Ziglar shares not only the last name with his father, Zig Ziglar, but he also carries on his philosophy, which is simply, You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough people get what they want.

Prior to being named CEO, Tom began his career in retail and direct sales. He joined the Zig Ziglar Corporation in 1987, learning every aspect of the business as he climbed from working in the warehouse to sales to seminar promotion, to sales management, and then on to leadership.

Show Notes

Read Full Transcript

Tom Ziglar 00:00
And so what happened to dad? That was a black swan event. And that's what we're in right now. Susan, that's what happened to you. You just had that, you decided you were gonna go quadruple down and do four in a row. But we all have this idea. So the question I want to ask everybody is this. Did that response to that situation, that dad came up with, did he like, think about it and come up with it on that bed or did he literally have 60 years of preparation for that response?

Susan Sly 00:33
Welcome to Raw and Real Entrepreneurship,

Susan Sly 00:36
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. This incredible, incredible man. His father was the late Zig Ziglar. And I love what Zig said. He said, You don't have to be great at something to start but you have to start to be great at something. Whoa. So this gentleman had the real privilege of spending his whole life by the ultimate mentor, Zig Ziglar. Can you imagine those dinners and Christmases and, you know, he is the CEO of Ziglar Inc. He was a collaborator on his father's 30th bestseller born to win. He has his first solo title that came out last year choose to win. And he expands on the Ziggler philosophies and the secrets of winning at life. Tom is so successful in his own right, he speaks around the world to billion dollar companies, small business owners, he speaks at academic institutions like Cambridge and Harvard. And he, the Ziglar brand is more relevant today than it ever was before. It has over 5 million likes on Facebook, the Ziglar show is one of the top rated rated business podcasts. And when I reached out to this man, and I said, Hey, would you be open to doing this? We're just gonna serve. There was absolutely no hesitation he said, Yes. So with that, Tom Ziglar, I would like to welcome you to the summit of health, and I'm here to learn and take notes from you.

Tom Ziglar 02:10
Well, Susan, thank you so much. What a, what a great opportunity to share a little bit of love, hope and encouragement. You know, when I was a little boy, I asked Dad, I said, Dad, what are we, you know, what do we do? What, you know, what's our business? And he said, son, we sell hope. And so we've always been in the hope business. And I want to start with the story. I don't really share this story that often. But in 2007, I was on a trip in Mexico, and I got a call. And the call was come home. Dad's fallen. And so my father, Zig Ziglar, had been speaking in Los Angeles. You know, 12,000 people, big arena. He flies home, it was great. He's 80 years old at the time. So imagine, 80 you know, he's, he's out there rocking it. And he gets home and he's, he goes to bed. And we don't know why, for some reason, he gets up in the middle of night. And he goes down the hallway. And instead of, we think he was going into his office, but he turned left instead of right. And he hit the first step. And he goes tumbling down a staircase, hits his head on the marble floor at the bottom and gets a double brain bleed. So you can imagine mom's there. She calls the emergency, they take him in and they do all the stuff. And it's, it's a bad concussion. It's a serious thing. So we're trying to get home. And he instantly lost the short term memory. So the next day, I still hadn't made it back yet. He's in the hospital room. My sisters are there. My mom's there. The doctor comes in and gives him the report, hey, this is what's going on. You know, we're watching this, you have some swelling. But you know, we're gonna play it by ear. He had vertigo at that time, and he had the swelling, had little headaches still. And as the doctor is about to leave dad says, Hey, today, I think is Tuesday because he was looking at the board and had the date on it like in the hospital room. He says on Thursday, I'm supposed to speak in Houston. And there's about 15,000 people who are counting on me being there. Can you get me out of here so I can go there and speak. And the doctor looks at him and says, Well, Mr. Ziglar, you won't be going to Houston and you really need to think about the fact that you're probably never going to speak again. So have any of you ever had somebody put a cap on your life? So my sister Julie said, the dad just smiled. He didn't say a word. And then when the doctor left, you know, just a few seconds later, dad looked at my sister Julie and he called, he called Julie's nickname. He had a nickname for all of us. He called Julie little one. He said little one, I still have something to say. We're just going to have to figure out a different way to say it. And right there on that hospital bed is when the idea came about that dad would still go to these events. And Julie would interview him on stage. And so think about this- over the next four and a half years, he did over 100 events, 10 to 12,000, on average at these events, and lives were impacted and changed that never would have been impacted and changed because they saw Zig Ziglar, not as the powerhouse speaker going back and forth with every word perfect. But as a real, transparent, authentic human being, who was there for one reason only, and that's because he loved everyone in the room. And lives were impacted and changed. And so what happened to dad? That was a black swan event. And that's what we're in right now, Susan, that's what happened to you. You just had that, you decided you were going to go quadruple down and do four in a row. But we all have this idea. So the question I want to ask everybody is this. Did that response to that situation that dad came up with, did he like, think about it and come up with it on that bed or did he literally have 60 years of preparation for that response? Yeah, 60 years. That's exactly right. Yeah. And the reason is, is dad said this, we don't, we can't choose what happens to us. But we can choose how we respond to what happens to us. And so what I want to do real quick, is I'm going to share a PowerPoint. And I've just got two slides that I want to show you, or three. And it's this what we call the stronger mindset. And I just want you to hear what I believe is a choice that we have right now. When I was a boy, you know, 13 years old, Sunday would roll around and dad would wake us up at gosh, he'd wake us up at 7:30 in the morning, hey, it's time to go to church. And I said, Dad, do I have to go to church? And he said, No, you get to go to church.

Tom Ziglar 07:04
Here's the reality, we're all going through this, okay? I want you to choose today that you're going to not go through it, you're going to grow through it. Because I believe that everybody on this call, you were built, you were made, you were designed for such a time as this. In other words, those around you, those you love, your family, your friends, your co workers, your teammates, your clients, your customers, everybody who's in your network, they are looking to you right now, for that little bit of hope and encouragement. And so I was thinking if Zig Ziglar was here, if dad were here, what advice, what word would he give, and I found this quote, and I want to break it down. Here's the stronger mindset that I want you to take with you during this time. Expect the best, prepare for the worst, maximize what comes. So what does that mean? Expect the best. Hey, look, we've got to have the attitude of gratitude, the attitude of courageous hope and encouragement. Dad said we needed to have that little curve that sets everything straight. That's the smile. When people hear us talk,when they hear us communicate on social media, when they see our texting, when they, whatever the situation is, they need to feel in our spirit that we believe tomorrow is going to be better the next day or the next day. Why? Because we're all in this together. And you see when we feed our minds the right information, when we take in the good to clean up the powerful and the positive so that we can reflect this attitude of you know what, we're going to get through this together. When we do those things, it literally lifts our own spirits, scientifically and medically, we know that when our spirits are lifted, our immune system is boosted. Has there ever been a time where we need a stronger immune system. And when we lift the spirits of someone else, we literally lift their immune system. Lives are counting on our attitude right now more than ever, this hope, this encouragement. So that's the first thing. The second is we got to prepare for the worst. But wait, how do those two things go together? Let me tell you how they go together. We need to look at the future and say, You know what, what if this takes a little longer than I wanted to? How would I prepare today? You know what I'm going to do? I'm going to exercise I'm going to eat right, I'm going to get my eight hours of sleep, I'm going to feed my mind and my spirit, the right things. I'm going to take care of myself in every area. I'm going to look at my business and my career, the things that I have going on in the future. And I'm going to say if this takes longer than I want it to what can I do now to create margin in my life? And why do we want margin in our life? It's real simple. You've probably already had the two o'clock phone message or call Hey, I'm scared, I'm lonely. What do I do? We've got to maximize what comes. And how do we maximize what comes? We give that, that hope and encouragement to everybody. You know, we let them know we care and we love them and then we follow up with a little bit extra the next day. Hey, I was praying about you this morning. You're on my heart. Is there anything I can do for you? And in your business, it's the same thing. You're gonna have customers call you, hey, I'm covered up with problems, can you help? That's what you do is you help. You maximize that opportunity, then you give them a little bit extra, the little word of encouragement, the smile, the lifting of the spirits. My good friend's name is Rabbi Daniel Lapin. He's a mentor of mine. He said this. God is never happier with his children than when they're solving the problems of his other children. Hey, guess what, from a military perspective, we are in a target rich environment, we are surrounded by problems. When you expect the best, prepare for the worst, and maximize what comes you can serve your fellow man. Lift, take the burden off of them, lighten their load and in the process, it'll fill you up. Alright, Susan, thank you so much. Man, 10 minutes goes fast. So I hope that was, I hope that was good. And I hope everybody here was blessed and are really taking notes and are using what you learned today.

Susan Sly 11:00
Tom, that was beautiful. I just took a page of notes and the chat is going crazy. And so thank you so much, Tom. That was so beautiful.

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Episode 262 with Todd Randall

262. What It Takes To Be A Successful Entrepreneur With Multipreneur Todd Randall

By Podcast

What does it take to be a successful entrepreneur? What skills do you need, and what personality traits should you have?

Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart. It takes guts, resilience and a lot of other qualities that are hard to come by in one person.

In this interview, Todd talked about his journey from being an employee to a serial entrepreneur. He talked about the skills you need, the challenges you may face, as well as some hints on how to find the right people for your business.

Todd Randall, the eight-time CEO and business coach from rural Florida, found that running a business can lead you to an early grave if you let it.  He set out to build a business enterprise that worships freedom more than money, and somehow ended up with both.  This is the story of how a man set a crazy goal for himself, to learn to play polo and travel the world indulging that passion, and then worked persistently until he achieved it.   His businesses have included spas, gyms, operations consulting, business brokerage, construction and wholesale companies.  His latest and proudest venture is a thriving business coaching practice where he enthusiastically shares his experience with budding entrepreneurs.

Episode 262 with Todd Randall

Topics covered in the interview

Todd’s first business
Are entrepreneurs made or born?
From employee to entrepreneur
Getting the business idea
Delegating skills in business
Emotional aspect of business exit

Todd Randall’s Bio

Todd Randall, the eight-time CEO and business coach from rural Florida, found that running a business can lead you to an early grave if you let it.  He set out to build a business enterprise that worships freedom more than money, and somehow ended up with both.  This is the story of how a man set a crazy goal for himself, to learn to play polo and travel the world indulging that passion, and then worked persistently until he achieved it.   His businesses have included spas, gyms, operations consulting, business brokerage, construction and wholesale companies.  His latest and proudest venture is a thriving business coaching practice where he enthusiastically shares his experience with budding entrepreneurs.

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Show Notes

Read Full Transcript

Todd Randall 00:00
Some of the things administratively can be cared for, on your behalf. And it allows you to focus which is the most important thing in business, which is people. And I think those skills will help, will translate to anything else you do. Like you are running a high tech firm right now have better people skills than most people running high tech firms, because you're in such a people oriented business before. And I didn't realize, you know how much I would learn there. And so I think that, that was the first thing. It took me by surprise. And the more people you work with, you know, the more complicated it becomes.

Susan Sly 00:36
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 00:50
Well, Hey, what is up, Raw and Real Entrepreneurs, wherever you are in the world, I want you just to give yourself a pat on the back. And you know, just say, Hey, I'm here, and I'm listening, and I'm tuning in. Because why? There's something I want. I want to start a business, I want to grow a business, my business has plateaued, I want to get out of a rut. And we're here to give you raw and real entrepreneurship. And if you haven't already, head on over to If you have an idea that you want to turn into a tech business, I have founded a brand new Incubator for people just like you. So check it out on And we come alongside you, my team, we're not only going to tell you what to do, we're actually going to help you build the technology, help you go out there and fundraise, and help you grow and scale that business to get it all the way to exit which is so fun. Now, my guest today I, you know, I woke up this morning, and I was reading his bio, I was watching his videos. And you know, I'm like, this is a man after my own heart. So he is a multipreneur. He has had many different kinds of businesses. And I'm just gonna read you some of his career high points. And I think he's just getting started, truly. So he has over 30 years of business experience. He has built eight businesses in total, including spas, my favorite business. Gym, so we share that in common. Construction company, No, I have not done that. Wholesaling company, coaching, have done that. And consulting agency, I've done that one, too. He's successfully exited three of them. He's still running four of them remotely. He's generating multiple millions of dollars annually. So he's the real deal. And this man could retire at any moment. But he loves the thrill of being an entrepreneur and mentoring entrepreneurs. And he also has played polo in many different countries. We're gonna find out much more about that. So my guest today is the one and only Todd Randall. So Todd, who is coming live from Florida, and if you're on YouTube, today, I'm live from one of the offices at Radius AI. So Todd and I are, he's at his home office. I'm in his old stomping grounds of Scottsdale, Arizona. But Todd, thank you for being on Raw and Real Entrepreneurship. I'm so excited to have you here.

Todd Randall 03:03
Thanks, Susan, what a great intro. Appreciate that. We do share some fun things in common. I look forward to our conversation today.

Susan Sly 03:09
Yeah, I've never played Polo. So we're gonna have a lot of, a lot of things to discuss. As you know, I said you know, we have people who are eight years old listening right now in the car with mom or dad, we have people in their 70s and 80s, saying, Hey, I feel like I still have something in me. I want to do something. And in fact, my dad, Joe, shoutout to him. Every week, he sends the show out to all of his friends. So if you're a friend of my dad, you know, shout out to you. Thanks for being a friend.

Susan Sly 03:39
So, Todd, what was the very first business you started?

Todd Randall 03:44
When I was a kid, I remember I had, I did have kind of an entrepreneurial spirit. There was a time where I, my parents asked me to do some chores around the house, and I didn't really want to do it. So I asked my brother to do it. And he wasn't willing. And I had a pack of m&ms. And so I told him, I'd give him seven, I had some big number, seven m&ms If he did a chore for me, and he did. And I thought this is easy. So I'll just go into the cabinet and take a bunch of candy. And we started walking down the street, selling little pieces of candy for a nickel or a dime or whatever. And my parents found out we were doing it and pulled us back in and said look, I have some concerns about what you think is business and they tried to you know, sit down and teach me some business principles based on that. But I was pretty early. I did a bunch of sales in high school and college. I tried network marketing a few times.

Todd Randall 04:40
We would buy antiques in Pennsylvania and resell them on, just on the curb. A little bit like you know the Amazon flip business there is now. So I probably had four or five solid tries at business before I was in college.

Susan Sly 04:57
Wow. Yeah, and the little kids selling candy, right? And you and I are probably very close in age. So we grew up in a time where do you, what was that, kid, one year Halloween, there was some candy that had poison, or there was something that happened.

Todd Randall 05:13
I can't remember.

Susan Sly 05:13
There was a big scandal. And so I imagine that you know, you, that either happened like soon after you were selling the candy or right around that time, which is yes.

Todd Randall 05:24
I'm glad the FBI didn't find out because they might, they might have figured me to be the, the perp on that.

Susan Sly 05:29
Yeah, no, thank God, thank God for that. Do you think, you know, hundreds of interviews that I've done, and I keep asking, you know, what was your first business? And we've, you know, we've had so many different businesses. And the, I interviewed the kid who did the fidgets spinner. And he did, he did that in his high school basement on a 3d printer and went on to make millions. I don't even think he's working anymore. This is not that long ago. But some, there's this argument—entrepreneurs are born or they can be made, what's your opinion?

Todd Randall 06:03
Yeah, I have a strong opinion about this one, because I'm not an entrepreneur in you know, in in so many ways. I had great aspirations of being an entrepreneur as a kid, like I said, and I experimented with business ideas, and none of them really took. And what I realized at the time, early on, I'm so glad for this revelation, is that business was in fact, a set of skills. It wasn't just

Todd Randall 06:49
You know, because people have inventions all the time. And I get so mad when people dismiss children or people in their 70s, or 80s, as entrepreneurs as if they can't. Like they have ideas just like anyone else. And in fact, who better suited in some cases, right, than the young or the old to be entrepreneurs, because of their willingness to be creative, and especially for the older entrepreneurs, for all their experience to map to it. So for me, as a young adult, I actually knew I wanted to be a business person, I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. And I decided not to for 15 years. I went, I went to corporate and got the skills I was looking for, because I just wasn't confident enough. And I didn't like the anxiety of just trying.

Todd Randall 07:32
Knowing that this the hills, were always going to be so steep for me.

Susan Sly 07:36
It's interesting, because before the show, we're talking about risk. And I had Mia Hewitt on the show, and she worked corporately, for many, many years before she took the leap into full time entrepreneurship. She started her side hustle. And then it was growing. And then she got to the point where it's like, I can't navigate a full time job, and kids, and the side hustle, and my side hustle is now making enough money. But let's let's talk about that. How did you finally get to the point, working in corporate for 15 years where you transition to an entrepreneur? Because many of our listeners are in that place. They either have a full time job and a side hustle, or they have a full time job and they want the courage to leave. So how did you do it?

Todd Randall 08:21
Oh, this is one of my favorite stories. It gives me goosebumps just to think about it. Because it was a real transition of my life. I always knew, like I said, I wanted to be a business person. And it didn't feel like I had the skills to enter the market. I had friends who were very good at business. And for whatever reason just didn't feel qualified. So I stock. And I learned and I had lots of mentors and, and I was doing pretty well at my gig. When I was in my mid 30s, I really caught the eye, I was in a $300 billion company at the time and the CEO, kind of, you know, hand picked me for a project that was really out of my league. And it was so satisfying to be valued for my contributions. They sent me to Europe where I was writing this big business plan. And they said, Look, if this business plan is a good idea, we want you to stay in Europe and run this new division and I couldn't have been more honored and flattered by all that. And that was right in 2007. That was right before the financial crash. And,

Todd Randall 09:16
and they saw this, the crash coming. They felt unease from the markets and they said, Look, we're just not going to move forward with any projects outside North America. So Todd, please come home. And I was so sad because this was the most satisfying thing I'd ever done before. And I was getting patted on the back and I was getting all the kudos that made me feel like an expert. It was, it was really great. And so I, they could tell, you know, there was a little doubt about this. And I said, Tell you what, I'm gonna go over to Paris for a month or so. And I'm just gonna chill and count it as vacation, count it his time off. I know that I need this to kind of balance myself before I come back. And they were so generous with me and gracious. I thought it was amazing. So I went to Paris and I studied language in the morning, and I stayed with the host family through the school that

Todd Randall 09:59
I was studying language. And then I went and, you know, played golf with friends in the afternoon or went to museums and all this stuff that tourists do in Paris. And at the end of the month, I was blissfully happy. I thought, This is really great. I love my friends here, I love, you know, understanding another language, I love, you know, the big cosmopolitan environment, I was filled with arts and culture. And at the end of the month, the total tally for four weeks, and Paris was like $2,700. Now, for context, this is not that long ago, this is only 15 years ago, right? And I was a very high income earner at the time. And $2,700 a month was a very, very small percentage of what I was making every month. And the revelation to me is, oh, wow, wow, like, this is the happiest month I've had, maybe ever. And it's actually not as expensive as I thought it was. So why am I striving just for the big paycheck that I want?

Todd Randall 10:58
And I realized then, that the title was not as important as I thought it was. Working for a big company was not as important as I thought it was. Because I was just faced with a situation where I could, you know, make a very low income and be so blissfully happy that it was a revelation to me. And the minute I got home, I started researching. I'm like, gosh, I know that there are opportunities that I can start today, that I don't have to be the next, you know, Bill Gates and the next Steve Jobs and the next, Mark Zuckerberg. I could start a modest business and make the kind of income that I know can make me happy. And that was, that was the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey.

Susan Sly 11:37
I love that. So now say something in French.


Todd Randall 11:42
[Speaks in French]

Susan Sly 11:43
[Speaks in French]

Susan Sly 11:48
[Speaks in French]

Todd Randall 11:50
Not bad at all. When I was working there, we're speaking, we're working only in French, because we're working in the middle of the country where English was not quite as prevalent. And it was, it was amazing. There's something about learning another language because you, like I love to understand people. I love this conversation you and I are having now because we're helping each other understand the world in a slightly different way. And I feel like if you're someplace where you speak the language with other people, their perspective is markedly different. Right? And there's, there's so many interesting lessons to be learned from it. So—

Susan Sly 12:07
I love it, you know, the conversation we're having, and sometimes it does, like this is Raw and Real Entrepreneurship, sometimes it does take that life event. And the listeners know, or if you're a new listener, you don't know but, the listeners know that have been here for a while, and some of you have been here for quite some time, that in 2016, when I nearly died coming back from a trip from Africa, and I had been to Africa many times. That's when I had my moment going, Wait a minute, I'm not feeling fulfilled, you know, I had been sharing the stage with Tony Robbins and Jack Canfield and traveling all over the world and growing this great business. But I wasn't fulfilled. And part of the reason I wasn't fulfilled is because I wasn't feeling challenged. And it's amazing when you say, hey, I want to be challenged. It's amazing what shows up for you. So you come back from Paris. And then what was the first business you've started?

Todd Randall 13:20
Okay, so some of your listeners, I hope this really resonates with them because I was stuck. I was stuck here. I had spent 15 years in a corporate structure, I'd got a big, fancy, expensive MBA,

Todd Randall 13:33
I had all kinds of training and mentorship and leadership training. And I didn't have a good idea to start a business myself. So many folks at that age do have opportunities that just present themselves and you take them, right? Your division is being dismissed by your boss. So you offer to take it. You get some capital and you go run it as a separate company, or you have a great idea because your company doesn't invest in it. Or you have a great idea at home, a great invention or something. I didn't have anything and I struggled because I thought that's what I needed. But in the end, I just went and looked at how other people did it. I talked to friends who own businesses, hey, what kind of business do you have? And I found lots of friends who have businesses just buying things and reselling it, or laundromats or restaurants or what have you. And some of them were really, really happy doing their own thing.

Todd Randall 14:22
And so what I decided was that my ego didn't need to be vainly part of the equation. I didn't need to be a hero, or a Mark Zuckerberg or somebody famous for inventing something. I really did want to run a business for the reasons that I just described before. Being able to enjoy the arts or time with friends or another culture or living remotely, like those are things that meant so much to me that I was willing to sacrifice income or title or prestige for that. And I think that's the first battle. You have to, you have to work with yourself is you have to be true about what you want because the world wants lots of things for you.

Todd Randall 15:01
Right? And at some point, you got to stand up for yourself and have a spine and say, Yeah, that's great. That's, that's not what I'm looking for. Right? I would rather have more time than other countries.

Susan Sly 15:10
So even though you're like me, you're in Gen X. It's like, that's how Gen Z or Gen Z thinks. They think that they have a much more rational appearance of the world. Because it's not about a dream business, there is no, like, oh, I have my dream business. No, you don't. You have a lifestyle that you are in love with. That is a dream that you think is a result of that business. And so, and that's the thing, and I can promise everyone that the moment you let go of that, oh, it's going to be my dream business. Because one thing I've always said is, your first one might not be, the second one might not be. And you're never, if it is your dream, you're gonna have a hard time letting go of it. And there's a time when it is time to let go. Because you've, you've either, you know, become redundant in your business, or it's no longer exciting for you, you're not feeling fulfilled. So what, did you, was the first thing you did the the antique flipping coming out of this?

Todd Randall 16:10
No, this was—I went to spas. So what I did, what I decided in the end is I looked at hundreds of businesses, I evaluated all kinds of stuff. And I wanted something that spoke to me. Now I came from health care, and spas were in the wellness zone. And it felt good to me. And I've always been athletic in my life. And I've used massage therapy as a means of therapy for that. So I was connected to it. And so I opened a spa, and it wasn't my spa, it wasn't Todd's spa, I bought a brand and use a franchise license for it.

Todd Randall 17:10
And I had at one point, you know, 100 staff members that were delivering as good care as we could possibly do in our very local area. And it wasn't that sexy, it was just good people skills, good financial acumen, you know, and then picking up the trash on the floor when you walk in. It was, those were the skills required to run that business well, and I, and we excelled as a result of just you know, focusing.

Susan Sly 17:35
And that is so important, Todd because I did, I had a show and it was just on franchises. And it was with one of the top concierge is for franchises in what she does is matches a person their personality with the right franchise opportunity. And the, and, you know, many of the listeners know too, in you know, I got a lot of my background experience in network marketing. I helped generate about $1.7 billion in sales for one health and wellness company. And there are a lot of skills. And the wonderful thing about franchising, about network marketing is you have a lane and things outside your lane, you don't have to worry about.

Todd Randall 18:19
Don't have to worry about.

Susan Sly 18:20
Supply chain and marketing materials and things like that. So you only have to focus on essentially sales, generating new customers into great training grounded, I stand on my little soapbox and say, hey, you know, if you're nervous about business, these are, you know, it's about the levels of risk. So what was one of the things that happened with that franchise that you didn't expect or didn't anticipate? Because here's this guy, I've gotten MBA, I've worked for a massive corporation, I write business plans, I open new markets, and then suddenly I have this franchise, what's something that happened that you were like, Oh, my gosh, I didn't anticipate that one?

Todd Randall 18:58
Yeah, I can think two things right off top my head, one you just inspired me to comment on which is that it's about people. Like if you think about real estate and insurance and network marketing and franchising, some of the things administratively can be cared for, on your behalf. And it allows you to focus which is on the most important thing in business, which is people, and I think those skills will help, will translate to anything else you do. Like you are running a high tech firm right now have better people skills than most people running high tech firms, because you're in such a people oriented business before. And I didn't realize, you know how much I would learn there. And so I think that that was the first thing. It took me by surprise. And the more people you work with, you know, the more complicated it becomes. So equal opportunity and HR rules and class action lawsuits to be aware of, and, you know, workers comp issues and stuff like that. So I think as a small business owner, you want to be thinking about staffing, about

Todd Randall 19:59
inspiring your team and about, you know, mitigating risks so that you have an environment where people can thrive without, you know, without anxiety.

Susan Sly 20:08
I love that you mentioned that. The, one of the first hires I made at Radius, so we, you know, like many startups, right? So you have your idea, it's on a napkin, then it goes to PowerPoint, you know, like, We're serious. Now we're on a PowerPoint, and we're going and raising money, raising money. And you know, we're spending most of it in DevOps, legal, that kind of thing. So when we actually got to a place where we're going to cover our burn, the guys, I have four co founders, and they're like, Okay, here's our hiring list. It's like front end engineer, back end engineer, you know, blah, blah, blah, data scientist, who do you want to hire? I said, an attorney. And then we have law firms. I said, No, I want an in house, general counsel. And to that point, because things that people don't think about when they're thinking about their dream business, like to your point, lawsuits, HR issues, is your D&O insurance up to date, do you have an employee manual? Like all of those things that come with, you want to create that safe place for the people that you work with, but if you don't have someone sort of, with you, coming alongside you, making sure that all of those things are there, that's the thing, people you know, it's Raw and Real Entrepreneurship, that's the thing people don't think about.

Todd Randall 21:22
I did not appreciate how important loyalty was. I never wanted to run a business that felt like the mafia, where people had to pick sides.

Todd Randall 21:31
And so I tried desperately not to have one of those, like the corporate environment I was in before, but I will tell you that I value loyalty more than any other skill that someone can have. If they come in with a good attitude, and are in alignment with, you know, the business interests,

Todd Randall 21:47
that gets them a lot more points than competence or experience or, or what have you.

Susan Sly 21:51
I feel that you can teach people any skill. And I'm proof of that as a co-founder of an

Susan Sly 21:56
AI company who hasn't written a line of code since '92. Which is true. I used to code on Sun Microsystems dating myself, but the you know, and here I am. And— Yeah, exactly. And so thinking about it, anyone can learn a skill, but you can't teach a person, heart. They come with the right heart. And that is so key. So after the spa business, what was the next one?

Todd Randall 22:24
So I opened gyms then. And this was, this was the next real phase in my entrepreneurial career. Because once I started one business, I was in it all the time. And I was proud of all the details and, and I knew every aspect of the business, but all the decisions kind of landed with me. And I started to be trapped in this where nobody can make a decision without Todd around.

Todd Randall 22:45
And I couldn't really grow as a result. And so we started really practicing. I had a manager that I liked a lot. Bless her heart, Karolina, she put up with a lot for me. And she insisted, she said, Look, we need to work something out, because I can take on more, and you're not letting me have it. And the business is suffering as a result. So we work really hard and this whole delegation concept where she was taking on more responsibility, and allowed me to grow. And so I opened up a second spa, and then a gym and then another gym. And then I started a consulting practice and I brokered a few sales of small tech companies. And I was able to do that because we had good delegation skills in place. And I think maybe that's the next biggest lesson that I learned as small business is you do have to have folks around you that you'd eventually trust and and partner with. Like, these are folks that were in the room when any major decision was made, so that they knew how to execute it. They were in alignment with what my goals were because they helped me decide them, you know what I mean?

Susan Sly 23:42
And so when was the moment you looked yourself in the mirror, and it could have been in you know, one day brushing your teeth and you said, in order for things to change, I have to change.

Todd Randall 23:53
I remember this day actually.

Todd Randall 24:21
And she came to me and it was a, it was our come to Jesus moment where she's like, I promise you, you can be better. And I know I'm stepping. You know, maybe I'm stepping out of line here but I need to advise you in a way that you may not see how many decisions are not getting made here. And I've really admired and respected that about her because she was willing to sacrifice her relationship with the business because of her relationship with me. And who doesn't want a business where relationships are that important, right?

Todd Randall 24:52
So, so that, that was the moment. She essentially called me to the carpet and helped me understand how important it was and we moved on together.

Susan Sly 24:59
That is

Susan Sly 24:59
so beautiful. And it takes a lot of courage to have that conversation. And you think about, so my kids watch a lot of Marvel movies, right? Yeah. So you think about Robert Downey Jr.'s character and Gwyneth Paltrow's character, Iron Man and Pepper Potts, and he's, you know, the mad genius in his lab?

Todd Randall 25:18

Susan Sly 25:19
I know, in tech as an example, there is no big tech company that makes it over $100 million if you don't have the pepper. It's like, it's—

Susan Sly 25:29
Yeah, Pepper doesn't have to be a woman. But I'm just, like someone who actually can have those conversations, gets things done, gets the results on the board. And that's, that's so key in entrepreneurship. So which of the eight businesses, which ones did you sell?

I sold the spas, I sold one gym, and I sold a healthcare tech company.

Todd Randall 25:52
This was a company that did RTLS, which is a wireless technology, and nursing homes.

Susan Sly 25:59
So what, thinking about selling a business, so one of the things, when people come to me, and they have an idea, one of an early question I'll say to them is what is your exit plan? You know, is it to sell an IPO? Because you're, oftentimes an entrepreneur's so in the business, they're not thinking about that exit, but even how you structure it corporately, legally, all sorts of things really rely on, you know, how you intend to exit. But let's talk about something people don't talk about. The emotional aspect of the exit.

Todd Randall 26:35

Susan Sly 26:35
So how was that for you? I mean, you have, you know, over 100 employees,

Todd Randall 26:39

Susan Sly 26:40
many of whom become like, your family and then, and then now you're selling this business. I'm sure they had uncertainty. How did, how did you handle it emotionally?

Todd Randall 26:49
These are great lessons to be learned from, like tech and,

Todd Randall 26:53
and institutional investing, because these folks think about it all the time. They don't make an investment without having some kind of three to five year plan. And small entrepreneurs, I think one thing they miss about people like us,

Todd Randall 27:07
maybe, you know, maybe you think more like an institutional investor now, because your companies are so large, but for small guys like me, I want a business to run, I want it to operate, I'm not thinking about an exit when I'm in it, because I want income from it, or I want to build an asset.

Todd Randall 27:32
I know that a lot of your guests are super successful on the show, and you talk about their wins all the time. This is one of my failures. And I'll be vulnerable about that. This is a business that had a lot of value after five or six years, and I overstayed my welcome. I let the companies go through a cycle where the economy took a downturn and COVID and everything. And I had to exit at a time where I wasn't getting the full value that I wanted. And so it was not just traumatic, because I was exiting a business that I loved, bt it was also traumatic in that I lost an opportunity to exit that business I love and then leverage it into something else. I was protecting myself at that point and just you know, trying to minimize my downside. And I hope that entrepreneurs can hear that story and the pain of my voice when I tell that story. And just take it as a feather in the, as a, as a red flag to plant in their mind somewhere to say that, okay, maybe I should think about this a few years in advance. Because if you can convince yourself to think about it a few years in advance, at least that's better than waiting until the last minute. And business brokers will tell you this all the time that when people come to them to sell business, sometimes they're in a hurry, and it kills the whole flow. Like

Todd Randall 28:43
it's not just upsetting for the staff. It's also upsetting for the owner. And it's not a clean transaction for the buyer, either. You know what I mean?

Susan Sly 28:49
Oh, absolutely. And then m&a can happen really quickly.

Susan Sly 28:53
And that, I think that this is I mean, we could have this, this gonna be an entire workshop because there's the, it's like getting a divorce or sending your child off to college, or there's so many, there's so much emotion that goes on here. And another interesting thing you sort of inspired me just to share this quick story. So we have our largest client for Radius, we have a full time customer success manager that all they do is face this client. And he is an engineer, and he's a sweetheart. He knows I would call him that. And he never stops working. And I have said to him, what's going to happen when you are on vacation? Well, I don't have a vacation plan. I'm like, Well, I'm making you take a vacation. So where are you going? You know, get your wife to plan it. And who is going to take those phone calls and get on the 5am meetings when you're on vacation? And so the beautiful part of this story is I went to,

Todd Randall 28:53

Susan Sly 30:00
there are three partners, myself and two other guys who are in the day to day of running this business like just all in. And I went to them and I said, I'm deeply concerned about him. And we really need someone who can face the customer when he's waiting, it changed who we hired next. And so now the happy bright point is he is going to go on vacation to Germany for two weeks. And I'm, and I'm so proud of him. And then I went to our customer. And I said, this is his blind spot, will you come alongside me and help him to know that it is okay for him to take this time off? And it's the, you know, I think the biggest thing for an owner, and I want to hear your perspective on this, is thinking about the exit as to what you've said, it's not just like so fast. It's to be strategic about it. And if you have a two year, three year plan, to that exit, who do you need to be? How do you need to show up? Who do you need to empower, where are your gaps? Because if you're building this company to last, which is what you hope and turning over something wonderful, then that's how you want to think. But I want to hear your perspective, if you could diagnose this, Dr. Randall.

Susan Sly 31:22
What would the symptoms be that it's time for an owner to leave or step aside?

Todd Randall 31:29
Yeah, one of them you've touched on, which is really important. And maybe we can exaggerate this, this one is that businesses are really fun

Todd Randall 31:36
for an entrepreneur for a period of time, and there comes a point where it becomes fatiguing more than fun. And those are signals that I really recommend that people listen to super carefully because if you're excited about the next project already, just know that your business is going to suffer unless you have someone inside it who is fired up about this company growing. And sometimes that's the very best thing. I will tell you that my gyms really took off the minute I got out the door.

Todd Randall 32:07
We get, I just, I had been grooming someone. I had such a good success rate with the Spas with Karolina. I had been grooming someone

Todd Randall 32:15
to help me not be in them every day to day and they were such a culture warrior, the staff loved working for them, the customers loved having them in the shop. And the minute I was out the door and they were able to take more ownership, the businesses really thrived. So I think that's the first thing is just checking with yourself about your enthusiasm for being there. Also, I think that businesses are naturally valued in a cycle, right? Like the spas, and gyms were temporarily very much devalued, because they lost all their customers during COVID, right. And if you're in a situation where you're like, Oh, I'm going to sell in a year or two, sometimes a year or two is not enough to let you you know, whether one of those storms. And so I think that the time to start planning has to be on a little longer horizon than that, try to think three to five years if you can, because there's some things in fact, out of your control

Todd Randall 33:10
that could be just, you know, negative area. It's just bad luck. And you want to protect against that.

Susan Sly 33:16
The wisdom, I want to thank you so much, Todd, and I want all of the listeners to like, give us the five star review on this episode because you are being so raw and real and authentic. And in, in having the conversation about the things that need to be said, right, because, you know, people see, oh, Elon Musk just invested in Twitter, depending on when you're listening to the show, right? Or Elon, you know, he's Tesla, SpaceX, PayPal is like this series of huge businesses, but Elon has his wall kicking moments too.

Todd Randall 33:54
Yeah, he's one example. Right? There are a lot of entrepreneurs out there. If he's the only example you consider then there's, you're, it's not fair you're comparing against somebody who's maybe quite different than you. Right?

Susan Sly 34:03
Exactly. I have a friend who sold a company for 300 million, he's my friend, Will, he's been on the show, and people wouldn't know his name. And that's the you know, there are a lot of people out there. And I know some of you are like 300 million. Well, that's a whole show, another episode about when you sell your company, all the pieces of the pie, they get like handed out before you get your little sliver.

Susan Sly 34:27
Todd, final question for you. And the you know, I know we could talk about so many things. Before the show I was asking you this question, with your wisdom, eight businesses, the exits, all of it. We're hearing a lot of talk right now about a coming recession. Now that fear sells news, and we've been hearing about a coming recession for four years and if you had, if you took your money out of the market, or if you took it out during COVID It was a big mistake. And I'm a slow and steady investor. So I you know, I just like you know, but

Susan Sly 35:00
there is a recession coming. Now that you've built these businesses, you've sold some of these businesses, if you were that guy who had come back from Paris, but it was now, let's say you were in your 30s. Now, early 30s, or 20s,

Susan Sly 35:17
would you be starting a business in this current climate? And if so, what would you start?

Todd Randall 35:22
Absolutely, yeah, I'm a big fan now, because I think a person's value to, to the market as an individual business is just, it's so easy to overcome the gap of what a company's value is to you, as a cog in their wheel. Right. So there was a point where I was practicing pharmacy, and it was easy to calculate what I was worth, because pharmacists had a value on the market, right. And for me to start a business, all I had to overcome is what that one salary was going to be. And most businesses, if you have an idea that brings value to the market, just require scale, to overcome, you know, that kind of gap. So I recommend, I think starting your own businesses is a brilliant idea, especially in the market today.

Todd Randall 36:05
Because the tools to start a business are so much more prominent than they were a while ago, like before you needed to hire an attorney to start a business. And these days, you can go on the internet and, you know, file for an EIN and file for workers comp insurance and file for payroll help. And there's all kinds of, you know, professionals, attorneys and accountants and other folks that you can hire by the hour or by the project. You don't have to get an office in San Jose, and you don't need seed money from startup firm, or, and they're incubators like yours, right. So what a great support structure that is, what a great design concept that is where someone has a good idea and they just don't know what all the pieces are. And you can take them in with this friendly hug and say, great, you're an expert at this, I'll you know, I've got a, I've got an assistant right here, you can take your phone calls for you. And we have a printer in the lobby, and we have an accountant on staff that can advise you on structure and you just do you. Yeah, right. So I think that's the biggest reason is that there's so many tools now to start. And then the other thing that I wasn't paying attention to at the time, which I pay a lot more attention to now, which are what are the macro trends. So my spas and gyms were trending downwards over the last three years. And that's the reason I went into construction and my construction businesses have been going absolutely the opposite direction. So you know, the graphs look like this. And in the middle, your average works out better.

Todd Randall 37:22
So I think follow macrotrends. See something that you think will just bring more value to people three years from now than it is today. And jump in that water and see how it feels.

Susan Sly 37:32
I love that

Todd Randall 37:33
And try. Just try.

Susan Sly 37:35
And, you know, I think the other thing that I'm so inspired about you is the variety of businesses that you've had, right? And it just comes down to who you are as a person. And I think you're a person, I can literally say, Okay, it's two in the morning. Here's $100,000 go start a business, then you've got to pick an idea out of a hat. I've put 25 ideas in there and you're like, Okay, go, here we go. I know, first I gotta do this. And it's just like, you know, it's incredible.

Todd Randall 38:06
May I follow up one comment on this, too, is that business is a set of skills and fundamental premises that you can learn. I used to think that business people were a gift, someone that was born special, and I don't believe that at all anymore. I went and got a very expensive MBA, because I didn't have the confidence to start my own business. And it's not been helpful. It helped my confidence, but it's the only thing that helped. All you need to do to start a business is start. Start, and then if there's a skill you don't have, go get it. YouTube's brilliant for this kind of stuff.

Susan Sly 38:14
Yeah, YouTube university, because, yeah, just go start. I love it. Well, Todd, I want everyone to connect with you. And so do you, how do you prefer they do that?

Todd Randall 38:52
Yeah, my businesses are all under the umbrella called Beach View.

Todd Randall 38:56
So I have a website called Also, I mostly connect with coaching and consulting clients in Facebook, just has a really good tool for that. And so if you go to Facebook, I have a Facebook group called Real Business Coaching. And that's the, that's the next best way to reach me, is Real Business Coaching in Facebook groups. And there's all kinds of content up there so people can learn something about me before they reach out to me if they like.

Susan Sly 39:20
I love it. Well, Todd, thank you so much for being on Raw and Real Entrepreneurship and definitely keeping it raw and real.

Susan Sly 39:28
All right, everyone. Well, this has been another episode in the books. And if you've heard about something in this episode, you want to find out more, don't hesitate to reach out. We'd love to hear from you. And if this episode has been helpful, inspiring, which we hope it has, please go ahead share on social, tag Todd and I and you know on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram, on LinkedIn, wherever it is, you're on social, you'll probably find us. So with that, God bless, go rock your day, and I will see you in a future episode.

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Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Jess Feldman

261. From Wall Street to Dream Business: How Jess Feldman Made The Leap

By Podcast

What’s your dream business? How do you get there?Jess Feldman had a successful career on Wall Street and was living the life. Until one day, he realized what he really wanted to do. In this interview, Jess shares his story of how he made the leap from being an employee to becoming an entrepreneur.

Jess spent most of his life surrounded by art – his parents began collecting in the 1970s just as a core group of today’s established artists was emerging.

Jess initially chose a career in finance even as his interest in art remained ever-present. After 17 years on Wall Street, becoming a trusted advisor, understanding markets and his clients’ objectives, he left to follow his passion. In 2014, Jess joined his mom, Suzanne Feldman, to form SJFeldman Art Advisory, combining Suzanne’s 30-plus years of art market expertise with Jess’s art and investment acumen.

—Jess Feldman

Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Jess Feldman

Topics covered in the interview

Jess’ first business
Leaving Wall Street
Taking risks
Listening and learning

Jess Feldman’s Bio

Jess spent most of his life surrounded by art – his parents began collecting in the 1970s just as a core group of today’s established artists were emerging.

Jess initially chose a career in finance even as his interest in art remained ever present. After 17 years on Wall Street, becoming a trusted advisor, understanding markets and his clients’ objectives, he left to follow his passion. In 2014, Jess joined his mom, Suzanne Feldman, to form SJFeldman Art Advisory, combining Suzanne’s 30-plus years of art market expertise with Jess’s art and investment acumen.

Collecting art can seem daunting at first since it’s hard to know where to start. My mom would say, “many collectors like what they know, but don’t know what they like”. So, one of the most important aspects of advising is educating our collectors to help them discover what they love by taking them behind the scenes and into the artworld. Furthermore, I not only help them develop their knowledge, but also help them to develop their eye. When they connect with an artist or an artwork and we place it in their home, it transforms their space. It’s to see them to engage with it every day.

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Show Notes

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Jess Feldman 00:00
There's never a right time. I mean, you kind of have to go for it, you know, and you just, I like to say an entrepreneurs basically is his best friend and his own worst enemy within a 10 minute period. Because—

Susan Sly 00:18
Welcome to my world, yeah.

Jess Feldman 00:23
Because you know, you're full of optimism one minute, and then the next, you know, you're just like, oh my god, you know, you just suffer from like, constant fear of like, I could lose it all.

Susan Sly 00:34
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. Well, hey, what's up entrepreneurs, wherever you are in the world, I hope you're having an amazing day. And here's my question for you. Have you ever wondered, hey, how do I get the courage to actually take that leap and go from employee to entrepreneur, or maybe you've already made the leap, but your friends and family are looking at you like you have five heads? Well, my guest today is literally one of my favorite people on the planet. And we're going to talk about how he left Wall Street to pursue his dream business. And so before we get into that, a couple of quick announcements. Number one, if you have a show guest or you have an idea for a show, go to, I read all of those comments. So please, I'd love to hear from you. And then the second thing I want to say is, with this show, if these are helpful, please do, we would love a five star review on iTunes, Spotify, wherever it is, Amazon, all over whatever the, I heart radio, wherever, we're everywhere, we would love that great review. So please, if the show is helpful, we hope it is, and you know, we'd love for you to give us a great review. So with that I want to get into it. My guest today spent most of his life surrounded by art, and I kind of think life is art. So this is really cool. His parents began collecting in the 1970s just as a core group of today's established artists were emerging. He initially chose a career in finance, because well, why not? Even as his interest in art remained ever present. And how many of you, you know you have that passion, but maybe you're doing something that's not aligned with that passion? Well, after 17 years on Wall Street, becoming a trusted adviser, understanding markets and his clients objectives, he left to follow his passion. And in 2014, he joined his mom to form SJ Feldman Art Advisory combining her 30 years of experience in the art market with his investment prowess. So my guest today is the one and only Jess Feldman, who's coming, I've always wanted to say this, live from New York, even though we're not on SNL. So just thanks so much for being here.

Jess Feldman 03:04
Thanks so much for having me, Susan, on your show.

Susan Sly 03:06
Well, thank you. So we have a lot of young listeners and people writing in and they're like, I listen to the show with my kids in the car. So I always like to start with the very first question. So what was your first business ever?

Jess Feldman 03:20
I guess my first business was selling strawberries.

Susan Sly 03:23
What? I've not had that one. I've had hundreds of interviews, I've never had, okay, okay.

Jess Feldman 03:29
It's pretty random, I know. So, we had a house in Connecticut when I was a kid, and we'd go strawberry picking. And we would, you know, pack like, you know, probably 100 or 200 pints over a couple of hours picking strawberries. And then I would set up a stand on the side of the road. And we'd sell fresh strawberries. It was, it was a lot of fun. It was a lot of hard work. It would be like three or four weekends in May. And we do it every year. It was a lot of fun.

Susan Sly 04:02
So what kind of, what kind of bank did you make selling strawberries?

Jess Feldman 04:07
We made, you know, every week and we made a couple $100, you know. And for a kid that was a good amount of money. That's for sure.

Susan Sly 04:15
Yeah, well, when people are listening to this, depends on time of year, you know, just there's another—kids, there's another business idea for you, you know, keep on listening the show. We have many ideas that come. In Arizona selling strawberries might not be the business for you, but you know, in other parts of the world, 100%. So Jess, I want to go in the time machine here. So, all right. There are, there are a lot of people who listen to the show who are in a career. They're in a professional career. They're one of the 61% of Americans who are dreaming of starting their own business, but they remain in the 92% that never actually do because, you know for whatever reason it's, it seems so risky. Let's go back in time, how long were you actually thinking about leaving Wall Street before you actually did?

Jess Feldman 05:12
It was probably around five or six years. So in 2008, you know, I still loved art, you know, I'd still go out with my mom, and go to the auctions and go to the galleries. If every time I landed, you know, the first thing I do, and, you know, if I was on business would be to go to a museum. And so the interest remained, and we had started collecting, or in the early 2000s, my wife and I, and, you know, I'd see my mom do it for years. And then I just always wanted to, but it wasn't the right time. I just had a kid in 2006. And there were a lot of things going on in '08, '09 with the financial collapse, etc. And so I just kind of waited. And eventually, in 2013, I just started going out with my mom all the time. You know, I started to talk to her about it, I guess, in around 2012. And I was leaving work, you know, middle of the day, we'd go to the galleries, I'd come back, and they're like, where are you? You know, and I didn't really know what to say. But, you know, my numbers were fine at work, I was actually much more efficient. And I just knew that this was it. And then at the end of 2013, I turned to my wife and said, This is it.

Jess Feldman 06:39
I'm going in, excuse me. You know, January 3, and I'm just gonna say, moving on. And so I just left and took the plunge. And I had one client at the time.

Jess Feldman 07:01
And I was like, I'm gonna crush this, you know. I mean, you're very, very confident when you start. But let me just say this, I would have definitely pre announced the, you know, the first quarter coming out of the gates of an IPO. So, you know, you hit the road running, but you know, you hit your first speed bump.

Susan Sly 07:24
What was the tipping point for you? Because, you know, sometimes I think people watch a lot of movies, and it's like the, you know, take this job and shove it kind of moment, or Well, it depends on how old someone is. They might not even know the reference I'm making. But the, what was that tipping point for you that made you say, Yeah, this is it, I'm leaving.

Jess Feldman 07:48
Well, a couple things. First off, my mom at the time had cancer. And I knew I had a finite amount of time to be with her. And so and I thought, you know, I have a finite amount of time there. And if I let this opportunity go, then I don't know how I'd started. Because, you know, what I found, and I think this is important lesson too, is whenever I you know, I talked to a gallerist or anyone that had known her in the business, you know, they had such amazing respect for her, which I thought was, you know, just a major accomplishment. So that was one thing that really kind of pushed me to it. The second one was, you know, I was reaching 40 years old, and I thought, you know, in Wall Street, 40 years old, you're kind of a dinosaur, what's my next act after that? And that's better than I start now and just go for it. And those were kind of the two you know, things are really pushing me. I also had a very good friend that said, you know, if you can spend this kind of time with your mother you know, you'll have no regrets. And absolutely I had no regrets.

Susan Sly 09:19
That's it's huge.

Jess Feldman 09:21
You're bringing out the tears, Susan.

Susan Sly 09:25
I think it's because we're friends and it is Raw and Real Entrepreneurship, right? And if you're, if you're listening, no, Jess doesn't have a cold, this is emotional stuff. I want to ask you, not even related to entrepreneurship, but you know, there's a lot of talk about, potentially the next recession, we see student loan debt. You know, the last stat I looked, you know, it was higher than 1.7 trillion, which is more than subprime mortgages. Were going into '08, how did you, being on Wall Street, navigate the recession, part one of the question, Jess. And part two would be for the entrepreneurs and people who want to be entrepreneurs listening, what advice would you give them based on what you learned?

Jess Feldman 10:16
Well, a couple things in 2007, 2008, I can kind of see it coming. And you know, I bought my apartment, and back then I was like, Oh, my God, who's gonna buy this from me someday, you know, because I knew that it was coming. And then when we were going through it, and the markets were moving, you know, 1500 points in a day, I kept saying to my wife, I'm like, Oh, my God, people are still above ground. You know, like, as bad as this is, you know, people aren't filling up their pools with like, fresh water. And, you know, it was just this environment where it was like, sort of, you know, survival. And I think that's, that's also what a lot of Wall Street is, I mean, I've been in really challenging situations. When I first started on Wall Street, I was up every single day at, you know, my first real job at like, 4:30 in the morning at work, because I was calling European accounts. And so that was the time to do it. So I had to be in the office then and we'd work until the close at four o'clock. And then you know, go work out, go home, start all over again. In the job after that, right after 911, you know, there was 80% turnover at this firm. And so a lot of it comes down to persistence, it also comes down to listening to what your clients want, you know, pounding the phones, I like to say, and, you know, just working on their behalf. I'd also say in 2009, when I was looking at a like a lot of these earnings, and I'm looking at IBM earnings or Intel, and I'm like, these guys are still doing tens of billions of dollars a quarter in revenue. And so, you know, even with all the problems that are out there, during that time, you know, these companies were still putting up incredible numbers. So there's demand somewhere else. And I think what happens is you get massive rotations in the market. So obviously, financials had not had their, you know, the financials had finally taken a hit at that point in time. But they were also a darling in the market for, you know, a very, very long time and had a very, very long Bull Run. And so then you just see, you know, different flows coming out and just talking to clients. And then, and then even talking to clients, I knew that it was over in March of '09, because some of the, the mutual funds that I was talking to, had told me Look, we have nothing left to sell, which is akin to going to a hardware store. And the guy says, I don't have many hammers left to me, and you're like, but you have three right here. And he's like, exactly my inventory is low. And so you know, it almost started the cycle of re inventorying stocks on Wall Street at that point in time. And so, you know, you just knew kind of when the lows were in place, because everyone, you know, you want to buy fear and sell greed. And at that point in time, there was so much fear on the street in March of 2009, that, you know, stocks had just been beaten down. And, you know, again, like I was saying, and companies were still doing a ton of business outside of the financials. So, you know, there was, there was a lot of opportunity at that point in time, too. And so, you know, I remember that all the time, you know, by fear, sell greed. When you're scared to do something, almost, that's probably the best time to do it. When your senses are completely aware of the situation.

Susan Sly 13:44
And do you, I mean, there's so much there. And thank you for the insight on that. I mean, we had this conversation, you know, Glenn Stearns is a good friend of mine. And you know, it's talking about a rough time during the recession, right? And so, when you think about how the optics are, there's, you know, there's like this doom and gloom, and that's what media sells. But, you know, me being the sunny optimist, I always felt like there's opportunity everywhere, and people were still buying art during the recession, because the people who are fiscally conservative, they are able to buy when no one else can buy and there were people buying real estate for all cash deals. There's you know, all these things that happen. And the, the person who says, well, Jess, you know, I've been thinking of starting a business but it seems so risky to me, given this financial landscape. So this is one of the big questions I want to ask you because oh my gosh, should I start a business, we might be coming into a recession. I feel like we're always coming into a recession because that's what sells you know, Market Watch every morning, I'm on there at like 4:45 in the morning. Like oh recession coming. They've been saying that for the last five years. So what do you say to that person is like, oh, it's really risky?

Jess Feldman 15:05
Well, look, there's, there's, there's never a right time. I mean, you kind of have to go for it, you know. And you just, I like to say, an entrepreneur's basically is his best friend and his own worst enemy within a 10 minute period.

Susan Sly 15:25
Welcome to my world, yeah.

Jess Feldman 15:30
Because you know, you're full of optimism one minute, and then the next, you know, you're just like, Oh, my God, you know, you just suffer from like, constant fear of like, I could lose it all. And you know, and I think you just need to embrace it. And if you're persistent, and you believe in yourself, and you believe in your idea, then you really, you know, there's, there's going to be no right time. It's either you're gonna do it, or you're not going to do it. And if you're not going to do it, then you're going to always wish that you had done it. So I think you really, you really just have to go for it. I mean, I guess, you know, I have to, when I first started, I didn't realize I had to read deinstitutionalize myself, basically, from the corporate world. You know, being at work every morning at six, or you know, four, and then going out to a world that has no schedule. To a world where, you know, you think things happen really quickly when you're in the corporate world, because, you know, you're doing something every day. And you know, when you start a project in the corporate world, you know, you're like, six months is nothing, because you just finished four other projects within that six month period. So by the time you hit that six months, you're like, oh, my god, that was, that was quick. But when you're on your own, you know, the six month project is like, feels like a 12 month project, or 18, as you know. And, you know, it takes time to build trust, it takes time to get your bearings, you make tons of mistakes, you know. And you just have to kind of figure it out. And sometimes, you know, what I found is that you really have to find people with like minded thought process. People that are positive, people that, you know, I used to have people over to my apartment, I would call it like the, you know, the board. And I would just want to talk about, you know, what's going on in your business, maybe we can come up with ideas to help you or a different approach. The other thing I think you have to do is be willing to innovate your business and change it. For example, you know, my mom and I were, you know, we're just buying things for people. And then we thought, you know, what, God, she's been buying things for 30 years, 40 years for people. Like we have a massive install base already of people that have great art. Like, why aren't we selling this? You know, and it was like, oh, yeah, it was like an epiphany or something, you know, you're just like, yeah, so let's do that, too. So we can represent them on both sides, which also adds another element, you know, to the business. When I first started, I had built like, a deck about, you know, art and the market and everything else. And, you know, I would show it to people, and they're like, Yeah, but I'm not interested in the financial part of it. And, you know, I just want to buy what I love. And of course, you know, that's what we want. And so I took a little while to just, I heard what they were saying, but I wasn't listening to what they were saying. And then after a while, it's just like, you know, a friend of mine turned me on to Simon Sinek you don't start with why? And why do you do it? I mean, it's passion. And people will see that if you're really passionate about what you want to do. Whether you're a chef, whether you want to run or run a bookstore and you want to give them the best books that are you know, currently out there or books that have been undiscovered. You know, people will gravitate to and find people that have those common interests

Susan Sly 19:01
I love that you said that about that, that why because that, there are going to be wall kicking moments. Like you said, your worst enemy, doubt, you know, all of it. And if you don't know your why, and have that grounding in the why, the propensity to make mistakes or quit is going to be so much higher, right as you said. And you see businesses sometimes too where you can tell they've gotten so off course from their why that they're making these, all of these mistakes, right? That's, which is crazy. Let me ask you this. So family business. Yeah, that could be interesting. There are movies made about them, you know, or do you remember growing up in the 80s? The show Dallas? Oh, yeah. Falcon Crest was another one. Dynasty, they all have these family businesses but you know,

Jess Feldman 20:02
yeah, who shot Jr?

Susan Sly 20:03
Yeah. Do we know?

Jess Feldman 20:06
I don't know if we ever found out?

Susan Sly 20:08
I don't know. I can't Yeah, that's a question. Well, if you're listening, and you know who shot Jr, will you please let Jess and I know because clearly we don't know who shot Jr. Let's talk about that dynamic because it is a really, it is, it is so different and it's sometimes does go sideways. Sometimes it can go well. What, what advice would you give to someone who's you know, worked with your mom, it might be someone with their spouse, like what advice?

Jess Feldman 20:41
Well, you know, it was funny when I first went to my mom and I said, Okay, I'm gonna do this, she's like, Okay, this is our deal. She gave me the deal. And I was like, Oh, those are pretty stringent terms. But okay. And, and, you know, I just knew at that point in time that, you know, I had to go with it. I was going to be learn— I had a, I was just able to work with somebody who was going to teach me make tons of introductions for me, had very good relationships, you know, people trusted her to bring me into the fold. And I was like, you know, I've worked with hedge fund managers, they're tough as nails, but I'll tell you what, working with your mom sometimes, and she like, just like, crushes your spirit. And you're like, I was like, damn, Mom, you know, like,

Susan Sly 21:34
clean your room, clean your desk, no.

Jess Feldman 21:37
And so you know, those kinds of things where I was like, wow, I just, you know, I have to recover from this. But, you know, she really just meant well, and, and we had a really good relationship. And, you know, I just, it was fun, you know, I just had a great time with her. And also, you know, I kind of asked for this, you know, I didn't, I didn't realize like, as a kid, you know, how fortunate I was going to the galleries on the weekend, because, like, the artists would be there, all these, you know, these artists that are well known today. And that was like, my Saturday morning, no cartoon, it's just like, Okay, go out, you're going to the galleries, that's it, you know, we go for, you know, three, four hours. And that was like, you know, the genesis of it. And then, and then I remembered too, you know, it, all the arts kind of go hand in hand with, you know, theater and a ballet or whatever. And so she would take me to all those kinds of things. And I remember going to my first opera with her. And, you know, they're singing Figaro. And I'm thinking to myself, I think I said this to her, I was like, ma, this is where it comes from, you know, because my education until that time had basically been, you know, the cartoons. And so, you know, she had showed me, like, so many amazing things, so that by the time that I got to work with her, you know, things were just settled. I mean, yeah, sure, they were hard, because, you know, I would go out, and I would discover things, and, you know, you know, and she would take the commission, or wherever, but you know, saying at the end of the day, I just thought, okay, that's the way it is, but she's training my eye. And she's teaching me. And a guy early on Wall Street said, he said, you know, you're either learning or you're making money. And I was, you know, a trader, so you're either learning, or you're making money. And it's the same thing when you're learning on Wall Street, you know, you're not making a lot of money at the time, and then as you build your skill set, and your relationships, you know, you're, you definitely start to earn more. And so, you know, I just thought of it in that way. Like, this is a project that's going to take a couple of years, and I need to develop relationships with my collectors, I need them to trust me. I need to develop all my relationships on the gallery side and with artists, and, and so I had a very, very open mind. I know, you know, there's a lot of people that have a much more challenging experiences, but I would say my relationship with her was, was just unbelievable. I was really fortunate.

Susan Sly 24:20
And I love how you approached it, because I think where any relationship goes wrong is a power struggle. Yes. And, and so I didn't even tell you this. So recently, my 82 year old father incorporated this multiplex that he has, and so I'm a director in this company, right, and he lives in one of the units. And so setting up this company has been hilarious, because he's like, I think I'm gonna bank here and I said, Well, that is it. He lives in in Canada, right? So I'm like, Whoa, that's a little more complicated for me to access the banking. Why don't you bank here? And he's like, this one charges $4 less a month in fees. And in my mind, Jess like, as you know, I'm a doer, I pay attention to the cash flow, statements, like I'm so that I'm like, here's the difference. If you do business with this bank, I'm gonna have to fly there every time I sign something, if you do business with this bank, we're gonna pay $4 more a month. I said, Daddy, I'll just pay the four damn dollars. And we'll be, we'll call it good. And then there's certain things the way he wants to do it. But the way I approached it is not that here, I am almost 50. You know, you're helping to grow this amazing technology company. But I'm still his daughter, I'm deferring to his wisdom. And so to your point, in that role, I'm learning. Yes. But in my other role, I'm leading. And, and I think it's that, that trade off, when you come into a business or I was just doing, I was a guest on Henry Kaminski show and we were talking about pivoting your brand and pivoting your life, that there are times to be a student, there are times to be a teacher, —how you approach that, Yeah.

Jess Feldman 26:10
I was gonna add to that, because one of the things that I really realized is that I have to listen, you know, when my mom is talking, and when she's with other people, like, I just have to listen, it's not, it's not my show, you know, and listening and learning. You know, we don't do enough of that, in many cases, is just listening to what people are saying. There's a lot of information in that. And, you know, I was just, it was also the ability, you know, to, to ask questions, you know, and ask, why didn't you do this? Or where did you go wrong? Or how did you know, why didn't you think of this, you know, and also a way that I think was very familiar too that wasn't, you know, threatening, because it wasn't like, why didn't you do this? You know, but it was just like learning, you know, from, you know, where you made mistakes. And so that I wouldn't, you know, repeat them or I could learn from them.

Susan Sly 27:09
So, another question I have for you is relationship collateral. So because your mother is, you know, so established, right? So and one thing is that you and I had dinner in New York at the beginning of the year, and we're talking about you had to go and build your own book of business as well. Oh, yeah. And oh, yeah. So how did that how did that go? Certainly it went well, but how did you get started doing that, right? Like..

Jess Feldman 27:39
Well, I had basically, I had one collector, and I was like, this is proof of concept. Trust me, this wouldn't work in the world of biotech or anything.

Susan Sly 27:52
Oh, that's not true. In Silicon Valley, here, I've got a napkin. It's my proof of concept, yeah.

Jess Feldman 27:59
I was like this can work. And, and in reality, you know, I just, I just had to persist. And, you know, go and meet people, you know, make the trip to Europe, go to meet the gallerist. They really appreciate you're making that effort. And it's the effort to go see every show in New York or to spend time with them. And it's real, you know, like, I've never almost been in a business where, or you just want to help each other, you know, New York's Wall Street's a very, very different animal than that. And I work with a lot of really interesting people that, you know, I just want to hang out with too now. And so, on the client side, you know, my client, my business is really only referral based. I don't, I've learned like, I don't want to sell art to people. If people have an interest, they find me. Because once the interest is there, and it doesn't matter if you're starting from scratch. Like somebody said to me today, oh, I don't know anything about art. And I'm like, That's okay. As long as you have an interest in learning about it, because a big part of my job is educating people, just about art, you know, from wherever it is the Impressionists, all the way through to today, we just go see different shows. And so, and there's, there's no pressure. And so I think, I never told my collectors, oh, you have to buy this. It's really what you know, I bring them to see things and whatever kind of sticks in their mind. And so I have a very, you know, I don't put any pressure on anyone. And I think a lot of my collectors just like that, you know, and I take him to just great things. And I tell them, you know, the straight story. And so again, it's all referral based. It's also persistence, and being in front of people, and just, you know, continually showing them great things. And as those artists evolve over time, I think they also see that You know, you know what you're doing. And then it becomes really exciting for them. And then when you get your first piece in their home, it just transforms the place. And that's super exciting for them. And, you know, I've started having, I've also had to change my game in terms of just having people to my apartment, you know, and it's not about selling the art, but the arts around them. And so they say to me, oh, you know, something, I'd love a piece by that artists, for example, you know, I love that piece, or I've had, you know, an event for an artist in my apartment, who I really believe in. And I collect too, so I put my money where my mouth is, and I'm buying things that I believe in, and also showing those things to my collector, although I don't sell from my collection to those collectors. I will go out and find them new work, because there's a conflict of interest there. But I am buying alongside them. And then really, it's all about creating a larger environment for them. So we start with art. But then I love doing like jazz nights in New York, where we, you know, I have 10 people that go to a jazz concert. And we just come back to my apartment. And, you know, we have, you know, some wine and some cheese. And it's a very, very simple evening, and it's a lot of fun. And everyone has, walks out of there and they had a great time. And again, it's just like another iteration of my business. But I'd really do it because I love it. It's not, it's it, you know, I have no other motive other than just going out with people and bringing them to great things. And then building a really, you know, continue to build a great relationship and a great rapport with them. And so it's all referral based.

Susan Sly 31:43
I'm inviting myself to the next jazz night. Just so you know. It's like the, you know, I'm really the, the whole piece, what I'm hearing too, it's the relationships, it's the experience. It's not about doing business with you. It's the experience of doing business with you. And you're the, so I grew up, you know, going theatre, galleries, Jazz, so I'm like, Oh, the next, the next funding round we do for Radius, I think I'm doing a jazz night, I bet I'm gonna serve some wine. And yes. Forget this traditional VC pitching stuff. We're just gonna have fun. If you're in, you're in. If not, we're still friends. And that's I think that's what I'm gonna do. Yeah. And you could co host it. So and then you know, some people might buy art and invest so we could be, this could be a new business. People are giving away NFT's when you're investing in WeFunder rounds. So we could you know, we could do something like that but not with NFTs. You'll never know.

Jess Feldman 32:55
Never know.

Susan Sly 32:57
Well, Jess, I cannot thank you enough for being here. And if you want to find out more about Jess and his business, go to And who knows, maybe you might be invited to jazz night. Or be like me, just by yourself, why not? Anyway, my friends, this has been another episode of Raw and Real Entrepreneurship. I hope you are doing amazing. Go out there and rock your day. Keep charging and I will see you in the next episode.

Jess Feldman 33:35
Great. Thank you.

Susan Sly 33:36
Thanks, Jeff.

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Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Mia Hewett

260. Overcoming Self-sabotage with Human Potential Expert, Mia Hewett

By Podcast

Do you know what Self-sabotage is?Self-sabotage is when we do things that undermine our success. It’s a pattern of behavior that many people experience, and it can be difficult to break. It can be anything from procrastination to sabotaging relationships or even our happiness. In this interview, Mia talks about what she learnt over the years and shares some expert tips for overcoming self-sabotage.

Mia Hewett is the Founder and CEO of Aligned Intelligence, the best-selling author of Meant For More: Stop Secretly Struggling and Be A Force To Be Reckoned With, and an expert on the topic of human potential. For 24 years Mia owned and operated a multi-million dollar company, but deep down, she knew she was “Meant for More.” Now Mia helps entrepreneurs from around the world who also know they are “Meant for More” stop struggling and make six and seven-figure leaps in their business using her Aligned Intelligence Method.

—Mia Hewett

Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Mia Hewett

Topics covered in the interview

Mia’s first business
Overcoming self sabotage
Breaking the pattern of self sabotage

Mia Hewett’s Bio

Mia Hewett is the Founder and CEO of Aligned Intelligence®, the best selling author of Meant For More: Stop Secretly Struggling and Be A Force To Be Reckoned With, and an expert on the topic of human potential. For 24 years Mia owned and operated a multi-million dollar company, but deep down, she knew she was “Meant for More.” Now Mia helps entrepreneurs from around the world who also know they are “Meant for More” stop struggling and make six and seven-figure leaps in their business using her Aligned Intelligence Method®. 

In developing her methodologies, Mia has interviewed and worked with countless others, from best-selling authors like Jack Canfield and Mel Robbins to Billionaires Martin Franklin and Jeff Hoffman, and in doing so she cracked the code that addresses the exact root cause of what is stopping people from living their full potential. Her Aligned Intelligence Method® effectively helps free her clients’ minds from negative self-talk helping them process their emotions to make more accurate decisions, no longer fearing people’s judgments or needing people’s approval, so that they can stay in their power, trust themselves again, and live the lives they have always known they were meant to be living.

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Show Notes

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Mia Hewett 00:00
When we think that there's something wrong with us, so what happens is the trauma and again, it's experienced from the inside out. So the trauma creates a perception or perspective, right, a filter, from which we see, like life from, that's coming from our beliefs about ourselves, others in the world, which all came from that core trauma, which then, then dictates our actions or even our non actions.

Susan Sly 00:27
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. Well, hey, what's up Raw and Real Entrepreneurs, wherever you are in the world, I hope you're having an amazing, amazing day. And don't forget, you can always go to if you have a great idea for a show, a guest, a question, feedback on the show, I want to hear from you. Once again, go to I have some incredible announcements. Number one, I am launching my moonshot, the Fem Boss incubator with a vision to help 1000 women who maybe aren't techie, launch tech companies that we are going to start together, grow together, and scale together. And it is going to be massive. So go to, find out more. And guess what, you might be thinking, well, Susan, I'm not a woman, can I still apply? Yes, as long as you love women, you can apply. The next announcement I have, my new course, Employee to Entrepreneur is going live. It's coming up at the end of April. So you definitely want to check it out. It is designed for someone who has never been an entrepreneur and needs to know the basics. You want the fundamentals so you can set yourself up for success. Why? I've only been an entrepreneur for 40 years. So you know, it's taking all of that and putting that wisdom and helping you create the knowledge so you can start your own business. My guest today, I'm so excited. We were chatting so much before the show that I thought gosh, I should have recorded this because she said so many incredible things. She's the founder and CEO of Aligned Intelligence and a best selling author of Meant For More, and let's face it, aren't we all meant for more? And on top of it, she is an expert on the topic of human potential. And she and I are going to talk about self sabotage. We're going to talk about growth potential. We're going to talk about why we don't do the things we're capable of doing, and we're going to talk about a lot of things. In developing her methodologies, she has interviewed and work with countless other people from Jack Canfield, Mel Robbins, who's amazing, billionaires, multimillionaires. She has launched two multi million dollar businesses, including an amazing business, the brick and mortar space, which is so cool. And on top of everything, I'm just gonna tell you, she and I have both run the Boston Marathon. So I love her already. So my guest today is Mia Hewett. Mia, thank you for being here.

Mia Hewett 02:52
Thank you so much for having me. It's so great to be here, Susan.

Susan Sly 02:56
Okay, Mia. Let's get gritty. So you okay, if you're on YouTube, you can see me. You're like, Oh, she's probably like, 36 years old. No, but she has been in business for over 36 years. What was your first business?

Mia Hewett 03:09
I know, this is the funniest. I love this question so much. Because everybody expects me to be like, Oh, my gosh, I was like this entrepreneur out the gate. I'm one of those that was the opposite. I was actually I know, I was actually the shy kid. So I actually was one of those kids that was really afraid of people's judgments of me, I was always constantly hiding. I was the kid who always made other people look good. Like, even as in my first company, I was the one that made everybody else look good. But I was like the the one really making it happen behind the scenes. So in my very first business, I didn't, I actually went to work when I was 13 years old, I grew up poor. And so in order to eat, it really just really became out of necessity. And one of the catalysts that got that was that when I was about 13 years old, my dog died. Our house was so infested with fleas, they literally like suck the blood out of them. So it was like one of those moments where I remember feeling like I don't know what success is, but I'm, I'm not going to be poor for the rest of my life. So it was like a decision that I made right then and there, that I knew that I was going to figure it out. It took me a little bit. I wasn't into my 20s before I really started my first brick and mortar business, was an insurance company. And again, I was like the one that really made things happen, but I wasn't the one being seen, if you will. Isn't that interesting? I'm like one of those opposite. I didn't really come out the gates being this already, you know, knowing how to sell. Actually my mother used to get violently mad at people who called on the phone that was trying to sell so I had sales associated to something really terrible. I never wanted to be one of those people. So I've had to overcome all of that. So that's probably not the typical answer, right?

Susan Sly 05:06
And it's, I love that you brought that point up, because we're very close in age. And I think there is a, there's a, for Gen X, there is a cohort of women and maybe the last cohort of women, but I was told women should be what? Seen and not heard, and being raised by my very strict Chinese grandmother and my dad. And I would go to, my grandmother was one of the founders of the first women's network in Canada, and she was such an advocate for women. And I would say, Oh, can I go to these breakfasts, and she, Mia, she would be like, you can go, but you can be seen and not heard. So and I grew up with that program, like helping a lot of people make a lot of money, as you know, you have done as well, and being that person behind the scenes for a very long time. So how did you overcome that? Because there are a lot of listeners, there are men, there are women, there are kids, they're like Mia, that's me. I'm so shy, I get so nervous speaking in front of the class, or speaking in front of the boardroom, how did you overcome that?

Mia Hewett 06:10
You know, back then I didn't really know why I was like that. I just really thought that that was who I was. So the first thing that I want to give anyone who struggles with self sabotaging or always feeling that way, I want to really say, I want you to consider that, that actually isn't you. I know that sounds funny, but I'm gonna, I'm gonna explain. So here's what I found that really happened. And I found this after my first business, and I built that and I was still this, you know, here I am being successful, you know, being seen and feeling like a fraud, like feeling like, I'm still feeling so insecure inside. Why do I feel this way? I belong here, I belong, where, you know, I'm successful. But I would still feel completely triggered by people, especially if they were real, real dominant personalities like my father was. I would literally just crumble, become the dumbest person in the room, my brain would stop working, I would go into frozen mode. But I didn't understand why. So here's what I found. And this is why I'm saying to all of those that feel this way, even if you've had really good childhoods, okay, it doesn't matter if you've had a great childhood or not. This is what's really happening to every single human being. So what happens to us is, when we were born, we were born whole, perfect and complete. You have to feel this, like not one baby is born with a self esteem issue, not one. So what happened to us? What happened to us is, as a child grows, and we see this happens, between, most often between six months old to three years old, so this is really young, right? But between six months old to three years old, is the most common. And what happens is, we grow, a child grows from an emotional bond of trust. And when that trust gets broken, we experience an immense shame. It's so traumatic for us that we don't know like, we don't even think that we're capable of surviving the emotions we're feeling. And because we don't know how to process our emotions, we're really young, right? So just for everybody that has never thought about this, a baby just to interject something in this, a baby, even if you feed it, and change it, it will die if it's not held. And the reason this is, is because as babies, we actually regulate our emotions off of our caretakers. So when we're a baby, when we're young, this young, we don't know how to process our emotions. And what happens to us is, then we take on those emotions, and we begin to believe that there's something wrong with us. So there is this, what I'm really pointing at, what, what's, where the self sabotage is really coming from, as I'd like you to all consider that the one I'm talking about is the original core trauma, which is an actual split between your authentic self, and then the protective self or your ego self of who you became to survive your life. Does that make sense?

Susan Sly 09:19
It does. It does. And I'm thinking you know, I've traveled the world and been in orphanages and Cambodia and Africa and you see, you know, babies who just really aren't held. Not because it's just maybe there's one person and 24 babies or whatever the case is, and someone who's listening, Mia, let me ask this question. I'd say I had a traumatic childhood. I wasn't given affection. I watched my parent or caregiver go through a lot of anxiety or maybe there was abuse or so. Is there hope for me to get over self sabotage?

Mia Hewett 09:19
Absolutely. Absolutely. So the first thing that I want to make you aware of is I want you to consider that the trauma that you felt, right, we experienced it from the inside, not the outside. So it wasn't that we had a conscious mind when this happens. So we couldn't go, or rational mind, we couldn't say, Oh, well, mom's just having a bad day, or dad's just not worth it to that, right? Like, we didn't have a way to really distinguish what was happening. So we internalized it to mean it was us, whatever they were feeling that we internalize, and then what we made it mean based on like, you know, there's something wrong with me based on the decisions we made about ourselves, others in the world, it literally takes hold. And so what's really been happening is the real, and every single person, the split between what happens is that we develop is will go logically, we're like, I know I'm meant for more, right? Logically, I know that I meant for greatness, but please don't really see me because emotionally, I don't really feel good enough. So it's like see me, but don't see me. I want to be accepted but don't really see me because I'm really afraid you're going to reject me. Or the, or another way to say it is the real battle that every human being is in is they're fighting the battle between the adult side of themselves and the unconscious child in them. And it is the greatest limitation to every single human being. So how you uncover it is you have to like, yes, the answer is 100%, I'm living proof of it. And I've helped hundreds of people overcome this. The key is that we actually need to show you where it's all coming from, because it actually happened in your unique experience. And so the fascinating thing about this as well, which I'd like to touch on, because people don't realize this is the, what's amazing about this is the catalyst that creates this can either create the super achiever, or the underachiever. So the trauma can even make you go into like, I will prove the world, I'm going to show the world that I'm going to, or there's something really wrong with me, and I have to figure it all out first. Either way, what I want to give everybody like, this is that, it's all healable. There's nothing that is not healable, because it was created within you. It wasn't actually in the event, it was the way you interpreted the event, which is why we can have siblings, right, with the same parents, even twins, identical twins, same parents, same situation, and one can make it have a trauma out of it and the other doesn't. Isn't that fascinating?

Mia Hewett 10:10
Yeah, it's interesting, you say that, because I'm reading Will Smith's biography. And he, he talks about that in the book, how he interpreted his father's anger issues and how his brother interpreted them and his sister. And it's, it's so true. And one of the things I found, and let's talk about this provers. So as a recovering prover myself, one of the things I know to be true about provers is that provers are more prolific when it comes to self sabotage than any other group of people. And here's why. It's like, let me prove myself, I've constantly got to be proving, and then I'm going to become exhausted, and I'm going to get burnout. And then just when things are about to get good, I'm in a startup, it's about to you know, have its moonshot or, you know, whatever it is, my business is on fire, or just landed the biggest client, then I'm going to get physical manifestation of some kind of symptoms. So usually provers have some kind of autoimmune illness, I got MS, I gave it to myself. And then they self sabotage. And initially, they blame the circumstance, but it's really them. And they go from proving to self sabotage and proving to self sabotage and proven to self sabotage.

Susan Sly 14:03
And they never ever, ever earned what they're worth.

Susan Sly 14:07
And I see this time and time, again. Even employees who are at high levels in say, even startups, and they, they are in the same thing, and then they'll leave and just before the startup gets, you know, to that next level, and their equity could have been more so much more. But I'd love to hear your take on that. Because proving is such a modern phenomenon. It's not just with women, it's also with men. So talk about proving.

Mia Hewett 14:34
Yeah, absolutely. It comes from this original core trauma. It's exactly like you couldn't have pointed out like a more, more wonderful place to start and look at that. Because when we think that there's something wrong with us, so what happens is the trauma, and again, it's experienced from the inside out. So the trauma creates a perception or perspective, right? A filter from which we see like life, that's coming from our beliefs about ourselves, others in the world, which all came from that core trauma, which then dictates our actions or even our non actions, right? So whether we're going to proving like I will prove this, or we go into hiding, avoiding, procrastinating, either one is all a form of trying to survive or control in order to get the result, right, rather than what we have to do is the complete opposite. When we go back and look into, like, what really happened in that circumstance, in that situation in the original trauma, what we do is then we can start to see Oh, Wow, isn't that amazing? That situation really wasn't even about me. Like, the fascinating thing is when you unravel it, because it's all subconscious, right? Now, it's gone into the subconscious behavior. When you are unraveling, you uncover that it was really never even about you. But you get to see it from the inside out, which is where the healing happens. Because you're no longer looking at it from the outside in, like it's being done to you. And so real healing happens from the inside out. And it's more of a unraveling of consciousness, of the unconsciousness, right? And so then that it becomes conscious. And then from there, here's how it breaks down. So to live your potential, you must see yourself greater than all things physical in life. Let me explain that. Right? So the main point of self sabotage is, I'm going to say it right here, is when the circumstance is greater than who you think you are capable of being with. So when the, what causes self sabotage is when the circumstance, situation, judgment, or limiting belief, you feel is greater than how you see yourself. So what we do in order to really live our potentials like, Well, how do you live your potential then? It's really fascinating but this is actually how it works. Once you can see that you are the creator of your reality, when you can see how you created that trauma, by the way of the meaning and the interpretation you gave it, and then it became an emotional setpoint, what happens is now you can uncreate it, because once you can see that, wow, this is all been a creation of that decisions. So now you can consciously be, like that I have the ability to be capable of responding. So I'm going to accept consciously accept responsibility that I'm capable of knowing how. Like before, like, I'm totally capable before I even have to know how it's all going to work out. But I'm going to consciously decide I'm capable. The second step inside of that is, once you decide you're capable, is now you're going to actively and deliberately choose everything that's happening in your life. The way to grow bigger than your physical life than your circumstances is you have to actually choose it. Right? And then from there, what you do is then from that, how you live your potential, if this is happening, whatever's happening in the moment, and you're choosing it, what, where your real potential lies is in the space between you wanting to have an automatic reaction, that's your subconscious. You accessing a space of neutrality, find how to be bigger than this in the moment, and then choose an aligned action instead. Does that make sense?

Susan Sly 18:54
It does. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, even when you think about this concept of who am I living into? Or who am I a stand for 10 years from now? Right? So who are you a stand for 10 years from now? And what is she or he choose to in this moment based on who you are stand for 10 years from now. And there was an article that just came out in Entrepreneur Magazine, and they're talking about how they, there's a technique called zooming. So that, which not the, not sitting at home on a Zoom, but zooming out and saying, Okay, where is my industry going to be in 10 years? So my, you know, where is artificial intelligence going to be in 10 years or edge computing or whereas whatever it is, your industry is, and then going there and saying, Who do I need to be 10 years from now and what decisions do I make? And when someone really thinks about it, you know, what I'm hearing is that if they're listening and going, oh my gosh, you know, I know I'm gonna get the emails. Mia is talking to me. I know I self sabotage. I know this is me, how do I heal it? Like, what is that one first step they can take? And what I'm hearing from you is that, that choice. Initially, it's like being an addict, you can be addicted to anything. Addicted to drugs, addicted to alcohol, and you can be addicted to self sabotage. But what I'm hearing from you is this presence and being highly attuned and aware too. This is the decision I want to make but I know in my gut, that that's not the decision that when I'm coming from a higher place of path and purpose that I'm going to make. Would that be—

Mia Hewett 20:37
Yeah, no, totally, totally understand, like its—success is really a recipe, right? So it's always inside of a recipe. Like if, if anything that's successful in life, there's always a recipe for it. I like to like it, make it so simple for people to understand that it's going to be really something so simple, there's going to be inside of the recipe. So let me give you an example. So one of the skills that, one of the ingredients in this recipe. So the first one is we have to, we can't change something we're not even aware of. Right? So awareness is always going to be the first step. So understanding where this core trauma came from. But then once we are aware of it, the second step is always going to be, now we have to make a decision to look lovingly and face it, right? There's, there is that, like what you said earlier, really being able to choose that and go all in on it. So we're going to decide to face it. The third step though, is now we have to clear the misunderstanding and misconception that was in our way, because for a problem to exist, the equal and opposite solution must equally exist in the same moment. So by this universal law of polarity, right, I like to say it this way, is everything in this universe exists in an equal and opposite hole. What do I mean? That means for an up to be, you know, for there to be an up, there's a down. For there to be an in, there's an out, that means for a problem to exist, a solution must equally exist in the same moment in time, not a different moment, in the same moment that you're having that problem exists the solution. What makes the difference and all the difference in us getting out of the problem and into the solution, which is what you're pointing out beautifully, is inside of the healing of the trauma, it's going to come down to having the right awareness like, where did this all come from, so that you can see how you created it. Deciding to face it, looking lovingly at it. The third thing is to gain the new understanding, which means you have to then clear up the misunderstanding or misconception that had to go in on the first time, in the first place. Then once you see the where you were, oh, wow, I used to think this was me, I thought that was all about me. And you clear up this misunderstanding, misconception. Now your work is to now go all in on the truth. Right? You must apply the truth of who you really are. And then living from that, you're going to create new behaviors, new habits, new experiences, and your new experiences will create your results. So it is a recipe. Like that is the exact steps of how you create any result you want from n