- When building a team, your new team member should be someone that you would invite over to your house for dinner.
- Just because you’ve heard someone say something previously, doesn’t mean if you hear them say it 10 months from now that it won’t resonate with you. You can get something different out of it because you’re in a different place.
- Steve has set his goal to finish his coffee table quote book this year.
- An entrepreneur should never love a product or service, they should love problems and solving them. In order to be a successful entrepreneur, someone has to buy your product or service, otherwise it’s just a hobby.
- Juliet said Steve was right.
- Hire a business coach. Tiger Woods is the greatest golfer in the world, and he has a coach. Just because you’re doing well doesn’t mean that you don’t need a coach.
- Every decision that you make is either moving you towards your goal or away from your goal.
- The most successful entrepreneurs are those who are never afraid to say “I don’t know,” and then go and ask somebody to help them. As entrepreneurs, our pride can get in the way, and there’s a lot of value in saying “I don’t know that” to yourself and others.
- The best book to read is the one that’s closest to you, and read everything you can.
- When it’s working right, a family business can be the greatest thing, but when it’s not working it really doesn’t work.
- 70% of all businesses that fail were profitable when they went out of business.
- Most entrepreneurs only deal with one facet of their industry, product, or service. If you’re looking for something different to do and you are already familiar with one industry, it doesn’t mean that you have to jump into a new industry to start something new.
Today, co-hosts become guests and reflect on the interesting conversations that have happened during the first 11 episodes on the Smart Man Smarter Woman Podcast. Ten years of being persistent in business and life together, to winning awards, and launching Kninja (the “K” is silent) to writing the book “The Kninja Way – Our Journey to the Firm of the Future,” and the journey is still far from over.
Smart Man, Smarter Woman References
We talk about a lot in each episode; however, we don’t want you to miss a thing! Here are some key items were mentioned if you want to take a closer look.
The Kninja Way – Our Journey to the Firm of the Future
Kninja Knetwork Accounting Professionals
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Steve Loates: Hello all and welcome to another episode of Smart Men, Smarter Woman, a podcast for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs. And thank you for joining us today. I am Steve Loates.
Juliet Aurora: And I am Juliet Aurora.
Steve Loates: And we are your co-hosts. And for this episode, we are also your guests. We have now recorded our first 11 episodes, woo hoo.
Juliet Aurora: Woo hoo.
Steve Loates: This is number 12. Yeah, we’re pretty [00:00:30] excited. There were some points when we weren’t sure we were going to get to this point, but we did, and that’s awesome. And since our purpose, as we mention in every episode, is to help other entrepreneurs, we thought that today we would share some of our own insights about what we have learned so far over those first episodes, things that we heard from some of our guests that have really stuck with us, perhaps some [00:01:00] golden nuggets from the guests that we really think are worth sharing for a second time and that there was lots of value in them. But before we actually start to get into it today, let’s hear from my wonderful co-host, the person that has been here with me every minute on every episode, whether she likes it or not, the smarter woman herself, Juliet. How are you doing today, Juliet?
Juliet Aurora: I am excellent, thank you. And you really do [00:01:30] have to stop sending out the message that I don’t want to be here. We keep hearing that over and over again. Yes, you did have to spend a lot of time convincing me to actually start this podcast, and I think more than anything else, it was just we had and have so many things going on all the time that in my head, it was just, “Oh my God, how are we going to do another thing?” But I think we’ve gotten a lot of great feedback from [00:02:00] the listeners that are out there and join us every week and I’m having fun as well. So, we could probably take out the piece now every week where it talks about how hard you had to convince me to do this.
Steve Loates: Okay, Juliet. I will try my very best, but part of the reason I share that is because it makes me smile every time I say it, so it’s probably a little self indulgent. But anyway, here we are. And as I [00:02:30] mentioned, again, this is for and about entrepreneurs, and so maybe we could start off a little bit, and not doing a deep dive on every past episode, I think that would be a waste of everyone’s time, because if they want to listen to the episode, they’re all on our website, right? Smartmansmarterwoman.com. Did you like that segue, Juliet?
Juliet Aurora: That was perfect. Perfect.
Steve Loates: Thank you.
Juliet Aurora: So, I’ll let you start because I have something that I’d like to share about, or maybe I’ll go first. How about I just go first?
Steve Loates: Absolutely. Ladies [00:03:00] first, as always.
Juliet Aurora: Well, so one of, I think, the biggest insights for me, for those of you that have known Steve and I for a while or have followed us along in our journey over the last several years, you know that we were doing or you would know that we were doing a weekly Facebook Live which was called Wine and Whiskey Wednesday. And we did that for about a year and a half, kind of, we felt like it had kind of reached the end of its lifecycle, so ended that and then started the podcast. But what [00:03:30] I found as I look back at what we did with Wine and Whiskey Wednesday versus what we’re doing here, a couple of big differences stood out for me.
One is that Wine and Whiskey Wednesday was mostly attended and geared towards our industry. So, we’re obviously in the accounting bookkeeping space, and so there were a lot of people, and probably the majority of our audience, who were in the industry. Yes, we had a couple of guests sometimes who weren’t, but I would say that the main focus across the year [00:04:00] and a half that we did Wine and Whiskey Wednesday was people within the industry. And with this podcast, that has shifted. Yes, we still have some people who are in our industry, but we have a lot more people who are not. And that was one of the things that worried me about the podcast, was that we were venturing outside of our industry, and could we still value to those outside of our industry?
And what I’m finding interesting is how much I’m enjoying the discussions with the people who are [00:04:30] not in our industry. And please don’t take any offense if you are in our industry, it doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy speaking with you, but just because it is so different. And I guess that the other thing is that I’m realizing that the industry really doesn’t matter, that the challenges are the same, the stories are the same. The only thing that matters or that varies is the product or service that’s being sold. And so just wanted to kind of draw that parallel because for me, it’s been an interesting learning.
Steve Loates: Yeah. [00:05:00] And I would agree with that. I’m really enjoying it, and I thought I would, but I’m actually enjoying it even more than I thought I would. And what I’m really enjoying is exactly what you just said, is meeting different entrepreneurs from different areas of business who, without this podcast, we would never get an opportunity to speak to them and speak with them and learn from them. And there’s just so [00:05:30] many great ideas, so many common experiences, good and bad, which as an entrepreneur, as you know, quite often you feel like you’re alone on that island. And so it is refreshing and comforting to speak with some people who you can go, “Yeah, okay. I remember that. I experienced that same thing.”
I think probably for me, the main reason why I wanted to start this podcast is [00:06:00] I’ve been an entrepreneur my entire business career. Well, I guess all but the first couple of years of it. And so being an entrepreneur has been very good to me. It’s given me a great life, I’ve been able to travel all around the world, and I’ve done reasonably well. And so I wanted to do something where I felt like we were giving a little back to that entrepreneurial community. And I hope we’re doing that with this podcast and that we will [00:06:30] continue to do that going forward.
But I must say the one biggest frustration I have with podcasting is the fact that I don’t know if anyone is listening. You can laugh, but we don’t, right?
Juliet Aurora: Well, no, okay. So, we know that my mom is listening, and we know that my dad is listening, and a handful of people who are in this [crosstalk 00:06:48] we know they’re listening because they told us that they’re listening.
Steve Loates: Right. No, and I understand, and we do get feedback. We’ve had people [00:07:00] send us emails and talk to us and tell us they’re enjoying it, and we know we’re getting downloads of the podcast. But really, does everyone who download it listen to it? Do they get something from it? I wish there was some way, and maybe this is a hint, guys, send us an email. Go to the website.
Juliet Aurora: And I think that people can also review and make comments on the various platforms too, can’t they? Or am I thinking of something completely different?
Steve Loates: No, no, I believe [00:07:30] so. I think you’re right. Anyway, I mean, it’s not a big deal. I think we’re going to continue doing this until we don’t want to do it anymore. And so, as long as we feel like we’re helping a little, sharing a little, and we’re still enjoying it, and as you said, having fun, which I think is very important, then we continue doing it.
Juliet Aurora: I think we’re also learning [00:08:00] from the guests that we have coming on board with us. So, it may be that when we stop learning anything, that maybe we move on to something different, but hopefully, that won’t be for a long time.
Steve Loates: Yeah, I believe that is referred to as dead. That’s when you stop learning, at least that’s my theory. I believe that we learn every day of our life, and there’s active learning, Where you go out and you’re actually making an effort to try and learn something. But we learn stuff when [00:08:30] we’re not even trying to learn stuff, right? Just like something happens and you go, “Oh, okay, there’s another learning and I like that or not.”
Juliet Aurora: Okay. So, I’m going to ask you a tough question.
Steve Loates: Oh, oh.
Juliet Aurora: So, we’ve had so many interesting guests over the last 11 episodes, I guess 10, because the first episode was us, right? So, we’ve had 10 guests. Out of the 10 guests that we’ve had or across all the 10 conversations that we’ve had, do you-
Steve Loates: I don’t like where this is going, Juliet.
Juliet Aurora: Do [00:09:00] you have a key takeaway across all of the 10 episodes?
Steve Loates: Wow, you know I do. And this one may surprise you, because I don’t think it’s going to be quite as profound as you’d like it to be. And I think it’s stuck with me also because of what we’ve been going through over the last few weeks. So, that might be why. And within our own business, we’ve been going through a hiring [00:09:30] process, we’ve been looking to add a new team member, so we’ve been very involved in interviewing and selecting. And so building a team and interviewing has been very much top of mind for me for the last couple of weeks.
And we talked about team and hiring people with a number of our guests, not just one, but I remember our very first guest, Shrad from Wagepoint, who as you know, we’re big fans, we think he’s [00:10:00] built an awesome business, an awesome team, and he was a great guest on the podcast. But he said a couple of things that have just stuck with me. One of them was that your new team member should be someone you would invite over to your house for dinner. So, that stuck with me. But even more important was just a little phrase he used and I couldn’t get it out of my head. And it’s so obvious, but I don’t think I’ve ever consciously [00:10:30] thought about it, and that is, only hire nice people. And when we were interviewing these people, in the back of my head, that was turning around and around, “Is this a nice person?” And like I say, I wish it was more profound than that, but that one little phrase from Shrad stuck in my head and has certainly been in my head the last two weeks.
Juliet Aurora: But sometimes it is the simple things that make the biggest impact.
Steve Loates: [00:11:00] Yeah, no, absolutely. I mean, I guess I have to turn that around now and ask you the very same question.
Juliet Aurora: No, not necessarily. You don’t have to turn that around.
Steve Loates: Well, no, I just did.
Juliet Aurora: Okay. I guess for me, the biggest takeaway, and I think it comes to that same point that I mentioned earlier on the podcast versus Wine and Whiskey Wednesday, which was well, all industry centric, is that everyone, whether they’re in our industry or not in our industry are basically saying [00:11:30] the same thing. Most entrepreneurs are saying, and most motivational speakers, they say the same thing. The only difference is that they say it differently. It’s the same message, but the words are different because they’re putting their own experience on it. And so I guess for me, it’s hearing somebody say something that you may have heard 20 times before, maybe it didn’t resonate with you before because of the way they said it, [00:12:00] but also maybe it didn’t resonate with you because of where you were in your own life or in your own business cycle. So, just because you’ve heard someone say something previously doesn’t mean if you hear them say it 10 months from now that it won’t resonate with you. I think that’s probably the biggest one for me, is that.
So, when we were speaking with Dan, Dan Holstein, who was our business coach for many years, all the things that he said, we’ve heard before, but when we were clients [00:12:30] of his many years ago, we were in a different place than we are now. So, even though we had the same conversation that we might have had with him previously, I got something completely different out of it because I’m in a different place.
Steve Loates: Yeah. That is so true. And how many times have we said that to each other? We hear something at a conference, or on a webinar, again, that we had heard before, and then you and I just sort of look at each other and, “Okay, [00:13:00] yeah, that was like hearing that for the first time even though I know is not the first time.” But it’s the place we’re in, the words that were delivered, and it sticks with you. And that’s one of the reasons why I think going to conferences, and hopefully one day we will be allowed to go to conferences again because I do enjoy that environment of having a lot of people together of common interests all [00:13:30] trying to learn. I mean, the virtual conferences are great considering that’s our only option really right now, but I still do miss that, I guess, the atmosphere at a conference.
Juliet Aurora: Well, with the virtual conferences, the focus is on what you can learn from the people presenting, whereas at the in-person conferences, you get as much, if not more, about all the conversations that you have with other attendees that are completely irrelevant to the speakers. [00:14:00] And that’s the component that I feel that you really lose out on with a virtual conference.
Steve Loates: Yeah, no, I would agree with that. Well, like I say, hopefully, in the not too distant future, we will all be able to attend whatever conference we want to attend, with no fear of any sort of virus and not having to wear a mask.
Juliet Aurora: Well, I think 2020 is out. I don’t think there’s going to be any conferences in 2020 that are not virtual. I saw [00:14:30] or read today that the Santa Claus parades have now started to get canceled, because it takes this long for them to plan it, and so they’ve started canceling all the Santa Claus parades. And right now we’re in July, and so it’s still, five, six months away, but I don’t anticipate that any of the live conferences are going to happen maybe even Q1 2021 because people have to start planning for it now.
Steve Loates: Yeah. No, absolutely. I mean with conferences, right? I mean, it’s [00:15:00] not unusual that you’d book a year ahead of time, your venue.
Juliet Aurora: So, one other, I guess, key takeaway from me, even though you pushed the question back to me, I do have a second one, which is I’ve actually really enjoyed it. I honestly have to admit, I thought it was kind of hokey at the beginning, the questions that you ask at the end, where you asked the same questions to every guest and in every podcast, and I will admit, I thought it was kind of hokey [00:15:30] when you were telling me the idea, but I actually look forward to seeing and hearing what the different answers that people are going to give us because we know that it’s the same question. So, the variety and the various answers that we’ve been getting have been interesting.
Steve Loates: Yeah, no, I’ve enjoyed that. I mean, I say that was my favorite part of Actors Studio with James Lipton. But I do look forward to it. And we’ve also had lots of great feedback on my quotes. Everybody loves quote. [00:16:00] I don’t know anybody that doesn’t love a good quote.
Juliet Aurora: And again, I’m going to do another plug for Steve to do. I keep telling him to do a quote book, and he’s a photography buff. So, take his favorite quotes and put them with his favorite pictures and come up with a great coffee table book. And if you don’t want to do it for yourself, then do it the same way as we’re doing for The Kninja Way, where all proceeds from the coffee table book go to fun [Nina 00:16:31] [00:16:30] House. I’m good with that.
Steve Loates: Absolutely. Well, if you do recall, I did commit to it and I am working on it, and the goal is for it to be finished this year.
Juliet Aurora: Excellent. I look forward to that.
Steve Loates: The biggest challenge for me is going to be filtering out quotes and getting it down to a manageable number, because I started making a list of quotes I like and it was getting silly, and I wasn’t even halfway through. In fact, [00:17:00] I may need to involve an editor, Juliet, to help me edit some of these quotes, because there’s just so many great ones.
Juliet Aurora: I don’t know. Is there a limit to how big a coffee table book can be? It doesn’t mean that you actually need to be able to lift it off the coffee table.
Steve Loates: Yeah. I think there’s something called cost to print and ship. So, anyway.
Juliet Aurora: Good point.
Steve Loates: I’m digressing a little, we’re on coffee table books.
Juliet Aurora: [00:17:30] That’s the great thing about being a co-host, is I get to push the conversation however we like.
Steve Loates: Absolutely. And you do a wonderful job.
Juliet Aurora: Thank you.
Steve Loates: So, maybe what we’ll do now is just touch on some things that some guests said during their episode, again, that I thought… lots of great, great things, but some that [00:18:00] for me, stuck out. And again, let’s start with Shrad and then we’ll move through some of the episodes.
One of the other things he said, which, man, if there is a truism, an entrepreneur should never love a product or service. They should love problems and solving them.
Juliet Aurora: I don’t know if I agree with that or not.
Steve Loates: Okay. [00:18:30] Please elaborate.
Juliet Aurora: I agree that they have to have that skill of being able to see the problems and solve them, but I think that most entrepreneurs go into business for themselves because they’re passionate about something, whether it is a product, or a service, or helping people, or sometimes, like in my case, it was out of necessity and wanting a change in my [00:19:00] work-life balance. I don’t think that I would have ever said, “Well, hey, I love problems and solving them, so I’m going to go into business for myself.” I think it’s absolutely a necessary part of being an entrepreneur. I don’t know if you need to love it, though. You just need to know how to do it. And you disagree, obviously?
Steve Loates: Well, yeah, I don’t think we’re going to be in 100% agreement on this one. I mean, you then start to tie it into that, [00:19:30] do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. And again, I’ve seen situations where an entrepreneur has fallen in love with the product or service their business is providing even to the detriment of the business, that the business was struggling because perhaps the product or service was not the right product or service, but because [00:20:00] the entrepreneur was so in love with the product or service, they sort of were following it downhill as opposed to… And I understand. I mean, it becomes our baby, and I get that, but one of the hardest things to do is to be able to, “Okay, we’re not doing great.” Step back, look at it objectively, why are we not doing great? Am I solving the right problem in the right way [00:20:30] with the right audience, or do I just love doing what I do?
Juliet Aurora: Okay, I’ll give you that. When you put it in that context, that makes sense, because for one to be a successful entrepreneur, someone actually has to buy your product or service, otherwise [crosstalk 00:20:46].
Steve Loates: Yeah, no, I agree, and I’m so glad that we’re recording this podcast because I pretty sure that I now have it recorded where Juliet said, “You’re right. I agree [00:21:00] with you.”
Juliet Aurora: Okay. So, note to editors. Edit out that phrase, but you can keep in the rest of my sentence.
Steve Loates: Yeah. Okay. All right. And then that brought us to Dan Holstein, who was our business coach for many years. And as I’ve told him and anyone who would listen, hiring Dan might have been one of the smartest decisions we ever made.
The one thing he talked about… well, he talked about lots of things [00:21:30] in the episode, but I always think of that image of the duck on the pond. How most people who if they’re not entrepreneurs or business owners, we really can make it look smooth sailing, right? We can make this thing look, this business we have, like it’s so together, that everything is working perfectly, that people look at you and go, “Look [00:22:00] at those people. That’s fantastic.” And yet we really are in many, many cases, we are the duck on the pond, on top of the water, we’re calm, we’re serene, we’re just floating around on the water, and then underneath the water, those little feet are just going like mad, just trying to keep us heading in a direction.
And I thought what a great analogy that is for an entrepreneur, [00:22:30] because it fits probably every entrepreneur at some point in their journey. So, I thought that was great.
Juliet Aurora: Absolutely. And I think probably for me, it may be helpful. So yes, Dan, was our business coach for many years, which we’ve talked about a lot of times, but if you’re new to Steve and I and our journey, it might be helpful for you to hear why we hired a business coach. If you haven’t read our book, then read our book because it tells in detail. [00:23:00] But the hesitation, I think, around hiring a business coach was huge for us. We debated it for many, many months, over many, many bottles of wine, because we both consider ourselves to be fairly smart individuals, savvy business owners. Why could we possibly need a business coach?
And I honestly don’t even remember what that turning point was for us, but it might have been someone [00:23:30] saying to us, “Well, Tiger Woods is the greatest golfer in the world and he has a coach.” So, just because you’re doing well doesn’t mean that you don’t need a coach. If you’re struggling, absolutely, which is where we were at that point, but just to take some perspective as to why you should hire a business coach.
Steve Loates: Yeah, no, absolutely. I cannot recommend it highly enough that if you’re not doing well, you’re doing well, hire a business coach. It’ll give [00:24:00] a different perspective. I mean, obviously hire a good business coach. But I really don’t believe, if you hire a good business coach, there is no downside.
Juliet Aurora: Yep. And when you’re talking good business coach, obviously they need to understand how to run a business, how to fix things that are going wrong in a business. But as much as their knowledge of the intricacies of business is important, what’s more important is that you have a rapport with them, that you actually [00:24:30] connect with them as a person, because you’re going to have to bear things from your soul that if you aren’t comfortable talking to them, you’re never going to be as effective if you have this wall between you and your coach. And that’s coming from me who has walls up everywhere.
Steve Loates: I would second that as well, the wall thing I mean.
Juliet Aurora: Okay. Not the advice?
Steve Loates: Yeah. And I think the other thing of value that he taught us, he [00:25:00] was the first person, I think, who made us both understand what a business was, and what the difference was between a business and the job for yourself.
Juliet Aurora: Yes. And if you want more detail about that, go back and listen to episode number three.
Steve Loates: Okay. Is that a hint for me to move on, Juliet?
Juliet Aurora: Yeah, to move on.
Steve Loates: Okay. Okay. You need a little practice there as the co-host to be a little more subtle, but I got it.
Juliet Aurora: [00:25:30] Okay.
Steve Loates: And I also remember Clayton Oates, and I remember Clayton because he was our first guest off of the North American continent. And I remember trying to schedule the podcast, because I think he’s, what, 14, 15 hours or something ahead of us, maybe even more. And so I’m trying to figure out that, okay, yeah, it’s actually the next day where he is and so we’re going to have [00:26:00] to record this at night so it’s morning for him. And again, something I didn’t ever even thought about when we were talking about, “Let’s do this podcast,” but when you actually do start speaking with people outside of the country where you are, you do have to deal with those kinds of logistical issues.
And Clayton was also, like all of our guests, great guest, great sense of humor.
Juliet Aurora: I think the biggest takeaway for [00:26:30] me with Clayton was where he said it very succinctly, and I’m probably going to mess it up completely, but it was basically that every decision that you make is either moving you towards your goal or away from your goal. And I thought that that was an important [crosstalk 00:26:49].
Steve Loates: Absolutely, yeah. In fact, I think he started it with, everything we do or every decision we make has a price, [00:27:00] and it’s either moving you towards your goal or away from the goal. Yeah, I though that was great, and lots and lots of great stuff.
And then we also had, right around the same time, I think the episode before, we had our first female guest on the podcast.
Juliet Aurora: Rachel.
Steve Loates: Rachel.
Juliet Aurora: Yes.
Steve Loates: And again, lots and lots of great stuff. But the one thing that stuck with me from Rachel, because I think we asked her in [00:27:30] her role, she meets with and works with and talks with a lot of different entrepreneurs, and I think I remember asking her, of the entrepreneurs that you see that are the most successful or more successful, let’s say, than others, what is a characteristic, or what do you see within them?
And I remember her saying that the one she sees that are the most successful are those [00:28:00] who are never afraid to say, “I don’t know,” and then go and ask somebody to help them. Again, that’s very simple advice, but again, a lot of entrepreneurs, our pride and our stubbornness gets in the way, we can figure it out, and quite often, to our detriment. And that there’s a lot of value in saying to yourself and others, “I don’t know that. I need to ask someone [00:28:30] who does,” and then ask it.
Juliet Aurora: True. And sometimes the reason entrepreneurs don’t go and ask somebody and need to figure it out on their own or feel like they need to is because they don’t know where to go to ask. So, sometimes that’s where a business coach can be important. Sometimes joining… and for me, I know you’re not a huge proponent of this, but I absolutely am, are the Facebook groups in our industry, and I’ve seen how powerful they are over [00:29:00] the last two or three months with all the COVID, the subsidies, all the things that came out that kept changing overnight. Within hours of each other, we were learning how to do something, and then a couple of hours later, the legislation had changed or more instructions came out. And there was so much that was left up to interpretation as to how important those conversations between other people in your industry were as to how to address them.
So, for us, I mean, it is the Facebook groups. And I’m going to give a plug to our [00:29:30] Facebook group. If you’re a member of the accounting profession, it’s Kninja Network Accounting Professionals. Do join us. There are some fabulous conversations that take place. But if you’re outside of our industry, I’m sure that there are groups around your industry that can certainly… You’re then with other people who are experiencing the same challenges as you and you can always learn from someone else. So, that’s certainly a resource. So, sometimes it’s knowing where to look to be able to find [00:30:00] somebody to ask a question.
Steve Loates: Yeah, no, absolutely. And then, I guess, following that, we had two great guests back to back, but very different backgrounds. Bob Izsak, who is a consultant, and then Michael Ly, who is a serial entrepreneur, who both delivered great value in very different ways, right? I mean, certainly different personalities. But I still love Bob’s [00:30:30] answer when I asked him, “What’s the best book that you would recommend?” And he didn’t miss a beat, right? And the best book to read is the one that’s closest to you. That’s brilliant. And read everything you can. Again, terrific advice we should all be following, but I just love the fact that he didn’t miss a beat on that, didn’t even try to think of a title of a book. [00:31:00] Whatever is the closest, read it. I thought that was great.
Juliet Aurora: Yeah. And I think for me, you’re absolutely correct that Bob and Michael came from two different perspectives. So, Bob is much more from a corporate perspective. His focus was on building processes around and in your business, to sell it, to scale it, to pivot, and then Michael, as a serial entrepreneur, was so much about creating yourself. [00:31:30] And so it was two completely different perspectives. And I mean, we’re big Michael Ly fans, and listening to him talk about kind of how the family structure influenced where he is along with his siblings. So, I thought that that was an interesting conversation, and it was actually appropriate that we followed… because there was a lot of conversation about family with Michael, that our next guest was Vincent, whose entire [00:32:00] focus is family conflict or conflict in family businesses. So, Michael isn’t in business with any of his family, but I thought it was a great segue to move into Vincent as well.
Steve Loates: Yeah, no, it was. And again, Vincent had lots of gems if you were involved in a family business, because it’s a whole different dynamic, right? Is that you have all of those family issues, good and bad, that [00:32:30] you’ve grown up with, and now you’ve got the business issues, and you’re trying to make that work together. And I think one of the things he said was that when it’s working right, a family business can be the greatest thing because you get the strength of family working in the same direction. But when it’s not working, it really doesn’t work.
Juliet Aurora: And from our experience, so even though [00:33:00] a lot of what Vincent was talking about was with siblings or with parents, with parents passing businesses on or building businesses to give to their kids, you and I are married, so we’re family, and we’re in business together. And it’s created some interesting dynamics, both around the boardroom table and the kitchen table. I think that’s so politically correct. Did you notice that?
Steve Loates: Absolutely. That was very, very [00:33:30] well [inaudible 00:33:31] there, Juliet.
Juliet Aurora: Thank you. But absolutely, it’s a whole different dynamic when you are related in some way, shape or form to either business partners or people within the business, even if they’re not a partner.
Steve Loates: Yeah, no, I agree. I agree. And then that brought us, I guess, to Blaine. And again, another great session talking about one of the biggest challenges, if not the biggest challenge, [00:34:00] for every small business and entrepreneur, and that is managing your cash flow. And I know there was one thing that he said that really blew both of our minds when he said it. In fact, if I recall that episode, we actually sought to maybe repeat it because we couldn’t believe what we had just heard. And I think it was something like 70% of businesses that [00:34:30] fail were profitable when they went out of business.
If you just think about that just for a second, you go, “How is that even possible?” And that just shows you the power of cash flow and the importance of managing it properly, that if you’re making money but you don’t have any cash in the bank to pay your bills, you got a problem.
Juliet Aurora: And again, bringing it back to the last couple of months, we’ve been seen that where [00:35:00] some of the businesses that have reported filing for bankruptcy, and you’re thinking, “How is that possible? You’ve been around for like 20 years. How could you not survive two or three months without there being steady cash flow?” But it comes back to cash flow.
Steve Loates: Yeah, no, absolutely. So again, I really enjoyed that episode as well. I learned a lot in that episode. And then that brought us to Nir. [00:35:30] And when I asked him to be on the podcast, I have to admit, initially, I was a little hesitant because he is recognized… in fact, he’s recognized around the world as an expert in creativity. And I thought, “What could he bring that’s going to help other entrepreneurs?” And yet when we got him on the show, because he said, “No, I love to talk about business and how creativity [00:36:00] can help entrepreneurs make more money.” And I thought, “Okay, you have to come on the show and explain to me how creativity can help an entrepreneur make more money.” And he did, and it was great.
Juliet Aurora: I think also that it’s interesting, that if you think about it and you go back to your first statement, and I think you said it was Shrad that said it, that if you’re an entrepreneur, you have to not be passionate about your product, not love your product or service, you have to love solving [00:36:30] problems. And the episode was Nir was talking about how to use creativity to solve problems. So, I thought that, yeah, it was an interesting episode. Although all of them have been really interesting. I mean, I’m not even sure that we could say that one was more than the other. We learned something different from all of them.
Steve Loates: Absolutely. And then I guess at this point in time, our last episode, or most recent episode… certainly not our last [00:37:00] one, folks, we got lots more coming. But our most recent one, again, from across the pond. He was in the UK, James.
And he talked about, again, an entrepreneur who was at the ripe old age, I think, of 16, he’s never worked for anyone else in his life. He is now so old, I believe he’s 32 or something, and he’s already created several businesses, some successful, [00:37:30] some were just great learnings for him, but how he’s been able to create these businesses all revolving around podcasting and online radio to help grow your business, I thought it was brilliant and I thought he did a brilliant job on the show. And certainly, if you’re looking for someone who is an advocate of podcasting, James is your guy.
Juliet Aurora: What I found most interesting with James was how he [00:38:00] had, as you said, created multiple businesses around one industry. Most entrepreneurs, like us, go into… although, I guess, technically no, because we have AIS and Kninja, so that would be two businesses around the same industry. But most businesses go in and they only deal with one facet of that industry or the product or service. And James, I think, is what? Four or five?
Steve Loates: Yeah, something like [00:38:30] that.
Juliet Aurora: And all in the podcasting and online radio space. So, I thought that was an interesting perspective to think about for entrepreneurs, if you’re doing well or you’re looking for something different to do, and you are already familiar with one industry, it doesn’t mean that you have to jump into a completely different industry to start something new. There’s probably opportunities to stay within it still.
Steve Loates: Yeah, yeah. And those were the first 10 or 11 episodes, folks, and in a [00:39:00] nutshell. I mean, I don’t think we did them justice. Each one certainly had much more in them we talked about, but it was kind of interesting the things that stuck out in our mind. And if you did miss them, I hope you give them a chance. I think you’ll find that there really is something in there for everyone. And even if you just get that one gold nugget that helps you down the road from making a mistake you would have made, or doing [00:39:30] something a little different that helps you be more successful, I think it’s going to be time well, well spent.
Juliet Aurora: Or not even helping you avoid something, helping you to think about something differently. Sometimes it’s not even an idea that would occur to you, but hearing someone else say it may jog an idea of something that you can do that you’ve never thought of before. And that’s what the joy of entrepreneurship is, [00:40:00] is you get to decide if it’s something that you want to change or something you want to try. I know that in our business, sometimes that drives our team insane, when we say, “Hey, guess what? We’re trying something new.” And they look at us and go, “Oh my God. Now what are we going to do?” But for us, that’s the reason that we do it so that it does stay fresh and we get to try new things.
Steve Loates: Yeah, no, absolutely. Well, that’s funny. I believe this may be the longest episode and [00:40:30] we don’t even have a guest, so I’m not sure what that says about us.
Juliet Aurora: It says you talk a lot.
Steve Loates: Yeah, thank you very much.
So, we should probably start to wind it down. And do you have any last thoughts about the last 10 episodes, the next 10, the next 100? What do you think?
Juliet Aurora: Okay. Well, next 100 might be a little bit out of my realm of thinking. Again, last 10, lots of diversity in who we’ve had come on. [00:41:00] And I know what we’ve got coming up in the next 10, so I think that just the variety of the different perspectives that we’ve got coming up. And if you have, in our audience, if you guys have suggestions of a topic you’d like covered or someone that you think would survive being guests of Steve and I, we’d love to hear from you.
Steve Loates: Yeah, no, absolutely. I’ve loved those first episodes, but I am truly excited about what we’ve got coming [00:41:30] up for you guys. Love lots of episodes. I think next week, we have scheduled six or seven recording sessions. Yeah, Juliet’s rolling her eyes, for those of you who can’t see that, which is probably a little more than we should do in one week, but that’s just the way the scheduling works. So, we’ve got a huge variety of people from all kinds of different industries, and different facets of industry. Really super excited for those conversations. [00:42:00] And I think that brings us to, I know, everyone’s favorite part of the show after the questions, of course, and that is our quote.
Juliet Aurora: So, end us off with a fabulous quote, Steve.
Steve Loates: I will try my best, Juliet. So, the quote that I have chosen is about learning, because I think, for me, that is one of the most important things with these podcasts. And so the quote is, “The beautiful thing [00:42:30] about learning is that nobody can ever take it away from you.” B.B. King. So, not only was he the greatest blues guitar player who has ever lived, he’s also a pretty smart guy who had some pretty smart words. So, thank you for that B.B.
So, thank you very much, Juliet. You’ve once again been an awesome co-host and guest, so thank you for that, and thank you for your continued [00:43:00] support. And most importantly, thank you to you, our audience. Without you, we’d have no reason to be doing this. Hope you enjoyed it, hope you found some value. If you did, please subscribe. You can go to the website; smartmansmarterwoman.com and subscribe, and you’ll get notified each time we do a new episode, or iTunes, Spotify, Google, we’re in all the normal places. So, thank you again. Until [00:43:30] next time, take good care of yourself and those that you love. Bye for now.