David Alexander – From Scratch to owning 23 businesses.
My next guest has owned 23 businesses including one business where a customer chucked a burrito at his head. Moments like that made him say “You know what, maybe this business isn’t for me.” He’s been through the good, the bad, and the ugly and now has a ton of experience to help other business owners avoid mistakes and achieve their dreams. In this episode, we break down some of his major lessons learned as well as some of his biggest wins. As we talk through what works and what doesn’t work in business, we lead up to the company he’s building today which is a membership business model. He’s big on building businesses with recurring revenue and high retention. Please welcome David Alexander.
Payback Time Podcast
A Podcast on Financial Independence. Hosted by Sean Tepper. If you want to learn how to escape the rat race, create passive income, or achieve financial freedom, you came to the right place.
- (00:57) – Show intro and background history
- (05:27) – Deeper into his background history, failures, and successes
- (09:04) – Lessons learned from the failures
- (16:18) – A bit about a franchising business that he sold
- (23:43) – Understanding his Trustegrity business model
- (29:39) – A bit about the numbers of his business model
- (32:31) – The importance of networking
- (36:40) – How investing in stocks can help entrepreneurs
- (47:24) – What is the worst advice he ever received
- (48:28) – What is the best advice he ever received
- (49:39) – Time machine question
- (51:50) – Guest contacts
[00:00:04.460] – Intro
Hey, this is Sean Tepper, the host of Payback Time, an approachable and transparent podcast on financial independence. I’d like to bring on guests to hear authentic stories while giving you actionable takeaways you can use today. Let’s go. My next guest has owned 23 businesses, including one business where a customer chucked a burrito at his head. Moments like that made him say, You know what? Maybe this business isn’t for me. He’s been through the good the bad, and the ugly, and now he has a ton of experience to help business owners avoid mistakes and achieve their dreams. In this episode, we break down some of his major lessons learned as well as some of his biggest wins. As we talk through what works and what doesn’t work in business, we lead up to the company he’s building today, which is a membership business model. He’s big on building businesses with recurring revenue and high retention. Please welcome David Alexander.
[00:00:57.900] – Sean
David, welcome to the show.
[00:00:59.940] – David
Excellent. I am thrilled to be here.
[00:01:02.490] – Sean
Good to have you here. So why don’t you kick us off and tell us about your background?
[00:01:07.380] – David
Yeah, sure. That’s all background is always an interesting question, isn’t it? So I’ll share with you just a little bit about me now. I am a somewhat of a serial entrepreneur, so I’ve owned 23 different businesses over the years. Some have been a wild success, some have been a colossal failure. Fortunately, the successes far outweigh the failures. But I’ll share a funny story with you, actually. When I got out of college, I was a forestry major of all things. That means I can identify the plant that you see in the background, maybe the trees outside. But that has been the extent of my career in forestry. After college, one of my friends convinced me to go to work in restaurant management. I did, went to training for this company. At training, he called me up and he said, David, this is the worst job I’ve ever had. I just wanted to get you back for convincing me to go in this industry. I quit. Good luck. I was like, Oh, my gosh, what do I do now? I’m like, In this field, this guy said was great. What’s going to happen? I took over a restaurant.
[00:02:16.520] – David
I had a burrito thrown at me like a football. That’s the day I realized that restaurant management was probably not my calling. I wind up in sales. My first job in sales was literally selling long distance service. The hardest job in sales, I don’t care what eBay sales, is selling long distance service and coffee machines. If you can sell those two things, you can sell anything on the planet. They taught us at that company to literally go to the top floor of an office building, work our way down, call on all the businesses, and that’s how we grew the business. I was aggressively thrown out of an office tower, like, grab my arms type aggressively by security guard. In Chattanooga, Tennessee, I remember getting thrown out of that office building, I thought to myself, there has to be a better way to grow a business than doing it by cold calling. So literally set in my car, and this was a critical moment to the rest of my career, I set in my car thinking, Well, what can I do? I’m not going to make cold calls anymore. I want to do something different. And so I started thinking about this whole concept of referral sources.
[00:03:25.710] – David
Referral sources being partners, clients, friends, family, people that I could basically ask to help me grow my business, and they would. I came up with a list of about 200 people and literally went from average salesperson at that company… By the way, I have a forestry degree, and I’ll mention that. How much do you think they teach a forestry major in college about sales. Zero. Zero, correct. I started connecting with all these people. Literally within 6 to 12 months, I went from average in sales to the number one salesperson at that company. That actually led to a best selling book, international best selling book called Networking Like a Pro, and really launched my career in the consulting industry, I guess. I spent a career helping people build their business by referral and also helping people through peer groups, through Mastermind groups, through working together to build meaningful relationships, share knowledge and help each other out. So that was the quick story of getting a greener throat at me, getting thrown out of an office tower, becoming a best selling author, and now running in a national membership organization called Trust Equity. How did I do?
[00:04:34.440] – David
[00:04:34.780] – Sean
A lot of history. That was a home run. I was going to say the burrito being thrown at you like a football. It’s pretty long for the title, but it’s going to be in the intro. That’s for sure.
[00:04:43.960] – David
I’m good. That. Wonderful. I appreciate that. There’s a little bit more of that story. The company was actually Taco Bell and it was a burrito supreme. And so if you’ve ever had a burrito supreme, that’s like a really juicy burrito to get thrown at you like.
[00:05:01.810] – Sean
A football. I remember as a kid, we’re not going to talk, the audience is like, Don’t talk about burritos this whole time. But I have to see the burritos. The burritos supreme was growing up as a kid was my favorite. Oh, my God. Sign me up any day of the week. I was there.
[00:05:18.380] – David
Awesome. Okay, so we’ll go after Taco Bell for endorsements for the podcast.
[00:05:22.630] – Sean
Later on. Sounds like a plan. Get those residuals.
[00:05:25.540] – David
Love Taco Bell.
[00:05:27.870] – Sean
Let’s talk about, because you had a few failure, 23 businesses, let’s touch on one of your failures, if you could share that story, and then we’ll transition to one of your success stories.
[00:05:40.600] – David
Yeah, that’s actually a great question. I’ve had a couple of failures over the years, and the failures have actually really shown the failures have taught me more than the successes. The failures for me have involved businesses that I got into where I had absolutely no business business getting into that business. It was a bright, shiny object. It sounded like a great idea. For example, I started a publication. It was like a little restaurant newsletter that went into restaurants as a publication. It’s a small community based newspaper. I have zero experience with a newspaper, zero experience with advertising, zero experience with any of that. And it was just a total flop. I was in the business for about a year, spent a lot of money, brought on some partners, and it was a complete flop. What I learned from that, though, going to businesses that you know, and also for me, any business that I’m involved in has to have recurring revenue and it has to have high retention rates. So for me as a business owner, that’s two critical things. If I have to go out and find new business every day because there’s no recurring revenue involved, I’m not going to do it.
[00:06:56.230] – David
So the advertising newspaper little business that was my biggest flop so far.
[00:07:03.000] – Sean
Sure. And with that model, was that a recurring model, recurring revenue model?
[00:07:08.250] – David
At that point, it wasn’t. The company is still around, actually. At that point, it wasn’t. But they did turn it into a recurring model in the future, maybe based off my failure, who knows?
[00:07:21.820] – Sean
Don’t do what David did. We got to make this reoccur.
[00:07:24.460] – David
Yeah, don’t do what David did. David’s our poster child for don’t do it this way. Correct.
[00:07:29.570] – Sean
I don’t know if you’ve ever heard this metaphor, but it said, don’t be a pilgrim. And what that essentially means is don’t be the first guy out there, the leader of the pack, because you’re going to end up with arrows in your back. And in that case, that’s why you look at successful businesses, for example. Facebook wasn’t the first social network through his My space and I think Renstar and other platforms like it. Salesforce wasn’t the first CRM. You look at cloud platform s like AWS and Azure, they weren’t the first of their kind. There’s others that did it. You learn from them and then you go and create something better. So it sounds like these other people learn. Let’s learn about David’s…
[00:08:12.340] – David
Yeah, 100 %. I have a similar analogy. Don’t ever be on the bleeding edge, be a fast follower. If you’re a fast follower, then you can get in and learn from the mistakes of the people that are on the bleeding edge. There’s a great YouTube video, by the way, you can Google it or your list search can Google it. You can Google it called the first follower. It’s just about this guy that’s dancing wildly at this conference by himself forever. It’s so awkward and uncomfortable to watch. Then one person joins this guy and then give it another 60 seconds, there’s 500 people dancing with this guy. That’s just a great visual example of how to be that second person or second company or second entity coming in behind somebody else.
[00:09:05.010] – Sean
Because our audience, they like to get tactical. We’ve got a lot of entrepreneurs and a lot of investors in our audience, and they probably want to know some of the other things to avoid with lessons learned, you learn from this failure. Can you give us any more?
[00:09:21.780] – David
Yeah, for sure. For me, I think also when you look at business, you need to really understand your strengths and weaknesses. For me, I am very much the person, and I’ve learned this over and over again. I’m the guy that says, Hey, we’re going to go climb that mountain over there. We’re going to go to the top and we’re going to do it by next week. I have no idea how we’re going to get there. I have no idea the equipment that we’re going to need or any of the operational support that’s going to be required. I just know that’s where we’re going. I’m typically the visionary in my organization, and I always have to have a wingman. I always have to have somebody who’s the operational person. And literally, I won’t go into a business if I don’t have that. Just to show you what a weakness that is for me, this is almost embarrassing to admit this. I literally, in my organization, there’s me, several others, but there’s me and three people that support operations. E one person that supports franchise operations, one person that supports technology, and one person that supports member ship operations.
[00:10:22.570] – David
It’s ridiculous that there’s three people to handle operations, but I know that that’s where I struggle the most. So knowing your lane, staying in your lane as an entrepreneur, I think that’s probably one of the most critical things to success. Another thing, and I want to bring this up because you need to recognize yourself, too, in your journey. You mentioned before we got on the podcast earlier that one of the greatest things you learned about bootstrapping your own business before going full-time was the power of focus. So I would say, based on our earlier conversation, the power of focus is absolutely critical. As an entrepreneur, especially when you’re hustling, you’re trying everything to make your concept work, you’re going to have a thousand bright, shiny objects come along that are going to distract your time, your attention, your money, your investors’ money. It’s just critical to figure out your lane, figure out your target market, figure out your product, and then have a laser focus on that. Another thing you’ve really opened up the can of worms here, as you can tell. Another thing I want to share is just the whole idea of understanding your market.
[00:11:32.600] – David
Now, we all have brilliant ideas of running a business, right? By the way, for anybody listening that’s not an entrepreneur, entrepreneurship is hard. If you go into entrepreneurship realizing it’s going to be the hardest thing you’ve ever done, everything’s going to go wrong, but you still have the grit to make it through it, then it’s probably the right decision for you. If you don’t have those characteristics, then don’t go into entrepreneurship. But in any product, whatever you’re doing, understand your your target market. Before you spend your time, your energy, your money, your life savings, you put a mortgage on your house, make sure that there’s a need for what you do and be willing to walk away if there’s not. Because we all have brilliant ideas, but sometimes the market just doesn’t resonate with our brilliant ideas. And we need to be smart enough to walk away when that happens. I’ve tried a thousand different things over the years that I’ve just walked away from. Recently, actually in my own company, I decided to want to start a consulting group with my own company. My average, we run peer groups across the country, as you know.
[00:12:35.870] – David
Our average member has been in business for 15 years and they own two companies. It’s a very sophisticated group of people. I thought, let’s build a consulting company on top of our membership organization and help all these people that are exploring huge opportunities or have huge challenges. Well, was that in focus with running the peer groups I run? I convinced myself it was, but the reality was it wasn’t. We spun it up, it came out of the gate. We did close to $100,000 in business in six months. I was all excited. And then I realized it was absolutely a crushing job to run a consulting company. And so we shut it down. And so that’s an example of something that actually worked and was making money that we walked away from just because it wasn’t completely focused on what we’re trying to do right now. That might have been more than what you wanted, but.
[00:13:26.080] – Sean
There you go. You gave me more than what I asked for. No, I love it. You got some great key takeaways in there. O ne of them is understanding your market. And this is something I made a mistake on once or twice, going over a decade ago, where you think of an idea and you just go to market right away and start building a software world, that can be a huge waste of time and money. And what I tell people is try to do two things up front. If you thought of an idea, is there an idea like yours out there? And have they proved it’s the whole pilgrim thing. Have other people stepped and then you want to create a different spin on it. And at that point, your second step is to build relationships with people that are looking for the solution, like your customers. And then you start peeling back the onion. What would you different? How would you make this better? And I always tell people, don’t put the weight on your shoulder to create the product or service. Put it on your customer. You’re going to be doing the hard work.
[00:14:28.690] – David
Putting it together. That is so smart. So smart. Yeah. Completely agree.
[00:14:34.360] – Sean
And they’re not spending the money on building. You’re going to do that and you’re going to execute. That’s the differentiator in most cases with entrepreneurs. Who can execute it? Who’s going to sit on the sidelines and think about executing? There’s a big difference there. But yeah, I found if you can get a ton of customers and by ton, I’d say get 10 to 20. Usually after 20, you find it’s a law of diminishing returns. Is, for my opinion at least. I agree. You get to know what’s going on there. Anyway, you talked about a lot of this.
[00:15:07.000] – David
20 gives you a base to actually go to and say, Hey, what’s working and what’s not? I’ll share with you in my own company, we made a decision to sell 10 franchises of our concept around the country. Then stop selling franchises for a while, reevaluate, talk to our franchisees, redesign systems, make sure everything was working the way they wanted to work because they’re our partners and the way we want it to work. We’ve just gone through that process, that evaluation process. I would say another tip is when you’re building a business, when you get those first 20 customers, in our case, first 10 franchisees, stop, pause, reevaluate, reformulate, and make sure that you really are delivering what the market is looking for. Because you have a little traction at that point, which is a win. But it’s very easy to take that win and really scale up fast or not pay attention and all of a sudden you’re in.
[00:16:01.520] – Sean
The gutter. You’re in left field and nobody’s in left field. That’s right. To reiterate there, it’s wise to just slow down for a second, get to know your customers a little more. What’s working, what’s not? What can we do better? And that benefits more people in the long run.
[00:16:17.610] – David
[00:16:18.030] – Sean
Percent. What I’d like to do next is talk about… Before we hit record, you said you mentioned you sold the business about six years ago. Is that correct? Correct. Okay. Now, what business was that? What’s the business model? Tell us about that a little bit.
[00:16:34.770] – David
Yeah, actually, I’m happy to tell you about that. It was a great business model. I was a franchisee of a company called B&I and was actually the largest franchise of that organization in the world at one point. I own franchises from Houston, Texas all the way to West Virginia and many, if actually, most points in between. I spent about 10 years building all those franchises and building that business up. Then I spent about 10 years selling all those franchises and wrapping it down at that point. That was the main business that I was in for many years and it was super successful. That company helped people get referrals for their business. When I was there, what I noticed, though, and this is why you always need to look for opportunities. When I was there, what I noticed is there was an opportunity to build a higher level type business network. Bmi, really anybody can fill out an application, their ethical good business person can be a part of it, whether they’re a yard person mowing grass, a handyman, or a CEO, anybody can really be a part of it. But what I saw as an opportunity is take people who were going from, I guess, garage to CEO.
[00:17:51.890] – David
It was the landscaper who maybe joined the B&I group, then all of a sudden had a real business with multiple locations, multiple trucks and could no longer be in something like B&I. There really wasn’t a platform for that person to jump into. T hat’s what I built, actually, is that platform for that person to jump into. T hat’s something else I would encourage from an entrepreneurship standpoint. When you’re starting as an entrepreneur, I’ve done franchises of a bunch of different… Not a bunch of different things, three different things over the years. And when you’re starting out, buy a franchise or something. Like, if you want to be an entrepreneur, go buy a franchise and you can decide, Hey, is this entrepreneurship thing going to work for me? Because when you buy a franchise, you’re buying a system. If you can’t be successful in that system and that cookie cutter process, then entrepreneurship probably isn’t for you. That’s just one of my standalone things is if you want to be an entrepreneur, buy somebody else’s system, make sure it’s right, and then at the right time, branch off and do your own thing. Hire somebody to run your franchises, whatever.
[00:18:59.820] – David
T urn your next big idea into a side hustle that then becomes the next big idea. That’s in essence what I’ve done.
[00:19:06.350] – Sean
To circle back, I was actually with my first business in the 2000s. I joined B&I. Cool. Very familiar. It was a I think it was a few hundred bucks a year at the time membership. This was the, I think, maybe 2007 or something. But yeah, it was a great way to network, shake hands with other business owners and get leads.100 %. Yeah. So any entrepreneurs out there? Yes, I do recommend, especially if you got a local business, if you’re a local photographer or videographer, you got a landscaping business like you mentioned, or maybe an auto body shop or a restaurant. Yeah, it’s great for small business. So you sold that. You sold the B&I franchise you owned.
[00:19:50.580] – David
Correct. Well, I owned multiple. I owned many at that point. I wound up selling them all. I don’t want to share too much. I want to get myself in trouble. But B&I was purchased by private equity. They changed a lot of things in the franchise system. And that really gave me the impetus just to leave that organization and really pursue the dream of what I wanted to do, which is to build a higher level network. Just to share with you, and what I do now is really more of a peer group, peer board concept or mastermind group than what B&I does, which is a referral group. I’ll share with you, I actually built my first mastermind group called the Platinum Club in 1997, I believe, was our first meeting with three people. This is another piece of advice. With three people sitting around a kitchen table in Roanoke, Virginia. Literally, we were all business owners and we sat around this table and we just said, you know what? We’re going to spend two days helping each other in every way that we can. T hat’s literally what we did for three days. The three of us became very successful.
[00:20:57.870] – David
That group, by the way, 24, 25 years later is still going. I’m still a member of it. There’s 19 of us and we meet somewhere around the world. We’re mainly investors at this point because we’ve all grown up over time. But that is just the power of being in a peer group, being in a mastermind group. When you’re an entrepreneur, when you’re running your own business, it’s very easy to get caught in a silo. When you get caught into a silo, you begin to start having very insular thinking. You’d like to say I’m thinking outside the box, but it’s just you. What box are you thinking outside of? Your bedroom? You need to work with other really smart people that are doing similar things as to you so that the idea genesis really flourishes. That’s why there’s incubators out there like the Atlanta Tech organization. That’s why there’s Mastermind groups and peer groups and support networks out there. Get plugged in to some of those groups. Trust equity, which I run happens to be a great one. I hate to do this. That’s a shamelessless plug. There’s my shameless plug for the podcast. But honestly, I don’t care if it’s us or somebody else.
[00:22:12.340] – David
But getting involved in some a peer support network is really critical for an entrepreneur. Even an investor, I’m an investor as well. Before I invest in something, I always have a WhatsApp group of investors that I work with. Any idea I have from an investment standpoint, I share it out to that group. Why? Because I want people to say, Well, that’s a dumb idea. Or I want people to say, It’s a brilliant idea. And if they have the credibility to back that up, that’s meaningful. By the way, your system has been a game changer for me and others in my investor group. Just the research and everything that you provide has been, through Tykrs, phenomenal. Thank you. Because you’re saying this, I figured after I give myself a Tykr.
[00:22:57.300] – Sean
Plug, that’s awesome. Let’s take a quick commercial break. Hey, this is a quick heads up that we have a second podcast titled Top Stocks. With Top Stocks podcast, I talk about investing, business, and finance. The audio content is published on your favorite podcast platforms such as Apple, Spotify, Google, or Amazon. And the video content is published on the Tykr YouTube channel, so you can either watch or listen to each episode. These episodes are just me, so no interviews. And the overall goal is to help you become a better investor. Go get a head and look up Top Stock’s podcast or check out the Tykr YouTube channel. All right, back to the show. Now, trust I agree with you. This is a franchise you joined or created?
[00:23:43.270] – David
Created. Well, actually, that’s a long story. I would say both. I began, as I shared with you, I began building peer groups and mastermind groups all the way back in the late 90s. In the mid 2015 in 2016, I started launching more groups at that point. I called them catalyst. We were launching those groups on the East Coast. I ran into trust equity at a franchise show a number of years ago. They had groups in the West Coast and I went to visit one of their groups. I was blown away. It was very similar to what I was doing on the East Coast. I literally went to the founder and said, Here’s another tip for entrepreneurs. I literally went to the founder and said, Look, I want to buy your company. He was like, Why do you want to buy my company? Because I’m doing something similar on the East Coast, you’re doing it on the West Coast. This is by far the easiest way for me to become a national organization versus building it out myself. From an entrepreneur standpoint, if you can find somebody that’s doing something similar to you and maybe you could merge or buy them out and dramatically increase your presence overnight, that’s a win win for everybody involved.
[00:24:56.700] – Sean
[00:24:57.900] – David
That was a long wind. That’s why I said yes and no, because I built all the concept myself. But also merge, and we merged trust equity into my concept. At the time, it was called High Achievers Catalyst. We decided to pick the name trust equity for everything just because members of the organization were so passionate about the word trust and integrity and how important those two words are for any business to be successful. They changed my mind. I was like, hey, I’m sold. Let’s just call the whole thing. Sure. There’s the story around my organization.
[00:25:31.560] – Sean
No, that’s good. So essentially buying another business like yours and then taking that name, making it yours.
[00:25:39.210] – David
One hundred %. And I’m open to buying other groups. There’s a lot of people that have 5, 10, 15, 20 peer groups that they’re running. I’d love to acquire some of those groups and pull them into our organization. We can give them systems structure, training and support, and probably help them grow easier and quicker than they can on their own. Sure.
[00:26:02.960] – Sean
Well, we want to get the creative juices going a little bit for our listeners. They probably want to know how does this business make money? So I’m going to try to give a little stab in the dark here, and then you can correct me if I’m right or wrong. Go for it. And this makes sense that you have experience with B&I because B&I, you would have different chapters, they would call it in different towns or cities. Correct. And you could have 40 chapters. That’s probably a lot. But let’s say you had 10 chapters, 10 different cities, and then everybody in the group, you could have 20 members in each group paying 500 bucks a year or something. So with trust equity, is it a similar model where we have these different chapters or locations around the country?
[00:26:45.740] – David
Absolutely. We currently have groups. We actually call them groups, Mastermind groups or peer groups. We have groups currently in 23 regions in 10 states, but we have members actually in in approximately 20 states around the country because some of our groups are actually virtual. It’s a membership model. Some members pay roughly $1,500 a year to be a part of the organization. T hat’s how we monetize the experience and we give members the power to grow. How do we give members the power to grow? We do that through business connections, knowledge sharing, training and strategic advice. T hose are really the four elements that you get from being involved. R eally, the secret ingredient, though, Sean, is the fact that our members, as I said earlier, have been in business an average of 15 years. They own multiple companies. It’s a very sophisticated group of people. I was a small group in Salt Lake a couple of weeks ago. Then they had 10 members. Our average group is around 15. Then they had 10 members. Going around that group of business people, very sophisticated group, I would say most of them had been in business for around 20 years or been in their field for around 20 years.
[00:27:59.800] – David
Those 10 people had 60,000 business connections between the 10 of them. That’s enough connections to accomplish anything that you want to accomplish. You don’t get that. B y the way, we pulled my connections out of the mix just because I didn’t want to skew the example. But if you think about it, that’s enough connections to really achieve anything that you want to achieve. You can just tee up so many conversations with that meeting. It’s extremely powerful.
[00:28:33.910] – Sean
It’s magical. How often do the groups meet? Is this like once per week, once every two weeks, once a month?
[00:28:41.980] – David
Once a month.
[00:28:42.850] – Sean
Once a month. Got it. Is that.
[00:28:44.770] – David
An hour long? Correct. It’s two hours. They meet once a month for two hours. During this meeting, they are doing some introductions, of course. They’re doing a business roundtable discussion where they’re tackling a topic of the day. A lot of the groups have been talking about AI, which has been really interesting hearing how our business owners are incorporating AI into their daily business. Super fascinating. There’s actually a gratitude section of the meeting. We go around and everybody shares something that they’re grateful for, usually involving something another member did for them or helped them with or connection that they got. Then in between the meetings, we put people together in small groups called reconnect power groups. I think three or four people. They’ll meet for coffee or lunch sometime in between that monthly meeting to really dive deep on relationships and help each other out in a very impactful way. So it’s a pretty interesting formula that we’ve come up with. It really drives results for entrepreneurs.
[00:29:40.010] – Sean
Got you. And to circle back on the cost, did you say that it was about $1500 a year or $15,000?
[00:29:45.980] – David
Aproximately $1500 a year.
[00:29:47.910] – Sean
Got it. Okay.
[00:29:48.900] – David
The $15,000 program, that’s the VIP program that we just started today, as a matter of fact.
[00:29:54.630] – Sean
[00:29:55.210] – David
I’m just trying.
[00:29:56.190] – Sean
To find it. Another shameless plug.
[00:29:57.830] – David
Yeah. No, I’m kidding. We’re is no VIP program. Okay. No, it’s just 1,500.
[00:30:05.050] – Sean
A month. No, that’s very reasonable. I’ve talked to people who have, and I had asked the question because I’ve talked to people who have small groups or mastermind groups that I’ve heard prices as much as like $10,000 for three months.
[00:30:20.280] – David
There’s a lot of those groups out there that charge that level of membership, which is fine. I mean, that’s the model that works for them. We’re probably not not going after the same person that they are. That’s not our target market.
[00:30:33.720] – Sean
Right, exactly. You have enough of a bar to get in, so you’re going to really get the tire kickers out of the way. But you want people that are right. You want people in that they’re serious, they’re really serious about networking. I like the numerical example there of 60,000 connections in a single group, not including your own connection.
[00:30:55.610] – David
Of 10 people.
[00:30:56.680] – Sean
Yes. It’s like, I need, I’m looking for this person, or I need access to this, or something. You raise that question and somebody in that group might have somebody that, hey, I can put John Doe on the phone with you in the next week or something like that.
[00:31:15.110] – David
Correct. Well, something else I’ll share with you. I’ve, fortunately, built a pretty large personal network over the years. Well, personal and business network over the years. When I connect to people on LinkedIn, and I’d love to connect to your audience as well, if you connect to me, you’ll find that you get a response back from me that says something along the lines of, Hey, Sean, thanks for connecting. Let me know if there’s anybody in my network I can introduce you to because I’m really wanting to try to engage people as much as possible. Can I make every connection? Anybody wants to happen? Of course not. But I can make a lot happen. I make one happen. I’ve just changed somebody’s trajectory or maybe made their day a little bit better.
[00:31:57.290] – Sean
Absolutely. When we first met, that we never brought up BMI, but what’s interesting here is a lot of training and what you learned really sounds like you took your experience from building that B&I business, applied it forward to this new model. Very similar. It’s all about health, right?
[00:32:13.660] – David
Yeah, 100 %. And that’s why I was giving the recommendation earlier. If you want to become an entrepreneur, try a franchise first. And if that works out good, you’re successful, then the sky’s the limit, which is exactly what I did.
[00:32:30.720] – Sean
Yeah. And I’m actually on that note, I’ll be bringing on more guests who are either franchise recruiters or have started their own franchise. But what’s cool is you have a business template that has proven to work. And if you’re somebody who is a go getter but at the same time can follow steps A through Z on how to execute, it’s perfect. Whereas you and I both know types of… We know entrepreneurs that that bullheadedness, like, I’m going to do things my way because I know better. And it’s like, that’s where the graph left the right field in there.
[00:33:03.920] – David
Those are the ones that don’t ever sell their companies or wind up broke, divorced, overweight.
[00:33:10.150] – Sean
Thank you. Yes.
[00:33:13.880] – David
Sorry if I just offended anybody listening, but it’s a fact.
[00:33:18.670] – Sean
Teachable moment. Teachable moment. Now, this is good stuff, though. Good take away for the audience here is get involved in a small group or networking group. And one main reason this was a motivation for me is the connections, the collective connections among the group are incredible value there. So yeah, definitely seek that out. Trust and equity is an option. You can reach out to David. Thank you.
[00:33:47.030] – Sean
Before we jump to the rapid fire round, is there any… Oh, boy. Your audience, like one…
[00:33:53.420] – David
I’m nervous about the rapid fire round. When I do training, I actually have a round that’s very in the lightning round. And it gets like nervous.
[00:34:04.070] – Sean
High pressure, high stress, put you in the pressure cooker and find out who you really are. That sounds like…
[00:34:10.870] – David
Isn’t that the definition of October Show? I think it is.
[00:34:15.650] – Sean
Indeed. But is there one last take away you can give our audience here?
[00:34:22.470] – David
I think the last take away I will give the audience is when you start to build a company and you’re successful, you hit that break even point, you’re making some money, always do two things. One is carve out a little bit of that money to pursue, explore, do other investment opportunities. I don’t know, maybe buy stocks. What do you think? You think.
[00:34:53.410] – Sean
That could be a good idea? I think that’s a pretty good idea, actually.
[00:34:55.900] – David
Yeah, I think that’s a good idea, too. Or real estate or whatever. I f you can leverage a little bit of that cash flow to do something else, you’re diversifying your income streams. And as an entrepreneur, that’s really important. The other thing I want to say is do this. Now, I know you can see this, your viewers can’t.
[00:35:17.560] – Sean
[00:35:18.440] – David
On this little puzzle, you see the words faith, family, fund, fitness, finance, and field. As an entrepreneur, it is super easy because I’ve done it to become a com so monomaniacal. This is probably my biggest piece of advice actually, it’s so easy to become so monomaniacal focused on your business that you let everything else fall to the side. You literally, you let your fitness fall to the side. You let your family fall to the side. Your faith, you forget what having fun is all about because you’re working 15 hours a day. Maybe you don’t focus on your finances. You over invest. All kinds of things can happen. So focusing on other elements of your life while you’re in hyper growth while you’re building your business is so critical. That’s so critical to success. I’m literally as silly as it is, I’ll take this little puzzle and I’ll take the pieces out if I’m having a stressful day and I’ll just jumble it with my hand and I’ll pull it out. And if it says fitness, guess what? I’m going to jump in on the peloton. I just do whatever it says. And that usually provides a little reset for me and keeps me on a strong path moving forward.
[00:36:27.060] – David
So entrepreneurship is never balanced. But I do think you can have a harmonious relationship with all the different areas of your life if you focus on it. And that’s important when you’re running a business.
[00:36:39.890] – Sean
I totally agree with both points. I got to add my two cents to both. So with the first one, I have seen a lot of entrepreneurs that they only invest in their business. They don’t invest in the stock market or create some Roth IRA or real estate. And what happens is they can have a failing business and next thing you know, they’re 65, 70, 75 years old and they don’t have any money and they don’t have an asset they can sell so they’re stuck. I do know guys right now as we speak that are in that position and they’re like, Sean, I actually can’t retire. And I’m like, you’re probably thinking of what you should have done, which is invest in stocks, bigger businesses that are more legitimate and just ride their way. And he’s like, 100 %. So that’s key for entrepreneurs listening out there.
[00:37:29.260] – David
And then two, especially stocks that are scoring 70, 80 on Tykr. Those are really good to think about investing in, aren’t they?
[00:37:36.840] – Sean
The Tykr score, my friend. There we go. Anything over 50 is what we should be looking at.
[00:37:44.180] – David
So good call. Okay, well, maybe I’m a little more discerning, but I have a lot of stocks at 50 and below, by the way, but I have hope.
[00:37:55.770] – Sean
Yes, they could correct above 50, but it allows you to ride the wave up, sell those for a profit, hopefully, and then put your money on sales stocks. But with the point to which is balance, I am in 100 % agreement. When I was in my 20s, had that first service business and agency, it was really very focused on business. And there’s a lot of things that took a back seat. And that was wrong. That was a big mistake. And now it’s like, I’m all about balance.
[00:38:27.910] – David
And we’ll be able to make it.
[00:38:29.570] – Sean
Yeah, work life balance. A lot of balance, as I mentioned to you with Tykr Fridays during the summer and then for golf. Got to get out there in the greens with my buddies.
[00:38:40.780] – David
I was struck by that comment, Ashley. And did everybody pick up on that? The CEO of Tykr is so balanced, he plays golf every Friday. We love that. That’s what our relationship is.
[00:38:52.930] – Sean
All about. What’s funny is if I’m not, my wife actually pushes me. She’s like, Well, have you called so and so? Have you called so and so? I’m like, Well, they’re busy and they’re busy. That’s good. Yeah. So she’s like, You should be out there.
[00:39:06.280] – David
[00:39:07.260] – Sean
It. Let’s take a quick commercial break. Hey, this is Sean. I’d like to say thank you for taking the time to listen to this podcast. I know there’s a lot of other podcasts you could be listening to, so thanks for taking the time to listen to this one. I have a quick request. If you have a moment, could you please head over to Apple Podcasts and leave a five star review? The reason is the more ratings we get and the higher those ratings are, the more Apple will share us with the world. So thanks in advance for doing that. And then I have a quick comment. If there are any questions you want me to ask the guests, please head over to our Tykr Facebook group. You can drop a question right there. I’ll go ahead and make a note and I’ll do my best to ask that question on the podcast. All right, back to the show.
[00:39:50.280] – David
[00:39:50.860] – Sean
All right, so let’s dive into the rapid fire round. This is the part of the episode where we get to find out who David really is. Perfect.
[00:39:58.010] – David
[00:39:58.500] – Sean
I’m nervous, but I’m ready. All right. If you can try to answer each question in 15 seconds or less. You ready?
[00:40:04.190] – David
[00:40:05.670] – Sean
Yeah. If you take a little more than 15 seconds, that’s fine. But it’s the benchmark we aim for. What is your favorite podcast?
[00:40:14.910] – David
I love stuff you should know. That’s one of my favorites. I’m a scientist at heart. Radiol ab, that’s another good one. Maxwell, I can’t remember what his is called, John Maxwell podcast. It’s a great one. Just a number. Purple Cow, got it. There’s so many good ones out there. Good. That was probably more.
[00:40:42.500] – Sean
Than 50 seconds. That’s fine. That’s a good list, actually. I know you want to talk about a book here, so please take your time on this answer. But what is a recent book you read and would recommend?
[00:40:52.730] – David
Okay, this is actually really cool. I’m a part of another organization who’s made up of category leaders around the country. You have to be in the top five in your field to be in this group. T hey send out books to us occasionally. They just sent this one called The 22 Mutable L ols of Marketing. It was published in I don’t know when it was published, a very long time ago. Let’s see here, 1993 was when this book was published. How many years ago is that? It’s 30 years. Thirty years ago. Here’s the cool thing about this book. These 22 laws of marketing, if you’re in business, you got to know every single one of them, and every single one of them are as relevant today as they were 30 years ago. This book is really blowing my mind. It’s a short read to me. You can see on the Zoom, it’s a tiny little book. So pick that up if you can find it off Amazon. Highly, highly recommend. It’s just funny. Some of the brands we’re even talking about in here don’t even exist anymore. But the concept shelps are still.
[00:42:00.760] – Sean
Absolutely gold. Still sound nice. The audience here, this is a broken record, but when I ask that question, I’m usually going to Amazon and adding it to my wish list or card. So this is like… But you find it on Amazon. Yeah, it’s by Al Reece and Jack Trout. Are those the names of the cover? Yeah, that’s it. Different color cover than what you’re showing me. But yeah, it’s a big 12 bucks on Amazon. So there you go.
[00:42:28.530] – David
Very cool. That’s the 12 best bucks you can spend today.
[00:42:33.280] – Sean
Yes, indeed. All right, next question is a movie question. What is your favorite movie?
[00:42:39.700] – David
Oh, anything Marvels. That’s so easy. I’m like a Marvels universe. I mean, Avengers, all those Marvel universe movies.
[00:42:49.630] – Sean
Absolutely. Seriously. Okay. Can you pick a favorite? You know.
[00:42:53.660] – David
How to say that?
[00:42:54.810] – Sean
I did not.
[00:42:56.850] – David
I like them all. I would say… I’m not going to give you a favorite. I’ll give you my most recent. I just saw the Flash, which I thought.
[00:43:06.250] – Sean
Was really… That would be our DC universe.
[00:43:09.970] – David
That’s DC. That’s right. That was DC comics. I would just say, what is go with the… Any of the Avengers movies would be my favorite.
[00:43:19.870] – Sean
Infinity War and Endgame. Endgame being my favorite, but Infinity War, Clive.
[00:43:24.930] – David
S econd. Your comic books.
[00:43:27.310] – Sean
Action movie. Okay, got it. Huge Ricardo or editor, he’ll laugh because he’s like, whenever you get to the movie question, you get pumped up. I’m like, well, when somebody says a good movie, I can’t help myself. But I know all about Marvel, DC. We could go for hours here.
[00:43:45.670] – David
Well, I don’t know if… I’m sure your listeners remember this. Do you remember years ago when the movie subscription service, Movie Pass, came out? Did you have a Movie Pass came out. Did you have a Movie Pass were involved in all that?
[00:43:56.050] – Sean
I knew of it, but I did not purchase it. And the model was you could pay a subscription to go to theaters. Is that correct?
[00:44:03.490] – David
Yes. They tried to become the Netflix of movies. And so they built a subscription models like 995 a month, see as many movies as you want to see for that price. They built a subscription of millions of people, I think three or four or 5 million clients, and went bankrupt. Not a big surprise. I mean, how you offer an unlimited movie service for 995 a month, go bankrupt. But long story short, this is such a cool entrepreneurial story. The founder of that company, which was bought out by private equity and merged with other companies and whatever happened, happened, he was run out of the company basically years ago. He bought the assets of the company out of bankruptcy and has relaunched the service. Really? Yeah, to their subscribers, the old subscribers first. I have my new Movie Pass card and I can still actually go to the movies. Now it’s not unlimited. It’s only about three or four per month for a whopping $15. That’s a great deal. I still hope that they can keep it in business. But it’s just such an interesting concept seeing somebody that’s founded something years ago, lost the company through a myriad of bad decisions, and now is relaunching it in a very different way using different monetization and different revenue streams.
[00:45:21.880] – David
I’m so impressed, actually, I would invest in it if you would like. Even the messaging on LinkedIn asked that question, but I didn’t get enough response back. T hat’s a cool story around the movie business.
[00:45:35.030] – Sean
That is cool. I know we don’t want to spend the whole time on this model, but what I’m looking at is a lesson learned there is when you create an unlimited subscription on something that has costs that continue to increase. That cost. Then you’ve got a problem. Whereas when you create a…
[00:45:52.940] – David
It’s going to explode at.
[00:45:54.210] – Sean
Some point. Exactly. Whereas when you create a membership on something digital, unlimited uses like Netflix or the shameless plug here like Tykr, we don’t have a lot of ongoing cost of people logging in once a month or once every other hour. Server costs are minimal. But yeah, so that’s what I would have done. There’s a.
[00:46:17.510] – David
[00:46:17.970] – Sean
Isn’t there? I remember when it first came out, I was like, I would have created a limitation here and then create tiers like this price for three visits a month or this price for 10 visits or whatever.
[00:46:29.840] – David
Well, and actually, the new system is really smart. They’ve launched a credit system. So you buy X amount of credits per month and you can use those credits based on however you want to use those credits. So they’re going to monetize it through advertising, through placement, ad placement in the app. They’re going to monetize it through relationships with theaters because guess what? People are coming in with a movie pass card and they’re buying movie tickets. What else are they going to buy? They’re probably going to buy a beer. They’re probably going to buy some pop corn. They’re probably going to buy a Coke. There’s just so many other creative ways that he’s taken and used the experience in the past to build something different in the future using the same brand. It’s really cool to see that. He’s a movie lover. The guy loves movies. There’s nothing in the world he loves more than going to movies. A nother lesson is find a business that you’re super passionate about.
[00:47:20.940] – Sean
Yes, a lot of good lessons there. Well, let’s keep going here. We got a few more business questions. What is the worst advice you ever received?
[00:47:31.550] – David
I would probably say the worst advice I’ve ever received is you should stop doing what you’re doing because it’s not going to work. Because I can’t tell you how many times in business it’s just like I was so ready to pull the plug. I wasn’t going to move forward another day. I wasn’t going to call another investor. I wasn’t going to call another client. But for whatever reason, I just went one more day. T hen the breakthrough happened. Related to that is the previous conversation we had earlier on about understanding your target market. I mean, if you’re pretty aware of your target market and you understand that the market need is there, you can probably succeed. You just got to push through and make it happen. So I would have definitely not be here today if I’d have walked away from some opportunities over the years.
[00:48:28.320] – Sean
Flipped that equation. What is the best advice you ever received?
[00:48:32.010] – David
Oh, super easy one, actually. This gets back to shaping off a little bit of your cash flow whenever you’re running a business to invest in other things like buying stocks. In my case, 20 years ago, I had a mentor literally come up to me. He said, David, not come up, just a good friend of mine. He came up to me. He said, David, if you can simply take 5 to 10 % of your profit in your company and invest in real estate, e one day in the future, don’t know when, one day in the future, your real estate portfolio will be more valuable than your business. Guess what? 20 years later, my wife and I own Air BNBs in two states. We are in long term rentals. We own our house outright. T hat prediction 20 years ago, because I followed that advice, followed that advice, that’s the key, has held true. My real estate portfolio is the most valuable asset I have. I did it in a super part time fashion just by saving off a little bit of income to invest in something else.
[00:49:37.710] – Sean
Brilliant advice. That’s awesome. All right, we got one last business question here. This is a time machine question. If you could go back in time to give your younger self advice, what age would you visit and what would you say?
[00:49:50.490] – David
What age would I visit and what would I say? I would probably visit myself in high school and I would say, David, you’re surrounded by… My mom was a teacher, my father was a principal. You’re surrounded by educators. You’re surrounded by people with a lot of stability that want you to go into a career with lots of stability, which ultimately wind up being why I’m a major in forestry. I mean, that’s pretty stable career. You got to work for the forest service or some government agency, typically. I would have advised myself then to explore entrepreneurship because I truly love it. I don’t know if I have in our organization. I don’t think I have this with me. Oh, yeah, I do. In my organization, we have a sustainability focus. So all of our name tags are hand carved, made out of wood, recycled wood. And we also put everybody’s why on the name tag. You see mine’s dream underneath that. Every member has their why on their name tag. Why is my dream? Mine is dream because I personally, like my mission is to help entrepreneurs build build and achieve the lifestyle of their dreams, the lifestyle of achievement.
[00:51:04.910] – David
I do that through building groups of people to help one another. That’s my system for doing that. But my passion is really teaching people how our entrepreneurs hip can open up so many doors of opportunity for you if done correctly. Biggest advice, if you want to start something or do something, find somebody to help you. Find a wingman, find somebody to walk along beside you. I don’t care if you pay them to do it. They do it as a mentor. It doesn’t matter. Find somebody who’s going to walk along with you and help you on that journey because it can truly be wonderful. So that’s the advice for my early self, being an entrepreneur. I could have had 10 years more experience in entrepreneurship than I give myself at.
[00:51:48.640] – Sean
That point. Sure. Absolutely. Well, David, this has been great. Why don’t you tell the audience where can they reach you?
[00:51:55.410] – David
You can reach me on LinkedIn. That’s probably the best way to reach me. Just go to LinkedIn type in David Alexander. I have a network of about 22,000 on LinkedIn, so I’ll probably come up pretty close to the top. If I don’t, just type in David Alexander, Trust equity, and you can connect with me on LinkedIn. People are like, Well, actually, I was going to give out my email address, but that’s silly because I hate email and I don’t check it half the time. So LinkedIn would be the best way.
[00:52:21.770] – Sean
Linkedin, you got it. And we’ll have your LinkedIn link as well as you get a website link in here we can share.
[00:52:28.400] – David
Perfect. Yeah, trustsd egrity. Com, of course, that would be another way you can find out a little bit.
[00:52:34.050] – Sean
About me. Yeah, we’ll get those both shared. But again, thank you so much for your time. This was great.
[00:52:39.800] – David
Yeah, thanks for having me. I want to acknowledge you for your leadership and doing these podcast and building the company you’re building. The way we got connected is I think I reached out to you just about what you were doing. I was just blown away by Tykr. Even in the early generations of it, I joined as a lifetime member. I don’t know if that’s good or bad when you look at it, but anyways, I joined as a lifetime member because it’s just really impactful. The information that you’re aggregating and gathering is just super helpful. Thank you for making the job of a stock investor and options trader much, much easier.
[00:53:21.670] – Sean
Absolutely. Well, thank you for that positive feedback and we’ll definitely be in touch. Sounds good. Thank you. See you, David. Hey, I’d like to say thank you for checking out this podcast. I know there’s a lot of other podcasts you could be listening to, so thanks for spending some time with me. Also, if you have a moment, could you please head over to Apple podcast and leave a review? The more reviews we get, the more Apple will share this podcast with the world. So thanks for doing that. And last thing, if you do hear any stocks mentioned on this podcast, please keep in mind this podcast is for entertainment purposes only. Please do not make a buy or sell decision based solely on what you hear. All right, thanks for your time. Talk to you later. See you.