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My Worst Investment Ever February 2021

Ep337: Dror Tamir – Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket When Raising Capital

Dror Tamir is the CEO & co-founder of Hargol FoodTech, the world’s first commercial grasshopper protein producer. His passion is to improve the health of children and families through better nutrition.

Dror got approached by an investor who seemed to fit the bill, and so he put his entire focus on this one investor and put every other investor on the back burner. After eight months of due diligence, the investor refused to follow through with their promise leaving Dror with zero investment.

Do not chase just one investor when raising capital; keep your options open. Time is money, especially for a startup with limited resources so use it wisely.

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Ep336: Marko Höynälä – Trust Is the Backbone of Any Business

Marko Höynälä is the Founder and CEO of Kipuwex Ltd. Kipuwex is a medical device that measures a person’s biomarkers allowing them to access health care professionals from anywhere in the world.

Marko jumped blindly into an opportunity to partner with a Pakistani company to distribute his medical device. The company ordered a considerable number of devices but never paid for them.

Understand a foreign market thoroughly before you enter it. Building trust is an essential part of a business, and when it is broken, the business breaks down too.

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Ep335: David Ward – Always Have an NDA, Even When Doing Business with Friends

David Ward has fallen and risen several times. Along the way, he got divorced, and a friend stole his new business idea. He got ripped off in the sale of another. Eventually, David got married again, became a father again, and rebuilt again.

David had this excellent novel business idea that he shared with a trusted friend who stabbed him in the back by taking the idea and making it hers.

Always have an NDA in place before sharing your proprietary ideas with anyone, especially friends. Do not be afraid of competition; keep reinventing yourself to stay ahead.

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Ep334: Scott Buss – Live by Principles of Trust and Transparency

Scott Buss is an aviation expert who lives his life and runs his business based on TRUST and TRANSPARENCY principles.

Scott found himself on the wrong side of Arizona’s law and landed in jail for four months. While in prison, he came up with his business idea, a business that is now thriving.

Always try to make the best out of a bad situation and not let a bad decision define you. Be kind and supportive to those going through a rough patch.

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Ep333: Paulina Tenner – Stay Focused on Your Core Business

Paulina Tenner is an entrepreneur, angel investor, TEDx speaker, and author. Her company, GrantTree, specializes in research and development tax credits and grants. She is passionate about burlesque and used to perform as a showgirl!

Paulina’s company ventured into an unfamiliar business area of renting out office space, a decision that almost killed the company.

Do not let overconfidence bias lead you to areas you are unfamiliar with and pull you away from focusing on your core business. If you delegate a new project, put controls in place and check-in often.

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Ep332: Christopher Elliott – Question Conventional Wisdom When Buying a House

Christopher Elliott is an award-winning consumer advocate, multimedia journalist, and customer service expert. He is known for his practical advice and creative solutions to customer-service problems.

Christopher bought a house at a reasonable price and nearly doubled his money thanks to the US housing boom. After selling it, he invested the proceeds into another house. It turns out he bought the second home when prices were high, and 12 years later, he sold it for less than he bought it for.

Do not listen to conventional wisdom when buying a house. A house is not always a good investment. Be careful when listening to marketing messages. You do not have to get into debt just because loans are available and interest rates are low.

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Ep331: Lou Adler – Avoid Raising Capital from Friends If You Want to Keep Both

Lou Adler is the CEO and founder of Performance-based Hiring Learning Systems – a consulting and training firm helping recruiters and hiring managers worldwide source, interview, and engage the strongest and most diverse talent.

Lou developed software to automate the recruitment process, but the timing was terrible, and he ended up losing the money and the friendships with those who invested.

Raising capital by borrowing from your friends is a bad idea. Learn how to manage your cash flow. Being skilled in something does not necessarily make you a good businessman. Sometimes the problem is just your timing. Cash flow, not cash, is king. Do not mix friendship with business.

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Ep330: Eric Siu – Do Not Chase the Money, Chase the Opportunity

Eric Siu is the CEO of content intelligence software ClickFlow, which helps you grow your traffic while looking like a genius. He also owns ad agency Single Grain and has worked with Amazon, Airbnb, Salesforce, and Uber to acquire more customers.

Eric went into the senior living niche without any experience. He was excited by the market opportunity which was driven by the favorable demographics. When it came time to raise money from outsiders, none of the founders had their heart in it.

Do not chase the money; chase the opportunity. Focus on one thing until you have it working. Make sure that your values and those of your partners align. Implementing an idea is more challenging than you imagine. Is your idea worth investing in? Money is secondary in business.

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Ep329: Britt Andreatta – Our Failures Remind Us That We Are Learning Beings

Dr. Britt Andreatta is an internationally recognized thought leader who creates brain science-based solutions for today’s challenges. As CEO of 7th Mind, Inc., Britt Andreatta draws on her unique leadership, neuroscience, psychology, and learning background to unlock the best in people and organizations.

Given her experience and knowledge, we focused this episode on Dr. Andreatta’s lessons learned from working with many leaders.

We are wired to learn through trial and error. It is important to celebrate progress and effort. Leaders should focus on employees’ accomplishments. If a leader is all about the numbers, they will have a disengaged workplace. When conducting performance reviews, have two scores: individual contributor score and team score. Training is about acquiring a skill, and education is about expanding the mind and bringing new information into the system. As a leader, it helps to develop a common goal rather than giving everybody separate KPIs. Working separately makes it a lot more challenging for the team to cooperate and achieve a common goal.

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Ep328: Bracken Darrell – Trust Your Instincts but Ask If You Are Unsure

Bracken P. Darrell is the president and CEO of Logitech. The company is worth 12x more than when he started there in 2012.

Bracken met a board member of Logitech, who was working at NetFlix. He liked what he heard and bought a small number of shares. It went up quite a bit. Eventually, he sold the stock early because he was worried if it would be misconstrued that he had received inside information, which he did not.

Trust your instincts. Hold onto your investment for as long as possible. Communicate and ask for advice. Think long term. Sometimes all you have to do is ask.

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Ep327: Rachel Beck – Invest in Healthy Business Relationships

Rachel Beck is the author of “Finding Your Way When Life Changes Your Plans: A Memoir of Adoption, Loss of Motherhood and Remembering Home,” she lives in Des Moines, Iowa, and is a rising voice in the movement of women’s storytelling.

Rachel got emotionally attached to an investment and ended up putting faith into the wrong business relationships.

If something is too good to be true, then it probably is. Find role models who are successful in your area of interest and let them guide you. Take time to invest in healthy relationships. Always be professional. Trust your intuition but choose logic over emotion. Business is based upon trust.

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Ep326: Jordan West – You Must Pay Attention to Cash Flow When Buying a Business

When Jordan West was 23, he decided to buy a Taco Del Mar restaurant. He knew he had made a massive mistake at 2 pm the first day when only three customers had walked in (two of them were his parents).

Jordan invested in a Taco Del Mar restaurant franchise, but running it was more challenging than he thought. It required much more working capital than he had projected, and when he sold it, he had lost $150,000.

Make sure you scrutinize all financial reports before buying a business. Learn how to read financial statements. Marketing cannot save a sinking ship. Be careful when investing in a restaurant because they are hard to scale. Buying a small business can be a trap; the biggest problem is that you are limited in your revenue and resources. Don’t underestimate working capital needs. Sometimes the best thing to do is to get out.

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Ep325: Jess Larsen – You Should Never Speculate When Investing

Jess Larsen started his finance career on a mergers and acquisitions team with Citi. Later he founded several businesses; the three companies he currently co-owns are Graystoke Investments, Graystoke Advisors, and Graystoke Media.

Jess’s private equity fund co-invested in a small hydroelectricity business with a billionaire. The company had guaranteed contracts with the Canadian government. The CEO started 12 other projects and lost focus.

Do not forget to think about the downside too. Cash flow, not cash, is king. Do not let over-optimism make you forget about risk management. There is no hack, shortcut, or secret to building trust; it builds over time. Ensure there are controls within the company you are investing in. Be careful about focusing on growth at all costs.

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Ep324: Santiago Iñiguez – Sometimes Your Worst Investment Can Bring You the Most Joy

Santiago Iñiguez de Onzoño is the President of IE University and a recognized influencer in global higher education. Iñiguez is also the Vice-Chairman of Headspring, a company owned by the Financial Times and IE Business School, providing custom education programs for companies worldwide.

Santiago bought a dream plot of land in Brazil but didn’t expect a Brazilian currency collapse. He has kept the land and house he built and enjoys it as his getaway from Spain’s busy life.

Do not be too passionate that you forget to do your research. Consider buying only a house that you could see yourself living in for the rest of your life. Remember that you are investing in two things when investing in a foreign country, the asset and the currency.

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Ep323: Dave Kerpen – Doing Thorough Research Will Save You From Losing Money

Dave Kerpen is a serial entrepreneur, New York Times bestselling author, and global keynote speaker. Dave is the co-founder and co-CEO of Apprentice. This platform connects entrepreneurs with the brightest college students and the co-founder and CEO of Remembering Live, a virtual memorial service company.

Dave got seduced into investing in a venture capital firm, but things got quiet once they received his money. Eventually, the fund shut down, and Dave lost all his money.

Forget the glitz and glamour; understand your investment first. Understand risk and reward. Understand what your communication needs as an investor are. Scammers will come at you as very genuine people. Choose an investment option that gives you liquidity (the ability to exit). Size your position and diversify to avoid losing money.

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Ep322: James Leong – Learn How to Read Financial Reports to Pick Stocks

James Leong is the founder of Visions One Consulting, a training consultancy that teaches finance to non-finance people. Using his unique Financial Storytelling approach, James can simplify a complex and dry topic to make learning joyful and fun.

What I learned: Know your numbers and trust what they tell you. Understand how much risk you can afford to take. Maintain market exposure, and if you are stock picking, own ten stocks, not more, not less.

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Ep321: Billy Samoa Saleebey – Spend Your Time Doing Long-Term Endeavors that Matter

Billy Samoa Saleebey is an entrepreneur, podcast host, and award-winning filmmaker. He has led learning and development organizations for some of the most disruptive companies globally, including Tesla, where he was Head of Global Sales & Product Training.

What I learned: Time is more precious than any amount of money. If you make a wrong turn, fret not, you can always pivot. Invest your time in things with a long-term payoff. Listen to your gut and your instinct. It is tough to accumulate wealth from day trading.

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Ep320: Daniel Burrus – Invest Your Energy in Your Area of Expertise

Daniel Burrus is considered one of the world’s leading futurists on global trends and disruptive innovation. The New York Times has referred to him as one of the top three business gurus.

Daniel Burrus is considered one of the world’s leading futurists on global trends and disruptive innovation. The New York Times has referred to him as one of the top three business gurus.

Invest in your area of expertise. Let go of all your distractions and focus on your success. Especially important is to focus on what you enjoy doing and are good at. Learn from your struggle, then let it go.

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Ep319: Karl Sjogren – The Fairshare Model: Raise Venture Capital via an IPO

Karl Sjogren’s 2019 book The Fairshare Model: A Performance-Based Capital Structure for Venture-Stage Initial Public Offerings presents an idea for raising venture capital via an IPO. The concept can be applied to a blockchain venture that raises equity capital via an initial coin offering (ICO).

Nobody can do valuation precisely right; there is no correct answer. Emotion plays a significant role in making investment decisions. Understand deal terms clearly, don’t ignore them. There are four drivers of a company’s value: Revenue, Expenses, Assets, and Risk.

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Ep318: Marti Mongiello – Have Partnership Agreements to Protect Your Interests

Chef Marti Mongiello is a story weaver intoxicating his audiences by stage and television across the world. A mesmerizing speaker, he’s published nine books, 200+ papers, and given over 100 speeches and keynotes in Europe, Asia, and America.

Always have partnership agreements that stipulate bylaws. Understand the liquidation clause. It is ok to retire old shareholders who are no longer contributing to the company. Just because someone funds your business does not mean they are the best to run it. Have a prenuptial agreement with your business partners. Be clear about your valuation process and have a provision for dilution in your business partnership agreement.

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DISCLAIMER: This content is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Readers should not consider statements made by the author(s) as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. While the information provided is believed to be accurate, it may include errors or inaccuracies. The author(s) cannot be held liable for any actions taken as a result of reading this article.