Jason Skeesick – How to build and sell a business.
If you are building a business, you need to put systems in place early, to make sure you have an exit strategy that actually pays off. My next guest has a history of building and selling 2 different service businesses. In this episode, we talk about how to structure the payment models, how to improve operations, and how to add more value for the buyer. Please welcome Jason Skeesick.
Payback Time is a podcast for investors. The goal of this podcast is to help make investing approachable and easy to understand. We will interview beginner and experienced investors and ask them to share stories on how they got started, what challenges they faced, what mistakes they made, and what strategy works for them today. The overall objective is to provide you with a roadmap that helps you become a better investor.
(00:39) – Show intro and background history
(01:50) – Deeper into his background history and entrepreneurship strategies
(02:56) – Understanding his first business model
(05:34) – How and for how much did he sell this business
(06:36) – Understanding his second business model
(08:18) – Deeper into his entrepreneurship philosophy
(10:39) – How about the numbers of revenue and growth
(12:24) – What really changed the game for him in this business?
(15:23) – How does your business billing system work?
(16:29) – The importance of an automated payment system to get a constant revenue stream
(18:38) – Deeper into the business valuation and selling process
(21:43) – Deeper into how works her mastermind group
(18:50) – How about his consulting business model
(23:41) – What are his businesses today?
(25:58) – Deeper into his educational business model
(26:39) – What about the pricing policy on these platforms?
(27:43) – Does it limit the number of participants on its educational platforms?
(28:57) – How he scales his mastermind platform
(29:54) – How much does he charge for his courses?
(30:38) – A message from the guest
(34:04) – The worst advice he ever received
(35:25) – The best advice he ever received
(36:19) – Guest contacts
[00:00:04.090] – Sean
Hey, this is Sean Tepper, the host of Payback Time and Approachable and Transparent podcast on business investing in finance. I’d like to bring our guests to hear authentic stories while giving you actionable takeaways you can use today. Let’s go. If you are building a business, you need to put systems in place early to make sure you have an exit strategy that actually pays off. My next guest has a history building and selling two different service businesses. In this episode, we talk about how to structure the payment models, how to improve operations, and how to add more value for the buyer. Please welcome Jason Skisic. Jason, welcome to the show.
[00:00:41.760] – Jason
Oh, Sean, thank you so much for having me, man. I’m really excited to be here and I appreciate you sharing your audience with me today.
[00:00:47.710] – Sean
Thank you. Thank you for joining me. Well, why don’t you kick us off and tell us about your background?
[00:00:52.670] – Jason
Absolutely. I’m going to keep it brief, though, because it’s been kind of broad. As a young man, I went into the United States Army and spent four years there as a network engineer, which means they give you a shovel and you dig holes, lay in conduit and pull cable by hand. When I got out of the military, I did two things at the same time. I went to school for finance to become a commercial banker, which I ultimately did. And the second thing I did was I started a small CrossFit Gym as a hobby project with two other veterans on the fourth floor of a dusty warehouse in Chicago. And then over the next few years, I’d be working on a $50 million deal, a $20 million deal, and all I could think about was my little dusty CrossFit Gym. So eventually I decided that the entrepreneur’s life was for me, and I’ve done that for the past twelve and a half years. I run that CrossFit Gym about two years ago, I sold it because I had fallen in love with what I do now, which is working with other entrepreneurs and helping them to find success in building and scaling businesses and teams of their own.
[00:01:50.440] – Sean
Got it? Perfect. So our audience, we’ve got a lot of people who are investing in the stock market looking to build their wealth that way, but we also have a lot of entrepreneurs. And these people like to create multiple streams of revenue, ideally passive income, but they are also looking for liquidity events, kind of like what you experienced. Now, you mentioned you sold a CrossFit Gym, but before the podcast, you said you actually built and sold two different businesses. Is that correct?
[00:02:16.970] – Jason
That’s correct. Actually, I’ve sold three businesses. I sold a rock wall, which was very early on in my entrepreneurial journey, for a couple of bucks. And then more recently, yes, in the last two years, I’ve sold my CrossFit Gym to my brother from another mother, Andrew, who’s taking wonderful care of it and also sold my other consulting business, FitBiz University, to my former partner Joey, who’s also doing an unbelievable job with that company. But it’s important to note that in both cases, there was a ton of preparation that went into building the value of those businesses and making sure that they weren’t reliant, necessarily reliant on me day to day to energize them.
[00:02:56.390] – Sean
Got it. Well, let’s start breaking this down a little bit. This will be really helpful for a lot of our listeners who are looking to build and then sell their business. And you’ve got some good experience. You probably have some repeated systems. You’ve used to kind of package your businesses. Now, I will say this, you have, I would say, more service based businesses. But how you structure those businesses can create a value in which you can sell for a decent multiple. Let’s just go to the very beginning. Let’s touch on that rock wall, which I put in a similar category to a CrossFit gym. It’s a brick and mortar location. You’re getting people in the door, they’re probably paying a fee per hour or per day. Is that correct?
[00:03:39.300] – Jason
Yeah. You know, it’s funny. This is the perfect thing to start with. This will be the first time I’ve spoken about it on a podcast, but yours seems appropriate. It’s exactly what not to do if you want to build a valuable business and sell it. We were able to negotiate an unbelievable lease for 7500 sqft on the fourth floor of a mostly empty building for $1,000 a month. This was the only reason we were able to do it was insane in Chicago. And so because of that, we hauled up all this lumber and we hauled up all this equipment and stuff and we built this rock wall, which was actually really cool and interesting, but we didn’t get permitting and we didn’t have the right insurance and we didn’t do the things right. We were fresh out of the military where we had just been building things in the desert for with no permits and no things like that. And so what ultimately happened was when we moved our gym, because we were deciding to move to a bigger location and become more of a business, well, we couldn’t move this giant rock wall. And so because of that, out of really convenience or need, we sold it to another entrepreneur in the building.
[00:04:42.280] – Jason
And I think we got it was five figures, it might have been 12,000 $13,000 for that rock wall. And I believe it’s still there today. And I think it runs as a modest business still today.
[00:04:54.780] – Sean
Got it. Now, was that the sale of the business or just the office?
[00:04:59.450] – Jason
It was the sale of that part of the business. Yeah, it became LLC and we broke it off. But at the time this was fresh out of the military. This was before we ever had any concept of building real foundations which could ultimately become value in the business. And so there were no systems. There was simply an asset that we had put sweat equity into and a pretty loyal following of rock climbers in the area who would come there regularly and really enjoyed it. And so there was some intrinsic value, but there certainly wasn’t anything that we had built with an eye for creating value.
[00:05:34.510] – Sean
[00:05:35.120] – Jason
[00:05:35.760] – Sean
Yeah. That’s the key, is you have a customer base and the repetitive customers. That’s the key because there’s a lot of agencies out there that work on projects. You bring a customer in, you work on a project, that customer then goes their own way. That’s not a business. Right. You can’t sell that. But if you get people coming back to you, then you’ve got a business and you can sell that. So you said you sold it for five figures. Right. You work hard at something, you build a business. You’re looking for something that comes six or seven figures, five figures. Can you give us an idea what kind of five figures we’re talking about here?
[00:06:11.190] – Jason
I think that particular one, literally, it was almost like an afterthought on the way out the door. I think we sold that for less than $15,000 just for the asset that it was just for the rock wall and the client list. Right?
[00:06:24.380] – Sean
Sure. Did you break even on that based on the material?
[00:06:28.080] – Jason
Yeah, I think we did. I think our whole budget for starting the CrossFit Gym and the rock wall, I think, was $9,000 in the okay. Yeah, we did it. We did it. Okay.
[00:06:37.360] – Sean
All right, so first sale, 15 grand, we could say. All right, that’s good to know. Now let’s move on to the CrossFit Gym. Now, I have talked to, I think, one or two other people that have built but not sold CrossFit or some kind of fitness type business model. I’m a member of an Anytime Fitness, and I like the Reoccurring model. It’s a membership model, and you would probably know the percentages more than me. But isn’t it true that most people who pay the membership don’t actually show up?
[00:07:09.240] – Jason
Not in our business. In cocaine, it’s actually a very high percentage.
[00:07:12.900] – Sean
[00:07:13.930] – Jason
And so without getting too in the weeds, I want to backtrack before I talk about the gym and explain that as a commercial banker, as opposed to, like, an investment banker, that would be specialized.
[00:07:22.880] – Sean
[00:07:23.150] – Jason
As a commercial banker, one day I would be analyzing a brick manufacturer, which is very asset heavy, value driven business, and the next day I might be evaluating a law firm, which is very much a talent and service based business. And so these these always fascinated me, sort of the the value drivers and and where the the risks are within different business models. And so for a CrossFit Gym, you know, I recognized very early on it was, you know, I think we were ten or eleven years old when I sold. I recognized very early on that if we only relied on just us doing a great job and people showing up and the rubber on the floor and the weights in the racks, that our business would be worth very little. And so it was important that we found ways, which I’ll expound on, but we found ways to sort of productize and build assets that could be transferred over and didn’t rely on the tribal knowledge that was stuck between my ears.
[00:08:18.490] – Sean
Right? Yes. That’s smart and that’s good. And that’s something to emphasize here, that you do have some good experience in corporate finance, where you’re analyzing numbers, but you’re also looking past those numbers. I say this a lot with our business as an investor in stocks. Yes. It’s important to start with the numbers. Look at those numbers like margin, safety. Look at the important numbers like revenue and net profit to make sure they’re increasing quarter over quarter and year over year. But we as investors and entrepreneurs, we never want to stop at the numbers. We want to then look past those numbers, look at the business model, how do you scale it, what is the competitive advantage, so on and so forth. It sounds like your experience not only as an entrepreneur, but your corporate finance is giving you some of that, which is that you can apply forward.
[00:09:10.110] – Jason
Yeah. I’ll give you like a tactical example that anybody who has a contract driven service business, if you regularly are charging people over the period of time, and you have a very high collection rate. So for us as a gym, we charge say, $100 a month. It was not that, but there’s $100 a month, and we sign everybody into a twelve month contract. I literally had a conversation with my CPA just about the value of the business. And there was a moment where we went from a balance sheet that had only the equipment with residual value on it. We might have had a low six figure valuation at that point, but as soon as we capitalized our contracts, we had over 400 members at that time, 400 members times. It was actually closer to $300 a month times twelve months. And then you reduce that by what is that? You work it back by some margin, all of a sudden, the value of our business, I think like ten X just from this one conversation. And so when we talk about building value in a service based business, particularly those that are driven by contracts, there’s one thing right there that will just many times multiply the value of your business.
[00:10:17.970] – Jason
Not just if you want to sell it, but also if you want to go to a bank and leverage some sort of a line of credit, or if you want to build a new facility or expand to another location and start to have multiple locations. This really unlocked the handcuffs of that business, that decision. And it was one conversation that dramatically altered the future of that business.
[00:10:39.020] – Sean
Got it. Can we dive into that a little bit before we go there and dive into what you said there? That one conversation is on this podcast. I really like to jump in the numbers and really make them simple for the audience. You said 400 customers at $300 a month, correct?
[00:10:57.430] – Jason
Yeah. It’s a little overstatement because there’s some variants there, but let’s say 400 customers.
[00:11:03.970] – Sean
At $300 a month, that’s impressive. So that means you’re bringing in 120,000 a month with the service business. Nice work.
[00:11:13.540] – Jason
Well, and you should have seen the place we were doing it out of.
[00:11:19.110] – Sean
Was it kind of dumpy?
[00:11:20.420] – Jason
Yeah. So we showed up, and it was a place they used to park cars, and I was in there with a power washer. It was a beautiful place, and I have tons of fond memories of it. In fact, there’s a picture on my screen right there of the garage door of it. But we only had eight parking spots, and we were running so many classes that we had to have our front desk actually moving cars and acting as a valet at the front. So it was definitely a grassroots, very much guerrilla operation in those days.
[00:11:47.750] – Sean
You make it work. Your military background taught you that.
[00:11:51.430] – Jason
Yeah, I think that’s actually exactly right. And I think it was the tribe, really. It was the connection to people and the willingness for us to help change people’s lives and sort of that that really brought folks in and kept them there. And so we were able to demonstrate that not only did we have an unbelievable attrition or retention rate for our industry, but also that people would continue to come and would continue to bring in new friends and would continue to grow. And so we were able to demonstrate mathematically that we actually were good for it, for those contracts.
[00:12:24.450] – Sean
Right on. Okay, let’s just reverse here a little bit and drill into that one conversation. And I can say this, and there’s a lot of people out there, a lot of listeners. Sometimes it’s not the 50 things that are said or the 25 things. It’s like one thing that can move the needle. So what really changed the game for you in this business?
[00:12:46.420] – Jason
Well, it’s funny because just think about who I am in this conversation. I sit down with my accountant, who’s great. He’s an entrepreneur’s accountant. He’s creative, but he’s also very thorough. And he’s one of the guys that gets called to provide testimony for the IRS when those things arise in our area. So this is not some fly by night guy shout out to Dean. But I’m someone who had worked behind the curtain, who had been analyzing companies and had been in these conversations in a very real way in a higher level than certainly we were at. And so I knew what was possible. But then I would walk into a branch or a business banking location and talk to a lender and they just were not seeing the same things that I was. And so it was incumbent upon me, this cowboy, visionary type entrepreneur, to say, okay, well, we need to be able to learn how to play along with those games. We need to be able to check the boxes of the underwriter. Who’s going to look at our business and scrutinize it from all of these different angles that most entrepreneurs don’t even consider.
[00:13:47.220] – Jason
And so for us, it really stings when you’ve built something out of nothing and here you have not just hundreds of people praising you and telling you that you’ve built this tribe and it’s changed their lives, but also like babies that are walking around because their parents met in your organization. And then I walk in and I sit down and we’re bringing in six figures a month where we’re employing multiple people. We took the team to Hawaii that year and they’re telling me that we’re not bankable. And so that’s when I had to have a hard conversation with we’re not bankable at the level that we expected. And so that’s when I had to have a conversation with Dean. I was like, look Dean, we’re doing this. I can literally go on vacation and we’ll still grow. We had established systems in the business where it wasn’t relying on ownership to thrive. And he agreed. And so we just started throwing ideas out there. And one of them was, there has to be value for these contracts that are twelve months long, hundreds of dollars a month, and we’re collecting I don’t remember the exact figure, but it was in the 90% collection rate.
[00:14:47.450] – Jason
And so at the end of the day, we agreed and we checked into how to do it and all we had to do was continually update them with basically our expected collections and our collections. And so it cost me maybe an additional, I think the number was $800 a month to hire a collection agency to follow up on unpaid bills and make sure that we were collecting at a slightly higher rate, which was a little more hassle than I thought it would be because previously we just didn’t do anything. And yeah, overnight I think I’d have to think about the number, but I would say minimum seven x the value on the balance sheet compared to what it would have been previously.
[00:15:23.840] – Sean
Impressive. The key takeaway there is bringing a collection agency put a little rigor around your debt collection, your accounts payable. I’m curious, do you use an online billing system? So people were required to play with a credit card or debit card or did you accept check as well?
[00:15:42.260] – Jason
Absolutely not. I have one guy, my very close friend John, who’s fantastic, and he’s just an old Italian guy, older Italian guy, wonderful. And he wants to pay you. I think he pays in cash, actually. He wants to pay you in cash every month. And that guy wants to look you in the eye. And I respect that, but in general, absolutely not. As a matter of course, the fitness business is one that is very thoroughly technological these days. There’s great membership management softwares that took care of that for us. We had contracts at the beginning of bringing folks in, and more importantly, people wanted to be there. It’s the reason why you don’t trade in your car every single month, because it’s more valuable in your driveway than it is traded back in. And so folks would stay longer at our gym than others.
[00:16:28.960] – Sean
Got it. Thanks for reassuring me that you use systems for your payments. And that’s critical because that can be the life or death of a business. And I’ve run into service business owners that are too laxadasal with that. Like, well, this person pays with check, but they pay on time. And then this person pays cash, and this person may pay credit cards. Like, no, you need a rigorous system in place, and there’s even fees against it. That’s fine. Actually, I won’t deviate here, but I was talking to a few nonprofits that they do the same thing. They accept their donations to Lucy Goosey, and it’s like, get your donors on a monthly schedule with an automated system where they have to put in a debit card or credit card. Your donations are going to go through the roof. If you want to sustain as a nonprofit, do this. If you want to sustain. If you don’t, I tell you what, in three years, you might not be around.
[00:17:22.670] – Jason
Yeah, and to add to that, I always tell people you don’t want to be the variable between your clients and reality. And I think a lot of times we’re we’re purpose driven people. We want to be nice, we want to be good. We want to impact the world in a positive way. And so pay as when you can, or we’ll give you 30 day terms or, oh, we’ll do this. Well, I can tell you right now, at least in the fitness business, I had a 20% marketing budget. I couldn’t be giving anybody terms because I needed to get that cash back out the door in the conversion cycle and get folks back in. And so, yeah, you can’t be the variable between reality and your clients.
[00:17:54.770] – Sean
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[00:19:05.160] – Jason
I sold the business I’m not going to tell you what I sold the business for, but I sold my portion of the business, I still own 25% of it in 2020 to the person who had previously been the general manager. And it was a middle six figures number that was satisfying to me. And it was one that I knew that he could handle with the business without turning over the apple cart. The truth is, I probably would have held onto the business for a few more years, but during 2020, obviously in fitness, this was at least as bad as it could be for anybody else in the world. And we actually were moving out of state, and I didn’t feel good owning that particular type of business from out of state. And at that point, I had already been heavily involved day to day in my new business, which had been working with gym owners to help them do the same stuff that we had. And so we came to an agreement. So I was a 75% owner and I’m now a 25% owner. So I sold him my 50% of that business for middle six figures, and we came up with terms that were satisfying to both of us.
[00:20:08.920] – Sean
Got it. And did you factor in like a multiple on revenue or was it more?
[00:20:15.380] – Jason
You know, it’s funny, I had gone to two business brokers and had come up with valuations previous to this. And the multiple, I believe it was going to end up between two and three on EBITDA, which frankly was good for a business like ours. They had told us that when we sat down with them, they were basically like, most gyms are worth the equipment and some gyms are worth the equipment and some earn out, right? If you stick around and make sure everybody goes through the smooth transition. But because we had built just stridently worked through, we had a marketing person who was an employee. We had a nurture person that was an employee. We had a salesperson. We had a staff of 15 coaches that were employees. So there was no area where the entrepreneur was going to be forced to be actually working in the business unless they wanted to, which in this business they typically do.
[00:21:09.030] – Sean
Well done. Two to three X multiple on EBITDA is outstanding. I’ve talked to service business owners, especially people or even CPAs, and the most you can get is one X, one X Ebay, which is disheartening if you build your business over 30 years and now you want to sell it and go play golf all the time.
[00:21:28.940] – Jason
Yeah. You know, the problem is, I think most people get stuck in the tactical and they, they get better and better and better at tactical. And so they say, look at this. And you go, yeah, but strategically you’re not valuable without you there. And which is why entrepreneurial resilience is something that I think about a lot.
[00:21:43.720] – Sean
Right. I like what you did there with the, the one year contracts. I know with Anytime Fitness, for example, they give you incentive to go two years, so it creates that run rate, which can create a it’s more value you can sell the business for. So yeah, well done there. Yeah. I want to transition to you built did you build and sell a consulting business as well?
[00:22:08.280] – Jason
Is that correct? I joined a consulting business. I was asked to join the consulting business. Are you familiar with Alex Harmosi?
[00:22:15.920] – Sean
[00:22:16.620] – Jason
Okay. So Alex Hormosy started a company called Jim Launch. I was one of his very early clients. I think when they started the model that ultimately was successful, I think that under ten. I was like within the first five or six and did very well with his model. He’s a generational talent in what he does and just nothing but love and respect for that guy. And at a certain point, we had gone from $9,000 a month to six figures a month. And so we had done very well using his system and things that he had taught us and other things as well. And so he asked me to be one of his coaches, and I did that on a part time basis. Well, as they grew, they didn’t want to have part time coaches, and I’m nobody’s employee, but I had fallen in love with this, with talking to other entrepreneurs and helping them solve problems and getting benefit to help me solve problems and learning things from teaching them. And so there just wasn’t a way I wasn’t going to continue to do that. And so one of the other coaches and he asked me to join his company.
[00:23:11.200] – Jason
So I came on as a minority partner. Did that for about two years through COVID, which I think we helped a lot of businesses stay alive. We worked with a couple hundred entrepreneurs of fitness businesses during that time. And then there just came a time when I just decided that I wanted to be the owner again, and I wanted to be the one whose chips were in the center of the table and the one whose core values were being energized in the mission. And so we parted as friends and he purchased back the minority share that I had from him.
[00:23:41.670] – Sean
Got you. I don’t want to dive into that one. It’s another service business and I’m sure a great model as well. I’d like to transition to what you’re building today.
[00:23:51.180] – Jason
Yeah. So today I’m the owner of spear and clover. So Spear and Clover is this logo here that’s on my forearm. And what it stands for is two of my five core values, which is Spirit of the Puppy. I’ve had that since I was born. I’m high energy, I love meeting new people. My whole young life could be characterized as spirit of the Puppy, but it wasn’t until I found the military and ultimately the finance course or the finance degree and work that I did, that I got my second core value, which I call military mindset. And it’s those two things that when I’m living in them, energize me the best. I’m not just hard charging and focused on my goals, but I’m also taking time to enjoy things and try new things and enjoy my life for now. And so it’s important to me. The thing that I’ve done throughout my career that’s been consistent is building tribe of virtuous folks trying to help each other out and improve their lives. And so that’s why we’ve started a mastermind called the Spear and Clover Mastermind. We meet every Friday, and twice a month we bring in an expert guest speaker, probably like yourself, I’ll probably invite you to come do that.
[00:24:52.060] – Jason
And then we do 60 minutes of small group masterminding, which was something that totally changed my life as an entrepreneur, was finding peers that I could see eye to eye with and recognize a reflection in. And then the second thing we do is we sell a course called Dynasty defined and Dynasty Defined borrows from the term dynasty in sports because I think about these unbelievable sports dynasties like the New England Patriots, the Steelers, or the All Blacks from New Zealand. And it seems like it doesn’t matter who’s on the field, it seems like it doesn’t matter who the coach is, it seems like it doesn’t matter what play they’ve called. They always have an opportunity to win. And I think that’s because they have a foundation that’s built on core values with a solid mission that everybody’s bought in on. They understand how to achieve long term big hairy goals, and then they have frameworks to incorporate new people into that system so that you have everybody in the same boat rowing as hard as they can in the same direction. And so what we try to do is we go through a twelve week course with six entrepreneurs as a cohort, and we try to help everybody to build their own dynasty organization.
[00:25:58.310] – Sean
Nice. Got it. So just to break down your model. A little bit. You’ve got two main revenue streams. You got a Mastermind and then courses.
[00:26:06.230] – Jason
[00:26:06.780] – Sean
And I really like courses. We’re actually, as of the beginning of January, we’re working on courses as we speak. They will go live with Tykr in February.
[00:26:15.280] – Jason
[00:26:15.760] – Sean
Creating another additional stream of revenue. I’m curious, what platform do you use?
[00:26:20.730] – Jason
I use Kajabi. And genuinely, I know the best in the business, a team that builds unbelievable courses. I have no reason to tell you this, other than I’ve worked with third party entrepreneur fulfillment company so much in my time. Mike Gonzalez and Freedom Builders are absolutely the best that I’ve ever found.
[00:26:39.390] – Sean
Nice. Yeah, Kajabi solid, and good to know you got a team working with you. I like to jump into pricing. We’re all about the numbers here at payback time. Can you tell us, Mastermind, what do you charge your customers on average now? And keep in mind, we know that with service business especially, rates can always increase.
[00:26:57.370] – Jason
Yes. So for me, I envision a digital city of entrepreneurs. I want a thousand people in that digital city where when one problem pops up, we all are brought to bear to solve it, energize it, and move forward together even better across that board. And so for me, I’m in Masterminds personally that are five figures a month. And for us it’s $500. I want people that are engaged, that feel like it’s 100% value, that feel like there’s never a reason why they would cut this from their budget and still get tons and tons of value. And so for me, it’s $500 a month. We ask them for a twelve month commitment and you kind of know where that song and dance goes on the back end. So that’s the front end for getting them into our ecosystem. And we also do have a podcast that we monetize just through generating leads.
[00:27:43.150] – Sean
Yes. Nice. That’s good to know. I really like your structure there. How do you, at that price point, do you have a limit of how many people can join a Mastermind at a time? Like, some people I talk to are like, well, we try to keep it to like eight people, or ten people, or 15. Do you have a limit?
[00:27:59.850] – Jason
No. Whenever I think about what I want to do, I just write down the benefits that I want to give my client and all the different ways that I could deliver those benefits. And then I try to pick the ones that is the best balance between the delivery to the client and the lack of taking my time for money. And so rather than being in one on one coaching, you do group coaching? Well, if the group gets big enough, you have to either have multiple different calls or Zoom has this wonderful feature where I can break out into subgroups of as many people as I’d like. And so I could have 1000 people on the call, I can bring in a guest speaker who does their jam and takes questions and answers, and then I can take a thousand people and break them up into groups of four, and they would have the exact same intimate mastermind session that they would have otherwise had. And then as far as in person summits, which we do quarterly, I hope to see those venues grow, and I hope to see those guest speakers get bigger and bigger and more and more well known.
[00:28:57.670] – Sean
Awesome. You answered my scale question is how do you scale a mastermind? I love that you bring in other experts. You’ve got other breakout rooms with zoom. We use Zoom as well. Great tool.
[00:29:07.870] – Jason
Can I just add to that that we have a roadmap for where we want to get and one of the things is, at trigger points, we’re going to be adding features. And so some of those features would be I’d like to I’ve been in a group that did this. Cole Gordon’s group did this. He’s a terrific coach. They would have subject matter experts. I didn’t want to build this around just me and my brain. Right. So they have subject matter experts that on a regular basis are paid as contractors to come in and have this is our weekly marketing call or our monthly marketing call. This is our legal call. This is our investing call. This is our social media call, because there are going to be people that can bring to bear so many things that I just wouldn’t be able to do. And so I can do that as soon as we hit economies of scale, because at a certain point, the marginal expense of a new client is incredibly low.
[00:29:54.770] – Sean
Right on. Cool. Let’s transition to the courses. What are you charging for your courses?
[00:30:00.760] – Jason
So the course right now is $5,000, and I’ve paid $20,000 to go through a course that was very similar. But again, the biggest thing that I was thinking about in setting it up wasn’t, how much money can I make right now? It really wasn’t. It was, how do I create this digital city? And so what I wanted was incredibly viscous path to yes. I didn’t want to have anything standing in the way where somebody who’s ready to climb Mount Everest but maybe doesn’t have the funds yet to buy into a $20,000 program would be able to be on that journey. Because I know that I can help him get up that mountain. And I know that once he does, he’s going to be my advertising and marketing.
[00:30:37.610] – Sean
Awesome. Cool. All right. Well, before we transition to the rapid fire round, I have one more question for you, which is, do you have, like, one key takeaway? Something the audience can do today to help either move the needle of their business or become a better investor.
[00:30:54.610] – Jason
I really like the five core functions. Exercise where you just look at the five core functions of your business, which is the front end is marketing, lead, nurture, sales, fulfillment, and then retention and upsell and just rate those on one to five and the one that’s the lowest score, that’s where you put your focus on fixing it. I could go into much more depth, but that’s the best little blurb I can give you, is to just do the holes in the boat test once a month and work on those holes until they’re no longer there and then find the next biggest hole.
[00:31:24.130] – Sean
I love that. And I’m sure if they wanted to learn more, they could reach out to you and dive into a Mastermind.
[00:31:29.930] – Jason
Yeah, absolutely. I would invite folks to come to the Mastermind for free. But what I just addressed there, I have a free quiz called the Entrepreneur Resilience Quiz, and anybody can find that at the links in my social bio or on the website.
[00:31:42.110] – Sean
Make sure you send that to me because we’re going to get that in the show notes on this. So good call. Good takeaway there for the audience. All right, let’s dive into the rapid fire round. This is a fun part of Glad you’re pumped, man. This is the part of the episode where we get to find out who Jason really is.
[00:32:00.280] – Jason
[00:32:00.790] – Sean
You can try to answer each question in 15 seconds or less. You ready? Okay.
[00:32:05.260] – Jason
[00:32:05.950] – Sean
All right, what is your favorite podcast?
[00:32:08.410] – Jason
[00:32:09.780] – Sean
Okay, nice. What is a recent book you read and would recommend?
[00:32:15.080] – Jason
Oh, my God. The Almanac of Naval ravicon is unbelievable.
[00:32:20.810] – Sean
What’s it about?
[00:32:22.490] – Jason
Naval Ravicon was an early investor. He owns Angels List. He’s a tech investor guy. And it’s basically a combination of, like, a modern rich dad, poor dad with a book by Buddha. It’s unbelievable. It’s philosophical. It’s incredibly pithy. A lot of it is extrapolations on tweets that he’s written, which he uses tweets to sort of copyright his ideas and trademark sorry. To edit his ideas. Fascinating. Second one would be essentialism. Both of those books were this year, and both of those books were movers, for sure.
[00:32:58.650] – Sean
First book, what was the name again?
[00:33:00.970] – Jason
The Almanac of Naval Ravicon. I’m going to throw another one at you. It’s essentialism for your audience, though. Built to sell is excellent.
[00:33:10.280] – Sean
Yes, that is indeed a good one. I’m looking up this Almanac of Naval avocado. I’m on Amazon right now as we speak, adding to my cart. Yeah, good one. I like it. All right, next question here for the movie nerds out there like myself, what is your favorite movie?
[00:33:31.810] – Jason
Fight Club. Second would probably be the big blowski.
[00:33:35.430] – Sean
Good choices. Both of them have not been mentioned on this podcast before. I actually quick Segue just listened to one of my favorite podcasts is smartlist, and Edward Norton was on the podcast. It’s willarnett. Jason Bateman. Sean Hayes. Great guys, and it’s a lot of fun. And they touched on fightcove a little bit.
[00:33:58.990] – Jason
Yeah, he’s one of the best actors. Ed Martin.
[00:34:02.070] – Sean
He’s a talented dude, for sure. All right, we got a few business questions here. What is the worst advice you ever received?
[00:34:12.050] – Jason
Just work harder.
[00:34:16.770] – Sean
No, expand upon that for a moment. I’d like to hear your thoughts.
[00:34:20.510] – Jason
I mean, I’ve built a whole persona. My whole life identity is on not just working harder, it’s on finding elegant solutions. It’s on shepherding my attention because it’s led me to such valuable things in my life. And when I do that, I never feel like I’m working. I retired in 2018. I haven’t done anything since then for money that I didn’t want to do. And you can do that maybe not overnight, but pretty quickly if you only take steps towards that mountain.
[00:34:46.750] – Sean
Right. I like it. And I know before the show you mentioned when you sold one of your businesses, probably the CrossFit one, for a larger profit there, you were able to get away and spend more time with your daughter.
[00:34:59.700] – Jason
Yeah, I took a year of service. I did a mini retirement from November of 2021 until November of 2022, when I just recently launched Dynasty to find and. And I just paid attention to what I wanted to do with my day, which was podcasting, talking to entrepreneurs, whether on a podcast or just shooting the breeze and helping them or helping me. I did jiu, jitsu and kickboxing every day, and I spent tons and tons of time with my wife and our new daughter Lucy.
[00:35:24.060] – Sean
That’s awesome. Good for you. Let’s flip the equation here. What is the best advice you ever received?
[00:35:29.990] – Jason
If you’re not going to do it for life, don’t do it for a day.
[00:35:34.410] – Sean
I love it. A lot of wisdom behind that. And the last question here is the 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?
[00:35:47.150] – Jason
I think I would meet myself in high school and just tell myself to relax a little bit. I think, like many people, my identity was so much ascribed to me. I think there’s three phases of identity one where people ascribe it to you, one where you look outward for it, and then finally one where you look inward for it. And I think that if I could talk to myself as a younger person, I could have found discipline sooner. I could have found more lasting relationships and happiness by just relaxing a little bit.
[00:36:16.810] – Sean
Good advice. All right, well, why don’t you tell us where the audience can reach you?
[00:36:23.130] – Jason
Absolutely. Thank you, Sean. And first, before I do, if you’re still listening to this, it’s for a good reason. It’s because Sean is an unbelievable interviewer and provides so much value for you for free. So run over to his site like subscribe and share that, because it is the only way that you can really help him without having to spend any money. And if you still have any energy left, I would absolutely love to have you visit www.spierenclover.com. You can also find me on all social media platforms as Jason Skisic and as Spear and Clover on Instagram, which is my platform of choice. You can find multiple free things for entrepreneurs, including the Entrepreneur Resilience quiz that I just posted recently and we talked about today.
[00:37:04.600] – Sean
Awesome. Well, Jason, thank you so much for your time.
[00:37:07.300] – Jason
All right. Thank you, Sean. I appreciate it. This was a blast.
[00:37:09.490] – Sean
Thank you. We’ll see you.
[00:37:10.800] – Jason
[00:37:12.250] – Sean
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. You.