Jan. 3, 2022

Ep34 - The Wisdom Of Lise Cartwright, Aaron Walker, Stephen Key, Robert Morales, And Mitche Graf

Ep34 - The Wisdom Of Lise Cartwright, Aaron Walker, Stephen Key, Robert Morales, And Mitche Graf

Episode Thirty Four Features My First 5 Guests Imparting Wisdom and What They Have Learned
My Key Takeaways:
I was extremely lucky to get the following guests as my first five interviews:  
Lise Cartwright - Human Design and Kindle Publishing
Aaron Walke...

Episode Thirty Four Features My First 5 Guests Imparting Wisdom and What They Have Learned My Key Takeaways:

I was extremely lucky to get the following guests as my first five interviews:  

Lise Cartwright - Human Design and Kindle Publishing

Aaron Walker - Christian Masterminds

Stephen Key - Product Design and inventRight

Robert Morales - Traveling Robert of YouTube

Mitche Graf - 6 Star Customer Service


In this episode:

  • Lise Cartwright talks about overcoming the urge to over complicate her business.
  • Lise Cartwright shares the mindfulness technique that she uses and how she applies it to her life and business.
  • Aaron Walker shares the saying that his Mom taught him early on.
  • Aaron Walker espouse that everything is figure-out-able.
  • Aaron Walker explains the meaning behind the name of his Mastermind, Iron Sharpens Iron and its relationship to the Bible.
  • Aaron Walker shares why he thinks Masterminds can help us and why he thinks that we are designed to be in community with one another.
  • Stephen Key related a story about how he didn't know how to create a pattern but soon learned reinforcing the idea that everything is figure-out-able.
  • Stephen Key shares the story of how Teddy Ruxpin got clothes and what that meant for Worlds Of Wonder's bottom line.
  • Stephen Key shared the advice that his Dad gave him and how he applied it.
  • Stephen Key talks about what the word failure means to him.
  • Robert Morales discusses how an author that died over a century ago still influences him today.
  • Robert Morales shares how much effort he puts in to each video to make them look amazing.
  • Robert Morales went on to share how he monetizes each video on YouTube.
  • Robert Morales encourages us that it is never to late to find your passion and to start pursuing it.
  • Mitche Graf shares his definition of Work-Life balance.
  • Mitche Graf goes on to discuss how he learned to brand at an early age and how we can use it to differentiate ourselves from competitors.
  • Mitche Graf reminds us to spend money on things that will improve the customer experience and not extraneous stuff that we might think that we need.

To learn more about each guest, please check out my first 5 episodes on Entrepreneurs Over 40.    Be sure to hit Subscribe in your podcast app so that you don't miss it or any other episodes. 

Be sure to hit Subscribe in your podcast app so that you don't miss it or any other episodes.


[00:00:00] Greg Mills (2): Lease car, right. Was my very first guest and I remember being very nervous to speak to her. I had first heard about her on Nick Loper side hustle nation interview, discussing Kendall publishing. And I wanted to learn more. One of the first things she talked about. Was the tendency for us to over-complicate our businesses. 

[00:00:19] And focus on stuff that just doesn't matter. 

[00:00:22] In her own words

[00:00:23] Lise Cartwright: now I really focus on doing things that are easy and fun, right.

[00:00:28] Because there have been points in my business where things have not. Being easy and fun. I've made them hard and complicated, which is crazy. When you run your own business, why would you make it hard and complicated? But I just feel like sometimes we think we have to do things a certain way or we see somebody else doing something and we're like, oh, that's the way that you do it.

[00:00:53] And as you. Grow. And you've been in business for a while. You start to understand that actually you can decide what it looks like, and there is no one size fits all way to approaching your online business. 

[00:01:09] Greg Mills: So why would we complicate our businesses and make it harder than it needs to be? I think, especially starting out, you don't know what you don't know and feel like you have to do everything. It isn't until you get in the trenches and see what is working or not working, that you can decide what you need to focus on and what needs to go away. 

[00:01:29] I guess one example for me, it would be releasing a video every day on LinkedIn. That got to be pretty difficult. And I honestly did not appear to be moving the needle too much. So I've pivoted to where only released one video per guest. And then I just do quotes from their interview for the other four days of promotion. 

[00:01:48] Now I may revisit this at a later date. But for now, that's what seems to be working and it requires less effort. Win-win. Now Lisa goes on to talk about. How she clears her mind via mindful practice that she discovered. 

[00:02:03] Lise Cartwright: So J is T is simply dust. Just sit then it's a mindfulness practice and I did not create this. This is, I learned this from my coach and it's just a practice of stopping. And being on your own, um, or I do what I call active JST, which is going outside, going for a walk, whether it's on the beach, along the river, um, in the forest, whatever that looks like, the point being that you're on your arm, that is the whole purpose of JST and that you're not listening to anything when you're doing it.

[00:02:43] The whole purpose is to just be to literally. Stop. Now, when you do this, you have a couple of different ways that you can utilize it. And not particularly. From a human design perspective, JST works extremely well. If you're out of alignment to be able to tap into your inner authority. So for me and how I've used it is whenever I just feel like something isn't working.

[00:03:11] I know that I need to take, take some time and typically I will do 30 minutes. 60 minutes is great. If you can do it, but 30 minutes is generally more doable and literally I am done. Putting, you know, I set the timer on my phone, but I put my phone away from me. So I'm not tempted to scroll or during any of those things.

[00:03:30] So I'll put my phone on the opposite side of the room. If I'm doing it inside, I have pen and paper. Um, but that's it literally for the first five to 10 minutes. Your brain is going to be going through a whole to-do list. Generally. That's what mine does. It's like, what are we doing? You know, because I'm have energy.

[00:03:52] My body is like, we should be doing something. And I'm like, no, we just, we need to. Be still. And literally what happens after that five to 10 minutes is that, you know that to do list as being run through. And you're just kind of in this state of observation, at least that's my experience. You can't stop thinking you're anyone that made a tight noises is that the goal isn't to stop thinking it's to stop attaching to the thoughts that come through your mind.

[00:04:26] And that's a much easier thing to do than to try and stop any thoughts coming in. So it's more about observation and just paying attention to what is coming. So JST is really just at the, uh, it's a mindfulness practice. It doesn't need to have any major structure other than you're not to be listening to anything you're on your arm.

[00:04:50] And you can set a timer for 30 minutes and see what happens. That's what that is.

[00:04:55] Now our practice of J S T really spoke to me. I've tried meditating before and I always feel like I'm doing it wrong. I started off with my mind being blank. And then I feel an H on my leg. I reached down, stretch it. Notice my shoes look dirty. I should claim them, I think. And while I'm doing that, I also could. 

[00:05:13] Get another pair. If I'm going to the store anyway, I might as well. And then I noticed that I'm not in meditating. 

[00:05:21] With JST, there really is no wrong way to do it. And it does seem to help. I can't say that I've incorporated this every day, but when I do it, I feel more energized. And in tune with where I am. And what I need to do next. I liked lease Aaron Walker was someone that I heard on another podcast. 

[00:05:38] John Lee Dumas entrepreneurs on fire. And I was really impressed by this Christian masterminds. And how those could help someone be successful in business. As well as to be a better person. Erin goes on to talk about the influence that his mom had on him

[00:05:55] Aaron Walker: You know, my mom had a little saying when I was a kid, I don't know if this is what you're referring to, but she would say, can't, couldn't do it and could did it all. And I was like, what in the world does that mean? And she said, well, if you think you can't, you probably won't. And so she would always say, You can't use the word can't then I'm like, well, you just used it in the explanation.

[00:06:19] And she said, well, you're not going to use it. She said, you may not be able to make it happen, but you're at least going to try. And so for that reason, it built a lot of self-esteem. It built a lot of self-confidence in me as a child. And today it's one of my core values. No, excuse. And I don't allow people in our organization to have excuses, like my next core values.

[00:06:42] Everything's figure out-able, I will figure it out. And so when you develop that mindset of you can do it and you don't have any excuses and you've developed a strategy that everything is figure out-able you probably going to end up successful. So we just adopted that over four decades ago and it's worked out pretty well for us.

[00:07:03] Those were great strategies that Aaron shared with us. And the last one that everything is figureoutable. Is one that seems to be a constant thing with most of my guests. I went on to ask Aaron the basis for naming his mastermind. Iron sharpens iron. Which has taken from Proverbs 27, the Bible. And this is what he said. 

[00:07:27] Aaron Walker: Well, you know, as I said earlier, I'm a believer and, uh, I believe that designed to be in community. I don't believe we're designed to be alone because I think isolation is the enemy tax silence. And if you really want to go forward in life, you've got to have a strong community around you. You've got to have people that are willing to compliment your super powers, but also throw the flag on your blinds.

[00:07:50] And I want people around me, Greg, that'll call me out. People that'll say, no, you can't treat her that way. Or if you don't come home a little earlier, or somebody else is going to take your kids to baseball practice. And then when you get old and rich, you're not going to have any relationships. And I just need people around me to remind me of that stuff occasionally.

[00:08:10] And I want to Excel. I want to do good. I don't want to be here. Do you know? Because if you're average, you just as close to the bottom as you are. And I don't want to live that kind of life. I want to live a life full of adventure. I want to be able to make a little bit of money. I want to be able to take my family on trips.

[00:08:26] Uh, I want to be able to give money away. I want to be able to help people and you can't do it that just sitting on the couch at home, watching reruns of Andy Griffith, you know, we got to get out and get out. And so I think it, if you get into a mastermind group, listen, nothing worth having is worth having, if some sparks are not flying and that's the reason iron sharpening iron we're there to help one another.

[00:08:50] And if we can't help one another, it's like, I don't know what your purpose is. And so people only remember how you make them feel, and if you don't get in the trenches with them and really propel them to the next level, Uh, for me, that's not much of a relationship. So Proverbs 27, 17 kind of rose to the top.

[00:09:09] And I said, it's going to be iron sharpens.

[00:09:12] Like Aaron, I believe that we are designed to be in community with one another. That we are hungry for an experience. So community. That's one aspect that I want to try and improve upon in 2022. With entrepreneurs over 40. I've been blessed to talk with some of you already like Alan Trotter and Jason Thomas. 

[00:09:31] As a reminder, you can always reach me on LinkedIn or via EO 40. 40 show@gmail.com. Aaron talks here about the importance of helping others

[00:09:42] Aaron Walker: . You know, my first number one core value is relationships matter most. And if people don't matter to you, you go have a long road ahead of you because you're dealing with people regardless of what you're dealing with.

[00:09:55] And when you really focus outward, and you're the giver and not the taker that natural reciprocity, it comes back to you a hundred X. And so when you really focus on other people and help them accomplish their goals and dreams, man, you'll get anything you want out of life. You just gotta be genuine and you got to go out there and really help.

[00:10:16] What Erin said reminds me very much of the quote from Zig Ziegler. You can have everything in life you want. If you'll just help other people get what they want. I believe that is true today is when Zig Ziglar first said it. Now Stephen Key was another guest that I'd first heard of on Nick Loper side hustle nation. 

[00:10:36] If you think I might be a huge fan of Nick Lopers? Well, you wouldn't be wrong. I just wish they were over 40, so they could have him on the show. Getting back to Steven Key though. This next clip is yet another example of the principle that everything is figureoutable if you try hard enough

[00:10:55] Stephen Key: I was still making things and selling them at some of the county fairs. And I met someone that said, can you make Teddy bears? And I said, no. And they said, are you a pattern maker? And I said, no, I make these by hand. There's no pattern. said, have you ever tried? I said, no. And so this friend showed me a pattern and before long I taught myself how to be a pattern maker, which is really an odd thing, but I was, I studied sculpture. That's what I did study an art cause I love to make things. And so I was able to figure out how to make stuffed animals.

[00:11:38] And it's a very odd thing to think that someone can actually do that. So. My very first job, I guess. Uh, I was probably 27 years old at the time. And there was a very large company in San Francisco called daikon and they made stuffed animals. And after I practiced a few times, I just went over there and found the office, knocked on the door and said, Hey, I make stuffed animals.

[00:12:07] They're like, uh, jeez. And just by chance person that was making this very realistic looking it's called, it was called the elegant line or something. Very realistic looking stuffed animals said, uh, the person just left, that's it. Okay. And they said, can you make stuffed animals? I said, sure. Basically I hadn't made just a couple.

[00:12:30] And they said, here's some fabric come back in two weeks with the life-sized golden retriever. And so I grabbed the fabric and came back two weeks later and they were like, wow, you can do this. And I said, I just kind of figured it out. And I said, Yeah.

[00:12:47] Stephen was a great interview and has certainly lived up to Ziglar's quote. It's astounding, the number of people that he has helped both through his books, as well as invent. Right. In this next clip, he talks about how Teddy Ruxpin got clothes. 

[00:13:04] Stephen Key: I remember there was a Christmas party at worlds of wonder, and I was, all of us was going to the, the president, the CEO's home. it?

[00:13:13] was Christmas time.

[00:13:14] So I made it a little Christmas outfit for Teddy and little did I know what that would? What, what happened? Because I brought it there. It was a big hit. And next thing you know, we made outfits for Teddy for all around the world.

[00:13:27] I thought it was just a nice gift, but little did I know that? What a little, um, that little outfit, of course, Teddy went on a lots of adventures. So we made outfits for basically all around the world. My office did.

[00:13:42] It's funny how sometimes we can do something on a whim and it ends up becoming a much bigger deal than something that we may have been focusing all of our energies on the case of putting clothes on Teddy Ruxpin was just such an example. Stephen was just trying to do something nice for a Christmas party, but wound up creating an entirely different source of revenue for worlds of wonder. 

[00:14:05] Now Steven's dad had given him some great advice early on

[00:14:10] Stephen Key: When I was on the production line with Teddy Ruxpin, something, my father had said to me, he said, Steve, in order to create great wealth, you need to find something that does not require your hands or your presence and has a multiplying effect. remember when he said that to me, it didn't really understand what that meant, but I sure did.

[00:14:34] When I was on that production line, I was over in Hong Kong, China for over three months, very lonely. And the inventor of Teddy Ruxpin was not there. He had licensed or rented his technology to worlds of wonder. So he wasn't doing this by hand anymore. There wasn't there wasn't present. And it had a multiplying effect cause he had a factory making them for him.

[00:15:03] So that's when this light went on that this licensing product licensing business model was something I was very interested in because he was clicking a million dollars a month in royalties. Now that's kind of crazy. Right? So, but I liked it because he, he was just using his creativity and everybody else was doing the work. In fact, everybody was working for him. And that business model was very attracted to someone like myself that didn't want to do some of the other things do get, do you have to do the run of business, but the, the biggest benefit about product licensing today, it's really speed. see. You know, you're watching shows on shark tank, of course, and you're watching people on Amazon and you're watching all these people do these startups.

[00:15:58] Well, the success rate of startups is very low. In fact, they don't like to talk about the six that the failure rate of startups, but it's very, very low. It takes a lot of money. It takes a lot of time. And if you're really successful today, you will be copied and you will be copied so fast. If you do a crowdfunding campaign before you, before the campaign even ends, there'll be selling it somewhere on Amazon.

[00:16:28] So, and even Amazon now is jumping in there and, you know, maybe might be influenced by your work. So if, if you really want to be smart today, you want to leverage, um, what can you do to be the first sell first, sell fast. And the best way to do that is to license an idea to a company that already has shelf space. See, they have everything in place. So you collect a royalty on the wholesale price. They do all the heavy lifting, and that allows you to come up with more ideas. So it has that multiplying effect to get my father talked about. So product licensing to me is, is an ideal business model for, for startups, for companies, because you can license some technology.

[00:17:18] You can keep some technology. If you want to, you can leverage the size of a company. They can protect your idea because of their size. So there's so many benefits to it and there's no financial risk. You don't have to quit your day job. You don't have to do anything silly. You could just be creative.

[00:17:36] Early on Steven's dad basically gave him the definition of passive income. Steven realized that that was what he was doing with the Teddy Ruxpin. Was creating passive income for someone. It's just not for him. He went on, to find out how to do product licensing. And why it was a better model than trying to build a company around a product. 

[00:17:58] Not only did he do that, but he is basically created a career out of sharing his knowledge with others. Stephen Key has a really interesting relationship with failure and he describes it here. 

[00:18:11] Stephen Key: it's r

[00:18:11] eally interesting that this failure thing is really interesting word. Um, I've been failing since the second grade. Okay . So let's get that,

[00:18:21] Stephen Key: straight. 

[00:18:22] I barely passed the second grade. So I've had tutors my whole life. I was tested in my late forties and it was determined. I have a severe learning disability, big surprise there. So I'm very, I wouldn't say I'm comfortable with failure. It irritates me, 

[00:18:46] does not stop me. You see, I, I think what I realized, you know, for example, I write a lot, I've written a thousand articles in licensing. I write lots of books. I'm not a writer. He tried to tell everybody, so how do you write so much?

[00:19:01] If you're not a writer? Well, you don't have to be a writer. You know, if I, if I have good content and if I can deliver it to someone that does write well, they can write in my voice and I can, you know, I've got my iPhone. Now I can dictate into it. And next thing you know, I have a transcript. Someone could, can clean it up, clean up my work.

[00:19:23] So I guess what I'm saying is I don't let obstacles stop me because we all have them. And I have probably more than most. And, uh, I think obstacles are just really great opportunities for people to shine. If you just look at them that way. So getting back to the failure. Yes. I'm probably the biggest failure I've ever made, but I still have had a tremendous amount of success. Yeah.

[00:19:55] So I think they go hand in hand actually. 

[00:19:58] Steven doesn't see failure for what it is, but as obstacles that he can overcome. He just has to figure out how. He thinks that obstacles are really opportunities for people to shine. This next clip ties in with that. 

[00:20:14] Stephen Key: I realized really very quickly that you just have to knock on doors and there's going to be a lot of people behind those doors that probably are not going to want what you have, 

[00:20:28] Greg Mills: right.

[00:20:29] Stephen Key: but that's okay too. If you treat everybody as a friend, you every doors.

[00:20:36] Okay. Heavy doors, just, Hey, I'm just, Hey, I'm here. I'm doing this. Glad to meet you. No big deal. You go to the next door. So it was never a failure. It was just more finding the door that opened. 

[00:20:47] Greg Mills: Yeah.

[00:20:48] Stephen Key: And I realized that I think success is like that too. You have to knock on doors and, and realize that most of those doors will shut. But every once in a while, one would open. And I, I learned that when I was 18 and, um, it was probably, I would say one of the most important lessons I learned was, um, keep knocking on doors and don't be afraid of them to close and shut because it's always a numbers game, you know, and knock on 10 doors and one opens.

[00:21:25] All right. I want to knock on a hundred and I know 10 to go open. Now it's just a numbers game. That's all it is. Yeah. 

[00:21:32] Greg Mills: Yeah. One way to look at that, that I guess is, you know, if I, if I can get 10 nos I'll I'll get a yes, 

[00:21:39] Stephen Key: That's the way I looked at it. I still look at it that way today. If you're not knocking on doors of opportunity, I can guarantee nothing's going to happen. Nothing's going to walk by and magically find you. 

[00:21:51] It's just not going to happen that way. So if you learn to knock on doors of opportunity, anything can happen. Yeah. 

[00:22:02] So access to Steven is a numbers game. If you knock on enough doors are facing of obstacles. Eventually one opens up for you. 

[00:22:12] My wife and I discovered our next guest. Robert Miralis better known as traveling Robert on YouTube. We were searching places to go on vacation in Florida. Where we can take our elderly dog Merlin with us when we came across. Robert's videos. There were extremely well produced and featured him talking about life on the road. 

[00:22:33] As he traveled around Florida in the Southeast. And this next clip, he talks about a shared hero that we both have that inspires his love of travel

[00:22:44] Robert Morales: One of my favorite writers that I read west as a kid, as a child in the three, the Spanish translation was mark Twain. Mark Twain has many, many quotes about traveling. As you know, he was a very well-traveled person 

[00:22:56] I mean, he was born in this small town by the Mississippi river actually he was born nearby and then he grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, and then he was all over the place, you know, and he has this quote that begins, that travel is fatal to prejudice.

[00:23:11] And, uh, and I forget exactly how it goes after that, but it's like, we have a lot of preconceived notions of different places and different people around the world. And when you travel. You learn and you change those preconceived notions. And that's something that's very deep because I've experienced it myself also. 

[00:23:30] His legacy is known all over the world. And it's incredible because I remember as a kid, I saw a, a TV series about Tom Sawyer, but It was made in Russia. They shot it in the vault, in the Volga river. So the Russians made a Russian version of Tom Sawyer in there. This must have been the seventies. 

[00:23:49] I've been a big fan of mark Twain's since high school. When I did a term paper on him. It's astounding, the number of places that he traveled. As well as the fact that he's still influences people. Some hundred and 10 plus years after his death. Now, as I mentioned before, Robert's videos are very well produced. 

[00:24:08] And here he talks about the time that he puts into each one

[00:24:12] Robert Morales: on the shooting part. I don't even count them as, as part of my time because it's, it's fun. It's I, I enjoy doing it and I enjoyed editing too. But editing is a time-consuming process. If, if, if any of you have ever edited video, you really have to like it. And, uh, and I Do but yeah, I'd say it depends on the video of course, but it could take a.

[00:24:35] Up to an hour for minutes you see on screen. So if, if this week I posted a 40 minute video, that was a full-time 40 hour week for me. 

[00:24:45] And it's not only putting the videos together. You have to put it together with the right music. You have to do voiceover research. And sometimes I need to do color correction on and stabilization and different effects that I, that I put. Sometimes I put a map in the middle of the video showing my route, all that.

[00:25:01] Everything takes time, but I, I love doing it, but it's a time consuming process for sure. 

[00:25:07] And we live in the golden age of video editing, try that with two, you know, beta cam machines and you do, you're doing it on tape. You make a mistake. You have to go back to the beginning. 

[00:25:19] No, Robert May make the video editing look simple, but it's far from effortless. Ultimately, I guess that's what make his videos. Art. So, how did he figure out how to make a living with his traveling Robert videos on YouTube. 

[00:25:35] Robert Morales: I didn't really do anything play courses or anything like how to make money, but yeah, I did watch some of the, the gurus at the time that they teaching you how to. Better videos on how to kind of tweak your online presence on YouTube. One of those is, uh, what's his name? His channel is video creators.

[00:25:58] He was one of the ones that I, that I followed and I learned a lot from a lot of people and, uh, and nobody gives you like the whole story, but, uh, But I learned that consistency, thumbnails and should of putting out a good product. I don't like the main things, you know, and you can, you can play with words and link bait and try to make a, an interesting headline for some big videos that works.

[00:26:24] But eventually you've got to find your voice. And my voice was telling these stories. Uh, about travel, you know, and, uh, and this somewhat unique about it, finding that, that nature. And then. And respecting your public and interacting with your public. that's what I do every Friday. I do a live stream every Friday and people ask questions and they just, it's just like a one hour hangout with, with the public and I'm going on a tangent.

[00:26:53] But, but yes, I did, especially, especially when it stopped being a hobby. And I really wanted to, you know, when I up. Um, failure. Wasn't an option anymore. I decided, you know, it's, it's like everything, you can learn anything. And I decided to, to, learn and, and try to learn as much as possible about what made that YouTube algorithm, you know, worked for you. 

[00:27:18] Greg Mills: No. D do you, um, this is always an awkward question, but how, how do you make the majority of your money? Does it come from. From sponsors. Does it come from YouTube itself? 

[00:27:32] Robert Morales: Okay.

[00:27:32] I'll I'll break it down. I don't have exact figures. Of course. I'm that organized that the, the big chunk comes from from Google. From the room from the views, you know, I get, uh, over a million views a month. So that translates into, into percentage of money. I also have patron, I sell my merchandise, I sell the t-shirts.

[00:27:52] I sell CDs. I sell stickers, that kind of thing. That's a good chunk too. Some of my videos are on Amazon, Amazon prime, and that's a part of it too. And then sponsorships, lately, some companies have been approaching me and, uh, and the fit is a product that I think, you know, it's, it's good or kind of resin will resonate with the audience.

[00:28:13] I, I have this short commercial in the middle of the video and, uh, and make money from that. 

[00:28:20] Ultimately everything is figure out-able and Robert certainly put in his share of research. Robert leaves us with these words of wisdom

[00:28:30] Robert Morales: it's never too late. You know, you, you see people at 70, if you have the passion to do it, Yes, you can start at 70, even if you perhaps don't have as much time left as someone in their thirties or twenties, but 

[00:28:42] it's never too late to start with your passion, you know, and, uh, And getting, you know, getting to, to, to exploit or to, uh, you know, um, to the best version of yourself, you know, sometimes you just stay doing something that perhaps you're not best at, but it's comfortable and it's Good and it works for you, but maybe it's not what makes you happy.

[00:29:06] And, uh, I think at any age, you, as long as you have the, the health and the mind to do it, you can.

[00:29:14] Since the day, you know, that's, that's what happened to me. I was in my mid forties in a dead end job. And I'm like, it was, it was okay. It was a nice office in downtown Miami. I was doing okay, but I wasn't happy. So.

[00:29:27] decided to make a pivot in my life. 

[00:29:33] I can't remember how I stumbled upon Mitch grouse business edge a minute podcast, but I'll listen to once and I was hooked. I hope that if he hears this, that he'll pick it back up because while each of his episodes were only a minute in length, they were absolutely packed with valuable content. 

[00:29:52] An example would be Mitch talking about work-life balance, which was a recurring topic just as he does here. 

[00:30:00] Mitche Graf: I love Elon Musk. His mind is incredible, but he believes at 120 hours a week. If that's what it takes you for sake, your kids, your hobbies, your spouses, everything, you give it all up in order to build this thing.

[00:30:12] And I had the opposite approach. I have the approach of no, no, you, you figure out what's important to you and then you make your business fit in. You don't have to work 80 hours a week. If, if that's not something that you want to do with your life. If you wake up in 10 years and say, where'd my life go, who are my kids?

[00:30:29] It's definitely not worth it, man. You know, I lost my father during COVID it wasn't because of COVID, but it was during the. And it's just one more moment of, okay. Let's make sure we're maximizing today, living in this moment right now. Not the next moment. Not tomorrow, not next year, not where you're going on vacation.

[00:30:45] The moment right now, the people that are in front of you right now, the people that are in your lives right now. And I think that's a, that's a counter, a counter-intuitive approach to what a lot of people teach young entrepreneurs and old entrepreneurs. And I believe that you don't have to forsake everything.

[00:31:00] There is a way that you can have that proper balance. And part of it is being efficient with your time. Part of it is learning how to delegate. And I mean, there's a lot of little tentacles that go into making that successful. But I really believe that especially now that there's so many new people, there's a million new businesses that have been started in the lab.

[00:31:16] Those people, I think have a better understanding more than, than a lot of years, that it really is about proper balance with friends, with family, with kids, with hobbies, with personal development of yourself. And it's good to see, you know, and that's kind of the space I've worked in for 25 years. So it's, it's really refreshing to see all these great ideas coming in, uh, to the realm right now.

[00:31:39] Yeah. It makes me excited to get up and go to work.

[00:31:41] Mitch goes on to talk about how he discovered the power of branding at an early age. 

[00:31:48] Mitche Graf: Most kids in my neighborhood sold it for a quarter and I decided I was going to sell it for 50 cents. So twice as much as anybody else, but again, you're free cookie.

[00:31:57] My mom would make. And then I would give them a free cookie if they bought a 50 cent cup of lemonade. And I had a little table out there in front of the driveway and I had a tablecloth on it and a couple of chairs and here's something kind of fun. This radio, this exact radio right here, little am radio.

[00:32:16] I played Dodger games 

[00:32:18] and I'd put this on the table. So even back in third or fourth grade, I was thinking about the experience, right? That customer experience. It doesn't work anymore. I keep it more of a paperweight than anything else, but even back young, I, I want it to be different. I want it to look different.

[00:32:34] And that's one of the basic definitions of good branding and good marketing. As you look at what everyone else is doing. And then you don't do that. You run as fast as you can the opposite direction and find that blue ocean where nobody else exists. And I think that's the true definition of an entrepreneur is people that can find that blue ocean..

[00:32:51] Well, that's an interesting outlook that I'd never really considered. How branding could help you find a blue ocean strategy. With the right branding, you can set yourself apart from competitors and be in an area where they cannot or will not compete. Unfortunately. Too often we try to compensate for perceived shortcomings. 

[00:33:11] By pouring money into stuff that just doesn't matter. 

[00:33:16] Mitche Graf: in the entrepreneurial space, you really need to make sure that you spend money on vitals, things that customers come in contact with, you know, and 

[00:33:25] can use $5,000, I think is a good marker. And anybody can afford to lose 5,000. I believe if they're going to start a business, um, but make sure that the money you spend it only on things that the customer or the prospect comes in contact with getting a new, uh, mouse mousepad, doesn't come into that realm.

[00:33:46] Um, updating your office chair does not come into that realm, but websites, marketing, collateral, your business cards. Those kinds of things, things that that customer has direct experience cobalt CX, the customer experience goes to the things that you need to be spending your limited resources on. Um, and I think a lot of people make the mistake of doing things that it's the sizzle with the steak, instead of the steak starting out, man, you got to bootstrap, you only spend money on things that you absolutely have to, uh, until you get to a point that you can start making some decisions.

[00:34:18] Okay, we've got some profit now. Now incrementally let's start spending more so that we can scale that business and make this a lifestyle, make this a job that I can make a living out of.

[00:34:30] All too often companies spend money on stuff that doesn't directly impact the bottom line or improve the customer experience. And that ultimately really hurts them. Mitch talks about the importance of learning from others to potentially shorten our runway to take off

[00:34:48] Mitche Graf: So learn from other people around you around the world. It doesn't have to be someone that, you know, that have experienced failure before and then learn from their copy that. Don't do the mistakes they made. Don't do the mistake. She made. Look for new ways to make mistakes, because as you make these mistakes, you build the foundation of your house to the point that, okay, now I have something to value that the world will want.

[00:35:11] In this final clip, Mitt shares two important pieces of advice. We don't need to be on every platform. And we don't have to do everything ourselves. 

[00:35:23] Mitche Graf: So as an entrepreneur, here's to two recommendations, number one, you don't have to be on every platform, especially starting out, pick one and do it exceptionally, exceptionally well. You're better off doing that than doing six. Mediocre. So find one and that you can Excel at and do that. And number two, you don't have to do it yourself.

[00:35:46] There's people, there's virtual assistants around the world. I have virtual assistants in six countries. They will do this for you. You tell them here's the guide rails. Here's what I want. Here's the content or here's my ideas. And then you let them do things. There are softwares that will schedule your posts for the next umpteen weeks and months.

[00:36:04] You don't need to do it yourself. And if you are doing an hour a day, let's say of social media. If you remove yourself from that process, you've now freed up an hour, a day to do something else, reinvest it back in your business, reinvest it into training your employees, reinvested into hanging out with your kids, go stare at a tree in your backyard, right?

[00:36:25] You now have this time freedom because you freed up an hour and it doesn't sound like a lot of them. an hour is a lot. And if you could do a little bit better now, you're at two hours now you're at four hours. So it just depends on how addicted people are to their social media. Um, pick a platform and be the best at it, and then find someone that, that can do this for you.

[00:36:46] There's people out there around the world that could do this cheap five bucks an hour around the world. And they are incredible, incredible talents at what they do. There's people like that in the United States and around the world, you can go to upwork.com. You can go to fiverr.com and those companies over the last several years have really refined the edge of their sword at the beginning was a little bit Rocky, but now, uh, some of the best technicians and artists and videographers and everything are on those platforms available for you as a startup business.

[00:37:17] You know, when I say you mean that the viewers they're available for us to, um, to help make our jobs easier so that we don't have to do all the, the tedious stuff that we don't like to do.

[00:37:28] You want to be able to teach somebody else how to do it, obviously. Um, but I'll tell you right now, the, the job of an entrepreneur is not to do the 15 to $20 an hour work. It's just not. If you spend all your time doing that stuff, and you're five years into this, you need to make a change.

[00:37:45] You need to be able to delegate that were automated or eliminate it. You should not be doing the 15 to $20 an hour work. You should be doing the $500 an hour visionary stuff. How am I going to scale my business? How am I going to make sure I give my employees the tools to be successful so they can take care of those customers?

[00:38:02] So I can scale my business. That's where your thought processes need to be. Not in K. I'm going to answer the phones today. I'm going to process these orders. I'm going to make these blue witches. That's not where your time should be spent. Um, it's called Pareto principle. I'm sure you've heard of it. The 80 20 rule, 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts.

[00:38:22] Conversely, 20% of your efforts brings you the 80% of the results. So knowing that ahead of time, it makes sense to figure out how to take the 80% of your things that you do. The time that you spend, that only brings you a little bit of results. Getting rid of that, figuring out how to train someone else to do it, delegating it, automating the system.

[00:38:47] When we're talking about the systems, really automate that system, or maybe just to saying, okay, I'm not going to do that today. Procrastinating, right? Automation, procrastination, delegation, and elimination. Those are four things that you can do with anything that presents itself in front of you. But as an owner, you should be spending your time doing $500 an hour.

[00:39:05] Think tank stuff.

[00:39:07] This advice definitely hit home for me. I'm only on LinkedIn and YouTube, and those are enough for me right now. So I feel like I'm doing well in that regard. Delegating, however, it is not something that I've done or is my strong suit. I need overall the website, but I'm stuck on how to proceed. So maybe that'll be one thing I attempt to outsource. 

[00:39:31] I hope that you've enjoyed this first compilation episode of our earlier guests. I originally was going to shoot for 10 different guests, but quickly decided that would take way too long. In any event I look forward to your feedback. No, only how I could do things better. But also on who you'd like to see me have on the show. 

[00:39:51] Until next time.