Colin C. Campbell’s 4 Sticky Note Business Plan

Starting and scaling a business is no easy feat, but serial entrepreneur Colin C. Campbell has a simple framework that can set entrepreneurs up for success. His “4 Sticky Note Business Plan” aims to help entrepreneurs focus their strategy into the key elements needed for any successful startup.

“Less is better when we’re trying to come up with our personal business plan.”

Colin C. Campbell

The core of Campbell’s plan revolves around outlining your business on just 4 sticky notes, with each sticky note focused on one area: Story, People, Money, and Systems. The “Story” sticky defines your business idea, target customers, and competitive edge. “People” focuses on who you need on your team, “Money” projects how much capital you need to hit key milestones, and “Systems” lays out the key data to track performance. Campbell stresses the importance of setting clear “stage gates”, or a timeline for when you’ll revisit your metrics to decide whether to continue forward or make a change.

Condensing your business plan onto just 4 sticky notes may seem simplistic, but Campbell believes that constraint is the key. As he states, “Less is better when we’re trying to come up with our personal business plan.” Limiting yourself to the core elements prevents you from getting overwhelmed by lengthy traditional business plans. However, Campbell notes you should still vet and refine your 4 sticky note plan with trusted advisors rather than keeping the planning private. Leveraging the wisdom of others can greatly strengthen your business strategy.

For entrepreneurs looking to simplify their strategy so they can start executing on their ideas faster, Campbell’s framework may be just the right springboard. Listen to the full conversation above! 

  • Read the Transcript

    You’re listening to Serial Entrepreneur Secrets Revealed, and it’s an interesting show today because we are literally doing a marathon. Just completed a show, and I was being interviewed, the author of Start, Scale, Exit, Repeat, was being interviewed by Chat GPT, and it was absolutely fascinating. We learned a lot from that.

    So you might, if you’re listening to some podcasts, you might want to go back and just check out that interview. I think we might be the first author to have ever been interviewed by Chat GPT. So I don’t know. I mean, obviously there might be someone else who’s done that, but definitely were the first author who has ever been interviewed on Clubhouse.

    Live by chat GPT and I think overall it was a success The last show, Michele, what do you think? I thought it was really cool. And I love the idea that you had to do that. Like, I, I guess I wasn’t knowing what to expect. Um, I would say it turned out better than I thought. So I think we should try it again.

    Actually, you know, we were talking about how we could have made it better because that’s kind of how it is with, um, AI. And I think we, we learned a few things about, um, prompt engineering, especially as it applies to interviews like this. Yeah, Augustine, uh, I know you, I saw you in the room as well, and I’m just curious, uh, uh, what your thoughts were on it, because that was a very interesting interview, wasn’t it?

    Like, and we didn’t know where we were going with it. What are your, what are your thoughts on that? I thought it was very interesting. I was really intrigued, especially, you know, you got cut off twice by, uh, our AI friend. Um, I did like the approach. Um, I didn’t see the human side of it a hundred percent, but then again, that in our conversations sometimes lets us go off on a tangent.

    The AI kept you. Focus on what it thought that it needed to ask you, uh, based on the feedback that you gave. Now, the one thing that I’ve learned, uh, playing around with AI sometimes is for me to drive the conversation, I will go ahead and then throw sort of like a open ended question back to the AI. When I’m almost done saying my thought.

    So then it has to think because throughout the whole process you’re talking to to it. It’s already filtering the information. So maybe that’s something we could play around with for a 2nd type session. Maybe. See how you could drive the conversation and how the AI flips around, but overall great points.

    And then the summary of each of the points based on the information you provided was, you know, perfect. I really appreciated that. Thank you. Yeah, maybe, maybe we’ll get her to interview you because it was a little stressful, I have to say. Um, but yeah, I think if we prompt engineered it to say, hey, be more playful in the questions, be more tough.

    Uh, be like a CNN or a Fox News interviewer. Uh, you know, don’t hold back. I wonder if it would have been a very different type of interview. Uh, we gave it no prompts and it seems to be just very agreeable in its approach. So we, we, you know, what we’re talking about right now, if you’re entering the room or just listening to us as we.

    We just completed a, an interview with chat GPT it’s, it’s, it’s, if you’re listening to podcasts, it’s going to be on the, the prior podcast. Um, and it was interesting. It was just a fascinating experiment in history of how, and by the way, it was very cool. The fact that she could even become an interviewer and play that role was good.

    And I actually think there could be applications here for a lot of startups. You know, imagine doing a. Pitch practice session with an AI. Imagine, you know, you’re, you’re coming on a podcast and then most cases we don’t often get the questions in advance, but you want to practice and you simply say practice.

    There was someone who reached out to me last week who talked about, um, using them as a CEO coach. Using the AI as a coach to help them think about, was that you shadow? I can’t remember. I know shadow, you’re down, you’re in the audience or if you want to come up, but I can’t remember who it was, but someone was mentioning to me how they.

    I think it was you, Shadow, yeah, how, how this idea that you could maybe use it to prompt you to ask questions about your startup, right, to challenge you to sort of like, get you to think a little deeper around your startup. I think we’re on, this is like what, first of all, we’ve had a lot of conversations, a lot of sessions on AI, and I think we’re, you know.

    I think there’s a lot of opportunity, um, beyond just what we talked about in those sessions. We had like three sessions of how, um, AI can accelerate startups, and I’m actually writing an article for Forbes right now on that exact topic. But I almost wonder if it can go deeper. Like, we haven’t even begun to think about where it can go, Michele.

    And I know we’re going to get to the four sticky note business plan, but we just sort of came off this other interview, and it just seemed relevant. Yeah, absolutely. And, um, I think it would be fun to keep trying it again and try different types of prompts to figure out what works. Because here’s one thing I don’t know is how fast is quote the model.

    Evolving based on actual feedback as well. So, can we keep up with that evolution, so to speak, of the model? Or is it something that we can try to perfect? Like, I think there’s a lot to be learned here.

    Absolutely. And by the way, if you want to come on stage, we are very well, you’re very welcome to raise your hand, come on stage and talk about it. Today’s topic on serial entrepreneur secrets revealed is really all about a four sticky note business plan. And this is chapter 15 in the book. Start, scale, exit, repeat.

    And we’re going to talk about that. Like we do a session now. Uh, in our cohort at NSU Allen Levin Center, and I am the one who opens the cohort up. The cohort’s made up of generally about 11 to 12, maybe 14 people, and it’s absolutely free. Uh, you have to, I think they, they used to do virtual, but now they’re going physical, but don’t panic if you’re not in South Florida, because every, um, community, major city, uh, Toronto, New York, LA, San Francisco, all have these cohorts, they’re free.

    You would be surprised at how much. Resource is and how many people are out there to help you. So we open the cohort up and we open it up with what makes a startup successful. And we brainstorm that we go through that and actually love that exercise. I think I think we should do a show just on that.

    It’d be interesting to be interesting to. Oh, that would be another thing. It’d be interesting to invite. Chat GPT as a, is a member of the community on clubhouse to give, you know, we can, uh, we can all answer the question. Then she jumps in and gives us her opinion. But in any case, uh, the second thing we do is we build a business plan in literally.

    Under 30 minutes. Now, why sticky notes? Sticky notes are sticky. You can stick them on the board, and you can remain focused. They’re also small, so less is better when we’re trying to come up with our personal business plan. You’ve probably heard of a traditional MBA business plan. Once this is, I’m not going to, I’m not doing a little reading from the book.

    And by the way, the audible and the audio books has Robert Graham reading the book and he’s absolutely phenomenal. And I’m telling you, I could never have come as close to him. Uh, when it comes to reading the book, and he, uh, actually, when I was listening to him, I was like, Oh, my gosh, this guy sounds really smart.

    Uh, I didn’t even think it was me, but you’ve probably heard of a traditional MBA business plan once that once with a fancy SWOT analysis. And market share potential with aggressive targets that happen to be only 0. 001 percent of an addressable market generating millions or even billions of dollars over the next few years.

    I’m not saying you don’t want to put that plan together when raising money to scale, but at this stage, we can have a greater impact by figuring out our strategy. In a more simplified way. And then I talk about why use sticky notes, which we’ve already talked about already. In fact, you could probably take your four sticky note business plan and pop that into chat GPT.

    In fact, we registered the domain businessplanai. com and we are working on, uh, at Startup Club, a free business plan AI generator. But we also want to include a four sticky note business plan. So you can have one four sticky note business plan for yourself, and then you can put that’ll automatically convert into a business plan, AI.

    com. That’ll, that’ll, that’ll, that’s something we’re trying to work on as a free service for startup club. Look, we really want to help out. We really want to make Startup Club the place where you can go to help you launch your startup. All right, so let’s jump right into it, Michele, on the four sticky notes.

    Highlight multicolors, lay out four sticky notes. There’s two types of sticky notes. You can get the really small ones and you get, you can get the ones that are a little bit larger. And I often recommend use the, just use the ones that are a little bit larger, uh, Michele, you’ve seen the four sticky note.

    I’m going to change headphones because I realized I don’t have to go on speaker phone anymore because I have, I’m not talking to chat GPT. I’m going to add some, uh, better headphones, but what are your thoughts on the four sticky note plan? You’ve seen it in action before, which is high level. Yeah, I mean, for me, okay.

    I, I love the idea of it being the size of a sticky note because it really forces us to focus and only, you know, only, only deal with what we think is critically important. That’s the whole objective here. We’re not saying, you know, buy the smallest needle size pen that you can get and write as much as you want.

    The whole objective is to help you only focus. And get a lot of clarity, I would say around what you need to do in the beginning of the business or, or for it actually doesn’t have to just be a new business. It could be, you know, an existing business. It also is a way a method. If you’re doing this with a group of people, like your employees.

    Or other executives, whatever it is, even your team could use this, right? There’s no reason that a team within a company couldn’t have their own business plan as well. That supports the company objectives, but it really is an opportunity to get, um, you know, common mindset agreement. As well as clarity.

    Colin. Yeah. Yeah. I’m not having, I’m not having any luck with the headphones. Sorry about that. Hope it’s okay. I’m in the podcast studio here and hopefully it’s still very clear. Um. Yeah, absolutely. You look, it’s, it’s a simple thing to do. And, you know, I know that entrepreneurs typically go by their instincts, you know, what is the saying?

    We, um, we fire, aim, shoot, or whatever, I can’t remember what it is exactly, but that’s the reality. We, we, you know, we really do need to aim first. A little bit of thought. I’m asking for one half hour of your time to think about your business plan. All right. If you have the book, it’s a lot easier to read this.

    It’s on page one 25 on the physical book. I’m not, I think the, uh, the eBooks are a little bit different. Um, but it’s, uh, so if you look at the table of contents, it’s chapter 15, the four sticky note business plan. All right, so let’s talk about the first sticky note. This is the one that’s, it’s, it’s called story.

    So we have four sticky notes, four different colors, one story, one’s people, one’s money, and one’s systems. Uh, and on story, the first thing we’re going to want to do is say what our business is. Okay. You can do it in three or four words. That’s, that’s ideal. You can succinct it. And by the way, when you’re in an elevator, it’s like the elevator test, right?

    What is our business? Well, what is startup club, Michele? Let me put you on the spot. Okay. Oh, this is a great idea. Oh, I didn’t even think of it till now. I’m worse than chat. I’m going to make you do the fourth. So what is the, what is the, the, the, the startup club? What is that? What is the, the, the business?

    Okay, hold on here. Talk about getting me on spot. No, no. So I’m going to say, so, all right, so I’m going to, you’re asking me, what is the mission of startup business? What is the concept? Somebody says to you, what is startup club? What is it? All right. So I’m going to tell you, startup club is a community.

    Where we help every stage, uh, every, all right, hold on. Oh, you’re getting, I think, I think you’re there. You’re like 90%. All right. So, so startup club is a community that helps all components or are all parts of the ecosystem of a startup. To grow and learn. All right. So the second thing, Michele, we’re going to want to do is, is when I want to identify the purpose, you know, why do you love it?

    Why does it exist? What is this mission? The purpose? Why startup club? Why are you doing this, Michele? Maybe I’m going to, I know it’s both of us might have a slightly different answer and Mimi, you might have a slightly different answer and Kyle. He might have a slightly different answer, but why, Michele, why are we doing startup club?

    Well, why are we doing it? We’re doing it to give back Um for us it is a very, you know philanthropic thing We want to give back and help others get their realize their dreams And I think I remember chat gpt came up with a good motto fuel your startup journey It really is something that we believe in that can make a difference in this world.

    And I believe we’ve been very successful in our career, Michele and I launching and starting companies and, and whatnot. And I believe that information should be shared with everyone. That’s why we did the book, start scale, exit, repeat. That’s why we do startup club. Almost 1 million members. It’s a community.

    And what’s amazing about it is I have learned so much from Augustine and from shadow and from so many different people who’ve come on stage and shared. And so many different people we’ve interviewed and it’s just been incredible. So I love, I love the purpose. It’s really about helping startups fuel their, their startup journey.

    I mean, maybe I’m starting to simplify you, simplify it for you, Michele. All right. So the next thing we’re going to want to do, Michele and Mimi and Kyle is we’re going to want to own the space. What’s we’re going to. Find that space. What space do we want to own? And sometimes we might put a geo behind this.

    My wife and I own a school in Fort Lauderdale. So the space that we want to own when someone goes to type in it. Something on Google. We want to pop up on the first page of Google. The space we want to own is, uh, best Fort Lauderdale Montessori school and best. It comes from the fact we are rated the number one on great schools dot org.

    Uh, and there is quite a lot of competition in the city amongst private schools, but we are rated number one. And the fact is, uh, We are a Montessori school, and so we target, we don’t want to say we’re the best school. You know, you don’t want to say you’re the, you want to really begin to think long tail a bit here.

    If you’re number two on the second page of Google, your traffic drops 95, 98 percent. So what is it going to take to get you on the first page of Google? What are the, what is the space you want to own? So with respect to Startup Club, Michele, What is the space that you want to own for startup club on Google?

    Yeah, the space we want to own is, you know, again, it comes back to a community of, um, startups and entrepreneurs learning and educating. I guess that’s the same, but yes. I love it. Coming together to help each other. So if you’re, if you’re to put five key words on Google, what, what, what would, what would make Startup Club pop up on the front page?

    I would say, yeah, go ahead. Maybe we should add Mimi into the conversation. I’m just joking. . I know Mimi is, I’m putting you on the spot. Right. But we never planned this. You can tell we’re, we’re doing this ad hoc, but we like it. It’s live and, and we like it ’cause we’re, we’re really trying to learn like what it is that you need to put on your first sticky note.

    So if someone types in something on Google. Um, so they might type in something like start a business or, but that’s too big. Right. That’s a hard one. Well, it’s really about like, like we were saying a community. Of entrepreneurs connecting and learning. I know, but does someone type that in Google? That’s just what I want.

    Everybody. Okay. Start up. All right. So what would I type? What would I type? I would type in, um, I, I actually would type in startup help or start. I would be looking for personally, I think I would be looking for, um. Content, right? So startup podcast might be one that’s content. Startup blog, um, entrepreneur club, startup club, things like that, community and content.

    Augustin, help me out here. She’s getting slaughtered. I’m tired. All right, go. Augustin, please help me. Um, I would tend to think it’s, um, education community. So I’m like a one word person every time I want to do a certain search and I combine them. Uh, and then that should based on Google. Provide me with the top rated, given that they’re not paid.

    That’s the other issue that I have when I use Google at time. Um, so alternative to Google, sometimes I tend to play around with chat GPT that will give me interesting words based on my query. And then I use that to go into Google as well. Just a workaround. I’m not sure I answered your question a hundred percent, but I think.

    No, no, no, no. So I think. So here I go. Here I go. So here I go. How about this, Michele? Yes. How about this? How about this? Okay, so I just did it on Google. And don’t look at, don’t look on chat. gtp, you’re doing No, I didn’t need chat GBT for this. No, she’d cut me off twice. She’s done for today. Alright.

    Startup Club to help me start a business. I want to join a startup club to help me start a business. We’re number two on Google. I’m just telling you. So the club does come into it as well that I want to be part of something you were getting a you’re on to a community. But, you know, I think people might type in a startup club more than a community or a startup, you know, whatever.

    Well, that’s why I was saying for me, I think I would be typing in more around content. Like, I’m looking for. I like what you said, help starting a business like that, that startup club to help me start a business and we’re number two. Startup club is number two. Oh, okay. All right. That’s awesome. All right.

    So yeah, I think we’re sort of getting there. And I think if we really could pull it off, we would be on the first page for start a business. Okay, but we’re not quite there yet, so we’re looking for those entrepreneurs or those aspiring entrepreneurs that want to start a business and join a club. Yeah, which is a lot.

    I know that’s a lot more long tail, probably 1 percent of start a business, but we want to win. We want to be on the front page. You go. What is the space you want to own? Because if you’re on page 2, you lost it. Okay. All right, we have a new person here on the stage. Truth. All right, jump in if you want to add to this truth.

    Okay. Okay, that’s good. So we talked about what is your idea? What is your purpose, your why, your mission? What is the space you want to own? Who is the customer? Oh yeah, the profile of the customer. Wow, and we have to be careful with this one, Michele. Because sometimes it can be a little… Where were we the other day?

    We were in at HSN, right? Are we allowed to talk about that? Yeah, we can. The profile of their customer. I think it’s public, right? Yeah. Um, can you tell us the story about how we went to HSN last week and talk to them about their, right? I mean, I wouldn’t call it a profile. I call it a persona and marketing terms, but basic.

    Right. So, you know, when, when we’re starting a business or developing a product or even building a website, anything where you’re talking to a prospect or a current customer, thinking about really the future. You know what you’re building, what you’re saying from their point of view, um, instead of just talking at people, talking to them and trying to, you know, solve their problem.

    So basically we were lucky enough to get to do a private tour of the Home Shopping Network, HSN, um, here in Florida. So we were with the person who, uh, manages all the talent. So that’s sellers and hosts and everyone coming in preparing them for, you know, how do you come in and resonate with the audience, the TV audience.

    So they took us through their persona, which was amazing. Um, basically their persona person. Is, is a woman and they’re, you know, they know this, they do a lot, a lot of research. So this woman is typically, I might not have the age exactly right, but let’s just say it’s like 34, you know, to, to 64 around that age.

    They also spoke a lot about what. She is looking for, um, and what she is buying and what her habits are when she’s, um, you know, looking for products she’s looking for, you know, not to be, oh, you should buy this. You should do that more like examples of why the host likes the product. What problems, right?

    We always kind of go back to this. What problems. This product or service solves. So at a very high level, they know very, very closely by interviewing and, um, looking at a lot of data, how their customers, and that’s, uh, we’re talking the majority, I think, gosh, Colin, it was like over 90 percent what they.

    want to experience when they’re on the home shopping network. So not to be preached at or sold to, but to hear about the hosts and other people’s experience and how it’s solving a particular problem. Or maybe it’s not a problem because who can say that, you know, lipstick for example, or whatever is a problem, but how it might enrich their life and their daily life.

    Yeah, it’s and it’s interesting, like, just how they specific, I feel like this is sometimes a dangerous question because, you know, it’s like we’re stereotyping, right? And you don’t necessarily want to do that. Um, but you do want to do it. Okay. Because we have to, we do have to identify. So at paw. com. You know, the, we have a persona of a buyer who, um, is, is between the ages of, I think, 34 and 60.

    And she, because it happens to be a she, 80 percent of the buyers are she, for this particular product line. Um, But don’t get caught up on it. I mean, I do think it’s important to identify that persona. I know with the book, Start, Scale, Exit, Repeat, we were doing, uh, testing on Google and we found out that 18 to 34 year old, uh, aspiring entrepreneurs were the number one segment clicking on the ads.

    Right. So we now are a little bit, slightly younger profile, which is sort of, we thought that was the case. And, uh, that’s one of the reasons why, when we did the audible, we got Robert Graham, who’s a much younger person. It was actually a funny story, Augustine, because, uh, Dustin, sorry, because the, um. You know, he, he’s so young, he didn’t know some of the terms, like I said, I wrote diskette and he wrote diskeet.

    Like, there was just terms he had to come, we had to get him to change because he was so young, he didn’t know about those terms. I guess we, they’ve left the English language and, uh, that was a funny story. But our persona is really that aspiring entrepreneur between 18 and, and, uh, 34. This is not to say that someone who’s 50 or 60 years old wouldn’t pick up and read this book.

    And in fact, when I talk about cohorts or these, um, incubators that are free, I have had people who are 60 years old joining these ones at the college. So don’t, again, don’t think it’s just for college students. Please don’t. All right, let’s move on to, uh, after who is the customer. What is the X factor?

    Okay, this is something that developed a little bit of controversy in the development of this book because we were talking about whether or not we should even put this in the four sticky note business plan. You know, the X factor, let me explain what that is. Think Domino’s pizza, 30 minutes are free.

    Think national car rental. You just show up, you go to your car, Think Warby Parker, the way that they changed the way you buy glasses. We had a company called Hostopia. Hostopia in 2007, Um, let me tell you this story. Uh, we were a publicly traded company and we were told, I was the CEO of the company. We were told that we were going to lose the contract to Earthlink the day, the day before they were going to announce the results and our CTO, I grabbed my CTO.

    We jumped on a plane and we flew to Atlanta, land in Atlanta, go to the office. And we say, Hey, let’s take you out to lunch. We wanted to take out the mid level executive to lunch. And I asked him to, um, uh, yeah, so take my lunch. And then we said, well, I have a, I have a two seater car. It’s called a Wigo.

    It’s time. It’s like an early stage electric vehicle. So my CTO sat in the front, he drove and I sat in the trunk. So literally. You know, talk about do whatever it takes to make a deal happen, which happened to be another one of our phrases at that company. Um, but I sat in the trunk and we drove to the restaurant, got out, and we’re talking about the, um, the deal and what we were offering.

    And we said, well, I’ll tell you what, we’ll give you a 100 percent migration guarantee. See, in mid level executives at telecoms, the number one thing they’re worried about Is losing their job and migrations are the way these mid level executives lose their job. So when we said 100 percent migration guarantee, he’s like, wow, that’s amazing.

    Now, understand we didn’t just say it. We backed it up by saying, we’ll pay fair market value for every website you lose. Now they had 80, 000 websites. At the time and about a million email addresses will pay a fair market value. At the time was 350 per website, but I can’t imagine what would have happened if we had lost 80, 000 websites in a migration, but I can tell you this.

    We re engineered our entire organization. We had 200 programmers and systems analysts in Ukraine, uh, checking every. Single website manually on migration. We had the best software developed the best heuristics to do the migrations. We became the best in the world at migrations. And then we came out with a nearly unbearable brand promise, which was 100%.

    Migration guarantee. Well, you know what happened? We won that contract. Not only did we win that contract, we won AT& T. We won Vodafone. We won British telecom. We run, we won all the telecoms in South America, all the telecoms in Canada. We won the entire. market and put our competitors out of business because of an X factor.

    30 minutes or free Domino’s pizza. Do you think it was easy for them to re engineer their systems? National car rental. Do you think it was easy for them to do that? No. It’s not easy. We’re not talking about easy here. We’re talking about you doing something unique and different that nobody else does.

    Something that no one else does or can do. That you have an exclusive in the marketplace. I think of paw. com, where we have a number of places where we’ve innovated and invented new products. We, we pioneered the category of memory foam dog bed rugs. We trademarked and patented. The space we pioneered the category of waterproof blankets or protectors.

    We pioneered the category of memory foam, uh, car seats. Well, you know, we also did, we came out with vitamins. We have a million customers at paw. com. So we came out with vitamins. We’re saying, okay, why don’t we sell this? We can get 1%. That’s 10, 000 subscriptions. Well, guess what? We sold 37. Subscriptions, and I was one of them.

    Whenever we tried to copy, we failed. So what’s your X Factor? Yeah, it’s controversial to think you could pick it out, rate it from day one. You don’t need it day one. I want to be clear here. It took seven years for Hostopy to figure it out. You know, it took many, many years for most companies to figure out their X Factor.

    But when you figure that out, the dominoes will fall. There’s a company in, in, uh, Texas. They were a bakery and they sold cookies and they wanted to beat everyone else. Well, guess what? Every bakery that delivered cookies for birthdays or whatever it was, delivered them the same way and they delivered the same, the same coldness.

    So they said, you know what, why don’t we reinvent the system? They, they, they, they came out with a delivery truck. That delivered the cookies and cook them on the way to the customer. And they got the domain name, cookie delivery. com. That’s the next factor. You know, my team and I, we run another company in the incubator here called escape club.

    We had a strategic planning session. And in that strategic planning session, we’re talking about. Um, how we can come up with good ideas to improve the business. And you know what, quite frankly, the, you know, after an hour or two hours, that didn’t really work out two days later, I called the team back again.

    I said, I’m gonna ask you a different question this time. Cause we sort of failed at our strategic planning session. I’m gonna say, how can we. How can we have an X factor for our vacation rental business? And we came up with it. So we, we, we launched, uh, we have properties on North Captiva. We have five luxury homes and seven building lots on North Captiva, and we have properties in East in Fort Lauderdale.

    East Fort Lauderdale as well, but we’re, we’re focusing on North Captiva right now. And we said, okay, well, what can we do different that none of our competitors can do? And one person said, well, what if, what if we took the dock that we have and we made that available with the boat, the pontoon only to the five houses.

    And we said on the, on the sign, cause everybody does this island has no cars. It’s on golf carts and people drive around, zip around all around. And they’re all looking at all the houses and they’re all sort of a fun environment. And so what if we said what is only available for for the escape club homes and someone else said, Well, what if we actually put in a miniature golf course on one of our lots?

    We haven’t built yet, and we’ll make that only available for people who have Are renting our five luxury homes. Bing, Bing, Bing, Ding, Ding, Ding, whatever you call it. Boom. Oh my gosh, like, it began to trigger. You can come up with stuff that’s unique and different that nobody else has on the island. So we’re not talking about national stories here.

    We could be talking, and there’s only 300 homes on that island. Okay? We could be talking about little tiny Geo. What is it that you do differently in your Airbnb that nobody else does? That’s the x factor.

    Michele, you want to mod us here? I know Shadow’s up on stage too. We loved hearing from her. Yeah, let’s hear from some of the members. So, Shadow. Love to hear from you. I actually just had a question and it’s kind of a, go for it. No, no such thing as a rookie question here. What’s the difference between target audience and customer persona?

    Michele, you’re the expert. Yeah. So they are, they, they go together. So a target audience is who you’re trying to reach. Right. It’s more about the demographics of who you’re trying to reach, where the persona is digging in a level deeper. So you start with that target audience. Who is your target audience?

    And you could have, obviously, several target audiences like we have here on Startup Club. There’s people that want to start. Their own business, people that have started their own business. And I would say a third one is people that work for startups. And then for each one of those target audiences, it’s a deeper level about what they are, where they go, who they are, um, where do they consume media?

    How do they research for information about businesses? So they go hand in hand. shadows. So how do you get to the persona level? What data do you use? Okay, so typically that’s a, that’s a great question. Um, once you understand who that target is, there could be several personas within a target, right? So if you are saying, for example, I am, um, developing a software, let’s just say, and the software is to track website visitors.

    So then what you have to do is you just start inter, you know, talking to people, interviewing people, researching yourself, primary and secondary research, primary being you asking yourself, and then secondary, you just, for example, getting on the internet and searching. So then you figure out, Oh, there’s several types of people that need this kind of data.

    There’s developers. Okay, great. Why would a developer want to know? You know, website, you know, analytics. Well, they’re doing it because they want, um, you know, a friendlier. You know, uh, website that converts more. So they’re looking at things like what are the colors? Where’s the search located? Where is the price located?

    You start doing interviews with that person that let’s just say is a customer or a user of that data. Whereas in someone else. that would want to use that data is somebody in the IT department. Then you start talking to them. What is it that they are using it for? They’re using it because they need to, you know, figure out do they have enough bandwidth?

    Do they need another server? Um, is the uh, website maybe Performing fast enough during a search. So you really just start talking to people and peeling away the layers and seeing how those different groups in the target audiences, how they use your product or service, but the persona, you know, instead of just making it, let’s just say, uh, you know, A non personalized experience because I think the business is going to use this marketers are going to use it.

    Support should be using it. A designer for the website should be using it. So you’re putting a name and a face and humanity behind that target audience. I’m looking at it and I’m going, Oh, okay. Well, you know, um. Sally, who is the designer, you know, what are her hobbies? It goes beyond just like the job and looking at people just from a kind of a sterile point of view, but really kind of understanding, you know, who they really are as a person.

    What are their kind of, you know, interest that they have? Where did they go? And look for, you know, information because all of that is extremely insightful for, you know, us that are developing products and those that are marketing and whatnot. Yeah. Yeah. Let’s, let’s let shadow go. So shadow that’s, that’s what we’re talking about.

    Kind of sounds like as a writer, I might be something that I could unleash chat GPT on. Absolutely. Neat. Yes. Thank you. You bet.

    All right. So I wanted to, I know we’re running out of time now. So Stacia, I want to make sure we can finish the four sticky note plan here. And there’s one more thing on story I want to talk about, which is setting a stage gate. And a stage gate is a point in time where we’ve hit a specific goal or accomplishment.

    So. I like to use the example, a lot of you might remember a car racing games, you know, back in the day, Augustine and I, we’d have to put pop quarters into the machine. And, uh, so it was expensive. And so you had to be good real fast or else you’re going to lose your money, but you’d want to get to a certain point in time in the video game where you get extended time, you cross over and that.

    Is what I call a stage gate. There are multiple reasons to have a stage gate. You know, the first, I think, is really just to set a goal for yourself. And we want the stage gate to be smart, specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time bound. Okay, so Think about a particular time in the future. A day.

    Sometimes I joke around with the cohorts and I say, I want you to pick a day and a time of that day when you accomplish your goal. And at that point, you’re either going to if you hit it. You can scale it, move to the next step, raise money, etc. Uh, if you don’t hit it, you either pivot or kill it. Okay, this is something that you want to do and it happens.

    Um, one of the reasons why I think it’s important to have a stage gate is for your mental health. Okay, we want to give ourselves enough room to say, okay, in 120 days or on this day at this time, we’re going to have 10 customers. And if we don’t have 10 paying customers, then we’re going to either pivot or kill it.

    Okay. But we’re going to give ourselves enough time and lean leniency and even push off the naysayers in our life. Cause they’re everywhere and push them off and say, well, you know what, this is what I’m doing until this date. And if I don’t hit it, then you can be a naysayer. But until then you have, you have, you’re, you’re not allowed to talk to me.

    All right, you can also set this up for investors. Uh, we set this up with one company as a form of compensation for a CEO. You know, once you hit the first level, I think it was break even, then you get, your pay goes to whatever. And then once it went to, um, you paid off, um, no, once we had the next one was a million, we had a million in profit.

    Um, and then, uh, your pay went to X. And then the third one was you paid off all the debt, and then your pay went to X. Right. So it was a way of scaling at business partners, compensation as well. The stage gate is a, it’s a very interesting concept because it really sets the stage for success. And I often say you could also give bonuses to your employees and everyone around you, if you hit that certain stage gate, it also sets the stage for your investments.

    When you start to pitch your business, you say, we’re going to hit X by X. And guess what you do. And you go back to those 10 investors you pitched at in the past. And you say, we hit our, we hit our numbers. Now we’re raising money. It’s also a point in time where you’ve proven a concept at least at one level.

    And there’s many different, you know, there’s many different ways you can prove a concept. Then we want to. Then we want to set up the next three sticky notes, people, money and systems. And on people, what do I need? Sorry, who do I need? We have an error in the graphic on the book. Michele says, what do I need to launch people?

    I mean, you could say, why say. Who do I need to hit my first stage gate? Well, it seems a little bit off written. That’s just on the image, the graphic. But anyway, this is actually part of the original 1500 edition, which is selling out. I think it’s sold out today. So, uh, the next edition, uh, was being reprinted.

    But the point is, who do I need to hit my first stage gate? Under people, under money. How much money do I need to raise to hit my first stage gate? And by the way, do not underestimate that part. A lot of entrepreneurs just think, Oh, I could just get it out there and money will come and good things will happen.

    Listen to me. 82 percent of startups fail because they don’t have enough money to get to their first stage gate. Okay. We’re going to want to try to figure out how we’re going to fund the company to get to that first stage gate. Three months, six months, nine months, a year from now. Whatever that stage gate is.

    You can have the greatest story, the best systems, the greatest people, but if you do not have the money, and unfortunately, that is the case with a lot of startups, and in today’s environment, it’s much worse than it was a year ago, two years ago. Alright, and then under systems, we’re going to have KPIs.

    These are leading indicators. Uh, I do think you should look at KPIs that sort of measure business. You know, like for instance, in e commerce, we do ROAS. Return on ad spend. We do that daily. We used to, we never used to do that daily. Year and a half ago. And guess what happens, Michele, one of our companies, 80 percent ad spend.

    We found out during the holiday season, burn 300, 000. And the whole, you know, the reality is we didn’t even know what’s happening. We’re flying an airplane with no visibility. So we’re going to want to put those KPIs up. And those are the four sticky notes, story, people, money systems, Michele. Yes. And so that.

    Is the four sticky note business plan. Um, we took longer than 30 minutes because we’re walking through examples and answering questions and giving ideas, but there also is a blog, right? Mimi, uh, posts up on startup. club that also goes through with it. Additionally, it’s. You know, we go into it very deeply in Colin’s book, Start, Skill, Exit, Repeat.

    So I think Colin, um, this is the one that we’re talking about. We actually are going to do a free kind of, let’s say app or widget on the website. So keep an eye out for that. And if you want to know about, you know, other things that are being released. Or these really cool events that are coming up. Just, you know, make sure to join our email list and you can do that by going to www.

    startup. club.

    Yeah. And if you haven’t already done so check out our last episode. Uh, you can get it on replay on clubhouse. You can get it on, um, any podcast channel under serial entrepreneur secrets revealed. Where the chat GPT interviewed myself for the book starts to get legs to repeat. And it was the first, probably one of the first interviews by an AI of an author.

    Out there, at least it was definitely with the first interview on clubhouse of an AI, you know, the eight that AI was interviewing an author. Um, but with respect to the sports sticky note business plan, I can’t tell you how easy it is to do this. A little bit of thought can go a long way. And if you can share that with others and they can make your business plan a little bit better, they may be able to brainstorm.

    You know, when we talked about the escape club, the Airbnb business and how we, we brainstorm, we have about four or five people on the team. And what’s interesting is that, uh, you’ll never, I don’t know if you know this, but who, you remember that game show who wants to be a millionaire? The, there we had the lifeline, you call a lifeline, an expert, or you can ask the audience.

    And this is in the book. The numbers are in the book, but I’m going by memory here. So if I’m a little off. So I know Augustine’s read the book thoroughly. So if I’m a little bit off on the numbers, please, please correct me. But, um, but it’s about 62%, if I believe, uh, Is for calling and a lifeline or an expert or somebody, you know, who thinks that, you know, you think they’re an expert in a particular area and it’s 92 percent for the audience.

    I have to really go back and look at the book again, because I’m not sort of harps on numbers could be like, no, it’s definitely in the nineties. I believe it was 90 something percent for the audience. Well. You have a team, and I don’t care if you’re a soul opener, you have a team, you have people, you have friends, you have people around you, you have an incubator, you have others, you have clubhouse, I don’t care who you are, the more you share and vet your idea with, your business plan, the better and sharper it can become.

    Now we don’t want to share our business plan with the naysayers, and we don’t want to share our business plan with the yaysayers. Mom might not be the best person to share our business plan with, but we want to find a trusted group that we can share that with, share our ideas, and vet our ideas with. So that’s, that’s it.

    Like it’s absolutely one of the key steps you can make to increase your chances of success with a startup. And it only takes 30 minutes before sticking out business plan on page one 25. Uh, we’ve done it dozens of times with startups and classes and whatnot. And this is one of those things that I think is very simple yet could have a huge impact.

    We call the minor majors, a minor amount of effort. Could have a major impact. Any other thoughts by, um, shadow yourself or Augustine or Augustine? I mean, I don’t know how to pronounce your name three different ways. Honestly, it’s fine. Doesn’t matter. Which is the actual, it takes me a long time. Well, my parents, my parents call me Augustine.

    Augustine. Is that okay? So Augustine, Augustine, but Augustine is perfectly fine. That’s good. Okay. Or just call me Gus. That’s even better. Okay, Gus. I like that one. Now I’ll never mess that one up. Thank you, sir. No, I, I think, uh, the four sticking notes is great. I just want to say that what I like about the concept even more is when you post them on the board, you have the opportunity to further break it out, especially when you’re looking at the people portion that we didn’t go 100 percent into because I It allows you to dimension, who do you really need?

    And you can move new sticky notes with names of people and or roles around. So as you progress, it becomes a true life. And I want to say comparison to like a figma diagram of what you want to build out. But you’re doing it with sticky notes and you could shuffle and rearrange them. So that’s my takeaway on top of the deep dive that you’ve gone with each of the steps shared with the audience today.

    Yeah. And here’s a little hack minor major for people. One of the things that I think is very, very cool and every startup should do this is build a group of advisors. And sometimes you can even put them on the website. Don’t, you know, an advisory group is not a legally represented group of a company.

    Okay. This is not to say anybody can sue anyone for anything. But if, if I’m asked to be on a board of directors, which I am often asked, and sometimes I’ve accepted as Michele knows, and it stresses me out because, you know, every time you get in this board, board of director, you’re now, you know, now, uh, all the problems of that company are your problems now.

    But, um. But the fact is, there is legal ramifications. A board of advisory is one of those hacks, I believe, when it comes to getting people around you who are really smart, who can help achieve your objectives, and normally don’t charge anything. I’ve sat on advisory boards before, and generally you get about a quarter of one percent of the options in a company.

    I did that for Password Box, which sold to Intel. I don’t know if it was public, the number, but it was app. It was rather big, the number, and I was simply on the advisory board, didn’t invest in the company, was not on the board of directors, simply on the advisory board. And I benefited from that, and I provided a lot of advice.

    I brought in leads, I brought in ideas, and you know, it’s a community. It goes back to that, it takes a village to raise a startup. It does. You’re not alone. You don’t have to do this alone. There is opportunity, and there are people who want to help out. And it’s just, it’s just something that that’s one of those little hacks, Gus, that, that, that we talk about and it doesn’t cost you anything.

    There’s so many things in startup mode that doesn’t have to cost you anything. And yet you can take advantage of it. I know the book covers it, but we really hit it hard. That concept of, of, of free things. I did an article for Forbes, I think it was called eight free. It was like, um, it was two part article, uh, and it was eight or 16 free things that, um, you can get.

    To help your startup launch free. If you Google it, Forbes, Colin C. Campbell, you’ll see the articles. Um, but in any case, like that’s, that’s it. Right. And I know we’ve got LinkedIn audio coming up in four minutes. We’re doing a sort of marathon Friday. We’re trying to deliver maximum value. Uh, one of the ideas on LinkedIn audio is that it’s going to be more of an open mic.

    It’s not going to be the Colin mic. It’s going to be the Gus mic or the, you know, the shadow mic. It’ll be. Whoever it is there, because this isn’t just about one book start, scale, exit, repeat. Yes, I’ll absolutely answer any questions you have. Any readers who read the book who want to come on to LinkedIn audio and talk about it.

    But more than that, um, it’s about helping each other at startup club and with this idea at startup club that we can help each other start, scale, exit, repeat. Michele, any, any more thoughts? I know I’m getting, I’m over two hours now going straight. No, I think I’m ready to get on over to LinkedIn and I’m hoping that, uh, people can join us over there.

    So. Yeah, let’s let’s head over there, Colin. I think there’s no reason to keep waiting. Yeah, but before we do that, I do want to encourage everyone who is here. Um, if I’m going to do this now is I’m going through the audience right now, uh, and following as many people as I can, because this this app is really wonky.

    It’s gone. It’s gone through a lot of iterations, and it’s really tricky to sort of connect with people on the app. The other thing is, and I can see I’ve got some ad backs, too. So we’ve got some people following me already, which is great. Next move even faster. Uh, but the other thing you can do is if you click on my photo or Michele’s photo or Gus’s photo.

    Or shadows, you can actually, um, click on my photo and there’s three dots. You click on those three dots, uh, and I’m doing that for Michele right now. Yeah, you click on those three dots and there’s something called notification settings and under notification settings, you can click on always. And when you do that, it’ll ping you when we open the rooms, it’s very wonky, the app.

    And if you do that, that’s one way of really connecting. Well, we try to deliver maximum value. Uh, we do two shows a week. We do one on Friday with the Michael Gilmore. Michael Gilmore is the host and Michele van Tilburg and I. Co host that it’s called the complete entrepreneur every Friday at five o’clock Eastern and then every sorry every Thursday at five o’clock Eastern and then every Friday at two o’clock Eastern we do the show um, we do the show the serial entrepreneur secrets revealed and we try to crack the code of what it is that serial entrepreneurs do over and over and over again.

    We do exactly you What we’ve put in that book, start, scale, exit, repeat. And we interviewed so many authors, great people. We have, I think we have seven speakers coming up over the next two months or eight speakers. We’ve already prebooked all these, all authors, all people who are experts in this area.

    They know one little piece very well of starting a business. And, uh, you can know about these. If you go to startup. club and sign up to that email list, www. startup. club. I’m going to continue following people. I just want another minute here before we close the room. Cause I have a few more people to follow Michele.

    So just please don’t close the room, but, uh, thank you everyone. What a great episode. I love the four sticky note business plan. It’s simple, it’s easy, and it’s sticky. And. It helps us get focus and clarity and get moving quickly on our ideas. So I think this has been a great session. Um, let’s talk about LinkedIn a little bit because we’re going to go over to LinkedIn and for the very first time we’re going to do, um, a live event from LinkedIn.

    So if you’re not sure how to do that, and it’s my first time as well. Um, I believe Mimi, can you help me out here? How are folks going to find it? Like, can you post a link to the LinkedIn session? Give us a little insight, please. Mimi. Yes, give me one second and I’ll find it. All right, so why Mimi is penning the link.

    Well, I’m doing it right now. I just opened it up right now. Um, scheduled to start now. Go live. We’re going live now on LinkedIn Live. First time ever on LinkedIn Live. This is Serial Entrepreneur Secrets Revealed. And we’re broadcasting now. Shadow’s in. Gus is in. All right. Uh, oh yeah. So we’re getting some people in.

    Coming on over. And you can, uh, Uh, I don’t know how, can you pin the link at the top of the page? That would be a good idea. Yeah, well, Mimi’s doing it. Mimi’s working on pinning the link at the top of the page, because that would be a great idea, and then we could, we could have people come over, and it’s going to be open mic, I see Clyde Beatty, I have not seen Clyde.

    In 20 years. So this is the first time we’re doing a LinkedIn. I’m trying to find it. Like, all right, well, Mimi’s going to post it. So for those on LinkedIn, uh, audio, we’re actually running a show right now on clubhouse, and we’re trying to find the link to get to LinkedIn audio. This is the first time we’ve ever done a LinkedIn audio.

    And, uh, it’s not letting me pin it. You’re not allowed to. Well, I wonder if Clubhouse has a reason why they don’t want you to pin it. No, I don’t know about that. I don’t know about that either. But can’t you go to startup. club and actually click on the link on startup. club because you have it in the calendar, right?

    Maybe. Yes, it’s on the calendar or it’s in this… Or it’s in the chat. So if you look in the chat on Clubhouse, you can see that… Uh, you can see the link to the LinkedIn audio. This is the very first time we’re trying to do a LinkedIn audio. Michele, are you able to to get it going? Yeah, I, I’m, I’m, I’m figuring it out.

    Kyle’s figured it out. Well, Kyle’s figured it out’s figured it out. Clyde’s figured it out. All right. So shadow, how did you get to it? I just did a search for startup club and I found the event. So just go to the website, startup. club. Okay. But I’m doing it on the calendar. Click on the event on my phone.

    The phone, everything up. Startup Club. All right, so I mean, I’m wondering if we should have ran a joint event and maybe consider doing that as we go back and forth. We’re looking at really expanding startup club and for, for those of you who are on linked LinkedIn audio right now, you may not know this, but we have almost a million members.

    Clyde, we really do on clubhouse. It’s called a club called startup club, and we’ve been talking about expanding beyond, uh, beyond, uh, clubhouse and really also adding linked in audio as a way of. Getting the message out more about how to start, scale, exit, repeat. This is an open mic session. Colin. Yep. Okay, over here at Clubhouse.

    You’re muted on LinkedIn right now. Nobody’s hearing you there. What? That’s… Okay. Okay. That is why we’re running two sessions at once. Okay. So I’ve been talking now, Clyde, Gus, Shadow, thank you, on LinkedIn audio for two minutes and I’ve been muted. So this is the very first time we’re doing a LinkedIn audio.

    My apologies. Uh, we are also live on Clubhouse right now, trying to talk to our members on Clubhouse on how LinkedIn audio for this session. We do. A show every Friday at two o’clock Eastern on clubhouse, and we have a million members in our club. All right. It’s a lot of members. And the fact is we’re also looking at expanding beyond that.

    So we’re, we’re trying to do a LinkedIn audio and the LinkedIn audio is for a book that’s called start scale. Exit repeats. The book. Hit number one in four Amazon categories, uh, as bestseller bestselling book. Alright, here you go. Michele’s alive. She’s alive. People hear on set. So lemme go back. No, no, I, you don’t hear me at all.

    I’m hearing ’em on um, LinkedIn. ’cause I turned down clubhouse. Yep. I’m turning, I’m turning off clubhouse now. So jump on over to, uh. To LinkedIn audio. We’re going to try to give this a try. I know this amateur hour here. Okay, we’ve done. We’ve done 130 clubhouse shows. It’s the very 1st time we’re doing LinkedIn audio.

    So apologize. Clyde and Mitch and Daniel and everyone else who’s there in the audience. Uh, we’re working through it. This is meant to be an open Mike, not a 1 way session. Uh, so I’d like to find a way. I don’t even know how we can get you up here in the, um. Oh, we got Shadow is asked to speak, so we’re allowed to speak.

    So just raise your hands and we’ll put you on stage. Uh, it’s really meant to be an open discussion about how as a community we can start scale, exit, repeat, and doing a LinkedIn audio. It’s sort of the first time we’ve ever done this. Hey, Colin, can you share a link for LinkedIn audio? Okay. So Roland, I got, I’m talking to two phones at once here.

    You can tell Roland, uh, that’s awesome. You made it. Um, they, if you go to startup. club and click on the calendar, there’s an event link you can, you can go to, is there any way we can, um, we can’t pin the link on the, okay. Uh, if you go to startup. club, uh, yeah, I think, yeah, we’re losing some people there.

    Okay. So we’re trying to get it started here on LinkedIn audio.

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