Is Your Business Ready for Rambo?

We recently spoke with Jose Ochoa, entrepreneur and author of Get in the Ring. He shared his unique business philosophy and its surprising influence. Jose’s father, a seasoned professional boxer, instilled in him invaluable lessons about competition and sparring that he applied in his professional life. While Jose did not follow his father’s footsteps into the wrestling ring, he found his passion in the thrilling industry of entrepreneurship. Similar to a boxing match, entrepreneurship requires agility, grit, and a relentless drive, qualities that Jose attributes to his father’s lessons.

“You need no coaching, what you need is some sparring.”

Jose Ochoa

Jose drew parallels between sparring in boxing and navigating the business landscape. Sparring, a fundamental part of boxing training, lays out ground rules and agreements to minimize injuries while keeping the competition fierce. Similarly, in business, entrepreneurs spar with competitors, market volatility, and uncertainties every day. For Jose, these entrepreneurial encounters require an understanding of the rules and dynamics, and the ability to dodge metaphorical punches from opponents. This analogy paints a vivid picture of the challenges in entrepreneurship and emphasizes the necessity of quick reflexes and strategic foresight.

Perhaps the most important lesson Jose learned in the ring is the art of separating his personal identity from professional outcomes. He vividly recalls the moments when he felt beaten down, both literally in the boxing ring and figuratively as an entrepreneur. But these experiences served as invaluable lessons, teaching him to detach his self-worth from professional successes and failures. He is passionate about sharing this wisdom with other entrepreneurs, wanting to guide them towards a resilient mindset that allows for growth, despite the stumbles and knockouts along the way. Jose’s journey from the boxing ring to the boardroom is a testament to his adaptability, tenacity, and indomitable spirit that translates personally and professionally. 

Check out the full conversation with Jose above! 

  • Read the Transcript!

    Serial Entrepreneur: Secrets Revealed EP112 Jose Ochoa


    Startup Guide for the F******g Real World with Jose Ochoa. That’s what we’re talking about today. Sorry about the dramatic title, but he’s got a message that he’s going to share with us today that you’re really going to enjoy. You know, startups are not easy. They can be very tough to get up and running.

     What is it that serial entrepreneurs do over and over again to succeed? We are trying to figure those lessons out. We’re trying to understand the code. We’re trying to understand the secret sauce today as we, we jump into the startup guide for the f*****g real world.

    Again, a little extreme there, Jose, and welcome Jose on stage as we jump into this it’s, it’s going to be an interesting topic because we’re trying to really talk about what does it take to really make a startup successful. [00:01:00] And I think part of that code we’re going to learn today, part of that, those secrets that serial entrepreneurs do to start scale, exit, repeat.

    We’re going to learn from one today, Jose Oche, a serial entrepreneur, and quite a, uh, successful author as well. Bestselling author. 

     Wow. Jose, who I think you’re trying to shock us here with this title. What, but you actually wrote the book on it, and so I thought you could just kick it off, Jose and let us know, like tell us a little bit about your past and, and how you started out the very beginning, Jose, when you started out.

    Jose? Hello. Hello, everyone. Good afternoon.

    First of all, thank you, Colin. Thank you, Mimi. Michele, uh, Startup Club, uh, show. Thank you for having me here. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share, um, about my journey, right? Because, you know, the stories [00:02:00] of journeys are what make us, uh, passionate about this world, of this crazy world of entrepreneurship, right?

    So everybody loves to see, I mean, those different movies that entrepreneurship give us, um, as a beautiful journey. So thank, thank you for that.

    And, um, so, um, can you hear me? Yes. Yeah. Yeah. Sorry about that. I was perfect. Fine. I was, I was just adding people to the room when you’re a multitasking here on the app. Right, no problem. But we want to hear about your first story, Jose. Like how did you get involved in, in startups Sure. And be, how did you become a serial entrepreneur?

    Like what started it all? You, you know what, let me, I I, I would like to start by mentioning that, uh, unfortunately our communities sometimes have the wrong perception about immigrants, right. Uh, we [00:03:00] tend to believe in, I mean, all over the world, not just between Mexico and United States, we tend to, uh, identify or label immigrants as someone that is coming to steal some something, uh, or resources or, or drain.

    Or communities, right? When in reality, I mean the majority of, uh, immigrants are coming to bring value, right? Or something new to this communities. Uh, on my case, I have to say that I came to this beautiful country of United States, uh, to bring value, to bring opportunities and create opportunities and make it a better place, right?

    And I, I actually, I. I evangelize my sons with that. I mean, my family saying, Hey, uh, let’s make this country, I mean, a better place by being better citizens and all that in including, I [00:04:00] mean, everything that we do here. So 2001, I graduate from public school engineering in, in Mexico, Chihuahua capital. And after one year without having a single, a single opportunity of employment, um, I have to start, uh, selling water filtration systems.

    That, that’s how I started. I was, um, I was doing that activity for like. Two, three months just to have enough catch to put gas on my that soon, 1978, and to take my, uh, back then my girlfriend, now my wife to some tacos and, and, and the movie theater, right? But I, uh, of course I knew that journey, it will be just temporary.

    So, you know, entrepreneurs are good on sales, so I started by selling. Uh, [00:05:00] pre, uh, previously all my summers, I spent my summers when I was in college traveling to ci Juarez a city four hours far from my hometown to work on construction, right? Just to have enough money for, I mean, my school supplies or clothes.

    But anyways, I moved after that to Suda Juarez, looking for an opportunity of employment. And finally I got my first major opportunity, uh, to work with in, in Delphi Automotive, uh, system company, which back then was, uh, 2001, was one of the biggest, uh, suppliers of automotive parts in the world. Okay, so, uh, uh, they used to have the world, uh, biggest, uh, technical center in Sierra Juarez.

    So where we used to work like 5,000 PhDs, master’s degrees and engineers on developing the new or the [00:06:00] future of automotive parts for General Motors force, Chryslers, Mercedes, bmw, et cetera. So I, I arrived to that place, uh, with zero experience, zero experience. I was actually lying about, My language, I say it was mandatory to be fluent in English and I wasn’t.

    If, if you see my English now, it’s not perfect. Back then was horrible, but I say, you know what, I have to take the risk. So it was very challenging there. But, uh, uh, thanks, God, I, I found a very, very good mentor, which was my boss back then. Angel. Uh, he, that’s his name. And he was very patient with me and what he told me after several, uh, very severe meetings with him just on one-on-one because every, everybody was complaining about me and my performance.

    He told me, [00:07:00] I, I told him, I challenged him, you know what? Fire me. I, I don’t feel enough for this job. I don’t feel competent. And he said, no, because I hired you. Because, and I knew since the beginning, you are not good on English, but I saw on your eyes something that I don’t see in others. I see that you are a high level, uh, guy on commitment, resiliency, work ethic, all that.

    So I will coach you and I will help you on this. So anyway, so I start learning a little by little and, um, and exponentially about, uh, I was, I was there, uh, working as a, a packaging engineer right? And supplier engineer. So I learned a lot that, and during my tenure there, I was very aware about what’s going on around me.

    So I, I, I realized there was, um, an opportunity. To, to close the gap between suppliers [00:08:00] and, and, uh, and clients, right? Because I, I was very frustrated with vendors on packaging industry that they don’t understand the other side of the coin. But I, but I told to myself before going to entrepreneurship, I want to, I want to feel what is the manufacturing field, right?

    So I, I move out of Delphi and I went to Siemens. So Jose, I want to, I want to pause you there. So I want to, I want to hit this point because I think you’ve, you sort of brought up that very first step that a lot of entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs, uh, go through to, to, to, to, to launch that first startup.

    And that step was identifying a bottleneck in industry, in, in the industry. You identified there was a problem and you said, okay, I can solve that problem. So you left the company. And how did you take it from the idea [00:09:00] to launch? And I want to get, uh, Giuseppe on here pretty quickly too here. I’m, I’m not going to try to ignore you Giuseppe, but, uh, Jose is, uh, one of the authors that we’re interviewing today.

    And I, but I do want to get your opinion as well on a few minutes, Giuseppe, but how did you take that from the idea to launch and try to be a little bit more concise in your answers and your approaches here so we can have a discussion with the whole community. Sure. Yeah. So, um, to be honest, awareness.

    Awareness of, uh, what, just not doing your job by, uh, automatically. So I, I realized there was an opportunity and I was start thinking about, okay, if I was a supplier, what should I done better and unique? Uh, what should be a better value proposition of what I’m seeing here on, on regular vendors? So from there, I start writing down some ideas or what are the pains that I’m [00:10:00] feeling that I know I can work on, on, on fixing right, for others?

    So that, that was the main thing. And action. Action. I wa, I, I took a high risk by quitting my job. Uh, my wife was pregnant on my second, uh, uh, son and with my other son in the on, in the arms. And I, and I clearly allowed, talked to my wife about what is going to be happening in our life as an entrepreneur, right?

    I, I, I truly believe that, uh, business, it’s a family game, okay? Because if you are not aligned with your family and what, what is going to be happening on your journey as entrepreneur, it will be very, very short. Your, your trip, your journey, all will be very painful, right? So I was completely clear. So everybody aligned and I, so then I [00:11:00] took the leap to, uh, start, uh, establishing the company.

    I mean, as it is, I was the, they called me the orchestra man, my, my clients, because I used to do everything by myself, right? I mean, invoicing, shipping, receiving, selling, I mean, meetings, everything by myself. But the key here was that I clearly identify that once I start bringing some revenue or extra revenue, I, I started adding teammates to the equation, right?

    So that that way they can free me time to do what I do best. And my case was selling, right? And looking what’s the, the next step on, on into the endeavor. So that was a very key for me to understand that, because I see a lot of entrepreneurs that they don’t like to add teammates because of budget, because of fear [00:12:00] that they steal the, the, the idea.

    And, uh, because of, uh, fear to be, um, um, not very well on, on handling people, right? So you have to embrace that because if you want to scale or grow, I mean, you cannot do it by yourself, right? You will need a team, okay? And also you have to select, I mean, on a pristine way, I mean, who’s coming to the bus, right?

    Because it’s limited sitting there on the bus. So if you add the wrong person, it’s going to take you down. I mean, so hard. Okay? So that’s, that’s a key element for me when I was, uh, creating, uh, my, my endeavor. So it’s interesting, you’re, you’re, you’re almost matching the book that we’re publishing called Start Scale Exit Repeat, where we talk about story people, money and systems.

    You’ve talked about the [00:13:00] story, you know, solving a problem. You talked about the people getting the right people on the right places on the bus. Now what about the money raising the money? How did you, how did you fund your first venture boots? Bootstrap. Bootstrap. I never, till this day, I never raised any money for anyone.

    I don’t, I don’t, uh, I don’t say that it’s not good for me. It’s just like, kind of like my, my how my, uh, companies are, uh, formed. And, uh, so I, I, but I know, I know for sure that I mean, uh, creating the right, uh, uh, system to raise money. It will exponentially grow you. But in the other side, I know if you don’t bring the, the exact or the, the key partner investing money, uh, will be miserable, right?

    Because if you bring the, the wrong [00:14:00] investor, he will believe that he own you, right? He will believe that he own you. And that’s a killer. That’s a killer. So you, uh, on my perception talking with other internal, Hey Jose, Jose, I want to push back a little bit here and, and I want just epi to come in on this one as well, but Yeah, like the reality is a lot of the startups say, just don’t have the funding to get started.

    You say you just bootstrapped it. Yeah, and I understand that. So I’ll, I’ll give you the chance first, Jose. And I want to hear from Giuseppe on this particular topic. You know, because a lot of people need to take that money, they need that initial funding, the angel funding, the, you know, and, and if they don’t get it, they just can’t start.

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I started with credit card debts, student loans. Me too. And, uh, and dreams and aspirations. That’s pretty, that’s what I started with in 1993. But, so Jose, so I’m pushing back you on a little bit, and I do want to hear from Giuseppe on this topic as well. Sure, sure. And, and, and, and, and by saying, bootstrap is that I was, uh, uh, in [00:15:00] the, in, I was leaving sometimes with credit cards, uh, before because be before I can generate enough revenue also, uh, back then one of, one of the partners, he was kind of like, uh, putting some money.

    I mean, little money, not, not crazy money, just little money to keep, I mean, running the supplies, the raw material, all that. But I immediately sit down in front of my key vendors that I need, and I. Proposed to them a systems or equation about credit, given me the trustability of credit so I can sell on a 30 day terms and they can gimme the same 30 day terms.

    So I, so that way I started when I generate trust with one vendor. So it was, it, it creates me a good, uh, traction to be on the [00:16:00] same terms with, with customers and vendors. So that was key for me, like building super fast, uh, credibility and credit lines with vendors that, that what saves the ship to us.

    Yeah, I remember we had an author on here named John Mullins who wrote the book Customer Funded Startup, and if you google that on the Internet Startup Club, customer funded startup, you can check out that episode. But we do dedicated an entire episode to the concept of funding your business. Um, by leaning on your customers, Giuseppe, I know you’ve done many businesses, restaurants, real estate, you’re all over, like you’ve got, so you’re a serial entrepreneur.

    And, uh, this whole issue of of, of starting out and getting initial funding, how did you deal with that early on in your career?

    Everything. According everything was a dream. One idea from someone. Try to think someone [00:17:00] else around you, around me, everything. My goal was not to be reached because everybody think that money will be the goal. All rich people that I ever meet in my life, they never work for money. They work, uh, to have a great product, the best product in the market.

    I can be different in my market, in my target, I can be unique. No, and that was because in the restaurant I had, uh, 24 real estate agency, property management, and I was all, all day in the restaurant and I was not happy. And I started to build, okay. I opened my first restaurant. But Colin, you know that I’m Itegrated person.

    I close eight restaurant before I learn the best method. Have every success person that I meet in my life, they build a method assistant, okay. After I had the 17 restaurant. So I say every [00:18:00] successful person you met in your life has what has a big issue in the past before, has had a big issue in the past.

    Yeah, I agree with that. I I Add me to the club. Yeah. I, I closed eight restaurant. I lost it. When I listen people 10 million in USSA is too small. You know, 10 million euro is a lot of money. It’s more expensive their life in ussa. But follow me, same thing in the aut. I was every single week in different author and I was not happy about the services and I was sure that to be customer, I can build something the customer wants for this gym was my passion.

    Finally, I had 24, uh, gym Vietnam store in my Passion 27 vitamin Vietnam store. I build something that where I was sure that I can build something around the customer, client, not like a number. People build a mistake as an entrepreneur [00:19:00] because they see customer like I can make money with them. No. They never make money with that.

    You can make money with, uh, 1, 1, 1 store. If you want to have a franchising, a big business, you need to remember that your customer, your client, they are the boss of your employee. They need to pay your rent, they need to pay your mortgage. They pay the payroll you employ. And that is because for me, it’s very important, everybody know what is their review today, 25 years ago.

    I pay people when they, they pay the bill, I give them every single time five euro of bonus if they leave the review. Because for me it was very important to understand what they want. Do you know how many time I am meeting my life? People, they have super ego. Oh, I’m the best, I’m great, I’m fantastic. Uh, my product is the best.

    This is what you think. We need to understand that it’s important what customer client think about your [00:20:00] product, your services, and for this great mindset has open mind and, uh, ready for learn and improve every single day. Why I love Jack Ma. When I say be the change, don’t follow the change. I give these example and I finished the talk.

    How many of you did you know that 49 billion of the business in the world? It’s over. It’s over forever. Why? Because when a Netflix knock the door, like pastor say, we are the past, the present, and the future. Where is today? Block pastor. Where is a Sony, where is a Blackberry? You need to have an open mind and try to be the first in your market.

    Don’t try to be the best. That is my strategy, and that make me in the condition to be a crazy person. When I start to live in usa to invest in Cleveland. Everybody bullish me, but when [00:21:00] I had the 507 profit, 50 million, they started to take, uh, the right value about myself. Back to Yuko. A phenomenal success story, uh, and always love hearing from you.

    Jose, what are your thoughts on, on some of his. Background. I mean, there’s a, there’s like four, four or five different things we could talk about there. Like the fact that sure, all successful people have history in their past and that this, mm-hmm. This whole notion that you’re going to get rich quick, fast is maybe something that’s promoted, but not necessarily the reality.

    I mean, everyone faces hardships. I’d like to hear from you, Jose, as well, about you. You wrote a book called Getting in the Ring, and you sort of compared this to boxing and the challenges, you know, you know, I, I, I can’t help but think of Rocky, you know, Rocky one, Rocky Two, and you know, what he did to sort of get himself into that ring and eventually, eventually win.

    But it sure wasn’t easy, was it? No, not at all. But it [00:22:00] was, uh, it was challenging. I’m the first out author on my, my whole family, and I have to say before that, uh, the cover of my book have the meaning. Okay. So I represent, uh, the immigrant, the person, the Latino, that it’s, uh, doing something of value that the codes that you see on, uh, on my elbow, um, down my elbow, those, uh, codes, boxing codes, uh, belongs to my father.

    He, he passed away in 2007, but he, uh, gave me those codes. He was world champion, uh, 1958, uh, as a boxer in Mexico. Okay. Uh, he went to the, uh, pan American games. He won the silver, uh, medal. So that’s, that’s the meaning and the, and the love that I have on my right hand. Belongs to a professional boxer of El Paso, Texas.

    Okay? So I see a lot of parallelism between [00:23:00] boxing and, and doing business, right? What I told you on my story, I mean 20, 20 17, I lost a million dollars overnight from a Friday to a Monday because of the bankruptcy are one of my, uh, main customers. So that almost put me on my knees, you know, as a small business, it’s all your cash flow, right?

    So boxing, it’s a lot of risk. You can die up there on the ring. One, you are fighting once you are fighting for a championship or whatever, uh, type of fight. And, and also in business it’s very risky. I mean, you can lost everything overnight, right? And you have to be able to handle failure. And also the other big, big, uh, thing is handling success as well.

    Success if you are not ready, it’s very dangerous as well, right? Because it, it maximize what you are. [00:24:00] So I see, uh, that parallelism. And also on, uh, uh, two years ago, uh, Joe Foster, the founder of Reebok. I was, uh, drinking some Negros with him on Mexico City. And he, I was helping him to publish his book, uh, Shoemaker in Spanish for Latin America.

    And, um, so while drinking on the night, he told me, Hey Jose, I know you mentor. A lot of companies, a lot of startups and junk guys in India, United States and Mexico and Chile. But why? You don’t write your book and you can help thousands of people, not just, I mean few, I mean 10 here, 10 there, 20 there, you can, if you do it properly, you can reach out thousand, maybe millions of people.

    Right? And you can help that. So I say, you know what, I’m, I’m listening this juggernaut of business. And he’s [00:25:00] so humble to tell me that. So I accept the challenge. I started the process with the same company that published his book, and he was so, uh, uh, great person to roll down the forward of the book for me.

    So I’m very fortunate that. My book have the signature of Joe Foster, founder of Reebok on the fore. So, you know, that’s, that’s huge for me. That’s legacy. And that’s a super, uh, beautiful way for me to reach out the mind and the soul of a lot of entrepreneurs, uh, uh, brand new entrepreneurs. Right? Yes.

    Awesome. Thank you. All right, Jose, I’m, you know, we actually ordered a couple of your books, so I’m looking at, at the book. Thank you. And, and I have a question like, this is a little controversial and, and I’m, [00:26:00] you know, very interested to hear your thoughts here. I think there’s some insight here. You actually say you need no coaching.

    What you need is some sparring. Sure. And then you go on further to say, this book is for you to spar. It is full of strikes, punches, and tactic details you should know in real action. So I’m really kind of interested to hear, you know? All right. I, I get it. Like, I, I think what you’re saying, and you can elaborate, is just like, jump in the ring and get going.

    But what, what are some of those tactics? Like, give us some, give us some help here, give us some, um, details. Give us something that we can take calm and think about to help us all on our entrepreneurial journey, Jose. Sure. Tha thank you, Michele. Thank you for that. Uh, great question. So, uh, since the beginning [00:27:00] be even before doing the book, when I talked to, uh, when I mentor startups or small business owners, I, I, I have no, I don’t, I never sugar coat anything, so I’m very straightforward.

    And why? Because I, I feel the pain they have and because I love them and I love them to be, I love, and my, my, my efforts are to make them successful, right? And to do not shoot down their endeavor or their small company, right? So there’s no time for sugarcoating, like, I mean, uh, I mean like saying, Hey, you know what, everything will be good.

    I mean, it’s okay. Sometimes coaching on nowadays it tends to be very sugarcoating, very complaints. And I say, you know what? We don’t have time for that. We need to be, I’m like, you are sparring, unboxing. What’s the sparring? The sparring is a person that is over, over [00:28:00] there, up in the ring with you, punching you and telling you the truth and punching your mouth right in the face and putting you on your needs so you can be stronger.

    You can be wiser to learn about those punches. Right. And why can I do that? Because I have experience. I, I failed. I failed miserable in, in, in some of my endeavors. I, I have success as well for sure, but so I can bring that. To them in the form of, of punches on the face. So guess what? At the end when we are, when we finalize the spa session, they are smiling, they are wise, wiser, and they feel super good about having those aha moments of things that they, they, they didn’t see before the sparring session.

    Right? Like understanding why companies fail, right? [00:29:00] Why do we create companies? I mean, the high risk that you have on entrepreneurship, right? About, uh, the, the thing that I told on the book on one of the chapters is that that loss of money of $1 million, I see it. As a 1 million master degree in business, be because I learn more deeply and exponentially about vendors, employees, partners, banks, uh, and and about myself.

    More importantly about my myself, about the value that I have, and I unattach myself to my company, right? Because we tend to attach so much ourselves to our companies that if the companies fail, we feel that we are a failure as well. And that’s not the case. We are, we are an a separate entity. We are a person with values, with feelings, with families, so we cannot attach.[00:30:00] 

    To, to our companies like that. Okay? So that’s type of the sparring that I do with, with people. And I told them in the face, I, I’m, I’m that rude, straightforward because I love you and I want you to be successful. I want you to avoid losing that million dollars. I mean, on, on, on doing mistakes, on, on this, this, this, and that.

    But at the end of the book, I clearly and loud say, I can give you all the coaching, I mean all the spirit, all that. But you have to save or yourself, and feel your own journey and do your own mistakes. That’s, that’s the only way you will learn and you will grow as a person and as a company. So you’re punched, you lost a million dollars in a weekend.

    Yes, sir. And then on Monday morning, you had to come back and, and. Like [00:31:00] emotionally, that must have been very challenging. And like, what is it that got you from being put on the, I don’t know what the expression is. Like you’re, you’re put on your back on a, on a boxing stage, you know, you’re, what’s the expression I’m looking for here?

    I don’t have the boxing terms quite worked out, but you know, you’re basically knocked on your back. You’re down for the count, but you didn’t let the ten second timer run out. You managed to get, get back up, stand back up and get back in the ring. Sure. What is it that you had in you that did that like, You know what, Colin?

    When I, on my personal case, when I, when I suffered that punch in the mouth and I was on the, on my back, on the floor of the ring, it was like a cocktail. A cocktail with a lot of, uh, with a mix of a lot of things. I feel guilty. I, I feel miserable. I feel, um, uh, not enough because I, I’m the senior. I, but embarrassed too.

    Were you embarrassed people? I’m embarrassed for sure. Sure. [00:32:00] Embarrassed. I mean, just keep going. Sure. Embarrassed. So it was a prosecutor of out analysis on myself, I feel, and it was very close to the birthday of my sons, so I was like a rabbit for, for a few days. I was like a, I feel bad. You can feel the atmosphere on my office.

    Like if someone was, uh, pass away, right? I mean, very heavy because everybody was afraid. So I, I, I, I put myself in my, in my home and I start, I mean, nights without sleep. Thinking about why this happened. So fast forward calling very clear here. So what makes me start getting traction is in the moment that I say to myself, what’s the worst thing?

    On this scenario that can happen. Losing my home, losing my company, starting all over again, maybe moving to an [00:33:00] apartment. So I talked to my wife and I told her, Hey, remember that I always told you since the very beginning about the risk of this. So this is the day. This is the day. Are you with me? Will, will you be open to start all over with me?

    And she say, absolutely. I mean, we are with you. So from that moment I say, okay, if that happened, Jose, so what’s the value? Okay. So I have, I have a lot of relationship. I can start all over again from the ground and create something even bigger. And um, so I build a lot of real estate. As a person, I have a lot of trustability.

    I have, I connect with a lot of entrepreneurs all over the world, so I knew I am enough to create as choa a new endeavor. So when that happened, the only way is going up, right? Because I, I face, uh, without [00:34:00] fear. What’s the worst case scenario, right? And uh, if I’m healthy and I can, I mean, I have my family, family next to me.

    I mean, the sky is the limit again. So when I understand that is when I start getting traction. Actually, during those following months, I was able to lead my company to win a business accelerator program sponsored by Microsoft. And after four months, I was able to want to win $25,000 as the BA best value proposition in the region, right?

    And Microsoft gave me a check of $25,000. And Brad Smith, the president of Microsoft, he signed the Jordans that I was wearing during my pitch, my demo day when I won. So that was a huge milestone. A actually, you can see those shoes. On my office, no, Paso, Texas, because I have it on [00:35:00] display as a milestone.

    And I, and I say, Colin here, very important. I say, okay, this is a huge problem that can kill me. How can I transform that problem into my solution? Okay. So writing a book, sharing my lessons, helping other business owners to, to foresee all those lessons on and all those failures and, and grow. So by sharing by, so I, I, I put my story, actually, I email the entrepreneur magazine on u USA with my story, and they published my story in 2001 on April as a story of inspiration for small business owners.

    So I, I mean, you see, I, I. I get the results of taking my problem as a solution and not just for me, for others, for [00:36:00] thousands of people that can, uh, uh, read my book that can see my, my conversations like this one. And, uh, I mean, for me, I, when I was 20 years old, I would love to hear these type of stories that encourage me and inspire me for to build my future.

    Oh, that’s, that’s amazing. And I think on clubhouse, those who are in the audience here, um, some of you maybe in your twenties and you’re listening to these stories and, you know, I think more often than not entrepreneurs, we, we don’t listen when we’re younger and then we realize we should have went back and listened a little better.

    Giuseppe, since we have you on stage, it, it’s pretty special for us to have you. Uh, I, I’d like to, uh, ask you, uh, was there a time when you were punched, you were knocked down and, and you managed to. Get back up and start over or let go of the loss and, and, and breakthrough. Is there a [00:37:00] time when you felt like you pretty much were going to throw in the towel, but then you said, you know what?

    I’m not, and I’m just going to, I’m just going to keep going.

    Giuseppe, if you’re there, Michele, I’m going to ask that, I’m going to twist that question over to you. All right. Looks like Giuseppe got, oh, yeah. Um, I mean, a little busy there, but I’m going to twist that one over to you. Like, I think, uh, Jose said it like it’s kind of life and we face this in many ways, in many fashions and forms.

    But yeah, I mean, I work on one company now and it’s kind of a dem situation, but we just keep going. But I’ve always been one. You know, similar to you, Jose, I think one of the things I learned is that you can’t like get caught up too much in the past and you have to keep pushing forward. You know, you have to approach things very, um, smartly and not just from an emotional standpoint, [00:38:00] but you know, without getting into the details of it, you know, e-commerce for example, we have a couple of e-commerce companies.

    We run like it, it’s hard right now for e-commerce. It, it’s really hard. People were over inventoried because they falsely thought the demand from C O V I D was going to continue overstaffed overextended. And now it’s just really, you know, bringing companies to their knees and, you know, we’re just having to like, Pick up the pieces and keep going and trying to be smarter about it.

    Colin, I think that’s the thing. Try to be smarter about it. Don’t fall into the same traps. It’s almost kind of a chance I look at it to do a redo, right? Like, you know, just sometimes forcing yourself to just focus on what really works and being honest about it. There can be a lot of value in that. And I do believe, like we’ve had many conversations here, those that survive these [00:39:00] tough times, companies that are having tough times, they will be stronger, Jose, they will be stronger, especially if they, you know, learn the lessons right.

    Right. And you know what, Michele, I mean, thank you again for those magnifi those beautiful comments. And that’s what I love books. That’s what I read like crazy because Michele, like, uh, if you are a company is struggling and all that, I mean, you can have the best mentors in the world for less than 20 bucks, right?

    You, you spend those 20 bucks on Starbucks or, or in other like drinks and I mean, every book you read and you select and, uh, it’s, it’s uh, it’s uh, an endless possibilities, right? It’s learning from the mistakes and the winnings of others. So that’s the beautiful thing about. Reading books and like, like the one that, uh, Colin just published [00:40:00] and so many thousands of books.

    And that’s the beau, that’s the beauty of that. So I always encourage entrepreneurs to be perpetual learners. Always. I mean, be learning every single day, read the new books, and, and you just not, you don’t need to finish the whole book, just buy the books that you feel that you need to learn more. And even by chapters, just read two, three chapters that you need on X book and then jump into another book that will strength your capabilities and your abilities, I mean, for what you are currently leading and, and also to enhance, uh, your next stage as an entrepreneur.

    So I always encourage everyone to be a perpetual learner, otherwise. I mean, you be, you will be very weak in, in defining moments when you are challenging moments of, of struggle, you will be very weak, [00:41:00] right? Because you don’t have enough capabilities, enough skills and tools, and you don’t have the thick skin that give you experience learning mentors and, and, and, um, and so all that.

    So I haze a lot on, on that, Michele. Yeah. And, you know, I’d love to hear, you know, another lesson like I, I, I hear what I’m hearing so far is just this, it’s a recur, you know, a strong theme about being positive and picking yourself and moving forward. It really is, uh, you know, a mental and emotional state of mind.

    But what else could you tell our members here on the stage? You know about moving forward and making your business successful, um, getting in the ring, like you said, um, just getting in there and going for it. What other lessons might you share with us or tools, or your favorite books? Obviously we know your book and, and I’m going to [00:42:00] finish reading it.

    I, I’ve really enjoyed it. But what other tools might you share with us? You know, you know what Michele, one key factor is, uh, knowing how win looks to you, right? Because sometimes it’s so noisy, the environment of entrepreneurship that you lost sight. So be clear in what’s winning for you, okay? If you know how winning looks for you.

    You will be more clear, more, uh, productive and, and getting and having more traction towards your goal of winning. Also, very important, include others on the winning. Don’t just look for you to win. Look for others to win with you because, um, we tend to be very, um, un uninclusive to just thinking, oh, okay, how, how win looks for [00:43:00] me.

    But it’s also for others. Invite all to the table to the winning and you will be happier and better when arriving to that big win. In terms of books, I love, uh, bill to Last from Jim Colins. And Professor Jerry Pore. I have the privilege to be, uh, graduate from, uh, uh, L Band Latino Business Action Network.

    I graduate on 2020 and Professor Jerry Pore give me, I mean, several lessons on, on about this book Built to Last and, and, um, I mean, there’s so many books. I mean, Shoemaker On Shoemaker, it’s a great book for entrepreneurs for inspiration to see. You know what, actually I have to say this. When I was on living that big financial setback, I was listening, uh, on my commute to home every [00:44:00] single day.

    I was listening Shoe Dog. But, uh, the story of Nike, uh, the, the story of Phil Knight and that book helped me so much to encourage myself to feel. Confident, right? Uh, to feel confident. And it, it helped me a lot. A simple book, the story of this gentleman, right? And also, uh, maybe lastly, uh, we have to differentiate, uh, between self, uh, confidence and knowing, uh, your worth as a, as a person, right?

    Because self-confidence, it’s, it’s getting into the ring, I mean, over and over again. But if you are losing, I mean, you will lose if you are, are only self-confidence, right? But knowing your worth, I mean, what’s your value? That is will what? That’s the thing that is [00:45:00] going to help you to win. Why? Because it doesn’t matter if you lose four fights in a road, you know your value, you know, it’s just a matter of time.

    And if you don’t know your value and what’s your worth, you will lose. You will, I mean, in some point you will lose, uh, your self-confidence, your resiliency. So always know your value and always know your role.

    Awesome. So yeah, I mean, I hear you like we need confidence, right? You need confidence. And, and what I’m taking away is we also get confidence by setting our goals, like setting realistic goals, because I think that helps us, as you’re saying, gauge how we’re actually doing. Like, that’s, that’s a critical, you know, foundational piece that I would agree we all [00:46:00] need to do.

    Sure, sure. And, um, so, um, Michele, and what I try to put on my book, I feel, uh, on my journey and my personal journey in talking with other entrepreneurs, I understood that in entrepreneurship, sometimes as a, as a, as the owner of the company is very lonely. So you have to take or to call your own shots, uh, on solitude, right?

    Because at the end of the day, I mean, everybody can give you their opinion, but at the end of the day, you are the one that pull the trigger on decisions, and you are the one that take the path. So my intention on this book is to be your companion next to you, a book that you can open and be a friend on a guide.

    Of what to do on the final moments, what to do, what I have learned from Mark Cuban and from Joe Foster, for [00:47:00] example, sharing that and trying and not be, uh, on a scarcity mindset that every, everything that you learned through the journey, you keep it for yourself because it’s your secret sauce and you don’t want others to have the same success, like you, the same learnings.

    Sometimes people say, Hey, no, I mean, you, you have to be able to, uh, learn from your own, own failures and all that. I will not share that with you. No, we have to think, think and, uh, have an abundance, uh, mindset, right? I mean, my light is not going to diminish your light or your light is not going to diminish my light.

    By the contrary. I mean, with two lights we can have, I mean, better vision. So that’s my philosophy, and that was the main intention on this book, to touch others and to help them to feel, uh, that [00:48:00] companion on the road.

    That’s awesome. All right. We don’t have too much time left here, but we have someone, Paige, Hal, who’s had a lot of experience in starting businesses and running businesses, and I, I’d love for you to join in on this conversation page. Um, Jose’s talked a lot about, you know, it’s all your frame of mind and your motivation and moving forward.

    So I’d love to hear your point of view about, you know, how do entrepreneurs really get up and go get started and actually make it work. Over to you, Paige. Well, thanks Michele. And I really appreciate the comments that Jose had made. You know, I really took from it this concept of separating yourself from your startup.

    Um, and that maybe that takes some of the pressure off because when your startup’s not doing [00:49:00] well, you don’t have to say, I’m not doing well. You’re able to put it in a little box and say, now I want to focus on my startup, and it’s not doing well. I’m still doing well. I’m still capable, confident, ready to go.

    You know what I mean? Definitely learn from anything that happened. Uh, right now, one of the companies I’m involved with just got 80% of where they advertised. They just got kicked off a platform and, and you could sit there and say, we’re done. So the the things that I thought of when you asked the question earlier, Michele, and the businesses I’ve been at that have just been blindsided, you know, I got a call one time, I had funded a, a company and we had one big client and we were about to deliver our product.

    And the CEO called me and he said, our product doesn’t work. We can’t deliver, you know, we can’t deliver to our biggest client. And, and I was, I was, you know, it just like you say, it punched me. It had me on the, on the floor. You know what I mean? And the only thing I can think about as I go back to that moment, and I’ve seen some other people [00:50:00] do the same thing, is, is you really do have to clear out your schedule and apply a lot of focus.

    You almost want to expand time. Um, what I mean is that was vague is it took us a while to figure out how to recover and. It took us a while, but, but because we were working all the time on it, it was only five or six days before we knew what our plan was going forward. But during that interim time, we did have all hands on deck to really go through and say, how did we get in this point where we were dependent on this one customer, this one platform, this one financing?

    You know, how did we become dependent on that? Were we lazy in some of the things that we could have done better? And we allowed ourselves to be so dependent on something that, that, that really knocked us down, like you talked about getting on the canvas. And so you definitely had to analyze that. And then the second thing I think of that movie, the Princess Bride, where the, [00:51:00] the hero character ask after he is been almost dead, he says, what are our assets?

    And I think no matter what you’ve done in your company, and I like the way Jose said it, you know, your experiences, the things you’ve learned, the things you’ve done, there are assets in there that you’ve learned or you’ve done or you’ve accumulated, or relationships, there are things you can build on, um, to keep going forward.

    So Michele, those are my thoughts is one, separate yourself from it. Personally, I really like that from what Jose said. Two, I found you really have to, to make, you know, make every day seem like an hour. So you can do seven days worth of work and seven hours, and really dig into your company and beware that what you thought were your greatest strengths may have been your, you know, your biggest weaknesses.

    And then find your assets. Find the assets inside what you have left to grow on. So that’s what it made me think when they asked those really good questions. Yeah. And I know you personally, [00:52:00] Paige, for many years, and I know, uh, I’ll say resilience is, I was going to say your middle name, but I think it’s your first name too, Paige.

    So thank you for sharing that with us. Fantastic. Love the room. Thanks everybody. Thank you. Well, I see we have one more person on the room, but it looks like, um, he or she is on a call. So, Colin, you know, we’re about seven minutes out to the end of, um, our show here. You know, I, I also, when I think of resilience, I think of you Colin, like you have some phenomenal stories.

    Um, I know that you have shared ’em in your new book that’s coming out. Start scale, exit, repeat. That’s actually available for pre-order on Amazon. Yeah, but you know, what is the one resounding theme, Colin? Just like, I know if you had to sum it up, like you’ve had to get up and go and fallen down several times and you know, like, we like to say, [00:53:00] like, no business is easy.

    It’s always a struggle. We feel like we never feel like we’re just like, you know, oh my gosh, we’re the goose that laid the golden egg. So what would be your advice, Colin, as a successful serial entrepreneur, find a good fetal position? I, yeah, I’m, I’m joking, but you know, I can’t tell you how many times I just want to go home and crawl up in bed and just like, oh, sometimes it just feels horrible.

    You know, the whole entrepreneurial journey is a rollercoaster. It’s ups and downs. Uh, it is getting punched and getting knocked down and actually getting yourself up. And actually, I think I was actually really punched when I was in Russia. I was attacked. It was a surprise attack and then it was hit, went down for the count.

    But I did get back up. I was, I was wearing a white jacket, was completely bloody, the entire jacket [00:54:00] covered in blood because it had broke my nose. And, um, and my wrist was also affected by it. But in any case, got back up and, you know, we, we, uh, they managed to pull the guy off, uh, whatnot. And they thought I was American.

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I am an American citizen, but I’m also Canadian citizen. So in any case, the fact of the matter was it doesn’t justify it. And in any case, and, um, you know, that moment really impacted me and made me realize, you know, I’m doing a lot for this company. I’m tr I traveled to over 50 countries to

    And I know Michele, you’ve come with me and we’ve done a lot of travels together and we continue to do travels and working on Startup Club, which is our next big journey. And the book start scale, exit, repeat. Uh, each one of those are journeys. And you know, there are too many times in my past where I’ve taken a hit and had to find a way to get back up.

    And I don’t think we have enough time for me to go into that. But I have a because because, you know, Jose was [00:55:00] talking a lot about getting help and that we’re not alone. And ironically, I’m actually just finished the, uh, article that I’m submitting to Forbes titled, startup Founders, you’re Not Alone. Seven Freeways.

    Founders can increase their chances of success by getting help. So I thought I’d just spin it off here. I’m not going to go through it in detail and I know we’ll do a show around this one as well, probably in uh, July or August. But one of the ideas, the first one is to join an incubator, accelerator or innovation center.

    And I actually work at an innovation center. I do sessions with entrepreneurs and uh, they have 10 sessions over 10 weeks and they do several times a year. And guess what? It’s absolutely free. And you connect yourself within a group. You connect yourself to potential investors. You do a pitch competition, absolutely free.

    And you in your local community, you can find that. Number two, build a group of advisors. This is a really neat thing if you, um, and I don’t know if you’ve done this, Jose or [00:56:00] Giuseppe or Paige even, but this idea of building a group of advisors, not board of directors, because that can actually have legal.

    Issues and, and high insurance costs and whatnot, but a group of advisors who are in your industry or can help you achieve chief success, uh, as part of your company, creating a network of smart shareholders. I actually really do believe in having a group of shareholders in my companies. And, we had 27 investors, and guess what?

    I also had 27 free employees. That was pretty cool. Number four, join up Pure Group. I belong to an organization called EO and for 25 years now, monthly I get together with eight other entrepreneurs and we share challenges and strategies and growth opportunities, and we don’t charge each other. But we also learn about each other’s businesses.

    We expand. I think you’ve mentioned this, Jose. It’s not just about one company. It’s also about, um, sharpening your trade. Entrepreneurship is a trade. We need to continue to sharpen that sort and [00:57:00] learn from each other and continue to be better and better at that. We’re not one company. We’re not just CEO of one particular industry.

    We’re not just founder of one particular company. We are an entrepreneur in entrepreneurship, is a trade number five. Connect with others on social media. Uh, I can’t tell you how important Clubhouse has been for me, and I know Giuseppe for you as well. I mean, it is amazing Clubhouse and just connecting here.

    Uh, we’ve sort of, we’ve started to look at potentially entree as well. They’ve got some interesting stuff there. I know Discord has some things I know. Um, We’re talking audio chat, but you’ve also got the social media, like on LinkedIn and the, and the startup groups and that kind of stuff. Number six, find a mentor and I had the opportunity to interview a few days ago.

    Um, an individual from score. Score provides free mentoring support, help small businesses launch, grow and thrive. Guess what? They’ve helped 11 million entrepreneurs in over 60 years. It’s a government funded organization with volunteers. [00:58:00] Again, it’s free. You just go to and sign up. Number seven, you like this Jose, and you’re going to get the last word.

    Jose. Read books and listen to podcasts. This particular show is syndicated in podcasts. We have over 110 episodes. It’s called Serial Entrepreneur Secrets Revealed. You can search through your favorite podcast channel. Uh, it’s a fun show. It’s a live show, so you never know what happens on it, but we’ve had over probably 50.

    Uh, invitees and we’ve had hundreds of speakers from the community as well who’ve contributed to those 110 episodes. Phenomenal authors, serial entrepreneurs, experts, uh, uh, billionaires. We’ve had ’em all on this show, and it’s been very exciting to be partnered here with Michele Van Tobo, Mimi Ostrander, and myself.

    Uh, Jose, last word, uh, read books and listen to podcasts. It’s free. Doesn’t cost anything. You don’t have to sign up to a [00:59:00] masterclass to go and listen to 110 episodes of Serial Entrepreneur Secrets Revealed. And let me tell you this, you will get an MBA in entrepreneurship if you did that. Mm-hmm. Sure, sure.

    Colin. Super important. And you know, you know, I love it. I love, um, I think it’s mandatory. If you are on this journey, playing this game of entrepreneurship, it’s mandatory for you. To be always, I mean, searching for new podcasts or listening the podcasts that you already select and, and, and curate for you.

    And ask other leaders, other leaders that you admire. I mean, as them, what they are hearing, what they are reading, and they will be so, um, uh, humble to tell you. I mean, what’s the secret sauce? I mean, what’s the podcast that they are listening? I, I hear so many podcasts in Spanish and English, and I always have a list and, uh, [01:00:00] screenshots that I share with, with new peers when I, when I met them, Hey, you know what?

    I think based on our conversation, you should read this book. This book helped me a lot on this and that. So I have a lot of books on Audible. Also, my book is on Audible because Audible is important for me because I don’t listen to the, to the radio when I’m driving. I always listen in a podcast or an out audible on audible.

    So yeah, super important, mandatory and, um, um, sure, I mean, I think that’s, and you know what I mean, in this current market, that thing is going to grow exponentially. I mean, if you are not ha um, I mean doing this, I mean, in, in, uh, increasing your consumption of podcast content, all that, I mean, you will be falling behind every day, [01:01:00] every day.

    So it’s mandatory. And thank you calling. Thank you for, I mean, sharing. I mean, all your knowledge and sharing your, your new book, because I know it’s pure goal for all of us entrepreneurs. And, um, I mean, I, I thank everyone to for reading my book as well. It’s from my heart and it’s, that’s the main intention to be, I mean, of value for thousands of people.

    And, um, I, I love it. Thank, thank you for the invite. Thank you for, uh, giving me this opportunity to speak from the heart about, uh, my journey and my experiences, and I’m, I’m glad to hear from the other, uh, person, Giuseppe and Paige. Love it. I mean, I, I love to connect with you guys as well, and thank you.

    Thank you so much for the opportunity. Awesome. And thank you. Um, we’re really, you know, so [01:02:00] pleased that you came on stage and you shared your story with all of our amazing members here at Startup Club. So on that note, we’re a little past the hour. I just want to remind everybody, you can go to our and join our email list as well as get links and podcast, uh, uh, links to podcasts, excuse me.

    Um, you can see show notes, you can see transcripts for gosh, close to 200 episodes. So it’s all there. It’s all free for you. And we’d greatly appreciate if you sign up for our email newsletter. It’s a great way to just stay in contact and stay in touch. Going on in Startup Club. So thank you. And don’t forget to tune in next week, Friday at 2:00 PM Eastern Time gentlemen.[01:03:00] 

    Um, he actually has a podcast called Joseph Jaffe is not famous. He also is a five time author. He’s written books such as Flip the Funnel, how to Use Existing Customers to Gain New Ones and Built To Suck the inevitable demise of Corporations and How Do We Save It, and several other books. So, um, we’d love for you to join.

    He’s also been doing a daily 8:00 AM show, you know, here on, on Startup Club. So thank you Jose. Thank you Giuseppe, and thank you Paige. We always appreciate hearing your amazing stories and you know what, we learn so much from each other. Thank you and everyone have an amazing weekend. Thank you. Thank you everyone.

    Thank you. Thank you. Bye-bye. Thank you. Bye.

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