This week, we discussed Colin C. Campbell’s latest Forbes article highlighting free resources for startups. This article breaks the age-old myth of the lone-wolf entrepreneur, and highlights the importance of collaboration and support to succeed in the world of startups.
While you can’t eliminate all mistakes, you can increase your chances of success by seeking out help.
Colin C. Campbell
1. Join a Community: Colin described the importance of incubators, accelerator centers, and innovation centers for budding entrepreneurs. Gone are the days when innovation was confined to a garage. Today’s entrepreneurs must surround themselves with people who can offer help and guidance. Incubators and accelerators provide a thriving environment to test, learn, and connect, without any cost!
2. Find Advisors: This might sound daunting, but as Colin explains, setting up a group of trustworthy advisors is easier and less formal than a board of directors. He emphasized how these advisors can become free resources to generate opportunities, strategize, and even guide through the process of scaling the company. He encouraged sharing the upside as the company grows but insisted that the primary benefit is free guidance and support.
3. Seek out Smart Shareholders: Colin’s own experience with acquiring the “.CLUB” domain brought this point to life. By reaching out to LinkedIn followers, he not only raised funds but also engaged them in providing additional partnerships, sales, and ideas. This, he said, was a way to have shareholders not only invest but actively contribute to the growth of the company.
Listen to the full discussion above!
- Read the Transcript
Serial Entrepreneur EP117
You’re listening to Serial Entrepreneur Secrets Revealed on Startup Club. And today we’re gonna tackle a very interesting topic. You are not alone. There are a lot of services, a lot of people who can help you grow your startup and help you succeed with your startup. And all you have to do is ask for that help.
So today we’re gonna get really deep into that. Uh, you might not know this, but if you’re listening to it in podcasts or on replay, we do a live show every Friday, two o’clock Eastern, and this is a show that really focuses on what is it that these serial entrepreneurs do to start, scale, exit, repeat? What is the secret [00:01:00] sauce?
We’re trying to decode that and we do it here with the community at Startup Club, where we all come together and we tackle issues, uh, from week after week about what it takes to make a startup successful. And as you know, anyone who’s listening to this, who’s been involved in a startup knows that launching a startup can be very difficult.
Scaling a startup can be very difficult. Exiting a startup can be very difficult, and repeating that over and over again can also be very difficult. Michele, welcome to the show. She’s Michele Van Tilburg, is my co host of this show that we do every Friday at 2 o’clock Eastern. And you’re listening to Serial Entrepreneur Secrets Revealed.
Michele, what are your thoughts on today’s topic, finding free ways to increase startup success? Well, I mean, who doesn’t like that, right? So I’m very, yeah, I know Colin, you’ve been [00:02:00] using these methods for years. They’re proven methods. And I’m excited to share them with the members here of the Startup Club, as well as here’s some that they might have.
So let’s get on with the show, Colin.
Yeah, I’m just actually sharing the room right now. And if you’re in the audience, And you think this is an important topic, please share the room on Clubhouse. You simply click on that icon second to the left, click on share, uh, hold on, do it again. Share on Clubhouse, it’s the fourth one down, click on share.
And that’ll boost the audience and build the community a little stronger. This is a topic that I often think that most entrepreneurs ignore. They don’t often think that they can get free help from someone. Or somewhere. And yet this help is available. It’s all a matter of figuring out [00:03:00] where to find the help and who to ask for to get the help.
And this was the, um, the reason we put together an article. It’s actually a two part series with Forbes. Uh, and so if you, if you could pin the article, Michele, I’m going to do it. You go ahead with the show and I’m working on that right now. Perfect. I’m actually going to my computer. I’m just gonna go find it as well.
If you’re on on the Internet and you search Colin C. Campbell, uh, Forbes, it’ll come right up there at the top. Um, and it just shows a number of the articles that we’ve released. But the title of the article is free ways founders can increase their chances of success. And we’ve done a lot of research around this topic.
A lot of research was done for. Uh, the preparation of the book, uh, that is being published on October 3rd, 2023 by Forbes. It’s called Start, Scale, [00:04:00] Exit, Repeat. And we really dig deep into this in that book. Let me tell you, it does take a village to raise kids. And it does take a village to raise a startup.
It, it, it involves a lot of people. You are not alone, and too many of us type A personalities think we are alone, and we can do it all on our own, and the reality is, we can’t, but we do have help, so if you’re in the audience, and you have a way That you have received help from someone or somebody or or some, uh, organization, you have a story that you would like to share with us.
Please raise your hand and come on stage. It’s Friday afternoon. It’s the middle of the summer and we’d love to have vibrant conversations. I will also admit that anyone who does come on stage, we actively follow them and, uh, enjoy your participation. Uh, every time you come back. So please raise your hand if you’re interested in sharing [00:05:00] a story or if you want to ask a question, uh, from those who are on the stage as well.
So I’m going to kick it off with the first one. This is something that’s near and dear to Michele. And my heart. It’s joining an incubator accelerator or innovation center. So if we think about it back in the 80s, it was Steve jobs in the garage with, um, uh, Paul Allen and you’d often hear about these startups coming out from, you know, starting out in the garage.
Which by the way is a very lonely way to do it. I’m not, I’m not suggesting that people don’t do that now. I’m not suggesting that people don’t, uh, launch successful startups from their home. But there are alternatives that do exist today. And a lot of those are incubators. We run an incubator here in Fort Lauderdale, Michele and I, and we have about 10 companies in that incubator.
And I think about 8 months ago, 9 months ago, and I [00:06:00] see Kyle there in the audience, he’s actually the manager of the incubator. But about 8 or 9 months ago, we opened up the facility to allow people to rent desks. And it’s pretty cool because we’ve seen a big difference. In the last eight months in our incubator, we see a much more diverse group of people who come together.
People often will share stories or challenges. We have a cocktail hour on Fridays at four o’clock and people come together and we start talking and somebody learned something from someone and then somebody says, Oh, I know you could distribute that product through this method or it’s a way of connecting inside a community.
And those connections are absolutely free. They don’t cost money and even renting space in an incubator. I think ours is 149 a month for the space. Uh, it’s very, very inexpensive. And now you’re in a community of others. And, uh, I think that’s [00:07:00] probably one of the. Biggest opportunities for new startups is to just connect in a space like that.
I also work closely with the Allen Levan Center at NSU in South Florida, and they’ve set up a huge facility called the Allen Levan Center, and it is a, he calls it an innovation center. Uh, the Disneyland of for startups, and it’s really about connecting with others within that incubator, but also making connections with helping, you know, with, um, government, uh, funding with, um, uh, angel investors, venture capitalists.
You’re really connecting with a lot of different groups at the center. Now they run a cohort, and I teach at that cohort. We do it about every two or three months, and they open that cohort up for absolutely free, free, and you go there and they do 10 sessions. There’s [00:08:00] a pitch competition at the end. They invite angel investors in, and you’re getting some of the best speakers in the world.
You’re getting free legal advice. Uh, you’re getting free pitch advice, a good friend of mine does the pitch section, actually, uh, Lil, Lil Roberts, and she is a feature in the chapter of the book as well on perfecting the pitch. Um, so it’s very, very interesting, these types of centers and what you can get.
If you look at your. Just Google it, uh, in your local city to find out what kind of incubator, uh, what kind of, uh, accelerator services exist. And I think you will be surprised to find there are a number of free services out there. I’m going to add one to, uh, Colin. We had an amazing person a couple of weeks ago.
There are a lot of government sponsored nonprofit programs. And one of them that is exceptionally good [00:09:00] that we’ve been exposed to is called SCORE. SCORE is, um, sponsored by the government, so your tax dollars pay for this, uh, the Small Business Administration. So like Colin said, there’s so many resources out there for people to just, you know, All you have to do is do a little research and just contact them.
Um, to our experience, most people are more than happy and willing to have a conversation, to point you into resources. In addition to what Colin said, universities and co working spaces, um, we highly recommend looking for these non profit programs, like SCORE, the Small Business Administration, sponsors this, your tax dollars.
Something to definitely take up on almost every university has one of these programs. I do it. I speak at multiple universities in these programs, and I encourage you to just again, check that out. But you are jumping ahead there, Michele, with [00:10:00] score. It was interesting because last week we had on the president of score as we were doing the research for the article.
We reached out to her and she agreed to come on the show. So if you miss that, you might want to go back and listen to that episode. Just go to your favorite podcast channel and search for serial entrepreneur secrets revealed. Or if you’re familiar with this app, Uh, try to find replays, uh, on Startup Club, and you can scroll down and see that.
And she has over 10, 000 volunteers. This is a massive organization where you can get a free mentor to work with you. So, we’re not even talking about a classroom structure now. We’re talking about a one on one individual who will, will, will try to understand Your business and offer you recommendations or guide you in a way that can help you increase your chances of success Michele and I don’t know if Mimi’s on [00:11:00] state stage here or if you remember the stat Michele, but I think she was saying something like it’s three times More likely to succeed.
If you have a mentor from school, they had some really, really phenomenal statistics. Yes, I do believe that was it. And, you know, they have a tremendous amount of resources in addition to the coaching. You know, right directly from their website. And we had some people actually in the club that had used the services.
It was quite amazing. Um, and one of the coaches, and they talked about what an impact and a difference it’s made in their business life and in their, uh, general success. Yes. I, it’s, it’s incredible. And, uh, I’ve been along. I, so I belong to a group called eo. It’s an entrepreneur’s group where we meet every, uh, once a month, one [00:12:00] day, sorry, one day per month, uh, and I’ve done that now for 25 years and it’s eight companies that come together, eight individual founders, and we all share with each other our challenges and seven other people help us solve those challenges.
I remember the day before I went on the road show for, for my, for my IPO. I was so nervous and I presented, uh, what was, what I was presenting to the institutions. At the time I presented, uh, I did that presentation to my EO forum it’s called, and I got great feedback and I, I was really felt supported by this group.
Uh, I remember when there were key decisions to be made about selling my company, or, um, fi um, con conducting a financing, uh, or even by the way, I even did a presentation. A few months ago on start, scale, exit, repeat, [00:13:00] but what would it take to launch a bestselling book, uh, on Amazon or, um, on other. Book distributors as well and the forum came together and ideated and actually supported me on that particular topic and we came up with Michele.
I actually had her attend as well because she, she and I both both run startup club and, uh, uh, had her attend as well. We got about 30, 40 great ideas about what we can do to promote the book so that it does become a bestseller. And do you remember that Michele? Do you remember that session? I remember it very well and you know what I find very useful about these things is, you know, it’s not, you know, you’re working with people that you trust their opinion, right?
It’s not like you’re just, you know, walking down the street in the park or at a bar and just asking people for suggestions. There’s some [00:14:00] very experienced people and, um, they give you very candid feedback and they challenge you. Right. And, and that’s okay. Right. When you’re really trying to succeed and you’re really trying to get suggestions, you don’t need somebody just telling you things that you want to hear.
What I particularly enjoyed about that group, Colin, is that they all challenged each other so that we could try to kind of fetter out what the best suggestions were. And I found that very useful.
I’m sorry, just texting in the back channel here. Um, yeah, I just, if you have something, uh, an idea. Uh, of what you can do to help a startup. Please raise your hand and come on stage. We’d love to hear from you. And on that note, Daniel, thank you for being brave and coming up here. Uh, do you have a question or a thought about this topic?
Yeah, Colin. Thanks. Just want to [00:15:00] confirm real quick. Is the volume okay on this? Perfect. Perfect. Awesome. Great. It was my first time in a minute talking at a clubhouse. So, yeah, I was, uh, I just actually spoke with Michele. Um, A week or 2 ago, and I think that this is, uh, I think it’s a the incubator is such a great topic.
I think alongside that just inviting, like, I would say, inviting conversation is a freeway that people can get feedback that is pointed toward their either their product or their service. Um, I’ve been in a couple of startups for the last three years, um, one in lumber, one in construction down in florida and when we’re dealing with the hurricane, one of the biggest things that we found was we were trying to, we were selling lumber and then when Hurricane Ian hit, it was something where when we were talking to our clients, we found out that their need, their needs changed.
So then it wasn’t. Uh, a startup that we were directed at, like, okay, we want to do this. We want to start a [00:16:00] hurricane or mediation company, but we were talking to our clients, our potential clients. And it was just the reality of where our location was at. So our environment, what the needs of the city were at.
And we were like, okay, what is there? And people were more than interested in buying lumber. They were interested in getting houses fixed. And there was a roof specifically. So we put together a crew and we switched our entire business model. And I would say that, like. It might not be the same as startup success, like in the tech field, um, where I’m at now, but I will say even in construction, when we were talking to potential clients, they were more than willing to offer us, um, feedback and data on what their needs would be on.
If you did this, we would pay for this. And I think that that skill can be transferred to any startup where if you are looking at a specific problem to solve, if you just can. Try to envision the ideal clients or potentially envision an ideal user or consumer. I would say just ask them questions and go, Hey, what is the biggest pain point you have in whatever the field is?
And then [00:17:00] you might get free data on if your product is even matching, uh, the fit of the market or of the consumer base you’re looking at, or you might get feedback to change your business model.
So those are a couple of my thoughts. Yeah, I think those are so on point, Daniel, and I really appreciate you, you coming in. We, we actually literally met Daniel. He came into the co working space, um, with with one of our other participants. So thank you for joining. I mean, really. You know, I, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worked with people where everyone’s afraid to talk to customers.
There’s nothing to be afraid of. I’m here to tell you there’s nothing to be afraid of. And even if they tell you something that you, oh my gosh, I’m so nervous about and I didn’t want to hear. They’re doing you a huge favor and you know, I couldn’t agree with you more and before you go dumping a bunch of [00:18:00] money or you know, whatever it is, even if it’s just simple things like really simple things like, you know, uh, you know, how you’re naming a product or some color you’re going to use or where you’re going to advertise all these things are critically important to understand and get feedback beforehand and it can save you so much time and frustration.
Transcribed I agree. What do you think, Colin? Yeah, I agree. I think, I don’t, it’s funny, that never made the, um, the article. But utilizing your customers to help you achieve, you know, your goals is, is very smart. I remember we had John Mullins on, who came in here, sorry, wrote the book, Customer Funded Startup.
And, you know, there’s a lot of ways you can get them to help you fund, but there may be also ways they can get them to help you perfect your product. And you’re right about that. Um, I think you have to be careful how you communicate it. But if you communicate it correctly, [00:19:00] you can get them to improve your product.
If you announce a new platform and you call it beta and we’re looking for beta testers, people will anticipate there’ll be some bugs here and there if they’re getting involved in something like that. And yeah, creating that community. Around your business of your customers or potential prospects. That’s something I hadn’t really thought about until now, Michele.
I think that’s a pretty good idea. I have another one, too. But Michele, any other thoughts? No, no, no, you go for it. All right. This one’s pretty cool. And this is emerged over the last 10 years. I call it create a group of advisors. Now, if you understand, um, companies, uh, you’ll understand that setting up a Uh, board of directors for your company is sometimes critical, but also can be very expensive and, [00:20:00] uh, require you to convince certain individuals to take certain risks and liabilities or potential liabilities by being involved with your company.
Now, I happen to be on boards of many companies and quite frankly, I’m very nervous about someone asks me to be a board member. I, I often decline. And the reason I decline is that I don’t want the liability associated with what could go wrong at that company. But I’ve also been asked to be a Board of Advisor on the Board of Advisors.
I was a, uh, uh, an advisor on one company that sold to Intel. And, uh, I helped them out with their strategy throughout the years and distribution and everything. I was paid nothing, but received a pretty sizable check when the company did sell to Intel. The fact is you can set up a group of advisors, you can even put them on your websites, they can [00:21:00] be fairly notable, and they would, a lot of them would be happy to do that, to happy to support your company.
Not only do you get help with strategy, but these advisors can help you with, uh, new contacts, new connections, et cetera. I would encourage you to go down that path before you consider going down the path of setting up a board of directors. Often, if you do get into venture capital and, um, or other investors, you’re sometimes required to set up report directors, but it’s a much more formal process.
And I think sometimes that formality gets in the way of accomplishing things, uh, for a company. But again, it’s cost a lot of money to do that, and it’s harder to attract the talent you might want to attract. Now, in the case of that one company that I was involved with, I was given a quarter of 1% in options for that company.
So, there is some compensation, but only the compensation comes if the company is successful. And [00:22:00] often sharing that success… Uh, you know, it’s very expensive to hire these people on an hourly basis, but actually sharing that, um, sharing that success when you sell, if you succeed and you made a lot of money, it’s okay if other people make money as well.
In fact, in one of my companies, this was just this week, I saw that he had paid his lawyer for the last three years in options, not in cash. And I thought that was fascinating. To see that you can even convince your lawyer to take some of your stock as well. So, I don’t know if you’ve set up an advisory board for your startup.
Again, please raise your hand. Come on stage. We want to hear from you. If you’ve joined an incubator, it’s made a difference in your business. Please raise your hand. Come on stage. We’d love to hear from you. And again, Michele and I would love, love to follow, um, those members who are actively involved in [00:23:00] Clubhouse and come on stage.
Uh, we have, uh, sorry, um, can you, uh, mod today, Michele? Yeah, absolutely. It’s bouncing, like, the icons are bouncing around a lot here right now. So I think it’s what’s on next. No problem. So, um, I’m, you know, just looking at who is on the stage in the order. So for me, um, next I see Hassan. Hassan, we’d love to have your thoughts on this subject and, you know, what you’ve experienced or any questions.
Hey, I was going I’m going to keep it quick. Hey, Colin. I just have a question for you in terms of term sheet. Is that something that you can answer? Sure, we’ll take it. Well, we try to we do try to stay on topic and we’re talking about free ways. You can help your three ways that your startup can get help.
Um, so hopefully it’s in line with that. If not, it’s on the fundraising site. So my question is, um, what are your thoughts on? Pre money valuation versus [00:24:00] discount caps on SAFE and then pro rata and most favorite nation terms You know, like let’s say it’s hypothetical two to three hundred K on a two to three pre money, right?
How does that equate when you look at the series A and you’re having this? Extorminant number of a discount, you know for that first investor. I’m just kind of wondering about these scenarios Can you kind of explain from your background? Yeah, I think I mean safe is probably the most popular form now because it’s just a The legal costs associated with, um, you know, with with setting up, you know, a reg D, a private placement memorandum, those kind of things, uh, and it’s just simple.
It’s simple to do. And it’s usually discount to market with a cap. I would often say, though, if you’re pitching. To sophisticated investors, a lot of them turn these down because the entrepreneur sets too high of a cap for their safe. Um, you know, it’s 20% below the next round to a maximum of 10 million and we’re talking about a concept and [00:25:00] that sometimes can turn investors off as well.
I do want to sort of stay on topic here, but I think what you’ve highlighted here is. You know, you can come into clubhouse. You can go into any of these shows and you can ask questions, especially if it’s relevant to the topic and you can even get a good half hour. I mean, there’s a, I don’t know if Jenny Kasson still does a show here.
We have a chapter featuring her expertise as well, but if you get a chance, uh, Hassan, if you could connect with Jenny Hassan, uh. She has she’s a lawyer. She does this all day long She talks about the smartest way to raise money so she doesn’t just come from a legal perspective There is a chapter in the book that deals with this entire question that you brought up and what is the, how to raise the right money at the right time and the right structure.
Um, so we take, we’ve taken experts, we’ve, we’ve, we’ve studied that topic and we’ve put it in the book. Uh, but I do want to really try to stay on topic today and uh, it’s [00:26:00] really all about free, free services. Yeah, I want to mention to Hassan, you should make sure you join the email list. We do have someone scheduled.
His name is Tosh, where we’re going to do some deep diving and talk about financing. So he should be, I think. I think we’re gonna schedule him for SEP sometime in September, so be sure to join the email list and keep a lookout for that as well. It’s definitely always a, a favorite topic to talk about these things, and we are gonna be addressing more of those topics in more depth in the next month or so.
So thank you for asking. And I saw, have you, have you actually or Daniel set up an advisory board before for one of your startups?
Thank you. I’m just curious. No, no. We haven’t done anything yet. We’re in term sheet process right now. And that’s why I brought up the question about pre money versus discount. And I just wanted [00:27:00] to get your thoughts on it right now. We have, we’re in negotiations and I just wanted to know from your background, what’s the, what’s, what’s the strategy?
What have you seen? And we’re talking to sophisticated investors too. So that’s why I was curious. Yeah. Um, I mean, I have to get into more detail, but is it a, um, have you filed a reg D or? Um, is, is, is, or is it before that? No, no, we, we’re, uh, we haven’t done anything yet. We’re just kind of in the first stage of this right now.
So we’re Delaware C Corp. So we’re in the first round of a pre seed fund raise. So, um, we’re just kind of going back and forth. And I was just curious on your, on your thoughts in terms of a value cap versus discount cap on SAFE. That’s what really what the question is about. I mean, the reason why we do the discount cap on SAFE, why it’s the most popular, is it’s just the most simplest.
Um. Yeah, I mean, uh, that’s, that’s, that’s primarily the reason because it’s just your legal cost to do these structures can be, can be pretty expensive, but that’s a pretty standard contract you can execute on pretty [00:28:00] cheaply. I, I have to be careful with what I’m going to say because I said this once and a lawyer who was in the room with me told me that I was incorrect, that you still require, you’re still required to file with the SEC if you are soliciting securities.
Um, but I think there’s a balance between that world of, you know, that legal world. There’s a gray line where if these are people, you know, um, you might be in a better position, but I’m not a lawyer. So please don’t take that advice from me. Thank you so much. I’ll have another person about this. Yeah. Yeah.
It’s tricky. It’s a tricky topic. Yeah. Hassan, if you want to shoot us, um, an email at hello at startup dot club, cause this is a really good question and, and, you know, we want to do what we can. Um, We can make sure that when we have the next person coming on, diving in, that we shoot you a personal email as well.
So thank you. Yeah, and you did trigger something else, Hassan, in that if you have a group of advisors, and I’d encourage you to do that. And some of those advisors should have, you know, names in [00:29:00] that industry. And then when you present to these prospective Investors and they see that you’ve got this group of advisors on your, on your, at your company that can increase your chances of success for the fundraising.
So that’s how I got the topic. So Colin, we have an advisor and an investor on a lower cap. They came in at ideation stage. So there, we have one person who’s driving the ship, second time founder, you know, very name who got the street creds and stuff. We have our own street creds. And the thing is the term sheet doesn’t look like it’s a good deal right now.
And the problem is because we give the kitchen sink at series a on this one investor. And the second and third investors will say you’re crazy because the cap is so low. And that’s why, that’s why we’re trying to go back and forth on discount cap versus value cap. Got it. Got it. Got it. Uh, you know, it’s interesting cause you know, I’ve done.
Many different financings and ironically, number three on our list, uh, at the Forbes article [00:30:00] is creating network of smart shareholders like Hassan just mentioned right there. This idea that you can actually get shareholders to invest in your company. But then also work for free for you is actually pretty novel and I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t have not done a deal if an advisor is not an investor, the deal, the way I look at it is your inviter advisors should also be small investors as well.
That’s the way we looked at the structure of that because that’s what other investors look at credible. It makes the credible story better. So we made our advisor be an investor as well. Yeah, it’s interesting because it’s sort of like flies in the face of all these funding platforms like our crowded start engine where.
You’re really not getting much support from those investors. Uh, but if you can get some smart investors, some smart shareholders, uh, it can make all the difference. Recently, Michele and I, uh, just sold a company to GoDaddy, and that company started in 2012. Uh, we had to raise 7 million in 30 days to win the rights to the, [00:31:00] uh, license for the domain extension club, club.
And club is an alternative to com, net, org. And I reached out to my LinkedIn contacts. We did the private place memorandum, filed the red deed, did all that kind of stuff. Filed with local states, that kind of stuff too. Um, and we reached out and we were able to, uh, 46 contacts. I was able to, uh, sign up 27 investors.
And what’s cool about it is these investors wouldn’t didn’t just sign up to be part of dot club. A number of them started buying dot club domains. They promoted dot club. They connected us with distributors. Uh, they gave us, uh, a lot of them would give advice. Sometimes the advice can be a little bit frustrating because, you know, you’re almost like you’re being harassed.
But, um, that sort of comes with the territory. But we had a now a network of shareholders that were help was, was it right there to help us [00:32:00] succeed. To help us find the next funding or to help us get the next distribution channel. So I can’t underestimate how important a network of shareholders can be.
There is some work involved in having shareholders and managing expectations and managing shareholders. But when you do. Uh, if you are able to get them to a certain point or manage them correctly, you could, you’d be surprised at how, how much, you know, somebody invests 25, 000 or 50, 000 in your company, how much work they’ll do because they believe in your vision and they believe in the company and their shareholders and, uh, some of the shareholders, uh, that did invest in the company are mentors of mine.
And again, included in the book, we have many of them, um, many, uh, of, uh, the individuals who, who helped. Uh, launch all the companies I’ve done in my past. Many of them have been quoted in the book as well. And I really do appreciate the advice and the help that I’ve received from all of those members.[00:33:00]
Michele, what do you think about shareholder management and how do you, how do you attack your shareholder base? I mean, it can be difficult, right? So for us, we always try to keep actually a very open line of communication and, you know. Not all money is the same. I’m going to say that Colin, right? Like there might be a shareholder or, you know, that wants to give a lot of money, but I think we still need to really think about, can they help move the business further, or are they going to be constantly bombarding you with emails or phone calls every other, you know, month asking you, when are you going to break even?
When are you going to break even, right? It could be a real drag. So I think we have to be careful. Especially in the beginning who we take on as shareholders. Is it a mutual benefit for both of you? Right? Of course, you know, at that stage, you probably need money, but you have [00:34:00] to be, I think, look at it with a critical eye and know that, um, They understand your style, right?
Your management style and your goals a so there’s a lot of transparency there and that you can have the difficult conversations when things are not going well, you can have that conversation with them. And, um, come to kind of, you know, respectful, meaningful output, right? Not just somebody just yelling and screaming at you.
I’m not saying that’s not going to happen. Cause if you mess up, I’m going to just say, we might deserve that. I know I’ve deserved it at times, but if it happens, you know, you want to know that they’re on your same page, that they can give you, you know. Let’s just say good advice, not just emotional advice.
That’s, that’s what I think about that, Colin. They’re not all the same and, and the more strategic they are and understand the business, I think the better it is for everybody.[00:35:00]
Yeah, I’m with you on that. And again, if you’re in the audience and you have an idea. of how to get some free support, talking free here, F R E E. How do we get free support to help increase our chances for startup success? Uh, and then there was a study also done around incubators. Uh, again, we have that in the book.
I don’t have it handy right now. But it, by being in the incubator, it did increase your chances of success dramatically as well. SCORE came out with a study, it increased it by three times. Uh, it’s unbelievable how you can get these free resources. Absolutely free. And, um, and they increase your chances of success.
I’m actually, to me, it’s, it’s, I’m amazed that people don’t utilize more of these free resources, that people don’t join Clubhouse, you know, do what Hassan’s done there and try to [00:36:00] figure out. You know, how do I do this? What would be the best thing I can do? How, you know, what’s the best way I can get fund government funding or what’s the best way I can do that asking questions, joining, coming on stage, being part of the community of clubhouse.
I think that itself is in itself, uh, its own category is just connecting it, you know, through social networking. I actually do like the audio chat very well because the audio chat people tend to get a little more in depth versus just sort of a shallow one minute. You know, TikTok or, or, or LinkedIn posts that you might receive, not to say that you shouldn’t join startup clubs on LinkedIn, we have one ourselves, LinkedIn, uh, if you search startup underscore HQ on LinkedIn or Twitter, then you can connect with our startup club as well via those channels, and they’re useful to get the little quick hits, but I do think audio chat is something that is, uh, making a lot of progress and, There’s a [00:37:00] new app called Entree.
We’ve begun to play with it a little bit. It’s for entrepreneurs. It’s relatively new. It’s more of a, um, it’s more like a, uh, like a zoom than a pure audio, but we think there’s a lot of promise with that app as well. And, you know, we’re, we actually set up startup club, set up a channel, a community. They just launched communities a couple of months ago.
We haven’t really done a lot there. We do intend to pick up our. Efforts over on that app, but that’s one to check out as well. It’s called Entree E. N. T. R. E. Is that the right spelling? Michele? I believe it. Yeah, I believe so. It’s like the first few letters of entrepreneur. Actually, E. N. T. R. E.
All right, so that’s another way social media, right? So there we is like, I mean, just connecting into clubhouse. Um, just doing, I have one, I have [00:38:00] one, can I go, yeah, you’re up next. All right. So I believe, you know, a lot of us are in tech or just, you know, industries that are changing very quickly, marketing, whatever it is.
So I’m going to say just, you know, looking at there’s, I think there’s never been a better time for this in history. Colin is always keeping your skills up to date. And there are so many free universities, so, you know, Google, you know, all these, you know, TEDx, but very, you know, even like Harvard. And, uh, you know, big top name universities that offer free courses.
And I especially am thinking about this because I’m thinking about AI and gosh, how would you have experience in this? It’s new, right? For heaven’s sakes. It’s new. So for me, I think these free, like [00:39:00] Corsair, I think that’s how you say it, course era, these types of platforms. There’s no excuse, I think, for most of us to not, like, be able to at least follow technology, follow trends, just educate ourself and keep up on skill sets so we don’t fall behind, because I can’t think of anything worse, Colin, than to be, you know, let’s just say like an ostrich and be developing something maybe that is a technology thing.
Just to find out, like, oh, my gosh, uh, you know, it’s already out there and I was going about it the entirely wrong way. So I’m going to say really continuous learning by using all the free resources that are out there now to keep. To help us stay up to date. Yeah. And actually I just want to confirm that, um, score did say a men, um, let me give you the exact quote.
Entrepreneurs who work with a mentor are [00:40:00] three times more likely to stay in business, but we’re not talking about 10% chance, more 20% more we’re talking about three times. And the mentor services they offer are absolutely free. Um, I had to go back in my notes and see that because that’s actually part two of the article.
We had part one come out this week and we’ve got part two coming up next week. Sorry, I’m coughing. I didn’t mean to cough there. I don’t know what’s going on. But, um, but that’s something to check out and we did a really Great episode last week. I know it’s posted on startup club for score, but I’m not I think it’s in the podcast channel by now Do you know if it is yet?
Right now why you why you talk I’m gonna check that out. That’s a And we get in that session we get into a lot of detail about you know How they’re involved and you know someone actually [00:41:00] from clubhouse came on stage. I think Stefan Up, you talked about these there experiences. It’s, it’s, that’s up. So it’s in the podcast channel.
It is up there on the website as, um, uh, you know, transcripts, video, and a blog. And in podcasts it’s under the title, free Mentorship for Startups. And that is a conversation with Bridget Weston, who is the, um, c e O of score. Wow. Thank you. Hey, Daniel, you got, uh, you gotta add, throw some, throw something else in there.
Yeah, Colin. Sorry about that. I didn’t know if my mic was going off at all. I wanted to, uh, just, uh, I knew that Michele’s doing moderating, but I did see a question from Ty in the chat, which I think would be helpful to speak to for your experience. It was the question of, do you have a tip on how to solicit and attract an advisor?
So the question could go to either yourself or Michele. So, like, you’re talking a lot about a group of advisors and a network of smart shareholders. And [00:42:00] I think that, uh, in. Not necessarily in theory, but like that would be something that would be really helpful to get started in, but for some people who might be even kind of scared on pitching their investment or pitching their startup, how do you, how would you recommend for them to go about possibly asking a first advisor or is there a specific, I would say, characteristics that you think would be most beneficial in an advisor?
I think a lot of it comes from networking and you could be networking through clubhouse. You could be networking through. Um, uh, you know, through an incubator or through a cohort, uh, you know, you often find angel investors. Um, some of them may, may even be hesitant to invest, but. They actually, um, but they’d actually, they like the concept and so they might want to be on your advisory board just to see how things go and if things are going well, then they’ll throw a pile of money at it.
Uh, I do [00:43:00] know that, you know, the way I’ve been approached, it’s, it’s generally people have known me and it’s, I mean, it’s hard to do a cold call. I, I agree with you there. Like, if you’re just picking up the phone and say, hey, I’m running this business and, you know, I want you to do an advisor. You know, You might start with, Hey, I have a concept I’d like to share with you.
Is this, is there, and get your feedback from you, you know, and that’s even sometimes the case when you’re approaching an angel investor, you just say that as well and just try to get feedback from them. Michele, do you have any thoughts on this topic? And you know, how bring in angel investors do, I mean, it’s amazing how everything, yeah.
It’s amazing how everything kind of feeds into itself, right? Yet that’s another reason for being part of an incubator or a, um, you know, a co-working space because that’s a great place, you know, to meet. People right to be an [00:44:00] advisor what I can’t think of a better way than than, for example, if I was at the Levin incubator program, then to have met someone who is very, um, been giving me advice have been giving me suggestions on my project and who’s very aware of what I’m doing to ask to be.
You know, on my strategic advisory board, right at that point, you know, who they are. They know who you are. So I say even more the reason to be in these mentoring groups or these networking groups to be in incubators, especially I’m going to say, I have heard of people. I know people they looked and seeked.
Uh, incubators that were specialized in their verticals. So we met some people, you know, that did that from Procter Gamble. They were in their pitch competition. And they met advisors [00:45:00] by being, for example, in an incubator. Specifically focused on health technology, for example. So that’s, yeah, great, great way to meet the right advisor.
A good friend of mine just sold his company also, and he, what he did is, he would actually connect with some of his largest customers. Um, often he’d find customers, people at trade shows, industry experts. You know, when you’re out there selling your technology or your product or your service, you’re connecting with people.
And you’ll be surprised at how many people who you connect with who’ve got a lot of experience, uh, and would be happy to, uh, become an advisor for your company, especially if they believe your vision or they or they are a, um, or they are a customer and they’ve been actively using your product or service.
Uh, and that’s that [00:46:00] I just I’m thinking of this particular case because his advisory board really helped him build that company and, uh, make and ultimately, um, deliver on a successful exit if I. Yeah, and his was, yeah, based on mostly stock compensation upon an exit as well for what, how he compensated them.
But sometimes within your industry, if you can connect with those industry experts, uh, at a trade show, those, you know, those type of places. I think first networking, get to know them, and then make the ask. I think that would probably be the best idea.
Now, I was thinking about earlier, Michele, when we were talking about… The score, um, show that we did last week and how valuable it was, I began to think that there are actually about 100 and 15 or so. I actually don’t know the number, [00:47:00] maybe you could let me know, but 115 of these shows that we put out in podcasts, and you can get into any of them at your favorite podcast channel, and we have invited on so many serial entrepreneurs, authors, experts, onto these shows.
That I think if you were to listen to even half of them, you could get an MBA in entrepreneurship. Now some of the authors we brought on were authors like Jeffrey Moore, who wrote Inside the Tornado and Crossing the Chasm. And what a phenomenal guy that he came on. He was considered to be one of the best authors in the 1990s when it came to technology adoption.
He actually reinvented the technology adoption curve. And we, we, we realized how special he was when the Harvard, uh, professor came on, uh, Thomas Eisman, uh, and he came on and told us his favorite author was Geoffrey Moore. He didn’t know we had already had him on the show. We’ve had, um, [00:48:00] billionaires on this show as well, like Babin Turkay, who started two unicorns.
I thought that was really cool and really tried to understand what his secret sauce was, his secret formula. Again, all these shows are free. We don’t even have advertisements on our shows. It’s all about people coming and giving back. We’ve had on Joe Foster, the founder of Reebok. We’ve had him on. He’s come in.
He’s an interesting guy. He just pops in the show once in a while. You know, on this, on this clubhouse, it’s, it’s funny, like the people you can talk to. Uh, in Clubhouse about six months ago, and, uh, there were about 100 people, 200 people in the room, and, uh, Kevin O’Leary, Mr. Wonderful from Shark Tank was on, and I popped in the room, raised my hand, got on stage, and one minute later, I’m talking to him.
About, um, you know, about, uh, hiring people and, and, and topics that he, you know, we were talking about during that session, but it’s just fascinating the people you can connect with the people you can hear on this [00:49:00] app. And, uh, and I know that early on a lot of early on people say, oh, it was amazing how you could be so intimate and you can talk to.
This VC or that VC and, um, there’s still that, it’s still there today. Uh, maybe it’s not as prevalent as it used to be, but there is still there today. And, uh, I’ve met a number of people, a number of friends on this app. Uh, I’ve met, uh, a number of people who are in the venture capital industry on this app.
And I think it’s pretty cool that the app’s free and all these speakers come on and it’s absolutely free. We’re not even talking about paying for a masterclass here. You have got 120 phenomenal episodes on, uh, on, on serial entrepreneur secrets revealed and it’s absolutely free. And I guarantee if you listen to at least half of those, you’ll have an, you’ll have more than an MBA, you know, entrepreneurship, Michele, what are you, what were your, some of your favorite episodes?
All right. Some of my favorite episodes. Well, I’m, I’m going to say, [00:50:00] um, one of my favorite episodes was one of the very first ones that we did actually. It was a Yosef Martin and he did, um, you know, had an amazing exit and he did a beauty, you know, subscription box. Right. And just learning from him. A half billion, right?
He sold over a half billion dollars. Crazy, crazy story. I mean, this guy did everything. He started from nothing, right. And worked his way all the way, growing this company, just an amazing story. And just hearing somebody who was just very down to earth, talk about how he came up with the formula. Right. How he came up with what would work, uh, everything that he went through him and his team to do that was really just fascinating to me.
This is a very, you know, a direct, candid person. [00:51:00] And I, I thought that was a really particularly powerful show for me to hear somebody, you know, with that success, talk about it. I mean, and he ended up as, as we know, basically putting, I would say that whole business model, you know,
I think he really, like, changed the industry in a way, Colin. Yeah, what’s interesting about each show is it really is a theme. And what he, what his secret sauce was really all about how to work with influencers. And he walks us through that. We had another gentleman on, a 19 year old. Um, I don’t know if you remember him, 19 year olds.
And I’m trying to search for it right now. I can’t remember his name. But who, what did he do? TikTok, TikTok, the TikTok girl, Adam. Thank you. And he came up with, so if you wanted to do a viral video, he says, this is the formula to do this [00:52:00] viral video. And it was, it was Catch. I got, it’s all from memory here, but it is in the book.
If you want to cheat and you don’t want to listen to hundreds of hours of podcasts, you can just buy the book, Start, Scale, Exit, Repeat, which comes out October 3rd, but you can pre purchase it now and pre sale. But, uh, his was Catch. And I just the box was, uh, box, called Boxy Charm. And now you’re talking about Adam had T.
Adam had T. It was catch something. Wow. What was it? Do you remember? Yeah, I’m going to tell you what it is in a second. Keep going. I’m looking for it right now. You can see when it comes to clubhouse, we can be a little bit, you know, informal and just bounce ideas around. Uh, the other question a second ago, you said how many episodes we’ve had, we have, this is, I think the 117th episode is what I see.
Oh, wow, that’s pretty cool. Yeah.[00:53:00]
Yeah. And, uh, he’s got, he’s got billions of views on his, um, on his stuff. And we’re actually talking about using him to help do a product for pod. com, uh, which is interesting product. It’s a sleeper over a crate. And we invented this, you know, you put it on top of a crate, but instead of having your dog in your bed or on your couch, they can actually be on top of the crate.
And so we invented this product, and it’s coming out in 30 days, and we’re talking about, oh, what would be the best way to get a viral video? And we’re thinking, oh, let’s just call up Adam again, right? So, it’s interesting how it all connects, you know, it all comes around, goes around. Uh, if you can get those three phrases, Michele, that would be good.
Catch something wow. Uh, catch, keep, wow. I got it. I memorized it from memory. Catch, keep, wow. That’s what I like about these things, if they’re really short and succinct and you can really remember them. You know, you gotta catch them within the first third of a second. You got to keep them [00:54:00] and then you got to wow them at the end with something.
And he’s had videos that are in the millions and millions of views. And, uh, he shared his secrets with us. You know, a couple other ones, John Mullins, who wrote customer funded startup. I mentioned him earlier today. He wrote, did a great, um, session on how you actually raise money without giving away equity, but raise it from your customers.
And there are a lot of tips and tricks that he shared with us. We had Vern Harnish. Vern Harnish is the founder of EO and he’s quoted multiple times in the book as well. He came on twice on this show and he talked about, um, Uh, core values and what the importance of core values and how that can affect or impact your startup.
Manny Onam. This is a cool story. He was on a boat a month ago, a month and a half ago, and we actually have an upcoming Forbes article about him. Manny Onam. It’s very hard to pronounce his last name, but he’s [00:55:00] from Africa. He came to the United States and, uh, set out a BHAG, a Big Hairy Audacious Goal, uh, to give away 10 million pairs of shoes.
And over, um, and he wanted to do that and it took him 19 years to achieve that. And he’s going to cross over, I think on October 20th, 20, yeah, October 20 story. Yeah. It’s Samaritan’s feet. A nonprofit organization, and it’s just such an inspiring and amazing story. And this guy is really an entrepreneur as well.
He’s, he’s actually been an innovator in, in shoes, and he is also going to off start offering a commercial version of the shoes that literally have saved people’s lives in ways that you can’t even imagine. And until you hear him. And also some of our best episodes have been people from the community [00:56:00] who just come on stage and share, we throw a topic out there like we did today and people come on and share.
We’ve done that with AI. Um, we’ve done that with, uh, catching waves, like catching the, you know, your big opportunity or how do you, how do you ride the wave of a new trend? Uh, and, uh, we’ve covered so many great topics, and I, and we’re really going deep here and talking about this because it’s been quite a journey.
We’ve had a, a number of episodes and so many great speakers that you don’t often, you don’t always have to pay thousands or tens of thousands of dollars for a master class, but to simply pick and choose where you listen and learn. And it’s absolutely free. And I know the book does cost some money. But if you really want it all presented in one very cool way, you can get a copy of the book, Start, Scale, Exit, Repeat.
Uh, we just got an advance copy today, Michele did. [00:57:00] And, Michele, what are your thoughts? I mean, that’s the first time you ta I haven’t seen it, I’m actually in a different location. But that’s the first time you’ve seen the book, and I know you put a lot of work in illustrations, design, and whatnot. But I just wanted to get your impression of that.
I mean, you know, maybe I’m biased admittedly, but it’s amazing. I’m so excited. You know that people are going to be able to benefit from it. And like Colin said, like a lot of the content came from members of the club to people that we met on a startup club. We actually met Joe Foster from Reebok on startup club on clubhouse.
So it’s beautiful. It’s actually available to, um, it’s going to be available as a Kendall and we’re going to be doing some cool promos. So, you know, everybody should, you know, keep. Keep their ear to the ground for that and join, you know, if you like the email list, but it’s, it’s, I’m looking at it and I really think it is like a [00:58:00] resource.
I can see professors and, you know, organizations using it actually calling in addition to, you know, reading it, right? Like, cause we all like to learn. Obviously we’re here that shows that, but I think also it could be a phenomenal resource for, um, you know, professors. Yeah, 30 years as a serial entrepreneur, 10 years writing the book, over 200 interviews, uh, conducted in order to put together this book, uh, it is really a compilation of what it takes to start, scale, exit, repeat.
It really does try to crack the code. And that’s what this show does every Friday, two o’clock Eastern. You’ve Tilburg, I’m Colin C. Campbell. Thank you very much, Daniel, for coming on stage and coming into the incubator. Appreciate Kyle for your help as well and everything you do at Startup Club. And we’ve got Mimi [00:59:00] Ostrander who writes the blogs over at Startup.
Club. And I know they’re very, very short and to the point. And then we’ve got our marketing, uh, staff as well. Um, Olivia, uh, who works out of Chicago and we’ve got some staff in Philippines supporting the club, almost 1 million members strong. You haven’t already done. So please join the club. We will see you next week, two o’clock Eastern.
Come, come, come over next week and join us on stage and share in the conversation. Thank you. Thank you everyone. And be well.