Ep. 114 – The tight connection between the biggest failure and the biggest success of most Successful Entrepreneurs

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Antoine Martel, Josh Steimle, Pamela J. Goodwin and  Lance Scoular

During the last two years of interviewing most successful entrepreneurs and opinion leaders in the world of entrepreneurship, I was surprised to learn about the tight connection between the causes that lead entrepreneurs to their biggest failures and the main factors behind their biggest success.

My advice to entrepreneurs struggling to find the breakthrough to success would be to study the roots for their failure. The answer is most likely there.

Antoine Martel

Antoine Martel Headshot

At the age of 23, Antoine Martel is a very successful real estate investor with a business that buys and sales over 100 homes a year.

Antoine Martel of Martel Turnkey is a real estate investment expert from San Mateo, California. As a licensed real estate agent and experienced investor, Antoine helps new and seasoned investors realize their financial goals. His proven real estate investment strategies have enabled countless clients throughout California to realize passive income and financial freedom through out-of-state turnkey rental properties.

While still a student at Loyola Marymount University, Antoine had already begun immersing himself in learning the real estate industry, absorbing everything he could about real estate investing; how to set up a team, networking, calculating the numbers, recognizing good deals, and much more. 

Antoine Martel is now a nationally recognized real estate expert with tens of thousands of followers. He is an inspiration to both millennials and generations from every decade.

Biggest failure with a customer

  • It would be following up. When I first started, the first two years, I would go to meetups, I would have coffee meetings with people and then I’d never follow up. I’d go and have a one hour meeting or lunch, coffee, or dinner with somebody and then I’d never reach out to them again. I wouldn’t check in with them, I’d just let it be. There were hundreds of people I met one on one in my first couple years of doing this that I just never reached out to again.

Biggest success due to the right customer approach

  • My success has come from a whole lot of networking and not selling. I updated my website a couple weeks ago, and I talked with my dad and brother, and said, ‘Hey, I want to add something on my website so that people can buy a house from our website in one click. They click a ‘Buy Now’ button, they fill out a short form, and the contract is sent for that property, and they fill out the contract.’ So, without any interaction from me, somebody could buy a property from my website. My dad and brother said there was no way that will work, and just as marketing always works, it’s never what you think is going to happen that actually happens. I put the button on the website and a week later, someone came to the website that I’d never met before. They filled out the form and I saw the email coming through. All I did was send them the contract through an email and an hour later, they signed the contract and I was blown away! It was because I’d built the brand first. So, this person I resell to them later on, and I asked them, “Why did you trust us so much and why did you buy a property you hadn’t asked anything about it?” And he said, “I was referred by one of your past clients and this house is down the street from my friend’s house, so I thought I should buy it.”

Josh Steimle

Joshua Steimle Headshot

Entrepreneur Magazine put Josh Steimle on their 50 Inspirational Entrepreneurs to Watch and Forbes recognized him as one of 25 Marketing Influencers To Watch In 2017, And yet he says “If I’ve had any success, I’ve had 10 times as many failures”

Josh Steimle is an author, speaker, entrepreneur, and executive coach.

He has written over 300 articles for publications like Fortune, Time, Forbes, Inc., Mashable, TechCrunch, and Entrepreneur, and is the author of Chief Marketing Officers at Work, which was recognized in Success Magazine as one of the 5 Best Business Books of 2016.

Entrepreneur Magazine put Josh on their 50 Inspirational Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2017 listForbes recognized him as one of 25 Marketing Influencers To Watch In 2017, and he was ranked #7 on Richtopia’s list of Top 100 Most Influential CMOs.

Josh lives on a farm near Boston with his wife, two children, and 27 horses, and is an avid reader, trail runner, triathlete, and skateboarder.

Biggest failure with a customer

  • I’ve had so many failures. If I’ve had any success, I’ve had 10 times as many failures. Life’s interesting, especially as an entrepreneur and as somebody involved in marketing, you always show off the successful side of what you’ve done. You trumpet your successes; you hide your failures.
  • Most of my biggest failures have to do with people; where I made a bad decision either in hiring the wrong person or in hiring the right person but putting them in the wrong role, or I hired the right person, maybe I put them in the right role, but the way I managed them or the way I set up their relationship was the wrong way.
  • For example, in 1999 I started my first real business, MWI, which is the marketing agency that I still run today, and I brought on a partner, after I’d known this guy for literally 10 minutes. After 10 minutes of meeting this guy, I though, this guy is great, he’s gonna be awesome, I should hire him! I offered him10% of the business and he became my partner. Over the next 3 years, it was a nightmare. We didn’t get along well together. Now, this guy was a good guy, he was not dishonest, he was smart, in fact, he’s gone on, after we parted ways, to start a private equity firm that ended up with $3 billion under management and he’s got a successful VC firm.
  • The mistake wasn’t that I hired somebody stupid or somebody who was the wrong fit for the job necessarily, but he and I just didn’t get along personality wise, and also I was young and foolish, and didn’t know what I was doing, so I was a poor manager and leader. We clashed and parted ways and I lost my business over that! I had to start over from scratch. So, it really cost me in a huge way to have hired this guy on. Now, if I’d gotten to know him, maybe for a week or two or a couple of months, I might have seen that we weren’t the best fit.

Biggest success due to the right customer approach

  • In 2013, I got the opportunity to write for Forbes, I also brought on a partner for my business, Cory Blake, and he’d just come on. Right when he came on, I started writing for Forbes; when I first started, nothing good was happening. I was getting attention on my articles, people liked them, but it wasn’t doing anything for my business.
  • This is because I didn’t understand who my audience was, and I didn’t know how to write for my audience. So, after a few months, I realized this is taking a lot of time, I’m spending a lot of effort, and I’m not getting anything out of it other than it’s fun and building my ego, but it’s not generating anything for the business and I can’t afford to do this unless it’s benefitting the business.
  • I started looking at this and thinking, well, who am I writing for? Who’s my audience? Who should be my audience?  I realized I was targeting the wrong audience, I was writing for entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs don’t hire my agency. So, I asked, who is hiring my agency? Well, mid-sized to larger businesses mostly, and really, I’m looking for people who are looking to hire marketing agencies, that’s my audience.
  • Once I understood that, it totally changed the content I was creating. I wrote one article that was the golden one. I created an article called, 4 Tips on How to Hire an SEO Firm.  This article came out of frustration because here I am, running an agency, and clients would come to me, potential clients, and we would pitch them and sometimes they would hire us and sometimes they wouldn’t. Sometimes, they wouldn’t hire us because we weren’t the right fit for them, but sometimes they wouldn’t hire us, and I knew we were the best fit for that company and yet, they still didn’t hire us, which frustrated me.
  • So, I wrote this article to say, hey, when you’re hiring an SEO Firm, here are the things you should do: ask for references, make sure the firm is the right fit for you, and I explained to people, here’s how to hire the right firm. I don’t care if they read that article and don’t hire me, as long as they’re hiring the right agency for them. After I wrote that article, because it was on Forbes, it had a lot of credibility and it jumped to the top of Google whenever somebody searched ‘how to hire an SEO firm’. And who is searching for SEO firms on Google? People who want to hire SEO firms!

Pamela J. Goodwin

Pam Goodwin

Pamela Goodwin - “My Moto is: Never Give up!

And the other one is: To Always Find a Way!

Those are two that I constantly live by.”

Pam Goodwin with Warren Bufett

Pamela J. Goodwin is the founder of Goodwin Commercial based in Dallas, TX, a boutique commercial real estate firm specializing in developing retail/restaurant pad sites (Walgreens, McDonalds), brokerage, investment sales and consulting services under one roof.

Originally from Omaha, Pamela graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is a best-selling author, speaker, coach, member and contributor with Forbes Real Estate Council.

When she isn’t working, Pamela enjoys traveling to the beach, staying fit, being a basketball mom, spending time with her family and friends.

 

Biggest failure with a customer

  • I had been working with a client for more than a year; it was a retail tenant looking for space. Sometimes, because I’ve been doing the business for so long, I can trust people, and sometimes I think document and paperwork can get in the way of relationships to a degree, but you still have to be protected and in this case, I did trust this person too much that we were working one on one, meeting with the landlord, and then when it came time to sign the deal, the lease, he requested half of my commission, which was a complete surprise. Which doesn’t happen too often in our business. I refused to pay him half because it was never talked about up front, and then he contacted the landlord, telling him that I was no longer representing him.
  • Thank goodness, the landlord protected me; he knows my reputation. But it just goes to show that you definitely, even though you trust people, you still have to have the correct documents in place to be protected, no matter what.

Biggest success due to the right customer approach

  • One of the biggest successes that I’m most proud about is one of the first deals I’d worked on, building a relationship with a motel owner who owned it since the 1950s. We had a national tenant wanting their prime corner location for a Walgreens. I must have spent at least two years with a 90 mile one way trip once a week to go visit him. It took almost two years of building trust before he finally sold his motel and now there’s a brand new Walgreens in that space. Persistence and building a relationship.

Lance Scoular

@LanceScoular THe Savvy Navigator

Lance Scoular believes in the concept of care, protection, and guidance for your clients.

Lance Scoular, AKA The Savvy Navigator, has been involved in International Trade and Transport for 50 years; as a Licensed Customs Broker in Australia for 40 years, as a Freight Forwarder; as an industry trainer; as a Trade start export advisor contracted to The Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade), and as a presenter of his course, “Importing and Exporting, an Overview of the Basics,” provided face to face at universities and community colleges in Australia for 20 years.

In 2008, Lance started receiving invitations from students in his classes to connect with them on both Facebook and LinkedIn.

He was skeptical at first, however, as he researched the possibilities of digital marketing and personal brand development, using social media networks, he soon became a convert to the strategic use of social media platforms for business and not-for-profit-organizations.

Over the last nine years, he has developed and expanded his social media networks exponentially (especially LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, and beBee) and those of a select group of clients in a variety of sectors, both locally and globally.

The results have been significant.

Lance is now in the process of doing a 180-degree business pivot, refocusing away from Social Media Consulting, and back to what he does best: International Trade and Transport Training.

He is soon to launch an online course, “Import Export Made Easy” in video and audio as well as the “Import Export Made Easy” Podcast.

Biggest failure with a customer

  • Well, I’ve had failures… like most of the guests in your show. It’s a learning situation.
  • Back in 2007 and 2008, I was running my own course, but I was also asked to be a guest presenter at the Sydney Community College, two courses for young entrepreneurs. One for young people that were thinking of becoming entrepreneurs and another one for those who are already entrepreneurs.
  • On one night, I was asked by the course’s facilitator to share one of my business stories with the entrepreneurs. Some of the entrepreneurs were doing great things, and I didn’t want to take that from them, but the truth is that somehow there is a concept today that everyone can become an entrepreneur, but that is not possible. Gary V (Gary Vaynerchuk) talks a lot about the entrepreneurs that couldn’t deal with the failures.
  • So, I felt compelled to share with those entrepreneurs what I considered to be the worst night of my life.
  • It was in October 1999 when I realized I let down the most important client: my business partner, and wife, Sandie. I came home, and I found my wife crying so much, and I realized this is going to be our last night in the house we built 26 years earlier, that we planned to live in for the rest of our life.
  • The bank we took the loan for the house sent us a letter saying either we pay off right now or you are out of the house, and this is it. And according to the contract they could do it.
  • At that time, there was some issue of a government’s royal commotion and banks used to do awful things like that.
  • So we had to move immediately with two of our three kids, two cats and a dog to our friends' house. That was a terrible time for us, ‘a valley’ and it was all because I didn’t pay enough attention to take care of an overdraft in the bank.
  • The customer here was my wife, who was my business partner, and I wasn’t caring, protecting, and guiding her. I was too busy taking care of the business’ clients.
  • I want to tell these young entrepreneurs that you have a duty of care to your business partners and your employees, as well as for your family.

Biggest success due to the right customer approach

  • I was a trainer for the Australian Federation of International Forwarders, and I run a course around the capitals of the five stats of Australia. We had a Christmas party, and when I said goodbye to the CEO of AFIF, Brian Lovell, he asked me to come to talk with him tomorrow. And he asked me to arrange what became to be a massive structure of meetings, guidance, presentations, and seminars around new tax rules.
  • That was a big boost for me, and I managed to use my ability to explain these new complex tax rules in very clear and simple words to many business people at all levels.

 

Contacts & Books

The best way to connect with Antoine

Antoine’s highly educational podcast, “A Millennial’s Guide to Real Estate Investing,” can be accessed through iTunes, Spotify, and various other podcast outlets.

Antoine is always happy to make new connections. Interested potential investors and real estate professionals can reach out to [email protected]

Antoine's Recommended tool

  • Textedly - SMS Marketing, Text Messaging Services, Mass & Bulk Texting

 

The best way to connect with Joshua

Josh’s Book: READ THE CMO BOOK MARKETERS ARE RAVING ABOUT

The Chief Marketing Officers at Work, which contains 29 interviews with CMOs from organizations like GE, the Harvard Business School, Spotify, Target, and PayPal and was recognized in Success Magazine as one of the 5 Best Business Books of 2016.

“This book will show you where the top marketing minds see things going.”

Michael Brenner, Author of The Content Formula

Chief Marketing Officers at Work

 

The best way to connect with Pamela

 

Pamela’s Book:

One Cent Lemonade to Million Dollar Deals: 25 Jobs & 25 Lessons I Wish I learned Sooner!

Winning Ways in Commercial Real Estate: 18 Successful Women Unveil the Tips of the Trade in the Real Estate World

How To Win In Commercial Real Estate - Zero To $1,000,000 In One Deal

 

The best way to connect with Lance

More resources for Entrepreneurs

  1. Don’t Miss – Customer Focus Strategy & Execution: Market Analysis for Fundraising
  2. Hayut Yogev’s Latest post“Cut to the chase! We need actionable steps for creating, growing, and maintaining a successful business!” So that’s exactly what I did.
  3. Former interview: Ofer Shayo established his first very successful startup that was acquired after 7 years; Today he created a structured ideation process in order to find a new idea
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