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The Successful Pitch with John Livesay

The Successful Pitch interviews thought leaders, speakers and authors as well as successful startups who share their secrets in raising funding, Investors give inside tips on what they look for when they hear a pitch. Join your host, The Pitch Whisperer and author John Livesay as he provides insights on how to make your pitch compelling, easy to understand and inspiring. John is a keynote speaker on Getting To Yes and shares tips on going from invisible to irresistible to win new clients.
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Now displaying: 2016
Dec 28, 2016

In this episode, Tom & Tracy Hazzard talk about the latest ruling by the Supreme Court in Samsung v Apple and how it impacts people or a business that have a design patent, and their valuation.

Dec 19, 2016

Fred Campbell Interview

Episode Summary

Fred Campbell is a serial entrepreneur, and knows a thing or two about raising capital. In the early 90’s, he was having trouble raising funds for his e-card greeting network, but with enough persistence, eGreetings.com grew rapidly and became a worldwide top-20 website, with 13 million registered users. Today, Fred is the CEO and co-founder of CrowdSmart, a platform that enables user-generated scores and reviews of startups by alumni, investors, and customers. Listen in to find out what it takes to raise $40 million in capital.

What Was Covered

  • 03:55 - Why did Fred wait 11 years to get his MBA?
  • 06:40 - What did Fred learn from growing his eGreeting business?
  • 11:00 - Are you worried someone will steal your secrets? Well, don’t be.
  • 12:50 - At the end of the day, it’s about the team that executes the idea, not the idea itself.
  • 17:00 - Fred admits he should have downsized Lexy, his company at the time, instead of seeking more capital for it.
  • 18:15 - What do investors look for in an entrepreneur?
  • 24:35 - Every entrepreneur needs to have a tagline that’s easy for every person — customer or not — to understand.
  • 30:15 - Try really hard to get negative feedback — it’ll make you better at raising capital.
  • 30:40 - With Scott’s latest venture at CrowdSmart.io, how does he make money from this company, and how can founders join the platform?

Links Mentioned

www.judyrobinett.com

www.sellingsecretsforfunding.com

@Fredcampbell on Twitter

Fred on Linkedin

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Dec 12, 2016

David Whelan Interview

Episode Summary

David J. Whelan is a seasoned strategy, business development, and general management executive building businesses and inspiring entrepreneurs at the intersection of technology, health, and wellness. David discusses how he combines his love for health and the tech industry into one, and what a successful pitch looks like, when aiming towards these types of investors. Listen in for so many great nuggets of wisdom from David on the topics of investing, raising capital, and building your network.

What Was Covered

  • 04:05 - David has a BS in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University. What does Symbolic Systems mean?
  • 04:50 - Why did David want to study Symbolic Systems, and how did David get started in his career?
  • 09:05 - David and 24-Hour Fitness tried to launch a fitness wearable in 2004, but they were too far ahead of their time.
  • 12:45 - How was David able to fundraise over $115 million for a non-profit?
  • 15:10 - David shares an example of how building strong connections can be an excellent lead-in to other people’s networks.
  • 21:25 - How did David raise $25 million for the for-profit precision medical industry?
  • 24:15 - The great thing about healthcare, is that everyone has dealt with it at one point in their lives. This means that healthcare stories are very relatable for investors.
  • 28:10 - When you pitch, you want to provoke, inspire, and tease the solution.
  • 28:20 - David talks on his one-time involvement with the Chinese casino game leasing industry.
  • 32:55 - David recommends two books, The Checklist Manifesto, by Atul Gawande and Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline.

Links Mentioned

www.judyrobinett.com

www.sellingsecretsforfunding.com

www.bespokestrategy.com

The Checklist Manifesto; How to Get Things Right, by Atul Gawande

Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline

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Dec 5, 2016

Eileen Tanghal Interview

Episode Summary

Eileen Tanghal is the Vice President of New Business Exploration and New Business Ventures at ARM, a UK-listed chip designer. Eileen shares tips on overcoming imposter syndrome, why there’s a lack of women in venture capital, and she even dives into China’s startup culture. Eileen believes good entrepreneurs have resilience, but they also know when it’s time to move on after receiving enough rejections from investors.

What Was Covered

  • 04:50 - Why are there so few women doing what Eileen’s doing?
  • 06:25 - Venture capital is no longer an old boy’s club.
  • 11:55 - Women just don’t seem to be very confident in the investment sector.
  • 13:05 - How can potential investors feel like they’re not an imposter in this field?
  • How did Eileen overcome those feelings?
  • 19:15 - What are some of the characteristics of a good pitch?
  • 23:40 - Eileen discusses what’s happening in China’s entrepreneurial sectors right now.
  • 25:55 - Eileen believes China’s startup culture is about 50% faster than Silicon Valley.
  • 27:15 - What kind of companies does Eileen like to invest in?
  • 29:25 - How does a founder get the opportunity to meet an executive sponsor?

Links Mentioned

Eileen on Twitter

Eileen on LinkedIn

What Works for Women at Work: Four Patterns Working Women Need to Know, by Joan C. Williams, Rachel Dempsey, Anne-Marie Slaughter

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Nov 28, 2016

Alexa Fischer Interview

Episode Summary

Alexa Fischer was laying down, pretending to be dead, on the set of Bones, when she had an awakening. She loves acting, but she thought, “What am I doing with my life?” Call it luck, call it a sign, but less than a week later, Alexa got a call, out of the blue, to become a media trainer, and this is how she made the shift out of acting and into coaching. Today, she teaches her high-profile clients how to speak with confidence -- not with arrogance -- and how they can cultivate engaging conversations with the people they serve.

What Was Covered

  • 04:10 - How did Alexa get into Yale?
  • 05:35 - Why did Alexa decide to become an entrepreneur?
  • 09:10 - Curiosity and tenacity are a powerful combination. You need to have both!
  • 09:55 - What’s the difference between confidence and arrogance?
  • 13:50 - Alexa discusses the time she met Simon Sinek.
  • 19:30 - Somebody who is humble takes the time to listen to others.
  • 20:55 - What’s Alexa’s why?
  • 24:25 - Life is tricky. We didn’t come here for an easy ride -- we have to earn our mark.
  • 25:50 - Alexa recommends, The First Key: How to Remove Subconscious Sabotage, by Daphna Slonim

Links Mentioned

J Robinett Enterprises
John Livesay Funding Strategist

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Nov 21, 2016

Samira Salman Interview

Episode Summary

Samira Salman is the CEO & Founder of Salman Solutions, a firm that advises executives, startup founders, and entrepreneurs on how to build better companies and raise capital. Samira had a very successful career as a tax lawyer. Now, she uses her expertise in both corporate and tax law to advise her clients, and she speaks heavily on topics such as entrepreneurship, brand building, negotiation, and more. Discover how you can build trust with an investor, on this week’s episode!

What Was Covered

  • 04:05 - How did Samira get into tech investments?
  • 06:35 - Samira works with companies at all funding stages.
  • 07:00 - What does Samira look for when a company is pre-revenue?
  • 11:05 - If you don’t know what problem you’re solving, then you don’t understand what your company does.
  • 13:45 - You can’t wing your pitch! You have to prepare, and prepare, and prepare, if you really want to wow investors.
  • 16:05 - Samira believes there’s no difference between your personal life and your business life. The internet makes our lives so transparent.
  • 16:40 - Before Samira takes on a client, she Googles them.
  • 17:40 - Brand yourself! investors will be looking at your online profiles.
  • 20:10 - Make sure your pitch deck looks professional. These days you don’t have to spend a lot of money to create a good looking presentation.
  • 22:10 - It’s always a great idea to pause your presentation, and ask whether your investors have a question. Think of your pitch deck as a conversation between investors.
  • 24:10 - Remember, people do business with people they know, like, and trust.
  • 25:30 - You job isn’t to sell your company, it’s to sell yourself.
  • 26:55 - Samira knows how to pick unicorns.
  • 30:15 - You have to ‘cut off the dead tree limbs’ when you need to. If an employee isn’t working out, it’s best to let them go.
  • 31:20 - Samira recommends the book, The 50th Law, by 50 Cent and Robert Greene.

 

Tweetables

Cut off dead tree limbs whenever someone is not working out on your team
Show investors you are prepared and organized
Use LinkedIn to brand yourself to investors
Be authentic and have a conversation where you listen

 

Links Mentioned

J Robinett Enterprises
John Livesay Funding Strategist
Salman Solutions Website
Samira on Twitter
The 50th Law, by 50 Cent and Robert Greene

 

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Nov 14, 2016

Stacie Shaw

Episode Summary

Stacie Shaw is the Founder of Pitch Deck Fire, where her company creates engaging and effective pitch decks for startups. As Stacie says, she is a startup storyteller! Entrepreneurs need to realize that when investors are hearing your pitch for the very first time, they are hearing it with their more primitive reptile brain and not their analytical brain. This is why you need to make your pitch incredibly simple and easy to understand, even if what you do is a complex.

What Was Covered

  • 03:45 - How did Stacie get started?
  • 04:45 - When did Stacie decide it was time to be self-employed?
  • 07:20 - How well your pitch deck is designed is very, very important.
  • 08:15 - What should people include in their pitch deck?
  • 09:55 - Don’t pitch an investor like a customer. Your investor isn’t your customer!
  • 11:15 - The less is more in your pitch deck.
  • 11:30 - We have three parts to our brain. Stacie explains further.
  • 13:30 - Explain your idea in a simple way to investor.
  • 13:40 - Investors have a small attention span.
  • 14:55 - Stacie shares tips on how you can be more comfortable with an investor.
  • 15:55 - Is there such a thing as practicing too much?
  • 17:55 - Body language also affects the way you feel.
  • 20:15 - What are some common graphic design mistakes Stacie sees in a pitch deck presentation?
  • 22:30 - One pitch deck fits all? No!
  • 25:40 - Entrepreneurs try to do everything themselves, but as something as important as a pitch deck, you do want to seek out help.
  • 26:30 - What makes an amazing story and how can entrepreneurs leverage it?
  • 29:30 - Stacie recommends the book Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal, by Oren Klaff

 

Tweetables

Practice in front of strangers
Dont confuse investors with complex concepts
How you stand impacts how you present
Energy is contagious when you pitch

 

Links Mentioned

J Robinett Enterprises
John Livesay Funding Strategist
Pitch Deck Fire Website
Pitch Deck Fire on Twitter

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Nov 8, 2016

Jon Levy Interview

Jon Levy is a behavior scientist, author of the book, The 2AM Principle, and a keynote speaker. Jon’s work largely focuses on two main areas: Influence and Adventure. While researching what makes and creates an ‘influencer,’ Jon created a private community and dining experience (with a twist!) for industry leaders. Through this dining experience, Jon has discovered the keys to designing a great social experience, and uses this knowledge to help brands cultivate strong influencer programs.

Links Mentioned

J Robinett Enterprises
John Livesay Funding Strategist
Jon Levy Website
The 2 AM Principle: Discover the Science of Adventure, by Jon Levy
Jon Levy Twitter

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Oct 31, 2016

Robert Friedman Interview

Episode Summary

Robert Friedman is the Owner of Fearless Branding, and has five core questions that help narrow down your focus and get more specific with your brand. When you close many doors, you can keep the right doors open! Find out what his five core questions are on this week's episode and get started developing the right brand image for your company today!

What Was Covered

  • 03:50 - Branding is everything!
  • 04:00 - Why did Robert start his company, Fearless Branding?
  • 06:15 - Fearless brands try not to be all things to all people.
  • 07:00 - At first, Fearless Branding was just a name, but now its meaning is fully integrated into the company.
  • 07:15 - So, what does it mean to be fearless when you're building a brand?
  • 08:40 - When you're willing to close doors, you will get more opportunities and be able to stand out in your market.
  • 09:00 - Who you say no to is just as an important as who you say yes to.
  • 11:15 - We have to make a decision on where we draw the line.
  • 11:55 - Keep in mind that branding is a tool that supports your business objectives.
  • 13:45 - How does Robert help entrepreneurs position themselves effectively in front of an investor or customer?
  • 16:40 - As a mental test to see whether your company is unique, put your competitor's name into your pitch. If the pitch is still true, it's a bad sign!
  • 21:00 - Who do you help?
  • 27:50 - Robert talks about Apple's branding.
  • 32:35 - Robert recommends The Hero and the Outlaw, by Carol Pearson and Margaret Mark.
  • 34:25 - Don't forget to download the fearless manifesto.

 

Tweetables

Be more precise to differentiate yourself
Close many doors so you can keep right doors open
Consumers love brands that fearlessly express their unique essence
Deep resonance requires fearlessness

 

Links Mentioned

J Robinett Enterprises
John Livesay Funding Strategist
Fearless Branding Website
The Hero and the Outlaw. by Carol Pearson and Margaret Mark
Let's Get Real Or Let's Not Play, by Mahan Khalsa

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Oct 24, 2016

Charlie O'Donnell

Episode Summary

Charlie O'Donnell is the founder at Brooklyn Bridge Ventures and has been an active member of the New York City startup community for over a decade. As an investor, Charlie looks for New York-based startups that have yet to raise 750k in a previous round. Charlie discusses the key lessons he's learned from pitching to various companies in his career on this week's episode.

What Was Covered

  • 05:10 - How did Charlie get involved with investing?
  • 09:45 - What has Charlie learned through his years of pitching?
  • 13:25 - What does it mean to be authentic?
  • 17:30 - How do we get more female founders to pitch?
  • 19:30 - Charlie believes you should have high expectations of your team.
  • 21:05 - How did Charlie know that Twitter and Foursquare were going to be big?
  • 26:15 - Even the best team and the best idea make pivots along the way.
  • 27:40 - What does Charlie look for when investing in a company?
  • 30:40 - In the last few years, there hasn't been a ton of retail investing.
  • 31:45 - What makes a good pitch?
  • 34:10 - Charlie recommends the book, The 50th Law by 50 Cent and Robert Greene

 

Tweetables

Knowing who to pitch to is half the battle
Aim for creativity over compromise
Language has immeasureable impact
Treat people like you believe they can be better than they are

 

Links Mentioned

J Robinett Enterprises
John Livesay Funding Strategist
This Is Going To Be Big Website
Brooklyn Bridge Venture Website
Charlie on Twitter
Charlie on LinkedIn
The 50th Law by 50 Cent and Robert Greene
The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

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Oct 17, 2016

Vince Thompson Interview

Episode Summary

Vince Thompson is the Founder of Middle Shift and an advisor for several startup companies such as Contract Cloud and Jukin Media. Early in his career, Vince lead the advertising sales organization for AOL and later went on to serve as Facebook's first head of national sales in 2005. Learn more about how to find the right advisor for your company and what Vince looks for in his pitch on this week's episode.

What Was Covered

  • 04:00 - What was it like for Vince working for AOL?
  • 06:50 - It's not what you do at your day job that gets you more opportunities, it's what you do after hours that counts.
  • 07:10 - Vince talks about what it was like to work for Facebook back in 2005.
  • 11:00 - What is Contract Cloud and how did the founder find Vince?
  • 14:20 - Vince talks about another company he advises, Jukin Media.
  • 17:30 - How involved is Vince as an advisor?
  • 20:15 - When you're looking for an advisor, make sure they love the company as much as you do.
  • 22:40 - What does Vince look for in a pitch?
  • 25:40 - Be upfront with your intentions, don't ask an investor to go out for coffee only to pitch them!
  • 28:30 - Vince discusses his book, Ignited.

 

Tweetables

Be authentic when you pitch
Show passion and why you are domain expert
Show me you are solving a real problem
Don't exaggerate your projections

 

Links Mentioned

J Robinett Enterprises
John Livesay Funding Strategist
Middle Shift Website
Vince on LinkedIn
@vincethompson on Twitter
Ignited by Vince Thompson
Contract Cloud Website
Jukin Media Website
Steezy Website
Fan Bread Website
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

 

Crack The Funding Code!

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Oct 10, 2016

Steve Rohr Interview

Episode Summary

Steve Rohr is a communication expert, speech coach, and author of the book, Scared Speechless. On this week's episode, Steve offers quick tips on how to improve your speech to investors and shares advice on how to reduce anxiety and nervousness before you get in the spotlight. Remember, the key to presenting a fantastic speech is practice, practice, practice!!

What Was Covered

  • 04:20 - Why did Steve become a speaker?
  • 07:25 - What is our brain doing when we get nervous? In fact, why do we even get nervous in the first place?
  • 11:30 - Steve offers helpful tips on how to overcome your nerves when you're about to speak.
  • 14:30 - The audience is rooting for you. They are not your enemy!
  • 18:20 - What is the 'underdog effect'?
  • 22:30 - What should we be saying to ourselves before we get up for a speech?
  • 28:05 - Remember, you are in control of your thoughts!
  • 28:10 - How can we effectively practice our pitch?
  • 31:05 - Keep your speech simple!
  • 32:45 - Practice, practice, practice. Stand up and recite your speech as if you're already on stage.

 

Tweetables

Pitch is to be read not said.
Investors are not the enemy, they want you to succeed.
What is the underdog effect?
Secret to stopping negative self talk.

 

Links Mentioned

J Robinett Enterprises
John Livesay Funding Strategist
Steve Rohr
Scared Speechless by Steve Rohr
@RealSteveRohr on Twitter

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Oct 3, 2016

David Dotlich

Episode Summary

David Dotlich is the founder and chairman of Pivot, one of the world's largest providers of customized executive learning for senior leaders of Fortune 500 companies. David is also the author of several books including Why CEOs Fail, Transitions at the Top, and Head, Heart & Guts. On this episode, David discusses some of the key factors that make a good leader, as well as why introducing new leaders into a company culture rarely works unsupervised.

What Was Covered

  • 03:55 - How did David get involved with leadership?
  • 05:15 - What's the definition of a good leader?
  • 07:30 - You have to be very honest with yourself as a leader about your strengths and weaknesses.
  • 08:40 - How can a leader or entrepreneur attract talent?
  • 11:00 - You have to know what kind of culture you're trying to build and hire people based off of that culture.
  • 11:55 - Transitions at the Top is David's 12th book.
  • 14:30 - Hiring a new executive to help change the culture will not work. In fact, the already-established culture will end up changing the executive.
  • 18:55 - Entrepreneurs need to be fluid with their skills. What once worked in their startup may no longer work when their company has been purchased by a larger organization.
  • 23:50 - Impulse control is really important as an entrepreneur.
  • 27:10 - There's such a huge turnover cost of an employee.
  • 28:15 - How do you know when your employee has reached his/her limit in terms of skill set?
  • 31:35 - Talk to your team and ask them for feedback on how you can be a better leader.
  • 33:30 - Good leadership has three factors: Head, Heart & Guts.

 

Tweetables

Delegate Don't Dictate.
High EQ requires impulse control.
What do we have and what do we need?
Why CEOs fail.

 

Links Mentioned

J Robinett Enterprises
John Livesay Funding Strategist
@DavidDotlich on Twitter
Why CEOs Fail by David Dotlich
Head, Heart & Guts by David Dotlich
Transitions at the Top by David Dotlich

 

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Sep 26, 2016

Kurt Theobald Interview

Episode Summary

Kurt Theobald is the CEO of Classy Llama, a full-service ecommerce agency. He has failed countless times, but has always gotten back up to try again. Failure doesn't define you and the journey to entrepreneurship is often a journey of self-discovery as well. Kurt discusses company culture, the importance of people, and so much more on this episode!

What Was Covered

  • 04:00 - What has Kurt learned from his failures?
  • 05:05 - What is a cool thing vs. an uncool thing when it comes to finding your business niche?
  • 07:45 - What makes Classy Llama so successful?
  • 09:45 - Failure doesn't define you.
  • 11:30 - You don't have to know everything, you just have to be willing to learn and let others teach you.
  • 13:45 - You have to figure out how to be happy during your journey as a struggling entrepreneur.
  • 15:15 - What does Kurt mean by 'soft skills'?
  • 16:45 - You need to set expectations early on for your team.
  • 17:40 - What makes Classy Llama's culture so unique?
  • 21:20 - Kurt loves working with millennials because they thrive on authenticity and being independent.
  • 27:40 - Who are Nucleus and Classy Llama's ideal clients?
  • 29:10 - Kurt recommends two books: Good to Great and Finding Truth At the Bottom.

 

Tweetables

Failure to plan is planning to fail.
Success happens when it's ready, you just gotta keep moving.
Be careful who you take wisdom and money from.
Become a vessel of success.

 

Links Mentioned

J Robinett Enterprises
John Livesay Funding Strategist
Classy Llama Website
Nucleus Commerce Website
@kurttheobaldon on Twitter
Kurt Theobald on Linkedin
Finding Truth At the Bottom by Kurt Theobald
Good to Great by Jim Collins

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Sep 19, 2016

Mark Bidwell Interview

Episode Summary

Mark Bidwell helps traditional organizations become more innovative and entrepreneurial in the digital economy. He helps to lead intrapreneurial change in market-leading companies such as BP Oil, the Hay Group, Syngenta, and more. Mark is also the co-host of the Innovation Ecosystem podcast, where he interviews thought leaders who are disrupting out-of-date methods, turning them into experiential growth. Mark talks about his work with Syngenta as well as how to get on the investor's 'good side' on this episode.

What Was Covered

  • 04:10 - How did Mark get started?
  • 07:20 - Mark talks about his work with Syngenta and how he was able to innovate within their industry.
  • 09:20 - What problem was Mark trying to solve while working for Syngenta?
  • 11:25 - Mark successfully closed a $15 million series B round for one of his clients recently.
  • 14:45 - Aiming to get the lead investor isn't always easy, but when you do, other investors will want to join in and not miss out.
  • 15:20 - How can an entrepreneur get the attention of a lead investor?
  • 17:40 - Get into the mindset of helping the investor, even if your company isn't the one who can help them.
  • 21:45 - Why did Mark start his podcast?
  • 25:10 - Mark helps leaders come to the realization that their old thinking might not be the best way to approach a digital economy.
  • 26:10 - Mark loves reading biographies.
  • 27:15 - We're simply not wired for multitasking.

 

Tweetables

Investing is a human business
Be resilient when you pitch
Give investors a glimpse of the future with you
The why is more important than the what

 

Links Mentioned

J Robinett Enterprises
John Livesay Funding Strategist
Mark Bidwell Website
Syngenta - United States Website
Made in America by Sam Walton
Deep Work by Cal Newport

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Sep 12, 2016

Dan Weinfurter

Episode Summary

Dan Weinfurter is a serial entrepreneur and the author of Second Stage Entrepreneurship. He is the founder of GrowthPlay, a company that helps drive profitable revenue growth by improving overall sales effectiveness. Dan dives into the hiring process and believes it's better to hire no one than hire the wrong one. After all, hiring the right person is often a multi-million dollar decision. So, how can an entrepreneur hire the right person? Listen in to today's interview for more information.

What Was Covered

  • 04:15 - How did Dan get started?
  • 06:55 - How did Dan come up with the title for his book, Second Stage Entrepreneurship?
  • 08:20 - How can an entrepreneur navigate through the hiring process?
  • 08:45 - A sales person is a million dollar decision. A manager is at least a 15 million dollar decision.
  • 10:25 - Ask your interviewee, 'What are you reading today?'
  • 11:30 - It's better to have no one in the position than to have the wrong person.
  • 16:10 - What makes an effective sales person?
  • 20:45 - You should live your life everyday like you're building your personal brand. People watch what you do.
  • 24:45 - How do you keep great talent?
  • 26:05 - Good sales people are often times not good sales leaders.
  • 29:00 - It pays to be good at sales.

 

Tweetables

Cost of hiring the wrong person is higher than not hiring a person.
How are you different and better?
Build credibility and trust through storytelling.
Brand is what your customers say about you.

 

Links Mentioned

J Robinett Enterprises
John Livesay Funding Strategist
Dan Weinfurter Website
Growth Play Website
Dan on Twitter
Dan on LinkedIn
Second Stage Entrepreneurship by Daniel J. Weinfurter

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Sep 6, 2016

Lylan Masterman Interview

Episode Summary

Lylan Masterman is a Venture Capital Investor at White Star Capital and a Kauffman Fellow. Lylan shares helpful tips for selecting good board members as well as being a good board member yourself. At White Star Capital, Lylan focuses primarily on late Seed and Series A investments, but he does offer advice on how an entrepreneur can successfully navigate between Series A to Series B rounds. Listen in for more!

What Was Covered

  • 04:05 - How did Lylan get started?
  • 08:45 - You have to do your homework about the investors that you're pitching.
  • 13:00 - How did Lylan become a Kauffman Fellow?
  • 14:20 - Does Lylan have any advice on how to be a good board member?
  • 19:00 - At Kauffman, Lylan learned how to best define your personal brand vs. your firm's brand.
  • 21:10 - A nice person who isn't helpful is simply not all that valuable.
  • 23:15 - What is White Star Capital?
  • 24:15 - What are some of the differences about being a VC based in New York vs. San Francisco?
  • 26:05 - How did Lylan get involved with the Dollar Shave Club?
  • 28:25 - What makes a good pitch? The story behind the company.
  • 30:25 - What are some of the thing that help someone get from Series A to Series B?
  • 32:10 - What has your board of directors done for you lately?
  • 33:35 - Lylan shares the formula for trust.

 

Tweetables

Be nice and helpful.
Time, effort and mental energy.
Have a personal brand that is memorable.
Quality of team more important the more money you raise.

 

Links Mentioned

J Robinett Enterprises
John Livesay Funding Strategist
Lylan Masterman Website
Lylan on LinkedIn
Dollar Shave Club Website
The Trusted Advisor by David Maister and Robert M. Galform

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Aug 29, 2016

Laura Rittenhouse Interview

Episode Summary

Laura Rittenhouse is a trust and valuation expert, as well as a financial strategist and innovation coach to fortune 500 and small cap companies. She is also the founder of Rittenhouse Rankings, Inc. and the author of Investing Between the Lines. On this episode, Laura explains the importance of candor within an organization. She believes candor is what makes a company and its team succeed against the toughest of odds.

What Was Covered

  • 04:30 - How did Laura get started?
  • 06:00 - Laura talks about Clowns Without Borders.
  • 10:00 - What does Laura currently do?
  • 12:00 - What makes people trustworthy?
  • 13:00 - In order to be effective leaders, you need a compelling story.
  • 13:35 - Person-to-person conversations are much more powerful than digital conversations.
  • 17:10 - What does Laura look for when she reads the shareholder letters?
  • 20:05 - How important is the connection between candor and vision?
  • 24:10 - If you lie to other people, you'll eventually begin to lie to yourself.
  • 27:40 - How do you create a 'candor enterprise'?
  • 31:25 - How can we contribute to a bigger purpose?

 

Tweetables

Without candor, there is no trust.
What is your purpose?
Humility leads to innovation.
Words are the clothes for our souls.

 

Links Mentioned

J Robinett Enterprises
John Livesay Funding Strategist
Rittenhouse Rankings Website
Investing Between the Lines by Laura Rittenhouse
Clowns Without Borders Website

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Aug 22, 2016

Lee Caraher Interview

Episode Summary

Lee Caraher is a CEO and an acclaimed communications strategist, known for her practical solutions to big problems. She started Double Forte as a new kind of communications firm, designed to work with good people and tell their stories. She is the author of Millennials & Management and discusses on today's show how the older generation can connect with a millennial team member or investor.

What Was Covered

  • 04:40 - How did Lee start her career?
  • 07:00 - Lee has always been intrapreneurial, not entrepreneurial.
  • 07:55 - Lee created her company out of necessity.
  • 08:50 - Since the start of Lee's company in 2002, she and her team have reinvented themselves four times.
  • 09:45 - How do you craft a masterful story?
  • 11:45 - Lee has never seen a plan executed 100%. You just can't control everything.
  • 13:10 - What are the age ranges of millennials? Lee breaks it down into three categories.
  • 16:10 - Lee spoke at the White House about this subject.
  • 18:50 - How did Lee get the title of 'Millennial Whisperer'?
  • 19:20 - Lee wrote her book because she failed miserably at keeping her millennial team.
  • 20:40 - How can entrepreneurs hire millennials and prevent high-turn over?
  • 21:50 - What is the culture of your company? What do you expect from your team?
  • 23:10 - Give a lot of feedback!
  • 24:00 - How do you pitch to millennials?
  • 25:40 - You have to stay relevant to the younger generation.
  • 29:00 - It boils down to three simple concepts. What are you doing, who are you doing it for, and what difference are you going to make?

 

Tweetables

A plan is in sand and goals should be in concrete.
Scale comes from innovation, not efficiency.
Communication is currency.
Good money supports the passion of the founder.

 

Links Mentioned

J Robinett Enterprises
John Livesay Funding Strategist
Lee Caraher Website
Millennials & Management by Lee Caraher
Double Forte Website

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Aug 15, 2016

Tom Scott Interview

Episode Summary

Tom Scott emerged as an entrepreneur at a young age when he started selling provisions to people stuck at gas lines in Maryland. When Scott and his college pal, Tom First, tried mixing peach juice and water in a blender in 1989, they did not imagine their little experiment would result in the creation of a multi-million dollar company. Tom discusses his success with Nantucket Nectars and his latest project, The Nantucket Project.

What Was Covered

  • 04:05 - How did Tom come up with the idea for Nantucket Nectars?
  • 07:15 - Tom attributes his success to naivety.
  • 08:50 - When Tom first got called an entrepreneur, he thought that person was a jerk.
  • 11:00 - What does Tom look for in a team?
  • 13:25 - What did Tom decide to sell Nantucket Nectars?
  • 18:10 - The odds of making your idea perfect the first time around are incredibly low.
  • 18:25 - You can't skip time, commitment, and trial and error.
  • 19:05 - So many people want to tell the story before they've even made it.
  • 19:45 - Rarely is anything an overnight success.
  • 20:15 - What is The Nantucket Project?
  • 23:00 - What was it like to interview Richard Saul Wurman, the creator of TED?
  • 25:40 - For Tom, it's more about learning than it is about knowing.
  • 26:35 - Give yourself permission not to know everything all the time.
  • 26:55 - Tom recommends two books.

 

Tweetables

Make Your Product Something for Yourself So Your Passion Is Authentic.
Energy gives you courage to try new things.
Can't skip the trial and error time it takes to make something great.
Pitch is a concise telling of new things.

 

Links Mentioned

J Robinett Enterprises
John Livesay Funding Strategist
Nan Tucket Project Website
Nantucket Project on Facebook
Nantucket Project on Twitter
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
Creativity, Inc by Edwin Catmull

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Aug 8, 2016

William Green Interview

Episode Summary

William Green is the author of The Great Minds of Investing, a book that features profiles of famous investors. William interviewed 33 investors for his book, including Warren Buffett, and breaks down what makes them truly unique and different people from the rest. There are so many great qualities you can take away from these brilliant investors who have made tremendous mistakes both throughout their lifetime and in their career.

What Was Covered

  • 04:00 - How did William get started?
  • 06:10 - William's passion for investing came out of pure laziness to do any 'real' work.
  • 07:05 - What do these great investors have that other people don't have?
  • 08:10 - What can you learn from these investors and how can it help you in life?
  • 09:30 - Why do people love Warren Buffett so much?
  • 11:00 - You can't do a good deal with a bad person.
  • 11:30 - What can you learn from Warren Buffett?
  • 12:15 - Being a good and decent person becomes very powerful in a world filled with snake-oil salesmen.
  • 14:35 - When you look at yourself in the mirror every morning, are you okay with who you are?
  • 15:25 - There's a different way to do business. You don't need to be cruel.
  • 19:35 - Want to get better at something? Hang out with people who are better than you.
  • 20:25 - We don't have to be in our 80’s to let go of what other people may think about us.
  • 21:15 - The ability to make mistakes and not be crushed by them is key to some of these great investors.
  • 24:50 - People want the truth. People will stick with you because you're honest.
  • 27:05 - People can sense when you're holding something back.
  • 31:50 - Mason Hawkins once told William that he and his business partner haven't argued in over 30 years.
  • 33:00 - Mason Hawkins looks for generosity in his team.
  • 34:00 - Great investors understand what money buys them, and what it does not.
  • 35:35 - What's the secret to having a very profitable life? Family and relationships.

 

Tweetables

Predicting rain doesn't count. Building an ark does.
You can't do a great deal with a bad person.
Live your life by your inner scorecard.
Superpower in life is being authentic.

 

Links Mentioned

J Robinett Enterprises
John Livesay Funding Strategist
William Green Website
The Great Minds of Investing by William Green
I've Followed Warren Buffett For Decades – LinkedIn Post by William Green
William on LinkedIn
Power vs. Force by David R. Hawkins

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Aug 1, 2016

Matthew Pollard Interview

Episode Summary

Matthew Pollard has five multi-million-dollar business success stories under his name and is the founder of the Rapid Growth Coach. Matthew grew up with a disability and felt like he would never, ever fit in. Despite being extremely introverted at the time, he took a door-to-door sales opportunity and excelled in it by teaching himself the ropes through YouTube videos. Matthew's story is nothing short of amazing and this is definitely an episode you won't want to miss.

What Was Covered

  • 05:35 - How did Matthew get started?
  • 06:25 - Matthew really struggled in school when he was growing up.
  • 08:25 - Getting a job before Christmas in Australia is virtually impossible to do.
  • 09:05 - The only job that was available to Matthew during that time of year was door-to-door sales.
  • 10:05 - Matthew trained himself how to sell using YouTube videos.
  • 12:05 - Because Matthew had to work harder than anybody else, he was able to develop grit and determination.
  • 12:30 - Everybody tells stories and stories are everywhere.
  • 12:55 - Natural salesmen rely on their personality, not so much on their skills.
  • 17:50 - Once you have a clear message of what your business is, then you can build stories around it.
  • 18:05 - If you start from a sales perspective, you've already lost.
  • 18:40 - A couple of years ago, Matthew was doing his business all wrong. He explains further.
  • 20:50 - Matthew goes through the five steps you need to create a unified message.
  • 21:45 - You need to wear more than one hat as an entrepreneur.
  • 30:00 - Matthew helps people attain rapid growth. His message is simple and easy to understand.
  • 32:05 - John does a recap of the five steps to creating a unified message.
  • 38:05 - People are able to understand the severity of the problem through the art of storytelling.
  • 43:45 - Engage your investors emotionally and then back the idea up with logic.

 

Tweetables

Craft a message that is authentic to who you are.
If you start with sales you've already lost.
Don't hide behind your functional skills.
Where there is one ideal customer, there will be many more.

 

Links Mentioned

J Robinett Enterprises
John Livesay Funding Strategist
Matthew Pollard Website
Matthew on LinkedIn
Matthew on Twitter

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Jul 25, 2016

John Shumate Interview

Episode Summary

John Shumate is the CEO of Venture First, a financial services group with a strong focus on empowering entrepreneurs. Venture First helps companies by providing the financial and strategic tools necessary to succeed. John dives into how entrepreneurs can structure their funding, how to build a better connection with investors, and shares a client case study. Tune in to hear more about John and Venture First.

What Was Covered

  • 04:15 - How did John get started?
  • 06:15 - What does John look for in a pitch?
  • 06:55 - VCs are betting on the person, not the idea.
  • 07:35 - Aim to really connect with your investors on a personal level.
  • 08:00 - Sell yourself first before you sell your product or service to the investors.
  • 08:35 - There's no such thing as having the perfect pitch, so aim to have a collaborative conversation with your investors.
  • 09:25 - Why do startups fail? They run out of cash!
  • 10:20 - Raise about 20% more money than you think you need.
  • 10:40 - Plan for 18 months worth of funding. This gives you a full year to focus on executing.
  • 11:55 - Are we experiencing a startup evaluation bubble? Yes and no.
  • 15:55 - How does John think about and handle the barrier to entry, and an entrepreneur's competitors?
  • 18:20 - John talks about his investment criteria.
  • 19:25 - John shares a case study about Edumedics.
  • 23:40 - What kind of services does John offer?
  • 24:45 - How does John and his company stay so organized? He recommends Asana.
  • 26:30 - John believes entrepreneurs should read The Hard Thing About Hard Things.

Tweetables

Have a collaborative conversation with investors.
Sell yourself first before you sell anything.
No stigma to failing.
Raise 20% more than you think you need.

Links Mentioned

J Robinett Enterprises
John Livesay Funding Strategist
Venture First Website
Edumedics Website
Asana Website
Mixmax Website
The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
John on Twitter

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Jul 18, 2016

Ramphis Castro Interview

Episode Summary

Ramphis Castro is the co-founder of ScienceVest and is a Kauffman Fellow, a community of over 400 innovation investors worldwide. He is also the managing director of The Founder Institute, which is one of the world's largest idea-stage accelerators. Today, Ramphis sits down with John to discuss some of the potential entrepreneurial paths in Cuba and Puerto Rico as well as some of the benefits of being a Kauffman Fellow.

What Was Covered

  • 04:10 - How did Ramphis get started in the investing world?
  • 06:35 - The best way to start is to start small.
  • 07:15 - Make sure you have a good partner when you're first starting out. Make sure to reference check them.
  • 08:20 - What does Ramphis look for in a pitch?
  • 08:55 - Why is your team the right team?
  • 10:00 - How did Ramphis become a Kauffman Fellow?
  • 12:35 - What has Ramphis learned now that he is a Kauffman Fellow?
  • 13:50 - What is The Founder Institute?
  • 19:30 - Entrepreneurs believe you only have to pitch investors. But in reality, you have to pitch everybody.
  • 21:10 - There's no right way to pitch, so The Founder Institute teaches you different ways to approach a pitch.
  • 22:20 - What is Mindchemy?
  • 24:30 - Ramphis talks about Cuba and the entrepreneurial potential over there.
  • 29:40 - What is P18 and how does it affect Puerto Rico?
  • 32:45 - Puerto Rico is the biggest startup you have never heard of.
  • 33:05 - Ramphis recommends to read Venture Deals and Early Exits.

Tweetables

Best way to start is to start small.
Puerto Rico is the biggest startup hub you have never heard of.
Check your team's references before you partner.
What qualifies you to be a founder for this startup?

Links Mentioned

J Robinett Enterprises
John Livesay Funding Strategist
Ramphis on Twitter
Venture Deals by Brad Feld
Early Exits by Basil Peters

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Jul 11, 2016

Jason Shuman Interview

Episode Summary

Jason Shuman is an entrepreneur and a venture capitalist who has been involved with startups since he was 17 years old, and has always had a deep passion for the industry. He is currently an associate at Corigin Ventures, where he is responsible for sourcing and analyzing deals. Jason discusses the charity foundation he is a part of, why there are so many young VCs these days, branding, and so much more on today's show.

What Was Covered

  • 03:50 - How did Jason get started?
  • 06:25 - Jason was born with a primary immunodeficiency, which causes him to get blood infusions every three weeks.
  • 07:10 - Jason talks about the charity he is involved with, the Jeffrey Modell Foundation.
  • 08:35 - Corigin Ventures does both early stage seed and series A - why do both?
  • 10:15 - There are a lot of young VCs these days and Jason believes this is due to the younger generation growing up with technology.
  • 11:15 - How does Jason brand himself?
  • 15:00 - You need to have an intense focus and passion for what you want.
  • 16:35 - What does Jason look for in a good pitch?
  • 19:05 - Don't just wing a pitch!!
  • 21:00 - Do people need to live in the New York area in order to pitch Jason? No.
  • 23:10 - What is 'Platformation'?
  • 26:20 - The one theme Jason speaks about the most is focus. People lack focus.
  • 28:25 - Final pieces of advice - Fundraising is difficult and not for everybody. Startups are not easy.

Tweetables

You can’t boil the ocean.
Focus is the key to getting funded.
A bad pitch deck will kill your chances of getting funded.
Read the investors’ blogs.

Links Mentioned

JRobinett Website
Selling Secrets For Funding
Corigin Ventures
Jeffrey Modell Foundation
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Platformation Today
Jason Shuman Twitter

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