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Learning that drives better investment decisions

My Worst Investment Ever June 2021

Ep410: Michael Maher – Take the Time to Think When Things Get Tough

BIO: Michael Maher is a musician turned business owner. He runs his own Amazon Managed Services Agency called Cartology, and he loves it.

STORY: Michael’s e-commerce business was not doing so well, and he thought putting in more money would help. So he went to a cash advance merchant and blindly got $14,000. Unfortunately, only a day after signing the loan papers, he realized he had gotten himself into a horrible deal.

LEARNING: Money doesn’t solve all problems; sometimes, the solution is to sit through your problems and find the cause. Seek help from a trusted friend or community.

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Ep409: Baret Lepejian – Never Go Into the Restaurant Business Alone

BIO: Baret Lepejian started his business career at 14 years old, working in his mom and dad’s family business that they started in 1971. Together with his brother, they went on to expand the business to 9 locations and 150 employees.

STORY: When Baret and his brother agreed to sell their photo lab business, Baret took his share of the money and invested it all in a second restaurant. Baret thought that he had what it took to run a chain of restaurants on his own, but it became too overwhelming and he had to close shop after a long struggle.

LEARNING: Never go into the restaurant business alone; make sure you have the right people beside you. Have good contracts in place and do proper calculations before opening a restaurant.

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Ep408: Wendy Harris – You Must Dig Deeper When You Really Want Something to Work

BIO: Wendy Harris is an outbound telephone sales trainer who gives businesses the confidence to talk to strangers and never cold call again.

STORY: Wendy invested in a franchise that was doing quite well until the head office forced her to use scare tactics to get other people to join the franchise. She refused to go against her business ethics, which tired down her chances of making money with the franchise.

LEARNING: Do thorough due diligence and ask lots of questions, especially when you badly want something to work out. Always remember that you have an ethical obligation to your customers above making a profit.

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Ep407: Tom Dutta – Avoid Fraud by Digging Deeper Than the Traditional Due Diligence Process

BIO: Tom Dutta is an award-winning CEO, # 1 International best-selling author, TEDx speaker, and radio/film producer.

STORY: Tom was drawn to his neighbors who had a huge house and two Corvettes. Out of curiosity about their wealth, Tom indulged them, and that’s how he and his wife got lured into investing in a Ponzi scheme.

LEARNING: Due diligence is not enough; you must dig deeper. Trust your gut, and don’t fall for the shiny object syndrome.

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Ep406: Melinda Van Fleet – Lessons From Your Mistakes Make You Confident

BIO: Melinda Van Fleet is a Confidence & Peak Performance coach, bestselling author of Confidence Mastery for Couples and speaker, who works with business women to believe in themselves, take action and get results.

STORY: Melinda got trapped in the allure of online courses. She would buy classes on a whim without taking time to discern if they were really necessary. She ended up spending so much money on courses that never helped her or her business.

LEARNING: Take your time to discern if you really need a course and if you buy it and it’s not what you want now, don’t rub it off completely; keep it aside you may need it in the future.

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Ep405: Marie Gervais – The Value of Your Worst Investment Is the Learning

BIO: Marie Gervais, PhD., CEO of Shift Management, offers targeted supervisory and middle management training, team coaching, and organizational capacity development to businesses and organizations.

STORY: Marie had the fantastic idea of developing a management decision-making gaming app. She pitched the idea to a few decision-makers within her industry, and they assured her it was a great idea. Marie had no experience in tech and did zero research on app development before she started working on the app. This saw her lose over $140,000 in an idea that never materialized due to her inexperience.

LEARNING: Do thorough market research, take calculated risks, and never go to market before validating your idea with a few paying customers. If a situation is not working out, walk away and carry the lessons with you.

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Ep404: Gary Mishuris – Qualitative Judgment Is More Valuable Than Your Financial Model

BIO: Gary Mishuris is the Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Silver Ring Value Partners, an investment firm with a concentrated long-term intrinsic value strategy.

STORY: Gary was developing a financial model that he used to recommend stocks for his company. He got so engrossed in the model that he forgot about other important aspects of investing, like the effects of a merger that had just happened in the company. He made mistakes, and the stock he recommended fell by 80%, losing money for his company.

LEARNING: Think about the qualitative aspects. Don’t depend on management for decision-making and make things as simple as possible, but not simpler.

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Ep403: Eric Rosenberg – Start Investing by Making Regular Monthly Contributions

BIO: Eric Rosenberg is a financial writer, speaker, and consultant based in Ventura, California.

STORY: Eric always played it safe by investing in conservative low-list investments. This made him miss out on huge investments.

LEARNING: Understand and manage your investment risk. Stop making excuses and start saving and investing by making regular monthly contributions.

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Ep402: Kizzy Parks – Who Benefits From the Advice You Get?

BIO: Kizzy Parks helps service-based small business owners learn how to win profitable federal government contracts using her powerful CTC technique.

STORY: Kizzy learned of a $40 million opportunity to provide training and curriculum development across the federal government. She put everything else on hold and focused on preparing her business to win the project. She spent $600,000 on various business resources because she was sure she would win the project. The government didn’t put the project up for bidding to her disappointment, so she never got it and was left in debt.

LEARNING: First, sell your product, then build it. Understand your advisor’s motivation and always think through and question advice given before you apply it.

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Ep401: Dean Brown – Don’t Hand Money Over Just Because You Trust a Friend

BIO: As a father of five, Dean Brown empowers professional dads to work fewer hours per week while generating more revenue and having more fun while doing it.

STORY: Dean had just lost a high-income job when his friend approached him with an investment idea. The friend wanted him to finance his business idea and get a return on it. Because he trusted his friend and was looking for investment opportunities, Dean gave him $150,000. He’s never received a penny from the business.

LEARNING: Do not hand your money to anyone without a legal contract. First, understand the investment and the risk involved. Don’t be the sole financier of an investment.

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Ep400: Marcus Udokang – Just Because You Have the Knowledge Doesn’t Mean You Won’t Fail

BIO: Marcus Udokang is an IT consultant, writer, and presenter. He specializes in project management and business analysis.

STORY: Marcus was working for a company that was open to investors. Because he trusted his company and had met many other happy investors, he decided to invest. Unforeseen circumstances brought the value of the investment down, and he never made much out of it.

LEARNING: Do thorough research, diversify your portfolio, and start small. Have a devil’s advocate or a sounding board for your investment ideas.

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Ep399: Fernando LoFrano – A Good Friend is Not Always a Good Partner

BIO: Fernando LoFrano is a Brazilian IT executive, promoter, and consultant in Digital Transformation, acting as an agent of transformation in organizations, impacting the transition of business models and operations to the new digital age.

STORY: Fernando got into a partnership with a friend with whom they shared different views on business and success. Fernando was an ambitious entrepreneur hungry for challenges and quick success, while his friend was a family man working towards long-term success. Their differences made their business fail after only four years.  

LEARNING: Think through your partnership, especially if it will affect your friendship, express your expectations from the beginning, and respect and value your friendship even as business partners.

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Ep398: Lois Koffi – Never Give Up Even When Disappointed

BIO: Lois Koffi is a professional speaker, sales trainer, coach, and Ironman Triathlete who has coached thousands of people in business and healthy lifestyles for the last 22 years.

STORY: Lois got into real estate at 21 years and did pretty well for herself until she blindly got into a business partnership with her friend. They put everything in their mortgage business but soon enough lost everything to creditors.

LEARNING: Choose your partnerships carefully and understand the risks of debt.

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Ep397: Benjamin Ritter – We Are All Accountable For Our Job Satisfaction

BIO: Dr. Benjamin Ritter is a leadership and career coach, values geek, regional learning manager for Young Presidents Organization (YPO), national speaker, podcaster, author, mentor, and is passionate about guiding others in finding, creating, and sustaining a career they love.

STORY: For a very long time, Benjamin worked different jobs trying to find an employer that would give him the satisfaction he was craving. It was only years later, and after doing a couple of jobs that left him unhappy, he realized it doesn’t matter where he works. What matters is how he works and how he thinks about his work.

LEARNING: To have job satisfaction, you must change the way you perceive work and the value you take away from it. Live each day with intention.

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Ep396: Michelle Griffin – She Had Success In Her All Along

BIO: Michelle Griffin is a certified international personal brand strategist with clients from around the world. She is also a certified StoryBrand Marketing Guide and a credentialed digital marketer and copywriter. She is the host of the Personal Branding Clubhouse Weekly Show.

STORY: Michelle had always wanted to be her own boss, but imposter syndrome made her lose so much time before she could muster enough confidence to do it.

LEARNING: Take the first step and put yourself out there so that people know you. Be consistent in providing value.

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Ep395: Kassy Pajarillo-Braganza – Without Trust All Is Lost

BIO: Business growth online mentor and coach Kassy Pajarillo-Braganza helps coaches, consultants, trainers, private practitioners, and service-driven entrepreneurs claim their six-figure outcomes for their seven-figure businesses through her program, the Power Profile Biz Accelerator.

STORY: Kassy knew this celebrity who had an incredible idea of making passive income. All she had to do was invest $2,000 in the product the star was selling, and she would get a certain amount every time he got a new customer. This was all a lie. Kassy never made a single penny.

LEARNING: Don’t trust anyone who asks you for money first. There is no such thing as passive income; you’ve got to put in the work.

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Ep394: David Allen – When the Pressure Is on Step Back and Take Time to Think

BIO: David Allen is one of the world’s most influential thinkers on productivity. His bestselling book, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, has sold millions and been published in thirty languages.

STORY: David Allen was busy writing his third book when he decided to hire someone to help him run his business. He came across someone who had a good resume and seemed like a good fit. David was pressed to make a rush decision to hire him without doing any due diligence because he claimed to have another offer. The guy ended up being a wrong fit.

LEARNING: Don’t make decisions when you’re under pressure, and don’t let desperation prevent you from doing your due diligence.

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Ep393: Kevin Carter – The Math of Shorting a Stock Is Against You

BIO: Kevin Carter is the Founder and CIO of the Emerging Markets Internet & Ecommerce ETF (NYSE: EMQQ) and Chairman of the EMQQ Index Committee.

STORY: During the Dot-com boom, Kevin came across Amazon, but he dismissed it as just a bookstore not worth its valuation. He decided to short Amazon and lost a third of his net worth at the time. Had he bought the stock instead of short selling it, he would be $50,000 richer today.

LEARNING: Short selling is a bad investment idea. Nobody can do a perfect valuation; always know that you are working with estimates.

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Ep392: Jeffery Potvin – You Must Do Your Due Diligence on Investors Too

BIO: Jeffery Potvin is an angel investor in multiple regions and has invested in 55+ companies. He is a member of seven angel groups and screening committees while being the driving force behind Open People Network (OPN)! OPN is a group of angel investors helping accelerate the growth of early-stage startups.

STORY: Jeffery’s company had been working on and off with this startup for about two years. When the startup came back with a product and an investor, Jefferey took interest, and even though he had some doubts, he trusted the startup. It turned out his gut was right because the investor never held his part of the deal.

LEARNING: Walk away from anyone trying to pressure you to close a deal and have the proper documentation in place before you sign the contract. The ultimate validation comes from your customer.

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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.