Jason Sherman is a successful entrepreneur, award-winning filmmaker, journalist, and tech startup expert. He is also the host of Strap on Your Boots Podcast and author of Strap on Your Boots: A realistic guide to building and scaling your startup. We talk about traits that define serial entrepreneurs, tips on scaling your business, and the power of data-driven decision-making.
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From Filmmaker to Tech-Preneur with Jason Sherman
Our guest is Jason Sherman who is a serial technology entrepreneur and an award-winning filmmaker. He is also an author. His book is titled Strap on Your Boots. And there it is. And he is also the host of the Strap on Your Boots podcast, which is a great show, I highly recommend it. He has also authored a course for startup entrepreneurs titled Startup Essentials. So, Jason, welcome to the show.
Thanks for having me, I appreciate it, Steve.
It’s great to have you here. So tell us a little bit about how you got here, you know, what’s been your journey, entrepreneurial journey? I mean, you’ve done, you seem to have done a lot of different things. It must’ve been a binding road. Can you share a little bit about it?
You could say it was like the yellow brick road and I saw the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion and the Scarecrow along the way with my little dog too. Like the Wizard of Ozz. It really feels like that. It feels like a really long voyage because my entrepreneurship path and journey began when I was just about 12 years old. You know, when I was in school and I came home from Europe with different items that people didn’t have here, that they weren’t available here, that I bought there and I brought home and I would bring them to school and people would buy them from me.
And I realized, wait a minute, I can sell stuff from a different country here and make money off of it. And I did the same thing with music. I would bring music home that was not here yet because Europe was ahead of its time when it came to music. So, I just realized early on in my life that I could take something, repackage it, and sell it. And as I realized this, I said, I can probably start a business for the rest of my life. And I knew then, I knew back then that I would be an entrepreneur.
So you fast forward over and over again, various different years where I was interested in a topic, where I was interested in an industry, whether it was technology or film or writing or journalism or music or anything really. And I just got interested in things. And so I would try my hand at one of them. I would have an idea. I’d say, well, this doesn’t work well, so I’ll fix it. Or I see a problem over here, so I’m gonna solve it.
And that’s kind of how it’s been for me for at least a couple of decades now, is I keep finding problems or really important topics that are troubling people or in society. Like for example, my current documentary, there’s a real estate crisis happening right now. I identified that and I’ve been filming it. So it’s just a matter of identifying a problem and then coming up with a solution. And I’ve been doing that for a long time.
Okay, so what really struck me was that you have this kind of ability to synthesize and to really understand what’s going on about specifically startups and what the entrepreneurial mindset is, how different it is from other people, maybe a managerial mindset or an employee mindset. So I have two related questions here. One is that what differentiates in your view the entrepreneur’s mindset from what I would call the one-up-preneur’s mindset.
So someone who kind of is mesmerized by this idea of making a lot of money and being this entrepreneur is freedom stuff, but they never really get off the ground. And then the second question is, how is the entrepreneurs, the senior entrepreneurs mindset differs from the one and done founder of a company who has kind of one trick pony kind of entrepreneur. So can you talk to a little bit about that? To talk to that a little bit?
Of course. The first point about what sets a startup entrepreneur aside from like a managerial or corporate minded person, that’s a pretty clear cut and dry path of being an entrepreneur, you are not really, your day doesn’t revolve around one job. So one of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make is they focus on one idea and they say that that’s the idea that’s gonna make it or break it for them. It’s their billion dollar idea. But unfortunately, they’re missing the point of being an entrepreneur.
It’s running experiments, it’s failing, it’s learning that the idea is not really what matters. It’s what you learn along the way and apply to your next idea. And then you fail on that idea, or maybe you don’t succeed or you don’t fail, you just learn, and you take that to the next one. You keep doing that like a video game, where you keep reaching a new higher level over and over again until you reach the boss level. In the boss level, that’s it. That’s your best idea ever, and you learn all this stuff along the way, and now you can succeed in your idea.Being an entrepreneur is not about focusing on one idea and hoping it's the billion-dollar idea. It's about running experiments, learning from failures, and applying those lessons to the next idea. Click To Tweet
I like that analogy. That’s really, really good. I’m not a big video gamer, but I can relate to that. I understand that. So what about the serial entrepreneur versus the regular entrepreneur? Is there also a big mind shift difference or it’s just a tiny thing? One guy succeeded early and it’s too early to retire and they’re going to go on to the next one or is it more of a mindset where they can’t help doing multiple, creating multiple businesses?
That’s a good question because I don’t think there is a difference from an entrepreneur or a serial entrepreneur as much as a serial entrepreneur is someone who just jumps around a lot and does a lot of different things and keeps creating things. I mean, I consider myself one of those, but at the same time, in the past couple of years I’ve noticed people say that serial entrepreneur is really not the best term to use for someone like me, considering that that means that they don’t finish their projects, they don’t succeed, they just keep trying things. Whereas I consider myself more of a successful entrepreneur, because I have a lot of successes under my belt.
And I think what you’re trying to get to is the entrepreneur who is not a serial or not successful. We can say someone like Mark Cuban, right? Or anybody on the Shark Tank TV show who considers themself an entrepreneur, but they might’ve been an entrepreneur once or twice, and they made billions of dollars or millions of dollars selling their business, and then they weren’t entrepreneurs anymore. Then they were investors hiring entrepreneurs or people to work for them, to help them with the businesses they were investing in.
So I just don’t think that once you succeed, I know a lot of investors, matter of fact, most investors that I personally know, made their success selling a company 20 years ago, or 30 years ago, for hundreds of millions of dollars. And they don’t know what being an entrepreneur means. They have no idea. They don’t know what the struggle, they don’t know what the struggle is because they earned their money before the internet or when the internet was just getting big, before the dot-com bubble burst, before the 2008 Great Recession happened. They made their money before all these things.
When investors were throwing money at the wall and hoping one of it would stick, they were one of those lucky companies that got money. And then nowadays, you can’t raise money. It’s almost impossible to raise money. You need to have a lot of things in place to mitigate the risk for investors. So being a serial entrepreneur, I don’t think it’s a really good idea nowadays. I think you really do need to focus on one pain point, solve it, show that you can succeed and then move on to your next idea.In today's landscape, focusing on one pain point, solving it, and proving success is crucial. The era of easily raising money is over, and mitigating risks for investors is essential. Click To Tweet
Okay, all right, that makes sense. You have written a lot about startups and you have started up several companies yourself. How is the culture of and how is building a tech startup different from building a regular service company? Is there a different mindset there? Is there a different approach?
That’s a tough one, man, because I can start with the service business because that’s easier. That’s currently what I’m running. I’m running a development shop where we service clients by building websites and mobile apps. Basically, I’m taking in people’s tech ideas and building it for them. Now, on the other end, the person who owns the tech idea, this is where the mindset change happens. They have to do a handful of things. So on the service side, you’re just building one service and you’re helping people.
On the tech side, you have to now learn everything about the technology you’re building, the market that you’re gonna be advertising to, right? Who’s your target market? You have to validate the concept by running surveys, doing landing pages. You have to get on the streets, get out there and talk to people, get feedback, show them mock-ups of your idea. You have to look at the other companies in your industry that are succeeding, what are they doing right? Find the ones that failed, what did they do wrong? You need to learn from the industry, right? You need to put yourself in the shoes of these other tech CEOs.
And of course, you have to, once again, you have to wear a lot of hats. So you can’t just, you know, know business. You have to know marketing, you have to know technology, you have to know finances, you have to know analytics. As the CEO of a tech company, you have to learn so many different things, but as a service, you just need to know that service. It’s one thing. So let’s say you want to be a social media service provider, you want to help people with their social media. Okay, so you learn how to post on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter, and that’s it, that’s your job. It’s a very one-sided thing. Whereas that one side is one of many, like 10 sides to being a tech entrepreneur. You have to know 10 things, not just one.
That’s true. Unless I’m more of a strategic social media where I have to figure out how to post on TikTok or how to leverage TikTok, how to leverage other platforms, you know.
Yeah, but the content doesn’t change, right? It’s either going to be a text post with some graphics, with some keywords, or it’s going to be a video with some keywords. You’re not going to really diverge from that.
It could be Clubhouse. You know, Clubhouse is a completely new media where…
Sure. Audio, right?
Audio. So I guess this is, yeah, this is kind of a high-end service. But, okay, I get it. So I mean, I’ve worked with tech companies and I see them really struggle because they have to scale fast. There’s an enormous pressure. They have to hire expensive people that they cannot fund from profitability. So they constantly have to sell themselves to a venture capitalist and, you know, make the future really bright, but at the same time, also not burn too much money in the present. And it’s kind of a race and figure out how they’re going to differentiate and put the product together and not have too many unhappy customers. So it’s got to be a very tricky proposition.
Absolutely. It’s a balancing act, what you just said. That’s a balancing act. You got to learn how to juggle on a ball.
Yeah, that’s right. Or juggle many balls. Let’s switch gears here a little bit, Jason. What I like to learn from you is, as you were building your different businesses, have you used what I call management blueprints, such as EOS or scaling up or anything like that, or some kind of a framework which you use to implement management concepts in the business rather than just do it a trial and error, kind of completely seat of the pants way?
Well, running various tech startups and working with a lot of developers and marketing people and things like that, I had teams of people that I had to manage. So we would implement daily scrums. So we would have five minute standups where we would discuss the daily tasks. We would have weekly scrums where we would discuss like an overall weekly, you know, what did we hit? What did we miss? We would use management software like Trello or Basecamp. We would do agile sprints during the week.
So we would tackle a certain amount of features. Here’s what I would like to say actually, is I would like to say what the pitfalls are when it comes to entrepreneurs and how they make mistakes doing this. And here’s what I find over and over and over again. Entrepreneurs think that they can just build as much as they want as quickly as they have to without any structure. So as an example, let’s say somebody wants to build a new web platform or a mobile app and instead of breaking it up into phases, they just say, here’s my features, here’s what I want to build, and I just want to build all of it and then put it out there and market it. That’s not how you do it.
You have to break it up into small micro pieces and break up a feature into small pieces, and then you have to put that out in one week. Build just that component or that module in one week. And using Scrum and Agile methods and Lean methodology, you would put that out there to beta testers, have them try it, give you feedback, and then you can iterate on it, add the next feature on top of that, and keep stacking the features over and over again until you’re done after how many months or whatnot.The pitfall for many entrepreneurs is thinking they can build everything at once. Success lies in breaking features into micro pieces, releasing them weekly, and iterating based on beta tester feedback. Click To Tweet
But you shouldn’t spend a lot of time doing this. You should be able to get the feedback from your beta testers quickly. And using Scrum and Agile methods allows you to be nimble and move quickly and pivot quickly and change and iterate quickly. So that’s what I’ve been implementing in my businesses. And actually, on the back of my book, it’s in these points here. It tells you that that’s what you’re learning in my book and my courses, how to do things step-by-step, how to do things in a very lean way so you’re not wasting a lot of time and then finding out later, I did it wrong. I could have saved a year.
There’s no market demand for that piece of the product. Is this what they call the MVP, the minimum viable product?
That’s part of it. Like everything I just told you, is the goal is to use those methods to get to the MVP, the minimum viable product, because unfortunately, 99% of entrepreneurs, they bypass that. They, and they always say they don’t need the MVP. They need the full platform with all the bells and whistles. And I say, how do you know people even want the bells and whistles? You don’t know.
Oh, but I know it’s gonna be worth a billion dollars. Okay, fine. They spend a year, they spend God knows how much money, they launch and it’s all wrong. Nobody wants it or it doesn’t work properly or they messed up. There’s so many things that I’ve heard or I’ve seen that people have done wrong and they could have done it the opposite. Launch an MVP in two months, find out what people do like or don’t like, iterate, launch, iterate, launch, keep doing it over and over again until finally you have what people want.
But doesn’t that take humility to do that? Because essentially what you described means that as an entrepreneur, I have to admit to myself that I haven’t got a clue what the market wants. I have to test every step along the way, and the market’s gonna come up with what is a viable product for me to sell eventually. And I just have to suppress this ego that I have, that I had this billion dollar, no, I don’t have a billion dollar idea. I have maybe a hundred dollar idea, and I have to incrementally grow it into a billion dollar idea.
I mean, to me personally, it’s a no brainer to do it this way because I’ve seen so many entrepreneurs fail at the other way, right? The skipping all the steps way. It’s kind of like, you know what it’s like? It’s like riding a bicycle and then saying to yourself, oh, but I can drive a formula race car. Like you’re bypassing the, you know, the motorcycle, you’re bypassing the car, you’re bypassing the go-kart, you’re bypassing all these different things and you’re just going right to the race car.
You’re gonna crash and you’re gonna die, right? You need to work your way up, skateboard, scooter, bicycle, car, and then maybe a race car. You need to work your way up. And when it comes to the market, they know what they want. Just because you think you know what they want, that’s not how it works. There’s a great example that just happened recently, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Sheryl Sandberg. These guys are like top tier CEOs. Sheryl Sandberg was Facebook CEO, I believe, and Jeffrey Katzenberg was Disney’s CEO, right?
These two powerhouses raised like hundreds of millions of dollars from like Walmart and all these big names to build a short form video company called Quibi. And they hired all these celebrities to create all this content. They swore people were gonna love this platform. It’s gonna compete with Instagram. It’s gonna compete with TikTok. And they didn’t even launch, I don’t think. They just closed the company down. They wasted hundreds of millions of dollars. Nobody wanted it. Nobody wanted it. And this is a lesson.
If they had implemented these tactics and launched it, look, instead of spending $500 million or whatever they spent, spend $50,000 to build a very simple little MVP and they have the money to pay a thousand people, random people, as a focus group, as a beta pool, and have them test it, get the feedback, and then keep doing. They could have succeeded if they had done it the right way, but their egos, like you said, their egos got in the way. And they thought, you know, we’re powerful people and we can raise all this money, so we’ll do it our way. Their way doesn’t work. They should have strapped on your boots.Launching an MVP requires humility, admitting that you don't have all the answers. It's a step-by-step process of incremental growth, understanding that the market will shape your product's viability. Click To Tweet
All right, now let’s strap on our boots. Tell us a little bit about your book. What is the premise of this book, first of all?
The premise is that 99% of the millionaire gurus out there who say that you can do this too, you can be an entrepreneur, you can succeed. It’s all BS. You cannot succeed the way they did. It’s all a bunch of crap because the way they succeeded, you can’t duplicate. They were at the right place at the right time. Their father gave them money to start their first business, they were lucky where they were able to buy real estate before the boom. All the stories are very similar.
If you look at these millionaire gurus, all of them had a lucky break somehow. We don’t get lucky breaks, we have to make them ourself. So how do you do that? A proven method that works, right? Something that I’ve done over and over and over and over again has succeeded over and over again. And in the book, it tells you how to validate your idea, how to figure out who your target market is, how to build your MVP. What are the steps to build the MVP?
So basically what I tell people in my book is, step by step, if they follow it, if they follow it, whatever their idea is, they will succeed. That’s the thing, is you can duplicate it. There are steps to succeed. Unfortunately, like you said, the humility comes in. Entrepreneurs don’t wanna follow steps. They wanna do things their way because they think their way is the best way, but they haven’t succeeded before.
They’re trying to learn how to be an entrepreneur. So wouldn’t you rather save a year’s worth of time and say $20,000 worth of lost money and instead follow a book from someone who’s done it over and over and over again and save all that money and save all that time and get the results in two months? I would say yes. And that’s the premise is to help people save time and money to succeed quicker.
Okay, all right, I get that. I totally get that. And maybe it’s not succeed quicker, but don’t go out of business before time, before you actually break through, right? It’s all about not being knocked out of the game while you are figuring out what is gonna work. And you also feed your family along the way and don’t go bankrupt kind of thing. So what are the most important concepts in the book? So I understand this agile scrum methodology that you do the sprints, you build to an MVP. What else are you suggesting in Strap on Your Boots?
One of the biggest things, and I actually have taught workshops on this at universities, specifically on this topic is how to drive your decisions with data. Again, you have to set your thoughts and your ego aside because if you use the data from your analytics that you’re getting from your customers, the people that are using your product, if you use that data, it’s so much easier to make decisions. You know, as an example, let’s say that you’re selling a product.
Let’s say you created some kind of gadget and you launch a couple of landing pages or you did a Kickstarter, whatever it is, you know the age range of the people who are buying your product. You know their genders, you know their ethnicities, you know where they live. So now that you have that data, you can start maybe posting ads on Instagram or TikTok or Facebook with this gadget, maybe hire an influencer to do a video for you, but you know who to target. I know so many entrepreneurs out there who don’t do that. They just put ads and that’s it.
They expect their business to take off, but it doesn’t work because they don’t know who they’re targeting. So by knowing who you target, that right, using your data to analyze, and the data goes deep. You have a funnel, you have acquisition, you have retention, you have revenue. In your funnel, you know what’s driving these people to sign up for your product or buy your product or make an account on your platform, right? You know who these people are. So use the funnel, use the data that you’re receiving to make your decisions.
That’s one of the biggest things. One of the other important pieces that I think people should know, just in general, it’s in the book, but how to tell a story. Stories are very powerful because when you’re pitching investors, which everybody wants to, you know, they wanna raise money, don’t just pitch your idea by telling them your spiel, your 30 second elevator pitch. Don’t just tell them PowerPoints, don’t show them PowerPoint slides with bullet points. Make them relate to what it is you’re solving.
Make them feel the pain that you felt when you came across the problem. Make them laugh, make them cry. Tell them a story that they can relate to so that they want to be a part of the story with you. And that works. You know, if you meet an investor who maybe they lost one of their children in an accident or something and your product happens to help parents not lose their children in a certain way, well, tell that painful story.
Tell the story of your friend who lost their child in a boating accident or whatever and how your product now has saved 95,000 kids a year because of this. Make them feel it. By making them feel it and taking a, stop, you know, going with the bullet points and more about the story, then you’ll drag them into your story and they’ll wanna be a part of it. And so I think telling a story is very powerful. And of course, a lot of people always wanna know how to scale their business because, okay, well, I’ve got some moderate success, right? I’ve gotten some success, but I need to scale even more now. My book goes through how to do that as well, how to scale the business even higher.
So it helps you, you know, start out with some tools, some homework assignments, basically to some steps to take to kind of start building up your MVP, how to launch the beta, how to get feedback and data, how to analyze it, how to pitch investors, and then how to scale the business. It’s kind of the whole shebang in one book. And the course does something similar, but it’s more visual and more kind of hands-on.
I like it.This is really, it’s great. So you give them the complete spectrum of starting the business and getting the first success, getting the money, telling the story, and then scaling it, which is a completely different tool set and skill set. I see some CEOs that get to the point where they got the right product, they got the money and then,shit hit a wall.I need a completely different team. I need to hire a much more powerful people who are made more experienced than I am as a CEO. How am I going to attract these people? How am I going to manage them? How are we going to stay in control of this whole business? It is a very complex endeavor.
Well, here’s a secret, and it’s in the book. As you’re building the business, as you’re following the steps, I’m showing you how to scale along the way. So you’re not getting to the end and like, ooh, now I have to scale. No, no, no, no. You’ve been scaling the whole time. You’ve been scaling the whole time. That’s the trick, is to not wait till you get to a certain point, and then you have to scale.
You should be preparing for that scaling the whole way. You should be building it in a way where you can scale. You should be doing things, organizing things, creating things in a way that you are kind of scaling along the way so that when the crap hits the fan, you’re ready. You’re not scrambling. And that’s kind of how I’ve written the book is so that it’s not a big kind of change. It’s not a big explosion. It’s more of a, okay, I’m here and I can handle it.
I always tell my clients that if they want to build a company which is 10 times the current size, let’s say they have a $5 million company, they want to have to get to 50 million, they have to actually get their own skillset 10 times bigger. They have to elevate themselves. They have to do much more valuable stuff and build the team to take off the rest of them of their shoulders. So what are the most important skills for a startup CEO to be able to grow with the company? And, you know, at Zuckerberg who started from a college dorm and now running one of the biggest companies in the world, how do these people do that? And what are the skills that he needed or other entrepreneurs like Elon Musk needed to be able to grow with their companies?
I mean, you’re mentioning two people who essentially didn’t create their companies, they either stole them or they took them from other people. I mean, that’s the reality here. When it comes to Zuckerberg, he was a programmer in college, but he took the idea from the Winklevoss twins who came up with Facebook. So one of the things that I noticed about people like him is he hasn’t come out with any companies ever since Facebook.
He bought Instagram and he bought WhatsApp and he buys companies, but he doesn’t come out with his own ideas. I’ve never seen him in the 20 years that Facebook has been out or 15 years. He hasn’t come out with an idea of his own. Again, we’re talking about the creativity piece, right? There’s no creativity there. It’s more of a, oh, I see an idea, I’ll take it, I’ll launch it, boom, it gets big, and then now what? Elon Musk, I mean, he’s going to space, he’s doing all these different things, and you have to have a level of eccentricity, a level of fantasy, a level of creativity, a level of, you know, not from this earth type of thing.
You have to have, you have to be thinking bigger than yourself if you want to think on the level of these, you know, Steve Jobs, Nikola Tesla, and Bill Gates, and Thomas Edison. These people didn’t think about themselves. They pushed away their families mostly. They focused more on their ideas, they sacrificed a lot, and they did it all for a better world, right, to make progress happen. So you have to be willing to sacrifice a lot if you want to be on the level of these guys.
And I’ve never set out to do that. I’ve always set out to do similar things to them, but in a smaller capacity, making a documentary, putting out a technology platform, doing things that are not gonna make me sacrifice my life over because I’m just not that kind of person. I don’t want to do that. You have to really want to do that. And you also have to wanna be the center of attention. I don’t wanna be the center of attention. I like to have a nice low-key life. So you have to also sacrifice your personal life.
You know, people are gonna constantly wanna talk to you. You’re gonna have to travel all the time, speaking at events, and you’re also gonna be criticized. You know, the news and the media are gonna be bashing you at every single moment. Any mistake you make, any tweet you send, you are going to be crucified. So you have to be prepared for the negative press as well. And I always tell people, just go under the radar, keep your head down, do the work, and succeed to the point where you’re happy with the outcome without having to impress other people.
Okay, so you’re right. Let’s talk about becoming an Elon Musk. I don’t think too many listeners are going to become Elon Musk. But how about becoming a successful tech CEO who builds a company, gets the MVP, the money, and scales it to some degree, you know, maybe to 50 million, to 100 million. What does it take for someone to become that person? What are the most important skills to master along the way?
Well, like I mentioned before, you have to know a little bit about everything when it comes to startups. You have to know each industry within, or each department within the industry. So marketing, business, finance, technology, social media, you have to know each of them a little bit. You have to be an expert though, at least at one thing. And it should be associated with the topic of your idea. So if your idea is video, you should be a good biomedical entrepreneur.
So you have to have that kind of expertise. And if you don’t have it, learn it. Be an expert at the topic because when investors talk to you or approach you or you approach them, they’re gonna wanna know that you know the business inside and out. But you need a team around you of people who are just as good as you are at the different departments that you’re not good at. So if you’re not good at marketing, you need an expert marketing person. If you’re not good at business development, you need a good business development.
Branding, you know, finances, you need somebody who’s an expert at each of those things. And without a team, it’s like, you know, it’s like the Avengers, right? Tony Stark and the Hulk and Thor and Black Widow and Captain America, they all have their abilities that work well together, right? But apart, they’re not as strong. So you need to have your own Avengers basically and come together to be very strong together because as a team, you can accomplish a lot more and investors will see that you have a really, really good team and they’ll feel confident that your team can execute the platform or the product and not lose all their money. Right, so, cause that’s the key.
The key here is, you know, they wanna get a return on their investment. They want an ROI. So how do you do that? Well, become an expert, have a killer team, make sure your technology or your product works really well. And for the love of God, turn a profit, make some revenue. Because these investors, you wanna mitigate your goal, you wanna know what it is, you said the tech CEO, what they need to do is mitigate their risk for investors. That’s it.
If they can mitigate the risk for investors, you will not get a no, you will get a yes. Because if they can see, well, I’m not throwing money into a dumpster fire, I’m throwing money onto a bonfire and I’m gonna put more fuel and it’s gonna grow bigger because they’re ready to scale. Be ready to scale when you approach investors. Don’t tell them that you have to build the platform with their money or you have to hire people with their money or you have to figure out the marketing campaigns with their money. They don’t wanna hear that. They wanna hear that you already did all of that. So you have to really mitigate the risk.
Okay, so what I’m hearing is you have to have deep expertise in something, you have to understand a lot of other things at some level, you have to be a great storyteller, you have to be a kick ass team, you have to turn a profit and you have to mitigate the risk. That’s a lot to handle.
That’s just some of it, man. There’s other stuff in there. You know? You have to be a master marketer, too. That’s number, and you know what, actually, I’m gonna say this last thing about it. This is a big myth that entrepreneurs need to hear who are listening to this. Just building your app or building your product doesn’t mean you succeeded. That’s only half of it. People think just because they built something, that’s it, I built it, now everyone’s gonna use it. Wrong, nobody’s going to use it. Nobody, nobody. You’ll get 10 people. Marketing is 50%. You need to get it out there. And it’s hard, man. The market is saturated. Ads are flooded. People are tired of getting sold things. It’s so hard to reach your target audience. So don’t think just because you built the app or the product, you’re gonna get lots of customers. It’s not gonna happen.
Okay, so, so lots of humility required for this business, isn’t it? That’s what I’m hearing.
Patience, you know, it’s actually not even humility. I don’t even think it’s humility because to be an entrepreneur, you’re already humble because you realize that you’re nobody. You realize that you’re doing things on your own and you’re not getting a paycheck. So you’re automatically getting punched in the gut. You know, I’ve taken a pay cut pretty much my whole life because I’m an entrepreneur, but I’ve learned to navigate financially in a way where I’ve become comfortable and start to, like I said, level up and level up and level up where you make more and more and more.
So as long as you’re comfortable with earning up a ladder, then there’s nothing to worry about. Take the money part out. Focus on being patient and listening to people. You need to listen to people. A lot of people don’t like to listen, they like to talk. They like to tell people what they think. And here’s what I think, and here’s what I wanna do, and here’s what my idea is, and here’s why I think we don’t have to follow, we don’t have to follow this or we can do it our way because we’re right and you’re wrong.
And I’m like, don’t listen, fail. And then they’ll come back to me later after they spend $20,000 and a year’s worth of time, which has happened before many times. So you gotta be patient, man. It’s not gonna happen overnight. It’s gonna take a couple of years. Be prepared to spend two to four years on your idea. At least.
You know, there’s a book I really like, uh, it’s a Jean Landrum, entrepreneurial genius. And he talks about even the most iconic, uh, entrepreneurs like Jeff Bezos and, um, and Thomas Edison and, and Harry Ford and Steve Jobs, I mean all of these guys, they put in at least 15 years before they broke through and succeeded. And if they started, you know, if they got to a billionaire ship by the age of 30, like, you know, Richard Branson, he started Student Magazine at the age of 14. He put his 15 years in, he just started earlier. Right. And it doesn’t happen overnight. All right, so very good. You’ve given me a hard job to find a good title for this episode because you gave me so many good one-liners here. So if listeners would like to learn more and reach out to you and figure out how they can be part of your orbit, where should they go?
They can go to my website, which is jasonsherman.org. On there, you’ll see links to my book, Strap on Your Boots, which is my podcast, my course, Startup Essentials on Udemy and Skillshare, as well as my YouTube channel that has all my podcast episodes in a video format, as well as a lot of tutorials on certain topics that people have asked me to help them with over the years.
And then on my website, there’s a free startup guideline downloadable PDFs that people can download, which is kind of like a cheat sheet to what you’re asking me, like how to be an entrepreneur successfully. It’s like a one or two page cheat sheet on follow these quick steps, you know, have them handy so that when you’re about to do something, look at the cheat sheet real quick to make sure it’s on there, you know, before making a bad decision.
That’s awesome. Well, definitely a lots of great resources. So please check it out, jasonsherman.org. Check out the book and the course and the cheat sheets and the podcast, Step On Your Boots podcast. Definitely lots of nuggets. I’m going to go through every one of them and tune in to the show as well, Management Blueprint Podcast. Leave us a review on iTunes, would be great if you like it. And subscribe and stay tuned because next week I’m going to come with another And subscribe and stay tuned because next week I’m going to come with another successful and interesting entrepreneur. Have a great day.
- Pinnacle: Five Principles that Take Your Business to the Top of the Mountain
- Jason’s Website
- Jason’s Book: Strap on Your Boots
- Jason’s Podcast
- The Startup Essentials online course
- Jason’s YouTube channel
- The Entrepreneurial Genius by Gene Landrum
- Steve’s New Book: Buyable
- Steve’s blog
- Complete the Buyability Assessment