Coming as an immigrant from Cuba, Joaquin always knew he wanted more than just the “go to school, get a job, work, retire” lifestyle. Being in a lower middle class family, Joaquin started making some side money at a very young age by selling gaming cards online, almost $5,000 worth before he was 14! He continued on this throughout high school but realized he needed to level up, so he decided to take his online talents of selling to the back end and started going to school to be a engineer/programmer. Getting a hell of a break at the age of 18, an online programming company picked him up as a paid intern and he began studying hard at both work and school to further perfect his craft. He worked his way up the corporate ladder there, and soon enough he was less than 20 years old and was making upwards of $80,000/year, becoming the top bread-winner in his household. Then on his quest for knowledge Joaquin found Secret Entourage, and Third Circle Theory. With all the knowledge that Secret was able to give Joaquin it wasn’t long before he realized that he wanted to work on his own, for himself, and truly make a difference under his own business. So after leaving his $80,000/year job, he built his own company from the ground up, specializing in app development, coding, programing, building online platforms, etc. But as it always does, a roadblock appears and a shift was needed to be taken. Now Joaquin and his team work in the sphere of e-commerce, an industry that has recently been taking the entrepreneur space by storm. But rather than just working in it and growing his own business, he wants to share HOW he was able to scale his online store business in to the powerhouse player it is today.
Back before ads, algorithm changes, and business tactics galore, instagram was just a social media site that allowed you to post cool pics of you, your friends, your dog, whatever…so other people could see and enjoy whatever you felt was important enough to capture with a picture in your life. While some people enjoyed it for what it was, others, like Mark Margulies wanted to use it to help build up a brand. Now while at first that brand was making custom snap-back hats, in an ever changing world, with extreme growth being forced upon him by popular demand Mark Margulies had to adapt. Through countless different products: hats, wallets, card holders, leather goods, etc. Mark and his team found success, but one product would change their company and their direction completely. Seeing a lack in diversity and fashionability in the watch strap game, Mark decided he would fulfill it, and he launched Horus Straps. Which now is one of the most popular after market straps for luxury watch brands like: Audemars Piquet, Rolex, and Panerai.
Being a millennial this day in age is not easy, a lot of people seem to come down on the generation because they think the world owes them something. And while all millennials seem to want the “get rich quick route”, some of them are actually ready and willing to put in the work to get there, like Daniel. Daniel worked odd end jobs ever since he was in high school everything from restaurants to UPS delivery, he did it all! He knew that he was worth more than what he was currently doing and rather than getting stuck in the same cycle he decided to break free. Now he is a new author of an incredible book and a famous podcast called: Rich20Something that are helping everyday people do the same. Daniel understood there was a difference between business and entrepreneurship and he knew that even when times got tough he would rather work for himself rather than waste his worth and talent somewhere else.
We all have a tendency to start a task and rather than looking at the next step, we look 20-30-40 steps ahead to the exit, and while this may seem like a bad trait to have, it isn’t. Entrepreneurs and business owners alike should have an end in sight at all times, knowing full well what it means at any given point if they were to exit their business. Aaron Young has almost become an expert on exiting companies, and he has picked up on just about every trick and tip out there to help others do so. Aaron Young is the CEO and Chairman of Laughlin Associates, a 44 year old company that has helped over 100,000 entrepreneurs start, scale, and exit their own businesses. Aaron has been a helping hand in almost any industry you can think of, giving advice and strategizing with all different types of business owners. After learning all he could about the way businesses grow, scale, and eventually sell he wanted to pass on his knowledge to others so they too could be as successful as possible in their field.
Joe Huff always knew he wanted to help others, but philanthropy was never in his cards. So rather than centering his life about trying to figure out how to get money to give back to others, he took the entrepreneurial path that lead him to founding LSTN Sound Co. A company that creates beautiful and functional audio headsets, and for every purchase Joe and his company help to give back to communities all over the globe, by blessing these peoples with the ability to listen to not just music, but the world around them for the first times in their lives.
You’ll find that the more and more you hear these entrepreneurs stories, most of them never planned on working for themselves one day. Brad Lea was the GM of one of the most successful Dodge car dealerships in the country at one point, and making about $300K a year with no issues. However, the people around him saw great potential in his teachings to his employees, and often sought help from Brad for training in their own lives. After realizing the large demand for this type of training, Brad developed his own technology for online training. Knowing full well that everything in business boils down to sales, Brad used his master closing skills to help propel LightSpeed VT to the point where it is today.
Some of you may already know my guest today, Isaac Lidsky was on one of America’s favorite TV shows Saved By The Bell starring as Weasel in the hit SitCom series. However a diagnosis of eventual blindness rocked his world, he left the acting industry he had known since he was a child to pursue business in a greater realm. On the cusp of the economic decline in 2008, it became clear to Isaac that the potential to buy a small business was better now than it ever had been before. The real estate market had crashed and thus his idea to buy a residential construction firm came to fruition. Now Isaac has had time to learn and gain expierence in an industry that we don’t usually talk about here in the Academy, and he wants to share that knowledge with us.