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SPI 465: Making the Entrepreneurial Leap with Confidence with Gino Wickman

I’m going to kick off today’s episode by telling you something you might not know. After getting laid off in 2008, while working on my architecture exam website and — both of which were doing very well — I was still applying for jobs. The thing was, even though I was “making it happen” as an entrepreneur, I still hadn’t really made the leap. I wasn’t all-in.

Well, today’s guest has written some truly incredible books that I wish I’d had on hand at that time. His book Rocket Fuel was a game-changer for me in helping me realize my role in the business as a visionary, and why I needed an integrator like Matt to help me realize those visions.

His new book, Entrepreneurial Leap is a powerful book, especially for anyone who’s considering making the leap into entrepreneurship — it lays out the six fundamental characteristics any entrepreneur needs, how to create a long-term entrepreneurial vision, and tons of great information. Make sure you check out his website, for a bunch of free tools, assessments, and more.

Whether you’ve made the leap already or need to reassess where you’re at, Gino’s throwing down a lot of wisdom for us. Here we go!

Today’s Guest

Gino Wickman

An entrepreneur since the age of 21, Gino has had an obsession for learning what makes businesses and entrepreneurs thrive. At 25 he took over the family business, which was deeply in debt and in need of help. After turning the company around and running it for seven years, he and his partners successfully sold the company.

Gino then set out to help entrepreneurs and leaders get what they want from their businesses. Based on his years of real-world experience, he created the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS), a practical method for helping companies achieve greatness.

He has personally delivered more than 1,900 full-day sessions for more than 135 companies, helping them implement EOS.

He is also the author of the award-winning, best-selling book Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business, as well as Get a Grip, Rocket Fuel, How to Be a Great Boss and What the Heck is EOS?, which have sold more than one million copies.

Gino is the founder of EOS Worldwide, an organization that helps tens of thousands of businesses implement EOS with the aid of an international team of over 350 professional and certified EOS Implementers and online support. There are over 100,000 companies using the EOS tools worldwide.

Gino is now devoting time and energy toward helping entrepreneurs-in-the-making get a huge jump-start on taking their entrepreneurial leap, which is why he created Entrepreneurial Leap. The mission of Entrepreneurial Leap is to find all of the entrepreneurs-in-the-making, at any age, wherever they are—to help them realize their purpose and live the life they were born to live.
Entrepreneurial Leap on YouTube

You’ll Learn


SPI 465: Making the Entrepreneurial Leap with Confidence with Gino Wickman

Pat Flynn:
It was March, 2009, and the business that I had created after getting laid off was doing really, really well, but I was still going in to job interviews. I don’t know if you knew that. I was still submitting my resume to architecture firms, taking AutoCAD tests on computers in their offices just in case. What that really meant was I wasn’t quite sure if I was cut out to be an entrepreneur. Even though I was making five figures a month with my architecture exam website, I still had this idea that maybe it wouldn’t last. And as a result, I wasn’t really dedicated to making it work even further. Things were coasting, but I had opportunities that I didn’t take.

I’ve told this story a couple of times, but I actually hired a company and I asked them to create a course creation software within my WordPress website. This was way back before Teachable or any of those other convenient tools that exist to create online courses. I hired this development company to build a tool set within my website to create an online course. At the time I was just selling an ebook to help people pass an exam, but an online course made sense to me because that’s how I would have loved to learn. They finished the job. Here I was with this beautiful template and these systems in place to create a password protected area within the website, all I had to do was sit down, create the videos and create the course content.

My ebook was being sold for $19.99. There were courses for this exam in the hundreds of dollars and I could have charged that, but because I wasn’t so sure that I wanted to go down thcis route as an entrepreneur, I was scared. I got in my own way and I never once added a single lesson. I had spent all this money, had these ideas, but because I thought that maybe, you know what, I don’t know if this is going to last, I should probably go back to architecture. That’s what I went to school for. I didn’t go to school for business. Almost, and in fact I did talk myself out of it.

Now, thankfully, the business was set up in a way that was more automated. I later increased the price of my book and I started making 25, $30,000 a month with the website, but it wasn’t until I took the entrepreneurial leap that I saw things start to explode, truly. I had another website, many of you know it,, where I was kind of just blogging every once in a while. And when I got fully committed to being an entrepreneur and also helping other entrepreneurs, I started to see both businesses really start to explode.

Now, with Smart Passive Income, it wasn’t even a business to begin with. It was specifically just a repository for information and things I was learning about business for my other website that I could pass on to you. And over time, this has become an empire, which is pretty amazing and I’m just so grateful for that.

But there was a specific moment, I remember it, because if I were to paint an analogy for you, it would be like I was on this corporate ladder. You know the corporate ladder. Climbing the ladder, I started as a drafter, then I became a job captain, then I became or I wanted to become a project manager but then I got laid off. So here I was on the top of this ladder. And of course the higher on the ladder you go, the tighter you grip. I just didn’t want to let go.

But boom, here comes this other ladder, the entrepreneurial ladder, which I learned from a whole bunch of people online. Big shout out to Jeremy and Jason from Internet Business Mastery. There was this new path in my future. I wasn’t so sure what it was going to be like, but I put a couple hands on that new ladder, and then all of a sudden I started seeing success. I put one foot on that ladder, but my other foot was originally still on that corporate ladder and I was hanging in between those ladders for a very long time.

It wasn’t until I finally let go, till I finally made that entrepreneurial leap, that it finally happened, that I started to see an exponential growth, I started to feel more confident in the direction I was going. And even though I didn’t get everything right, I knew that, well, those were all going to be lessons that were going to teach me the right way eventually.

Today we’re talking with Gino Wickman, somebody who’s written a book that’s completely changed my life. It’s called Rocket Fuel. It changed my life rather recently when I learned how important it was for me to find an integrator or an online business manager to help support me in my sort of visionary approach to business. This book, Rocket Fuel, talks about this relationship between the visionary in a business and the integrator. If you’re an entrepreneur and you’re coming up with a bunch of ideas, you might be more of a visionary, in which case you might need an integrator, somebody to take these visions and actually implement them, project manage them, and make them real, see them through. That’s exactly what Matt was for me and still is for me now as chief operating officer, and also co-CEO of Smart Passive Income in fact, if you didn’t know that already.

Well, Gino’s written a new book and it’s called Entrepreneurial Leap. And so I wanted to invite Gino on the show today because this idea of actually making that leap, none of this stuff matters. The strategies, the rocket fuel, the hiring, like if you don’t make that initial leap mentally in your head, it’s never going to work. So Gino’s book is amazing. I wanted to bring him on the show to talk about it. Stick around. I know that was a long intro, but I wanted to tell you that story. Hopefully we can all make the entrepreneurial leap together to the next stage that we want to get to, a little bit outside our comfort zone, and Gino is going to help us do that. Welcome to the show, thanks for being here, let’s cue the intro.

Welcome to the Smart Passive Income Podcast where it’s all about working hard now so you can sit back and reap the benefits later. And now your host – he’s worried during video interviews because his default face looks like he’s mad about something – Pat Flynn!

Hey, what’s up everybody? It’s Pat Flynn here and welcome to session 465 of the Smart Passive Income Podcast. Thank you so much for joining me today. I appreciate you so much and I’m here to help you make more money, save more time, and help more people too. Speaking of helping more people, we’ve got Gino Wickman in the house with us today. You can find his website and his new book at, and some other fun goodies that he’ll talk about a little bit later. But let’s just dive right into the show and let’s welcome Gino to talk about for just a brief moment a little bit of Rocket Fuel stuff, and then we’ll get into stuff that’s going to help you if you need some help getting to that next stage in your business. Here we go.

Gino, welcome to the Smart Passive Income Podcast. Thank you so much for joining us today.

Gino Wickman:
It is a pleasure to be here, Pat, I’m looking forward to this.

I’m absolutely honored because as I said in the intro here, your book, Rocket Fuel has made a massive impact on my business. It’s one of the primary reasons my partner, Matt, who is our chief operating officer, is now a part of the team. Together we have this cohesiveness that brings a lot of productivity and information and inspiration to people. So thank you so much for your work, truly.

My pleasure. Now, are you the visionary or the integrator?

I’m definitely the visionary and I am not an integrator at all, and I started to realize that after reading your book.

That’s kind of what I figured. I just wanted to clarify.

I do want to talk a little bit about Rocket Fuel, but I want to start with your origin story. Tell me a little bit about you and what led you to write your first book, which I believe was Traction.

You bet. Yeah. Well, I’ll give you a lightning fast version that leads up to that point because there’s definitely a backstory. So I’ve been an entrepreneur in the making probably my whole life and we’ll talk more about that later. Barely graduated high school, knew college wasn’t for me so I did not go to college and set off to go to work. I just wanted to go make money and as my friends went off to college, I went to work. Bumped along, tried a bunch of different things and really caught my stride in my mid 20s. I ended up taking over a family business. And so that’s when I really got my feet wet and learned the ropes of running a business. I was armed with two amazing mentors, my dad, who’s an incredible entrepreneur, and a gentleman by the name of Sam Cupp, who kind of took me under his wing and taught me everything he knew about business.

And so I spent all of my 20s kind of obsessing and studying and learning and reading and listening to everything I could about running a company, being an entrepreneur, and I applied all of that to the family business. I actually took over a business that needed a turnaround. And so I was able to turn that business around in three years, ran it for seven years, and then we decided it was time to sell. Three of us were partners in the business and we successfully sold the business. And so through all of that, and the reason that is important is that’s when I found my way into my calling, which is helping entrepreneurs, just as I helped my dad turn his business around and run his business. I also became a member of the Young Entrepreneurs Organization, now known as the Entrepreneurs Organization. I just found this knack and this love and this passion for helping my brethren, my entrepreneurial brethren if you will, and just realized I had a knack and a calling for this.

And so in my early 30s, I took a leap to help entrepreneurs and started out by just basically finding one that would let me help them and then another, and then another, and then I got referred a lot and over about a five-year period, I ultimately put the finishing touches on what is now EOS. That’s what then prompted me to write the book Traction, which Traction is explaining EOS A to Z. It’s truly a how-to manual for implementing EOS in your business. Long story there. It’s just hard to say I had this inspiration at 35 to write a book. That’s not at all how it happened. It was this crazy 15 year kind of entrepreneurial bumpy ride.

I love that you mentioned that you had your father as a mentor as well as Sam. I think that’s really important in all of our entrepreneurial journeys. I would love to ask you, what was the best piece of advice Sam gave you as you were learning your entrepreneurial ropes?

I mean, two things come to mind. I mean, there’s so much. And so I always kind of go with what my mind flashes to, and there’s two things. One is a tool and the tool is a scorecard. He taught me the power of running your business on a scorecard where you have a handful of numbers you’re looking at weekly, activity-based numbers. And so you always have a pulse on your business. And so he taught me that. I ran the family business on 14 numbers. I built EOS Worldwide with my partner, Don, on 14 numbers. And so the concept of scorecarding, which I certainly teach in Traction, and all of the books frankly.

And then the next is just kind of a phrase. And so as I was turning around the family business, I would meet with Sam once a month and we’d meet for about 90 minutes and I’d bring him all of my questions and issues and ideas and he would impart his wisdom on me. The issue had to do with my partners in the family business. He said to me, he said, “Gino, do you guys want to do what’s best for the company or do you just want to do what you want to do?” There’s so much wisdom in that statement and we’re teaching every EOS client to do what is in the best interest of the greater good for the business, and that’s where that comes from is that teaching I learned from my mentor, which is if you put the company first, everybody wins. But if you’re sitting there trying to do what’s best for you individually inside of that company, it’s going to bump along and struggle. So those are the two things that kind of jumped out at me when you asked that question.

I love that. And what jumps out at me as a response is how do you balance the idea of doing what’s right for the company but also your own personal mission, your own personal goals, perhaps mental health? There’s got to be a balance there, right? How do you determine what is best? Can you have both, something that’s best for the company and for yourself long-term?

Well, I’m convinced you can have both. One of the things we’ll talk about later as we talked about is my new book, Entrepreneurial Leap, and the power of that book is it’s helping an entrepreneur in the making decide if they’re an entrepreneur and decide the right business to start. And so, I believe a true entrepreneur starts a business that stems from their passion, from their core values, from the dent that they want to put in the universe. And from that, that entrepreneur then sets out, starts to build an organization around that, and then brings people into that organization that are of the same mindset, are passionate about the same thing. And so that’s where you can have both. My businesses have always been an extension of my passion and an extension of me. And so I absolutely believe you can have both. If you just do it for the money, it’s not going to work, you’re probably going to fail. But if you do it for all the right reasons, there’s absolutely a win-win to be had.

So it’s this idea of making sure it’s aligned from the beginning or else, sure, it might even be successful but just not might even work out for you and your own personal self. That’s really great to know, and I’d love to learn more about those litmus tests and discoveries upfront, and we’ll get to that, like I said, about your more recent book in just a minute, but I do want to talk a little bit about Rocket Fuel, because like I said, that one had the biggest impact on me. I’d love to know, why did you write that book? Because it has helped so many people, it was getting thrown around, Michael Hyatt was talking about it, everybody. Every year, there seems to be a book that all the entrepreneurs throw around to each other, and that was the one a few years back, and it’s been so, so important. How did that even come about?

I love it. Everything that I teach or write stems from a lesson. There’s an old saying that says, “We teach what we needed the most.” And so, what Rocket Fuel is teaching the world is this very powerful dynamic of the visionary-integrator duo at the helm of every entrepreneurial organization. The crazy entrepreneur that sets out and starts the business is the visionary. That visionary needs to be counterbalanced with an integrator. Well, that’s exactly what happened when I took over the family business. My dad was this incredible entrepreneur, visionary, wild and crazy, and I was his integrator. I counterbalanced him. I helped run the day-to-day to free him up to focus and grow the business. And so it 100 percent stems from that.

My business mentor uttered the word visionary one day, and so I grabbed that, and I heard Michael Gerber utter the word integrator one day, and so I grabbed that. Neither was really talking in terms of the concept, but those words just stuck. And then I brought them together and there was a day that I brought my partners together in the family business as we were doing the turnaround, and it was when I implemented the accountability chart for the first time. That’s when I had illustrated the visionary-integrator combination. And once I clearly got my dad to commit to that visionary role, and I fully took on that integrator role, the turnaround happened probably three times faster.

And then when I set out in my early 30s to go help many, many entrepreneurs, I started teaching that concept right out of the shoot and it was transforming lives. And so, shoot forward, I put the concept into Traction, but shoot forward probably 10 years after I was teaching it that’s when I finally decided to put it all in a book called Rocket Fuel with my co-author, Mark Winters. And like you said, it has spread through the entrepreneurial world like wildfire, and amen and hallelujah, it’s truly changing lives.

Hallelujah for sure, and I speak for myself and my team, again, to say thank you. For those listening who are trying to play both visionary and integrator, they are a solopreneur, they’re both trying to come up with the creative ideas for the future of the company, but they’re also the person who’s in the spreadsheets, who’s in the systems trying to put all the email marketing together and all the things on the inside, where does one begin to start to find that other half, if you will, that can best fit into creating those things and making those visions a reality for you?

Yeah, for sure. The first answer in answering your question is we have to zoom out and look at it contextually because not every entrepreneur has the luxury to start their business right out of the shoot with an integrator. Sometimes you just can’t afford it. One of my great stories is a client who played the visionary-integrator role in his construction company to $100 million. He just happen to be one of the rare visionaries that possesses some integrator traits. And so the point there is that’s someone who for 20 years grew their business filling both roles. And then I can give you another story about how two partners, a visionary and integrator, started their business day one and started in that role.

So the first contextual point is to understand, you’ve got to bring that integrator on at the right time for you. And again, sometimes there’s economic forces behind you that do not enable you to do that right away. I do urge you to do it as soon as possible because of the gain that you will get from it. But point is, it’s when you’re ready. And we talk about readiness factors in Rocket Fuel. You need to be psychologically ready. You need to be ready to let go. You need to be economically ready. And so let’s just pretend though, once your listener understands that dynamic, that they’re ready. Somewhere between zero and a hundred million. That’s when I can tell you they’ll be ready based on my history.

It’s a matter of what we call finding your two-piece puzzle. And so, finding the perfect puzzle piece that matches you, and there’s three ways to do it. You can literally just reach out to your network, put the word out. That’s how I found my integrator, Don Tinney, when building EOS Worldwide. You could go find a recruiter. There are now many recruiters that specialize in finding integrators. So thank goodness we’ve created a whole industry there. Or you can just do the recruiting yourself in house. Just start from scratch doing the recruiting process, but they’re out there. Most of the time they’re inside of your organization or they’re one degree of separation from you. So please start there. But if you’re not having any luck there, then certainly reach out to, again, a full-blown recruiting effort or hiring a recruiter.

I love that. It makes me think of the spectrum that you mentioned of the different kinds of people. I’m thinking of, for example, Elon Musk, right? He is both a visionary and an integrator. He can do a lot of these things, but of course he has a team behind him. But then we think of people like Gary Vaynerchuk, who he’ll say that they’re coming out with this new… Empathy Wines, for example, is the new company he came out with. I’m pretty sure that was just his idea and his team is running with it, right? He’s got people integrated just for that specific vertical alone. And so you kind of have to, like you said, find your own sort of path there.

I think the big thing is the letting go, like you said. But also what helped me realize was Matt was very open – Matt’s my integrator and COO and CFO now as well, and actually now co-CEO in fact. He is somebody who actually enjoys the stuff I hate, and that I didn’t even know was a thing. Like how could you really fall in love with spreadsheets, Matt? I have no idea, but that they’re out there. And I think that’s a huge thing to realize is that you as a visionary brain, just you think differently. But like you said, this two piece puzzle is so key. Before we move on to Entrepreneurial Leap, I’d love to know what you feel the biggest mistake people make is when they try to find an integrator and try to find that other half.

The biggest mistake, it’s hiring the wrong person. Sadly I’ve had clients literally go through three integrators till they found their perfect integrator. So it’s just making a bad hire. And it’s some of us are not great at hiring people. I’m not great at hiring people and that’s what I’m teaching to the world. I love everybody, and so everybody looks good to me. And so what I’ve always had is I’ve always had three people that screen everyone that I hire. If they get by those three people, because they’re such great reads of character, then I know I’ve got someone. So the biggest mistake is just hiring the wrong one.

And then the second biggest mistake is just not letting go. In other words, you have to understand you’re hiring this integrator to let go of all of that stuff that you’re not good at. Well, a lot of visionaries just struggle letting go. Their ego is so attached to being the hero that has always saved the day on every issue growing the business. That changes when an integrator comes in. You’ve got to let go and let that integrator make most of the decisions and do the work that you shouldn’t be doing. And so it’s really hard. It messes with your mind when you’re the one that’s been in control and a bit of a control freak all these years.

But so worth it. I mean, I’ll tell you from my own perspective, absolutely worth it. We’ve been able to do so much more as a team in combining forces. Entrepreneurial Leap, October, 2019, it came out. So fairly recently. I’ll recommend you check it out. We’ll have the links on the show notes and whatnot. Who’s this book for and why is it so important for them to check it out?

Yeah. Again, to zoom out and give a little bit of context for your listener, my previous 20 year life was all EOS, Traction, Rocket Fuel, everything we’ve been talking about up until this point. And so, all of that content I created there is for a 10 to 250 person privately held company. So that’s kind of the sweet spot for EOS and Traction. Entrepreneurial Leap is very, very different. What I’m doing now, after almost three decades now of obsessing and helping entrepreneurs, I’m going to the front end of the entrepreneurial journey. And again, that statement, we teach what we needed the most, I’m teaching my 18-year-old self that was an entrepreneur in the making, a mislabeled derelict, I was lost, confused, insecure.

I was an entrepreneur in the making, I didn’t know. And if I had this content then, I would be miles ahead of where I was. I didn’t really realize I was an entrepreneur until age 29. So this book is for any entrepreneur in the making that has not yet taken their leap. And so, again, EOS and Traction, Rocket Fuel, that’s all for an entrepreneur that’s taken their leap, has realized some level of success and now has employees that they’re managing. This is going all the way to the front of that journey. And so anyone out there that’s thinking about taking a leap, maybe just took a leap and you’re trying to figure it out, this book is for you. In real high level, again, it’s written in three parts: confirm, glimpse, and path.

And so what it does is it helps you first confirm whether or not you should even do this. Entrepreneurship is not for everyone. A true entrepreneur has six essential traits and I’ve created an assessment to help you determine and ultimately confirm, do you have these six essential traits and is entrepreneurship for you? Because if it’s not, I’m trying to save you from 10 years of hell. And if it is, I’m going to show you a way to greatly increase your odds of success and help you eliminate half the mistakes you’re going to make.

Then in the second part, glimpse, I’m then showing a glimpse of all of the possibilities, all of the options, what the life looks like, because the more I can help you see the future, the more likely you are to get it and also eliminate half the mistakes you’re going to make. And then path shows a very specific path for how to help you get there quicker. Like I keep saying, eliminate half the mistakes and greatly increase your odds of success. And so we can certainly drill down on any of that, but I wanted to start with that kind of high level context.

Yeah. Thank you for that. Super clear. Again, link will be in the show notes. I want to start with confirm, we’ll go down the line here and I have a couple of questions about that. Number one, just straight up, who shouldn’t be an entrepreneur? I’d love to hear your take on that.

That’s great. Well, let’s start with who should, and then anyone who isn’t that is the one that shouldn’t, okay?

Okay, we’ll go there.

I’m going to give you two things and please, I am an open book and I love giving it all away, so there’s nothing on here to tease. So please don’t be shy about digging as deep as you want. So first I mentioned the six essential traits, and so the six essential traits are: visionary, passionate, problem solver, driven, risk taker, and responsible. And there’s an assessment online for free that you can take, I’m sure that’ll be in the show notes. Go take the assessment. If you score 90 or higher, odds are you have those six essential traits.

If you don’t, the answer to your question is those are the people that probably shouldn’t take their entrepreneurial leap. But what’s important to understand is this, the second piece I’m going to give you, and it’s something that I call the entrepreneurial range. And so if you picture this arc in your mind and on the far end of that arc are the words self-employed, on the far left end of that arc, and then on the far right end of that arc is the word true entrepreneur. And so anyone that is self-employed and owns their own business is somewhere on that entrepreneurial range.

And so if we go to the far left, these are people that are one person shows. They have a side hustle, freelancer, whatever that is, lifestyle business, and then all the way to the right side, the true entrepreneurs are the greatest entrepreneurs of all time, like we talked about: Elon Musk, Walt Disney, Henry Ford, Oprah Winfrey, Sara Blakely. We could say all the names. And so the point is, every business owner is somewhere on that range. And when I talk about these six essential traits, I’m simply talking about the ones that are on the right side of the range, the right half. Because if you don’t have these six essential traits, you can still be to the far left. You can still have a side hustle. You can be a one-person show. But if you’re truly going to build something, you really have to have these six essential traits.

And then one last sort of point to pull it all together, an example I always like to use, if you desire to be self-employed, in its simplest form, if you have handy skills, you could go out and be a handyman or woman, charge 60 bucks an hour, make six figures a year. And if you do good work and you show up on time, you’ll be busy for the rest of your life and you’ll be referred for the next 40 years. That’s if you don’t have the six essential traits.

If you have the six essential traits, you will start out doing that and you will not be able to help yourself but then to realize, “Holy cow, if I hire somebody for 25 bucks an hour, I could have them do some of the work and then I could go on to the next job.” And all of a sudden you’ll find yourself with a $10 million construction company because you can’t help yourself, you can’t stop yourself if you have those six essential traits. So point is, you can still be self-employed if you don’t have them, but you’re probably not going to be a true entrepreneur and build an organization with lots of people if you don’t have these six essential traits.

How do you know where on that spectrum you should shoot for? I know some people who want to go all the way to the right and become the next Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and then they’re there and they’re completely unhappy and they stopped doing what they loved in the first place. I know somebody who was doing web design, absolutely loved it. They built a giant 50 person agency, and they absolutely hate waking up every day and managing people. What would you recommend up front for a person to discover what their North star is within the spectrum?

You’re asking the perfect question. So now we’ll go to glimpse because that’s where I answer that, because this — I’m trying to pick the perfect word that’s not too extreme, but I am so frustrated with the press that the billion dollar tech unicorns get as the definition that that’s entrepreneurship. There’s so many options and those are the one in a million. And I love what you said because I have clients, we have a very successful entrepreneur here in Detroit, Dan Gilbert, worth 30 billion, built an empire, Quicken Loans, Rock Financial. You may have heard of it. Literally transformed the city of Detroit. He owns 100 properties in downtown Detroit.

Anyway, long story short, I have clients that say, “I want to be like Dan Gilbert.” I won’t laugh out loud entirely, but a smirk will come to my face and I will say to them, “With all due love and respect, you’re no Dan Gilbert.” So I don’t mind hitting someone between the eyes. And so what I do in glimpse is I’m showing the future. I’m showing all of the options. And so one of the things I created, one of the tools is called MyBiz Match. It’s a 10 minute exercise you do online. It is also free. Everything I’m going to share here is free and online.

So again, in that confirm part, the assessment is the tool that will help you accomplish confirm. In this glimpse part, MyBiz Match is the tool to accomplish this because what it does is it takes you as an entrepreneur through a process of figuring out exactly what you are built for, because every entrepreneur is not built to build a billion dollar business. And so it takes you through, first of all, all of the industries that exist because every industry is not for every entrepreneur. From there, you then get into type of business and it helps you decide, are you more of a product entrepreneur or a service entrepreneur?

And then from there it gets into, are you more of a B2B entrepreneur or a B2C entrepreneur? And then from there it gets into, are you high price, low volume or low cost, high volume? Those businesses are so different when you start to put all those factors in. And then we get to the third part of it that we’re talking about right now, and that is size. How many employees, what revenue size are you built for? And so for me, I stay in this 50 to 200 employee range. That’s my comfort zone. Anything more than that, it’s just not fun to me. It’s too many eyeballs. I want to be able to get my arms around everybody. At the same time, 10 people is too small. You out there are built for something, and so read that glimpse part of the book, go online, fill out MyBiz Match and you’ll start to see what the perfect business is for you.

And so back to your friend, when I hear that it’s like, oh, I wish I could have gotten a hold of your friend a few years ago and helped him understand because a lot of times it’s what they’re hearing and it’s what their ego is telling them that they’ve got to build this empire, and it’s just not all it’s cracked up to be. Build what you’re built for and you’ll have a blast. It’s still hard. There’s nothing easy. Building a 10 person company and 100 person company, they’re both very challenging and difficult. Just a question of what you’re passionate about and what you want.

Thank you for that. I definitely think it’s from outside influences in terms of why we choose to go down these kinds of routes, and whether it’s our parents and why we need to go to college. And I think that what this book does and what I’m hearing here is that let’s wake up and be conscious about the decisions we’re making and why we are going to dedicate this time, sweat, and money into wherever it is that we’re going, and I think that’s really important.

Let’s consider we have discovered exactly what we want to do. We’ve gotten our profile. We know what we want to do. And then immediately we get excited, right? We have that honeymoon period where we’re jamming on it, we’re stoked on that idea. And then all of a sudden, and this happens with all of us, most of us, what if this doesn’t work? What if this isn’t for me? I’m not qualified to do this, aka imposter syndrome. How do you tackle your clients who start to have this brick wall in front of them that they can’t do it? Although that path is where they want to go, they just don’t see the way there.

Few different thoughts, and I’m going to try and boil it down to two. If I’m making sense so far with the content in this book, I didn’t expect this benefit, but what I’m finding is a lot of startups are reading the book to do a checkup on whether they made the right decision or not. And so when you talk about these people that hit the wall and imposter syndrome and whatever terms you want to use, the terms, they change every five years, there’s one or two things going on. A big part of imposter syndrome is just good, old fashioned insecurity. And so if they do the checkup on themselves with this book and realize that they are cut out for this, they’re probably just facing some insecurity issues.

Listen, we all get insecure. None of us are perfect. When I was growing up, we called it insecurity. We didn’t even call it imposter syndrome back then. But the point is, if that’s what it is and it’s good old fashioned insecurity, you just got to lean into it, go forward, take a lot of risks, do scary stuff, and learn and gain the confidence and all that wonderful stuff.

At the same time, when you talk about hitting the wall, imposter syndrome, sometimes it’s a realization that, holy cow, this is not for me. And again, that’s what this book does is help you realize it’s not for you. There’s no shame in this. Go get a real job. There’s nothing written that says being an entrepreneur is the ultimate pinnacle in life. It’s just one career option of like a thousand. And then the other thing is if you want to be in this entrepreneur world, hitch your wagon to a visionary entrepreneur. Go be an integrator to a visionary entrepreneur like we talked about at the beginning here, and that might be your perfect scenario. So those would be my insights for somebody who’s kind of hitting that wall.

Thank you for that. Another obstacle that I can imagine is just, and again, it’s called entrepreneurial leap. There’s a leap, there’s a little bit of a risk. There’s a leaving of one place to have to go to another. I can imagine a lot of people, because they might feel insecure or whatever the reason might be, they take more of a dip my toe in the water kind of approach. I know that sometimes that’s not giving enough energy to even make something successful in many cases. And so I’d love to hear your thoughts on letting go of something to go and to grow into this new spot, versus can you side business it for a while to test? How do you ensure… I mean, how do I know this is going to work? Am I leaving everything behind? I got kids, I got a family. I have this idea, but it’s scary. What if this is the wrong decision? How do you respond to that?

Yeah, well, two thoughts for you there. First of all, let’s go back to those six essential traits. If you’re redlining those six essential traits on that entrepreneurial range, odds are you’re going to take the risks. So I, again, took over the family business, did a turnaround. We successfully sold the business. I was a millionaire by 31. My goal was to be a millionaire by 30, I missed it by a year, and I was flat broke and $200,000 in debt by 33. So I managed to lose more than a million dollars in two years. I had a five-year-old and an eight-year-old. I still took my entrepreneurial leap in that sheer hell because failure was not an option for me.

And so I’m a risk taker. I’m comfortable taking that leap and taking that risk, and I would suggest if you scored 90 or higher, you’re probably in that same range. That’s point one. In no way though am I suggesting to the whole world, risk everything. So I’m not saying that, but many do. And sadly, for the record, most entrepreneurs die broke. So it’s really important to understand that.

For the ones that are putting their toe in the water, I’m never going to knock that. I’m not saying that’s bad. To start with a side hustle and keep your day job and then take the leap, I think that’s okay for somebody who’s nervous. I think that’s okay for somebody who doesn’t have full support of their spouse. So if their spouse is terrified, you may have to tiptoe a little bit into this thing. But again, my style is, fortunately I had strong support from my wife. I took the leap and risked it all because I just absolutely… Failure was not an option. I was so passionate about my thing. I hope in there is the answer, but that would be the thoughts at large there.

Yeah, no, I think so. And I think you had mentioned the support system. That’s absolutely huge, and I had that as well from my fiance when I had gotten laid off and then became an entrepreneur. If you can’t get it from family, go out there and join communities and find other people who can support you who are going through the same thing as you too. We had talked about the confirmation, we had talked about glimpse, and then I want to finish off here on path as we close our call today. I’m excited about this new business idea. I’ve confirmed that I am an entrepreneur. I have found where I lie on the spectrum, the kind of business I want to build, but I don’t know how to even get started with this. How do I even know what steps to take? Tell me about how I can discover my path forward.

That’s great. So in path, real high level I’ll share the chapters in path and then if you hear something that really kind of resonates with you, we’ll go there, but what I’m sharing in path is first for those of the age: college or not. And so I give all the facts about college or not and you make your decision. Again, if you’re 17 or younger and deciding whether college is right for you; if you’re beyond that, that chapter is not as relevant. From there, I then get into how to discover your passion, which is vital for you becoming successful. Next chapter, I talk about how to find a mentor, which will greatly increase your odds of success. In the next chapter, I share the power of 10 year thinking and how that’s transformative in you building something amazing, the power of long-term thinking.

I then share the eight disciplines for greatly increasing your odds of success. And then I teach the nine stages of building your business. And so if you grasp all that, they build on each other and they paint a vivid picture and all of the answers come because, again, every entrepreneur is different and you’re this block of marble, and reading this book takes you on this soul-searching psychological, philosophical journey of self discovery to chisel away and figure out the perfect entrepreneurial sculpture that is you, and all of our sculptures look different, and all of these tools help you gain those answers for yourself.

Amazing. Sounds like a super practical, very actionable book. And again, we’ll have the link in the show notes and I’ll mention it here at the end of the conversation. But two things I want to pull out from the steps that you mentioned in that section of the book. First, I want to hit on the 10 year plan. And then finally, maybe what our first steps might be. So let’s talk about the 10 year plan. Some people don’t even know, and I don’t even know sometimes what’s even happening next week, let alone 10 years from now. How do we begin to paint a vision of that, especially in light of just how quickly things are changing?

Yeah, such a great question. And so what’s really important though, it’s not 10 year plan, it’s 10 year thinking.

Thank you.

And so just bringing your thinking to longer timeframes, and so I’m always thinking in multi-decade terms. I learned this at 35. And so that was 18 years ago for me. And it literally transformed my life because I wanted everything now, now, now, now, now. And if you’re normal out there, you’re thinking about today and next week and maybe next month, but it’s all now, now, now. All of a sudden, if you can zoom out and shift your thinking to thinking in 10-year timeframes, all of a sudden time slows down, your thinking is better, you start making better decisions, and ironically you get there faster. It’s incredible. It literally just calms you down.

There’s a great quote, I can almost get it right, Bill Gates said this. He said, “People overestimate what they can get done in a year but they underestimate what they can get done in 10 years.” And so just shift your thinking and slow down. Again, any crisis, any pandemic, any recession, any depression, any war, if you look at it in 10 year timeframes, you see clearly how we’re getting out at some point. There’s a future in all of this, and that helps you make better long-term decisions.

All of your decisions should be 10 year decisions. So it’s not about having a 10 year plan. You’re 100 percent right. That doesn’t exist and that’s impossible. But to be really clear, like my goal for this project is to impact a million entrepreneurs in the making in the next 10 years. So that’s the goal. Every decision I’m making is to hit that goal. And every year I get a little closer, I get a little clear, I make adjustments, I evolve. But nonetheless, that is the goal. And so, long-term thinking.

So it’s almost like the endzone way on the other side of the field, you just got punted the ball, but to be on the way there I got to get these 10 yards, 10 yards, 10 yards. But at least we know kind of where we’re headed versus being on an open grass field and not really having any direction.

I could give you all kinds of research, and not to get all kumbaya on you, but the power of seeing the future – and when you go to bed every night, you vividly see that long-term goal or that 10-year picture, if you will. You will get there because universal laws line up. In other words, it’s the law of attraction. Things happen and draw you to it that fall into place. And so, yes, you’re constantly making course corrections, but it’s literally pulling you toward it as much as you are working toward it.

I love that. It reminds me of the fact that like if you change an angle even just a fraction of a percentage, over the next week it’s not going to make much of a difference, but over the course of 10 years, I mean, that’s a completely different country that you’re going to be in if you’re just making the small little changes now. So thank you for that, that’s inspiring.

I’ll throw one more thing at you because I can and it’s timely. It’s so interesting that we’re talking when this just happened. But 17 years ago when I was building EOS and about to write Traction, I set a goal that by the end of 2020, we will take 10,000 companies through the EOS process. So we’d have 10,000 companies running on EOS. We literally just hit that goal two weeks ago. So we hit it with a month to spare. 17 years ago, I set that goal and obsessed about it.


Yeah. Thank you.

I thought you were going to say you were going to be on this random guy’s Podcast by 2020, named Pat Flynn. I’m just kidding.

To your other point, I’ll try and answer as best I can, in terms of what is the next step. So you have this entrepreneur in the making out there that’s thinking, “I maybe am one, I think I am one.” So we call it 1-2-3 Roadmap. I’ve already shared one and two. And so it’s these three steps, these three tools. And so the first number one tool is fill out the assessment, make sure you have the six essential traits. Number two is fill out MyBiz Match to decide what the right business is for you. Number three in this path part that we’re talking about is called MyVision Clarifier. And so in terms of what to do next, it’s eight questions that are going to answer about their vision for their idea, and it really gets their gears turning.

Again, it’s called 1-2-3 Roadmap. They’ll see that on the website. We even offer this virtual leap workshop. Most of them we offer for free, but what it does is it forces the student to fill out those three tools because what I learned is that if we can get you to fill out those three tools — and again, you can do it on your own in an hour. You’ll see that on the website. Those are the three best things you can do for yourself to get yourself to move, to get you to start asking the right questions and to start giving you all of the right answers. And then certainly I would urge you to read the book, but you don’t have to to do the 1-2-3 Roadmap. So the website is, and there you will find all of the free tools we talked about, the 1-2-3 Roadmap, a free chapter of the book, so the first 30 pages, so you can read it and see if you fall in love with it and want to keep reading.

The other thing I would suggest, if anyone out there is passionate about helping, teaching, coaching, guiding entrepreneurs in the making, I urge you to click on the Become a Collaborator button and consider becoming one of our many collaborators that are teaching this content to the world, and that content is all free. This is a passion project and we’re just trying to impact a million entrepreneurs in the making over the next 10 years.

Epic. Thank you so much, Gino, for your time today. Looking forward to having others read your book and keep doing what you’re doing. You’ve been massively impactful for me, and I know for many others too. We appreciate you.

Thank you, appreciate you right back. It means a lot.

All right. I hope you enjoyed that interview with Gino Wickman. Again, his book, Entrepreneurial Leap as well as Rocket Fuel, highly, highly recommend it. We’ll have the links and everything in the show notes for you. All you have to do is go to Again, for that. And of course, if you want to just check out the direct link to his stuff,

Thank you so, so much for listening in today. I appreciate you. And if you haven’t been caught up, I want to tell you and remind you that we are now publishing two episodes per week. The episodes actually relate to each other, and we’re trying this out for a little bit to see how it is. So far we’ve been getting a really good response, but what I’d love to share with you is that this Friday, two days from now, you’re going to hear another episode where for 15 or so minutes, just me, we’re going to go deeper into some of the concepts that we talked about here today.

So they’re going to be connected. It’ll allow me to have some space to go deep into some stuff I wanted to share, but of course we want to take advantage of the fact that Gino’s on the show as much as possible for all of us. And that includes me too. So make sure you subscribe if you haven’t already, look out for the episode coming in a couple days where we’re going to go deeper into this idea of making the leap and some of the things that can help you even further from my own experience. Thank you again, I appreciate you, and I look forward to serving you then. Thank you. Peace out.

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with Pat Flynn

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