Serial Entrepreneur: Secrets Revealed EP115
Catching the big wave.
The big wave, is it totally by accident? Is it a coincidence? Or are there things that you can actually do to position yourself to catch the big wave? Well, my thesis is that you actually can catch the big wave and we’ve got some examples in history. We’re going to talk about a few of those today.
We really, really have an exciting show today. Today it’s all about catching the big break. And I asked this question, Michele and Mimi, is it, is it totally by coincidence that people can catch the big break or are the things that we can actually do to position ourselves as startups, as founders, to one day catch that big break and have that tremendous success, which sometimes seems so easy when it comes down to it.
[00:01:00] But yet it takes so long. We often, uh, launch a startup. It’s exciting at first, but then it becomes very, very tedious as we work hard to, to build a great startup. And we’re waiting and we’re waiting for that moment in time when the startup can take off when it can just explode in a great way. And does that time ever come?
Is there a moments that we can prepare for or the things that we can do? To make that happen. Michele, Mimi, any thoughts on today’s topics? And, uh, yeah, yeah, I love this topic because I mean, it really begs the question, right? Can you do something right to help facilitate make happen sooner or, you know, sooner rather than later your big break?
Or is it purely luck? But it also begs the question, is there [00:02:00] any such thing, for me at least it does, because at least I haven’t experienced it Colin, but is there any such thing as an overnight success? So yeah, so Colin, you know, I know you’ve had a lot of businesses, clearly you’re a very successful entrepreneur, like have you ever felt like you were able to plan And catch a big break.
Like, is there really something that you can share with us with the members here in the club? What can we do to, you know, try to find and act on more quickly and more successfully potential breaks? Like a lot of things flood my mind right now. I’m just even thinking about a I like everyone says that’s the next big thing.
And that’s a big break for everyone. But what would be your advice? And, you know, yeah. What are the pitfalls?
I think we might have lost him temporarily, [00:03:00] but let’s, let’s delve into this question. Um, is it possible to prepare for a big break? I would have to say, Colin, That it is possible to prepare, but you know, I’m, I’m gonna say it might be more of a mental thing rather than, uh, I’m preparing for, you know, a big break that has these exact parameters.
What are your thoughts, Colin?
I’ll chime in if he’s not on. I think it’s, um, some formula that I haven’t figured out, but some formula of luck, timing, being prepared, seeking out opportunities, and then it finally comes, hopefully when you’re expecting and ready for it. But like Colin pointed out in his article, everybody has heard somebody say, uh, their business wasn’t overnight success, it only took 10 years.
Yeah, I’m curious his thoughts. [00:04:00] Yeah, I don’t think I’m back, I’m back, I’m back. Alright, here he is. It’s okay, don’t panic, I was in an elevator. You know how it is, Clubhouse, we’re trying to multitask, we’re trying to do too many things at once. You know, I think about the, this whole catching the big break, you know, even in the context of startup club, you know, we’ve gotten to a million members.
So that happened relatively quickly. You know, how did that happen? How did we do that? What do we do to position ourselves early on so we can attract so many members and great speakers. And, and, you know, quite frankly, it becomes a. Cycle of success. It becomes like a, almost like a positive tornado, uh, where, you know, we get one great speaker on and that brings the audience and then we get another great speaker and more audience and more audience brings another great speaker and creates that momentum that can occur in a business.
But there’s a [00:05:00] series of decisions that we need to do. There’s along the way to make, we need to make a series of decisions, decisions. Sorry, I just came in from Amsterdam last night and I’m very tired right now. So if I’m a little bit, uh, sound a little bit tired, I apologize about that. But we need to make a series of decisions along the way and take actions.
That can make differences so that we can position ourselves for when that time comes. Let me, uh, give you an example here. And there’s a gentleman by the name of Joe Foster. He started a company called Reebok. Reebok sold, you may or may not know, for 3. 8 billion dollars. It’s a sportswear shoe company, globally recognized brand.
And 20 years building this shoe company up to about 9 million dollars in revenue. Thank you. Move, we’re gonna move back in time here. It’s 1979 [00:06:00] and he decides to try to launch in the United States. He partners up with a, a gentleman named Paul Fireman. And Paul Fireman was the, uh, gentleman who ran the US division, or the US company, sorry for Reebok, and eventually took most of the company over, but he, he partnered up with Paul Fireman in the United States and launched Reebok there.
But in order for him to get the deal with Paul Fireman, he had to apply to a magazine and submit his shoes. Now, he was going for what’s called reviews. Okay, old again is new again, right? He needed to get positive reviews so he could get the attention of a distributor. He sent the shoes in, they applied for multiple pairs, and they were hoping to get one five star review on Runner’s World.[00:07:00]
And they got… Three separate pairs of shoes got five star reviews. Now this got the attention of Paul Farmer and they met in, uh, Boston. I believe it was Boston and, uh, actually cut a deal and they began to sell shoes in the United States. Now what’s interesting is they still hadn’t cut it big. It took a little bit, a little bit more than that.
Just getting a distributor. What they did next is they identified an opportunity. And something called aerobics and no one had been making women’s aerobics shoes. Joe Foster is going to call this going into the white space, going into the space in your company that nobody else is going into. You could gain a lot of market share from.
He calls it going into the white space and they did that. They launched aerobics shoes and. [00:08:00] Within one year, somebody wore those shoes. Her name was Jane Fonda. And if you remember the aerobics workout videos, those videos, uh, were huge. And when she started wearing those aerobic shoes, which by the way, I asked Joe Foster this, I said, did you pay her a million dollars for that?
She goes not only I didn’t pay her. She bought the shoes on her own. She paid for her own shoes She didn’t even get a free pair from Reebok. So she buys these shoes. She wears them on television national television They turn out to be a phenomenal, uh, hit and this company goes from 9 million in revenue to 900 million in four and a half years.
That was the big break. But what was it that he did to position himself for that big break? I already mentioned one of those things. It was reviews. I mentioned another, which was [00:09:00] going into the white space or doing something different than other companies. Um, there were some other things that they did along the way to position themselves.
And if you’re in the audience, and you’ve caught the big break, we want to hear about it from you. We love having people on stage sharing stories, or if you have a question, or you want to ask a question, please raise your hand and come on stage. We also love to follow those people who come on stage, those active…
Members of Startup Club, Michele and Mimi and I would love to follow you as well. So please raise your hand, come on stage. This is an interactive discussion about how to catch the big break. What’s the secret formula? What is it that these entrepreneurs do over and over and over again? Michele, I’ll let you, um, moderate the, the, the show today.
Uh, I’ll not let you, you’ll let me, the other way around, uh, I will let myself, uh, pull back into exhaustive [00:10:00] baking. Yes, absolutely. But we’re going to keep calling on you, so don’t go anywhere. Yeah, I have a couple of good stories, a couple, uh, personal stories of how we caught the big break, uh, in a few companies.
So, I think it, you know, thank you Aquila for joining the stage. I, I think it’s worth it to, you know, just like have a discussion. Around what we can do to prepare for these big breaks, and I’m going to say one of them. Let’s try to come up with five of them here for our members and we’ll put this in the blog post as well.
I’m going to say one is that you are continuously. Let’s just say scanning and learning your environment. Okay. So if you know that your inclination or your talents or your network, right? Something a business that you could get into and, you know, have some success [00:11:00] is let’s just say technology. Then we should be constantly learning surrounding ourselves with people that understand the new technologies as well as constantly reading.
So. I think You know, at the top of that means that you actually identify the kind of opportunities that you’re looking for. So I think in the beginning here, I mentioned AI, right? It’s on the top of everybody’s mind. Every, you know, many people, let’s just say, believe that, um, there’s a lot to be had there in terms of opportunities of.
Making money. So we are constantly scanning and learning, but also networking with other people. I’m sitting in your room or your office by yourself, trying to figure it out. I don’t know about you, Colin, or Mimi, or Akila, but that never worked for me. When I find the ideas present themselves is when I’m actually [00:12:00] out interacting with people.
So again, it’s another one of those use cases or cases where who you surround yourself with really does make a difference. Colin, so I’m going to put that up on the board for the first one. You’re networking, one. And you’re continuously learning about the opportunity that in the area that you think you can execute on Colin thoughts on that and what you’ve done.
Yeah, and, and, and just this whole concept of being different, right? The idea that, you know, if you always just copy, copy, copy. You don’t tend to, um, pull ahead and those companies that can differentiate themselves can sometimes do that. Uh, we have a company in our incubator called paw. com and we do a number of pet products.
We pioneered, essentially invented the category of [00:13:00] pet rugs, pet memory foam rugs. And we’ve gotten a lot of attention for that and we’re unique and different. And I know Michele is helping us out. She, she works in the incubator as well, and we always try to help companies out where we can, but we’ve been asked to do good morning America because they’re unique and different products.
We wouldn’t have been asked to do good morning America if they looked like every other dog bed that came out of a pet store, right? So this idea of going into the white space that Joe Foster talks about or doing something different, we think that’s really important in, in, in trying to Catch the big break because again, good things happen and momentum builds a momentum.
You know, we, we came out with these products, these pet rug products, GMA saw that Good Morning America, and they asked us to come on. Now we’ve done like four or five, um, times we’ve been on Good Morning America. And we just recently last month went on [00:14:00] QVC. Because we’re the only ones with these products.
So again, I think this, just this idea of being, differentiating yourself and coming out with different products. And I’m going back to that other story again about the reviews. You know, if you can get those top reviews, that can get you the attention. So I guess that’s what it’s all about, really, to catch the big break.
We’re trying to, we’re trying to get attention. We’re trying to get attention of the media. The, um, the industry experts, the, the customers, your distributors, you know, he got the five star review. He got the attention of, uh, Fireman, Paul Fireman, who was a distributor in, in a Boston for, for, for, um, outdoor camping equipment and whatnot, he was a distributor for that, and so he decided to take on the Reebok brand.
and distribute that in the United States. He couldn’t have got that without those reviews. They couldn’t have gotten Jane Fonda to wear those shoes if they hadn’t gone into the [00:15:00] white space and differentiated themselves. I know I’m being a little bit repetitive here, but I feel like we’ve got about four or five, six concepts right there that as startups, if we can position ourselves, if we can do, if we can, can deliver outstanding.
Performance through those top reviews. As an example, um, we can go in the white space and we can gain attention in the media, PR, the industry, customers, distributors, those are the things that we can position ourselves to catch the big break and, you know, not to be forgotten, just a core principle could is just that you are unique in the space.
You’re addressing a specific need, whether it be an actual life. You know, enabling need or just something that people want that’s, that’s always core too, because right, you can invent the most amazing thing, but if no one needs it, [00:16:00] well then it really didn’t matter. Colin, I’m just going to say that. So for our paul.
com products, they’re very aesthetic and they’re very high quality. People were tired of having old ugly dog beds, for example, in their house, this meets that need. Something I want to show off and not hide something I want to spend over a hundred dollars on pretty core. So really defining and understanding the space is is key, but without further ado Let’s get to our member audiences that have joined here on the stage Aquila, we’d love to hear your thoughts or your experience about what you did to catch a big break or what you’re doing Please tell us well, um, thank you so much for having me.
Um, I’m I’m not going to say that it’s necessarily a Big break, but what worked [00:17:00] for me, um, at one point I had a online music and art magazine. Um, I started it back in 2012. Um, I had it for about four years and it, it did well. Um, I started to sell ads for it, but I started to sell ads at a time where, yes, people were on the internet.
Um, but selling advertisements on the internet at that time, people weren’t really, uh,
see it. You know, who’s really, you know, watching, whatever. Um, but what I did was, I did a magazine, um, like a, a, a coming out magazine party. And in my city where I live, [00:18:00] I went downtown. And I offered all the cool shops, um, and the people that were, you know, really poppin and stuff downtown. I offered them a space on a flyer.
They paid a certain amount of money to get on this flyer. And in return, you know, they got advertisement through that. Now, I went, I got a venue, I got the venue for free. Um, From a really popular Thai restaurant downtown. Um, certain times of the week, the gentleman would turn his entire restaurant into like, you know, an area, um, where you could have a party or, you know, they had poetry slams or whatever it was.
Um, so I got the venue for free. I found the DJ. Um, it was just really an eclectic mix of my thought process. Um, and I had just put in the chat. You all were asking [00:19:00] about certain, um, you know, ways and stuff to get to your big question. I put in meditation. And I put in meditation because when you meditate, you tend to open your mind to other thought patterns.
And it opens it big, and I think it allows for you to get more clarity. So, through meditation, I feel like I got more clarity on what I wanted to do. I was able to hone in on exactly how I wanted to. I had the magazine party and the type of things that I wanted involved and the things that I wanted to do.
And I feel like because I got that clarity, I was able to focus and, you know, go right in and get it done. And it executed it beautifully, and the magazine party was wonderful. Now, yes, I only had it for four years, but in that [00:20:00] four years, I was able to reach other countries. We had readership in Africa, China.
It was just, it was amazing and I feel like if I had kept it until now, I probably would have been really big. But I don’t know because I didn’t keep it. I only had it for four years. But that’s just what I wanted to add, um, into the conversation. It might be a little strange, but I think meditation is something that, um, that is very useful.
When you’re talking about ideas and trying to focus on things of that nature to help you in business
Yeah, I I love that right because I what I hear you saying and I agree with you is if your mind is open right and receptive That is also being prepared for a [00:21:00] big break if we’re so busy running around and let’s just say the minutia and worrying and whatnot and willing to hear right and see opportunities.
Well, guess what? We’re not going to be able to act on them. So I would agree with what you’re saying. We really do need to be in that very kind of open mindset and willing to hear other people, even if it’s not what we want to hear, or even if it’s not what we’re, you know, desperately looking for. So thank you for sharing that.
And I also think that the hard work that you did by going around to each store and I mean, you could have just put out a, you know, a newspaper ad or something like that and announce it. But you actually, no, you went on the street and you started working it. You started creating that momentum. We want to create a spark.
And sparks can lead to fire, which, you know, can lead, I mean, I’m talking good fire, you know, [00:22:00] which can lead to, um, good things happening. Momentum happening within your company, within your startup. Uh, how do you get the sparks? You just got to keep lighting the sparks. It’s like, it’s like you ever tried to make a fire from sticks.
Uh, and you know, you just make it, you keep trying, you keep doing a spark, you keep doing a spark, you keep doing a spark, spark, or, or even from rocks, and you do that spark, spark, spark, and eventually it hits, eventually it connects. And, and, and, and you see it, you know, light up very, very nicely.
So, Michele, do you want to hear another story? I want to hear a story. That’s unbelievable. Like, it’s just unbelievable. And again, if you’re in the audience, you want to share. Don’t make it so simple, right? Oh, no, it’s not simple. So, um, yeah, if you’re in the audience and you want to share your big break, I mean.
That was awesome. And I’m following you for sure. Everybody in this audience should follow you. You’re amazing. Keep coming on Startup Club. Keep coming on stage. We love the story and the share around. Around [00:23:00] meditation and how it can impact the big break. So again, if you’re in the audience come on stage That’s what’s all about.
That’s what clubhouse is all about It’s about a community coming together to share these ideas so that we can learn from each other So, you know, we had a company Michele was actually president of the company. Um, when we had sold it to go daddy Uh, a couple of years ago called Dot Club. Dot Club was an alternative to dot com, dot net, dot org.
And, uh, this is going to sound almost like I’m making this up or it’s out of a movie or something like that. But, I, um, we received our first offer from, from GoDaddy. And I have to be careful on the particulars here. But, we received our first offer on GoDaddy and, and myself and, uh, Jeff Sass who was the Chief Marketing Officer.
We went for a walk. We often go for walks and talk. And we went for a walk around the block. It’s like about a quarter mile. And we, we started walking around the block and we were [00:24:00] lamenting about, um, uh, hold on. Uh, hold on. Sorry guys. Uh, pause.
I think, uh, this is a story actually, uh, we just had room service was just dropping off a gift in my hotel room right now. So yeah, so I was, it’s a whole bottle of wine and fruit and everything. I wish you were here, Michele, to enjoy it. There’s my big break. I just sat in my hotel room and they. Dropped off a free tray of wine and fruit and uh, that’s pretty cool.
So here we are. We got the first offer. It’s a pretty good offer, uh, for, I think it was actually a full price offer. I don’t think they even tried to negotiate or whatever. And um, We go for this walk, we’re walking around the block, and I’m saying, You know, for all the companies we’ve had, you know, I’ve had, I’ve been involved in 10, 10, 12 startups, [00:25:00] and a couple public companies, and whatnot.
And I said, I just, with that club, we just never got the break. We never seemed to get it. It just seemed like we had to work so hard to get every dollar, to get every domain, to get every single sale. I mean, we worked hard. Michele. Jeff and I flew to China 13 times, and we went to over 40 countries to promote this micro global product, this, this brand.
And then, and then, you’d never, you’d never come to the office. Not a half hour later, we get a phone call from a guy named George Verdugo. And George Verdugo starts talking to us about… Something called Clubhouse. We’d never heard of Clubhouse before this. Well, guess what? There’s a gentleman he said named, um, I can’t remember his name right now, but a gentleman, uh, was Purchasing dot club [00:26:00] names for his identity.
John Lee, John Lee, he got JL dot club. He started buying all these other dot clubs and it created a fury and literally our sales exploded. Premium sales exploded. We sold like a million dollars in premium domains in about 30 days. The company just blew up from one app called clubhouse and it happened half hour.
After we were lamenting that we just couldn’t get our our big break now If you remember I told you we received an offer to buy the company. Well, it’s something called a material adverse Event that companies will often use to reduce the price Well, we had a material adverse event that was positive and so we went back and renegotiated the uh contract to get a higher Offer and, uh, we were very successful at doing that and making the sale to [00:27:00] go daddy.
And, uh, a lot of today, a lot of clubs use dot club. We use startup dot club, uh, obviously. And, uh, you see a lot of people using dot club on clubhouse and it, it did make a big, big difference and where you never know. That’s you think that’s totally luck, but what is it that Michele did? What is it that. Um, Jeff did.
What did I did? We traveled to 40 countries. We did what Akilah, you talked about, going to all the stores. We did that. We flew all over the world. We just kept slogging it out. By the way, this was 8 years after the company started. We were complaining that we did not get our big break. And a half hour later, we get a phone call and the company just sort of blows up, sales wise.
What, like, just to me, that’s mind boggling. And, uh, it’s in the book. Uh, I don’t know if, um, I don’t know if we talked about that yet, but my icon here, it’s [00:28:00] a brand new icon on this show for those who’ve seen me talk on Startup Club. I have a new icon now. I’ve got the word Start, Scale, Exit, Repeat around it.
The name of the book is called Start, Scale, Exit, Repeats. And it comes out October 3rd, being published by Forbes. And a story in the chapter is catching the big break. And we chronicle… A lot more detail about Joe Foster, and his path, and his story, starting Reebok, and we go into some other stories about catching the big break as well.
Uh, we also did an article on Forbes, which you can see at the top of the screen right now, you can click on that article. It talks about some detail as to how Joe Foster caught that big break. I could tell you more stories, I mean… It’s unbelievable how you take these actions, you run the company the best you possibly can, you, you do everything you possibly can right, and then good things happen.
I know there’s luck involved. I [00:29:00] absolutely cannot deny the fact that we were lucky they called it Clubhouse and we were lucky that club just took off from an app like that. I cannot deny that. Um, but at the same time, we are positioning the products, hundreds of distributors globally. Thankfully, I think they used a company called Namecheap, which happened to feature club as one of their top domain extensions as well, which is something that we worked for years on to position on Namecheap as well.
It didn’t happen overnight. It took years to position it. They saw it. They liked it. They loved it. And by the way, we got, um, uh, not Paul, but his business partner. calling us up and they actually bought the domain name from us as well clubhouse. club so that was pretty cool that’s when we got to to know the people at clubhouse and eventually to this day it all was the what led us to Michele and I.
Taking over startup club and running it as we do today and almost a million [00:30:00] members strong. So you can see how it’s all connected. All right. It’s all connected. Well, let’s add to the list because, uh, you know, there’s recurring themes here. So I, I’m going to just point out a few other ones, you know, so you see this opportunity, you’re thinking about it, you’re sitting there, you’re talking about it with your family and I think Knowing that, or feeling that, and taking it to the next level.
We all know this is two different things. So I’m going to add two more things to our list. And that is understanding and knowing how to execute and take a risk. Alright, so we see this opportunity where, oh my gosh, I wish I could do that. Or we’re the kind of person that, oh my gosh, I’m going to do that.
There is the whole [00:31:00] element. Again, this is like you’re, you’re, you’re training yourself. You’re preparing yourself mentally, financially, your networks, your, your, your learnings, everything about how you will be positioned to act upon that idea, act upon that new break AI, whatever it is. So. It’s really knowing what you’re comfortable with and knowing how also to take, I’m going to say, a calculated risk because I don’t think anybody wants to take a risk and feel like they’re just going to fail.
So there is a lot to be said about understanding your tolerance for risk and what risk looks like to you. You know, having your network, another key word, so that you can pull together a team or pull together some financing or execute and get proof of concept. So again, you know, it’s [00:32:00] easy to set and say, well, I know that’s going to be the next break.
It’s another thing to be able to act on it. So we’re going to be saying prepared and that you’re able to execute in a way you’re comfortable with. To try to prove the concept and I suggest that you try to prove the concept it might take days. It might take whatever a year, but there has to be a plan behind that or else you’ll know, perhaps just end up wasting a lot of your money or other people’s money.
So Colin, when I think of a risk taker. You know what? You’re the poster child for me of someone who really knows how to execute on, I’m going to say, you know, let’s just say a semi proven concept. I know you do a lot of research and, you know, consult with your network. How do you get comfortable? With taking a risk and you know, how, how do you recommend to people that they [00:33:00] execute on it without like losing everything they have Colin?
I think there’s like three questions in one there. I will say that some of the things that I do or I’ve done in the last 30 years as a serial entrepreneur is really position myself around the next big wave, right? We did that in the 90s around something called dial up internet. That was the slow or narrow band internet when they called it the information superhighway.
And we launched an internet provider and became the largest in Canada and took that public. We did that again with um, software downloading with a company called 2Cows and later it became also a domain company and now it’s a telecom. Uh, we did that, uh, with a company called Hostopia which was a hosting platform.
You could host websites. And we began to sell those websites through multiple distribution channels. Uh, we did that again with club when they deregulated the [00:34:00] namespace. Uh, we’ve done that with the e commerce companies like paw. com. We’re doing that today with, um, some AI investments in two AI companies right now.
And they’re very early on, uh, the AI companies. Uh, but the fact is we’re positioning ourselves around a wave. We want to catch that wave when it takes off. And sometimes you, you know, if you wait till the wave takes off, it’s a little bit too late. Because it’s those companies that are, that catch the wave, that are in the position to garner the largest market share.
They’re the ones who can win. When the wave takes off, if they position themselves for the way you ever see a surfer do that, they don’t just have the wave come and jump on it. They position themselves for the way they position to stand on that board as the waves approaching. We had on an author. Who’s one of the top authors, uh, in my opinion.
And we had a Harvard dean on a few months ago and [00:35:00] he, he, he said that as well. Uh, that this author Jeffrey Moore who wrote Inside the Tornado and Crossing the Chasm. We had him on this show. You can actually search it out on any podcast network under serial entrepreneur secrets revealed and search for jeffrey moore And you could just search that on google if you wanted to pop up the podcast right away And he talks a lot about this in detail and how he does that and I listened to his stuff in the 90s And became a student, like essentially a student of his and began to execute on a number of his strategies and they worked, they worked really well.
But this idea of identifying a wave and positioning yourself around that wave to catch the wave, that can help you with your momentum. Again, it’s all about momentum. And then we want to figure out, is the concept scalable and it doesn’t have a moat. And these are some concepts that we talk about a lot in the book Start, Scale, Exit, Repeat.
But just the idea of catching the big wave. Um, can [00:36:00] help you, uh, catch your big break as well. I know that’s sort of a little cliche ish there, but you know, the fact is we’re going to want to look for those and there are opportunities around AI and other new technologies. There’s a lot of other new technologies.
You do have to be careful in that there are some technologies that suffer in what Jeffrey Moore calls a chasm and, uh, and some of them never seem to ever get out of that chasm. An example of that one right now is Meta. Or the metaverse, which has been in that chasm now for almost 20 years and has never really been able to break through or break out.
But I know there’s… There’s some signs that it could start to, uh, amount to something and become more commercially applicable. But we’ll see, over the next few years, if they can actually make progress in that. But do you position yourself around an industry that can never really even grow? The, you know, if the fact of the matter is, your lake is two feet deep and it never, [00:37:00] you know, you know, it never goes up.
And how are you gonna ever, you know, how are you ever gonna build a business in a market that’s just never… Taking off and that that’s that can happen to companies as well, but really focusing on the big break What is it that you’ve done to catch a big break the moment in time in your business? Where you’ve done something or you’ve done a series of things?
And then one day it just came along and it almost looked so easy from the outside that overnight success just took 10 years here in the audience. Do you like the topic? Please raise your hand. We’d love to follow active members on. On startup club, like we’re following a killer now. It’s awesome that, uh, that you came on stage at killer and shared your story.
We want to hear more from others as well. So please raise your hand and, uh, we’d be happy to, to have you on stage, Michele or Mimi, any other thoughts around [00:38:00] this? I’m going to put out another one here, you know, since we’re listing out like the key attributes of, let’s just say, preparing and catching that wave.
So I don’t know, but for me personally, I’m going to say perseverance, like you really have, have to persevere. Like it’s the long game, right? Although catching the big break almost, you know, when you hear it, right. It implies that, Oh my gosh, it just came by and I grabbed it and you know, I was off to the races, but it’s really, really not like that.
I’m sure there’s cases, Colin, where it is like that, but let’s just be honest, like probably over 99. 9% of the time it is not. So I think it is a frame of mind, like, just like anything in life, business and being open, like Akelia said. It is, you [00:39:00] know, it is a frame of mind. So really knowing how to manage that with yourself internally, your emotions, with your family, with your friends, with your business colleagues is absolutely critical.
You can’t burn yourself out. You can’t like get down on yourself or other people or mad at other people because they’re not seeing your vision. You really have to have what we call that high emotional EQ. And I would say, Pace yourself for the long haul, take care of yourself physically and emotionally so that you are prepared so that you are prepared to receive information and act on it and be successful.
But I see we have Jam on the stage. Jam, first, thank you for joining us. And yeah, tell us your story. Tell us your thoughts. Thank you. Hey, everyone. How are you? I hope you are doing good. And happy Friday. Yeah. So, uh, actually why [00:40:00] I raised my hand, I actually, I, I’m a new entrepreneur, like I started my incorporation two years ago and from, from my side, I am like kind of confused, in confused situation.
I wanted to ask, uh, some of my scenarios. Maybe Colin can help me or you can advise something good. For example, initially I started very energetically. I got some contracts and recently again I got some contracts. But my problem is that after earning some good money, my focus is getting diverted. I’m immediately feeling that, man, I’m doing good.
And then I’m not into getting more into this, like I don’t have that appeal to get more. So what kind of advice you, [00:41:00] you will give to the entrepreneurs who wanted to focus more and get more out of their, uh, like knowledge and out of their business and especially the newly business and how they can expand it towards the, uh, like, uh, heights of the progress.
Well, I can start first and then we’ll have Colin chime in. I, I think if I understand what you’re saying correctly, you had an idea, you know, you had an opportunity, you grabbed onto it, but you don’t let me put words in your mouth. But it seems like something is telling you that you don’t want to pursue it.
I mean, just based, it sounds like you don’t have energy around the idea personally. Um. Yeah. Yes. Some kind of feelings when I’m in, [00:42:00] in between of the things at that time, I feel, I feel it like this. I would say this to you and I’m not like a psychiatrist or anything like that. I’m just telling you my personal experience.
I feel like if that happens, when that happens to me, something internally is telling me And letting off some kind of alert, I would say what I would do is you really need to take some time, you know, and really, you know, think about it or meditate about it and talk to some trusted colleagues, right people you trust, not just people that are going to say things you want them to say to really explore why you’re having that feeling because I think the human mind You know, it lets off these, you know, kind of red flags and, and sometimes ways that are not like, you know, over the top of your head, like, Oh my God, it’s not like, Oh my gosh, I can’t do it.
It’s just horrible. [00:43:00] But I think you really need to listen to yourself and talk to some people that you trust and that can challenge those feelings. Colin. Yeah, I think that if you believe in an idea, you really believe in it and you think it’s going to be successful. You need to give yourself a little bit of room.
I, I, I took classes with, um, entrepreneurs, startups, um, at the Allen Levan Center at NSU, and one of the things I recommend that everyone do in a startup is set up stage gates, and it does a few things. By setting up a stage gate, it’s really a, well, I should define it first. It’s really a specific and measurable goal.
Of an outcome. So for instance, within two years, I’m going to have a hundred thousand of revenue, a hundred clients, 10 distributors, whatever that stage gate is, and then give yourself the room within that stage gate to achieve that number. Cause the fact [00:44:00] of the matter is business doesn’t happen instantly.
It takes a lot of tenacity and we’re all excited about it in the early stages. We’re all very happy with the idea. And we, you know, often entrepreneurs, I, I. I use the, um, parallel of, of, of, it’s almost like a drug, you know, when we first get that idea, and I know I’ve definitely exhibit this behavior, Michele’s seen this many times, um, you get an idea for something, and we just go all in, and we like, we’re so excited, and two weeks later, we’re like, what the fuck were we thinking about?
Is that crazy? Are we not, so the fact of the matter is, you know, once you get past that point though, and you’re, you’re, you still, strongly believe in your idea. If you set up a stage gate, I think that’s important. And that gives you the flexibility that that can if it also supports you with respect to investors and other things around having that specific target.
If you don’t hit your target, you either need to pivot or shut it down and move on. So there does become a point, but you’re now giving yourself [00:45:00] a set point in time in the future of a specific target. Uh, I do believe. That it takes longer than anyone thinks to launch a startup. It’s never as fast as it looks like on the TV or on the movies or on Netflix.
You see these movies or series and they all start them up and they look like they did it over a period of like one year or six months. And the fact of the matter is it may have taken 10 months, 10 years, sorry. Uh, and. The, uh, look at Joe Foster and, and his brother. It took 19 years to get to nine
to, uh, to, uh, 9 million. It took four years to get to 900 million, right? It’s gonna catch, the momentum’s gonna build, but we wanna build on that momentum one step at a time. We want to continue to build on the momentum like Aquila did with that [00:46:00] stores. She went and she worked those stores. If you believe your idea is good, and you’re convinced it’s going to go, don’t back down.
Just keep putting what you need to. Into it to make it happen and the momentum will come and sometimes that’s a belief. That’s a leap of faith It really is on a lot of these business ideas that we do. It’s such a leap of faith Will people actually buy this product, you know, will people actually do what we’re trying to um get them to do or or take Buy these services whatever it is So I’ll leave it at that.
I don’t know if that really answers your question. Uh, it’s a pretty tough question to answer, you know, right out of the gate, but think of a stage gate. Think about how you can create momentum and, uh, and, and very good luck with your business and, and have a little more patience. stick a little bit longer than you might be comfortable with because it’s never fun.
It’s always fun when you have the first date, uh, with your startup. [00:47:00] But when you’ve been going steady or you’ve been married for a while with that startup, the fun does fade and, and you’ve got to, uh, You got to stick with it because eventually good things do happen, especially if you’re working hard at it.
Yeah, thank you very much for giving me the answer and I hope I asked, I asked some logical question. It was not a just a random word. Thank you. Not at all. We do appreciate it and a lot of people get to that stage. I’m just going to add on one thing to what Colin said. You know, it’s also critical along the way, different stages to talk to you, you know, your friendly customers or your friendly partners, like a lot of people gloss over that step.
They can just give you, you know, an unlimited insight into, you know, what’s really going on and what they like about the product you don’t like. All right, Colin, we have about 10 [00:48:00] minutes left of our show this week. And I see we have Dr. T on the stage with us. Dr. T, please do share with us your story or ask any questions.
The mic’s yours,
Dr. T. There, yeah. I’m here, yes. Thank you so much for allowing me on stage. It’s so good to see you. I am Dr. T. I am advocacy warrior for individuals who are differently abled and divinely abled in the community. We are on a trajectory to stop violence, suicide, homelessness, illiteracy, and loneliness. Trying to build communities of hope around the world for our differently abled, underserved, and underrepresented populations.
Any, uh, advice that you all very, uh, amazing people [00:49:00] could give in reaching out to, we are a non profit, but reaching out and sharing our message. We are on national radio and, uh, Preparing to get on national TV as well. But just here to learn and listen and grow from those of you that have been doing this for quite some time.
Thank you. Yeah. Dr. I, I hope you get an opportunity to go back to one of our episodes we had, I think, three weeks ago with Manny Onam. And, uh, he, uh, came from Africa and he was given a pair of shoes at what he didn’t have shoes when he grew up and he was given a pair of shoes. And it made all the difference in his life.
And, uh, he came to America, and years later he decided to start a charity. And he set out a beehag, a beehag of 10 million pairs of shoes. 19 years ago, [00:50:00] he set out this, set out this beehag. It was a mountain to climb for his not for profit. And he set up base camps along the way. You know, sort of, sort of, what are we going to do in the next three years?
What are we going to do in the next one year? How are we going to achieve this goal? And he was very specific and measurable in his goals. And his, uh, winning moves. They call them winning moves. You know, what were the winning moves he’s going to take the next 12 months? And he talks about how he would do one event and it would lead to another.
So, for instance, we saw him speak at a growth conference, Michele and I, and I said, we’re going to have to interview him. So I said, okay, let’s interview him. So I interviewed him, or we interviewed him, sorry, on, on Serial Entrepreneur Secrets Revealed three weeks ago. And again, you’ll love his story. He’s a phenomenal speaker.
I don’t think you’ll ever hear a better speaker in your life. By the way, go back and listen to this episode. It’s amazing. And he’s got a lot of lessons to share for a not for profit and how, uh, it needs to be run like a startup. It’s very cool. [00:51:00] And, um, so yeah, he talks a lot about his story. And what he’s done, but guess what, he’s crossing over 10 million pairs of shoes in October of this year.
So I said, okay, this is such a cool story, and I’ve been writing articles for Forbes now for about, uh, six months. And I’m going to do an article for him on Forbes. And I just finished the article like two days ago. We did an illustration and we’re submitting it to Forbes. It’s going to publish in September.
Again, hear him speak led to him coming on the show, which I also don’t start up club also donated a thousand dollars to his charity as well. And next thing you know, he, um. Is all coming on our show and then and then we’re now doing an article for Forbes I’m just saying he what he says is one thing leads to another which leads to another So getting your message out and and getting it out to as many people as possible.
You [00:52:00] just came on stage. I wasn’t following you I’m following you now. I’m following jam and I’m following a killer, you know You’re not gonna catch your big break if you sit in the audience all the time You came on stage you told us about your your not for profit, which sounds absolutely amazing. It sounds like you’re you’re You’re doing great things, but unless you come on stage, unless you let people know about it, no one’s going to know what even exists and I applaud you for doing that.
Just in this one move in this small minor major, just coming on stage and talking about it. And now we’re aware of it. And now we’re following you. And what good comes from that? You know, it’s almost like you manifest your destiny. It’s true. It can happen. You can create this momentum. You can make a difference and you can catch that big break of this charity.
Thank you. Can take off really, really hope you go back and listen to that episode. He is phenomenal. And, uh, we hope to have him on again. Maybe when he, um, I think it’s October 23rd, there abouts when he’s going to cross over. He’s 10 millionth parachute, although he’s flying [00:53:00] to Africa. He not only does he give them a pair of shoes, but he washes their feet 10 million pairs of 10 million feet that are washed By him personally in his in his in his 200 employees and uh, it’s just a phenomenal story.
They also started a a brand new uh factory and they build shoes in africa for um people all over the world who just cannot afford to own a pair of shoes and I just think it’s Such a cool mission and what he’s done and accomplished is amazing and hopefully you can get some lessons from that Excellent.
Thank you. I think akilia. Did you want to say one final thing? I I saw you said something in the chat[00:54:00]
So that when you see these You guys have created a story through the photography through the photo shoot Um And, you know, she gave a step. And I realized in that moment, the photographer that I was trying to be, I was doing the boutique model without knowing, but I was becoming a shoot and burn photographer.[00:55:00]
The point I wanted to make was, As to what you all were saying about some of the ingredients for startups and stuff like that, business models, um, I think the boutique model is a beautiful model for business, because it focuses on creating relationships with your clients, creating relationships with the people that you’re trying to do business with.
And I think that if you create long lasting businessships, friendships, relationships with people, I think that you will last in business. That’s what I wanted. Thank you.
Thank you. Excuse me. Thank you guys so much. Absolutely. We’ll definitely take your advice and I will be looking for, uh, that, that program. Colin. Thank you so much. It’s a tough one to spell. Manny Olm. I don’t even know how to pronounce his last name, but he’s a great speaker. And, but if you go to startup.
club, there’s a [00:56:00] blog on it, Mimi, I believe you did a blog on it as well that has the episode or you can search, search on Google. Oh, how do you spell it? Oh, Oh, H O N O M E. But Samaritan’s feet, Samaritan’s feet. Yeah. But if you search for Manny own, uh, startup club, it’ll come up right away. Um, and you can listen to the podcast because you know, not for profits are, uh, uh, are a startup as well.
And actually we’re, we’re launching one now. We spent the last eight months getting approval on a five Oh one C in the United States for, uh, it’s called help for Ukraine club. We have, uh, Business in Ukraine, uh, 800 employees with, uh, um, who do, uh, I. T. development services and, uh, the charity is, is really being set up to support, uh, victims of the war in Mykolaiv, Ukraine, which is the city that we have most of our offices and employees [00:57:00] located in, which is in the southeastern part of Ukraine, quite close to the front line.
And, uh, we’ve had employees who’ve died and we have orphans, um, that we’re trying to support their education. We want to make certain that they get well educated, uh, even though their, uh, father Had, had passed away, uh, in the war. And that’s a charity that we, we set out to start about a year ago. And we are literally getting the final approvals down.
It’s a startup like any other startup. So Dr. T I’ll be, I’ll be Peggy. I’ll be. Pinging you for advice as well. So it’s a startup. It’s a start for profit But it’s still a startup and I and I think we often don’t think of not for profits as startups, but we really should You know, there are millions of not for profits and and there are a lot of lessons we can learn from them And there’s a lot of lessons not for profits can learn from us.
Well, this show has been amazing again The [00:58:00] community came together following everyone here on stage Really appreciate you coming on and sharing everything you shared Again, I do want to let you know that the book Start, Scale, Exit, Repeat, being published by Forbes, is coming out on October 3rd. 30 years as a serial entrepreneur, 10 years writing the book in over 200 interviews, and we put this book together, and it really is meant to try to crack the code of what it takes to start, scale, exit, repeat.
What is it that serial entrepreneurs do over and over again? And why do they have that repeated success? You think of those one hit wonder bands. Think about those other bands like the Beatles and U2 and Queen and, uh, uh, Taylor, I’m sorry, I’m not as up to date on the more recent [00:59:00] ones. Swift. Thank you, Taylor Swift.
Thank you. And, uh, Lady Gaga. think of all these, these, these, uh, bands and singers who they keep coming with one hit after another. Well, you can do that with startups as well. There is a formula. There is a code. And we’ve done our best to crack that code in the book, start, scale, exit, repeat. I don’t think that any book has come closer to figuring that out, uh, than that book.
So that comes out October 3rd. It already hit the bestseller list on pre orders. Top 10 in Canada, top 20 in the U. S. Uh, just on pre orders and not even, and that was competing with books that have been around for years. Um, so we’re pretty excited. It looks like it’s going to be a big hit. If you get a chance, um, you can…
Purchase that book in advance. We love the physical copy, I’m telling you. It’s, we have over 189 golden nuggets, callouts, 30 illustrations, uh, the books laid out very nicely so that you can [01:00:00] reference it, but you can also grab it in Audible as well. We just think you’ll get a better experience with the physical book.
Which sounds strange, nobody looks at physical books anymore. But the digital copy, uh, does come across very similar to the physical book, so you can download that one as well on your favorite, uh, favorite platform. Well, thank you very much. Catching the big break. You’ve been listening to Serial Entrepreneur Secrets Revealed and my co host, Michele Van Tilburg.
Uh, Mimi Ostrander, who, uh, may be a little quiet, but she is the one who actually writes all the blogs on Startup Club. And she’s written over a hundred, uh, blogs on that, uh, website. Referring to the episodes and summarizing episodes. She is instrumental in keeping this operation running. We are a startup club, almost 1 million members strong.
Thank you very much for listening. And thanks again for coming on stage. See you next week, Friday at 2 PM [01:01:00] Eastern. Have a wonderful weekend. Thank you.