Empact: A Business Built By Inspiring Young People – with Michael Simmons

How does a founder build a business by inspiring young people to build businesses too?

Michael Simmons is the co-founder of Empact, which runs the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour, a tour that brings the country’s top founders to college campuses. He also created the Empact100, which is like the Inc500, but for young entrepreneurs. And he’s the author of “The Student Success Manifesto”.

I invited him here today to talk about how he built those businesses.

Watch the FULL program

Michael Simmons, Empact

Michael Simmons is co-founder of Empact, which runs the extreme entrepreneurship tour, bringing the country’s top founders to college campuses.

 

Raw transcript

Mixergy's audio transcription is done by Speechpad

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good care of you. Here’s the program.

Hey there, Freedom Fighters. My name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of

Mixergy.com, home of the ambitious upstart. How does a founder build a

business by inspiring young people to build businesses too? Michael Simmons

is the co-founder of Empact, which runs the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour,

a tour that brings the country’s top founders to college campuses. He also

created the Empact100, which is like the Inc500, but for young

entrepreneurs. And he’s the author of “The Student Success Manifesto”. I

invited him here today to talk about how he built those businesses.

Welcome, Michael.

Michael: Thank you very much for having me, Andrew.

Andrew: You know, I was tripping over my words as I gave that intro. I’ve

got to go to a live show of David Letterman or even Oprah. I want to see if

they also screw up their intro and have to do retakes a couple of times.

Michael: Well, we have like three different parts to our company so that

makes it even extra complicated.

Andrew: And I wanted to make sure that I emphasized Empact, so that people

knew that it was with an “E”.

Michael: Exactly.

Andrew: All right. You saw me screw up, so I’ve got to recover by asking

you a tough question. Actually, I don’t know why connects to the other, but

screw it. What kind of revenue can you generate from touring college

campuses with entrepreneurs?

Michael: Well, for our organization last year, total, everything we do, we

earned over a million dollars and reached over 10,000 college students, and

also, many of the top leaders in the entrepreneurship field.

Andrew: Over a million dollars in sales?

Michael: In revenue, yeah.

Andrew: Wow. I wouldn’t have expected you to actually give me that number

so soon.

Michael: I’ve listened to probably over a hundred of your interviews. So, I

took the chase.

Andrew: Let me see if I understand this. So, I understand the college tour.

You charge colleges to bring entrepreneurs in, right? That’s one revenue

source.

Michael: Yes.

Andrew: You also have the Empact Summit, which was held here in D.C. You

and I got together, I think it was for dinner or drinks, when you were in

town to talk about that. What kind of revenue do you get from that, and

what is the Empact Summit?

Michael: A few hundred thousand dollars. The Summit is, basically, with the

entrepreneurship education field, to do our college tours, we go to all

these different industry conferences. One would be for community colleges.

One would be for four-year colleges. One would be for another niche. You

realize that there are all these different niches out there, and that there

wasn’t an industry conference that connected them all together and did it

on an invite-only basis with all the leaders. That’s what we did last year.

I had over 300 people at the UF Chamber of Commerce for top leaders.

Andrew: Then the other big revenue source, I’m guessing, is Empact100?

Michael: Yes, kind of. Last year was our first year with that. It was a

recognition of the country’s top young entrepreneurs, by revenue. We had

100 companies. The average revenue was, I think around $3.74 million

revenue. They were responsible for almost 5,000 jobs in the economy. We

wanted to highlight that. We had an event last year, connected to the

Summit, where there was a fee for people who wanted to attend.

Andrew: OK. So the event, I understand, they charge. I heard that the

Inc500 charges companies that want to apply to be on the list. Right?

Michael: Yeah.

Andrew: So that’s one revenue source for them and then they also have an

event (?), which also is a revenue source, and the have the magazine, of

course is a revenue source. Do you charge people to apply to be in Impact

100?

Michael: We do not.

Andrew: You don’t. Where’s the revenue come from for that?

Michael: At this point, it’s just for the event around it. Then we’re

talking to a few potential sponsors. We’re aggregating the largest ever

group of young, top growth-oriented entrepreneurs in the country. So it’s a

desirable group of people. I’m hopeful that we’ll have some good sponsors

in a few months.

Andrew: So the biggest revenue seems to come from the tour, from the

extreme entrepreneurship tour?

Michael: Yeah.

Andrew: OK. By the way, you and I are friends, we’ve known each other for a

long time. I never ask you probing questions like this, when we have drinks

or when we get together, casually. What’s it like to suddenly have me pound

you with questions about revenue, right off the bat?

Michael: You know what, Andrew, I was ready for it. I’ve spoken a huge

amount on college campuses and been a mentor, and I think it’s good to be

honest about it so people have an idea about the challenges and the upsides

so people can learn better. I appreciate asking the questions.

Andrew: Well, thanks for answering them. Let’s go back in time and see how

you built this up. In fact, there was a period there actually where things

weren’t going so well. You were in debt and when you went to the grocery

store to buy a cup of fruit, what was that like?

Michael: Well, I think for any entrepreneur, or for most entrepreneurs,

they’ve probably gone through difficult times. I had a few of those, but,

just at the worst time. $40,000 in credit card debt plus student loans and

had seven different credit cards. I just remember it got to the point

where, every time I’d go to the store, I was always just worried that, the

credit card would bounce buying fruit. I moved an hour away, off campus, or

away from the heart of New York City, just to have lower rent in a rat-

infested neighborhood, all those type of things.

Andrew: So, you’re going to buy a $3 cup of fruit at the store, and you’re

worried that your credit card is going to be rejected. You’re living life

just scraping by. Why don’t you, at that point, say, “You know what? I have

got to get a job. I’ll get myself on solid footing. I’ll pay off my student

debt. And then maybe after I have so money, I’ll go out and I’ll start my

company.” Why did you have to keep going at that point?

Michael: To me, I think the biggest reason for failure of entrepreneurs

that isn’t talked about as much, isn’t as much the technical skill. It’s

having that burning fire inside that, in the back of your mind, you know

that you’re never going to stop. You know that you’re going to see the

result at the end of the day. I feel like I’ve had that for a long time. It

never really crossed my mind of giving up.

Andrew: Where does that need come from? Be vulnerable. Express something

that, at night, you’re going to regret, almost, saying, because it’s so

open. But honestly, where does that need come from? Why would you have to

do that?

Michael: Yeah. That’s a really good question. I’ve actually spent a lot of

time thinking about it for myself and other entrepreneurs that think it’s

so important to entrepreneurial success. One thing, I think, it’s

definitely upbringing. My mom came from Poland when she was 17, and she’s

the kind of person who doesn’t say, “I love you.” She expects you to just

understand it. Every time I see her now, she’ll have like three or four

things that could be doing better. So, I feel like that’s a blessing and a

curse, because you’re always pushing forward to be better.

I think, as a young entrepreneur, I started business with a friend when I

was 16-years old. We got into our local newspaper, things like that. I

think another part people don’t talk about as much, is you have your (?).

If you get the kind of recognition, you win awards, we wrote a book, you

have your identity around it. So, once you have your identity around it,

it’s really hard to give up that identity of being an entrepreneur. Whether

that’s a good thing or a bad thing. But, I think, once you have that

identity, it’s hard to stop.

Andrew: I see what you mean. Once I said to myself and to the world, “I’m

an entrepreneur,” to give up and go work somewhere or to give up and just

go sit on a beach somewhere, would have felt embarrassing. I couldn’t face

anyone else and it would have been tough, for me also, to live that way.

Michael: Yeah. Especially doing what we do with helping people start

businesses. “All right. I’m packing it in. I’m going to get a job.” It’s

much harder.

Andrew: So, it’s good that it propels you forward, but doesn’t it also add

extra pressure to you?

Michael: Yeah, it does. It fees like when you’re 18 you kind of have this

idea of once I accomplish these things, then you might be a little bit

different. Or like, you might be settling down a little bit. And I find

that even as we get more successes, I really have to force myself to be

appreciative and I have to block time aside to write down what I’m

appreciative for. It’s just my personality. I talked to someone else the

other day, and they just naturally think about everything they’re

appreciative for, and I more think about what I could be doing better.

Andrew: I see. So you have to force yourself to notice what you’re doing

well, so that you can appreciate it. All right, let’s go back and see how

you built up this business and accumulated some debt along the way, and how

you got past that. So you were an entrepreneur even going back to high

school. You co-founded a company, a web development company, called

Princeton Web Solutions, what was that?

Michael: It was [??] business. I feel like many people’s first business is

a web development company, and it was a great first business because, being

16 years old, people looked at us as experts, even though we knew nothing

about business or web development, just because we were young and they

associated tech with us. So, we put up a website to say we had a web

development firm, so literally the first website I ever created was

promoting that we could create websites for other people. It was during the

times when I feel like it was a lot easier to get clients. This was 1998,

I’m 30 now. People searched ‘Princeton web development’, and that’s how we

got our first client. Somebody reached out to us, and we got $1000 client.

Once we got that client, you know $1000 at 16 years old, when you’ve never

had any income besides an allowance of $1.00 a week or something like that,

that feels like, ‘All right, how do I do this again?’

Andrew: [laughs] What kind of site did you build for them?

Michael: I remember the name of the company was ABS Solutions, and it was

based in Trenton, New Jersey, but that’s about all I remember. It was

basically a brochure website.

Andrew: OK. And they were searching for Princeton Web Solutions because

they wanted a web development company in Princeton?

Michael: Yeah.

Andrew: All right, so you got that client, it was time to get even more.

What did you do to get more clients back then in high school?

Michael: I partnered with a company, I can’t remember the name of it.

Princeton Internet Group, maybe not. Something like that. And they actually

were a website creator as well. They charged their clients $50 an hour, and

they basically outsourced a lot of their work to us for $25 an hour. And so

we were basically doing contract work, but that allowed us to get great

clients, like the Princeton Holiday Inn, and Princeton YMCA, and all these

brand name clients in our local area. That eventually allowed us to go off

on our own and charge $100 an hour, or $75 an hour.

Andrew: How did you get this company that was outsourcing work to you? How

did you even think that you should partner with them?

Michael: I don’t remember how we thought it, but we just emailed them.

Andrew: You just said, “Hey, do you guys have any extra clients that you

can send our way?”

Michael: Yeah, exactly.

Andrew: That’s pretty creative, for a 16-year old, especially.

Michael: Yeah. None of our parents were entrepreneurs, but I guess it just

seemed like a logical thing at the time.

Andrew: You know what, I’ve mentioned in past interviews that, as a kid I

got a lot of entrepreneurial ideas because I’d read biographies of other

entrepreneurs and then I’d find a way to adapt or adopt what they did and

bring it to my world. Did you do any of that? Where did your ideas come

from?

Michael: I never really read any books before that first business, but as

soon as we got that contract, we spent a few hundred dollars on web

development books, and then sometime around there I started getting

interested in biographies, Napoleon Hill, of course. In high school I

probably read over a hundred books on personal development and growth. It

was just so fascinating to me, because my mom had always worked for the

government, and I understood that if you go up two or three percent per

year, and you start at the bottom, it just wasn’t an exciting path. So I’m

seeing this path that was so exciting, and finding these other role models

that maybe I didn’t have locally, books were an incredible source of

inspiration.

Andrew: I hope I’m doing that here with these interviews. That there’s

somebody who’s not sitting in an entrepreneurial community, not talking to

entrepreneurs on a daily basis, but listening to these interviews is

filling that gap for them. What was it like to go from selling $1,000 sites

to going back to school and doing regular, everyday stuff like gym and

science and everything else?

Michael: Well, one of my memories is we had to have meetings during the

day, and you could only miss, like, 21 of any certain class before you had

to retake that class. And always a running tally of how many classes you

could miss of a certain thing before you had to retake it. So I just

remember dressing up in a business suit and then one day coming back in gym

class, going into the locker room, changing into gym clothes and, like

somebody was selling weed in the locker room. So, you know, just going

completely between, you know, school and then this world that none of our

other peers could relate to was just a funny process. [??]

Andrew: [??] It’s what?

Michael: [??] with.

Andrew: I thought you had a [??].

Michael: [??] . . . to do it with. My co-founder was Kyle Newport and so we

could talk about it.

Andrew: I see that by having a cofounder you can talk to someone and not

feel like such a weirdo in a world where everyone is selling drugs or

talking about how they’re going to drink tonight.

Michael: Yeah.

Andrew: All that other B.S. Meanwhile, by the way, all those people . . . I

remember going to school loving business, couldn’t wait to get into

business, couldn’t wait to have a conversation with someone about business.

And all my friends wanted to do was talk about going out on Friday night

and drinking. Whenever I did it, I could see it was the most boring thing

ever. They were always waiting for something fun to happen or feeling like

because they were doing it, it should be fun, and they couldn’t let their

guard down and admit that it was fricking boring to sit and just nurse a

beer.

Michael: A specific memory was, like, we were at a party and, like, you

know, really bored, and, like, just talking about the next party and I’m,

like . . . That was, I think, my last party because it was just . . .

Andrew: And they’re all hoping for the cops to come bust down the party

because it’s too loud, because then they don’t have to continue with the

party but they can feel like they did something crazy that weekend.

Michael: Yeah, something to talk about on Monday.

Andrew: Right. Meanwhile, if you loved business, then it’s a problem, then

you were a dork so you can’t talk about it much. I feel so scarred by my

high school experience. All right, so I see how this business developed.

What happened to it?

Michael: So, you know, after that, we were able to get a model where we

were able to charge clients $100 an hour and outsource it to, basically,

India for $25 an hour. What had happened was a firm just emailed us and

said . . . and this was before outsourcing was popular or there was Elance

. . . but there was this firm that said they were from India. They had

showed all their programmers and all their client websites and they could

do all the work for us for a really cheap rate. The first project was free.

So for us, it was no risk and we tried it and they could just do much

better work than we were. And now instead of saying we’re just two high

school kids, we could show we have a whole team of people, you know, that

we work with. So a little smoke and mirrors, but it was great high school

business. You worked out, like, 10 hours a week, each of us, probably, and

we made $40,000 our senior year. Ultimately after college . . . this is the

end of . . . . or after high school, this is the end of 2000, that business

kind of fizzled out because my friend and I went to a different college,

the dot com bust, and also our passions were starting to go different

directions.

Andrew: What did you do with the money that you earned from it?

Michael: Basically, reinvested it all back in the company.

Andrew: So you didn’t get to take any cash out at the end.

Michael: No, we never took any cash out.

Andrew: Didn’t buy a car, didn’t do anything fun with it.

Michael: No.

Andrew: No? Wow, so what you’re saying is it did $40,000 in sales but very

little in profits.

Michael: Yeah, basically. I think I was at the mindset of just spending,

like, the point of money is just to spend money. I think that was . . .

Andrew: Spend that money on the business, though.

Michael: I was, like, you know, if we have this money, we should spend it

to grow the business. So, you know, I don’t think necessarily that way

anymore, but I was always . . . I had the money spent before it came in.

Andrew: And around then is when you wrote The Student Success Manifesto

Yearbook.

Michael: Yeah, it was just so weird in high school to have this

transformative experience in so many different ways and no one else in our

entire high school was aware of it. My parents weren’t, the teachers

weren’t aware of this career option and it was something that was totally

doable for somebody that was in high school or college. I thought it would

be different when I went to NYU Business School and it really wasn’t. There

were very few entrepreneurs or even entrepreneurial-minded people, so I

started writing articles about it and eventually codified that into a book.

It was really just more of a passion project, because I had this thing I

wanted people to know about.

Andrew: I had the same experience. I went to NYU. I thought that because

I’m going to business school in the heart of New York that everyone would

want to be an entrepreneur, that everyone would want earn tons of money,

and have big impact on the world. Maybe, in the beginning of college they

felt that way, but by the time they finished, they were all ready to go and

get a job. They were walking around with these little tape recorders so

they could, I guess, tape record their practice answers to interview

questions. I was so let down by that. You saw that, and you said, “I’m

going to show people that there’s another way. I’m going to create this

manifesto. I’ll publish it and the world will be packed to my door to buy

the book.” [laughs] What happened, actually, with sales?

Michael: This was 2003, so I think we sold 1,000 copies within the first

few weeks. That was just from the rush of going to every organization I’ve

ever been a part of, and everyone I ever talked to, and getting purchases

that way. After that, it kind of flatlined for a while, getting occasional

purchases. Got really, really good feedback from people who read it. I’m

not sure what percentage actually read it. That was fulfilling, but it

never really took off like we thought it would. At some level, it’s just

learning the number of college students that read books on personal growth

outside of class. That’s a very small number.

Andrew: That’s too bad. All right, but then it made you discover something.

You looked for a better way to do it, right?

Michael: Yeah.

Andrew: What was that?

Michael: I started to get invited to speak from the book, and was doing

that. I never considered myself a speaker. I was just really, really shy.

Even though I’ve spoken a lot now, my identity isn’t as a speaker.

I realized that being a young entrepreneur, talking to somebody else in

college, you’re really well positioned to explain the idea to people. Help

people see that as an opportunity, rather than somebody who is 60 years old

and maybe ten times or a hundred times more successful, but just looks at

looks at things completely differently because of their stage of life, what

generation they’re from.

In 2006, we created the Extreme Entrepreneurship tour, because there was

all these young entrepreneurs out there that we were seeing, that people

didn’t know about. We wanted to create an event, rather than just me

speaking or partners speaking, we created an event series. I co-founded

that with my girlfriend at the time, and now wife, Sheena Lindahl. We were

basically seeing the same things and speaking together.

Andrew: The first speaking engagements that you had were just you in front

of an audience of students. You were giving them the message of

entrepreneurship. You were telling them about the possibilities, and you

were also letting them know that if they wanted to buy the book, that was

available, right? It was just you.

Michael: Yeah, exactly.

Andrew: You were nervous, but you did it anyway. Did it sell books when you

were nervous like that?

Michael: I think people like authenticity, so I don’t think people need to

have the perfect person out there who doesn’t have any flaws, so I talked

about the failures. At the end of the day, it wasn’t a big book seller. I

really realized that it’s hard to build a business around a book unless

you’re a very successful author. We saw this opportunity in speaking

engagements is that there’s already a high price point set in with it.

Andrew: Why can you charge more when it’s a collection of speakers?

Michael: Just speaking in general, I think people are used to paying more.

People were used to paying $15 per book. In the college market, we’re used

to paying $2,500 to speak.

Andrew: I see. You’re saying, you discovered that you can charge more to

have people come in and listen to a speaker than you could earn by speaking

for free and selling the books. Do I understand that right?

Michael: Selling books is pretty hard one-on-one, unless you have a large

marketing budget, or it’s one of those books that takes off word of mouth.

To get a speaking engagement, you have to sell a large amount of books.

Andrew: I see. By the way, before we move on and see how you brought in a

team of entrepreneurs to speak and how you got schools to let you in, that

first place that you spoke. Can you tell the audience about where that was,

what that was like?

Michael: I grew up in Princeton, New Jersey area – Hopewell, New Jersey

specifically – which is an hour outside of New York City. It’s a suburb of

a major metropolitan area. I knew there was a middle part to the country,

but I’d never really been there, and didn’t really know what rural meant,

but this was a definitely a rural area. Elko, Nevada. Flying over it to get

there, you just see, you look out and you see planes for as far as the eye

could see. I just remember the night before being so scared [??] get there,

started reading about who’s there and it’s like, 80% of the students go on

to mining once they graduate, because that’s the main industry in that

area. So I just felt like there’s going to be no way I can relate to that

audience and stayed up all night, preparing for it.

Andrew: Wow. How’d you do?

Michael: I felt like it went well. I feel like it went well. By today’s

standards I probably wouldn’t think as well, but the advantage you have

when you’re younger is that people give you more lenience.

Andrew: All right, so you decide that you’re going to put together this

speaker tour. What’d you do first? Did you get the speakers or did you get

the schools to pay to bring you in.

Michael: So, basically I created a PowerPoint in a website where we ask

speakers if they, if we had this event, would you speak. And then if they

said yes, then we got their bio, headshots, so we had a website full of

everyone’s headshots and bios. We went online and found a picture of the

RV, tour bus that we wanted, and we used photoshop to look like we pictured

it looking like in the future, and we got a map. I don’t know if we used

Google Maps. I think we just used other maps at the time. And we created a

chart and we just put dots on it to say where we were going, to be going

that year, so we made something that didn’t exist at all look as real as

possible, and started selling it and started telling people that they’ll

get a discount if they were the first school to get it. Didn’t start until

we got ten schools confirm basically.

Andrew: How did you get the entrepreneurs to come to your side and fill out

that form and say that, yes, they’d be interested in coming in to speak?

Michael: Well, one thing, I had always been inspired by other young

entrepreneurs, so I already had a network at that point, and same thing

with my wife, Sheena. So we already had a network that we can pull from.

Andrew: Who’s on there?

Michael: Some of your past interviewees. Ryan Alice [SP] is one of first

speaker for the first year or two. He spoke about 20 times.

Andrew: Founder of Eye Contact.

Michael: Adam Witty. He’d be a great person for you to interview if you

haven’t already, started Advantage Media Group, and he actually helped

found that company during that first year. And Ephren Taylor. I think you

might have interviewed him as well. And Doug Faith, a good friend and a

real estate entrepreneur, so people like who has really set the bar over a

million dollars in revenue.

Andrew: So, how’d you meet these guys? How’d you meet Ryan Alice?

Michael: We met at a collegiate entrepreneur organization conference when I

think I was 20 and he was 18, so he had just . . .

Andrew: And by then, he already did a million dollars in sales.

Michael: Well, I remember a very funny thing. So I met him, like, November

of his freshman year, and he was saying he was a contractor for this other

company. He’s going to start email marketing company that’s going to be a

million dollars in revenue by this time next year. I just remember thinking

he was really cocky because how he said it was like it had already happened

and he was acting as if and basically, literally within a year to a few

days, he made that happened.

Andrew: Wow. Right, right. He did talked about that in the interview.

People have got to see that interview. That guy is so good at saying: this

is what I want to be at that time, and then making it happen. He said in

his interview, that first interview that I did with him. He told that story

that you just said, but he also said, here’s what I’m going to be in the

future, and he gave a deadline, how much revenue he’s going to earn, and

check out the interview and see what happened. Unbelievable story. So you

basically go on events, you’re meeting these entrepreneurs, and they’re

becoming friends of yours, and at the time they’re just getting started, so

you’re able to connect with them and bring them on board. Then you have to

call up the schools and get them to pay. That’s a tough customer. A school

with limited budget. How are you getting them to say yes?

Michael: Well, one thing is we had 1/4 price we do now, so that helped a

little bit. And . . .

Andrew: What did you charge the school?

Michael: $2500.

Andrew: They paid 2500 and you bring an RV full of entrepreneurs in to give

a presentation.

Michael: Exactly. So, we had three speakers and two event staff. So,

basically it’s just a really good deal. We were losing money in those

first, although we didn’t really value our time at the time, so we thought

we were breaking even, but really we weren’t. So, we were losing money, but

it helped us get reference clients and go forward.

Andrew: Did you have to pay the speakers?

Michael: I think some of them, and then some of them were just, had been

friends.

Andrew: And they sleep on the RV?

Michael: No, we stop at hotels. Sometimes, if we’re driving from one part

of the country to another. Some entrepreneurs just come for one event then

leave and some will go on a string of events and be with the R.V. as it

goes across the country. [??] able to get that bus though. We just weren’t

able to get enough schools to get it. That actually was really difficult.

We had to call everyone up and say we weren’t going to get the bus. It was

after that first year we got the bus.

Andrew: I see. Were there any entrepreneurs who started dating women in

college, that they were going to go and date the students. You don’t have

to give me their names, but there were. I can see it in your eyes.

Michael. One speaker who hooked up with a student.

Andrew: Just once.

Michael: Nothing else.

Andrew: I see, OK. I imagine also coming off stage they feel like rock

stars, the audience wants be them, they want to date them, is that

happening?

Michael: Yeah, not that I know of.

Andrew: Not that you’re willing to say or not that you know of?

Michael: What was that?

Andrew: Not that you’re willing to say or not that you know of?

Michael: None that I know of.

Andrew: Maybe, that was just my fantasy. I remember being a dork in college

and thinking, why is everyone really admiring these musicians who’d come

into school to sing, or these chumps who would come in to teach us about

storytelling? They should all be admiring entrepreneurs. One day, I’m going

to be the entrepreneur up on stage here, then all these girls who are

ignoring me are going to want to see me afterwards. They’re going to want

to date me. All these guys who are ignoring me are going to want to be me

or go into business with me. All those people who have nothing to say to me

are finally going to have some conversation that they could have with me.

All right, maybe I’m imposing my background on your story here, so let’s go

back to your story.

Michael: I had a girlfriend the entire time, so I’ve never had any

attention my way.

Andrew: You were what the entire time, sorry?

Michael: I had a girlfriend the entire time I included that in my speech.

Andrew: I see.

Michael: My partner Arel has had people make approaches on him, but he has

a girlfriend.

Andrew: OK. All right, but still, you’re cold calling schools and you’re

trying to get them to pay you 2500 bucks to bring in these entrepreneurs.

What was that like?

Michael: It’s really difficult. I think part of the challenge is we didn’t

really know how to do sales. I grew up during the dotcom boom so everyone

was coming to us as clients hadn’t fully accepted that sales is a really

important part of getting started. It shouldn’t just be that you make a few

sales calls, you should be spending over 80 or 90% of your time making

sales calls. I think that was the hardest transition, is getting to be

someone whose afraid of sales and contacting people to going to really

enjoying it and building relationships with people. At some level there’s

nothing beyond just doing it, and getting better, that made it enjoyable.

Andrew: So, it was just over and over picking up the phone and practicing

by calling another prospect?

Michael: Yeah, exactly.

Andrew: How did you even know who to call?

Michael: A big part was going to industry conferences as well as being a

speaker or being an exhibitor. That’s how we could get a lot of warm leads,

people interested in the tour.

Andrew: I see and that’s something that you told me about before the

interview, that people need to understand that by speaking they can build

credibility which leads to sales which leads to partnerships. Tell me a

little but about this. Give me some advice on how I can do it or our

audience can do it.

Michael: Let me think of a few specific examples. Two things; first

whatever type of business you are, there’s stakeholders you want to get the

attention of, whether it’s investors, customers, potential partners.

Chances are there’s an industry association where all of them get together.

In the tech industry people know, obviously, TechCrunch and other ones.

Your customers get together. As a young entrepreneur it’s really, I think,

easy to become a keynote speaker. Not that it doesn’t take time and effort,

but if you present yourself as a credible speaker that can be engaging to

the audience, Instead of being an exhibitor, where you’re trying to sell to

everyone on a level below, you can be a speaker where everyone in the room

is going to know who you are. If you have a product, an enterprise company,

where you’re charging $50,000 per product, and you’re speaking to 400

people as the expert, that can be really game changing.

Andrew: What did you do to get to speak at these events? Did you just call

them up and say that you wanted to speak?

Michael: One, I would say, is building relationships with them over time,

so going to them. When I go to conferences, I’m always looking at the event

organizers, to build a relationship with them, and all the event staff as

well. So that when it’s time to make a decision about who the speaker is,

they know us and we’re going to be in the mix. I’d say that’s one element.

I think another thing is having the basics of a credible speaker:

professional headshots, a website with a bio that reads the right way.

We’re an expert on the topic that the conference is about, we have a book

which helps build your credibility. We have testimonials of other speakers,

references of other students who’ve attended our events, and hosted or

brought us in, and a list of the number of engagements we’ve been to.

Andrew: I see. All right. By the way, are you still nervous to get in front

of an audience?

Michael: Yeah, I still have the anxiousness.

Andrew: To this day.

Michael: Yeah, definitely. But it’s a lot less that it was before.

Andrew: So, how do you give a good presentation if you’re a person who’s

not a natural at it, who can’t wait to get up on stage, who feels alive on

stage and that feels like your element?

Michael: That’s a really good question. One thing that I do, is before my

talks, I get in the ‘state.’ Have you been to Anthony Robbin’s conference

before?

Andrew: Yeah.

Michael: So you know all about the ‘state.’

Andrew: So you get in the right state, what do you do, what’s your trigger

to get in state?

Michael: For the tour events, we get in the back room and we basically jump

up. We have a trigger, an action we do to get ourselves in that state. We

make a lot of noise, and just get in the state. In my experience, and I’m

curious if you have this too, once you get on stage, you feel a lot more

comfortable. So it’s the beginning part where there’s the most anxiety.

Having that beginning part planned and starting strong really sets you up.

You can have where the audience likes you, they’re responding to you and

you’re unique, then it’s so much easier than if you give a slow start, you

stutter, the audience is saying in the back of their mind, “This is going

to be boring,” they’re already pulling out their cell phones, then you have

to fight against momentum.

Andrew: What’s the trigger for you? What’s your thing? What does Tony Robin

say, that’s you’re supposed to hit your chest, or do a slap, what’s your

thing?

Michael: So, at the conference, Tony Robbin’s conference, you set up a

trigger. You imagine you see an ambulance in the background, like the

lighting when you’re driving, all of the sudden your heart changes and you

get in a whole different state. And that is just purely done by seeing

something. So you want to create a similar trigger in your body. I’d have

to stand up to do it, but basically jumping up and down, say ‘Yes!’, do

your move, when it’s at the conference.

Andrew: All right, so you call up these schools. What did you learn about

sales that helped you close all these sales?

Michael: Just overall, some basically principles I learned? One I remember,

Adam Witty’s original partner said, “80% of sales are closed after the

fifth attempt.” So, always just assumed that you contact people once or

twice and then you’re done, and I didn’t want to offend people. And now I’m

relentless in following up with people. You just follow up really nicely

and people really don’t mind. Another basic rule that I feel like

transformed things is you spend 80% of your time listening, so asking

questions. I think those two things alone, and making the sales calls, had

a really, really big impact.

Andrew: And still there was a time when you called up a high school lady,

let me see what you said to Jeremy, our producer. You were asking questions

and it came across awkward, and you didn’t want to stop asking questions

and start promoting because you didn’t want to sound like a used car

salesman. What happened there?

Michael: I just remember one particular call when I was just learning how

to do this. I was just asking questions about their organization, and I

don’t think I set the context right. I think they seemed random to her, so

she said, “Why are you asking me these questions? What are you trying to

get at?” And I remember feeling really bad and awkward, and stuttering, and

I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t want to seem like I was selling them

something, basically. I think now I feel very comfortable selling, because

that’s why we’re on the call. Not trying to hide that. I phrase it now as

seeing if there’s a good fit. If there’s not, that’s fine, but that’s what

we’re exploring.

Andrew: I see. So, before you even get into the questions, you say, “Look.

This is what I put together. I wanted to call you up to see if it’s a good

fit for your school.” Then you start asking questions that will help you

both determine whether it’s a good fit.

Michael: Yeah. If it’s not a good fit, I completely understand. I’m thick-

skinned, just tell me at any time. That makes them feel comfortable as

well, that I’m not going to go through this huge [??] they’re going to have

to listen to it.

Andrew: What kind of questions help you get someone to a yes?

Michael: My favorite system is the Sandler Sales System. Have you ever

heard of that system?

Andrew: No, tell me.

Michael: I love it because it’s a system that works, and it’s not a hard

sell. Basically, the upfront is you establish an upfront commitment of

saying how long the call is going to be, that they can say no, and that’s

fine. That’s part of the system. The next part is establishing the pain,

and just trying to understand what makes people buy is emotion, not

intellectually knowing something. Trying to understand why they would buy

something. What pain are you solving, and really trying to dig down.

Part of the system is calling people on it, so if they say, “I was

interested in your product because I think it could do xyz.” I might say,

“Well, it seems like you already have xyz. It sounds like you don’t really

even need anything. What makes us valuable?” or something like that.

Another thing is just seeing who the decision makers are, seeing what their

budget is. One thing I really like at the end of it is the thermometer. I

should also say, I don’t always follow it 100 percent, but I mainly hit on

all the areas. “Based on our conversation, on a scale from one to ten, how

interested are you in moving forward? One being not interested at all,

we’ll never talk again, to ten being, you’re ready go forward right away.”

You can see where somebody is because a lot of times, basically, people

have difficulty saying no or breaking rapport. I always do this. I hate

breaking rapport, so I’m just going to say, “It sounds good. Let me get

back to you.” You just want to see where they are. If they’re below five,

then it’s probably not worth following up with them. If there’s a six or a

seven, you might ask, “OK, great. What would make you a ten? What would

make you really excited?” Then they’ll basically tell you the thing that

you need to do in order for it to be a good fit.

Andrew: You mentioned earlier that part of the Sandler method for doing

sales is finding out what people’s pain is. What pain do people have that

the Extreme Entrepreneurship tour solved?

Michael: That’s a really good question. Took a few years to realize that.

We’re really good with working with rural schools who are just launching an

entrepreneurship program, or who want to grow it.

We go in with a national program into this area, and we’re able to get lots

of campus media, local CBS or NBC affiliates. We’re able to get a buzz

across campus, so people in the community know the event’s going to be

happening. We come in with a bus. People in the community have already seen

the bus go through the community. They don’t have the local network of

young entrepreneurs who they can pull from.

To give you an example, I mentioned that first event in Elko, Nevada. I

think it was about seven hours driving distance to the nearest Wal-Mart.

It’s literally like you pack everyone up, and you go for a day of shopping.

That’s a very rural community, but you think about those type of

communities. It’s hard to get big name speakers, or even local young

entrepreneurs to speak, because they’re in major cities generally.

Andrew: I see. So the pain is that they want to bring entrepreneurship to

their schools, but they don’t have entrepreneurs to actually talk and to

give presentations, to talk to the students, and get to know them. You

bring that in.

Michael: I realize I didn’t even answer directly to the pain, so I think

the pain result specifically, is we help them promote their

entrepreneurship offering. You’re just being programmed. You’re creating a

corpse or a major, and you want people to sign up for that. You want people

from across campus to sign up for that. How do you get people excited about

that?

We’re really good at getting attendees, and then once we have the room,

people will get really excited about entrepreneurship. The niche we’re

filling overall in the entrepreneurship ecosystem is, how do you get the

98% of people on most college campuses, outside of Stanford and Babson

[SP], who don’t really even realize that entrepreneurship is possibility?

They’ve only been told about getting a job. How do you expose those people

to entrepreneurship, and have a paradigm shift?

Most of the resources in the field are towards taking somebody who’s

already interested, and helping them be more successful, and giving them

the technical skills. That’s how we see ourselves fitting in.

Andrew: What kind of questions do you ask that get your prospect to tell

you about that pain? You can’t just come out and say, “Do you need us to

come into town and bring entrepreneurs in?” or “Do you need us to help

promote your entrepreneurship courses?” Do you?

Michael: Well, I feel like now is a little bit different because we’ve done

over 300 of these half-day events, and hundreds of other keynotes.

Generally, we can understand their pain pretty quickly. I feel like it’s

more in the beginning stages where we really have to go deeper into the

pain.

Andrew: What kind of questions, back then, would you ask that would uncover

this pain?

Michael: That’s a really good question. One question I ask, I’m thinking

more recently, was in our Impact Summit. I try to understand. The most

obvious question you probably hear all the time is, “What keeps you up at

night? What’s your biggest challenge day to day?” I think that’s the

question I use to at least start the conversation. Once everybody starts

talking about it, try and understand it. Is it something that just a little

bit bothers them, or is this the thing that keeps them up at night and

worries them?

Andrew: I see. That’s a good question. I’m seeing entrepreneurs ask that a

lot. “Andrew, what keeps you up at night?” is something from people a lot.

You’re saying as a follow-up, find out how important that is, how painful

that really is to them.

Michael: Yeah, how important would that be for you to solve?

Andrew: All right, so you bring this bus of entrepreneurs in. You start

doing the first ones. How do they go?

Michael: They went really well. What was our first one? It was Belmont

University in Nashville, Tennessee. We had Ephren Taylor and Doug Faith.

Andrew: You had Tom Szaky of Terracycle?

Michael: I think he was definitely there that first season, I think number

ten of that season. We had some great entrepreneurs there. It was a ton of

fun. On a personal level, I felt like the biggest way, personally, that

could make a difference is inspiring other entrepreneurs. I felt like it

was really purposeful. I got to spend time with entrepreneurs that were the

same age, and I really respected. It was awesome.

Andrew: You mentioned the RV that you got for the first tour that you did,

which was 2006 I think. Do I have that right?

Michael: Yep, end of 2006.

Andrew: 2006. Then in 2007, you decide to buy an RV. Why’d you buy an RV?

Michael: Basically, we wanted to be more than just a speaker or an event

you bring, but we felt like the story, the image of a bus, told more about

this tour or going across the country.

Actually, it was extremely powerful. I learned a lot from it because when

people were thinking about bringing us in, they were like, “Oh, we want to

bring in the bus.” That’s what a lot of people said, and still say. It’s

not even about the young entrepreneurs or the content. I think it’s what

the bus represents.

We put that bus in the emails when we started. You’d put the bus in the

email, and you’d get a huge response from it. We sent out an email to

people, and get 24 leads from it of people who were interested.

Andrew: I see. Wow, it’s amazing how something so simple and so indirectly

connected to the product, becomes the representation of the product.

Michael: Yeah.

Andrew: But you had an issue where you – I don’t know how to trigger this

conversation. Why don’t we talk about how you purchased it. Maybe that’s a

good way to do it. Why you had to put it on your credit cards.

Michael: Well, that was a time when we had bad credit.

Andrew: Why’d you have bad credit, by the way?

Michael: I don’t think I realized the importance of credit in college, so I

just wasn’t always good at paying bills on time. Just the amount of credit

cards we had, the amount of the credit cards we were using, the percentage

of the available balance we were using; we just weren’t able to qualify for

an RV loan. It would have made it a lot easier to put down ten percent, and

pay it over 15 years if you want to.

Andrew: Instead, you had to pay it all at once.

Michael: We had to pay it all at once.

Andrew: How much was it?

Michael: I think it was $65,000 or something like that. $65,000, but then

you have to pay for the wrapping of it, stuff like that. So, if you’re just

starting in business…

Andrew: How did you get that money?

Michael: One was through credit cards, a little bit of it. We found out

there’s a lending category called ‘micro-loans’, because the banks weren’t

lending to us. A lot of non-profit organizations that will give you, let’s

say 10% interest, so a little bit higher than the bank, and I think we got

$25,000 that way. One organization that we got that from was CAMBA, which

is just a micro-loan organization in Brooklyn, so that was helpful. We

asked my mom, of course she said no.

Andrew: [laughs]

Michael: We just asked all of our friends. So, the day before, we had to

get it in order to have the season, I just remember being really stressed.

We were still down $20,000, and we were just like, “This isn’t going to

happen.” We have to have this bus somewhere next week, but some people came

through last minute. They were people who were willing to support, but they

wanted to see that we exhausted every other option before going to them, so

they came through.

Andrew: What kind of people?

Michael: One was a mentor, and the other one was just a friend who’s an

entrepreneur has extra money. And that’s how we got started.

Andrew: What other organizations give micro-loans to entrepreneurs?

Michael: The best way to find that out is the industry association for

micro-lending, and it’s called the Association of Enterprise Opportunity,

and their website is microenterpriseworks.org. They have a searcher where

you can search for ones in your area. So it’s a really good source if you

need like ten to fifteen thousand dollars, and you don’t have collateral

and you don’t have good credit history, it’s a good way to get income if

you’re an entrepreneur.

Andrew: One of the things I’ve always admired about you, Michael, is that

you know resources like this, that the rest of us wouldn’t even be aware

that this was an option. You not only know it’s an option, but you know the

industry association, and you know a few organizations within it that you

should talk to, always amazes me.

Michael: Well it’s one of my favorite things is trying to get the big

picture on things, and find the resources, and connect them, and meet

different people.

Andrew: I don’t know how you do that stuff. Let me ask you this, I’m

skipping ahead a little bit. How did you even get to the White House? How

do you end up putting together an organization to get into the White House?

It’s not like renting the Ritz. I mean, you have to work some kind of

network, in order to put together an event that the White House partners up

with.

Michael: Well, it was kind of the perfect timing, the perfect storm. It was

a combination of introductions, and building relationships, just like any

other relationship. One thing I love doing is making introductions wherever

I can, just being helpful, basic relationship building. We hosted our event

at the White House, we partnered with their department of youth engagement,

as part of their Champions of Change series, celebrating young change-

makers. So this is something that happened to fit right into that, and it’s

a great partnership.

Andrew: So they had an initiative where they wanted to encourage

entrepreneurs to be more entrepreneurial, and they said, “Here’s an

organization that’s doing it, we’re going to give them our space and our

credibility to encourage them to grow.” And the reason you found out about

it was that you had a friend who knew about it.

Michael: Yeah, basically. We got multiple introductions, through a friend,

through somebody else in the government as well.

Andrew: Who else?

Michael: What do you mean who else?

Andrew: Give me more details on this. So, last night I was at this dinner

that was put on by a friend of mine who earlier in the day took some

entrepreneurs to the White House for some event that he put together, and

then they were celebrating with drinks at a friend’s house. I said, how the

hell do you get into the White House? How many people who are listening to

me would benefit from putting together organizations that then had access

to the White House? The credibility that comes from that is stunning, it’s

on your home page for a reason.

Michael: [??] credibility. It’s also really difficult, because basically

it’s not an equal relationship, because it’s much higher on the totem pole,

and they’re also extremely busy, so I’m aware that we’re not the highest

item. But I think it worked because it fit in. I think the better you

understand all the initiatives that the government is doing, [??] is doing,

whether it’s around young people or whether it’s around veterans, if you

could help with that process, then I think you’re in good shape. If you

just want to host an event at the White House, unrelated to anything, then

it’s probably impossible.

Andrew: Here’s what I’m getting from this. It’s a lot more complicated than

we can get into with the few more minutes left in this interview, but if I

want to do this, like a Mixergy White House event, I’m just going to reach

out to you and I’ll ask you and we’ll sit down and strategize. If anyone

else wants to do something like that, they need to find a reason to make it

worth your while to sit down with them and strategize with them directly

and have the conversation that leads to it. Does that sound about right?

Michael: That sounds right.

Andrew: All right. I have no interest in doing the White House event now,

but it’s impressive that you were able to do it. Maybe, we should do it,

Mixergy at the White House. Let’s stay focused, I guess. So, you do the

first one. You get your boss, you get your (?) for the second one. What’s

the next big milestone for you guys?

Michael: Hmm.

Andrew: Was it increasing rates?

Michael: To expand, so we started doing lots of events and growing the

company. I feel like we hit on something that hit a nerve and have now been

in over 45 different states. Lots of war stories, from the bus breaking

down to 60 mile per hour winds and great experiences. I feel like, to be

honest, no other really big changes were made in the tour after that.

Andrew: And it’s ongoing. Still, this year, you guys, did you do it

already?

Michael: Yeah. We had another(?) tour event on Saturday.

Andrew: And you’re still going to every event?

Michael: I haven’t. Well, one of our things is it has to be under 30. I’m

30 now, turned last November, so I’ve probably been to just a handful of

events in the past two years, but our partner, Arel Moodie, is literally

one of the best speakers I ever met. He can take an audience that has never

heard of entrepreneurship, they’ve got three hours of sleep, and do a high

energy event. That’s his number one passion in the world, so it’s a good

partnership.

Andrew: The $40,000 in debt that we talked about in the beginning of this

interview, that came from basically the RV and other expenses around your

business?

Michael: Yeah, and living expenses, too. We basically. . . In retrospect,

maybe, we should have had a part-time consulting engagement, or something,

but wanted to go full into the business, and maybe thought that we’d get

clients sooner than we did.

Andrew: Mm-hmm.

Michael: We were using credit card debts to live, as well.

Andrew: All right. Did you pay it off yet?

Michael: Yeah, it’s paid off.

Andrew: You did.

Michael: Probably a few years ago.

Andrew: How many?

Michael: A few years ago.

Andrew: A few years ago. Are you fully debt free?

Michael: No, definitely not.

Andrew: OK.

Michael: It’s a long story. We purchased a condo, and then it didn’t make

sense to sell it because we wouldn’t have made money on it. So, have the

condo now and in the process of purchasing a house, so have more debt than

ever, but it’s for a house.

Andrew: That’s a different kind of debt than credit card debt from buying

an RV. All right. Well, let me see this. Let me see if there’s anything

else here in my notes. Did I miss anything that we needed to bring up,

anything that you think is important to tell entrepreneurs who want to

either. . .

Well, here’s a question, actually. A friend of mine told me that when he

watches speakers, he takes notes on their presentation skills and little

tactics that they use to win over the audience or communicate their ideas

in an interesting way. I’ve started doing that, too, in a note here, in

Evernote. Do you have a couple of tips that you’ve noticed? Do you do

something like that, too?

Michael: Yeah. I would say starting out with a really strong beginning. It

depends on the kind of talk. . .

Andrew: Well, what do you do to start off with a strong beginning?

Michael: The thing I do is, “Who here wants to make $1 million? Raise your

hands.” Everyone’s raising their hands, they’re already moving. “Who here

wants to do something you’re extremely passionate about everyday?” Everyone

raises their hands. “Who here wants to make a difference? All right. Well,

today I’m going to talk about how you can do all of those things, not in 10

years, not in 5 years, but right away through starting a business.” That’s

the very beginning, and then (?), “Who here wants this $10 bill?”

Andrew: So, first of all, telling students that they could earn $1 million

quickly, that gets them excited.

Michael: Yeah.

Andrew: Of course.

Michael: “Who here would like to be a millionaire.”

Andrew: Right.

Michael: So, showing how entrepreneurship is arguably the most powerful

vehicle for doing those things. You’ve gotten them to raise their hands, so

it’s a call and a response. I think if you can have some sort of call and

response, to get people to raise their hand, and things like that, that way

you develop a rapport right away and you’re different. You’re not just

knocking on the microphone and be like, “Is this thing on? How are you

doing?”

Andrew: What’s the ten dollar thing that you do?

Michael: What’s that?

Andrew: What’s the ten dollar thing?

Michael: So, we do, “Who here wants this ten dollar bill?” And we see,

everyone raises their hand, and say, “Who here wants this ten dollar bill?”

And everyone raises their hand again, and then you keep on saying it until

somebody comes up and then sometimes two people run and grab it and you

say, you give it to them and you do a round of applause and say, “So many

people say they want something, they want the ten dollar bill, you want

this goal, but so few people actually take action and follow it. And if

there’s one thing that we want to leave with you today is that everything

we tell you, these entrepreneurs you see, it’s not valuable unless you take

action. So, that’s one way we’re already the audience is moving around and

they’re interested.

Andrew: All right, what about Arel? What does he do? What’s one tactic that

you’ve seen him do, that you say, “Boy that’s really good. I’ve got to

either find a way to do it, if it’s not awkward that I’m stealing from him,

or I’ve got to file that away to come up with my own version.”

Michael: I believe those things Aral helped develop. You have to develop it

around your personality. Arel is somebody who is the kind of person if

you’re at a party and somebody’s like, “Who wants to sing a song or do

something?” He loves doing it. He starts off by standing on a chair in the

back of the room. So, instead of coming from the front of the room and just

going on in front of the podium, he starts talking on top of a chair. So,

right away, everyone looks behind them and they’re like, “Where’s that

sound coming from?” And you already have everyone’s attention and he runs

up. But, I think if you can give away little things, if you can give away

prizes, and one rule that I’ve always had in the back of my mind which I

liked, is, let me see if I remember it. One is try to limit your talk to

one to three main points, instead of jumping all over and having like, here

are the 20 bullet points to do this. Even three is probably too much.

People will really just remember a little bit. And for every point you want

to get across, have a story that explains that point. And then, have an

activity that gets that point across.

Andrew: So, a point, story, activity. Give me an example of a point, and a

story that you tell with it along with an activity.

Michael: Take action. I know this isn’t important without taking action,

and activity is the ten dollar bill. You get people to move around, and

then a story. Actually, I just spoke at my high school. I was there for the

first time after 12 years last week, and I was thinking about, what is the

one story I can tell and one thing that I can leave. So, I told a personal

story about how in high school I never had a girlfriend. I never asked

anyone out, and I thought my way to be successful like getting a girlfriend

was learning how to dance. I just pictured myself going on the dance floor,

going in the center, I’d be the center of attention. I bought a lot of

amazon.com videos from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, literally did all of this

and just tried to practice, and it never worked.

In high school, I never even had he confidence to try out the moves because

I was so nervous, and then finally when I got to college I was just

frustrating myself. Is there ever something that you really want to do and

you know you should do it, but you just don’t have the confidence. That

kind of eats away at you. So, for the first time ever I asked somebody out.

It was during Orientation Week at NYU. You’re meeting lots of people, but

also this person is very attractive, great conversation, I’m going to ask

them out. I’m going to try something new. She said, yes, and now 12 years

later Sheena is my business partner and wife. And so, it’s important to

take action because you never know where else it will take you.

Andrew: Good point. It’s a great place to leave it to. All right. Before I

tell the audience where they can follow up and see more about you and what

you’ve been working on, I should say that if you want to go to the next

level with us here at Mixergy, go to MixergyPremium.com. That’s where I

bring in entrepreneurs to teach one topic that they’re especially good at,

that you as an entrepreneur need to learn. We focus on it by having them

turn on their computer screen or having them walk us through step by step

how they do it.

So, if you watch this interview and you want to learn more about sales, for

example, we’ve got a course on sales where we walk you through step by step

on how to do it. If there’s something that we didn’t cover that’s a

challenge for you, like how to increase conversions, I’ve got the founder

of Optimizely most recently teaching specifically how you can take a

landing page that you’ve got on your site right now that’s designed to get

more leads, and if it’s not working, what to do to actually make it work to

increase conversions on that. Or if you have a landing page that’s designed

to sell, and it’s not selling enough, listen to Dan teach you how you can

increase sales there.

Those two courses and dozens, literally dozens of other courses taught by

proven entrepreneurs are available at MixergyPremium.com. If you’re already

a member, you get access to them all for free as part of your membership.

If you’re not, I hope you join us by going to MixergyPremium.com.

Michael, if people want to find out more about what you’re working on, is

the best site to send them to iEmpact.com?

Michael: Yep. That’s exactly right. It’s I-E-M as in man-P-A-C-T.com,

iEmpact.com.

Andrew: Cool. And thank you for doing this interview.

Michael: Thank you very much.

Andrew: Cool. Thank you all for watching.

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  • Anonymous

    Andrew thank you for filling that gap again, for those of us who do not live in entrepreneurial community :). That is why I love the web so much, even if you don’t, you can often find the right community somewhere online.

    Thanks doing the interview Michael, great stuff.

  • http://mixergy.com Andrew Warner

    Thanks.

  • http://meditationdestination.com/ Cheri

    Andrew – Looking forward to this interview!  Can we still download the audio?  I used to be able to do that – but somehow I’m not seeing that option.  Is it still available?  I like to listen when I’m walking my dog.  Thanks!

  • http://mixergy.com Andrew Warner

    Yes. There’s a link above the video that should work. Let me know if you don’t see it.