What It Takes To Be A Successful Entrepreneur with Brandon Bliss

TWS 3 | Successful Entrepreneur


Being a successful entrepreneur takes a lot of time, hard work, and dedication. Once you’ve got a taste of success, it’s hard to go back and make everything work. Brandon Bliss, CEO of Orbit Medical, tells more what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur. Brandon talks about why it is crucial to take risks and execute your ideas to succeed in whatever business you’re doing. Furthermore, he shares some of the best books you can start reading that will help you gain wisdom to run your business. Learn more on what it takes to be successful as Brandon reveals how he got to where he is now.

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What It Takes To Be A Successful Entrepreneur with Brandon Bliss

Thank you for reading this episode. You are going to get a kick out of this. First, I wanted to say how thankful I am for the response that I’ve received based on the kickoff episode. Hearing from all of you has inspired me a great deal. I’ve heard transformation stories of those who had realizations and an impact based on, “Things I listened to on the show,” that changed their life. Opportunities for business, for investment and for changing the way they manage their finances, it’s been incredible to hear those. I start to incorporate some of the ideas that have come from these interactions.

Thank you so much. Keep them coming. Leave reviews on iTunes. That is helpful because it gets the word out. Email me. For now, use the I’ll try my best to respond to you directly. As far as feedback is concerned, it’s what your experiences have been, what you have liked, what you would like to see more of. That simple feedback means a great deal to me. I’m going to change a few things because of it. First thing, I’m going to try to do some more feedback based on my opinion of the subject matter, as well as the guest and why I have this specific guest on and also some commentary around financial strategy. There are a lot of you who enjoyed the Financial Fridays that we did last season, although we did not do them every week. There was a lot of feedback in regards to the content there. Thank you for pointing that out. I’m humbled by all of you who are taking what has changed my life and those who I know as clients. It means the world to me to know that you have taken action on certain principles and certain strategies and taking them to heart and done something about it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Let me get to the guest. He’s the CEO of Orbit Medical. Brandon is someone I grew up with in Central Connecticut. I’ve known him since my childhood. I consider him one of my best friends. He has inspired me over the years. He is exemplary of this idea of our theme this season, which is entrepreneurship. Brandon has gone through a lot in his business career. It’s indicative of what happens through overcoming obstacles and facing challenges. Within business and entrepreneurship, you’re going to face the gamut, regardless of what industry it is. This is the medical industry. Specifically, medical supplies is a highly regulated industry. Oftentimes, you deal with things that are completely out of the blue.

Brandon and his passion and desire to achieve and also receive that sense of fulfillment that comes from achievement is going to be the perfect guest. We’ll probably tell some jokes and some childhood stories and probably memories that he doesn’t want to relive or maybe I don’t either. We had some great times growing up. We have kept in touch. He lives close to me now. It’s going to be awesome for you to see maybe a different side of me, but also talk to somebody that I have a great deal of respect for, that has inspired me probably more than he realizes. Let’s talk to my good friend who’s the CEO of Orbit Medical, Brandon Bliss.

For this episode, we’re talking about entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship. I always say I have special guests, but this guy is a special guest. Brandon is the CEO of Orbit Medical. Brandon and I grew up together in Central Connecticut. The reason why I wanted to have Brandon on the show is that I’ve had tremendous admiration for him for a long time, starting when I was young. Our friendship over the years has evolved in business, has provided an outlet for me to talk about my business, the challenges that I face and ideas. Brandon is a wealth of information. He has also experienced a lot of success in business and the challenges that most businesses face. We had a conversation about like, “I got to this level. How did you get to this level?”

Everybody wants to be with whoever's winning. Click To Tweet

Our parents were entrepreneurs. Our parents didn’t tell us to do this. Yet, we wound up in this situation. Us seeing each other grow up and the experiences that we had together growing up, and seeing where we’re at now are cool to reflect on. We’re going to do a little bit of that to begin, and then get into his business background and talk about what he has seen in the marketplace as far as successful entrepreneurs and what makes a successful entrepreneur. First off, I know you don’t do podcasts. I try to make it so we’re having one of our normal discussions.

I’m terrified, but I’m happy to get this one under my belt. Thanks for having me.

Thanks for coming on. Let’s start maybe along the lines of the discussion we had. Our parents weren’t entrepreneurial. We grew up in a normal, lower middle-class set of circumstances. We both chose different careers. You’re in the medical field of finance. Yet at the same time, we decided to do our own thing or at least wound up doing our own thing. As you look back, how have you pieced it together? What are some of the things that made you want to do that and why you’re doing what you’re doing now?

I’m not exactly sure why I’m wired the way I am, but it goes back even to childhood where my buddies were lifeguards, my buddies were flipping burgers and I was like, “I’m not doing that. I’m going to make way more money, open my own landscaping company, work half the time and outsource the work to my brothers or other buddies.” I’ve always not done well working for other people. I prefer to be in charge. I’m wired that way. I’ve always gravitated to that. Even out of college, I studied Finance at the University of Utah. I took a job in sales. One of my buddies recruited us. I had a lot of success. I quickly became one of the top salespeople. They started throwing equity at me so I wouldn’t leave. I got a taste of owning businesses as opposed to working for other people. Once you’d get a taste of that, it’s hard to go back. I would do everything I could to get additional equity and buy out people or take advantage of circumstances so that I had more upside. That’s what I’ve been doing. Along that whole way, I diversified as quickly as I can and started trying to get equity in other businesses and get the money working for me.

One thing that I connected, which is a similarity of us, is you are successful in football. You played football for a couple of years and looking at hockey. Sometimes the drive to excel and succeed and win translates into other areas of life. You’ve always had that characteristic. Business and excelling and succeeding come with its challenges and failures as well. It’s proportional in some cases. How has that tenacity and that drive that we experienced, maybe in sports, played into that?

TWS 3 | Successful Entrepreneur

Successful Entrepreneur: Once you’d get a taste of owning businesses as opposed to working for other people, it’s hard to go back.


It crosses over well. If you’re going to compete at the higher levels of any sport, you have to have an edge. You have to be super competitive and you want to win. You hate losing. If you can translate that, you bring that into your business, compete at that level and make your competitors nervous about going up against you. You keep your foot on the gas the whole time, innovating and finding better ways to compete. Usually, the outcomes are positive. You capture market share and you retain talent. Everybody wants to be with whoever’s winning. That has served me well here. I was much more successful in high school in sports than I ever was in college. I tried hard. The time you have to put in, the dedication, the hard days, the pain you feel, all that stuff will help you take the punches when you start businesses or you’re trying to get companies to the next level. Sports will set you up. There are many setbacks in sports. There are many injuries or disappointments or heavy hard losses that you’re going to experience in that business. You’re going to fail. You’re going to get punched. You’re going to have three snakes coming at you at once. You’ve got to maneuver through it and be tough and not give up. If you’re tough, you win sometimes.

With businesses, you’ve had more experiences here. When I see success in somebody, an entrepreneur or a business or an investor or someone who’s successful in general, you tend to have two camps. You tend to have those that have only experienced success. You have those that have experienced a proportional amount of hardship. What I’ve seen from that point going forward, the failures I tend to see are those that have experienced lots of success, get punched in the face and don’t know how to react. As you’ve looked at other businesses and as you’ve been involved with your own and employees in general, where have you seen that dynamic?

It reminds me of that E-Myth book where everybody wants to have some success but works for someone else, and thinks they can duplicate it and do it elsewhere. There are a few experiences in my life where I’ve seen people go down that path and crash and burn and I think about why that happened. It’s easy to read books and maybe watch other people do things. If that individual, that CEO, that founder can’t surround himself with the right people, if he can’t execute on the plan and get enough cashflow coming in to survive until he can figure out exactly how to compete, most of the time it doesn’t work. That’s why many businesses fail. The number of people that can execute on that are few and far between. There are a lot of people with big ideas and can work in a big organization and contribute and do well. To take risks and the punches and to go off and do it on your own and then execute, if you haven’t done it or you haven’t been part of someone that’s done it and you’re right there, it’s hard.

You look at these tech startups. I’m involved with some of them. I’ve put money into them. This is my tuition in this world. I’m not successful in investing. These are your subscription-based tech companies that are doing rounds of funding and trying to hit it big. Has that founder done it himself? Can he raise the capital? Can he execute? Can he hit the different milestones that they need to get the scale so that someone will acquire them? That’s hard. Most will never ever do it. I learned that the hard way. I learned that in the process of investing in them. It can be applied to all different businesses. People may even have passion, but if they cannot connect the dots, if they don’t have those dynamic chameleon-like social skills to be able to put it all together until the cashflow stabilizes, it doesn’t work.

From a people perspective, since we’re young, you couldn’t work for other people. That’s oftentimes the cause of people going out on their own. They can’t work for this person. They can’t work for that person. Talk about your experience with understanding people. An entrepreneur that goes out on his own, that can’t work with other people is another big red flag. Even though you can’t work for a boss per se, how have you seen the ability for successful entrepreneurs as it relates to the relationships and communication and having people that are part of their organization?

If people are interested in your opinion, they'll ask. Otherwise, you shouldn't offer your counsel until they're ready to listen. Click To Tweet

I was in bed watching The Profit, this CNBC show. You see this guy, Marcus, he goes into these businesses. He’s dealing with entrepreneurs that are most of the time rough around the edges. They have not been able to scale or execute or make any money. They’re in dire straits. He comes in and puts in his people and his processes. He’s got the psychology thing understood. He knows how to get people in the right lanes and get it going. It was awareness. Most entrepreneurs, a lot of them like me, Alpha male, Type-A-driven, athlete, they can only take businesses so far unless they get the right people around them and step back and stop controlling everything and become aware of where they’re good and where they’re not good and empower people to scale. Some guys or gals can become aware of that. Other ones, it’s a disaster because no one ever helps them. They don’t engage a coach. They don’t engage a mentor that will open their eyes to the next level of what has to happen to get to the next level.

I’ve had partners like this. I’ve had phenomenal sales guys that have equity in a business, that grew it, scaled it but it topped off. The ops weren’t where they needed to be. They ran out of money, the investors pulled and they could not get outside of themselves and get the people on the team to continue to the next level. It comes down to how coachable is that person and how grounded and how stable. Are they emotionally stable? If they’re not, if they’re erratic, if they’re irrational and they’re all over the place, people eventually don’t want to work with them.

I don’t know if you’ve ever read Ego Is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday. That’s such a good book. He’s written a few books, but his two primary ones are Ego Is the Enemy and The Obstacle Is the Way. He’s an incredible writer. I went back and read a few parts of the Ego Is the Enemy. That’s one of the biggest dangers. When you succeed, it’s naturally ingrained in us. It’s like, “I succeeded. Look at me.” That’s one of the most dangerous periods of time too. When you reach that status, you don’t want to experience the other side of the spectrum. When you hit that status, that’s when you have a tremendous amount to lose because nobody likes the person that is masking failure. Even though you’ve achieved a level and in order to achieve the next level, you’re still going to experience failure. You’re still going to experience challenges. There’s going to be new. If you start to equate success with not failing first, it’s going to be a slippery slope.

This has been my experience. My biggest failures have come from making a mistake where the organization is failing in certain aspects and masking it. It starts to hide certain things because people know. There’s this power of vulnerability, especially from a leadership perspective. If people know that you’re fallible, people know that you fail and that you’re okay with it and you realize that’s part of the equation, it makes them comfortable as well. What I’ve connected is that my failures often come from me doing things that I should not be doing. An entrepreneur or a business owner has certain attributes and characteristics and specific roles and responsibilities attached to that. If they start to deviate outside of that and do things they shouldn’t be doing, especially if they’re other people’s responsibilities, that is where the whole ecosystem starts to break down.

TWS 3 | Successful Entrepreneur

Ego Is the Enemy

This company I’m CEO of has 140 employees. I’ve grown up with this company. I was part of the original team in 2003 that started it. I’ve gone all the way until now in the same company. We’ve grown as leaders and failed over and over it again as we figure out how to make money. We lie to ourselves. We pretend we don’t have problems. We turf build. We create silo. We do all stupid things that hurt the business and prevent us from growing and doing what we need to do. Getting rid of that behavior or being vulnerable and admitting, “I wet the bed there. I totally messed up. This is the outcome. I want to share that with you as a team so that you don’t make the same mistake I did. Let me fall on the sword here,” people love that. If people are more willing to say, “I need help here. I’m not the right person for this position. I need to bring somebody in,” we can start moving forward. If I had learned these lessons several years ago, I’d be well-off. I’m not as well-off as I wish I was.

The point is there’s no way you would have understood that unless you went through the experience to be aware of it.

I beat myself up. In hindsight, “I should have done this, this and this or I could have executed this turnaround quicker if I would have done this, this and this.” It’s unfair for others and for myself to beat yourself up over that. There’s a lot of could-haves and should-haves. I wish I learned the lessons quicker so I could be better and faster. A quote came to my mind. I like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. In my office, my favorite quote I have in a big frame wall says, “The wolf is always scratching.” He tells a story when he was young, they were in Hawaii. He was poor. They couldn’t meet their rent and the landlord was always coming in to knock on the door and ask for the rent. They were close to eviction all the time. He’s done well now, but he’s taken that same fear and used that as a weapon or as motivation in his life to never ever take his foot off the gas, to stay hungry. He says, “The wolf is always scratching.” That means somebody’s always trying to knock him off his horse. Someone’s always trying to beat him, be the next best actor, beat him in this role or that role. He’s like, “You have to stay on edge, hungry, competitive.” In my company, we use the word 212. You have to keep it at 212. That’s the boiling point of water. It’s that extra degree of intensity that allows you to be super competitive and hard to beat. If you’re an entrepreneur, you’ve got to keep that edge somehow.

This is from a principle standpoint. Everyone wants to be successful. It’s naturally ingrained in us. It’s not this one-time event. It’s something that happens over and over. Once a person gets to one point, they may achieve something but they’re still thirsty for the next achievement and the next one. The sooner you’re aware of that, the much easier the path is going to be. The point of me explaining that is entrepreneurs don’t have to mean to start a business. It doesn’t mean that you have to go out on your own. It doesn’t mean you have to build a team. It’s also important to understand that it’s desiring to be successful and knowing that it’s okay to be successful, but success isn’t the same for everyone. How, in your business, have you helped employees feel that sense of success? What I’ve discovered is everyone has specific talents and strengths. We’re all different. Every human being is different. As you discover those, as you become aware of those, especially as an employer, as you align the role and responsibility of employees to those strengths, that’s where you tend to have the most amount of happiness and success. My question to you would be, what are some of the ways in which you’ve discovered your own strengths and pinpointed those and focused your role and responsibility around that, but also for employees?

I’m not a TV guy. I try to read as many books as I can get my hands on. I notice you have a nice library. I read a ton of books. I try to get as much knowledge as I can from people that have already gone down this path and hear from their failures, their successes. I try to adopt some of those things. That’s one thing. I made the plunge and engaged with coaches and consultants, mentors. I have some mentors that don’t charge me anything but have been kind enough to take me under their wing and give me pointers. I try to meet frequently with them and have candid conversations with me in what my personality type is like and where my roadblocks are, what I can’t see exactly as clear as I need to.

I pay for a coach that gets into all my business and helps me understand and interviews my network and figures out, “This is what you think your problems are. This is what the people closest to you think your problems are, including your wife. You’re lying to yourself if you think this isn’t true.” That’s a hard pill to swallow, but you want to experience growth. That’s what you have to do. You have to be willing to work on yourself harder than you do at any job. Hopefully, in that process, you recognize what you were born to do, what are these natural strengths that you don’t have to work that hard at developing, and stay in that lane as much as you can. There are a lot of guys that have written a lot of books that are way smarter than me. I’ve read that over and over again, but it didn’t sink in until the coach is analyzing your personality profile and reviewing what your peers or your network are telling you.

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You’re like, “I need to stay in this lane and I need to delegate. Even though I can do this person’s job better or do that same role better than they can, I have to discipline myself to step out and be okay with them doing it their way and stay out of their way.” As much as that’s hard for me because I want to coach them and tell them how to do it and follow up and repeat myself over and over again. It does no good. They have to do it themselves their way. If they are interested in your opinion, they’ll ask. Otherwise, you probably shouldn’t offer your counsel until they’re ready to listen. That’s what I’ve done. You’ve got to work on yourself, become aware of where you’re supposed to do, your strengths and then stay in that lane as much as possible and supplement the other parts with good people, attract the best people in each of these different marketing, sales, operations and finance and get them what they need and stay out of their way and support them.

Have you ever heard of John Boyd? He’s one of those early personal development business guys. He was a Vietnam War pilot. He had this business theory called OODA Loop. It’s a feedback loop. OODA is an acronym. It stands for Observe, Orient, Decide, Act. The observation comes from the feedback. In war, what he would do is he’d observe all the feedback that’s coming at him, whether it’s instruments, whether it’s where the planes are. Orient himself as it relates to what’s going on in the environment, make a decision on what to do, act and keep on repeating it. The idea is most people hate feedback. They’re afraid of what they’re going to look like if the feedback isn’t good. At the same time, feedback is feedback. If you get that feedback, you’re able to orient yourself appropriately and then make a decision and act and continue to do that.

Oftentimes, we’re our own feedback. We lie to ourselves. We say things are better than they are. We say, “I’m good. They’re not. It’s their fault, not mine.” We don’t take responsibility. There are some human tendencies there. As it relates to employees and feedback, everyone does a job and they get results from that job. I have discovered that there is a way to help a person understand that there are strengths and good about them and that their level of happiness and success and fulfillment is when they’re doing what’s in that zone the majority of the time. The only way they can discover what those strengths are is by taking assessments. I’m not sure which ones you’ve done in the past. There are a million of them out there: Myers-Briggs, StrengthsFinder, Gallup. There are ways in which we can discover things about ourselves and look to the past and get the feedback. The sooner we can accept the feedback and the sooner we can accept that there are a lot of things that we could do but there are only a handful of things that we’re good at. Those good things will align with our happiness and success, the sooner you do that, even before you become an entrepreneur and do your own business, discovering that is going to give you what all the stuff that you’re looking for anyway.

In the end, it’s like, “Is it a pile of money that you want? Are you willing to sacrifice 30 years of unhappiness to get a pile of money so that you can be happy? Is it figuring out a way to be happy right now and be successful right now?” That’s one of the feedback I got from a listener was in relation to the definition of wealth. She was referring to Dave Ramsey. His programs and people are wealthy at the end of these programs. They didn’t go on vacation. They drove a five-year-old Camry for many years. They took the bus and sat next to smelly people. They vacation at the Holiday Inn. They sacrificed all the happiness to have wealth, which is a pile of money. I don’t think that’s wealth. Having a great experience, doing what you love and being happy in doing that is the true measure of a successful entrepreneur. It’s utopia-ish. That’s not realistic, but the reason we’re doing this season is that everyone has the drive to be successful, to achieve wealth, to achieve those levels. The sooner they can understand the principles behind it, the sooner they’re going to be able to take some action and get some results. 

Figuring out that why like, “What it is you were born to do? Who are you supposed to become? What drives you to the deepest levels of happiness?” each individual person’s going to have to ask themselves those questions and seek those answers. I’m in the middle of my journey, so I don’t have much to say on that. I’m more aware now than I was even several months ago in thinking about those bigger deeper questions. I’ve got teenagers in my house. I’m turning 40. I have some years left and I want to accomplish some things. I want to be successful. I thought I wanted this pile of money, but I realize that a pile of money doesn’t do much. I’ve got money and it doesn’t give me the fulfillment that I thought it would. What is it that I want to do with the strengths and with the time I have? How do I give back? How do I create jobs and bless other people’s lives?

TWS 3 | Successful Entrepreneur

Successful Entrepreneur: You go to work on yourself, become aware of what you’re supposed to do and your strengths, and then stay in that lane as much as possible.


I’ve got mentors and coaches that have more years of experience, more financial independence than I do. I’m listening to their philosophies carefully and trying to decide what mine will be. It’s a cool journey. I enjoy the ride. It’s fun. Anybody that wants to start a business and go through it, even if it doesn’t work, it’s still an awesome experience. As long as you are responsible with that risk and you’re not putting your family’s life in jeopardy and you have a side hustle or side business that may grow into something bigger, then go for it. That’s great.

That’s part of the growth cycle.

You’re in America. It’s the best place in the world to do that. You might as well take advantage of where you were born and the opportunities and access to capital here and do something.

Let’s end with some of your favorite books that have inspired you, aside from my book. I’ve told the story before of a good friend introduce me to Rich Dad Poor Dad. That was you. You told me, “You need to read these two books.” It was Rich Dad Poor Dad and Millionaire Next Door. I read them both. I was like, “I like this one. This one sucks. I don’t want to drive some 1975 Chevy for the rest of my life.”

I was the opposite. Kiyosaki and his stuff, it was great. It helped shape my way of thinking. In a different life, I should have been an investment advisor or wealth manager. I enjoy personal finance and studying the strategies. I’m self-taught. That’s why Millionaire Next Door and Millionaire Mind hit me hard. I was like, “I could do that.” I grew up blue-collar. I didn’t have everything handed to me. I’m self-made. I connected a lot with the real millionaires in America and identified with that. I said, “I can live this way but be comfortable and make sure I’m investing and saving and building assets so that I can have fun, live life and be happy along the way, but also accumulate a bunch of wealth.” I do love that book.

Create an environment of respect where you treat people how you want to be treated. Click To Tweet

At different phases of my career, different books have impacted me. When I first became CEO in 2011 or ’12 of this organization, we had gone through a tough situation. I was thrown into this massive adversity. I read the Zappos book, Tony Hsieh and his group, Delivering Happiness. I was creating a culture in a business. His culture was awesome. I tried to duplicate some of his things. That book had a big impact on me for a number of years. Ready, Fire, Aim is a sales book. It taught me how sales is the lifeblood of any business. If you’re going to get anything right, get sales flying through the door. Revenue buys you time to fix operations. I came from sales. I started in sales. I had a passion for sales. I was trying to teach myself how to be a CEO, which is a challenging transition. I’ve taken that to this company and to the other companies I’m involved with. I don’t care about all the other stuff until sales is like, “Don’t mess with their juju. Get them their comp plans. Get them in a good place where they’re bringing revenue in.” That book hit me at the right time.

Michael Masterson is the author. I told the story in the book where I worked with one of his companies. I told the story when I first met him and my experience in his office in South Florida. He’s an amazing business person. That’s a powerful book, Ready, Fire, Aim.

I read all the Tony Robbins books, all the Dave Ramsey books, including his last book, where he talks about the last step, “Once you pay your house off, this is how you build your legacy.” I enjoyed that book. Brian Tracy and his books are always good, the mindset books.

What do you consider are some of your driving business principles? A driving business principle could be courage. It could drive or tenacity. It could be customer first. As you’ve looked at the evolution of your business, what do you consider are some of those top principles?

TWS 3 | Successful Entrepreneur

Ready, Fire, Aim: Zero to $100 Million in No Time Flat

At Orbit, this company I work for, we have what some people call a credo or your core values. Deciding that upfront is a huge part of it. The words that we have on ours tell you who we are and how we think. 212 is one of those little words on there. You have to be willing to work hard and sometimes long in the beginning. Later on, you can balance things correctly. You’re taking care of business at home so you can take care of business at work and be your best without distractions. That’s important. It’s coming together as a team and creating an environment of respect where you treat people how you want to be treated. In our company, we don’t use bad language. We’re conservative. We don’t yell at each other. We have crucial conversations, but we try to have a high level of respect so that they will pour their heart into the business. It’s a win-win for both the employee and for the management team and the company. That’s another one, continuously improving.

There’s this guy I studied for years. Jim Rohn is his name. He had ingrained in my head to work harder on yourself than you do at your job. We have continuous improvement. We want to continuously work on ourselves, knowing that there are better ways of doing everything we do. We haven’t discovered them yet. Every year, we find more and more nuggets that we should have found much sooner that would’ve allowed us to monetize our ideas so much quicker but we didn’t. It’s that culture of continuous improvement and getting people comfortable working on themselves and not sensitive about it or not willing to do it like, “That’s hard to do.” If you can create that culture, your business can evolve quickly. Those are a few that come to mind.

In the beginning, if you’re a startup, you’ve got to hustle. You’ve got to bootstrap. You’ve got to work extremely hard until you have enough contracts, enough cash coming in the door, and then you stabilize things. You work on efficiencies. Jim Collins books. Those are other books that had a big impact at a certain period in my life or How to Win Friends & Influence People. Those ones come to mind. They’re classics. You’ve got to read the Covey books. You’ll crank the efficiency. You’ll squeeze that wrench and become more efficient over time, but you got to hustle in the beginning.

The hustle comes first. The efficiency, there’s never an end to it.

The last thing that I feel important to say is the best leaders that I’ve been around have this arrogance about them. They also have this humility where they realize that they need to get people around them and they need to stay in their lane. I’ve learned that these last few years as we’ve failed in a lot of different areas. We tried things and fell on our face. It did not work. I go before my team and say, “It was an awesome, valiant effort but a bad decision. It’s my bad. My tail is between my legs. Let’s course correct and go a different way.” You’ve got to be okay with that. Some of my most successful partners in some of my businesses, you’ve got to learn from them, ask them questions, take their strengths and shorten your learning curve so that you can be more effective quicker. Instead of trying to learn it yourself and trial and error every single time, you’ve got to shorten that gap with better people around you. Get your network where it needs to be.

We’ve talked extensively about this over the last few years. There’s a turning point in business. When you look in others, you look more for their failures then you look for their actual wins, not from competition or, “You failed, therefore you’re not relevant.” It’s the lessons that can be learned through somebody going through failure that is profound. You taught me through some of the stuff that you did about certain insurance that you can get for these events that could protect you here would save me in a few different areas. I now look for where people fell short and what they did because of that and where they succeeded. You don’t know what you don’t know. Leverage comes in many different forms. One of the best leverage, especially for entrepreneurs and business owners, is that you look where others have failed massively who came back. You don’t want to find the people that failed and gave up. You want to find the failure where they came back and why, what did they learn, what were those lessons.

We can continuously work on ourselves, knowing that there are better ways of doing everything we do. Click To Tweet

They were humble enough to share those with you. That’s why these mastermind groups and these groups come together, you can learn from people that came back, beat the odds and now are sharing their story and helping other people. That’s where I’m at in my career. I’m trying to surround myself with these winners that can help me avoid some of the mistakes. At this size of my company, I’m trying to scale it to the next level. Utah is cool. There are a lot of good entrepreneurs here, a lot of people that take big risks. There’s learning. It’s energizing. It helps me keep my saw sharp and stay hungry and remember the wolf is always scratching. Any success I’ve had, it could go away quickly. I need to keep pushing and taking the punches, moving forward. Hopefully, at the end of the day, I’m happy and loving life and doing what I want to do.

You did a great job for your first show.

I’m grateful that it’s done and behind me. In the next one, I promise I will be more prepared and hopefully say something that’ll help your readers.

We’ll have you on again for a second one.

Thanks for having me.

TWS 3 | Successful Entrepreneur

Successful Entrepreneur: Surround yourself with winners that can help you avoid some of the mistakes.


Thanks for reading. Thanks for participating in this season. We’ve had some guests that are in different fields and different positions of life, talking about more of the philosophical points of entrepreneurship. This is a practical show. In the coming ones, we have some cool guests. Both of Milton Friedman’s sons will be on. Milton Friedman was the Founder of the Chicago School of Economics and wrote a lot of books in relation to freedom and capitalism that play right into the idea of entrepreneurship. This season is going to be awesome. I hope you can take what you’re reading and apply that, even if you’re out of business or working for somebody else. Apply some of those principles and taking action on that, whether that’s discovering more about you, whether that’s understanding the importance and dynamics of relationships, especially professional relationships. I hope you got some nuggets of wisdom. I can’t wait for what you have in store for the remaining episodes of our seasons. Thanks for your support. Brandon, thank you. We’ll see you in the next episode.

Important Links:

About Brandon Bliss

TWS 3 | Successful EntrepreneurBrandon Bliss is President and CEO of Orbit Medical, a large home medical equipment company. He started with the company as an entry level sales representative and was made partner after only two years. He has been the President and CEO since 2011. Brandon has extensive experience in start-ups, business management, project management, employee development, recruiting, sales, and operations. In his current role, he works with every department of the company as they continue to expand and open new Orbit Medical offices across the country.

Brandon lives in Salt Lake City with his wife and their five children.


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Capitalism, Free Markets And Innovation with Connor Boyack

TWS 14 | Capitalism


Lawmakers oftentimes don’t understand the principles of capitalism. Connor Boyack, president of Libertas Institute – a Utah-based organization whose mission is to clear the path of opportunity for each Utahn by removing obstacles that limit freedom – talks about capitalism, protecting free market principles, and fostering an environment in which people can innovate. He explains why lawmakers should be comfortable with innovation and shares the factors that create the desire for regulation in our society. Connor also expounds on the importance of playing defense and offense against the forces that are trying to undermine what we’ve built and protected.

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Capitalism, Free Markets And Innovation with Connor Boyack

I’m here with Connor Boyack. We are going to get an interesting perspective on the theme that we’ve been discussing all season, which is capitalism. For those of you who are new, Connor is the President of the Libertas Institute, which is a Utah-based organization whose mission is to clear the path of opportunity for each Utahn by removing obstacles that limit freedom. They do a lot of legal research, public advocacy and advertising. They also do lawsuits against government events, publications and more. Connor is also the author of a popular series called The Tuttle Twins Series, which are children’s books that teach the principles of liberty in a variety of different contexts. You had surpassed the half-a-million mark in books?

We’re approaching half-a-million and it’s amazing.

You’re the publisher. You’re the writer. I know you have an illustrator as well.

It’s been a labor of love and it’s awesome.

I hear about it all the time in speaking to people that know you and know those books.

There's been some pain, there's been some loss, but no one can argue that we haven't benefited as a society to innovation. Click To Tweet

You sat next to Ron Paul once. That was your in to get them to liven up in the conversation.

This was late at night and we were at dinner. He was pretty tired and he beamed when I talked about you and what you were doing. You struck a chord a number of different ways. You got off a legislative session, which is one of your busiest times in Utah. It’s going to be interesting this interview around capitalism because the perspective that you have creates a unique way to look at some of the principles we’ve been discussing. Number one, you’re in front of lawmakers which oftentimes don’t understand the principles of capitalism and vote to protect people, but at the same time violate individual freedoms. You also write at a children’s level about principles that most adults don’t understand. It’s unique because the way you would speak about it is different than how others speak about it. I want to express my appreciation for what you do. You face lots of adversity standing for principles of freedom. I know it’s not easy sometimes, but you’ve taken a huge responsibility and you’re making a difference.

I think about it this way for your topic, we’ve got capitalism and we can write books about it and we can read books about it. There’s capitalism in theory and there’s capitalism in the trenches. It’s one thing to read Sun Tzu’s The Art of War and be like, “I would totally do that strategy and I would do this.” When you actually get in the war you’re like, “How does this work?” Capitalism is a lot that way at a high level. They are very important principles that I subscribe to. By no means am I saying the theory is bad, it’s spot on. The problem is the real world is messy and you have to interact with people who have political power or economic power and don’t necessarily subscribe to the same principles. How do you do that in a way that preserves capitalism, free markets and liberty and all that stuff? That’s where the rubber meets the road and it’s tough to see how it plays out.

I liked the way you approach things is when certain things inhibit individual rights, that tends to be where you go on the attack, on the offensive.

That’s important because often we’re on the defense. I’m always trying to figure out like, “What are the ways we can strategically pivot?” An example is when Uber and Lyft came to town. People have heard the story play out all over the country. Taxi’s fighting and so forth. We found a single mom who was driving with Lyft in Salt Lake City. She was cited with $6,500 ticket for picking someone up at the airport. It’s insane. You’re going to speed 100 miles an hour over the limit and not get a ticket that much. Here she was doing this consensual whatever thing. She can play defense or Uber and Lyft, on behalf of their clients can play defense and try and fight the ticket, get it stopped. We can use that as leverage to go on the offense and shame the airport, use the court of public opinion and use lawsuits. With us, it’s always, “What are those stories that we can find where the free market is being undermined? Where people are trying to do business and the government is standing in the way. How can we proactively try and fight it?” The benefit with a lot of these cases that we might dig into is there are a lot of sympathies for Uber, Lyft, Airbnb or for food trucks. We did this event called the Rally for Food Truck Freedom. We had about 2,000 people come up in the rain and a dozen food trucks.

TWS 14 | Capitalism

Capitalism: Fear and laziness are what creates the desire for regulation.


The whole thing happening was in our state, food trucks were being heavily regulated. Many were going out of business because here in Utah, we have this valley where all the cities are clustered together and 80% of our state’s population is within that valley. There are all these cities pegged together rather than being separate. The food trucks catering to the market are going everywhere in between. They’ve got lunch here, dinner here and the next day they’ll be in another city. What was happening before is that the government was requiring inspection in every city. Fees in every city governments. You had to do these redundant regulations, inspections and costs.

The costs alone, if you’re selling food, you’re on a razor-thin profit margin. If you have to pay all this money to the government for permission to go operate, it was ridiculous. These guys were going out of business. We do this big food truck event. We had all the media coming. We had all these TV crews come out and these reporters were eating food on cameras and saying how much they love food trucks and leveraging that public opinion to shame these cities. When we went to the legislature to fix the law, there was no question. That law passed super easy because we had got on the offense in a way that built public support and pressure to get the law changed.

Let’s talk about why they wanted to impose those regulations, having to do inspections, get licenses or whatever. What’s the driving force behind that?

It’s fear and laziness. Let me break those down. I’ve answered the question like this a time or two because we deal with this problem all the time. With fear it’s, “We don’t know. Are they going to sell unhealthy food? We’ve got to inspect it. We’ll get it regulated.” That’s the fear-based approach to regulation in the mind of the elected officials and the bureaucrats justify as all these regulatory issues. To some extent, we can agree. We want certification and we want an inspection. Maybe the market can do that rather than the government, but that’s a separate question. On the surface level, we all want healthy food only to be sold. We’re fine there at that superficial level.

Fear is what creates the desire for the regulation, and laziness is the other one. What I mean by that is it’s not within the past few years when food trucks exploded, all these cities said, “We need to regulate these things. We need to make this redundant patchwork.” No, that didn’t happen. This was decades-old laws on the books that weren’t dynamic enough to apply to this new business model. That’s what we see time and again with Tesla trying to do business and Airbnb. You’ve got these regulations and you have inertia in the system that does not respond. It’s not agile enough. You’ve got these new innovative business models that are being crammed down these regulatory frameworks and mazes that were built for a totally different system.

It's not the answer across the board, but accountability is essential. Click To Tweet

Laziness plays a big part when we go in and shine a big spotlight at this arcane maze and say, “Why are we making these entrepreneurs go through there?” It’s a bit easier for elected officials to be like, “That looks awful. I wouldn’t want to do that.” There’s a lot of inertia and unless you have people stepping forward and making the case and raising an opportunity to say, “Let’s fix that.” It doesn’t get fixed because these food truck owners didn’t know how to change the law. They didn’t know what to do. When we came on the scene and said, “We’re going to help shine the spotlight,” they were immensely grateful. I eat free at every food truck I go to because I say, “We’re the group that did that.” They’re like, “Let me serve you.” They’re happy. The layperson doesn’t know how to do this stuff, so you get this inertia and silos where this business is regulated this way. This entrepreneur slogs through the system because they don’t know how to change it and very few politicians are enterprising enough to find those problems and then come up with a solution.

What would you say the general consensus is of lawmakers with these issues? It’s interesting you have new businesses, entrepreneurs that are disrupting and finding better ways to do things, which oftentimes may not be perfectly in line with the existing laws. You also have a big business or established businesses that they believe they’re operating in a free market. That’s how they were created, but maybe they haven’t innovated and they’re starting to get disrupted and then use political influence to block certain businesses from competing with them. Where do you see the general consensus of lawmakers when it comes down to those two opposing forces?

This is such a relevant, compelling question because it happens over and over again. We have a problem that is the average lawmaker is ignorant. I don’t mean that in a pejorative way, especially in a citizen legislature that meets part-time. They’ve got jobs. They’ve got families. They’ve got hobbies. Now within a 45-day session, a 60-day session, they’re bombarded with information. You’re talking to elected officials in bullet points. The most effective way to get someone to pay attention, change your mind or go the way you want is a one-pager little summary with bullet points. That’s the level to which the average lawmaker can go on any issue.

Then the problem to your question becomes when they get confused. I’ll give you a very precise example that we’ve dealt with this session. There’s a newer company called Turo. You rent cars. It’s car sharing between you and the person. You want to do Tesla. You want to get a Hummer. You want to get a Lamborghini for a day. People in your area who have that car can share it with you. Who doesn’t like that? The rental car companies have a ton of influence and a ton of money. They hire lobbyists and this happened in Utah. We had a bill that was trying to deregulate and protect the ability of Turo and companies like them to innovate because they’re getting shut down. Like Uber and Lyft where you have Turo drivers being criminally charged and prosecuted for picking people up at the airport.

TWS 14 | Capitalism

Permissionless Innovation: The Continuing Case for Comprehensive Technological Freedom

What happens then is the rental car companies get their lobbyists to go up to the capitol where these superficial, ignorant voters are that can only understand things in bullet points by and large because there’s so much information to absorb about every bill. You get them going to a committee or going to talk to a legislator and say, “We’re the free market approach and all we want is fairness. We want a fair playing field.” They’re not paying all these taxes that we are and they’re not doing all these other things that we are. It’s unfair. That’s persuasive to a lawmaker. I believe in a fair playing field. It’s because the lobbyists for the big companies know well how to spin things in a way that sounds good to an ignorant lawmaker who can’t dedicate a lot of time. When you have the ability to go in there and counter and say, “They’re claiming they want a fair playing field,” what they didn’t tell you are all the cars that they buy for their fleet, they don’t pay sales tax on. They get a sales tax exemption saving a profound amount of money.

We’re totally fine to talk fair playing field if they’re willing to give up that exemption or give it to our group. That’s the problem is there are not a lot of great opportunities for lawmakers to dig in and say, “What do you say to that? Let’s try and get into.” It’s talking points. It’s superficial one-pagers and bullet points. The average lawmaker can’t simply by virtue of how the process works dedicate the amount of time to fully understand the issues. That’s when you get these big companies who are protected by the status quo being able to divert lawmakers into saying, “We want a fair playing field so we’re not going to pass this bill that helps Turo.” Turo and freedom fighters like us on the sidelines are like, “That’s not how it works.” By then the bill’s dead and they have a year head start to keep doing whatever they’re doing.

What ended up happening with Turo, with that bill?

What the bill did that we said by and large is, “If you’re a government and you want to regulate a company like Turo or any other peer-to-peer company, you have to treat them differently than the type of business they’re disrupting.” For example, you have to treat the company Turo differently than you treat Enterprise, Hertz, or rental car companies that own vehicles, own parking lots and buildings because peer-to-peer apps like Turo are a matchmaking service. It matched you with the model X guy. That’s all they are. They don’t have inventory. The same thing, Airbnb is not a hotel. Uber’s not a taxi service. We have this model framework saying, “Treat them differently. We’re not telling you how.” What we’re saying is you can’t go to Turo or whatever new peer-to-peer app comes online and say, “You have to abide by these old regulations.” We’re trying to say in law, create a separate path because they’re different. Everyone freaks out, loses their mind, they narrowed the bill, amended it down to nothing and then it ended up not passing. In a free market, a pro-business state no less.

As societies, as the world continues to innovate, Turo is like you rent your car out to somebody else. It’s not this revolutionary life-changing idea. When those are presented, how have you been able to think through that as far as how you would approach some life-changing treatment? I know stem cells and that type of therapy is getting big, but yet it freaks a lot of people out. It could be revolutionary for health purposes. How do you reconcile your ability to have conversations with legislators who can’t necessarily understand the principles of a simple service like Turo?

It’s tough and to the latter point you bring out with stem cells, I’ve got a friend who’s flying down to Mexico because that’s where you’ve got to go to get this innovative therapy. We have a choice in America as a once in theory or to some larger degree free market capitalist society that embraced innovation that has veered far more towards socialist, redistribution and pro-regulation. We have to make a decision. There’s a fantastic book called Permissionless Innovation. This is by Adam Thierer at the Mercatus Institute. It’s all about documenting how our society has been improved, especially through internet technologies where you had a bit of this Wild Wild West. The lack of regulation stimulated this innovation where people could experiment, fail and succeed that have benefited all our lives collectively.

There’s been some pain. There’s been some loss. No one can argue that we haven’t benefited as a society by the profound innovation that’s been able to happen. His argument is that rather than a presumption of regulation, which is what our society has adopted collectively speaking, we should have a presumption of innovation. We should have permissionless innovation where you don’t as an entrepreneur have first to go and fill out form 1093X and then you have to go over here and get a permission slip. Dot your I’s and cross your T’s. Just go innovate. As long as you’re not hurting anyone and everything’s fine, you pass some simple little check and then go innovate.

The market and the government are very joined at the hip. Click To Tweet

The problem to your question is lawmakers need to become comfortable with that. What we’re trying to figure out in our state, but then more broadly the message to this is how do you get lawmakers to embrace permissionless innovation? How do you get them to abandon the two issues, fear and laziness? How do you get them to care? How do you get them to have faith rather than fear? I think part of that is storytelling by say, “Show me that phone in your pocket.” That’s a result of permissionless innovation.

Imagine if the government had said that before coming up with a new cell phone, you must do all these things. Would Apple have done that? Would their competitors have done that? Would that have sparked all the race of innovation that has accelerated new technologies and new things that we take for granted? Using stories and examples to get lawmakers comfortable with a presumption of innovation is where we need to get to. We’re internal with our organization trying to figure out how do you give them that comfort so when enterprise, when the hotels or when the protectionist incumbents come to them and say, “We need protection. We need regulation,” you can have a lawmaker say, “No, I support capitalism. I support free markets. I understand you may not like it, but we’re going to go this path instead.”

When I look at where we’re at as a society, especially with the fiscal situation we’re in as a country, as well as how our monetary system operates. The issues with government, mostly federal government deficits and how much debt is on the books. The debt they’re in with other countries as well as us, the Federal Reserve. You also look at the unfunded obligations, Social Security and Medicare. There are a lot of issues out there. I look at the future and without innovation, if things slowly sputtered along, there are going to be a lot of heartaches. Technology is where innovation occurrence because the idea of technology is to be more efficient.

In a free market, if you don’t have a technology that makes a person’s life better or reduces the amount of time or reduces the amount of money, it’s going to fail quickly. When you start to stifle innovation, that’s when the future is going to get rocky. I never heard of that book before, but it makes sense because if you’re having a hard time with Turo, what about a life-changing medical procedure? What about the medical marijuana that you’ve been dealing with? It’s one of those things where life is happening quickly, and if the government starts to put their foot on the brakes, it can be bad for everyone.

One of the challenges is that because economics and politics are inherently intertwined, you got all these regulations and laws that are encumbering the market. We’ve never had a truly free market. We can talk about wanting one and how they’re great, but we’ve always had this regulated market and politicians respond to pressure. Whether that’s angry mob pressure or people demanding things and saying, “We want this,” and looking at the polls. Part of our challenge, to be frank, is a lot of people are a climatized to the status quo. It’s hard to quantify. The unfunded liabilities and the college debt bubble, all these things are on the horizon. The numbers are so big we can’t even comprehend them anymore. The layperson, there’s no demand for change. Consequently, there’s no pressure being applied to lawmakers. If anything, it’s the opposite. I don’t want to think about that. I don’t want to touch it. I want my easy credit. I want the ability to get a loan to finance my house, put the burden on someone else, and that’s where the demand is.

TWS 14 | Capitalism

Capitalism: Global warming is itself a bit of political bread. It’s the hip thing to be excited about and it’s what everyone wants to chatter about.


You have that perverse incentive for lawmakers to ease the burden on the people who are directly in their ear and the people who can’t advocate and the rising generation who would keep kicking the can down to. That’s part of the problem is when we had the food truck owners rallied together, when we had the Uber and Lyft drivers rallied together, we can go work together to create the right pressure to get things changed. Create a freer market to get these bad regulations out the way. When it comes to the big financial problems you’ve listed, where’s the mob? Where’re the pitchforks? Where’s the pressure? If anything, there’s almost the opposite incentive and that’s to our collected detriment because it’s creating a big problem.

I was in Italy and we were in a city where there were this massive protest and kids apparently left school and they were protesting global warming. In Italy, I don’t know if you know much about what’s going on there, they’re horribly in debt and they’re in a recession. A lot of it has to do with their government and the lack of accountability that’s existed there, but yet they’re protesting global warming. That’s something I think you’re right. Worldwide, we’ve been polarized with status quo and how things should be and it’s been exploited.

Part of it is the bread and circuses mentality of Rome. There are political bread and circuses. Global warming is itself a bit of political bread. It’s the hip thing to be excited about and it’s what everyone wants to chatter about. Why don’t they funnel that same political energy to go tackle the real problems that are actually threatening people? It’s almost a convenient distraction for politicians to look cool and say, “I care about saving the world.” Save your country. Save your budget. It’s like the Jordan Peterson, “Clean your bedroom first and then go worry about other stuff.”

Accountability is a huge piece of capitalism and it also seems it’s a huge piece based on your success. With capitalism, the accountability is if you produce a bad product, people are not going to buy it. Therefore, you have the incentive to produce something of value. When it comes to lawmakers, what you’ve done is you’ve created a similar environment so that they operate in a different environment of accountability. Talk about what you’ve done with creating lawmaker index.

In our state, other groups do this too, but we’ve created it to the point where it’s effective. The very night that the legislative session ends, we already have done and finalized our index scoring of how they did. There’s immediacy. We’re not waiting a few weeks when everyone’s back in their lives. We get it out quickly. Ranking all the best and the worst votes and the benefit in doing this is we’re first to market. Everyone’s looking at our index. It’s the thing coming out the gate to see how everyone did. We get a lot of attention and because we get a lot of attention on the index, that creates an incentive for lawmakers to want to do well so that they perform good.

We can't all do the same thing, but we can support one another on our different paths. Click To Tweet

All throughout the session, we’ll have different lawmakers coming up to us and say, “How am I doing?” We get little bonus points when they sponsor our bills because they’re good free-market bills. We say, “If you run one of these bills, you’ll get some extra points. If you run a bad bill, you’ll get negative points.” We’ll get lawmakers like, “I only did one bill of yours. Do you have a couple more that we could do?” I have a puppy and I can use the treat to do good behavior. You don’t want them to pee on the couch. We have all these politicians doing bad things, you’ve got to wave the little incentive in front of them. By no means is it like the answer. A lot of them don’t care. Some of them live in districts where they’re liberal or progressive and they’re not all fans of the free market. They want these big socialist policies.

Those politicians in true representative form don’t care about our index because they feel they’re representing their constituency well. It’s not the answer across the board, but accountability is essential. When you go on Amazon to buy this laptop, you’re going to see the ratings. You see what everyone thinks about it, what experience they’ve had with it. You can have confidence in your decision to acquire that commodity. Why shouldn’t the same thing happen with elected officials? Why can’t we see their voting record conveniently? How they’ve done on the best and worst? How many times did they raise taxes? How many bills have they sponsored that protect the free market? That type of information leads to an informed consumer, in the case of a commodity or an informed voter. I’m sure you get this too.

You get to Election Day. I get all these texts coming in from people saying, “I haven’t looked at anything. Who should I vote for? I didn’t have time to study, tell me what to vote for. I think like you.” I’m like, “Don’t vote.” The concern is we need to have informed voting, informed consumers in the same way. I took an Uber drive and you can see the star rating from all the other drivers, and I have one too. It’s a self-policing system, a great example where the market is taken care of itself to weed out any bad actors. Why can’t we have that in politics? We need more of it.

Fundamentally, isn’t government about protecting free market principles and protecting individual rights. They’re not there to solve problems. If you look at the innovation that I think is the key to the future, inhibiting that is going to be catastrophic. I also look at it essentially technology replacing the government in a sense. We have the tools of accountability that government creates in the first place, whether it’s permits for restaurants or even drivers’ licenses. There are a number of different things that are governed to protect people, but at the same time, there are a lot of free-market tools that would most likely do a better job.

The issue is there’s always going to be those forces trying to dissuade the adoption of new technologies that are going to disrupt. I’ll give you an example. I was in the House of Representatives this session and I leaned over to my policy director. I made a comment to the effect that there’s this woman, a clerk whose job it is to read the name of every bill when it’s time to vote. That’s her job. You can automate that. Everything’s digital and yet this woman is still required to read. Run that through a Google voice transcription thing. It’s super easy, super effective and it saves $60,000 or whatever it costs to pay her. Yet everyone in charge of the budget and on the staff loves that woman of, “Why would we want to let her go? She’s great.” You have those perverse incentives always trying to inhibit the ability to progress.

TWS 14 | Capitalism

Capitalism: Figure out how to make a difference with your unique skill sets.


That’s the nature of governments, the Ronald Reagan, the closest thing to eternity is a government program or a government job. This has been great. I didn’t have all the time in the world, but we appreciate it because hearing from you is a different perspective on reality. I look at it completely different. I don’t see things as you see them because of your experience, especially with lawmaking in general in that process, but also understanding free market principles at the level that you do. Capitalism is interesting because we’ve never had pure free market capitalism in anything.

There’s always been in our modern society some element of government and policing to an extent and not protecting human rights. At the same time, you look at the capitalism principles, creating an environment in which people can innovate and not have this oversight or scrutiny and what they’re trying to do. It’s beautiful to see all the things that have happened in our lives, whether it’s the technology in our cars, our phones or in our computers. The more freedom we advocate, the better the innovation is going to be and the better our lives are going to be. To end with this, talk about what you see is the future of just lawmaking, markets, and society. How do you feel things are going in general?

Anyone who cares about capitalism has to care about politics. You have to care about human psychology. They’re inherently connected. You can’t succeed in life financially if you don’t understand how the system works. It’s like getting out the chessboard and all the pieces are laid out and you think it’s a checkers game. You have to understand the rules of the game. As sad as it is, politics inherently as connected to the system of capitalism that we have or the partial capitalism or whatever you want to call it. That’s the downside and the opportunity I see that a lot of people disconnect the two. They don’t realize if we’re going to be successful and have a true market economy or whatever degree that we can, we have to get involved politically.

At a minimum, we have to be aware politically to know where the currents are going and what to do. Either get involved, support someone else who is effective in your state or the national level. As great as it is to go try and make money and grow our businesses and that’s all important, we also have to be playing defense and offense against the forces that are trying to undermine what we’ve protected and what we’ve built. You look at the rise of AOC and it’s still burning to these days. The popularity of the rise of democratic socialism from people who don’t even understand the implications of what that term even means.

There’s a good reason to be a little fearful of the future from a capitalist perspective and what that means. We can’t care, ignore it and think it will go away. We have to confront the fact that the market and the government are joined at the hip. We need to know what to do about it. That’s the pitch I would make to your audience is to figure out in their path of life what their unique skill sets and interests, how to get involved and how to make a difference because we need all the manpower we can get. Whatever state your dear audience is in, I would invite you to go to That stands for the State Policy Network, and it’s like an umbrella association for all the different free-market think tanks across the country. Every state has at least one, some have more than one. Whatever state you’re in, if you want to see who’s in your back yard working in the trenches, and I promise you they’re having more success than any of the national groups that are doing. It’s hard to get national reform, but there’s so much opportunity at a local level where the rubber meets the road and these are the guys in the trenches working on free-market stuff in your community. is where you can find them.

That’s the thing even doing interviews like this. You have been influential outside of Utah, The Tuttle Twins, but I know you’ve written a bunch of op-eds for nationwide newspapers. Plus, you’ve gotten a lot of press with some of the things in Utah. The digital privacy is one I remember where Utah was one of the first states to pass them. It’s one of those things where with Connor, whether it’s me following them on social media or it’s sharing some of his thoughts because I oftentimes talk with people and mentioned The Tuttle Twins books and give them away. You can have a similar impact, whether it’s through following these organizations, supporting them financially, but also sharing thoughts and sharing ideas. I’d also say Tuttle Twins is an incredible way to learn about free market principles from a number of different angles because teaching your children about it through those children’s books is incredible.

Breaking it down to that fundamental level solidifies that theory and that principle in your mind. I know that you’re making a huge difference here, but as our society continues to progress or grow at a quick rate. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, you have some radical ideas that are manifesting and because of good marketing, because of good influential tactics are gaining steam. Understanding what those things mean as it relates to our future is important. I understand that I don’t have time during the day to write the way you do or to do videos or to lobby legislative sessions, but there are organizations out there that are passionate.

It’s a division of labor. We can’t all do the same thing so we can support one another on our different paths.

What are the best ways to follow your organizations?

Our website is The Tuttle Twins books are a combo deal with all the discounts and workbooks we throw in is at If any of your audience wants to follow me or find out about me, google Connor Boyack and I’m easily discoverable.

Connor, thanks. I appreciate it.

Thanks for having me.

Thanks, everyone for reading. We’ll see you next time.

Important Links:

About Connor Boyack

TWS 14 | CapitalismConnor Boyack is president of Libertas Institute, a public policy think tank in Utah. He is also president of The Association for Teaching Kids Economics, a national organization helping teachers educate their students about the free market.

Connor is the author of several books on politics and religion, along with hundreds of columns and articles championing individual liberty. His work has been featured on international, national, and local TV, radio, and other forms of media. A California native, Connor currently resides in Utah with his wife and two children.


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