#263: Lessons from a Serial Entrepreneur
On today’s show, I’m talking with Joseph Fung about what we can learn from a serial entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs often struggle with the idea of following their passion but also realizing that their businesses are an asset and are something they eventually will want to liquidate and tap into at some point. How do you make the change and social impact you want in addition to building your business as an asset? Can you balance these two aspects of running a successful business?
Joseph knew from the age of 18 that he wanted to leave an entrepreneurial legacy. True to his goal, he has since started and sold five companies, with his biggest success going to NetSuite for $32M. He talks about his philosophies and how he balances sustainability and his version of conscious capitalism while also building businesses that are financially successful for him and for the future of the business beyond him. Joseph’s stoic and passionate perspective seeps into his approach to business and his advice to entrepreneurs.
He’s an excellent example of how not having your identity tied to your business opens flexible and lucrative doors to success. If you’ve ever thought about what it would take to be a successful serial entrepreneur, this episode’s for you!
What You Will Learn In Today's Podcast Interview
- What helped Joseph—from early childhood—know that he wanted to be a serial entrepreneur
- Why defining what success means to you lets you make decisions more easily and keeps you on track for achieving goals
- How the type of business, funding sources and future buyer all influence valuations
- The breakdown of the five companies Joseph grew and sold, from how he raised the money to the end result of the sales
- How unrealistic it is to expect outsized outcomes for every deal or every person on your team
- How to plan for your family so you’re not overwhelmed while building your business
- Why your first key hires should be a pair and how to track their outcomes
- The role emotions play in M&A and how that impacts your future strategies
- When you should start giving back to your team, business and community as an entrepreneur
- Where your employees fit into the process of selling a business (plus when and how to communicate it to them)
- How to identify when you can accept something versus when you’re willing to get fired for it, and what to do about it
- Why Joseph moved from B2B to B2C and what the differences are between the two
- Predictions for the impact of software on the sales industry as more companies make sales over platforms like Zoom, regardless of geographic location
- How to think and plan for an “escape hatch” when starting the sale or exit process
- The value of transitional training on your bottom line and employee retention
- What role privilege plays in entrepreneurship and eliminating (or creating) barriers to entry
- How to ensure success through showing your team you trust them to operate independently, while having their backs if something were to go awry
5 PRINCIPLES & 5 VIDEOS TO HELP CLARIFY YOUR VISION
IF YOUR VISION ISN’T CLEAR, YOU’RE GOING TO STAY TRAPPED
- Quit feeling trapped
- Start making progress
- Get clear on where you’re going
- Be confident in your path forward
- Stop wasting time and money
About the Guest:
Joseph Fung works with businesses and helps them hire sales professionals. He has had five successful exits under his belt and is currently teaching people how to integrate into the tech industry. He has a passion for entrepreneurship, growing businesses, and tech.
06:15 - “A lot of people focus on a change in their career. Going from Job A to Job B. But what we really want to focus on is long term career success.” - Joseph Fung
13:40 - “Would you like to be remembered for being good--really good--at building websites or building graphics? Or being really good at building a business?” - Joseph Fung
21:56 - “Most sales, including a business sale, are inherently emotional and often irrational.” – Joseph Fung
22:35 - “When I think about the businesses I’m building, I try to think about, ‘How do I create something that is really going to garner excitement, is going to have more impact in a transaction and have a really big reason?" – Joseph Fung
35:40 - “We learned a lot but the sad part was that we were so mentally disengaged from the business by then.” – Joseph Fung
Links and Resources:
Reach out to me if you have questions about the Intentional Growth™ Training
You can also reach out to me via email at email@example.com, or on my LinkedIn.
Brought to you by Ryan Tansom of Intentional Growth