Podcast

Planting And Nurturing The Seed For Entrepreneurial Success

TWS 30 | Entrepreneurial Success

 

Cultivating your business can be well compared to the process on how we cultivate and grow plants. In this 30th episode, Patrick Donohoe unloads the experiences and lessons he has learned this year. Reviewing some concepts, he talks about entrepreneurship and success and teaches on how we can rewrite the rules of failure, rewire our conditioning, and live successfully. Sit back and tune in to this episode to learn how you can plant and nurture new seeds, and start seeing things transpire.

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Planting And Nurturing The Seed For Entrepreneurial Success

I’m solo and I have a lot to cover. I’m excited to share a few things with you. This is the episode after Thanksgiving. I hope you guys had an amazing Thanksgiving and were able to celebrate the amazing things that we all have around us. I’ve come to love this year, which is trading expectations for appreciation. I’m going to get into a lot of that. I hope you guys had a great break and it’s hard to believe that we’re coming to the end of the year and the end of the season on entrepreneurship. I’ve had a good time and I want to unload on everyone, the experiences I’ve had this year that have revolved around this topic. We still have a few more guests left. It’s not going to be the last episode. I’ll probably do a conclusion to the season, but I have a few more guests.

My good friend, Craig Ballantyne, is the author of The Perfect Day Formula. For those of you who have read my book, I talk about the story behind how the book came to light and Craig’s couple day workshop was instrumental in initiating those thoughts, feelings, drive and motivation to the book. Also, we have the CEO of a local company. One of my guys, Ben Curtis, an amazing friend and one of the executives here at Paradigm. He knows everybody it seems like. We both have about a year ago bought this backpack from Nomatic and I’ve seen them everywhere and I got to travel a lot this year. There are a lot of people, even internationally, they have Nomatic backpacks. The CEO and the founder are going to join us. We have him on here and then a few more guests.

We have more than the actual weeks are. We’re going to probably do a couple in a week. Anyway, I hope you guys have enjoyed it. The purpose of doing this is as much to benefit me as it is to benefit you because I’m on this journey as well and I know you tuning in and the feedback that we get around the notion of entrepreneur, it doesn’t relate to those that are already entrepreneurs. There’s an entrepreneur bug in everyone. There’s this I would say seed in us that we can nourish and nurture and then once it becomes a plant, we can prune it and ultimately get fruit from it. It’s one of those things where it’s not this overnight thing. There’s some entrepreneurial perspective out there that you get these insanely successful results.

The fruit, without ever having to plant a seed and multiple seeds and nourish the soil, make sure it’s in the right soil and prune, fertilize and weed and there’s a whole process to it. It’s a never-ending process, the whole idea of infinite game. It’s this never-ending process of improving ourselves, expanding, providing more value to others. I’ve had a great time and I want to talk about some of the things that have been going on with me, some of the experiences I’ve had, my breakthroughs. Before I do that, I’m going to introduce the next season for The Wealth Standard podcast and we have a lot of stuff that we could talk about and I felt appropriate to talk more practical things.

We’ve spent essentially two years being very philosophical. 2018 is with the year that my book came out and we got into the notion of life that you are your best asset. We got into liberty, the pursuit of independence, the pursuit of freedom and then property coming from John Locke’s writings and his philosophy back in the late 1700s. We get into this year and we talk about capitalism. Capitalism is very philosophical and then we’re into entrepreneurship, which is also an idea. For 2020, we’re going to kick off the first season talking about investments and wealth strategy. It’s going to be different. I don’t do anything mainstream. Mainstream is boring and mainstream never works either, especially in the long run. My take on it is going to be atypical investments, atypical wealth strategy.

I have an incredible opportunity to network and rub shoulders with so many amazing people and I run across all different types of investments that are fascinating. It’s amazing what people come up with as far as value propositions and how they monetize that, how they raise capital, how they trade investments, do they get others to invest. We’re going to definitely have several months of talking about different investments, alternative investments, atypical investments as well as wealth strategy. I want to weave in the ideas that we’ve been talking about the last couple of years around entrepreneurship pursuing financial independence, what that means and how does investment relate to you as an individual, your business, how you produce and how you generate revenue.

Being in harmony with one another is where fulfillment comes from. Click To Tweet

I know that the success will come from them being hand-in-hand as opposed to contrary. There has to be this balance between the two. In the end, if a person has tons of money and they have tons of investments and they’re earning income every single month without the ability to produce value to somebody else, to provide, to contribute, to give back, to grow who you are and be more valuable to other people, that’s when life is sad for most. There’s that saying that Tony Robbins uses which is, “Success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure.” I believe that fulfillment comes from understanding who we are and being of benefit to somebody else regardless of how financially free we are with investments in wealth. They go hand-in-hand. That’s one of the reasons why I wrote the book because I saw evidence of that all over the place. I hope you guys have had a chance to read it. If you haven’t, go to HeadsOrTailsIWin.com or you can also go to the podcast website, which is TheWealthStandard.com. There are links on there to purchase it.

We’re going to get a lot into investment strategy, wealth strategy and atypical investments. I hope you guys are ready for that because I have some cool people that I’ve met along the way plus some others that I would like to interview. They have some cool angles on making investments, ensuring investments, due diligence. We have a good friend of mine, Mauricio, who’s been on the show in the past. He is an attorney and specialized in syndication raising capital and sees all investments. At the same time, he sees lots of ways in which people syndicate, raise money and do it the wrong way and get themselves in trouble and subsequently get a lot of other people in trouble by losing their money. We’re going to get into the legal side of things. We’re going to get into how to do due diligence. We’re going to get into some weird, interesting types of investments that you’ve probably never heard of before. It’s going to be fun. One other thing, stick with me to the end because in the end, I am going to invite you to something.

Lessons From 2019

Let me talk a lot about what I’ve learned this 2019. If you guys are tuning in for the first time, go back, read the previous blog and binge them all there. There are some that are long. We had the longest podcast with Michael Gerber ever recorded in almost north of our 400 episodes. It was amazing. I intended for it to go maybe 30 minutes, maybe 40 minutes. It went almost two hours and it was amazing. We hope you guys had the chance to read all of that. There are some nuggets in there that totally inspired me. What I’ve learned over the years and the lesson that I’ve taken away from this season and my year spending a lot of time on personal development, I joined up with a Tony Robbins inner circle called the Platinum Partnership and have traveled all over the world. I did 8 or 9 events this year. I was everywhere. It’s insane. It was exhausting to say the least, but it totally changed my life.

What I’ve discovered about myself is the idea that the quality of your life is in proportion to the quality of your relationships. I’ve met some incredible people. Growing up, I was introverted, shy and wouldn’t go out of my way to introduce myself or talk to somebody. I still have those inclinations. At the same time, these were some of the most amazing experiences that I’ve had is coming from knowing and understanding others. With the podcast, I have a unique opportunity to ask questions, to understand a person, to hear stories and build those connections. It’s such a blessing for me. There’s no calculated way in which I got to the point where I was able to do this. In the end I look at how powerful relationships are. It’s what we all seek and to share one another with each other, all different. We’re all unique. We all have different experiences and circumstances.

It’s one of those paradoxes. The idea of connecting with people to fear, there’s this fear associated with it and it’s how we stack up or what if they knew this, how I look or how I’m perceived. We have this way in which you show up at the most successful way in which we show up is to be real, is to be earthy ourselves, to be authentic. It’s like there’s a spider sense and everybody that detects whether that’s BS or not. For me, it’s recognizing that there are some successful people out there. I don’t have to be afraid. Also at the same time, I look at many successful people and with this group that I’ve been a part of efforts, I’ve heard so many stories around success, especially in the business world, the investment world, but horrible failures in relationships, in their bodies, in their physical well-being, their health. It’s one of those things that has caused me to reflect on.

TWS 30 | Entrepreneurial Success

The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life

There’s this balance of things everybody seeks, but yet nobody ever achieves. That’s where it’s this constant refinement process over and over. It’s not on one aspect of our lives. It’s on all aspects of our lives. Them being in harmony with one another is where that fulfillment comes from. My point was within all individuals, we put people on pedestals that this successful person, they’ve accomplished and achieved all these things, but they’re human. We all battle the same things. That’s what I’m going to talk about because we’re always working on ourselves. We always have those opportunities, but unless we realize it’s going to be very difficult to suppress the real us, it’s eventually going to come out. We might as well accept it from the get-go. What I’ve learned is that I love who I am.

I don’t know if I’ve always believed that. I love the relationships that I have and I feel so fortunate and grateful for that. The same that I mentioned in the beginning, trading appreciation for expectations. It’s changed my life because there are all sorts of things that I expect. I have high standards for myself, high standards for my kids, high standards for my business, and I realize that we’re all human beings coming to the table, inadequate of subject to failure. Instead of me being frustrated or impatient with those that I’m surrounded by, even myself, I’m the most harsh on myself, it’s to be grateful for them. Grateful for who I am, grateful for my opportunities, grateful for my experiences, good, bad or indifferent. This is the perspective I’d go into these new relationships that I have. I look at from an entrepreneur perspective, I believe that we’re all facing the exact same challenge, the exact same problems in relation to getting ahead. They may be at different scales but it all comes down to fear.

Rewriting The Rules Of Failure

The fear is different, but ultimately fear boils down. The saying boils down is, “You boil saltwater, you’ll get salt in the end.” Where everything boils down to is the fear of not being loved because you have this fear of a feeling of not being enough. You don’t want people to perceive that you’re not enough for this relationship or that relationship. Everybody has that no matter what caliber of person it is, whether it’s amongst your peers, amongst your family. It all boils down to that. It’s at different degrees. These feelings of failure, falling short of expectations, it’s amazing that we have these rules that we’ve unconsciously created for what failure is. Failure, we have to define it, but failure can be defined in so many different ways. Most people would say, “I’m afraid of failing because of how I will look. People will realize that I’m not smart as I or they think I am. I’m not enough. I’m inadequate.”

Everybody has that. We all have it in some capacity in different elements of our life. Rewiring yourself to have different rules. We all had these rules where we’ve unconsciously created them. Rewriting the rule of failure could be failure is only if I fail to see a lesson in my life’s experiences. That’s where you have a challenge. Maybe your expectation is for this to happen but maybe it doesn’t happen. There’s a lesson there. There’s something amazing and failing to see that is ultimate failure. I also heard something that blew me away. It had to do with worthiness. That’s also something, especially when it comes to the Judeo-Christian world. We don’t want to be unworthy. We don’t want to do things that are against this or against that. We have all rules associated with that. I heard a new rule rewriting in the rule around worthiness which is, I’m worthy when I know I push myself beyond my previous limitations.

That’s an incredibly empowering rule. I’m not going to get into all the details of it, but we have these rules associated with how we’re happy. “I’m happy if all of these things happen.” You can be happy without that. Most people have been happy in the past without those expectations. It’s fascinating. We approach life and we approach challenge, that’s never going to end. The human experience I would say is, to constantly have these experiences where we’re challenged, we hit these emotional thresholds and we essentially make a decision in that moment. There’s another saying I love, which is, “All you need is three seconds of courage and you can change your entire life.” In those three seconds, decisions will be made about who you are, what you’re capable of, what you want. Knowing that you can overcome whatever it is to get what you want, that would completely change somebody’s life.

The gap between where we are and where we want to be is ultimately unused courage, it’s not acting on those opportunities. It’s unused faith in ourselves. Believing that we’re not capable or we’re not worthy or inadequate or we’re not smart enough. Ultimately, making decisions and facing what the world constitutes as failure in a lot of people’s eyes is success. That’s one of those common things I’ve seen with successful entrepreneurs is they’ve rewritten the rules associated with what success means and what failure means. It’s powerful and we all face these opportunities to grow. I heard a talk and it talked about how many examples there are in literature, in religious scripture about vegetation the idea of fruit and the idea of seeds. There’s this process between seed and fruit and continual fruit that’s profound. I believe there’s a parallel to our human experience. We want fruit, we want different results, we want better results.

Oftentimes it takes planting a new seed, nurturing that seed, making sure it’s in the right environment, fertilizing it, pruning it and then it gets to the point where it bears fruit and then the fruit falls off. Some of it’s eaten, some of it goes right into the soil and essentially has new seeds in there and it grows into new plants. It’s a fascinating thing to think about. You can get deep into that. The idea is in the end, people want to circumvent nature. Entrepreneurs, especially those that have been successful over and over again, understand this vegetation process, read this plant process, this natural order of things. What’s amazing is that in that order of things, you’re never going to have the same exact environment. There are going to be different storms. There’s going to be a fire. There are going to be lightning storms, a hurricane. In those storms, things get stronger.

Successful entrepreneurs have rewritten the rules associated with what success means and what failure means. Click To Tweet

Oftentimes, we’re so afraid of storms. We’re so afraid of adversity and challenge. We try our best to circumvent it because it goes to this whole failure. “I don’t want to be perceived as incompetent. I don’t want to feel that I’m not enough. I don’t want to experience failure. I love people. When they see that I’m a failure, they’re not going to love me.” It’s weird how we keep coming back to that. Ultimately, I would say approaching these storms and recognizing that growth takes place when there is friction. When we approach that friction, we figure our way through it, not around it. That’s where the growth takes place. I’m going to give you guys a story that is interesting. I went to a relationship course called Relationship Mastery. It was amazing. I’m going to get into one thing that I experienced that I might get into toward the end. The one main thing I experienced there is the concept of immersion and conditioning. It was set up this way, but it was a traumatic environment in which men got into their roots of survival and it was powerful.

It was from a self-defense class, but it wasn’t self-defense in being able to defend yourself. It was self-defense by being able to have wired into your nervous system how to incapacitate somebody. It was profound because of how shocking it was. Also, because of how well I now have the knowledge of that in me. It’s powerful. The guy that taught it was a former Navy SEAL. He’s trained high-level corporate executives. You look at the guy and if you went into a dark alley in the middle of the worst situation possible, he’s the guy you would want to go with.

You look at him, his voice is like presence. He’s freaking huge. Sleeve tattoos, a guy you do not want to mess with. When he speaks, everybody shuts up, there’s a room of hundreds of hundreds of men that were completely silent when he was speaking. They started off this event by having a very faint light in the room. They played these traumatic videos. One of the videos I remember was of a store clerk and he was being robbed at knife point, not at gun point. He tried to defend himself and was unable to defend himself. Ultimately the attacker, knifed him, stabbed him to death and it was all visual. There’s nothing that was edited and my heart sank. It was one of those like your jaw dropped to the floor and you should see the room was perfectly silent because of how traumatizing it was. It showed somebody on the subway, multiple people trying to get this guy that had a gun and they all tried to go after him and he ultimately shot them. It was traumatic. During that, you had an interesting experience among this group of men. One of them completely passed out. We were all standing at the time, completely passed out. It was crazy. Then, another one passed out. He had these big thumbs on the floor. It was super traumatizing, but he showed us that to create the environment, to plant a seed. This goes to that same type of example.

The seed that he started to plant was one of the most powerful things I’ve ever experienced. He cited a book by Daniel Coyle called The Talent Code. In The Talent Code, it talks about the process of establishing what’s called myelin. It’s these different ways in which your brain is wired to do certain things by habit. It’s the whole unconscious competence where you have the Tiger Woods, the Michael Jordans, these professional people, musicians. There’s another example where you’ve conditioned yourself over and over that you do not think when you perform. You’ve done all the work. It’s built into your nervous system and you go out and you know exactly what to do. You don’t consciously know what to do, unconsciously you’d know exactly what to do. This book explains this Russian tennis camp and how they practice a specific way. The practice was done with intensity but in slow motion. What we learned to do is in this environment, it was over the course of a couple of hours. We were partnered up and we practiced this different incapacitating strikes with one another.

The strikes looked it was to the esophagus, to the artery and in your neck. I’m spacing it. The solar plexus, breaking ankles from the outside and inside the groin, how to strike the groin properly, strike the neck from the back, strike ankles from the back as well. It’s side, back and the other side. It was so intense and it was a strike over and over again. We did this over and over again to nurture that seed so that if we ever are in the situation in which our family was in jeopardy, we were attacked that we essentially had our life on the line. That our nervous system will remember what we were learning and we would be able to take out an eye, take out a throat, and incapacitate somebody with taking out their legs, their groin, their solar plexus and their esophagus. The soft spot right below your neck where if hit, the person cannot breathe. It was super traumatizing.

Conditioning

The point of me saying this was the idea of conditioning is building habits, building in ways of doing things. This comes down to the process of making decisions. Conditioning ourselves that when we have a challenge, when something presents itself, you have stimulus as far as the event happening then you have response, which is how you react. You can build in strategically a way in which you approach a challenge, a way in which you approach a difficulty, a way in which you approach your spouse, your children and your business opportunities. If you strategically do that and the new condition that you follow, a certain process essentially changes your life. That’s where everything happens between all the stimulus that we have, which is normally the same every single day and then the responses that we have to it, which are mainly unconscious. You can start to rewire that unconscious and respond to things, rewire things, and redefine the rules of things.

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Entrepreneurial Success: Failure is when you fail to see lessons in your life experiences.

 

This has to do with every part of our life. It has to do with our physical well-being. It has to do with our relationships, with work, our spirituality, the full spectrum. We can completely change our life with this process. That’s the thing that I’ve seen in entrepreneurs is whether they’ve done this consciously or they’ve experienced things. They’ve been able to redefine how they approach challenges. They’ve been able to redefine what they do in certain circumstances. What’s the proper way to respond? What’s the improper way to respond? Carnally are response is typically going to be survival. We’re going to defend ourselves. If somebody critiques us, we’re going to be the old tack back. If somebody is condescending or they criticize us in the workplace, we’re going to fire back. If we make a mistake, we’re going to blame other people. These are the carnal instincts that cause us to respond, the way to protect ourselves. Protect ourselves from getting hurt and feeling that we’re not enough and feeling that we’re not loved.

This is where you have to redefine that because you’re going to respond to it anyway. Between that stimulus and response is where a totally new life is available to you. The idea is making these decisions over and over again is going to give you essentially different results. I’m going to give you an example with my five-year-old. Here in the office, about a little over a year ago, one of my guys and I bought a golf simulator. We have been looking one for a while. We have a massive office space. We lease out about 10,000 square feet. We have 30,000 in total. The reason why we have such a massive office space is because we get a great deal on the office. Several years ago, there were new owners and we were about to move. They came to us with this sweetheart deal where we’re going to get almost triple the square footage with less monthly costs than the new place that we were moving. It was amazing. We’ve been here, we have one more year left, and then we’re probably going to move.

The reason I’m saying this is because we have a golf simulator in our office and it’s been amazing. I’ve totally taken this whole The Talent Code thing and practice ten minutes, 3 or 4 times a week. It totally works. I brought my five-year-old son in. It’s so amazing to have kids. It’s one of the blessings in my life and something I do not appreciate as much as I should. With my five-year-old son, I had him do exactly what I had learned at these self-defense courses. Obviously, not breaking an ankle or smacking a groin, I would not do that. My wife would crush me if I did that. Anyway, maybe when he’s older, but from a slow motion from an intensity standpoint and it was fascinating to watch. It was fascinating to experience because I had him slowly walk up one more step. For a five-year-old, this is painful to do anything in slow motion, one step, another step. Get his feet in the right location.

Entrepreneurship And Success

It is grip. “Come down, lean over the ball. Tori is going to hit, look at the back of the ball and do everything in slow motion.” I had him do it five times before he hit a real ball. It’s amazing the results of that. Physically, there’s nothing much on the line but this applies to every other aspect of life. If you’re intentional about it, you can completely rewire things. Let me move on because what I’m trying to get across to you is this whole idea of entrepreneurship and success is essentially understanding ourselves, understanding our behavior. It all starts with planting new seeds, nourishing those seeds, having patience and then seeing where things transpire. It’s going to happen most likely in ways that people don’t think this relationship is created, that relationship is created, but all starts with that planting of a seed.

I would say those seeds are the opportunities that you have between stimulus and response. I believe that you understand the significance of the decisions that you have on a daily basis. It comes down to reverse engineering the day, reverse engineering decision. It could be as simple as showing up differently at the office. It can be showing up differently when you come home. It could be showing up differently for the holidays. You’re going to have some major opportunities to do that, where you see family and it’s amazing how people resort to who they were when they were a child. They conform to how they are with their family.

Cognitive, Emotional And Physical Mastery

It does not have to be that way. You can show up completely different. You can show up with a different state. A state of loving, instead of the state that you’re all comfortable. We’re all comfortable and familiar with. There are always opportunities to be different in those moments. This is the idea behind I would say the different types of mastery. I spoke about this before, there are three forms of mastery: cognitive mastery, emotional mastery and physical mastery. What I’ve seen out there is we have an immense amount of knowledge. It’s everywhere. It’s at our fingertips. We can have access to the heaps and heaps of information but having the access to knowledge will not get us different results. This brings us to the second level of mastery, which is emotional mastery, is understanding the positive emotions and the negative emotions associated with the information you now have available to you. This is where you get to connect to if you use information and try and get new results fail, what emotions are going to take place, and then how do you redefine the rules associated with those motions in order to have a different experience?

Growth takes place when there is friction. Click To Tweet

Doing that over and over conditioning that leads to physical mastery. You’ve purged old habits and you’ve replaced them with new habits. It’s the continual conditioning, reprogramming, rewiring and reinforcing those habits, whether it’s how you eat, how your day goes, how you show up as a father, how you show up as a friend, as son or daughter as a sibling. It applies to everything in life. How you show up as a colleague? You have the circumstances, you have that environment, but you can plant a new seed, you can nourish differently. You can prune differently, all different vegetation out there. Some require a lot of water, some require no water, weeds. Some grow quick and some grow slow. Some take years to bear fruit, some produce fruit in one season. There are all different circumstances that we have. However, we have something that separates us from the natural order of life. We have the ability to choose. We can choose what seeds we plant. We can choose how to nurture differently, observe, prune maybe uproot and replant.

Those choices that we have that we get to confront every single day. This is going to the purpose of me explaining this is what I’ve discovered in entrepreneurs. I’ll go back to the Relationship Mastery I went to. This is where many successful people were there. I can name businesses, I can name even some people, which I won’t. These are billionaires, multi-hundred millionaires who were so successful in certain areas of their life, but were either in horrible shape physically or had horrible relationships. It’s having these successes without fulfillment and fulfillment comes from a few areas.

Intimate Relationships

It’s relationships, number one, that’s where the ultimate, that type of relationship. An intimate relationship, a partner that is where I would say a lot of life’s fulfillment comes from, not everything. I would say it’s one of those primary ingredients that if you don’t have it, it’s going to be very challenging, if not impossible to have a truly fulfilling life. Having relationships, especially with male and female, that where they’re completely wired different yet they both think each other as the same. I won’t go into that. It’s this idea of wanting to have a fulfilling relationship and being willing to approach that challenge in a new way.

Being able to rewire the rules where you’re not afraid of not being enough or not being loved, that you get to the point where you’re generous regardless of the circumstances. It’s not this horse trading, where I do this, I’m only going to do that if she does that or he does this and then I’ll do that. That’s where things get off the rails. That’s why you look at all the different aspects of life and entrepreneurs face challenges in all those different regards. The equation and the ingredients are all the same, it’s just a different application. It’s approaching challenge and recognizing that there is this ideal outcome. Understanding the actual seed nurture, prune, you understand that process and you can start making decisions now. It’s not that life is going to change overnight. These are going to be some decisions that are going to be hard.

If you can rewire yourself, if you can condition yourself then it’s going to be easier and easier. You’re going to want to get to a new level and then another level. The process will never end. It’s an infinite game. It’s going to happen. The infinite game, the purpose of the game is to keep on playing. This is a game that we’re going to play for the rest of our life. There’s not an end to it. That’s probably the first thing you should be aware of. Even though there’s fruit in the end, you’re going to have a storm that’s going to blow all the fruit off and you’ve got to start somewhere else. It’s one of those things where it’s a constant, but there are some things we can be aware of so that we can start getting different results. I’m going to talk about my invitation to you guys.

The events I’ve gone to this year have been life-changing for me. It’s helped me view things differently. It’s exposed some stuff in me that I wasn’t happy about. It’s helped my relationships with my spouse first and foremost. Not without difficult conversations and realizations that I’ve had and she’s had, with my kids, especially the way in which I would respond, in way in which I would show up sometimes. This whole year has caused me to reflect on my life what I want and where I’m at, being appreciative and grateful for everything. Using that as the focus as opposed to what’s missing or what somebody’s not doing, not what are they doing. It’s allowed me to introspect over and over again and rewire myself and I’m not done.

TWS 30 | Entrepreneurial Success

Entrepreneurial Success: Entrepreneurship and success are essentially understanding ourselves and our behavior.

 

Unleash The Power

There are events I’m going to go to next year, but I wanted to invite you guys to an event. It’s an event that I took my daughter who turned fifteen at the event in Miami. I took a great friend of mine and colleague Nate Butler in my office, who’s one of our advisors. These were life-changing experiences for them in different ways as you can imagine. My experience of it as well was different. This is the fourth time I’ve attended this specific event and I walked away from it with something completely different and empowering. It was amazing. I want to invite my podcast audience, The Wealth Standard podcast audience to a physical event this coming March and I believe the dates are March 12th through the 15th, and it’s in San Jose, California. I would like to not only invite you, but I want to meet you there depending on how many people end up coming. I’m going to arrange a meeting, whether it’s at a hotel or at the event itself, so we can all meet up and discuss.

We’ll do it probably after the event has started. I can’t wait to go. I’m going to bring some people from my office. It’s going to be a great event. I would like to invite you, the audience. If you guys head over to TheWealthStandard.com, I’m going to have some information on there and how you can essentially go and register. It has all information on there for you. This is an event that some pretty famous people have been to and go to, most notably Serena Williams, Hugh Jackman, Anthony Hopkins. This is the event of Marc Benioff, who is the Founder of Salesforce. He’s a billionaire because of creating Salesforce and a lot of those ideas, but also the courage to leave Oracle and to start his new journey came from attending this event.

I believe that in each of you, there is something that is there to be unleashed. It’s ready. That seed is there and discovering it is usually possible. When you unplug yourself from the norms, unplug yourself from your daily routine and you plant yourself in an environment that is designed to essentially bring this out of you. It’s a Tony Robbins conference called Unleash The Power. It’s his primary event. I don’t think Tony is going to be doing these conferences for a lot longer. I might be totally wrong. It’s intense. You guys will see, and it’s an incredible experience that I’ve been blessed to attend a number of times and I want to give that gift you. I want to invite you guys to come. If you have the means, some of the tickets are a few $100 but don’t sit up in the nosebleeds. I would say purchase those tickets. Make that investment in yourself for every aspect of your life. It supplies to them all. I would love to see you, too. I love to hang out with you, rub shoulders and brainstorm.

I love to give that gift to you. That’s my invite. Hopefully, you can go over to TheWealthStandard.com and click on the link. It’s going to be awesome. It’s March 12th to 15th, 2020 and it’s in San Jose, California. I’d love to see you there. That’s it for this episode. I hope you guys have gotten something out of it. I believe that within all humans is something super special. The fact that you are on a podcast, educating yourself, the cognitive mastery, I don’t think you’re going to change your life by reading this blog. It’s the application of that knowledge that’s going to start to change things for you.

I know that you don’t have to go to conferences in order to have the experience of physical mastery, but this is a way to accelerate that process. I’d love to see you there. Please tune in. We get some cool guests coming up. I hope you had an amazing Thanksgiving. I feel very grateful to you for the support I’ve received over the years. It’s humbling and I appreciate the emails that are sent, the thumbs up they sent, the reads. It makes me incredibly grateful and appreciative that there are those out there that wants to take their life to new heights and make a bigger difference, not for themselves, but for those that they surround themselves with. I’m super appreciative to you guys. Thank you for all that you do for me. Take care.

Important Links:

Tony Robbins Unleash The Power Within
San Jose, CA
March 12-15, 2020
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When Innovation Creates Growth With Nick Webb

TWS 29 | Business Innovation

 

At the end of the day, the one thing that any business needs to thrive and survive is innovation. The act of innovating, of creating something new with plenty of value, is what drives a company forward and up. Nick Webb, CEO of Cravve and author of The Innovation Mandate: The Growth Secrets of the Best Organizations in the World, delves into the nature and place of innovation in any business: new, old, growing, or slowing down. The world marketplace has always been driven by the consumer, so when they’re not responding to your business, that just means you’re not listening to what your consumers need.

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When Innovation Creates Growth With Nick Webb

I have an awesome guest. We’re going to keep going on this theme of entrepreneurship. This individual is someone that I wanted to get on to speak specifically about the idea of innovation as well as the customer and how the customer is changing at a rapid pace. How important it is for the entrepreneur to keep up and how to do that, more importantly. My guest is Nicholas Webb. He is the Founder and CEO of LeaderLogic. He is a world-renowned business strategist, best-selling author and futurist. As an inventor, Nicholas created one of the first wearable technologies and one of the first smallest medical implants. He is the Founder and CEO of Cravve, a top business growth consulting firm. He has been awarded over 45 patents by the US Patent and Trademark Office for a wide range of cutting-edge technologies. He is the bestselling author of several books, What Customers Crave: How to Create Relevant and Memorable Experiences at Every Touchpoint. His other book came out in September 2019, which is called The Innovation Mandate: The Growth Secrets of the Best Organizations in the World.

Nick, it’s amazing to have you on. Thank you so much for spending this time. How is everything going in your world?

It’s good. Thank you. I appreciate it.

Nick, we’ve been spending a lot of time on the show learning about many different aspects of entrepreneurship. What I love about what you write and speak about is the idea of innovation. It’s clear to everyone that we are rapidly advancing as a society. It’s like we’re being unconsciously conditioned to buy differently, to get our news differently, to be entertained, manage our money and learn. In your book, you talk all about this. You make the case for innovation and being that variable that distinguishes successful and unsuccessful companies. Can you expand on that for us?

The best way to look at the term that everybody is using is disruption. If you think about what disruption is, it’s another way of saying difference, but that difference is much bigger than it ever has been before. The speed of differentness has sped up. In a time of differentness, most organizations that are failing are those organizations that are committed to the status quo. What I found after researching a few years ago with my book, What Customers Crave and The Innovation Mandate, I found that the best organizations without a doubt are those organizations that understood their customers better. They rapidly develop new business models, new economic models, new products and services. As a result of that, they’re absolutely growing at a rate that is hard to believe. Whereas these large established companies like Toys “R” Us, Sears and others are failing at mathematical certainty.

Don't burn up your resources trying to take something that isn't valuable out to the market. Click To Tweet

How do you define or characterize innovation?

I come in innovation in a pretty well-rounded way. I started my career inventing medical technologies. My first technology was one of the world’s smallest micro-silicone implants for ocular surface disease. You could say innovation is about the bright shiny object. I spend 43 patents. Working with enterprise, I began to realize that some of the best innovations are going to be new ways in which I deliver more consumer value to people or in the case of a business-to-business model client value. What that looks like is the definition of innovation is pretty straight forward. It’s the new value that serves you, your organization and your customer. It can be new ways to introduce new business models that you borrow from another industry. It can be new packaging. It can be new ways in which you answer your telephone. It can be cutting-edge technologies. It’s anything that serves your organization and customer that’s new and valuable.

How often should a company be innovating?

It should be a continuous process. The best way to look at it is that innovation is like a stock portfolio. It’s comprised of incremental innovations, which is a constant way in which we get better. There are landmark innovations which are significant ways that we improve the way that we deliver value to our enterprise and our customers, then there are breakthrough and disruptive innovation. Across that continuum of those four different types of innovations, we should be doing this all the time. The problem is that client and customer value or expectation is continuing to climb. Amazon, when they first launched, you wait a week and you’ll get whatever you order. Now, most everything comes in two days. I can tell you within the next few years, the real battlegrounds with Walmart, Target and Amazon will be getting to you any product you can think of within hours.

Could a company say that they’re innovating and still fail?

I think so because the problem with innovating is the overwhelming majority of things we innovate are bad. To give you an idea, there are about 3,000 patents that are issued each year. Only about 2% of those ever reached successful commercialization. The good news is if you develop an innovation pipeline as I talk about in my book, we do what I encourage people to do with every part of their life and that is to fail fast. If you fail fast, you don’t burn through resources. You don’t take fuel up trying to take something to the market that doesn’t have a value. The good news is if you develop an innovation pipeline, you can eliminate a lot of those mistakes. People invent lame stuff all the time and it fails in the market and usually, it’s because they don’t understand their customer.

That’s where I wanted to take the conversation because there was a Utah company where I’m based that had spent $60 million in funding and laid off a huge amount, 60% or 70% of their workforce. It was a technology company in Silicon Slopes, which is a very innovative place in Salt Lake City. I went and did some research. The company is called Canopy. They were trying to create a new platform for CPAs to use. I found it fascinating because CPAs are some of the hardest customers and probably the most loyal customers because of how their mind works. Can you speak about when somebody doesn’t understand their customers? How vital is it to continue to discover better ways to meet their needs?

TWS 29 | Business Innovation

The Innovation Mandate: The Growth Secrets of the Best Organizations in the World

In my consulting practice, we work with some of the top brands in the world. One of the big problems is you can’t deliver value to somebody you don’t understand. Most people use technologies like VoC, which stands for the Voice of the Customer or they use net promoter scores, which are fine, but in my opinion, they’re fractional and they’re non-actionable. If only it was that easy to look at a graph and a spreadsheet. Steve jobs never used those methods in any big way. He just understood his customer. In fact, he understood his customers so well that he invented products they didn’t even know they needed yet. We get there not through looking at traditional demography.

Most people use demographic market analysis. That’s the most common way combined with survey data and focus groups. Most of it is wrong because they’re looking at people and pigeonholing them into customer personas based on those old-fashioned methods. What we need to do is to look across our customers based on what they hate and what they love and develop what I talk about in What Customers Crave. I talk about hate-love personas, then in The Innovation Mandate, I talk about how do we weaponize those understanding what customers hate and love. The one thing that we know for sure is that all customers hate friction. Right off the bat, you don’t need to do a survey to find out that customers hate friction. You can go in and look for friction, right off the bat pretty much every persona hates friction.

Across most personas, they hate the lack of relevance. It has to be relevant to them. It has to be customizable in many cases. What we do in our practice, we look at an organization and we do what’s called Customer Experience Readiness Assessment. We look at their innovation capabilities and their customer infrastructure to find out how they get information, how they deliver that information into new innovations and how did they deploy those innovations? You have to do it like a medical pathway. You start with a good diagnosis, understand where there are resources, tools and system gaps. You build out a fast and fluid agile roadmap that allows you to go in and do the stuff. You’re not going to get it through graphs, spreadsheets and the traditional things that we’ve done. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.

It’s amazing where you’ve had economic law for a long time and there’s Say’s Law, which is fascinating to me because you hit the nail on the head with Steve Jobs. Customers don’t want products. They want solutions. They want to feel a certain way. If you can connect with that and always be seeking ways to do that. I think that is one of those very special variables about successful innovation.

Successful businesses begin to fail when they lose sight of what got them where they were in the first place. Click To Tweet

If you look at Spotify, they didn’t re-invent the music. They invented better moments of music. Netflix didn’t re-invent video. They created better moments of movies. Amazon created better moments of merchandise. Apple created better moments of machines. I could go on and on. It’s about moments. How do we look at those five touchpoints, the pre-touch moment, the first touch moment, the core experience, the last touch and the in-touch moment? Understand that across a range of personas to invent perfect and beautiful experiences. When we can do that, the impact on the organization is incredible. In fact, 85% of the top brands in the world are using CX, customer experience innovation as their primary way that they drive sustainable growth and profitability.

This is fascinating and we’ve touched on a few of these things. It sounds like you have some tools and resources. Parts of your business revolves around helping entrepreneurs and companies to take what we’re talking about philosophically and make it a reality. Would you speak to some of the things that you’re doing to help companies?

The problem is there is this disruption evolutionary curve with both entrepreneurs and large companies. We start our businesses because we’re focused on the customers. We know those customers. In many cases, we are those customers. We’re the skateboarders that invent a new skateboard or whatever. We tend to be very customer-centric and that is what started the growth. That’s what started us on a trajectory of growth, then we realized that we need to innovate. We need to go beyond what we’d launched with. We focus on innovation and customer. During that period of time, organizations enjoy predictable growth. Then they begin to realize that, “Now, we’re a business and we need to create the infrastructures, the HR. We need to look at insurance, facilities and all of the complexities that create the substrate for running a business.”

We become operational. What happens during that period of time if we’re not careful is we take our gaze off the customer. We take our gaze off of innovation and we become hyper internally focused. We start to churn in operationalization. All of our resources, our money, our times and our meetings are all about the optimization of the machine. That’s where we start to see what we call scale fail because we lost sight of what got us there in the first place. What we like to do is to look at entrepreneurs and businesses. We primarily work with large organizations, but we do work with startups and medium-sized companies. We take a look at their current state of innovation and customer experience readiness because we are in a customer experience economy, a frictionless economy.

TWS 29 | Business Innovation

Business Innovation: Without a doubt, the best organizations are the ones that understand their customers better.

 

That’s where the differentiators are. You can buy anything you wanted anytime anywhere with a few thumb movements. You can look at the hyper influences of social ratings. Everything we need to buy anything anytime is right in front of us. How do you differentiate in a time of hyper-competition? The answer is you have to find ways to go above that customer’s baseline level of expectation across the personas and throughout those five touchpoints. We look at all the things that make that happen and then we assist them in building out the roadmap to get back to that focus of customer and innovation.

It sounds like you work with larger companies and enterprises. With regards to your book, reading or listening to your book, are there tools that you provide that would help maybe some of the smaller businesses or people that are getting started? Maybe people that are at the point where they are scaling and realizing that the lack of innovation or better marketing is starting to inhibit their overall production.

I’ve tried to write books for the muffler shop up to the multinational corporation. The truth of the matter is there are slight variations between the principles that are necessary to make one of those organizations work. You can’t be a good author without at some point being a lousy author. Early on in my writing, I was more interested in creating content without thinking about how I weaponize it with takeaways. In The Innovation Mandate, what I do is I create takeaways at the end of each chapter that says, “Here’s your shop. We’re going to talk about insights and here’s what you do about it.” The best way for people to use the book is that they’ll find that the takeaways there are very practical. They’re not targeted to multibillion-dollar corporations. They could apply to the startup and to the entrepreneur as well.

Nick, this has been an awesome interview. Thank you so much. I know we’ve focused on these few things. I see many signs out there of industries on the brink of being disrupted. A lot of these grandfather industries know things are changing, but they still have faith that their model is going to sustain them. It’s this state of denial that are a lot of industries are in. It’s going to be an interesting 5 to 10 years. I look at the simplicity of your message, but yet how profound it is. It’s the idea of understanding the customer and always improving the ways in which we’re providing value to them. I love what you’re talking about and speaking about because, in the end, the customer is always going to win.

The best innovations are the ones that deliver more value to the consumer. Click To Tweet

The customer is the one that chooses to buy and continue to buy. I love the message. Hopefully, you as an audience are realizing this as it relates to your specific business or enterprises and you use maybe some of the ideas Nick has put together in his book. We’re grateful for you in putting the effort and time to write a book on this specific subject. How could people connect with you, follow you and if they are in the right situation, potentially use your services or the services of your company?

On the speaking side, my website is simply NickWebb.com. I speak at about 70 events around the world each year. On the consulting side, the website is simply GoLeaderLogic.com. That’s where we provide a range of consulting services across innovation, strategy and customer experience.

Nick, it’s amazing to have you on. Thank you so much for your time. I would stay in touch for sure.

That sounds great. Thanks so much for having me. I appreciate it.

Important Links:

About Nick Webb

TWS 29 | Business InnovationNick Webb is a world-renowned Strategist, Bestselling Author and Futurist. As an Inventor, Nicholas invented one of the first wearable technologies, and one of the world’s smallest medical implants. He has been awarded over 40 Patents by the US Patent and Trademark Office for a wide range of cutting-edge technologies. Nicholas is the founding CEO of LeaderLogic, LLC, a Management Consulting Firm. Nicholas is the author of The Innovation Playbook, The Digital Innovation Playbook and his Number One Best-Selling Book on Patient Experience entitled, What Customers Crave.

His just released book, The Innovation Mandate is available in bookstores worldwide. As an Advisor, he works with some of the top brands to help them lead their market in Enterprise Strategy, Customer Experience (CX) and Innovation. Western University of Health Sciences, a Top Southern California Medical School, awarded Nicholas his Doctorate of Humane Letters. Nicholas is also an Adjunct Professor of Healthcare Innovation and the Chief Innovation Officer of the Center for Health Innovation at Western University of Health Sciences.

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Qualities Of Leaders Past, Present, And Future With Cameron Herold

TWS 28 | Qualities Of Leaders

 

Every project and every major endeavor needs a leader who will make the tough calls, the big decisions, and steer everyone towards success. But what qualities make for a good leader? Using a broad range of examples, Cameron Herold explores the stories and backgrounds of leaders in various fields and industries. Cameron is the host of the Second In Command podcast and the bestselling author of several books, including The Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs, Free PR, and Double Double. Is there actually small, specific set of qualities that make for a strong leader? Or do we understand what a leader is not? It probably depends on who you want to look at first.

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Qualities Of Leaders Past, Present, And Future With Cameron Herold

You guys know my guest not necessarily in person but I reference him quite often. His name is Cameron Herold. Cameron is the host of the Second in Command podcast and also the bestselling author of The Miracle Morning for EntrepreneursElevate Your SELF to Elevate Your BUSINESS, as well as Meetings Suck: Turning One of the Most Loathed Elements of Business into One of the Most Valuable. One of his newer books, Free PR: How to Get Chased by the Press Without Hiring a PR Firm. One of my favorites is Double Double: How to Double Your Revenue and Profit in 3 Years or Less. It’s in seventh printing. This has been popular not just in my life but in others’ lives as well. Cameron is also the Founder of COO Alliance, which is an organization that helps COOs become better leaders. He is the mastermind behind hundreds of companies’ exponential growth. He’s built a dynamic consultancy including his time as COO at 1-800-GOT-JUNK?. His clients include Big 4 wireless carrier as well as a monarchy which must be an interesting experience for you. Cameron, you bless my life in so many ways and I’m really grateful to have you on now.

Thank you.

Cameron, let’s focus on the idea of an entrepreneur and what makes up an entrepreneur, not just in the early stages but as they grow. Firstly, what do you often see as the common attributes in an entrepreneur that leads them to long-term success?

Strangely enough, a lot of the attributes are the ones the school system and the medical community have labeled as diseases. A lot of entrepreneurs have Attention Deficit Disorder or ADD or a lot of entrepreneurs are on the spectrum for bipolar disorder. I’ll explain why both of those are traits that are found in most entrepreneurs and why they’re superpowers, not diseases. In terms of attention deficit disorders, I have seventeen of the eighteen signs of ADD. I am hyper-aware of everything that’s happening. I see what’s happening with my customers, suppliers, the market, the economy. I noticed the little tiny things on the website. Patterns jump out at me off spreadsheets. I’m hyper-aware of time and return on investment and everything that’s going on in the business landscape within my company and around me which gives me a superpower because I’m seeing everything that’s happening. Because I’m seeing everything, I get a little bit distracted, which gets me passing stuff off to people, which is delegating. That’s a good thing.

If I was so hyper-focused, I would miss everything. If I was like an engineer, a doctor or a lawyer, I’d be so hyper-focused on one thing, I would miss all the important stuff. It’s almost like the absent-minded professor. That’s a terrible trait to have as a business person. The school system and the medical community thinks that having this disbursement of attention is a bad thing when it’s actually really good. We’re not supposed to be teachers, doctors, engineers or lawyers. They think that there’s something wrong with us but we’re not supposed to be like them. You don’t find a whole lot of inspiring teachers who are running companies. They’re not like us, we’re not like them but we also don’t have a disease.

The second thing is the bipolar. Bipolar is the manic depression or hypomanic episodesTed Turner had it. Bill Gross had it. Two of the founders of Netscape, Steve Jobs, Henry Ford, Richard Branson, all bipolar. Those aren’t diseases after all. The mania of bipolar or the hypomanic periods are often what gives us the energy to start things. They give us the enthusiasm and the energy, the quick start nature of doing an acquisition, opening up in a new market, hiring somebody before we’re sure of how we’re going to pay for them, taking what people see as risks. We get very calculated bets because we see everything going on around us. They see it as risky and we see it as momentum creating momentum. No one’s going to join you if you’re a flat energy. You are controlled, calculated like a teacher, a doctor or an engineer, it’s boring.

That crazy manic energy is why people join. It’s why they quit a company. It’s why they invest. The depression and stress is simply a course-correcting moment when we’ve got too much stress in this zone and we don’t have a network of people to speak with or talk to that we can share how it’s going. You can’t tell the employee that you’re recruiting, that you’re not quite sure how you’re going to be the payroll but you’re the best company in the world. You can’t tell your spouse that you’ve leveraged everything to make that next big bet. You can tell her when you’ve made it successful but it’s hard to tell them about the stress that we’re under. We often live in this zone that causes the hypomanic periods or the stressful depressing.

Leadership is not about having all the skills. It's about having the ability to inspire and align others as well. Click To Tweet

Bipolar disorder has been nicknamed by the medical community as the CEO disease. If 3% of the population are bipolar and 3% of the population are entrepreneurs, maybe it’s a correlation of success, not a correlation of a disease. That’s what makes them successful are traits. That’s the thing one. Thing two, our nature is the traits. The nurture part is strong leadership skills, strong sales skills, strong business planning skills, strong understanding of skills. Nowadays, more than ever, we no longer have to be the smartest person in the room. We have to be in the right room. It’s about the networking and the ability to network, mastermind and connect to with others who can solve the problem for us. It’s a who problem not a how problem. Thirty years ago, you had to memorize everything and learn it and know it or hire people. Now, you just have to know who can do it for you.

Where does leadership fit into that? The principles, the attributes of leadership, is that on the shoulders of the entrepreneurs or on the shoulders of a different position or both maybe in different ways? 

Leadership is a soft skill that allows you to attract people. It allows you to align people, allows you to inspire people. That’s with customers, suppliers and employees. In all three, if you’re not a strong leader, you’ll fail. In fact, 30 years ago, I was in an organization called College Pro Painters. I recruited and hired Kimbal Musk, Elon’s brother, to be a franchisee for me and then also his cousin who built Solar City. He worked for me back in 1993 as well. One of the other guys who worked for me, I won’t use his name, but my VP came in and he said, “This guy will not be successful as a franchisee. He will fail.” I was like, “No, he’s got it. I can lead him, coach him, manage him.” He said, “He’s an alien. He does not fit. He cannot lead. He will not be able to lead himself. He won’t be able to lead his employees. He won’t be able to inspire. He’ll work hard. He’ll have the tenacity, he’ll have goals, but he doesn’t have the leadership traits or skills to be able to lead others or himself.” Sure enough, he was completely right. This guy completely failed. It’s not about having the skills, it’s about having the ability to lead, inspire and align others as well.

Is that innate or is that something that can be acquired?

No, it’s innate. Leadership is something that you noticed in kids. It’s the kid who is basically told to sit still and pay attention in class because they’re disrupting class. The reason we’re disrupting is everyone’s following us. That’s an energy field that you have. A leadership is more of an energy field and an EQ. It’s the ability to notice the top kids, the captain of the teams, the top Cub, the top scout, the kid in a church youth group, the one who calls all of his friends and they follow, the people who they hang out at your house, that’s leadership. That’s innate. It’s a magnetic field and an energy trait that people have or don’t have. You can learn how to be a better leader but it’s really hard to shift the energy in a way that gets other people to be attracted.

The seed has to be there first and then you nurture that seed in order for it to grow. Stepping back one moment, the mold of an entrepreneur and these attributes which are essentially alienating people from the mold of what society considers successful, whether it’s education or the medical community. What are the ways in which entrepreneurs acknowledge this, identify it and then escape it? I’m not sure if escape is the right word but handle it because part of our human nature, we want to have friends, we want to be in community, we want to have fun with other people not just ourselves. What are the ways in which entrepreneurs identify who they are, that they’re different from the common mold and then are good and okay with it?

This is changing now since the last number of years but since 1998, 1999 when the first rise of the first dot-com era happened, entrepreneurship started to be cool. Through 2008, 2009 the second way it became very cool because people realized, “It wasn’t this flash in the pan crash. It’s back. It’s not going away. You can be an entrepreneur. You could travel the world, you could work from anywhere remotely with a laptop. You could make money in your sleep or you could make money remotely.” All of a sudden, entrepreneurship became cool. Prior to 1998, a book written in 1955, the only book where the entrepreneur was a hero. Otherwise, the entrepreneur was a capitalist. They were greedy and were materialistic. Even when I was growing up, the rest of my family thought negatively of our side of the family because we were all entrepreneurs. That we were greedy, profit-centric, only concerned about money. It wasn’t true. I was raised to be an entrepreneur to control my time, that I could have my free time, not about money.

There’s so much similarity in the word capitalist and entrepreneur as far as what they describe. At the same time, those words in most people’s minds have completely different meanings. That’s a very interesting point. Would you consider from how society views on the entrepreneur more of the value creator, the innovator or someone that’s making life a better as opposed to the capitalist, which I would say is construed as the exploiter, someone who takes advantage of others for gain?

TWS 28 | Qualities Of Leaders

Qualities Of Leaders: Leadership is the skill that allows you to attract, align, and inspire people.

 

It’s both but I don’t think they’re exploiting. This is what we realized even in the book, Atlas Shruggedwas we don’t need a government or a union to teach us what we need to do. We’re going to do that out of profit and greed alone. We’re going to build a great company because it gives us more cash and gives us more time. We’re going to take care of employees because they make us more money. We don’t need anyone to tell us to do that. That’s what we will do. If they don’t, we have a bad company. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being a capitalist. Why shouldn’t we be able to make money and have the profits from what we are? Anybody else out there can take risks too but most don’t. More people work for government, either Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, teachers, doctors, lawyers, City State, Federal government. More people are paid by the government that are paying taxes into the government. All of those people who sit and complain about capitalists in greed have a choice but they don’t want to make it. They don’t want to be an entrepreneur. A lot of them get a pension for life and they can retire after 25 years. That’s great. That’s not the path I choose. I choose to be in control of my life, my profit and my time.

The philosophical angle that you could take on the nature of an entrepreneur, nature of the capitalist is how long has it’s existed and how evident it is and in so many different aspects of history but yet still, the view on it continues to be misunderstood. We don’t need to go down that path because there are a few things I wanted to get into. I associate these things with your expertise and what you’ve taught and what you’ve written about. When it comes to the entrepreneur and maybe the seed level where an idea is planted and a value proposition is created and then scaling into leveraging a team, what are some of the common challenges as entrepreneurs go from those initial toddler stages into the teenage, young adult years? What are some of the common challenges they face that they must overcome?

I’ll tell you one trait that we’ve noticed with most entrepreneurs is that in grade school or high school, they had at least one venture and it might only last for a day. It might last for a week, but at least one time, they were buying stuff and selling stuff for more. They were buying a box of business or hockey cards and selling them for more. They were buying candy and selling it for more. They were selling their Halloween candy. They were buying low and selling high. That’s a trait and this isn’t necessarily a good thing but there’s an extraordinary amount of entrepreneurs that sold pot at some point in their life. They bought something, they split it up and they sold it. They understood the hustle, the value. They understood that there was a need and they can satisfy it.

Also the margin.

That’s a trait that you see. Something that a lot of them struggle with is a lot of kids are recognizing that school is not that good, not that valuable, that it emotionally is beating up a lot of kids unless you’re a pure A student. The other 95% of the kids are told every day, “You’re dumb. You’re not good enough. You’re not very smart.” That emotionally takes a massive toll on people. I went to school for eighteen years and was always told I was a C student. I was always told I was a 65 percenter. I would struggle and work really hard and let down again. That emotionally destroy somebody’s confidence over time. A lot of kids are wondering why they’re even in school in the first place. I was listening to a couple of girls that were going off to college and they were saying, “I’m going into college but I think I might drop out after first year. I just don’t see value.” I’m like, “Good for you.” You can’t run the ROI and make sense of this anymore in most cases.

You’re familiar with Robert Kiyosaki. He wrote the book, Why ‘A’ Students Work for ‘C’ Students and ‘B’ Students Work for the Government. It’s very relevant to all the comments you’ve made. Again, going to society and how society through the school system has objectively in a sense measured a person of their identity, their intelligence. That’s extremely debilitating for people, for students as they grow up. I do love the thing you said with regard to entrepreneurs. The ideas becoming more renown and there’s more of the hero element labeled as the entrepreneur rather than the black sheep or the person that’s a little weird. It’s growing in popularity because people have seen the results of what ideas have done to improve the lives of everybody. 

The struggle that a lot of them have is that they don’t realize that entrepreneurship is a lot tougher than they think. It’s not that easy to go out and plug up your website and all of a sudden get sales. They get sales, but they realize they’re spending so much on affiliate fees, marketing, advertising and overhead that they not making enough margin. A lot of them don’t slow down enough to think through the little bit of the business model and how much work or time it’s going to take to scale to replace their job. A lot of people are moving more to the gig economy, which is still very entrepreneurial but then the gig economy, what they’re doing is that they are able to do a great job that they’re great at but do it for a number of companies. Instead of being a copywriter for one company, they might be a copywriter for ten. Some of those people are able to make that transition into turning that into a company, which is amazing.

Would you comment on the dynamic of getting to the stage in which a team and employees are required, business units are required. Going off of some of the challenges that entrepreneurs face, what are those common ones when it comes to building a team, building those around you that have certain skillsets that help to maximize yours?

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Sometimes it’s a requirement but sometimes it’s more of an opportunity. The opportunity is that you’re leaning out into the future and deciding to build something that’s bigger than you, that allows you to make money from other people. It replicates yourself. As an example, when I was running my first business, I was 21 years old. I had twelve full-time employees. They were painting houses for me. I was making $3.52 per labor hour. I knew that if I had all twelve people working, I was making about $38 an hour. That was better than me working as a painter and making $15 because if I could have them making $38 an hour and I could take four hours off during the day, I was making money and I controlled my time. It was about, how do you replicate yourself to move yourself out of the equation so that other people are making money for you and they’re still doing well?

Could that be characterized as leverage?

Yes. It’s leaning out into the future and deciding what you are building. A lot of people don’t sit and craft what their life looks like. I talked about this in my book, Vivid Vision, about deciding what your life looks like, deciding what your business looks like and then working it backward and figuring out, “How can I make that happen?” If you want a business that throws off free time and throws off the money, that’s what you have to do, reverse engineer that. You’re not hiring people because you need to, you’re hiring people because it logistically makes sense.

I didn’t plan on asking you this because Vivid Vision is something that I connected deeply with when I read your book. I haven’t finished the second one but wrote the first one from 2017 going into 2020. It was one of the worst points of the business since 2008, 2009. What I was writing down and going through the different exercises that you recommend, it’s this idea of being pulled into the future. Most people are living by looking in the rear-view mirror as opposed through the windshield. I am not sure where that comes from. It’s evident in a lot of different circumstances. The idea of looking into the future and specifying things, thinking about things and visualizing things that pull where you are right now into that vision. Would you maybe comment on that?

A lot of this that people don’t think strategically about what they want to build. They’re thinking strategically of how to build it. Those are very different things. How to build something and what you’re building are two very different things. What people need to first think about is, “What am I building? What does it look like in that future? How do I build that?” When Elon Musk acquired Tesla, he bought Tesla from the founders and investors and then he decided he was going to build something. Do you know why the Tesla Model S has the seven-seat option?

No.

He’s got five kids. He’s got twins and triplets. If you’re going to build a car company, it may as well fit your family. Secondly, he’s got five kids. Elon is 6’5″ and he’s an inch taller than I am. When he sits in the front seat, the person sitting behind him has a lot of legroom. It works for him. It is a really sleek, fast vehicle like his former car, the McLaren F1 was. It’s fast, sleek and fits his family. He said, “We have to price it in a way that people can buy it. Who wants to help me build it?” That’s somebody who was leaning out into the future and reverse engineering it. Most people try to make what they have a little bit bigger.

I’d love to keep going on that topic, but I wanted to address one of the big projects that you have which is the COO Alliance. Would you talk about the difference between a CEO and a COO? How they work in harmony to carry out this vision of the future?

TWS 28 | Qualities Of Leaders

Qualities Of Leaders: Entrepreneurship is a lot tougher than you think. It’s not that easy to go out and plug your website and all of a sudden get sales.

 

The COO’s role is to play the balance to the CEO. The CEO is the visionary and the person who’s thinking about where to go, the COO figures out how to make that happen. It’s almost like if you had a traditional family, it has a husband and wife raising kids. If you asked her how did you raise your kids, she’d have a very true story. If you ask him, how did you raise your kids? He’d have a very true story, but they’d be different. They’re in sync together as a team. It’s a yin and yang. The COO has to be good at and love to do all the stuff the CEO doesn’t like to do or sucks up. It’s very different from different companies. In some cases, the CEO runs finance. In some cases, they run marketing. In some cases, they run ops. It’s very different.

As you work within the COO Alliance, which is training these leadership positions to be better leaders and of course, be the yang to the yin of the CEO. What are some of the common light bulb moments you see when you’re taking them through your curriculum, the exercises, meetings and so forth? What are some of those common things of like, “I never realized that worked, that makes total sense and I can’t believe I didn’t see that before?”

First off is getting the COO aligned with the visions that they understand what their building, coming up with a plan and ensuring the CEO signs off on the plan and then working on the skillset of the COO to keep increasing their skills so that their skillset is ahead of the curve of what they need to be good at. They’re always getting better because the company is going to be getting better as well. They’re always going to be leaning out into the future and working on those.

As you’ve developed like your curriculum and what you’re teaching these COOs, what are some of the initial things that you want to ensure they have that service a foundation for some of the future things that they can stack onto that?

It’s less of a curriculum and it’s more of a mastermind community where they are meeting and connecting with each other, where they’re sharing information and ideas. I give them the topics and they’re sharing the suggestions and best practices with each other. It’s giving them a forum to share with each other versus me sitting and talking and teaching them.

Talk about what you’re working on right now, what you’re paying attention to, where you see opportunity for entrepreneurs to take their games to the next level. What are some of the things you’re paying attention to the books you’re reading? How can our audience follow you, learn more about what you’re writing, what you’re speaking on and so forth?

One of the things that I’m looking at and thinking a lot about is artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, automation, robotics and the massive amount of layoffs that are coming because of that. If you think about autonomous vehicles, here’s an interesting example and most people are completely clueless on this. They keep going with Tesla has a lot of competition now. There are a lot of companies building electric cars. Tesla is not an electric car company. Tesla is building the largest autonomous vehicle network in the world. Their entire model has already jumped the shark of building cars. Do you know that the Tesla Model 3 is impossible to purchase at the end of your three-year lease? All of those vehicles go back to Tesla, which means in the next eighteen months from now, all of those Tesla Model 3’s become the initial cars in the rollout of the first autonomous vehicle network in the United States.

Nobody’s even paying attention to that. Once this rolls out over the next few years, every taxi driver, limo driver, shuttle driver, car company, car rental companies, parking lots, gas stations, driver’s Ed programs, car insurance programs, all of these people are getting laid off. The amount of ripples that this is going to cause instantly. People are saying, “Those people can learn how to code.” There’s no way that a taxi driver is going to learn how to code. There’s no way that shuttle driver, a guy working in a parking lot is not going to become a programmer. We’re going to have a huge amount of layoffs coming. That’s going to be a big ripple. The second one is how do you leverage all of these things into your business? How do you leverage AI? How do you leverage robotics? How do you leverage autonomous vehicles? How do you leverage outsourcing? We’re trying to become very protectionist and that’s going to hit us in the head really hard.

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Are you more in the discovery phase of seeing how it’s going to make an impact or have you identified opportunities that would serve a role in various types of industries?

Yes, with all my coaching clients, we’re looking at how do we leverage the tools that exist and start plugging them into our businesses. I attend some conferences specifically for this. I go to Abundance 360, which is Peter Diamandis, the Founder of Singularity when the X Prize started, I would be going back to TED for my ninth year at the Main TED Conference. I’m going to TEDWomen in about which is about 900 TEDsters that are going to see what’s happening in that space. I’m plugged into a couple of very futuristic mastermind groups for the purpose of seeing what’s coming and being able to be ahead of that curve. It’s almost like what’s happening with China. The United States thought it was a military war and China decided to out-think us and out-strategize us into about several years ago shifted to be a financial war. They win. Literally, they won. They out-thought, out-maneuvered and out-strategized and the US is now becoming very protectionist and still trying to fight wars on oil when they’ve already jumped the shark and they’re now buying us up. You can either now get on that way or you can try to fight against it.

Who would you say are thought leaders in that space? Other than Peter Diamandis, some thought leaders that you’re paying attention to and leveraging their visions and seeing what they’re trying to see what they’re seeing.

It’s going to the events and listening to the speakers that are brought in or it’s going online and watching the videos like watching TED and going on and seeing what’s happening. Subscribing to the newsletters and reading what comes out. There’s a lot of that information resources that are there. It’s less than about one person. It’s more about watching the themes of what’s coming regarding podcasts I’m listening. I told one of my kids that the Elon Musk, Joe Rogan’s podcast, everybody’s talking about is one of the most brilliant insights to Elon that I’ve ever seen. I was a reference for Elon in this first round of funding in January of 1995. I have known him for several years. It gave insights into first the humanity of Elon Musk but secondly, his thoughts around AI, autonomous vehicles, robotics and space. He is really concerned about the singularity when computers become smarter than people and governments aren’t listening. That is stuff to listen. Instead of watching another football game or another baseball game, let’s wake up and start devouring the content of what’s going to change the world. I’m an optimist. This is all exciting stuff but the change is happening very fast.

People can look at it from a very pessimistic perspective but there’s not much they can do about it at this point. The train has left the station. It’s more a matter of time and where it starts to make an impact first. It’s exciting because it’s going to make life a lot more efficient, calculated in a sense. It’d be good for people if that’s how they look at it and what they can do as a result as opposed to being afraid, blaming and demonizing some of those advances, which I definitely think is going to be coming down the road. I want to see yes in last year and it’s amazing to see all the different innovation that’s happening. It’s not just in the United States, it’s around the world. 

It’s global. You’re thinking about the iPhone is only twelve years old. This device that we now take for granted is only twelve years old. How has that changed the world? Think about how fast AI is coming and how fast autonomous vehicles are coming. I drove in the very first Google experimental car a number of years ago at TED. It will be ten years this spring. Several years ago, they were doing a demo on video and everyone in the audience was like, “This is the main TED. Bill Gates is in the audience and Bezos is in the audience. Steve Jurvetson is in the audience.” The guy from Google said, “If you want to go try it, it’s out in the parking lot.” Eighteen hundred people got up and went running for the parking lot. No one had seen it. It hadn’t come under wraps. To be able to go ride in that vehicle a number of years ago and now think that in 2018 my Tesla drove itself from Scottsdale to Vancouver, it’s extraordinary how fast this is coming. We’re testing electric autonomous helicopters in four cities and it said the roller to those will be in every city that Uber exists now. An electric autonomous helicopter by 2030 in every city that Uber exists.

Aren’t they building like heliports on a lot of the new high rises with residences as well as commercial spaces?

That would be some of the next hottest real estate will be the heliports on tops of buildings because now you go to one of those that you’ll take an Uber to one, you go up to the top of a building, you fly back to the next building and you go home. The video phone that we now take for granted, like you and I are talking over video but when I was growing up watching The Jetsons like, “That would be cool if you could talk to somebody and see them,” that’s what we’re doing. All of this stuff is coming. What I’m thinking about and working with my clients about is how do you get ahead of that curve. It’s like trying to fight Amazon right now. There’s no point, just get on board.

TWS 28 | Qualities Of Leaders

Qualities Of Leaders: Lean out into the future and decide to build something that’s bigger than you, something that allows you to make money from other people.

 

It’s a testament to a few things. First off, The Jetsons and Star Wars, the ultimate vivid vision for how people have or how the entrepreneurs had been pulled into that future, which I think is pretty fascinating. The other is not hesitating to think big, dream big and explore the question of what’s possible because that’s what we’re wired to do. It’s what sets us apart from all the living things is we can think, we can imagine and we can dream. It may seem crazy to some people. At the same time, those are the ones that may have changed the world.

That’s the old Steve Jobs’ advertisement.

Would you tell the audience the best way to get your books, learn about you, follow you, see what you’re up to?

The Second in Command podcast, which they can listen to and everyone is interviewing the entrepreneur. I only interview the COO. I want the rest of the story. All five of my books are available on Amazon, Audible and iTunes, so they can look up my name and get any of my books and I would get a copy of the book Meetings Suck for every single employee. That’s one that you buy for every employee. You invest $15 and it’s a game-changer for your company. CameronHerold.com has all the rest of my resources, the blog and all the rest of my contacts.

One of the parts of the interview that I wanted to dig it into was business rhythm and meetings and that structure. That’s something I implemented right from your book almost line by line. I can’t tell you what type of difference that structure makes but we will save that for another time.

It sounds great.

Cameron, thank you so much. It’s been a pleasure to talk to you and thank you so much for sharing. I appreciate it.

Thanks for having me on. I appreciate it.

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About Cameron Herold

TWS 28 | Qualities Of LeadersCameron Herold is host of the Second in Command podcast and bestselling author of The Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs: Elevate Your SELF to Elevate Your BUSINESS, Meetings Suck: Turning One of the Most Loathed Elements of Business into One of the Most Valuable, and the new books Free PR: How to Get Chased By The Press Without Hiring a PR Firm and Double Double: How to Double Your Revenue and Profit in 3 Years or Less (in its seventh printing).

Herold is the founder of COO Alliance, which helps COO’s become better leaders. He is the mastermind behind hundreds of companies’ exponential growth and has built a dynamic consultancy, including his time as COO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK?. His current clients include a ‘Big 4’ wireless carrier and a monarchy.

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Entrepreneurship Education: Introducing Entrepreneurship In School Systems With Steve Mariotti

TWS 27 | Entrepreneurship Education

 

We create life-changing opportunities when we help those in need discover their niche and skills for success. In this episode, Patrick Donohoe interviews Steve Mariotti, an educator and entrepreneur who is constantly aiming to make a global change to the way students are educated. As an advocate for entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship education worldwide and the Founder of Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, Steve has traveled to many countries searching for impactful and relatable content for his book Goodbye Homeboy and introducing entrepreneurship in the school systems. Sharing some significant experiences that has shaped his self-perception and understanding of progress from varied facets, he also discusses his venture on educating others about entrepreneurship.

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Entrepreneurship Education: Introducing Entrepreneurship In School Systems With Steve Mariotti

My guest is Steve Mariotti. He is regarded as the world’s leading advocate for entrepreneurship education. He’s the Founder and Former President of the global non-profit Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE). He also is a senior fellow for entrepreneurship at Rising Tide Capital. He is the author of a few bestselling books and textbooks, Entrepreneurship: Starting and Operating a Small BusinessEntrepreneurship and Small Business Management and Goodbye Homeboy: How my Students Drove Me Crazy and Inspired a Movement. He is working on a film called The Triumph of the Entrepreneurial Spirit. Steve, welcome to the show.

I’m glad to be on the show. Thank you for inviting me.

Can you talk about a couple of those significant experiences of your life that shaped your perspective of yourself and what was available to you and also the potential that lies within most human beings?

The ability to find a comparative advantage or a niche is within every human being and its part of what makes us human. It’s the ability to think and to be aware of oneself. It’s part of humanity. Often by accident, I don’t think it’s done intentionally at least not in this country, but it gets stifled for many reasons. That something that should be discussed on a national level, a continual level a lot. It’s a concern of mine that in the debates in the election beginning 2016, I have not heard any conversation on education except in one debate. I timed it and it was a minute 56 seconds. If you go back and if you look at the debates in 2016, it wasn’t mentioned at all. Education is critical to any discussion of solving any problem whether it be poverty, health, self-actualization or happiness. That’s a key ingredient. A major reason I wrote Goodbye Homeboy, which is my memoir as a Special Ed high school teacher in South Bronx, New York City, we’re very proud of that, happy years for me where I required every student who each of whom had dropped out of school.

I had to convince them to come back into an offsite program. They couldn’t go back and go to a regular school building, I convinced them. We spent a year and a half almost two years, each working on a business for two to three hours a day and then we do other activities. This concept of helping people find their niche, what they liked to do and what they can do based on their knowledge of unique time and space which means you don’t have to be the best at it. You have to be the best at it at a point in time, in a particular space. When people realize that, it can be life-changing.

TWS 27 | Entrepreneurship Education

 

As you have had these experiences, here are those that essentially have been labelled as not necessarily fit for the public school system or regular school. They have this label on them and then you bring to them some ideas. What is it about those ideas that got the light switch to flip on? What was the connection that they made in your opinion?

The most important thing is the concept of ownership. That you can actually own something is many times not taught to low-income people. They will be encouraged to view life as receiving something that they don’t really own. I always talk about ownership. If I had my 40-year career to do over, I would have emphasized the concept of owning and entrepreneurship as being one tactic to get to owning ideally your time. That’s the most valuable thing. The second more tactical or practical concept which is important and I hope you’ll try it with your own children is that many young people in poverty will think that there’s one price. They’ll think this book is $16 in a bookstore, not realizing that there’s a wholesale price, manufacturer’s price, jabber’s prize and that’s true for any good. The majority of the world’s population is not aware of the concept of the production structure. When someone learns that and experiences it, it is life-changing as anything I ever saw as a teacher. We assume that knowledge but the vast majority of people in the world are only exposed to a retail price and left out of these huge opportunities to buy something and then resell it or buy something then use it and save money.

It’s also interesting that there’s a huge population that also is unaware. It’s not the fact that there are some people that are unaware, it’s a big population which creates a social belief or social understanding of how things work. Therefore, the narrative and the dialogue are drastically impacted if only a few people understand the value chain and where things start and where things end. That’s an interesting comment that you can see in the political space. Would you talk about the story of your book and the film that you’re working on with regard to some of the countries that are emerging, they are experiencing poverty and what the ideas taught through entrepreneurship have been able to help to improve their life?

In my opinion, the most political acts somebody can do is to create a business because you’re defining a space that you have a lot of control over and people never think of it that way. It’s very healthy to think of it that way because it’s an alternative to the tendency to have centralized power, the 191 different governments and rather look at that each person has political empowerment often through the creation of a small business. I went to Cambodia in 2012 and it was life-changing for me. The American State Department asked me to go and covered all my expenses. I had read all about the Genocide there, three million people out of eight million were murdered without the use of bullets. I didn’t quite understand it. I read pretty much 90% of the literature. I spent 400 hours before I went. I landed and I thought I had a feel of it but going around the country and lecturing on small business and even my first lecture was 95% women. I said, “Why is it 95% women?”

The woman host, she’s a wonderful entrepreneur, wonderful person. She said, “The men were all killed.” I knew that but hearing it and being there and then seeing these museums of skulls, it was life-changing. My secretary picked up a human tooth while we were being given tours of the killing field. I’ve heard about a white light moment where you have a basalt view and it changes your life. That moment went right to the center of my being. I said to myself whatever I could do with my remaining years here to prevent this type of pain, suffering, and murder on a mass scale that I was going to do that. Ironically, I was then invited to Hanoi by the government there. In my generation, going to Hanoi, I was in the ‘60s and it was surreal. Talking to the leaders of the government and they say, “What can we do to encourage small business here in Vietnam which has the highest growth rate in the world?” It’s almost 9%. I warrant the topic and that’s very professorial. I said, “First, we should get your tax code right and have a flat maybe 10% tax and low-income people wouldn’t pay any tax so they get out of poverty.” There’s this long silence and this very timed manning. It looks at me and he goes, “Mr. Mariotti, it is our tax code.”

The ability to find a comparative advantage or a niche is within every human being, and its part of what makes us human. Click To Tweet

I was shocked and because I had a picture of a socialist centralized state allocating resources, determining prices and all that kind of thing. I said, “How did you learn that?” Much to the credit of technology and all these geniuses that have had helped the world.” He goes, “We were watching the presidential debates years ago.” Steve Forbes says, “I’m advocating for a flat tax.” We’re all over at Minh’s house and Minh said, “Why don’t we try that?” They go in the next day, retrieves the tax code and went totally from a labor theory of value where everything is determined by a centralized group of people. The prices, that should be $4, $5. There’s no supply and demand for a completely decentralized system with low taxes. I said, “You’re kidding me. How long did it take for you to see a change?” He said, “Three to four days.” People hadn’t been able to get the glitch to repair their homes, tile. All of a sudden, they said you’d see people out in the streets trading. At first, it started as barter and then within two weeks there was money, then gold started to come out and Vietnam began to boom. We’re all reading F.A. Hayek and is a big advocate of free markets. They had totally left the view of centralization in the end economy. It was a very beautiful moment in my memories of my life.

I’m not sure if there’s a magic formula for these emerging countries that want their citizenship to come out of poverty and to thrive. I know that infrastructure is one of them. Whether it’s the structure of property laws defining intellectual property laws, physical property laws. It’s also the formation of the business and the ease there. Coming down into the tax code. What you allow or what people take home. I would say infrastructure, you can have all of the education in the world. If you don’t have that infrastructure then I don’t think the education and drive that an entrepreneur would have would work as well. That’s when you went in and were consulting with them. How did you add value in that situation based on your background and education?

I was shocked because nothing that I had read had indicated that Vietnam had gone to a flat tax. I didn’t know that. I wasn’t a charming and intelligent person as I am now. I was stunned. I wanted to be in a learning mode. I let them talk to me about how they have gone from one of the poorest countries that had been devastated. Six million Vietnamese were killed during the American involvement there, another million to Cambodia and we’re not sure how many in Laos. That’s what was officially recorded. Their industry was destroyed and their value system uprooted. To come back from that, I remember being in Hanoi, it was booming. They said, “You’ve got to go down to Saigon and we’ll cover your trip. This gentleman here will be your guide.” I went down to Saigon and businesses everywhere and energy. In my understanding is it’s gotten better and they’re even doubling every eight years. That was the most vivid display of the power of the concept of voluntary relationships being allowed between people when you let adults work out their own problems. I don’t know how much value I added unfortunately.

You created the conversation and I think that in and of itself is powerful. When you look at countries that have difficulty and go through those trying times, it’s easy to throw a check at them or throw money to fix the problem and alleviate things. Does that really create lasting change that allows someone to thrive personally? That’s where it’s interesting. This whole conversation which I didn’t plan on, but what’s going through my mind is this idea, whether it’s in the States or whether it’s outside of the United States. It’s this whole notion of ownership. It’s knowing that you are responsible for the results of your life. I’m not sure if that’s the right way to explain it but it’s knowing that you did something and got a result from it, not that someone did something for you and you got a result. There are two different experiences there. I look at how our school system is set up, which was in large part a function of Horace Mann’s vision before the turn of the century.

It’s this idea that the United States started on this entrepreneurial footing in a sense where people wanted to come here and control or own the means of production which was it readily available where they came from. It was flipped on its head. A system in which the oppression school system which was designed for training military as well as the factory workers. I think that totally threw this idea of what gets people to thrive, what gets people excited, what gets people to feel like they have a professionally meaningful life. This conversation is bringing up those thoughts in my mind because you’re experiencing it in these countries. They’re emerging, but what most we consider very poor and would not otherwise thrive. You’re seeing opportunities in which people are recognizing that it is possible for them. They’re recognizing that there is an entrepreneurial seed inside of them that can be responsible for their life and provide for their families and provide for themselves which is profound.

TWS 27 | Entrepreneurship Education

Entrepreneurship Education: The concept of ownership, that you can own something, is many times not taught to low-income people.

 

What you said was very powerful to me because a major error that could have been a huge homerun and did a lot of good but somehow took a turn. I think we’ve got to discuss more. We never heard discussed is that for the low-end income children in particular and many middle-class children. By that, from the resources that their families have, financially not spiritually or in any other way, but often get limited choices in their education. In many of the urban areas without mentioning any particular city because it’s endemic to the system. A child will be assigned to a particular school and have to stay there for years, even if he or she doesn’t like it.

In some school districts, if they allow the schools to advertise to be aerodynamic or very esoteric, sexy memes and the young person will go and once they’ve been there one year, they can’t transfer out. The teaching community has spent 40 years and K-12 education has been my whole career. I have so many friends that are teachers in junior high and elementary and loved the community. The design of the system, sadly which was an advocate and did come out of the Hegelian system. Somewhere along the line, it ended up doing damage particularly to children that have limited choices, to begin with. Anybody who you want to be able to maximize their choices in life is those with unlimited resources because of one error, they don’t have a chance to correct it.

Figuring that out, how do you get a choice into education would be a huge breakthrough in our society and the people. This gets my friends upset but it’s true. The people that are often hurt the worst by nonchoices, by preventing choices are the teachers themselves. The prison system is in part based on second-grade reading scores. You’ve got a forecast of prison out between ten and fifteen years. We’re talking about a multimillion-dollar investment. A maximum-security prison is a $1 billion budget for 2,400 prisoners to build it. I’m not sure what those numbers are because I hear different ones but it’s multibillion-dollars. They don’t want to make a major error. They start by looking at first, second and third-grade reading scores. I’ve always thought who would be the highest-paid person in the community if there was more choice allowed? For me, it would possibly be a good second-grade reading teacher. Think of the value there. They’ll be equal to any surgeon. Some markets get distorted and that’s never a good thing because not only does it limit choice but it limits feedback and information between people.

I’ve thought a lot about how are our personalities and the way in which we operate our vernacular, whether it’s the way we raise our children, how we treat ourselves, how we treat someone of the opposite sex and relationships. In large part is formed when we’re young. Our young minds are plastic. They’re so vulnerable to ideas and ways of doing things. That’s where I look at a school system. It’s one of those operations that has so much potential to completely change the face of humanity. I believe that it will because when things are not working, what ends up happening is it gets too painful and things change. We’re experiencing a lot with the theoretical approach that you and I are talking about but then you have a financial approach as well. There are some results that end up putting a person into a camp where criminal activity is the way in which they operate. I also look at the student loan debt crisis that we’re in where kids are paying exorbitant amounts of school fees but are not getting the return as far as the training and the information they’re getting in order to be relevant and profitable in the workforce.

I did not once ask about degrees or experience in school or anything. The idea of how the workforce is evolving. The political arena is stagnant and then the schooling system is stagnant, yet people are so thirsty and hungry to succeed, to excel and to make something of their life. It’s an interesting crossroads. Maybe the question would be with the books you’ve written, the textbooks or the film that you’re doing, the experience you’ve had over the last several decades in this entrepreneurial mindset. What are you seeing in the political environment, the educational environment, not necessarily in the West but globally that’s giving you hope, that’s showing you that there’s progress in a lot of different facets?

The ability to think about changing one's life is a big part of entrepreneurship. Click To Tweet

First of all, I’m a huge optimist. I agree that when we’ve made a long turn, the feedback from it becomes great that we end up back on a better road. That’s why I’m so interested in getting discussions going about education regardless of what views come out. I remember in the ‘60s growing up, you couldn’t go 24 hours without a debate about what was being taught or how it was being taught. The whole home school market, John Holt, was key in that. It was discussed constantly and a lot of good came from that. My biggest worry is when things aren’t discussed and then you can get in at real rut. From a positive view, the internet is a game-changer and that we’re just beginning. We’re at the 1% mark of all the uses that these incredible connections are. What they said to me in Vietnam, we are watching the presidential debates and Steve Forbes said, “Let’s do a flat tax.” A man said, “We’ll try it.” I realized that the power of the information, the ability to share information. Having said that, I was in Silicon Valley tour which has been one of the great birthplaces of creativity and wealth.

A lot of great things come out of that community in 30, 40 years. It’s been remarkable. In certain top prep schools out there, the owners of these very successful companies would say, “We don’t allow the use of screens during school time.” That piqued my interest. I pushed on it. In certain schools, they don’t allow cell phones or computers during school time. You have a Socratic method, you have group work, you have art and you’ll have reading time primarily on books. There’s research that reading on a screen lowers comprehension by at least 25% universally. There’s an interesting woman named Wolf. She moved from Tufts University to UCLA as director of cognitive studies. Her works are not as well-known as it should be or publicized as much as it should be, but she has spent at least a decade. I’ve read all of her stuff and all the footnotes too. All the research says that actual reading from screens lowers your ability to understand and they don’t know why yet but I sense it.

What’s going through my mind is we live in this very complex world and people have retreated to the familiar. They’ve retreated to what’s been the custom and it’s difficult to make these in a very large scale type of change. What I’ve seen and experienced is those very simple to understand ideas. It’s not complex which is simple that anyone can understand that produces a big result. That’s what I wanted to discuss as some of our final points. There are tens of thousands of books, maybe even more about business, about entrepreneurship that the information is there. We have more information than you can consume in a hundred lifetimes or maybe more at our fingertips.

As you’ve seen people’s life change because of one idea which is this entrepreneurship idea, what is that idea to somebody? What do they connect with that the information now becomes way more relevant than it was before and it inspires and it motivates them to do more? That right there, if you could package that up, that idea, whatever it is and simply explain that to someone. That’s one of those variables that move the needle. In your experience, what are those connections where people in your book where their whole life changes? Their whole future trajectory completely shifts because of connecting one idea to whether it’s making money or owning a business? How do you characterize that or think about that?

There are two thoughts that come to mind under this whole concept of the entrepreneurial mind frame which is what we’ve struggled with for decades now is the ability to be alert information and different opportunities. I thought about that nonstop for 25 to 30 years. I’m reading randomly an article and within it was this paragraph that 1/3 of somebody who was born with limited resources will become a billionaire. One-third of them start off as dyslexic and I’ve had dyslexia. I struggled with it in different forms in my whole life. I have a reading problem. I have always been putting things in order is something that unless you’ve been there, it’s hard to understand. My secretary walks in and goes, “How can this look normal to you?” To me, that’s how my mind is. It’s a picture not of a staircase. I thought a lot about that and then started reading and talking about it. The literature is starting to point it out. I haven’t agreed with this body of thought that having something that looks like a liability. When one is a child, you’re mocked, you get the C-minus and you’re asked to stay after school. I live in Princeton, I love the community but you’re not going to go to one of the top-rated schools and everybody asks you about that. You learned something else and that is how to build teams and all the Disney being a classic example. Grit went bankrupt seven times, not personally but the business. Henry Ford twice, on and on.

TWS 27 | Entrepreneurship Education

Entrepreneurship Education: The most political acts somebody can do is to create a business because you’re defining a space that you have a lot of control over.

 

The ability to build a team around you that is helping a vision that you all have and dyslexics have to do that. I remember my whole life, third grade, fifth grade, sixth grade, the simplest things it would take me fifteen minutes, but the people around me would like me, care about me and recognize that I had a unique way of handling paper. They always come to my aid. When I read 1/3 of Schwab and Branson, the results also plotted Great Britain. That was a huge insight intellectual breakthrough for me. There is a center on the study of dyslexia at Yale. If you’d go to Yale dyslexia website, there’s a husband and wife team, who are both medical doctors who have devoted their career to studying dyslexia. They started off with how do we solve it? Gradually, they started adding all these successful people on the website that were enormously game-changers and success. You look at him and go, “She has dyslexia? It’s unbelievable.” You go back and read the literature. They were all people that had the knack for admitting that I need help. People rally to help you. That’s a huge clue in wealth creation for every country and every human being alive and will lead to many other insights.

It’s such a profound point because in the typical schooling, you’re taught to work as an individual. If you work with somebody else, it’s cheating. You’re almost conditioned to not work with other people.

It’s backwards. I didn’t think of that until after I read the article about dyslexia turn it integrate well. It’s not an obvious point, at least it wasn’t for me because as a teacher, I would always let them work in groups, but I wasn’t thinking of it from that point of view. I was thinking of it that one child could teach another. Now, that I’m talking about it, it’s very similar to that insight. No one creates great wealth, wins a Novel, finds a vaccine or discovers this or that without a team. It’s always a magnitude of people that are combining their thoughts.

If that were the driving philosophy, think of how things would change. In the business world, culture, there are new buzzwords but at the same time, there’s so much merit to them which is culture, teamwork. They have the whole systems built around people playing different roles but working together for a common objective. They all have different roles and different skillsets. Those are typically identified after schooling, after someone has been conditioned in certain ways. That’s fascinating because I look at what children naturally do which is play together. I have a pretty big gap between my five-year-old and my thirteen-year-old. My son gets to play with a lot of different kids and it’s so natural when they get together. It’s awkward in the beginning and doesn’t know, a little bit shy but then they’re like best friends playing. Human beings are meant to work together. We’re meant to play together and have fun together. When it comes to our learning and understanding of information and learning how to apply that information, we were conditioned to do it individually. It’s a fascinating point. If that connection could be made, think of what would change. A lot of things would change in society.

For the better significantly and like they said in Vietnam, I said, “How long did it take before you started to see these benefits?” They all thought about it and they said, “Four days.” One person said, “No, it’s the next day after they announced it.” Here’s where it gets interesting which is an issue that also needs to be discussed openly. That is from a legal viewpoint, who owns is critical. What I have been thinking about a lot is how do you get people to work in teams and yet not have one person own it because their parent is an intellectual property lawyer or their uncle is. It’s almost always transferred that the concept of intellectual property is very seldom, in my experience, learned in one zone because it’s a long space of time to develop that thinking of patents, trademarks and copyrights. Certain countries don’t believe in it and don’t view it as a valid thought process. Reconciling this concept of teamwork, I went back and started to read which I urge everybody which is the capitalist manifesto written in 1958 by Louis Kelso, who subsequently created ESOPs by going to Hewitt Long who was running the tax subcommittee. He said, “I want you to put in there that companies that create ways for workers to own will get a tax benefit by the owners not having to pay tax on dividends.” One insight which didn’t quite take hold for some reason which I don’t understand. That insight of employee stock ownership or plan so that everybody is benefiting from this great value of teamwork in this unlimited information that we’re headed toward.

The beauty of the entrepreneurial mind frame is that it leaves you open to changing your life. Click To Tweet

You don’t want 1% owning 94% of the resources. It’s not sustainable. Too many people feel left out. The political system enables politicians to say, “If you vote for me, you’ll be part of that. You’ll move up and we’ll bring that 1% down.” That’s one of the worst things you can do. Rather, if we could approach it from an intellectual viewpoint of how it is everyone learns basic principles of intellectual property, law and ownership and then learn how to self-advocate because of so many determination of who owns what is self-assertion. Knowing the concepts, the words, percentages, “I did this to bring the steel together or I did this to help this situation. I think I should own 12%.” The difference between saying that and not saying that and being put in a worker category where you’re on the income statement but you’re part of salaries and you don’t get any part of the profit, which is always a multiple of earnings of value. That’s the intellectual issue that we should be talking about and thinking about. Otherwise, you end up going down these very tricky paths where someone who has power begins to determine that and it always ends up in disaster.

Steve, one of the interviews that on this entrepreneur theme that we’ve been on is he was one of the founding engineers at Carta. Have you ever heard of Carta before?

I have but I don’t remember how and I apologize.

The CEO, Henry Ward, has this theory and philosophy which is very much part of what Carta does is that we’re evolving as a society from a work standpoint. Work has gone from serfdom to slavery and now it’s in this paycheck or an employee but it’s going to ownership. How he uses that philosophy with Carta is that Carta is the biggest platform that manages ESOPs for some of the biggest companies that are out there as well as private company ownership. It’s an amazing platform but what it’s doing for companies is it’s allowing them to easily and it comes down to what we had mentioned, which is the infrastructure. When the infrastructure is hard, it doesn’t matter how much theory you have, nobody’s going to do anything. When it’s clunky, it doesn’t work. If you don’t have a property system where you have a title and it’s a very transparent and accurate way to prove ownership of something, then people are not going to go develop a piece of land. They’re not going to improve a property. Without proof of ownership, it’s going to be very difficult for that entrepreneurial bug to set in when it comes to that property. What he is advocating is when you make it easy for a company to put equity as a means to compensate.

When it’s easily and objectively valued, then that inspires different energy inside of an employee. They’re there for a paycheck but they’re also there for something more. What does that marginal increase do? That margin can make a huge difference in a company. The ease of doing it is what’s important. There was some tax change with regards to ESOPs in 2017 that most people and most companies don’t know about. There’s also a very lucrative tax incentive for employees when they are able to cash out and liquidate in a series-A or liquidity event with a company where they don’t have to pay taxes on companies that are up to $50 million in revenue. The pathway is starting to form for what you’re mentioning which is interesting because I have a lot of opinions and I love that philosophy because it empowers people to take ownership. Even if it’s something small, they are talking ownership of something that they knew. In their work, they get a paycheck but then they’ll get upside as well as part of their compensation.

TWS 27 | Entrepreneurship Education

Entrepreneurship Education: No one creates great wealth, wins a Novel, finds a vaccine, or discovers this or that without a team. It’s always a magnitude of people that are combining their thoughts.

 

The landscape’s changing and it’s pretty exciting. We’re not surprised. There are a ton of challenges but you and I are like, “There’s somebody working on that.” There are a lot of people working on these different challenges. It’s only a matter of time before they’re widely known and start to make a big difference where people notice it. It’s fascinating to have these conversations. I hope you have a different reference from Carta. They’re doing some cool things. It’s an amazing company.

You taught me a lot because I had not understood Carta. People would mention it in passing. After I have read all the literature I can find, an example that I think of was in ‘46 when MacArthur was a dictator over Japan. One of his first orders was that every Japanese citizen and if I’m wrong on this, I’d be glad to get feedback and learn about it because I’ve just been able to find four or five references to it. He made everybody go out with a piece of chalk and draw what they owned between homes which had never been done before. That one act was one of the things that allowed Japan to boom in the following years. People knew exactly what they had to negotiate with their neighbors after 50 years. They’ll never talk about it and wasn’t perfect, but did it create wealth. That wonderful man who I’ve seen, I’ve read all of his books on capital. The gentleman in Peru is a genius.

Is it Hernando de Soto?

I have all of his books lined up and I try to look at them.

He’s my next guest.

If you can be 51% right, you'll be one of the best in the world at what you do. Click To Tweet

Would you tell him that I salute him and I read all this literature? I asked for his autograph, that’s so much I admire him. I’ve never done that before. He’s a game-changer. That concept of thinking about even if we don’t get it right the first year, decade and two decades. Maybe there’ll be a setback here and there. They’re talking about it, discussing this, what is wealth and how can you spread it and create it? You have used the word infrastructure three or four times. I’m fascinated by that word because it’s used and I think of it as an intellectual infrastructure. Is that how you were using it?

That’s the primary concept under that and out of that will come millions of different thoughts and permutations of interactions between people. If we could get this right and start to free out people to exchange on a decentralized basis, everybody would be better off including the professional politicians would be a thousand times better off. They could get more media and not have to do as much work and not be as angry with each other. It’d be way more resources. We could do the theatre.

You’re spot on at the same time because there are so many fundamental challenges of a society that are easy to solve. I would consider the seed of that infrastructure as a trust in humanity. A trust that this is part of what makes up a human being. The drive to provide value and take the resources around you and figure out ways in which you can exchange. People thrive off of the knowledge that they did something and got a return for doing something, as simple as that. People thrive off of that type of experience. If a lot of infrastructures trusted that, the world would change but I don’t think it does trust that based on what exists. It’s getting to the point where nobody trusts it. Nobody trusts politicians anymore. They don’t trust centralized powers that are dictating everything. People are fed up with it but they don’t know where to go. I would say one of those first dominoes is a trust in human nature that it will, not all the time but more than not, do the right thing and do things that are conducive to a healthy society.

I totally agree. I want to footnote one concept and that is the concept of error and mistake. If you can be 51% right, you’ll be one of the best in the world at what you do. Before the downturn in 2008, there was a firm on Wall Street. The people were all great and everything but they had this viewpoint of I go in there and meet with their two executives, “We never make mistakes here. Are you up to our standards?” I said, “I had a good year. I was right 52% of the time.” They were shocked because they had to be right 100%. They were the first ones to collapse and when they collapse it was $9 billion. They couldn’t find it but it’s in a bank account. It wasn’t stolen. It was just by accident went into their own company’s bank account in London but they couldn’t find it. They made mistakes all the time. Mistakes are great feedback from the market. One of the best articles that everybody should read if it was a little better written was Hikes 1946 cover in the American economic review. It was the use of knowledge in society. Particularly paragraphs ten and eleven. Those two paragraphs talk about the value of feedback loops. You make mistakes and you learn from them.

TWS 27 | Entrepreneurship Education

A Guide to Rational Living

He uses the words unique knowledge of time and space which I opened with when I was talking about a comparative advantage that you don’t need to be the best. You can have knowledge like, “I know more about this than you do.” You know more about that room than I do. That’s a great value. You could have maybe a hotdog stand at 11:00 PM and not have to compete with 50 people during the day. You might be better at it than they are. That leads to another point that is important and that is the concept of stress and anxiety. Excessive stress has been linked to every disease from Parkinson’s to MS. It looks back in literature to start to see the word stress and when you look at it, what it does to cells and your mind and the dendrites. It’s a killer and it leads to habits to lower stress, excessive alcohol consumption, drug use and anger.

The beauty to me ultimately, this entrepreneurial mind frame is that it leaves you open to changing your life. If you’re in an untenable position where you have a boss who no matter what I do, the boss wouldn’t let me or I was in a position where I couldn’t be good at it. It was horrible stress. I’m sure that you had it yourself. The ability to think or maybe I can change it a little bit and do it this way. Maybe I can go do something else. Maybe I can leave and then settle back into the organization. Stress and anxiety are very seldom talked about in our culture because people are embarrassed to say, “I can barely stand Sunday nights because I got to go to work in this place that I hated,” and that’s related to what you and I have been talking about. The ability to think about changing one’s life is a big part of entrepreneurship.

The entrepreneur has redefined what failure is and what stress is. From a failure standpoint, it’s like a 180-degree shift. You want to fail because it is an essential step to success, to succeed, to being, to learning and to grow. Redefining that rule is interesting because we all have rules for failure. If most people’s rule is based on how we’ve been conditioned, especially in school. If you fail, there’s something wrong with you and if there’s something wrong with you, then you won’t be respected. If you’re not respected then how can you ever be loved? It’s amazing how it comes down to these essential needs that humans have.

The same thing with stress. Stress comes from us having this expectation of ourselves. It’s predetermined by how we’re wired and conditioned. When it doesn’t go exactly according to plan, suddenly it’s like, “What’s going to happen?” Our survival instincts from tens of thousands of years ago kick in. Entrepreneurs are rewiring it and reframing it and redefining the rules because stress is just a signal where, “There’s an opportunity.” Failure is an opportunity also to grow and using stress to fuel you as opposed to make you retreat. It’s incredible how many entrepreneurs out there that maybe they’ll define it or explain it like that but have owned those two powerful drivers and used it to completely reshape their life.

I couldn’t agree more. When I was in Silicon Valley, I snuck away from the group for a little bit. I’m 66 so I have had the benefit of knowing younger people because I got older. They’re rising in these positions of, “Are you the head of that firm? You’ve done this and that?” It’s great. They feel they have to see me. I’m the senior guy. I went to see some venture capitalists. They’re pretty well-known. I’m proud of them. I said, “What’s the big breakthrough that you need that I can pass along to young people?” They said, “We never invest in somebody that hasn’t failed twice.” I was stunned. I raised my hand, I go, “What do you think I can get, $200 million?” There’s a lot of beauty in being able to accept which is negative feedback from the market. You missed a market, so what? Learning from that. There’s a country in Europe that I visited. If you are the CEO of a company that fails, you never can be a CEO again. I tried and pretty much succeeded in giving a talk to twenty CEOs.

That’s the worst policy you could have. We went around the room and each of them had a major failure but not as a CEO. They’ve had a failure at lower-level management so they weren’t blacklisted out of becoming the leader. Was it failure where they learn from it and enabled them to move up? In my own life, I’m trying not to be like Bette Midler who in Beaches said, “Enough talking about me, now let’s talk about what you think about me.” It’s a great line. That’s what I know most about my own life. All the things I ended up becoming able to make a livelihood from. They all began out of some misfortune, some fumble or something that went wrong. I got into teaching from being mugged in ‘81 and then was an acquaintance, my grandfather was Ayn Rand’s lawyer. He meets her to see me and then I would listen and she would talk for five, six hours straight. She enjoyed having someone to talk to who was familiar with her literature. I’m a very spiritual person and she at that time wasn’t into that. She would be very direct with me, a mystic fool and I laugh and say, “Miss Rosenbaum,” which was her real name and she gets upset. She laughed that Russian laugh with pure joy when she’d see the humor in it. A big life change for me was I was minorly pushed around mugged but in front of my girlfriend when I’m 25 and now it wouldn’t bother me at all. I would accept it.

TWS 27 | Entrepreneurship Education

 

My girlfriend was a stronger type person and she stepped in with these twelve-year-olds and says, “Stop that,” and then they’ll turn around. “Drop that screwdriver,” They’ll do it. “Get out of here, leave him alone.” They all ran off. She was a hero. To me, I went to see Ms. Rand soon after that and after an hour or so of her lecturing and brilliantly, she said, “What is wrong with you?” I said, “Nothing. What do you mean?” She said, “What happened?” I said “Nothing.” She said, “You’re talking to yourself which is post-traumatic stress disorder. It’s the number one symptom.” I said, “No, I’m not.” Bless her heart, she got this pre-cell phone. She had one of those long phones out on this desk where she’d written, Atlas Shrugged. She carved the plot into this desk of that architecture that she has gotten it during the time period. She called Albert Ellis. Do you remember that name, Albert Ellis? He’s worth researching. He created the concept of Rational Emotive Therapy where you changed your feelings by changing your sentence structure in your mind. She was a very strong person. She says, “You’re going to see him.” I could hear him going. It’s a Memorial Day and he’s going, “No, I’m not.” He said, “Yes, you are.”

They weren’t even friends. Eventually, he said, “Send him over.” He changed my sentence. I feel humiliated because I was unable to defend my girlfriend from four or five, twelve years old. He looks at me with contempt, “This is how I spend my holiday with this type of immaturity?” He got up and he crossed it off. He’d said, “Rewrite it in a different way.” I didn’t respond. He said, “I’ll do it for you.” He wrote, “I am a hero because, under attack, I was able to prevent any violence toward the twelve-year-old attackers on my girlfriend.” He rewrites it. He didn’t sit there as a graduate student. He sits there, I had to write it over and over again but it totally cured me.

By the end of it, I was irritated with him that he’d made me do it, but I totally have forgotten the incident. I go up and pay him $30. I said, “I’ll be forever grateful.” He went, “I suggest you go home.” He was grumpy. The next morning he calls at 8:00 in the morning. He said, “Get up to my office in this big beautiful home on 65th street.” Everyone should read his literature, A Guide to Rational Living. It’s a very powerful literature used by almost every psychologist now. I’m thinking, “Did I not pay? Was I by accident discourteous? Did I steal China?” I’m trying to think what did I do? I walk in apologizing, thinking he’s going to call Rand, who’s going to call my grandfather, who’s going to call my parents and I was going to be out.

I walk in and I said, “Whatever I’ve done, I apologize.” He said, “Don’t be so weak.” He answers, “I’d been up all night thinking about this post-traumatic stress disorder, it comes back, it’s a progressive disease and a minor cure like what we did isn’t wanting to solve it. It’s going to come back.” I said, “It’s impossible. I’m totally cured. Thank you.” He said, “You’re going to go teach in the hardest school you can find that will have similar students that you’ve become so afraid of and you were traumatized by.” I said, “I’m past on that, doc, but thank you.” He called Rand who I’m was scared of and she got an on the phone and said in this Russian accent, “You do what he says or there’ll be problems.” I’m going, “Yes.” I went in for a week. I stayed for 40 years. I’ve had the most wonderful career because of that. What looks like a setback turned into me becoming acquaintances of some friends with Albert Ellis that strengthened my relationship with Ms. Rand. He got me out of this horror post-traumatic stress disorder which is a leading cause of suicide in America. It certainly includes veterans. It’s pretty much 100% of the cause and it is curable.

TWS 27 | Entrepreneurship Education

Goodbye Homeboy: How My Students Drove Me Crazy and Inspired a Movement

Steve, it all relates. That’s what’s amazing. If we can all recognize that there are degrees of trauma. You could have traumatic experiences like those which is not necessarily being attacked but also being defended and then the context around that and who should I be as this person. That happening can ruin a person’s life or it can completely empower them and revolutionize their life. Does it depend on what is the way in which it registers up here? Is it empowering or is it belittling? A final example, I was at a Leadership Academy and there’s this woman who’s the CEO of a non-profit that served widows but also victims of some pretty dire circumstances. They had tens of women in this program. She was afraid to speak in public but yet she was a CEO. Looking at her going up, she went up on stage and volunteered, the background was to her not wanting to speak or being afraid of speaking which was so irrational. To her, it was the truth, it was part of her and that was her reality. Going to very similar to what you experienced with Albert Ellis, it was changing some of the languages, changing the tone of voice. She basically defined it, what are you afraid of? What is the challenge?

It was done in a very loving and compassionate way. She said the verse but the verse was very depressed and she was shrinking. He had to change her physiology. The order in which you use the words, he had her talking in Mickey Mouse’s voice and then talk really slow. What it does is that those are her ideas that this guy connected with her. I’d never heard of him before. That’s led to so much science around how we think and what reality is. At an early age, it impacts your entire life. We all have them. They’re all here and it causes us to behave a certain way. If we’re aware of that, imagine what we could do to change our own wiring regardless of how old we are and the new life we can have with a few different decisions. It plays into the entrepreneur because that entrepreneurial spirit, that seed is in most people, if not everyone.

It’s the conditions and the environment in which it’s planted and then nurtured that can completely change how a person uses their talents, their abilities, their uniqueness to change not only their own life but, but everyone around them. This has been enlightening for me, Steve. I appreciate what you do and I appreciate your story. How amazing of an example that something so amazing can come from one little decision. All you had to do is say, “Yes, you’re going to teach,” and your entire life changed. That’s how profound one decision is. That’s a testament to what’s possible with our lives. How much we can enjoy it more, be fulfilled more if we’re only open to some very simple fundamental ideas.

I’ve enjoyed the show so much.

Steve, we’ll definitely have to connect again. How can the audience learn about you and your book? Plug the film that it’s in production and from the details around that.

The book is Goodbye Homeboy. It’s been the number one seller on Amazon since it’s come out. I’m real proud of that because I was never in the top 500,000. Textbooks don’t sell a lot on Amazon. That’s been a big deal. For several years, I’ve been working with a team on a documentary that raises this question. I don’t think we’re going to find an answer but I want to raise the question. That is what happens to the entrepreneur during times of war or genocide? There’s no literature on it other than Gone With The Wind that is a great movie but has the characters as entrepreneurs. There’s no real discussion of it. The people that are written about caring these times are always heads of this government. I’m not belittling them. Churchill obviously did well. The more we read about him and that’s all great but not once did Churchill who published 3.7 million words won that Nobel Prize for literature. Never did he ever mention small business, the entrepreneur and he had less than 400 words on the industrial revolution.

In history, the actual power is invisible. Even the literature on Pompeii where almost everybody there was self-employed. You go there and it’s a mass of small businesses that people died from that volcano tragically. They died in what they were doing. For some reason, it’s been invisible. People have not thought about that issue of the entrepreneur as being somebody that can be broken out, analyze and that might give great insights into how to prevent and how to connect the entrepreneurs of the world. They’re a great source of under-utilized energy and knowledge. They’re never encouraged to go into politics or very seldom. There are whole fields. Never in the history books or if they are, it’s one sentence. I’d like to do a small part to change that with his documentary that raises the question, what happens to them in this particular time when there’s war or genocide? I thought of it in Cambodia. I went back to the town where this revolution started. That began as a free market, limited tax movement and then was taken over by Pol Pot and nine other individuals that were in any actual common cell.

They used a one-page document that everybody should read. I never read anything I call the Manifesto of the Equals, 880 words are written in 1793. I never read a more disturbing page. It argues you can kill anyone. They started with people that wore glasses because they would be theoretically smarter. They kill people with passports because they have been out of the country. They killed anyone who owns anything. It all came from that one page that they had found at the University of Paris, translated it into the Cambodian language and used it to train young people under Pol Pot. It led to these three million people out of eight million people were murdered in 24 months. That’s a clue. I don’t know what the answer is but that’s something everybody should know about.

It’s in production, do you have a date in which it’s going to be finished or is it still about work in progress and nothing definitive?

The executive producer raises the money and keeps the vision going. We think it’ll be done as early as mid-January. I’m interviewing distributors and learning about the film industry. I went to the Cannes Film Festival and went to the Toronto Festival. I was on the cover of all the trade journals there. It wasn’t me, it was the film because when they watch it, they’re fascinated by the question and the interviews. It’s going to open up a whole level of debate and discussion that could be very valuable.

This has been amazing. Thank you so much for this time. This wasn’t budgeted in your schedule but it worked out for mine. I’m super grateful to know somebody who knew and interacted with Ayn Rand face to face in a very intimate level, but also such an example of what we’ve been talking about. There are so many different elements of all the different guests and how we pretty much summarized it with the interview with you. It’s been amazing.

Thank you.

We’ll definitely have you on some time in the future.

I look forward to it. If I’m invited, I’ll be here. I learned a ton as well. It was wonderful.

Thank you, Steve.

You’re welcome.

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About Steve Mariotti

TWS 27 | Entrepreneurship EducationSteve Mariotti is an advocate for entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship education worldwide. He is the founder and former president of the global nonprofit Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), and the author of books, textbooks and articles exploring the transformative power of entrepreneurship for low-income communities. Steve’s memoir of his early career as a NYC public high school teacher, Goodbye Homeboy: How My Students Drove Me Crazy and Inspired a Movement was published this year by BenBella Books and immediately rose to #1 on Amazon.

He currently serves as senior fellow for Entrepreneurship at Rising Tide Capital in Jersey City and chairman of Experience Counts, an organization he helped found to help bring entrepreneurship to the over 50 million Americans aged 50+.

Steve began his professional career as a treasury analyst for Ford Motor Company, before going on to found his own company, Mason Import/Export Services in New York City. In 1982, Steve left his successful business career to serve as a Special Ed teacher in some of the city most poorest and most notorious neighborhoods. Frustrated at first by his rowdy classrooms, Steve discovered he could motivate even his most challenging students by teaching them to run a small business. This experience inspired him to found the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (today known as NFTE) with the mission to empower at-risk youth in creating pathways out of poverty. Today, NFTE operates in 23 locations in 10 countries and has served nearly one million young people.

Steve is the author of several textbooks on entrepreneurship, 1.2 million copies of which have been sold worldwide. A native of Flint, Michigan, Steve received his B.B.A. in business economics and his M.B.A. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

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Entrepreneurship: Taking Intelligent Risks with Francis Greenburger

TWS 26 | Taking Intelligent Risks

 

Being an entrepreneur involves risk. Our guest, Francis Greenburger, has always been comfortable with it, not the “throw the dice and hope for the best” type but the type he calls intelligent risks. Francis is the Founder and guiding force behind Time Equities, Inc. and has earned a reputation for outstanding integrity and an uncanny ability to foresee changing directions and create value in a variety of real estate markets. Today, he joins us to talk about entrepreneurship, taking and controlling risks, and the characteristics that go into being a good entrepreneur.

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Entrepreneurship: Taking Intelligent Risks with Francis Greenburger

My guest is Francis Greenburger. He is the Chairman and CEO of Time Equities and the Owner of the literary agency, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates, which has represented noted authors such as Dan Brown, James Patterson, Nicholas Sparks and Nelson DeMille. He is also the Founder and Chairman of Art Omi, which was previously Omi International Arts Center and the Greenburger Center for Social and Criminal Justice. He’s also the bestselling author of Risk Game: Self-Portrait of An Entrepreneur. Francis, it’s such an honor to have you on. Thank you all for taking the time.

It’s my pleasure to be here, Patrick. Thank you.

Francis, I have a good question to start with. It’s around this topic and theme of entrepreneurship. You identify yourself in the subtitle of your book as an entrepreneur. What does that word mean to you?

I’ve thought about what the characteristics of an entrepreneur are. I would say one of the first characteristics are, did you have to be comfortable with risk? If you’re not comfortable with risk, you should use your talents in another context where you’re getting a steady paycheck or appropriate incentives. Being an entrepreneur involves risk. For some reason, I’ve always been comfortable with it. There’s what I call intelligent risk and then there’s throw the dice and hope for the best. I believe in intelligence risks which means if you’re very informed about what the challenges are, whatever it is that you’re undertaking and what the risk reward is, what is the opportunity? The reward, if you’re right, sufficiently reward you, given that there’s a chance that you might underperform your expectations or things might go wrong but you don’t expect. Those are some of the characteristics that go into a good entrepreneur.

The other thing that’s very important is to be creative because if you go out into the marketplace and you are trying to be a generic competitor, do what everybody else is doing in the same way, the only way that you can be effective there is on price. Mostly, entrepreneurs will not be successful at that because it requires quite a bit of scale. That’s a very hard way to succeed up against larger, more established players. The way the entrepreneur succeeds is by seeing things differently than other people or the other players in the market seeing a way out of the problem. Perhaps they can buy the asset of discount to what its stabilized value would be and find a way to bring solution to whatever the situation is or understand a market differently than other people. Tolerance of risk and creativity are two key ingredients.

It’s fascinating because it seems as if creativity and risk have a partnership if you will. Most people have a fear of risk, fear of something not happening the way that they presume, which is always the case. There’s a risk in everything. There are just different degrees. When risk presents itself, it seems like having the value and the understanding of creativity to navigate whatever challenge is thrown your way. Whatever obstacle exists almost allows you to have control over risk.

Don’t be intimidated by risks but see them as opportunities. Click To Tweet

It’s funny you mentioned the fear of risk. My kids have one of those cups that has lettering on it. The expression said, “Imagine what you could accomplish if you weren’t afraid to fail,” which is another way of saying the same thing. What you’re saying is that creativity or understanding options and having ways to meet challenges is a way not to be intimidated by risks but see it as an opportunity.

What are some examples in your successful professional life where you have confronted risk and took it on and achieved success on the backend?

I would say the first thing is I look at markets differently than other people. Our real estate company not only invests nationally within thirteen states but we invest in five different countries within Europe. Years ago, I became aware that Holland was at the end of a very deep recession. A lot of real estate valuations have been hurt. The Dutch banks had stopped financing most commercial real estate at Holland, except if you had a ten-year lease with a credit tenant. In the center of Amsterdam, you could get financed. If you were in one of twenty suburban markets in Holland, you’re in trouble. Prices fell precipitously and occupancies fell. It was a very tough time. There were no local players who have the resources to step up.

We saw that opportunity and we began buying. In the beginning, we bought all the cash because we couldn’t get financing. It’s 3 or 4 years later, we own 40 office buildings and set up an office there. Fortunately for us, when we came in, it was in the later part of the cycle and things were covered, markets are doing very well and we’ve had outstanding results from our investment there. We’ve been able to entice a German bank to see things the way we saw them. In fact, we ended up getting very advantageous financing shortly after we acquired the sprockets. That’s an example of seeing things differently. In this case, bringing perspective that was outside of the Dutch perspective who was way down by their immediate experience by the conditions that they had to cope with.

Looking at that decision process means starting with the macro-economic approach where you saw economic depression. Toward the end of it, where did you see the opportunity that it would rebound? Was it in the company formation increases? Was it the technology that was coming out of Amsterdam? What were some of those micro things that you saw that led you to believe that investing in office space would be a good return on investment?

My approach was fewer data-driven or metric-driven than what you’re suggesting. The first thing I said to myself was Holland was one of the outstanding countries in Europe, always has been. They have a great deal of transparency which not all European do. They have very well-educated, very smart and in fact, quite entrepreneurial population. They have a lot of positives. To me, this was a place that I saw no reason why they shouldn’t be able to repair the cycle they were going to come back to have more normal or standard. The other thing is in the case with the properties that we bought, the first portfolio, we bought ten buildings and there were 70% occupied, but we were making about 9.5% return on the 70% occupants.

TWS 26 | Taking Intelligent Risks

Taking Intelligent Risks: Tolerance of risk and creativity are two key ingredients of entrepreneurial success.

 

It was cash too not leverage, right?

Right, not leverage. My bet was a simple one. I didn’t think that things are going to get a lot worse than where we were or they might get a little worse but even if my return went from 9.5% to 8%, it wouldn’t be a tragedy. I felt whenever times got better, which I didn’t know whether that would be tomorrow or in a year or five years, I’m starting from a very high return base so I wasn’t worried. I felt I could weather any further erosion. I thought that we were a donator at that point. It was a pretty simple view. I thought we were entering at a good point. Things were profitable so we didn’t have to get better and we can still be happy, but my sense was this was a good place intuitively and was going to get better.

It’s the whole asymmetric risk analysis where you have tremendous upside but yet it’s not an equal amount of risks to the downside. It’s a limited amount of risk.

What happens is people often perceive that when you enter difficult times, that’s a risky thing to do. It’s the reverse. When you’re buying things inexpensively, things could get a little worse but they can also get a lot better. Whereas if you go in when things are very good, then you’re going to pay the top price. When you get to the top of the mountain, there’s only one way to go and that’s down. I’d rather start at the bottom.

There are so many sayings, when there’s blood in the streets is when you buy, even if it’s your own but usually it’s the opposite as far as the normal investor. The first time I went there, I had this appreciation of how entrepreneurial but also how driven and educated they were based on a lot of their history. They were the first engineers that figured out how to build a city that was underwater. That’s part of what makes up the future generation is technical and understanding. Parents have tremendous influence on the next generation and so forth. You had that generational work integrity behind what was going to be coming up in the future years to make a wise investment. That’s a great example of asymmetric risk ideas as well as looking at factors out there and seeing where there are opportunities.

It’s worked out very well for us.

Most problems can be solved. Sometimes you just have to be very imaginative and creative. Click To Tweet

I know you were in the publishing business. You took some tremendous risks there. Would you maybe tell us about some of those experiences?

We weren’t publishers, we were literary agents who represented writers and we sought publishers for their books. To some degree, what you’re investing in an author in the beginning is your time and your reputation. Economically beyond that, there isn’t a huge investment. If you’re not successful, you’ll have spent a lot of time working on something. You perhaps have tarnished your reputation if you put forth things either not worthwhile but you don’t have a great economic loss. When you’re an agent and you send a book to publishers, very often if they’re not interested, they go into long-winded explanations for why they’re not interested. In my view, frankly, I threw all those letters in the garbage because I don’t care if people didn’t agree with me. I was looking for a couple of people who did agree with me. There’s one publisher in the end. If 25 said no, it didn’t matter if the 26th said yes.

One of my first clients in the business was somebody who’s now famous but in those days was completely unknown, James Patterson. He sent me this manuscript. I hadn’t met him. He had read somewhere that I was a young age and looking at unsolicited manuscripts. I read this manuscript by him and I started sending it out to publishers. In fact, I sent it to 28 publishers. Every one of them rejected it. The 29th said if you rewrote it, they would consider publishing it. He did and they still rejected it. I then sent it to ten more publishers and by that time, I had run out of the publishers and I was sending it to different people at the same publishing house. Little Brown, they already rejected it. A lower-level editor there already rejected it but I sent it to a higher-level editor and he loved it.

He offered a generous advance for the first novel and went on to win an Edgar for best mystery of the year. His career was legendary. I only represented him for his first three books. That point he said to me, “I read about all your real estate transactions. I’ve got to figure out whether you’re an agent or you’re a in the real estate business.” I said, “I think I’ve done a pretty good job for you.” He said, “No, you’ve got to choose.” I said, “I’m going to be in the real estate business no matter what you say.” We parted company but he’s had an incredible career since then as we all know. That’s an example of having a point of view, feeling conviction with respect to it and then going and trying to get the market to agree with you.

It seems to me that you have a unique way in which you perceive opportunity. Taking the approach you did, putting your reputation on the line as you mentioned, going above and beyond and figuring out creative ways to reach different people at the publishing companies, it showed you that there was an understanding of what that opportunity was. You weren’t doing it to do it. You were doing it because you saw opportunity than most others didn’t see.

I have a conviction about my view of what he had written.

TWS 26 | Taking Intelligent Risks

Taking Intelligent Risks: Every problem has a solution. The person who can find that solution is going to create value.

 

Did you have an affinity toward the mystery genre of writing before or did you read it and knew that there was some gold in there?

I can’t say that I was a mystery aficionado, I wasn’t. The name of the book was The Thomas Berryman Number and it was an assassination novel, espionage but murky. In those days, that would’ve been posting the JF Kennedy assassination, both John and Robert and Martin Luther King’s. Assassination was very much on people’s minds and it played into that and I thought it was well done. It was highly stylized in its language which differentiated it from a lot of other mysteries at the time. I believed in it.

What would you say is something that you see in entrepreneurs regarding the risk that they don’t see?

I work with a lot of people in my real estate company, a lot of very bright capable acquisition people who are in a sense entrepreneurs and often the process of underwriting real estate, take a view of it and then you’ve tried to figure out what you think is going to earn, projecting forward it over ten years. There are all kinds of assumptions that get into it. After a lot of experiences, they come to a set of assumptions and that’s what they present is their vision of that transaction. One of the things that I do is I push them and I say, “Let’s create sensitivities around some of the variables. What happens when you say the rents are going to be $18 and what happens if they’re $17 or $16? Do you think that the occupancy is going to be 92%? Show me what happens as occupancy slips down to 85%.” Creating all kinds of variances to the scenarios that people envisioned and to the assumptions that they put into any given situation is pushing beyond where a lot of entrepreneurs start out. They may be very sophisticated and experienced in reaching their view but then they don’t subject it to quantifying the what ifs. They talk about risks as a generality, but they don’t quantify and then look at the outcome. If X, Y, Z happens, that is at variance with their fluent view of the market.

Do you see the inability to do that as potentially creating a lot of risk in the marketplace right now?

Certainly, to the extent that when one is acquiring assets or competes against people who may be less knowledgeable, it’s important not to follow the market because it’s the market. You have to have a very clear view of what you’re going to do with the asset, how are you going to run it and how are you going to manage it? You have to be very disciplined in that because there are always competitors in the market who may be less informed or they may have other sources of capital. Sometimes if there’s a fund out there who has a use it or lose it situation, maybe they’ve raised $50 million and $100 million invested over two years, you have to return the money to the investors. As they get towards the end of their cycle, if they haven’t been able to invest it, suddenly their standards slip and they have motivations that somebody who’s more disciplined doesn’t. You’ve got to stick tight to your own view and not let the market drag you into dangerous territory. Even if there are other players that are transacting at different pricing. You can use the new one as being sensible and sustainable and having good risk reward associated with it.

The thing that makes risk less intimidating a belief in solutions. Click To Tweet

What are you paying attention to right now as far as where opportunity could be? I know the universal perception of markets is always shifting but as much as there’s a risk, there’s always going to be opportunity as well. What are you paying attention to right now that you see as potential opportunity?

To some degree, we always trade wherever we see price disruption. As an example, the market for retail properties is disrupted. There’s a perception that eCommerce is going to be an overwhelming challenge and that retail properties are going to decline. As a result, the price of the properties has dropped and the cap rates have gone up significantly. We believe that the cap rates are very generous in that even if you underwrite into the equation, some downside is given eCommerce challenge or choppiness in the retail markets it’s very often that you can make a very good investments in retail. You have to understand and adapt it, understand the tenants and a million other considerations. That’s an example of disruption that we buy into.

Another area that we’re investing in at the moment is under-occupied office buildings. Right now, when an office building has weak occupancy for any number of reasons, it tends to trade at a vast discount from the state’s realized value. An office building that would have $150 valuation a foot. If it was the submarket occupancy, let’s say 85%. If its occupancy is 50%, the value of that asset might fall to $60 foot. They asked discount from what it would be worth if it was leased up. The cost of leasing up that asset could be $30, $40 a foot. You’d have wall and cost of a hundred. If it’s then going to be worth $150, that’s a very big reward in the real estate business. I don’t know exactly why office building sells it that heavy discount, clearly one that has significant vacancy is worth less that doesn’t. To us, it’s a mispriced factor. We buy those buildings and we fixed them up and then we become strong competitors in the market because we pay a lot less for our building than everybody else in the market. We can even rent them for a few bucks or less and the tenants are happy and we’re happy.

Do you see opportunities in shifting use of property? As you were speaking, I’m right in downtown Salt Lake and there is a shopping center here that was developed as part of the Olympics back in 2001. It had a competitor come in and take off the tenants and it became a ghost town. There was a fund that bought it a few years ago and turned it into this center for younger entrepreneurs. Since then, all of these different office buildings built around it. In there, there are mystery games like the games where you have to solve problems. I’m not sure if you’ve seen those before but they have arcades and hang out centers and restaurants. They shifted the use from pure retail into this center or hub for more tech-based companies and younger people. Do you see like use changing over the course of time and opportunities there?

Yes. As an example, there’s a property in West Palm. Before we owned it, it was a shopping center. The prior owner has given to us that it became somewhat of a ghost town and the prior owner converted it to B-minus office space, which is not ideal. Shopping center tends to be deep so the space is very dark. It doesn’t give a lot of window line for offices. It’s not perfect. They did some work and for a long time and when we saw it, we bought it because it was on a lot of land. It was on ten acres of land which in West Palms, it’s a big site. For a while, we kept the office building going but a lot of our tenants were government tenants. The government built their own buildings, they move people out. It wasn’t a market for this secondary office space. We made the decision to redevelop it. We’re now in construction. We’re making it into a 300-unit housing complex. We demolished the old building and now it’s going to be a housing complex that West Palm is very strong market. This’ll be an outstanding property when we get done with it. It’s life cycle. It started as a shopping center, it became an office building and now it’s going to be first-class housing. That happens frequently.

As you mentioned right at the beginning of it, that’s where it requires that creative mindset to see there’s always opportunity. It may not have been what it was once. It maybe something new based on how the environment is changing. That’s why I’ve been fascinated with researching ways in which I can interview you because the idea of risk is one of those things that prevents people from taking action. The creativity is also one of those things that I’m not sure if that’s something that you learn or establish. The idea of being creative allows you to see and create opportunities as opposed to it happening. This has been a fascinating conversation.

TWS 26 | Taking Intelligent Risks

Risk Game: Self Portrait of an Entrepreneur

Another way to look at creativity and entrepreneurship is to think that every problem has a solution. The person who can find that solution is going to create value. Whether you’re buying a problem that somebody else has and find new way to solve that problem. If it’s a problem that you have because you already own it. It’s not like when there’s a problem, you should put your head in the sand and say, “OMG.” Most problems can be solved. Sometimes you have to be very imaginative. You have to be very creative. That’s the thing that makes risk less intimidating for me is a belief in solutions.

I love this saying that the problem is an unanswered question. This has been awesome. I appreciate you adding your insight based on your successful experience over the course of time. It sounds like you love what you do. You’re loving life and you’re continuing at it despite your success, after success. Congratulations.

Thank you so very much. I do like what I do. Every morning, I wake up and I’m excited to meet the day’s challenges and opportunities.

How can the audience learn more about you, your book and ways to keep in touch and see what you’re up to?

They can take one of my books online. It’s called Risk Game. At the back of the book, I have my email. If anybody has a question or anything they want to contact me about, I answer all my emails. I get up very early in the morning. From 4:00 or 5:00 until around 7:30, I am answering lots and lots of emails. That’s one way.

Francis, thank you so much. Hopefully we can connect in the future.

Patrick, thank you.

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About Francis Greenburger

TWS 26 | Taking Intelligent RisksAs the Founder and guiding force behind Time Equities, Inc., Francis Greenburger has earned a reputation for outstanding integrity and an uncanny ability to foresee changing directions and create value in a variety of real estate markets.

He is an active board member in and supporter of, various arts, education and community organizations, as well as the owner of Sanford J. Greenburger Associates, Inc., a full-service literary agency based in Manhattan, which has represented noted authors such as Dan Brown, James Patterson, Nicholas Sparks, and Nelson DeMille.

An accomplished writer himself, Francis is also the bestselling author of Risk Game: Self-Portrait of an Entrepreneur. Francis is the founder & chairman of Art Omi (previously Omi International Arts Center) and The Greenburger Center for Social and Criminal Justice. Francis lives with his wife, Isabelle and is a devoted father to his four children. He spends his free moments in search of the perfect backhand or skiing (carefully) down the slopes.

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