Dave Lukas from Misfit Entrepreneur Podcast

Episode Transcription

00:00:00 – Glenn

Hello, everybody. Welcome to another edition of The Empowering Entrepreneurs, The Harper Company Plus Way. I’m Glenn Harper with my co-host.

00:00:07 – Julie

Julie Smith.

00:00:07 – Glenn

Hey, Julie, what’s up?

00:00:09 – Julie

What’s going on?

00:00:10 – Glenn

It’s been a while. How are you doing? It has, but we’re back in the saddle and we got a special guest today. Kind of a little bit of a psycho, but we love him. His name’s Dave Lukas. He’s a another serial entrepreneur, bestselling author, investor, founder of Misfit Entrepreneur Podcast and other podcast guy. His company’s been ranked in the Entrepreneur 365 and Inc 500 7 times. He can’t get enough of what he does. So he were just happy to have him here because as you know, we’re trying to empower entrepreneurs who are somewhere on their journey and how to make it better, quicker, faster and be better at what they do and achieve the success they want. And any time we can get somebody who’s done it multiple times, that’s always a win. So, Dave, thanks for showing up today.

00:00:53 – Dave

Oh, Glenn and Julie, it’s a pleasure to be here.

00:00:54 – Julie

You forgot to mention what else he does in his free time. I mean, you wouldn’t think that. I wouldn’t think that has any.

00:01:00 – Glenn

But that’s common.

00:01:01 – Julie

Okay, that’s. Sorry, I got to wait. Patience.

00:01:03 – Glenn

Yes. I got a whole laundry list of things I want to hit that. This is one you have not seen me. What? These are so on fire. That’s it. So you’re from Beverly Hills, California, and they ended up in Columbus, Ohio. How’d that.

00:01:15 – Dave

Happened? Yeah, that’s not how it happened. Oh, okay. I’m actually an Ohio boy. Born and raised.

00:01:20 – Glenn

So whereabouts?

00:01:21 – Dave

Akron area? Originally in Ohio and then moved to Columbus after college.

00:01:26 – Glenn

And so you went to Baldwin? Wallace.

00:01:28 – Dave

It did.

00:01:29 – Glenn

And what made you decide to go there?

00:01:31 – Dave

I played football and got it. They gave me the best deal.

00:01:35 – Glenn

That’s right.

00:01:35 – Dave

No, no, they they had a really good business in finance program, which is what I wanted to go for originally. So that that was good.

00:01:40 – Glenn

So you didn’t go there for to be a pro football player. You went there to get an education and you knew what you kind of want to be when you grow up.

00:01:47 – Dave

No, I had no clue.

00:01:49 – Glenn

What you mean. You didn’t have it figured out. That’s so weird. But.

00:01:51 – Dave

But I knew football and I was good at it, so I started there.

00:01:54 – Glenn

Got it. Well, you know, we both love fitness. And I understand you compete in five K races around the country and I just wondered how you got hooked on those five KS. That’s what that’s.

00:02:03 – Julie

What I that’s Glenn’s interpretation.

00:02:05 – Glenn

It’s not five K’s. Oh, I suspect it’s that you do these fair amount events. Is that true?

00:02:10 – Dave


00:02:11 – Glenn

Yeah. Iron Man’s. All right. How did you get hooked on those?

00:02:13 – Dave

So after college, I needed an outlet. I just. I’m competitive by nature. So I started running half Ironman or half marathons and then marathons and eventually got bored with that. And just on a whim, the fitness and I belong to has got a pool, all that stuff. And they decided to do an indoor triathlon in the middle of the winter about six years ago now. And I signed up on a whim just for the heck of it, and ended up finishing second out of like 80 people. So I’m like, maybe there’s something to this and I enjoyed it. So, you know, I just kind of immersed myself into it and you know, fortunately, you know, worked my way up and now I’m top 10% in the world and in my age group in Iron Man. So it’s been a heck of a.

00:02:52 – Glenn

Journey that’s pretty good for an 80 year.

00:02:54 – Dave

Old. Yeah, not too bad.

00:02:55 – Glenn

So here’s the funny thing. You know, when you’re an entrepreneur, people are like, I’m so busy, I can’t do anything. And I’m backed up and like, how do you find time to train? Are you just a natural athlete and you train like an hour a week? Or how do you find time in your busy schedule to do that?

00:03:10 – Dave

No, I think the this is going to sound counterintuitive, but it’s actually something that you’ll find with a lot of successful entrepreneurs and even those that that you see and look up to as top entrepreneurs and visionaries and founders. Structure equals freedom. And a lot of people don’t understand that. They they hear that and like, what do you mean structure equals freedom? The more disciplined and structure you have into your regiment, the more you can get done, the more productive you can be. So I’m highly structured and how I do things. I typically train 2 to 3 hours a day, and so I’ve got to fit that in with everything else I do. So I learned a long time ago to essentially take my time back. So for those of us that have calendars and everything, if you have a calendar that you have employees and stuff and they’re always putting things on your calendar and stealing that time. What I did a long time ago is I learned to take that back and I basically blocked all the times that are for me and the things I need to do in my calendar. And then what was left was available to those around me. And so I built it all in and, you know, get it all done in a typical week.

00:04:11 – Glenn

So that doesn’t sound like that should work. We’ll have to agree to disagree on that. It’s it’s crazy that when you just run amok, like most people do, especially entrepreneurs, they’re just they have so many things going through their head all day long. They don’t ever stop to do the things that are really important. And like you said, the structure is everything. I suspect your day starts at probably like 830 in the morning or something is when you get up out of bed and.

00:04:34 – Dave

I am.

00:04:35 – Glenn


00:04:35 – Dave

Right. But there’s a second part to this, too. It’s one thing to be structured, but it’s another thing that you hit the ground running and know what you’re going to do. So the other side of it is planning. So every Sunday I sit down and I actually am old school. So I actually sit down for half an hour and I write out by day for the week coming what I’m going to do and what I need to do. So my top things that I need to get accomplished every day. And so I wake up in the morning. I’ve got. Training time, usually first thing, at least session one. If it’s a two session day, I do that and then I’m off into these my tattoos and knock all those out. And a lot of times I’m done by noon, you know, because once you know what you’re going to do, once you’re focused on something, you know where your focus goes, your energy flows, and you end up getting much more accomplished. And so planning and having that structure together is really what makes it go.

00:05:25 – Glenn

Are you suggesting that somebody could get a have a. 18 hours a day done in 3 hours a day if they plan it right and structure it right.

00:05:32 – Dave

I am. Because most people waste most of their day.

00:05:35 – Julie

Is this the the podcast where you take a little bit of tidbits from this and go back and use it on your journey?

00:05:41 – Glenn

I’m just going to I don’t I don’t know if he’s talking facts or not here, but no, it is an absolute truism what you’re doing. And again, it’s just hard. You know, Julie and I talk about just getting out of your own way as an entrepreneur and getting out of your own way is again having purpose for what you’re trying to do and structure it and do it because if you don’t, you’re going to get stuck in a rabbit hole pretty quickly.

00:06:03 – Dave

The the first place I start when I coach a leadership team, you know, these days is with that I look at the structure of how they’re set up and I look at how they’re managing themselves. And I will tell you right now, it is a a cluster. It’s a nightmare for most leadership teams. You know, I sat down with a about a $100 Million business a couple of weeks ago with their leadership team. And we went through how they run their business and their day. And it was just all over the place. There’s no plan. There wasn’t any structure for how they even do their meetings or any of the type of stuff. And by the time we were done with a day session, you know, they had things dialed in and set. And, you know, I got a call actually just the other day from them a week and a half later, and they’re running more efficiently than they’ve ever run, just from putting some structure in place for themselves and being on the same page. It’s amazing.

00:06:55 – Julie

And don’t you think a little bit of that is just shifting your mind mindset into being proactive rather than reactive? And I think it’s so hard for people to shift into being thinking into the future rather than just what’s right in front of them and what fire or whatever they have to put out as quick as possible.

00:07:10 – Dave

Well, we we live in an instant society, right? We can’t even wait 5 seconds for the microwave anymore. So everything’s like instant, instant, instant. We’re run by the dings on our phones and these type of things, and we’re conditioned to that. So to take a step back from it is is really hard because it goes against what we’re conditioned to do. One of the most important things that an entrepreneur can do for themselves is learn to play the long game. And so you have to take the step back and you have to be able to sit there and say, okay, what do I actually need to do? Three months ahead? A year ahead, right? And how do I start putting things in place to get that in process today? One of the things I need to be working on, so it is being about proactive, but our society and our just way of life is like totally goes against that, you know, for everything that we have to go through every day.

00:07:56 – Glenn

I think a lot of entrepreneurs, they start off doing business, which is generally they’re going to be just self employed and they’re doing their job and they’re so busy doing their job that there’s no time to think about strategy and planning and long term goals because they’re just trying to get the task done so they can get paid. Right. And I don’t know how long it takes for an A business owner, owner operator, self employed person to make the change to go wait, I want to be like an owner investor or I want to be building a business or I got to think, not as a doer, but as a creator, if you will. And then I think, like what you’re saying, that part is like we always ask entrepreneurs like, what’s their superpower, right? And do you have a superpower? I mean, I can see through walls, but what’s yours?

00:08:44 – Dave

Oh, geez. Probably my discipline. That’s probably my my superpower. In fact, you know, I went on a five year journey to learn from the best of the best. I got to sit down and just in my early twenties and I got to sit down with multiple billionaires, a lot of millionaires, and like the type that you never hear about, but they’re worth 100 and 200 million types. And even like some of the great names like Zig Ziglar sat across from and got to pick his brain, the Brian Traces of the World and even Tony Robbins group and others and stuff. And the whole point of it was to look for these little, you know, these things that are consistent across them that I could take and put in that that I see as patterns, as trends that that they all do. And one of those things I thought was really interesting is that a lot of them, most of them don’t do any one thing just extraordinarily better than others. There are those. But most of the time, as they do a lot of little things, just a little bit better, they do a lot of the same things that everybody else does. They do them just a little better, and that adds up to a huge advantage. And so discipline helps you to do that. And so for me, that’s that’s what I’ve focused on and it’s made a huge difference for me.

00:09:48 – Glenn

I suspect that that discipline or it’s as an entrepreneur, you’re trying to figure out what exactly is that you sell or service that you do, because once you finally define what it is that you do, then you can get really good at it and it becomes about the value of what you provide. Like you just said, you talked out of the company. You just didn’t learn that overnight. You had to go through this journey to figure that out. But once you figure it out, you literally can walk in there for a couple hours and they’re going to probably save, what, 20 million a year just to be an efficient and be improved. I mean.

00:10:20 – Dave

They’re going to do really well. The you know, the funny thing is, is as entrepreneurs, we spend a lot more time in the it’s a series of. Peaks and valleys. But we spend a lot more time in the valleys than we do the peaks. But the valleys are where the gold are. The peaks are sweet, they’re so nice. But that’s where you really get better and you learn is in the valleys. And so, you know, advice to anybody out there, embrace those valleys that you go through and everything. Because that’s where I learn these things. That’s where I learn to be better discipline. Like I, I have a formula that I teach called DCP and it stands for discipline, consistency and persistence. Now that to anybody sounds like, duh, you need that to be successful in anything. But what does it really mean, right? What is discipline? Discipline is is doing the things that you know, you need to do even when you don’t want to do them consistently. Consistency is doing that day in and day out without fail. And then persistence is no matter, no matter what. Even if you’re disciplined and consistent, you’re going to hit these walls, you’re going to hit these insurmountable, you know, just things that that don’t seem like you’ll ever be able to pass them. And if you’re not willing to persist through that and persevere through it, that’s we’re going to stay, that’s we’re going to plateau. And so you have to persist and persevere through that. And that’s another thing I think, you know, to truly succeed to the high level as an entrepreneur, you have to be absolutely relentless. And that’s what it takes to get through those. Now, there are some other things we’ll talk about. You highlight it a little bit a few minutes ago about with any business owner, their goal should be to remove themselves from the business. And we can talk about that more in a minute. But first, you’ve got to put that DCP and take it to heart into your life. And if you do as an entrepreneur, you can very much succeed.

00:12:00 – Julie

So you mentioned discipline and how important it imperative it’s been in your journey. Where do you think that started? Do you think it was just something inside of you that you’ve always been able to kind of keep up with? And then you had this light bulb moment sitting across from, you know, these people, or do you think it’s something that you’ve had to kind of dig down and teach yourself to be able to, you know, do that on a daily basis?

00:12:21 – Glenn

Were you born with it or do you learn it?

00:12:23 – Dave

I was born. I was born stubborn. I’ll say that. That’s something that I’ve just always been right. And I think we all have innate traits that we have. But we can talk about conditioning later, how we’re conditioned for other things. But the the discipline came. I started sports in an early age. Sports definitely helps with discipline. It gives you a regimen. And you have to practice, schedule, you have to train, you have to do these things. So that kind of set the base. But as I got into, you know, my work life and as I got into the real world, as they say, and start looking for how to become better and how to reach my goal. My goal was always to be a millionaire by 40. And so, you know, at 24, 25, you get out of school and everything else. It’s like, I got 15 years, I got to get this done. Like, how do I do that? And so that’s when I really just started like immersing myself and going on that journey I talked about and everything to really figure out like, how do I become better disciplined? That’s where structure came from, that’s where planning came from. That’s where all the little things that I do that add up, you know, to make the huge difference, start it. Right. But that’s work. It’s always work. It’s learning, it’s it’s personal development. Right. I think I think Jim Rohn said it best. Formal education will make you a living, but self education will make you rich. Right. And I think that’s that’s really one of the most important things that anybody can do is is to start seeking and start learning from all those that have come before you.

00:13:45 – Glenn

And it’s funny, you put a target. You wanted to be a millionaire. Okay? As an entrepreneur, that’s we we have to have goals. But with inflation, it’s really like you got to be like a five millionaire, really. So it.

00:13:56 – Dave

Always is.

00:13:56 – Glenn

It always changes. But ultimately you find that I’ve found and we found that a lot of entrepreneurs, they don’t money is important, but it’s not their driving goal. They just want to be good at what they do, be appreciated. We, you know, a lot of the entrepreneurs we deal with building that team and having the confidence to be able to deliver things well and know what you’re trying to do. That’s where it’s at. And if you do those things with your discipline, all that, you’ll get the money. The money will come.

00:14:24 – Dave

I think money and success changes that over time. So when you’re young, right, and you’re just getting going and stuff, it’s about, how do I put food on the table and and get some of the things that I’ve always wanted, right? So money takes, you know, maybe a bigger stage as you grow and as you become wiser, right. And as you get to work with with people and and become a leader, if you’re fortunate to do that, it changes. And sometimes it’s the hard way. I learned the hard way to be a leader. It wasn’t easy for me like I was. I started out I actually owned businesses in high school, owned businesses in college, started a business. That’s how brought me down to Columbus, Ohio. After college, I failed miserably within a year.

00:15:09 – Glenn

We don’t we don’t use the word fail. Is there a buzzer so you can’t say.

00:15:14 – Julie

It made you.

00:15:14 – Dave

Pivot? No, I failed. No, no.

00:15:17 – Glenn

No, absolutely not. It didn’t work out. And you tried something. Now that’s.

00:15:20 – Dave

Okay. It’s okay. What do they say? Nine out of ten businesses fail. It means you got to do a start. Ten, right? So. So. So but I learned I learned a great deal from that. I went into the Fortune 500 space. I went to outside sales and was very successful, right to the point where I had a lot of autonomy. And so I had started investing in other businesses and everything else. One of those businesses ended up being the largest one that I ever had that ended up selling before I was 40 in helping me reach that original goal. But it was during that point in time where I had a lot of success. So what do they do in management? And most companies? You got somebody who’s very successful in sales. And so, oh, we need to put them in charge of of others in sales and help them to do what they did. Right. And I just was terrible at it. I blew up the first team. I think almost all of them quit within three or four months, you know.

00:16:14 – Julie

And them not you.

00:16:15 – Dave

Know, that’s the and that’s the thing. It was I tried to make all of them me. And that was my Achilles heel. And you have to.

00:16:22 – Glenn

Me means no. Many means.

00:16:24 – Dave

You have to learn that people aren’t you. And so that’s when I went the other way and started. I looked inward and said, okay, okay. One person leaving is one thing, but the whole team. Okay, there’s something with me. And I had a great leader at the time that kind of helped me through that and knew that that would actually happen. You know, I think I went to lunch after like the last one quit with them and they laughed and basically said, well, this is this is your rite of passage. And so I, I learned I had to learn to be more empathetic. I had to learn personality types. I had to learn, understand, you know, the different ones and how to work with them and go through all that. And that’s where I developed my four rules for management that I now teach today and ended up taking over multiple other teams. And all of them were successful, 100 plus percent of quota and, you know, eventually left and went back to do my own thing.

00:17:11 – Glenn

So, so on that note, the everybody thinks non entrepreneurs or people starting off perhaps think that entrepreneur is just they flip a switch and they’re going to make a gazillion and it is isn’t like that but till you set a you know 10 minutes ago the valley when you crash and burn, that’s where you grow. And it’s the craziest thing. But if you never I can’t say fail, but if you don’t have to pivot, if something doesn’t happen that is just brutally traumatic, you can never grow and get better. It just doesn’t work that way, which is the craziest thing. But so many people, entrepreneurs in particular, they’re scared for that valley and you’ve got to literally just do a free fall into it and see what happens. It’s going to be okay.

00:18:01 – Dave

Yeah. And you know, it’s not just going to the valley, it’s actually having the wherewithal and the humility to learn from it. That’s the bigger thing.

00:18:11 – Glenn

But but I think the the fear from what? The fear of what what if this doesn’t work? Prevents you from pushing forward to make it work. And if it doesn’t work, go ha. I should have done this and this and I learned from that. But there’s a fear that doesn’t let people hit their potential.

00:18:32 – Dave

So let’s let’s unpack that, because there’s always going to be fear.

00:18:36 – Glenn

I’m scared. Yeah, that’s.

00:18:37 – Dave

Scary. I mean, whether you whether you whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned entrepreneur that’s built, you know, billion dollar business. Right? There’s always problems. There’s always challenges. There’s always things to be afraid of. They’re just bigger on one end and smaller on the other, but they seem huge no matter what. And so there’s always going to be things to be afraid of. There’s always going to be that that little voice in your head, you know, that that comes and gets you and stuff in those moments. And so this is where I mentioned earlier about like our conditioning and everything. This is one of the probably one of the biggest secrets I learned on that journey that I talked about years ago. And one of the things that I, I probably in coaching others or working with others help them the most. You see, we’re all born with a clean slate, right? It’s not like Glen came out of the womb and I’m like, Hey, beautiful baby. Too bad I’ll never make more than 35,000. It doesn’t work like that.

00:19:25 – Glenn

I don’t know. That was on my. Was it on the record. Yeah. It’s limited to 35. Right. This is what I was gonna do.

00:19:30 – Dave

So it’s, it’s funny we all come out that clean slate, but all these things shape our thoughts and how we react to things in our life parents, friends, media, culture, family, religion, school. All these things shape our thoughts and our beliefs. And, you know, there’s a little formula that your beliefs lead your emotions. Your emotions lead to your thoughts, your thoughts lead your actions, your actions lead your results. If you take out everything in the middle, right? Your beliefs, ultimately your results. So what do you believe? Why do you believe it? Right? Where do they come from? Right. And that’s where people get like they find out a lot of times that things that they believe, they say they do they live from. We’re never even put there by them. Not something they’d ever choose for themselves. It’s just automatic reactions because they’re subconscious. That’s what it’s filed away is the reaction to essentially that situation. And so when entrepreneurs or anyone learns to live from true choice, when they learn to isolate those type of thoughts, when you something is keeping you or holding you back, debilitating in that sense. And you can say, wait, that’s not what I want to believe about this. I don’t want to believe that there’s never enough money. Right. People say that there’s never enough money. We don’t have enough. We you know, money doesn’t grow in trees. Actually, it does. We can talk about that. But, you know, it’s once you start to change your thought patterns, this is where the gold is, right? Once you start to say, wait, I don’t believe that. I actually do believe that there’s an abundance out there. Right. And I start telling myself that and I start putting that into my daily life. It’s a miraculous. You can do a complete 180. You can go from making 100,000 a year to 10 million a year in a very short time, just by how you change your thought patterns and everything else. And so that’s that’s a key for for anyone is to learn to isolate that and and do that.

00:21:13 – Glenn

And so I in for my simple brain, you know, because, you know, you’ve done this way longer, but. That’s okay. The I think what I’ve learned the most and I would try to encourage all entrepreneurs listening to this, is that you have to learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable. And if you once you start recognizing that the cold water is just cold water and the fear of what may happen, it might not happen. So just go, go for it is really a different change of mindset that I think would probably be helpful. And the other thing is, you know, a big thing I think for me and probably for you and just other entrepreneurs that you talk to is they reach that point where they’re like, Well, everybody else is doing it, why not me? And to do that, you’ve got to kind of change your environment. You’ve got to change your centers of influences, you’ve got to change what you’re looking at because like you said, that mold, wherever you grow up or wherever you’re at, that’s the expectation. You’re in that mold. You have to you have to be okay with breaking that mold, which is very hard. Well, we’re in the middle.

00:22:15 – Dave

We’re in the Midwest, aren’t we, Glen? We got that Midwest mentality. If you want something done, you got to do it yourself, right? No, no. That’s that’s an Achilles heel for an entrepreneur, because then you have to do everything. You haven’t created a business. You just create a job for yourself.

00:22:28 – Glenn

And we we can’t help it because we’re so old school that, you know, we’re self sufficient, right? Well, that’s probably not what you were going to say. No, the that’s probably one of the biggest regret we hear. And I’ll ask you what yours is. But one of the big ones we hear is that I wish the entrepreneur says, I wish I would have delegated, given up control, explore and got advice from an expert prior to me figuring out on my own and wasting all those years or time frame. That’s probably one of the biggest themes we hear. What was your if you could go back in time and go, Man, if I have just did this, it would have been amazing change for where I am today. Not that it would be better or worse and you needed to go through your journey. But wow, if I could have did that, what would that have been?

00:23:15 – Dave

Well, that’s that’s a big question over many years and many businesses and stuff. I will say this and it’s a philosophy thing, but I don’t have regrets and I don’t have regrets because of I don’t know if I’ll have time for it, but the story of what it took to bring my daughter home from China taught me not to have regrets. That doesn’t mean there aren’t things that I wouldn’t do differently if I went back, but I don’t regret it because everything that had to happen to get me to where I’m talking to you today had to happen exactly like it is. And so, you know, the chances of you being alive.

00:23:47 – Glenn

I don’t even know how I’m still alive.

00:23:48 – Dave

Yeah, one in 4 trillion. That’s the chances of any of us being alive. Literally. A rock hits another rock in space the wrong way. And you’re not here. A soldier steps on a battle through it throughout history in a different direction. And you’re not here. I mean, everything had to happen exactly as it is. So with that other way, one of the things that well, one of the things that I wish I did in the business that sold just, you know, the largest one that I had, one thing that we did in that business is we didn’t take outside money. We actually self-funded everything. And it was it was tough. It was really, really hard. You’ve probably heard growth sucks cash. Oh, boy. We were a fast growing software company over a course of ten years, you know, and we were funneling that cash back into the business as fast as we could. We almost basically crumbled ourselves. We were growing 300 or 400% a year and almost went out of business multiple times because we were growing so fast. You know, sales doesn’t equal cash, as you know. And so you can sell all you want. But if you’re not collecting and bringing the cash in the door and you’re having to hire to fulfill it and stay ahead, all of a sudden you can wake up one day and not have the money to pay the bills. And so one of the things if I went back and did it again is I probably would take outside money. I probably would seek some funding, maybe give up a little bit of ownership and stuff to to help. But we probably could have grown the business probably twice the size it was in that time and probably, you know, and that would have obviously been a bigger sale. But but I don’t regret it. I wouldn’t I wouldn’t change anything about that journey. But that’s something that that I learned there, that, you know, in the future, if I had the right business for it that couldn’t scale without it, I would I would definitely seek that outside funding.

00:25:31 – Glenn

So are you saying that even though this company was just growing hands or feet, it was just getting big and growing and sales and all these things? Are you suggesting that you didn’t take some money out and go buy a Lamborghini and go on exotic vacations and do it? Like I thought, that’s what you’re supposed to do in your business grows. Is that that’s not the case? No, you’re.

00:25:50 – Dave

Not doing that. That was I was I think you know, I think I my salary up until a few years before we sold was 60 grand. We pay you’ll learn something as an entrepreneur and as a leader to when you find great talent, pay for it. Right. And so every time we get to a point where, you know, I might be able to give myself a bump, right? Well, then you would find that next you’re moving to that next level, you’d find that talent. And hey, there’s a six figure person. I don’t care. Get them in the door. Let’s get them in here. And so you make sacrifices like that, but it pays off in the end. Now, one thing with the business, if you do it right, you know, salary W-2 is one thing. Right. But as you know, from an accounting world. Your salary, and then there’s distribution, there’s profits and that sort of thing. And obviously, from a tax standpoint, the profit side of the distribution side is a is a better way to make your money as an entrepreneur. And so that was more important to me. And then the long game, for the long run of what we were going to do with the sale and stuff was. So it all worked out in the end.

00:26:47 – Glenn

Yeah, I think the point to that entrepreneurs who are listening is the fact that. Just because you’re not making the money today doesn’t mean you’re not advancing and getting to your goal.

00:27:00 – Dave

Playing the long game, play.

00:27:01 – Glenn

The long game. And don’t feel like you’ve got to keep up with the Joneses and go by all that crap. Because if you believe what you have is going to be good, it’s going to be great and you believe it. You kind of got to go all in, and if you don’t go all in, it’s probably not going to get there.

00:27:18 – Dave

And be relentless and.

00:27:19 – Glenn

Be relentless. And when you go do it, the the money will come. And if it doesn’t, that’s okay. You can do it again somewhere else. But you’re going to learn so much more. But don’t rape and pillage your business and go have all this fun because the rate of return and you’re going to get there quicker if you leave the money in the company. Well, and and reinvest back in yourself.

00:27:40 – Dave

And something also very important for all of you out there, too. A lot of people have. Most businesses never sell. It’s really hard to get a transaction done. Most of them fall apart anyways because of ego and other things that get in the way or tease and sees that just don’t work out.

00:27:54 – Glenn

Are you suggesting that entrepreneurs have egos?

00:27:56 – Dave

Some of them do. That’s crazy, too. But most most deals don’t happen. And that’s that’s a common thing, just period with deals. But you should always build your business like you’re going to own it forever or run it, I should say, like you’re going to own it forever and but build it to be sold. Right. So one of the things that I know you guys talk about a lot and I think it’s really important that we highlight is that we talked about earlier just creating a job for yourself as a business. That’s not a business, it’s just a job. It’s maybe got some other perks to it, but it’s just a job. A business is really it is a a collection of systems and infrastructure that work symbiotically with each other to let that business scale and grow. And that doesn’t have to have the founder to be present. So I always use like the corner deli versus subway sandwiches. Right corner deli is probably got a better sub than Subway does. Absolutely. Right. But if that corner deli owner closes, you know, closes the shop and leaves for a year to go around the world on a trip, that deli is not there when he gets back. Right. But the owners of subway sandwiches, doctor’s associates, go sail the world on a yacht. You know, they’re yachts for a year. They come back, there’s, what, 2000 more stores or whatever. What’s the difference? Right. It’s that systems and the infrastructure. So the the way you get from that self employed, you know, or that that entrepreneur that’s with a job is to create the systems and infrastructure that can scale and work without you. And that’s how you get to be a true business.

00:29:22 – Glenn

And I’m sure disclosure subway is not paying to be a part of this stuff.

00:29:25 – Dave

No, I.

00:29:26 – Glenn

Can just so you know.

00:29:27 – Julie

But back to that, you know, you have the systems and processes. What do you think is one of the biggest things you learned, especially in the bigger business that you sold in regards to building a team? You know, you said to pay for talent, but there’s a little bit more to that to create something so much bigger than what was there?

00:29:43 – Dave

Well, number one, you have to get out of your own way and empower the people to do what they do really well. And if they do it differently than you would have. So what I mentioned before, I’ve got kind of four rules for leadership that I’ve brought together over the years. The first one is people support what they helped to create, right? So you have to make them part of the process. The second one is people want to be part of something bigger than themselves. So you need to bring them into the vision and help them understand where they fit in and what, you know, impact that they have towards it, not just on their, you know, on the small picture, but the bigger picture, too. The next one is that people want you know, it’s funny, people won’t drive a lot. Most people won’t drive, you know, 20 miles to hear a millionaire tell the story of how they do everything and all that type of stuff and how they succeeded. But they will drive three days to get on stage and get a trophy for something. And so that that one is recognized when recognition is due. Right. And that doesn’t mean you just recognize all the time for the sake of it. But when somebody does a really great job, goes above and beyond, you really need to recognize and celebrate that with them and help them understand the impact that they’re having with that. And then the last one, if I don’t blank on it, is so people that help to create want to be something bigger than themselves recognition and then now I’m blanking in the middle.

00:31:06 – Julie

Of the it’s okay we’ll come back to it.

00:31:07 – Dave

Come back to it. It’ll come. But those three will get you pretty far. So boy.

00:31:12 – Julie

Yeah, no, I think those are great and I think people often forget that.

00:31:15 – Dave

Oh, I got it. People live up to the expectations that you set for. So that’s the other side of it.

00:31:20 – Glenn

Perfect. So if you don’t believe in your team, well, they’re not going to believe in them. That’s right. And again, the hardest thing I think for an entrepreneur is, is to get on your own way, to recognize that you it’s literally impossible to do. Everything needs to be done yourself because you are not an expert in everything. You’re an expert in some things, but not everything. And you’ve got to delegate that.

00:31:43 – Dave

Your job as a leader is to support them, get in the trenches when you have to, but not take over. You know all the work in the trenches, right? That’s that’s your job. You’re going to have people that hit their plateaus, their walls right there, their challenges. And that’s where you’re there to work, work through and help them grow. Right. And empower them from there. But it’s not your job to do it for them.

00:32:06 – Glenn

And it’s so enlightening. And and just I don’t know, it just gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling when you have an entrepreneur that kind of had figured it out. It took you a long time to get there, but you were figuring out as you went. But all of a sudden you look back and like, Man, if I’d have known all of this at age 16 when you’re, I don’t know, probably landscaping. I don’t know what we were doing when you’re in high school.

00:32:29 – Dave

So a number of things. But landscaping was one of them.

00:32:32 – Glenn

It’s an easy one, right?

00:32:33 – Dave

Yeah, that’s an E, that’s always an E. It’s actually one of the easiest businesses to start no matter if you’re in high school or not. But and then believe it or not, I was one of the top cocoa knife salesmen. And and.

00:32:43 – Glenn

Those guys are east.

00:32:46 – Dave

Of the United States. So but again, it’s a it’s a self-employed business. Money was actually really good for a kid in college, paid for college with it and everything. Great product, too, but it wasn’t scalable in that sense for me.

00:32:59 – Glenn

Know that they have a great training program for whatever that is. And I think you worked for like paychecks or something at one point.

00:33:06 – Dave

Yeah, in the corporate world. So that’s where I spent my time is at Paychex and that’s where I learned those hard lessons about leadership and everything and thankfully had some great leaders around me who knew who I was and knew where I would ultimately stumble and fail and, you know, gave me the chances and worked through it with me.

00:33:21 – Glenn

But they had a great training program with them, I think. Yeah. And so that and that’s the thing. You know, one other thing about entrepreneurs is they don’t sometimes don’t think that they’re in sales. They think they’re just doing this thing. But they’re they really are all in sales.

00:33:34 – Dave

Everybody’s in sales. It’s the most innate thing that we we all have. When you you know, when you’re trying to get when you’re trying to get your wife to go on a date with you, you were in sales.

00:33:43 – Glenn

I mean, marketing, baby. Yeah.

00:33:44 – Dave

So it’s I mean, that’s that’s absolute, you know, innate thing that we all have. It’s funny how we, like, shun it, right? You know, like, oh, you know, sales bad or like, you know, that sort of thing. I don’t want to be a salesperson, right? There’s like that connotation with it. But really, every day you’re you’re selling something.

00:34:01 – Glenn

As long as you don’t wear a cheap blazer, it’s going to be okay. You can be you can be in sales and they’re just going to judge you.

00:34:07 – Julie

I don’t know how you made it anywhere with your fashion sense.

00:34:10 – Glenn

Listen, cotton cotton is king. And that’s just that’s just the the the way it is. So one of the cool things is do you have we always ask this because it’s kind of a funny thing to do because maybe you’ve thought about it, maybe you haven’t. But is there an end game? I mean, for Dave Lucas, are you going to ever just stop and kick back and walk the beach and go on hikes and.

00:34:34 – Dave

What’s to say? I don’t do that now.

00:34:35 – Glenn

But not doing any work. Like I don’t want to have to work. I don’t want to have to be an owner of business. I don’t want to run things anymore. Are you are you done being an entrepreneur? Does that ever happen?

00:34:44 – Dave

If you’re ever done being an entrepreneur, right. You know, it’s just a it’s you know, once you’ve kind of conditioned yourself in that way, you know, you’re going to just think a little bit differently and that sort of thing. You’re going to see opportunity everywhere and and all that stuff. So it’s the difference is whether you act on it or one of the things that I’ve learned to do much better as I’ve gotten older, I used to take on every opportunity and try everything right, and I’ve learned to be much more judicious in what I take on and where I put my time and focus and and say no a lot more. Right. You know, I get asked to be on boards and all these different things and and stuff. And some of them make sense. Some of them just don’t. And it’s it’s easier to say no and and save that time. And, you know, again, I again, with my structure really set aside that time too for, you know, downtime and vacation and go to the beach and stuff and that type of thing.

00:35:36 – Glenn

You’re going to ruin it for everybody to think that it’s easy peasy being an entrepreneur. I’m easy. I’m kidding. You know, it’s a again, I just when I when I we interview guests and I just I think about what they’re saying, what other people are saying and just the fact that when people have, like real jobs or they’re self employed, making a job for themselves, they can never wait to retire. Like, I cannot wait to get out of this rat race. I’m done. I’m done and done. But you talk to an entrepreneur, they’re never done because they just love the process. They love the system. They like building things. It’s the.

00:36:10 – Dave

Pursuit. It’s the.

00:36:11 – Glenn


00:36:12 – Dave

And crazy is always something to pursue and do and that it energizes you. Right. You know, you hear these stories of like where people do something their whole lives and they’re known and then they stop and then like a year later, they’re dead.

00:36:24 – Glenn

It’s like all the time.

00:36:25 – Dave

It’s like they lose that, what fueled them, you know? And so they talk about fear, right? You know, that’s like something that I’m like, you know, like, how long can I do Ironman that that fuels me. Like if I stop training, like, what type of shape am I going to be and what’s going to happen to my body, you know? So it’s a lifestyle in a sense, and I’ll do it as long as I, I can and my body permits it to. But I really enjoy it and I love what it does for me. And it love, you know, what it does for my health.

00:36:49 – Glenn

And all that stuff to remember eighties, the new forties. So you’ll be fine.

00:36:52 – Dave

We’re going to live to 150.

00:36:53 – Glenn

I agree. We’re going to have all kinds of good advances.

00:36:56 – Dave

Anybody read Tony Robbins new book yet on.

00:36:58 – Glenn

Not but.

00:36:58 – Dave

I’m on All The Science of Health and all that type of stuff. We’re going to have 250.

00:37:02 – Julie

I’ve watched some of the podcasts that he does on that. And do you do you ever watch. His trainer and what he puts himself through.

00:37:08 – Dave

Yeah. Yeah, actually, it’s incredible. I read the book and actually his trainers in the book and gives like free, free training plans to those that read the book. You like get a link and go get them and stuff. So I don’t know, I don’t have time for any more training.

00:37:22 – Glenn

Oh, I think you’re. But again, that’s the funny thing. Most people would be reason I said at the beginning, like most people would be very ecstatic that they did a5k from a couch to five k. Well, that’s just not a good enough. Now we’re going to do a half marathon. Well, that’s not good enough. We’ll do a full one. That’s not good. Next, you know, we’re doing Iron Man’s again. You’re not going to be an ultra marathoner. Perhaps. Maybe will. Maybe you won’t. But that don’t as don’t put a box around yourself and said, I can only do this. Yeah, rip that thing down and you can do anything you put your mind to. You can’t do everything, but you can do anything.

00:37:55 – Dave

Yeah, it’s funny. All the, all the different businesses I’ve had, like there’s no rhyme or reason to them if you just saw them as they are, but they feed off each other like so for example, software business, right? So you think I’m a big tech guy and stuff, but actually one of my largest businesses, a investing education service where I teach people how to invest and create cash flow in the markets all over the world. Well, how did that happen? Right. Well, that happened because once I did get some success as an entrepreneur, I started to invest in real estate. And that’s our diversified started to do in stocks and figured some things out. And people started asking me, well, teach me what you do. And I said, Well, maybe there’s an opportunity here. So I started publishing a subscription service online for it. And basically the things that I would normally do on a weekly basis for my investing. Now I’m sharing that with others and I’m paid for that, right? Didn’t people wouldn’t think, well, over here, over there. Then I’ve got a podcast and you know, but it’s the same thing. It’s it’s kind of like what you’re doing. I interviewed the top entrepreneurs in their fields around the world. Well, I learn a ton and I take that back to the other things that I do from that and get to have those great conversations and everything. So it’s like networking for me in that sense too, right? So it’s just like everything kind of feeds on itself and it’s a, it’s amazing how the offshoots happen, but you know, it’s not like you have to spend all these hours to do those things right. A few hours here, a few hours there, you can actually create some pretty amazing things as long as it’s building off of the other things that you’ve done.

00:39:23 – Glenn

So you’re probably saying the, you know, on a final note, that never stopped growing, like trying to increase your knowledge, your contacts, networking, don’t when you get to a certain level just stop doing those things because that’s what got you there. Why would you stop? So keep going and then who knows what might come up to the door next?

00:39:42 – Dave

Yeah, we start with that Jim Rohn quote. Right. So self-education, right. That’s it’s amazing how much you can grow. I mean, you know, most I think the average average CEO reads a book a week. Right. So there’s a reason for that.

00:39:54 – Glenn

So do picture books count or.

00:39:57 – Dave

I think they do, you know, if they’re if they’re business related. But, you know, it’s I think it’s important. If you don’t, your mind is a muscle. Your brain’s a muscle just like anything else. You’ve got to exercise it. Right. So stretch it. You know, that’s one of the reasons that I do Ironman is it stretches the mind. You don’t win an Ironman with your legs, you win it with your head. I can’t count how many times I’ve like hit mile 20 on the marathon and like have been like my body’s dead it’s ready to pass out my head spin in I’ve had to lay down on the ground. You know, I’ve had the medics come over and look at me and you know, to force.

00:40:33 – Glenn

That will cut me. Yeah.

00:40:35 – Dave

Seriously, like, you know, debating whether we got to take this guy off the course, right? And, you know, it’s the will of the mind to stand up and then one foot in front of the other to walk the next six miles or whatever it is to get it done right. And I’ve never not finished a race, you know, and so that for me is one of the biggest wins is just even finishing a darn thing. But you win it in your mind and that’s entrepreneurship as well.

00:40:57 – Julie

So if there’s one thing you could tell the listeners about your journey, about what you advice you would give them, what would that be?

00:41:05 – Dave

Oh, man, I know.

00:41:06 – Glenn

I’m hearing.

00:41:07 – Dave

One thing.

00:41:08 – Julie

Well, you you’ve given you’ve given a ton. But if you could narrow it down to one.

00:41:11 – Glenn

Thing, Curly says, there’s one thing I.

00:41:14 – Dave

Know. There’s always one thing with curling city slickers. You know, man, that’s a tough one, too.

00:41:22 – Julie

I know I put you right on the spot.

00:41:24 – Dave

So because, you know, I’d say, you know, use the DHCP formulas is a big thing because it relates to all areas of life. But don’t lose. I’ll tell you what, probably the most important thing is never lose sight of what’s truly important in your life. Never lose sight of the things that really matter. Because when it’s all said and done, there’s only a few things that you really have family, god, right? And so don’t lose sight of that. Don’t sacrifice the your your values and who you are, you know, just to get a leg up or something like that, you know, be able to wake up every day with a strong conviction for who you are and, you know, a clear conscience and you’ll be great.

00:42:02 – Glenn

Awesome. They appreciate you be on the show. Do you want to give them a shameless plug, any of your companies all around this thing?

00:42:07 – Dave

Certainly. Welcome to. I appreciate that. If you want to learn more about things that I do, follow me on my journey and stuff. Check out the Misfit Entrepreneur podcast and you can go to misfit entrepreneurs or find anywhere that you listen to podcasts. And if you’re interested in trading, investing, learning a passive way to create income from the markets, 12 minute trading, and that’s one two minute trading. And we actually have a free whole series of videos and everything that you can sign up for their ebooks and all that they’ll teach you, even if you’re just a beginner, never even done it before. So those are the two areas to go and check things out.

00:42:42 – Speaker1

Fantastic. Dave, thanks a million. Appreciate it.

00:42:44 – Speaker3

Thank you, guys.

00:42:45 – Speaker1

Glen Harper is signing off. Appreciate it. I hope you got something out of this podcast and it’ll help you achieve success in your journey.

00:42:52 – Julie

Julie Smith.

Episode Show Notes

How can structure equal freedom?

Dave Lukas is our guest, and he dives into this and more.

You’ll find with a lot of successful entrepreneurs and even those that you see and look up to as top entrepreneurs and visionaries and founders. Structure equals freedom. And a lot of people don’t understand that. They hear that and like, what do you mean structure equals freedom? The more discipline and structure you have in your regiment, the more you can get done, and the more productive you can be. So I’m highly structured and how I do things.

But there is a second part to structure equalling freedom…

It’s one thing to be structured, but it’s another thing that you hit the ground running and know what you’re going to do. So the other side of it is planning. So every Sunday I sit down and I actually am old school. So I actually sit down for half an hour and I write out by the day for the week coming what I’m going to do and what I need to do. So my top things that I need to get accomplished every day.

How does he put this in play when he coaches leaders?

I sat down with about a $100 Million business a couple of weeks ago with their leadership team. And we went through how they run their business and their day. And it was just all over the place. There’s no plan. There wasn’t any structure for how they even do their meetings or any of the type of stuff. And by the time we were done with a day session, you know, they had things dialed in and set.

When it comes to planning and structure, what can entrepreneurs do to help themselves?

One of the most important things that an entrepreneur can do for themselves is to learn to play the long game. And so you have to take the step back and you have to be able to sit there and say, okay, what do I actually need to do? Three months ahead? A year ahead, right? And how do I start putting things in place to get that in process today?

We all experience the “highs” and the “lows” of being an entrepreneur. But where is the sweet spot?

As entrepreneurs, we spend a lot more time in a series of peaks and valleys. But we spend a lot more time in the valleys than we do the peaks. But the valleys are where the gold is. The peaks are sweet, they’re so nice. But that’s where you really get better and you learn is in the valleys. And so, you know, advice to anybody out there, embrace those valleys that you go through and everything. Because that’s where I learn these things. That’s where I learn to be better discipline.

Dave dives into what he calls DCP

It stands for discipline, consistency and persistence. But what does it really mean, right? Discipline is doing the things that you know, you need to do even when you don’t want to do them consistently. Consistency is doing that day in and day out without fail. And then persistence is no matter, no matter what, even if you’re disciplined and consistent, you’re going to hit these walls, you’re going to hit these insurmountable things that don’t seem like you’ll ever be able to pass them. And if you’re not willing to persist through that and persevere through it, that’s we’re going to stay, that’s we’re going to plateau.

Misfit Entrepreneur Podcast

Dave M. Lukas is a serial entrepreneur, best-selling author, investor, and Founder of the Misfit Entrepreneur Podcast. His companies have been ranked on the Entrepreneur 365 and INC 5000 List 7 times. He has been featured on radio, TV, and many top trade publications and web such as Forbes, INC, Yahoo! Finance, BTN, BTE, and others.

Dave is also the author of the amazon best-seller “The Ten Year Career, The Fast Track to Retiring Young, Wealthy and Fulfilled.” The book is a culmination of 5 years of dedicated research into the mindset and habits of high performers, and gives the reader the missing links and path to greater success and fulfillment.

He is also the founder and host of the Misfit Entrepreneur, a top-rated podcast devoted to giving the audience incredibly useful and unique insight from the world’s top entrepreneurs and highest performers with a focus on their non-traditional methods for achieving success, their Misfit side. The show is listened to weekly in over 140 countries and reaches over 90,000 per month.

An accomplished investor in real estate and stock investing, through his 12 Minute Trading System, Dave has mentored, educated, and trained thousands of students worldwide on how to create income from the stock market. He has spoken extensively in front of a wide array of organizations from many of the Fortune 500 to top Universities and Trade Groups with an emphasis on teaching individuals the strategies to reach their true potential and deliver exponential results.

He lives with his wife and daughter in Columbus, Ohio.

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