S2Ep22: Do I Have What it Takes to Be An Entrepreneur?

In today’s episode, Allan welcomes entrepreneur, Maceo Jourdan. Maceo has decades of experience building and scaling businesses. Maceo and Allan discuss what personality traits are essential to be a successful entrepreneur. They also discuss how entrepreneurs use their resources to make their business function. An important resource for any entrepreneur is having a mentor. This is a must-listen for anyone wanting to start a business who is unsure whether they have what it takes.  Maceo can be contacted by clicking on the links below.

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Hey, everyone, welcome to the show. I’m Allan. I’m a family man and attorney and an entrepreneur. Each week, we provide resources and advice to help build your business. Are you ready? Then let’s go. Everyone, welcome to the show. Today, I’m excited about our guest. He’s an entrepreneur at heart. His name is Maceo Jourdan, let me read you some of the things that he’s accomplished. He’s a serial entrepreneur, with like a little meat that goes behind that, right that that’s thrown around a little bit, but he can actually back that up, he built one of the earliest high frequency trading systems for the S&P 500. He’s also the founder of Canexxia, which is in the healthcare industry. Check this out. He was the founder, Chairman and CEO of retire three publishing, which is a phoenix based publishing company, he started the company with $25,000 with a $25,000 loan and grew it to 26 million in three years. Welcome to the show. I’m glad to be here. This is awesome, man. So what did I miss? My my guests are aspiring entrepreneurs, or they’re already established. I’ve got everybody from somebody wondering if they should take the leap to people that do you know, 10 figures plus a year in gross revenue? What do they need to know about you?

Well, first of all, they’re doing 10 figures, they definitely need to contact us for potential investments, I’ll say, right off the bat.

We know that. So let’s start with the aspiring entrepreneurs, and hopefully give them like a good framework for number one, understanding where they’re at, really, and then how to maybe get to the point where they’re looking at 10 figures, the starter and the seasoned entrepreneur have quite a few differences. And I think one of the drawbacks of, especially social media with Instagram, and, you know, this culture where you presenting a picture specifically to manipulate an algorithm, which, like you said, I’ve got a lot of experience with, you end up getting a skewed version of the truth. So I’ll start with something from left field, what most people don’t understand about the market, so stocks, forex, currencies, whatever, is that the professional traders actually act almost in direct opposition to retail traders, right. So most of the public is looking to buy, they’re actually buying from professional traders, which is the real reason why most people don’t make any money. Because guys like me, we’re hired to pump stocks up to really high prices, so that the people who were really rich to get even richer, because they’ve got to buy low and sell high just like everybody else, right? But if you look at the media, and you look at websites and people, they’re selling information on how to make money in trading, they’re going to give you lots of other stuff as for what’s going to make you successful. Now, this is not just a philosophical point. Right? So let’s let’s talk about that beginning person, should I even be an entrepreneur? Well, let’s talk about that. You know, can you do math? Right? So I had, I had a partner, I call him Mr. accountability. jokingly, we’re working on actually a really large acquisition, and I found out that he couldn’t do he couldn’t figure 10% in his head. Right. So if you said, you know, there’s a million bucks, 10% is 100,000, right? You just chop off one zero, with some further questioning, turned out that the guy basically had a fifth grade math, math education, that’s going to get in the way, at a certain point in business, especially where we were, because no person in their right mind is going to invest 235 10 $20 million dollars in your company, if they know that you as an individual cannot do 10% kind of math in your head. That’s just the way that it is and that’s actually a really smart thing to do. So that’s one thing like what are your math skills? Really I’m not saying you got to be a PhD in math to grow a business. I’m certainly not. But it’s more about the focus on Where are you, really. So again, for the starter entrepreneur, or maybe somebody who’s coming out of the corporate America, you’ve got someone, you’re just age wise and sort of naturally in their starter year, so 18, and up, so 18 to maybe 2527 28. If you’re under 23, the main thing getting in your way, is that humans brains don’t develop the ability to really understand the future until you’re older than 23. It’s literally a physical development in the brain. So again, how are you go, if you’re 20? Are you really going to be able to build this business? It’s going to be around for five years, when you’re like, focused on the end of the week? Yeah, so So those are just some really concrete examples of how to begin thinking about where you are as an individual, really not where your mom thinks you are. No, Simon Sinek, with all of his rah rah are Tony happens with other rah, rah. But like, actually, what can you go out in the world and do so cap it off with this, I had the honor of going through special forces selection, I didn’t get selection, but I made it through one of the toughest experiences that human beings can ever accomplish. mentally, physically, emotionally, and all that. So to me, it’s a feather in my cap. The reason why they do that Allan is because you don’t just hand somebody walks in off the street again, kick them out of the back of an airplane at 12,500 feet, say, Go get him tiger. You want them to go through a little bit more than that. Yeah. So one thing to keep in mind is that I don’t think of it like there’s any one person out there, who is going to select you, right there wants to see some qualifications, but the market will, customers will, your competition wills, there’s all of these forces out there, which are constantly testing you, a better word would be proving you, right? So when it’s when the ancient Samurai would get their swords, the best sword Smith’s who are making those weapons for them would make this thing with a massive amount of work, and then try and break them. So the samurai knew when they got this weapon that had been proven, which is different than testing, right? Because it’s, they’ve gone through like a real world trial of that tools ability. So that’s really all that I’m talking about is as an entrepreneur, if you say well, can we say Oh, like, now what like I got none of that. I would say, excellent, then go find something that will put you through the gauntlet, like today’s society of I was watching a video and there’s as college students saying to the administrator, while they were crying, by the way, your job is to create a safe environment for me. And when I heard that, I thought, well, that’s just not the real world. Tell me what environment on the earth that’s truly safe. Like I when my daughter was walking in the backyard, is it safe in the backyard? Well, she got injured, okay. It’s a minor injury. She scraped her foot, she stepped on a pebble. But that would still it’s like there’s no place on the planet that’s truly safe, let alone the competitive landscape of business.

So yeah, let’s take a step back in and chat about Mr. accountability. Okay. Oh, yeah. So he’s listening. I may send them this link just so I can rub it in his face. This is great. So I was I was listening to just a portion of a Joe Rogan podcast and he had somebody on there. I don’t know who he was. He was probably somebody famous. All of his guests are right. But he said something about how he’s connected with Gary Vee somehow and it bothers him that Gary Vee goes around and tells everybody that they should be an entrepreneur, because not everybody should. Right, right? Yes. So talking about Mr. Accountability a little bit. Couldn’t Mr. accountability, start a lawn mowing business, landscaping business?

Let’s take him in isolation, right. So we won’t generalize for the moment? I would say probably not because the other thing Mr. countability, spent a lot of time doing was sitting back and saying we should work smart, not hard. No, is that partnership is ending, I would respond with what you’ve been spending so much time thinking about working smart. You haven’t worked at all. So many people sit around with that cliche in their mind, thinking that, well, I’m going to get to work, but it’s going to be in a smart way. That when you take somebody like me who I mean, I would say I’m fairly smart. I’m not really I’m not dumb, at least. But I’m going to get to work. I’m going to start testing things. I would say in his individual case, probably not because you know, he’s going to think of the 57 reasons why not to or what neighborhood Should I started, but look that that backs into like now as a generalized Mr. accountability. And maybe why that person was saying not everybody should be an entrepreneur. If you are crushingly shy You’re probably not gonna make a good entrepreneur because I don’t know many businesses you don’t sell in. And even if you’re going to write copy, like I’ve made millions of dollars writing copy, like words on a page physical like pen and paper all the way to today digital kind of copy. And I got those skills by going door to door as a kid, when I was we had no money growing up. So like we I’ve ever clicked in cans we could answer in the car, and they call it my legs, because we didn’t have money, you know. So I sold like candy and stuff door to door. fact, one of my first jobs in junior high was a telephone salesperson. So I’ve sold a lot so badly for a long time too, by the way, so you don’t need to be crazy skilled right from the beginning. So I’m going to get started. So if somebody who’s like Mr. accountability, they’re going to fall for the trap. And here’s the trap. If you look at Gary Vee, Simon Sinek, Tony Robbins, even before social media, they have a distinctive message, right. And the message is one of empowerment and opportunity, which in one hand is really positive. However, you and I both know, as entrepreneurs, you’re gonna have some setbacks and setbacks really suck. You might even go bankrupt, you might have your car repossessed, your house foreclosed on, that’s rough, you may have to move back in with your parents. And when you’re going through that, it’s okay to feel like crap, like you shouldn’t be mad, you shouldn’t be upset, you should probably wake up and start crying throughout the day, you know what I mean? It’s like, That’s normal. So that the challenge with those group of people is in order to stay on brand, and to appeal to the mass. Right? So especially social media, where you go for views and you’re manipulating manipulating the algorithm. on YouTube, we all know you got to get past that, like two minute threshold is really good if you get past 10 minutes. And if you can get a big bulk of people past 10 minutes, like YouTube will love you. Why? Because you’re keeping people on their platform, and they’re making more ad dollars. So what inevitably happens, is this pandering to what’s going to keep people around versus what they want.

So what are the personality traits of an entrepreneur? What is what is required? Is there anything required,

the only thing I would say is required is the ability to do lots of work with zero reward. I’m not saying a little reward, I’m saying zero, maybe even negative. You’re only where people are telling you, you’re crazy. Yeah, if you can’t do that basic thing, you’re just you’re not going to make it and like go through selection. There is no reward there. But I mean, it’s like beat down from getting off the bus to literally like the graduation ceremony, that nobody’s giving you appreciation, nobody’s telling you Attaboy, nobody is motivating you, you had to come from with it. And entrepreneurism in general is a lot like that. So I would say that’s, number one, the look that that comes across is using an old timey phrase, it would be like, stick to itiveness. Yeah, people also talk about discipline or other things. So let’s break down discipline, like if somebody may, people may interpret what I’m saying. So I’m going to try and box them in and predict what they’re thinking. So let’s say somebody heard what I just said, Oh, I’m so saying, I have to be disciplined? Well, not really, because discipline really boils down to your self image. years ago, I had a coach, and he was telling me a story about him running. He wanted to run an hour every day. And he said, he tried all kinds of tricks, putting his shoes by the door by the bed, but Dr. Pepper, all these tricks that people teach you. And he said, but you know what, Mr. One day I woke up, and I went running, and somebody was talking to me. And they said, You know what, I’m not really a runner. And my mentor said, he said, his immediate response was, Oh, I’m a runner. And what he noticed is, from that day forward, he had no problem getting up, he woke up without an alarm. It was never a challenge. So what am I getting? What I’m getting at is, Who do you think you are? What is your identity? Do you believe that you’re a hard worker? Do you believe like with my mentor, Mark, that you’re a runner? If you do, then your brain is designed to make you do the things necessary to complete that. Right now, we are getting into issues like self esteem and other things they do apply. And this is where you know guys like Tony Robbins, Simon Sinek you know, sort of more of the rah rah types, this is where they are on track, in that you can only achieve what you what you believe about yourself and what that means for possibility.

So when there’s a entrepreneur that doesn’t have these like key pieces, right? It’s not the personality that the tough love exactly like they were They aren’t the big risk takers. They’re not super outgoing. They’re not the type that can really envision success. Can they learn these things? Can they say, hey, let’s just go for it. Because honestly, I think that’s one of the best attributes of an entrepreneur is. I have about 20% of the information. And I’m going to put myself out there. And I’m going to figure out the rest. Can entrepreneurs do that?

Here’s the good news. Absolutely. So when I was coaching people that teaching them how to trade, they had a similar question, can I really do it. And what I would tell them is just the fact that you’re here means that you can, and it’s as simple as this. My mom, she, she recently passed, worked. I mean, she kept us out of the ghetto worked three jobs, you know, had no advantages come from mixed parents. So my dad’s black, my mom’s was this white, little white Jewish lady from Puerto Rico. She just had really light skinned and blue eyes, which of course, everybody in Arizona spoke Spanish, refused to believe that she could speak Spanish until she, you know, rattle it off. Anyway. She would never in a million years, buy a course or, you know, get on Udemy or anything like that. She just wouldn’t do it. It doesn’t mean that she’s somehow deficient. But I would say just the fact that somebody is listening to the sound of my voice in this moment, is just because somebody does buy the course. Absolutely. That means you, you literally have everything

you need. I mean, they’re, they’re taking the initiative, right? They’re taking that first step. And they’re putting themselves out there, which is a huge aspect of being an entrepreneur. A lot of times one of the biggest pitfalls that I see, when I’m coaching people, and I’m helping them getting their business up and going is that they have so many options, or there’s so many things to choose from that they never actually do anything, right? Oh, yeah. So many people come to me and they’re like, Elon, I have this great idea. And I’m the wrong guy to come to with that, because I will make you feel bad, unless you do something about it. Right, which is, at the end of the day, I think most businesses that succeed, I don’t think there are a ton of novel businesses, I think it’s who stuck with it, who, who pivoted when they needed to, and who just figured it out, right. And so if I have somebody that comes to me that they have a nine to five, they have a couple of bucks, they put together and they’re like, look at if I don’t do this, then I’m going to regret it the rest of my life. What do you tell them?

to actually tell him a lot? And I said, ask him some questions. So the first thing of course, you know, we dive into some of the basic math, the friend of mine, Scott channel, he’s got a great book on on phone sales, which get any affiliate money from the guy, but he stole one of my phrases, which is it’s all math. So definitely want to know how well they grasp your whether you want to use a fancy venture capital term, like what are the unit economics based on your total addressable market or some other thing that people throw around to seem smart, whether they know the buzzwords or not it’s more about? Do you have what I would call country bumpkins style understanding where you know, if you’re paying five bucks for the materials, and it takes you four hours to put the thing together, and you only get seven bucks for it? Well, you’re basically making you know, two bucks an hour or whatever, I guess it’d be, what’s two divided by 450 cents an hour. I can’t do math of talk at the same time as extra was not a Bachelor’s. But that that caused

me to bring out Mr. Accountability there. But well, don’t

get me started. Oh, my gosh. He actually I actually asked him one time I said, You do know you have a calculator on your phone? And that’s a big part of being an entrepreneur. Right. Okay. Once it’s figured out, right, it’s figure it out. What are

your resource. So I think a great aspect, a great personality trait of an entrepreneur is they understand what resources they have available to them. There’s this guy that brought a really good business idea to me one day, just a couple years ago, wanted some help, and had a detailed business plan. I thought it was a great, great looking model. And he’s like, I don’t know, anybody that has money that could that could help me. And I’m like, sitting right here. Right. So I know at least one person that you that, you know, that could help you out. So do you see that a little bit in entrepreneurship, where there’s trade of, Okay, what are my resources that I could kind of put together to make this business function?

So I’ll let me I’ll go back and complete the answer to your question because there’s actually more than one thing right there there are there really are no really simple solutions. There are less complex solutions to simple questions. So the what I’ll probably do is investigate whether or not that person can figure it out. So I’ll ask them, usually give them a task or something like that, and just see how they do. And, you know, my basic filter is if somebody can’t Google it, then yeah, you’re probably going to fail. You know, you said it earlier, and you know, 20%, if that of what you’re supposed to do, and look there, there is no one that is just dying to answer all the questions you need to make you rich. You know, we’ve got to forget about that. I mean, there’s nothing conspiring in this world, for your success. There are things that are conspiring to put assets in your path. But nothing is actively working for your success. And that’s an important distinction. So, to cap off, you know, what would you do would be more involved, you know, trying to investigate where they are at prove them, rather than them telling me where they are, I’m going to put some really simple hurdles in their path to see, I’ll give an example. When I hire somebody off of a contractor website, like Upwork, or guru.com, or something like that. I will post the job. And then in the post, I will say, in order to qualify for this job, you need to put turtle in the subject line of your email to me. And anybody without turtle in the subject line, I don’t even look at dude, because what because they can’t follow directions. Why would I want to hire somebody who cannot follow simple instructions? So it’s easy stuff like that. And you’re so often people are focused on, you know, Gary V’s this or some, you know, Jocko is that or whatever they’re picking up on YouTube. Yeah, it’s like, let’s go back to the very basics. So to finish off another question, you know, what if what if you’ve got no redeeming qualities? Well, maybe then entrepreneurship isn’t for you. They’re finally saying, there absolutely are a whole bunch of people that should be working. Not even like except for Gary Vee changed his tune, he talks about some people might be a number two, it might not even be that there may, there are millions and millions of people who really should just be happy to go to work, make the bonus and then go home. Even if you have aspirations to the contrary, for whatever reason, maybe you just can’t hack it. And unfortunately, you know, people don’t like hearing that. But that’s just that’s the way the world is, right. So that kind of caps that off. So outside of, you know, putting a few hurdles in front of people. This is where a true mentor can come in. Right. So a true mentor, and I don’t object to people paying for mentors. But here’s the judge, the judge is that the mentor is willing to offend you in sort of this new modern version of offensive. What I mean by that, like, what, what you just were getting out was, you got to do some work here, you know, I’m sitting in front of you, why are you not asking me? A mentor is going to say something like that, you know, hey, you should be asking me, why don’t you ask out there asking everybody, and then filling that in and saying, Look, you’re telling that person if you’re not willing to pitch your idea to every person that you know, and then ask them? Who do you know who invests in stuff like this? They should probably rethink whether or not you really want to do it. So there are ways even to test mentors, mentors are absolutely willing to hurt your feelings and like the modern day version of that, well, why cuz they’re jerks. Well, no, because the way our brains work, is that it feels good when people agree with us. And it doesn’t feel good when they don’t. Obviously, if you’re posing an idea, like let’s say, give me an idea, say I’m going to, you know, start this business where we’re gonna sell USB hubs, the blind people have no idea why it just came to mind. But it did. So I’m gonna tell you, you know, that’s probably not a good idea, man. There’s like 9 million of those on Amazon. Okay, so right there. I just disagree with you. That hurts, right? That’s the level of offensive I’m talking. I’m not talking about insulting people. And there’s a guy on YouTube, Dan Pena, who does that really well. I’m not talking about that level. I’m just saying somebody who loves you enough to tell you when you’re off track in as overt and aggressive terms to get your attention.

I love this idea. I love that you brought up mentorship and I actually wasn’t even really thinking about that. But I think you’ve you’ve hit on a couple of key points. When somebody is looking for a mentor. They need somebody that can just give it to them straight. I think a mentor that does that. It says something about him or her. One of those things is a person’s busy. That person doesn’t have time to sit around and entertain things that don’t make sense. And they don’t have good ideas. Number two, that’s a confident individual. They could say, you know what that USB? I did? That’s a dumb idea. Right? They kind of they’re, they’re confident in their knowledge about a business or whatever area they’re, they’re discussing. And I think that’s a great point whatsoever to with mentors.

Let me let me add one more thing to that. Because the, what I learned, especially in the trading room, I do I, I came up in an environment where, you know, the pits were there. People were literally throwing elbows and your trading rooms, there were no women around. So it was just like a locker room, everything you could imagine. Yeah, so I’m saying that’s the environment, right? So the people who mentored me in trading realized that they, they had to have enough respect for me to not use flowery terms or, you know, I keep going to the south for some reason, but a good Southern phrase I like is going around your elbow to get to your wallet. You know, it’s like the reach for my wallet like this. But if my wallet on that side, right? Yeah, hopefully that makes on the video. It doesn’t make a lot of sense. Yeah. So the mentor that’s going to give it to you straight, though, is also going to prove you Right, so one of the things that happened overtly in the trading room, if you just walked in was like, Man, these guys are treating each other like crap. Yeah, but look, trading is an emotional exercise. losing money is painful. I mean, it modern science proves that it’s like physically and mentally painful and emotionally painful to lose money. It’s, uh, what what we were doing was literally training each other. And it was over in the trading room, you get a lot of this and it you know, professional sports and things like that it especially in the combat arena, you know, talking about special forces and whatnot, there’s a lot of that stuff going on. So a good mentor is also going to prove you to see where you are. So they may push back on an idea, just to see how confident you are good CEOs will test you all the time. This isn’t public. But like if you if you talk to somebody who worked directly with Jeff Bezos, or Steve Jobs, not some Joker, that was like seven people removed or wrote a book on how he does presentations, or something like that, or somebody that worked with them for six months. What they will tell you is they are constantly pushing, yeah, pushing. Why? Because they know if as a high growth company needs to be in front of the competition.

There’s a reason I’ve read a bunch of these biographies. And the kind of consensus is these guys are jerks or whatever, right? Because they keep pushing, and it’s never good enough. Maceo we’ve got to wrap this up, unfortunately. But I’m going to give you a scenario. I’ve got a, an aspiring entrepreneur hasn’t pulled the trigger yet has that you know, proverbial 20% of information and resources they need? I need you to get them off the fence and take action. What do you tell them?

Do the math start with what it is that you’re trying to sell? Number one, how much does it cost you to put that thing together? How much is it going to cost you to get to market? And do you make a profit after that? Right? So that’s one layer of profit, you might call a gross profit. If you get there, and you can make enough money for your personal needs, then you’ve got a shot at the product, by the way, in that really simple methodology. This is why I don’t sell courses anymore. Because I can tell you like how long was that? 45 seconds, I can tell you 45 seconds, everything you need to know, to build the next trillion dollar business. Well, why do I say that? I say that because Amazon is not a e commerce company. Amazon is a cloud company go look at their public documents. Their profit comes from AWS and all of these cloud services. You Don’t tell me you’re Jeff Bezos, when he had Amazon spray painted on his wall knew he was gonna be the cloud. And I know, there’s no way you’ve got to start there. And by the way, if you keep those three things in mind, and you keep those three things under control, that as you grow, you’re not it’s not going to get out of control, you’re not going to get you know upside down with debt, you’re going to know how much debt to take on the business is really very simple. So then the next thing I would say is, then once you’ve got the math, start with one person, go sell your thing to someone. That’s it.

I love it. Nice and concise, short, easy to understand. But it’s true right? Start small but but do something so well. Hey, but SEO it’s been a pleasure having you. I wish we could have made this an hour and a half as opposed to 30 minutes. Where can people find more about what you’re doing? Well, the

our healthcare projects you can get a connection dot com, we’re bringing hospital quality health care into the home, then you can always go to my personal website, at www.maceojourdan.com.

I’m always willing to work with people like you though, you know, I want to see some results. So I don’t, I don’t do very much in theory anymore. So if somebody wants to work on a project, and I’ve got no problem, giving them all the help that they can need, but you know, they got to show me some work.

Love it. Show your work, baby. All right, man after my own heart. Well, thanks for joining us today. Glad to be here. I’m sure our listeners just have so much to to learn from this episode, especially as it you know, relates to just getting that motivation they need to take the next step. So thanks for joining us. It was a real pleasure. Likewise, Allan, thanks. But hey, I wanted to thank Maceo again for that great episode, great information about whether entrepreneurship is right for everybody. And it’s clearly not it’s my opinion that some people just really can’t live a fulfilling life, being an entrepreneur. So your task is to figure out if you’re one of those people start with your why right? Is your why for starting a business and being an entrepreneur big enough. Make sure to leave me a review on the platform that you’re listening to this on. Also, make sure to subscribe so that you don’t miss any future episodes. And if you have any questions anything you want to chat about, reach out to me at www.allandraper.com to set an appointment and let’s chat. Let’s get your business up and rolling. Till next time.

If you have enjoyed today’s podcast, please leave us a rating and for daily inspiration and business tips follow Allan on Instagram. Until next time, remember we build the future one entrepreneur at a time.

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