You can listen to the podcast and read the show notes here.
In this episode, I spoke with Dan Schwartz.
Michael Light: Welcome back to the show. I'm here with Dan Schwartz from InvestorFuse, and we're going to be looking at how he went from a touring rock-and-roll drummer in a famous band … famous to us and him anyway … it probably was famous, right, Dan … and having real estate investment as a side project to now he has his own business, InvestorFuse, and we'll talk a bit more about that later. We're going to look at passion, love and joy and how you choose between them in your business, and how to avoid the recipe for career disaster and how this all led to his latest entrepreneurial venture.
We'll also look at the secrets of intuitive teambuilding, how to find a technical co-founder using your intuition, why you should never start a business until people ask you and pay you to do what you have, and we'll look at what Dan's definition of success is and the importance of systematizing your happiness in your business. Also we'll look at following your intuitive messages even when you don't have a clue why you are doing them, and how Dan trains his intuition to be even better than it is now. Welcome, Dan.
Dan Schwartz: Thank you so much for having me, man. This is totally up my alley, so I appreciate you having me on. This should be fun.
Michael Light: Oh, you're so welcome. You used to be a rock-and-roll musician and then you became an entrepreneur. Tell us about that.
Dan Schwartz: Yeah, so for a couple years after graduating from college, which was back in 2010, I kept playing in the band that we had formed in college, a band called Pigeons Playing Ping Pong. I played the drums. We had like a funky, high-energy live show, and simultaneously while we were playing local gigs, regional gigs, I was also growing a real estate business because I wanted to have money to do things that I wanted to do after graduating, and I sort of picked the entrepreneurial route versus the more traditional route, kind of using my intuition. There was a clear gut feeling for me to choose an infinite income versus a finite income that a normal job would give you, and that sort of led to my decision to get into real estate while also playing music on the side.
It was an interesting little couple of years after college, me basically flipping houses and investing most of my additional free time into this band, which by 2013 we were playing like 180 shows per year all over the country. It just sort of picked up because of our persistence and practice, and our fan base was very organic. It sort of hit a boiling point in 2014 where I needed to … essentially you can't have two careers at once. By doing so, you're half-assing both endeavors, right? You're not fully … your heart has to be in one thing and you have to just hone in all your energy, and your strengths need to be applied to one thing.
That's how you can achieve maximum results, unless you're a guy like Elon Musk and you have really smart people handling a bunch of different, incredibly challenging concepts. Yeah, for me it was just like, “Okay, so do I want to have this rock star life, which doesn't really give a lot of freedom, but it allows me to perform and do what I'm good at and express my creative side?” Awesome. That was a great part of it, but then the lifestyle was very restricting to my freedom and made me feel as if I was not in control of the impact that I could create on the world.
The choice eventually, however hard it was, because to this day my bandmates are still some of my best friends in the world. I really enjoyed what we had built from the ground up, and the transition out of the band was going to be kind of tough, so I gave them six months' notice and I told them, “Hey, listen, I've got to get out before this thing blows up even more.” They're still playing now and it's much bigger than it was when I left, and so I have no regrets. I very much enjoy my life now, which is now … so throughout that process, I'm touring and managing a real estate business. I learned the skill of how to keep your business organized from the road using technology and systems thinking, to make sure everything runs and make sure the trains are all running on time using technology.
I use that, leverage my story about how I was able to flip houses from the road to eventually create what is now InvestorFuse, which is a software platform that helps investors manage all of their leads with homeowners and follow up with everybody in an automated fashion. That's kind of how it led to that. It's kind of crazy how the pieces fit, looking back, but that's how it worked out. I think a lot of that is because of that gut instinct I made to sacrifice potential rock stardom in the face of freedom, and I couldn't be happier with the choice.
Michael Light: Wow. Do you think, looking back, that your future self was guiding you in those different things you got up to, as a rock star or an investor?
Dan Schwartz: Probably. Yep, there's probably some element of the ether of my future self that was informing me of that decision. I think I did see myself as like a 37-year-old, beer-drinking drummer, which would have kind of been my future. Not to say that's a bad thing, but it's just not what I saw for … it wasn't aligned with my true self. I'm still playing music, obviously, because I enjoy it and it's my creative … it's my passion. Music is my passion as well as entrepreneurship. Both kind of draw on the same source of creativity that is my unique genius, so both serve each other and that touches on our point of passion and following your passion. It might not be the best career advice.
Michael Light: Why isn't that the best career advice?
Dan Schwartz: Well, you have to also think about it rationally. Just because you are passionate about dog walking doesn't necessarily mean you're going to achieve freedom and be able to put food on a plate by walking dogs or starting a dog-walking company. However, you can take the essence of that passion, meaning what you feel when you're working with dogs or working with other pet owners, or the act of going outside and moving and being with nature. That essence can be brought into the business you're doing. That might have more of an economically, fiscally sound business model than a dog-walking business. Follow the essence of your passion, not the particulars of your passion. If you're starting a business and if you do go the career route, just try to hone in on the feeling that your passion gives you and then create a business around that. It sounds kind of abstract, but I think it makes sense.
Michael Light: No, that makes sense. You make sure that you have joy in your business and you're also making money, and that's a sign that you're providing value in the world.
Dan Schwartz: Right.
Michael Light: What's the mistake people make on the other side of things, if they just focus on the money and don't pay attention to the other stuff?
Dan Schwartz: If you're only focusing on the money, you are inherently most likely doing stuff that isn't going to be … it's going to come off inauthentically. It's going to create a lot of internal tension, because you're not aligned with doing things that you love doing. You're doing things that might seem shysty, or you might feel like you're not leaving an impact or you feel like you're just desperate and you're just kind of a money-grabber. That is going to lead to immediate burnout. It's going to make you not fulfilled, and that's kind of why chasing money first really is not a good principle.
You need to be pursuing things that you are good at. Ask your friends what you're good at. That will inform what you should be doing, because if you're doing things that you're good at, you're going to enjoy it more. I'm not a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame drummer by any means, but I know my way around a kit. When I'm playing, I very much enjoy it because it's a strength at that point. You need to be focusing on the aspects of your life and how you interact with people, and how you create things and how you show up in the world. Really hone in on that unique genius, quote/unquote, and that's what you need to hone in on and build your business around, and then bring in other people that complement that unique genius.
There's actually a book that I picked up in the airport the other day called “StrengthsFinder.” Yeah, “StrengthsFinder 2.0” from Gallup, and basically it breaks down a whole bunch of different personality types. It's actually worth reading through each of those personality types and seeing which one meshes the most with you, like, “Oh, yeah, that's totally me.” There's one called Command. A Command personality type is someone that unapologetically tells people the truth in order to get things done and to have results right away, which is totally something that I do both in business, and I try to do it as often as possible in my personal life. That resonates with me, so I know that that's a strength of mine.
That book also tells you how you can enhance each of those strengths and then how to work with other people with those strengths. It's kind of an interesting read if you're not quite sure what you're good at. Reading through some of these personality types can maybe help glean some insight into that.
Michael Light: I'll put that in the show notes.
Dan Schwartz: Do what you're good at. Put that in the show notes, and that's “Strength Finder” from Gallup.
Michael Light: You want to say do what you're good at?
Dan Schwartz: Do what you're good at and joy will follow. Don't start a business around what your passion is about, but bring your passion to your work. That isn't a quote that I … that's not a concept I came up with. I forgot where it came from. I think it must be from “So Good They Can't Ignore You,” which is another great book, all about how to get good at things. Yeah, so that's kind of what I have to say about that. I think it's pretty important to be relentless about that, because you're going to burn out and you're going to, quote/unquote, bail, if you are only doing things that you truly just enjoy doing. I feel like a lot of entrepreneurs and a lot of millennials and my generation are in that rut and they feel like there's no escape, but trust your gut, man. If your gut says that it's not where you should be, you need to take some sort of action.
Michael Light: I think that's very important. You know, listening to our gut can tell us stuff that our rational mind has just missed, just information that it's not got. That brings us to the next thing, which is how do you build a team using your intuition?
Dan Schwartz: One is you've got to share. You've got to share your why and your message and the product itself or whatever service you're fulfilling. If you are going the entrepreneurial path, you need to share it. You need to share it to a community of people that are in that world of whatever it is you're fulfilling, and you need to see who kind of bubbles up from that. For me it was just a function of talking with as many people as possible … customers, vendors, other competitors, complementary service providers that are helping real estate professionals do lead generation, or other people in the follow-up world.
Just engaging with people and using your gut to determine if this is someone that you could totally hang out with on a Tuesday afternoon and be like you've known each other forever. There's just a feeling when you meet or work with someone that's like, “Oh, yeah, this guy can hang. I can totally hang out with this dude, go to a barbecue with them.” Yeah, there's that feeling of just pure rapport that you can't deny, and then the opposite side of that is this feeling of like, “This guy is totally not congruent with what he's saying. There's something off here. I'm just going to let that one go.”
When you're building a team … and this is kind of going into the hiring tips … you want to … first of all, on your job application, a really good way to curate who ends up applying is by asking them to make a video, a screen video of them talking. It's very, very important for you to see their face, how they talk, how they interact with you. So much can be gleaned through a video and the content of that video that you wouldn't get in regular phone interviews or just from like a resume. Be relentless and only qualify the people that submit a video to your job application, and everybody else … make it a requirement. If they don't go through the steps of shooting a YouTube video and uploading it to YouTube and sharing it with you, they're probably not going to be a good employee anyways.
Michael Light: They can make an unlisted video. It doesn't have to …
Dan Schwartz: Exactly, yeah. They just make it an unlisted video and they'll share the link with you, so you only have access to it. You'll be able to get a better read on them to make sure they're a better fit. Then if it is a good read and you feel that gut feeling about, “Oh, yeah, this is a cool person, sounds like a crazy good experience for this job,” then you have an interview with them and you talk to them face to face. That's a really good tip, is make sure to get a video, because everything is done online these days anyways. That's a good way to filter out your potential hires.
Then the tip would be only hire someone if you would regret not having them on your team. Straight up, like you're on your deathbed regret, like, “Oh, man, I really wish I … if only I had hired that person, life would be so much different.” That feeling, go with it. If you feel that, and this person's completely aligned with the mission that you have for the product or service that you want to create or launch, then you have to bring that person on your team.
If you can't afford to bring someone on your team, that's fine. You just get creative with your structuring. Make it win/win, so that when you start making money, they'll start making money. Give them some equity, like maybe a profit share agreement. Just because you don't have money to pay someone right now doesn't mean that when you start bringing in some capital, you can't afford to pay them later. Be very transparent and clear with all that business stuff, because at the root of all this is that transparency and the authenticity of how you interact with that person.
Another good way to test this out is by working on small projects with them before you bring them on full-time. I go into this in the blog post that I think we'll link up in the show notes.
Michael Light: Yeah, that's an amazing blog post you made. It's called “The SaaS Cheat Code: How to Build a 50K+/Month SaaS Using Existing Software,” and how you created a working prototype without a line of code, which is basically how you built InvestorFuse, right?
Dan Schwartz: Yeah, pretty much. Well, both have code involved now, but the initial versions did not. We just kind of hacked together a solution with existing technology. If you're interested in that, you're interested in software, I give you the playbook for how I was able to do it on that blog post. I also talk about how I found a technical co-founder. I'm not really a technical person. I don't know how to write a single line of code. I just know intuitively what people want in my market, mainly because I am a part of my market. I was doing real estate deals the whole time I was on the road, so I know how to talk the talk, and that's definitely an advantage.
For someone else that might be completely new in a business, it might be harder to pull that off, but I think the more you hone in on your intuition and the more you absorb from other minds and books and podcasts, the better your intuition will tend to be when it comes to seeing opportunities. Entrepreneurs are entrepreneurs because they quite literally see things that other people don't, mainly because they're not afraid of the work that it involves. A normal person, sure, they understand that it's important to make electric vehicles right now, to save the carbon footprint or whatever, but just because they're aware of that doesn't mean that they have the mindset to actually execute on it. Entrepreneurs see opportunities because they're not afraid of what it takes to actually execute on that vision. I think you need to train your intuition, and that's how you'll …
Michael Light: Yeah, that's how you'll be able to do that better, but I'm curious. How do you train your intuition?
Dan Schwartz: Yeah, so a couple things. The most important thing, especially with everything that's going on in the world right now, is you have to make yourself a media diet. Your media diet has to eliminate basically all news. You shouldn't watch the news. You should only watch news for topics that you authentically, genuinely care about. For me it's like science, technology, education, entrepreneurship, business, marketing. That's the stuff I'm into, so I'm only really going to consume content … books, podcasts, YouTube videos, Netflix shows … that are around that concept, around the things that I actually enjoy, at the expense of all the negative crap that, just by turning on cable TV, you're going to expose your brain to.
I think having … now, it's not ignorance to not watch the news. It's selective ignorance. You can still keep abreast of all the major world affairs by focusing on the affairs that you care about, and then just looking at the main headlines that pop up all over the place anyway. If it's important, you're going to hear about it. You don't need to know about every robbery or murder in your city every night, watching the evening news. That just does not serve you.
Michael Light: Why does it not serve you?
Dan Schwartz: It's kind of selfish of me to say this, but if it doesn't directly serve my life, it doesn't have a place in it. I don't know if that's a selfish thing or not, because I feel like if I'm learning about murders that happen all the time, I'm not going to be able to … that time is not going to be able to be spent honing skills that can make me a better entrepreneur, that I can affect more people with those skills. It's like time allotment, and it's also the actual negativity. It's going to bum you out. Your ability to perform and show up in the world is going to be vastly different if you're watching murder news all day versus if you're watching like SpaceX videos, which is what I do.
All day I'm walking around with the feel of, “Oh, my God, it's such a crazy time we live in, there's so much opportunity.” Yeah, I'm aware that there's really awful things happening all over the world, but oh, my God, what is that mindset going to do to me if I was walking around with that mindset, versus the mindset of, “Oh, my God, this is an incredible time to be alive”? You can basically do whatever you want to do. Make sure to just stay strong and relentless on doing things that you love to do. Keep watching things that interest you, and then create solutions that will actually solve the world versus just sitting idle and watching news that only has negative effects.
Michael Light: I would extend this to news websites and newspapers. Generally they're all pretty full of negative news. The old news saying, “If it bleeds, it leads.” You know, in other words they focus on the negative, because that's what sells news, even though 98 percent of what's really going on in the world is positive.
Dan Schwartz: That's true.
Michael Light: It isn't news.
Dan Schwartz: That's true. It's a polarizing discussion, because a lot of people are like … you know, it's important to been what's going on with politics. I mean, sure, if I was into politics, yeah, but I'm not that into politics so it doesn't behoove me to follow all the Trump tweets. Anyway.
Michael Light: I'd even question whether that is news.
Dan Schwartz: Yeah, exactly.
Michael Light: It seems very fabricated, you know?
Dan Schwartz: Yeah. That's the first thing, is feed your brain with good content, because that will help hone your intuition over time. I think my intuition is a product of the past five years of that type of media diet. I can see things and I can make decisions from my gut, because my subconscious … all that stuff eventually gets to your subconscious, and that will fuel how your intuition leans. Use your intuition, but also be sure to feed it quality material. Don't feed it junk food.
Michael Light: You know, I went on a media diet. Gosh, it must have been 15 years ago, and I had a coach at the time and she … I had a newspaper habit where I had to read the “Washington Post.” To help me in going cold turkey, she gave me this book to read called “Pronoia” by Rob Brezsny, and it's like 300 news kind of stories, but they're all … instead of being paranoid, they're pronoid, and they look … you know, they were positive stories. Every story was like, “Here's a really cool thing happening, and something wonderful,” and that helped get me off the negative news stuff but still give my monkey mind something to do.
Dan Schwartz: There's a lot of tools out there you can use. There's a lot of apps that can you make curated feeds of stuff that you're into. Medium is a really good tool for that, a bloggy type of medium. Feedly is another really good app for making curated news feeds for stuff that you're interested in.
Michael Light: That one's called …
Dan Schwartz: The first one?
Michael Light: No, you said the second one. Medium I've heard of.
Dan Schwartz: Medium and Feedly.
Michael Light: Oh, Feedly. Got it, yep. I know that one, yep.
Dan Schwartz: Yeah, for me, step one is like, oh, my house just happens not to have cable. It only has an Apple TV, so that right there rules out all news. If I turn the television on, I can select exactly what it is I'm going to watch, which is crazy, but we live in that time.
Michael Light: Well, and it doesn't … I imagine your house doesn't just happen not to have cable. I assume you made a conscious choice not to stick cable in there.
Dan Schwartz: Yeah. I mean, I'm renting a place here in San Diego, but it doesn't have cable, or if it does have cable, I would have to set it up and plug stuff in, and I'm just not going to do that. Create the environment that'll help make this stuff easy. That's a good recommendation.
Michael Light: What's your next secret that you use for training your intuition?
Dan Schwartz: Everybody talks about meditation, so I'm going to put a spin on this. Meditation's awesome, but in order to understand why meditation works, you have to feel it. I think there's a really good tool that exists in society now that will allow to you discover the benefits of meditation and the actual psychological effects right away, and it's a tool called sensory deprivation. Joe Rogan started making this real popular, and now it's popping up as a trendy thing all over the place, or at least here in San Diego.
Sensory deprivation tanks is what it's called, and it's kind of exactly what you would imagine. It's a dark tank of lukewarm or body-temperature salinated water, like salt water. You get into this room, this little tank, or sometimes it's like a little room with a tank in it, and you're in pitch darkness. Not a wink of light gets through, and you float on top of the water. There's no sound. It's completely silent, like the most relaxing bed you've ever been on. It sounds crazy, but it's just like the ultimate relaxing environment. You get in and you can close your eyes, and it's like you're giving your senses a break.
The physiological effects of depriving your brain from senses means that you're going inward. You're forced to go inward, and actually your brain puts out different wavelengths of relaxation because of the lack of light and the lack of sound. You get in this weird flowy type state when you're in there, and you're in there for like an hour. You can either take a nap in there or you can consciously meditate, meaning focus on your breath and just look at thoughts going by. You can use that as practice for meditation. It's like the best environment for it, but even if you don't practice the meditation part, just being in these sensory deprivation tanks relaxes the hell out of you. Your brain automatically puts yourself into a meditative trance, automatically. You don't even have to try about it, unless you're freaking out and you're uncomfortable. As long as you're relaxed physically, it'll work.
When you get out of there, you're so zen. You're like super zenned out. Real relaxed, real calm, real aware of thoughts going in and out of your brain. I don't meditate as much as I should, like sitting on a chair meditating, because sensory deprivation packs a much more pungent psychological effect than I get from my daily meditation, and it actually bleeds out into everyday life as well. I don't get mad, really, anymore, and that does wonders when you're making business decisions.
Michael Light: You said you don't get mad? Every entrepreneur I've met who has employees and clients, sometimes they seem to get mad. You're saying that doesn't happen for you anymore?
Dan Schwartz: You know what, it doesn't result in me expressing the anger. I'll feel it, I'll still get mad, but I'm not going to lash out at people. I think that's what meditation does. It allows you to remove your reaction from how you feel at that moment. That's what meditation is. It's just emotional awareness. Oh, I'm feeling sad right now. That doesn't mean I should eat ice cream. It probably means I should go work out.
Michael Light: Or watch some cable news, because you're sad.
Dan Schwartz: Yeah, watch the news. Or I'm pissed off because that guy cut me off, honking and yelling at him literally isn't going to fix anything. In fact, it's just going to ruin my day. I'm going to feel crappy, my heart's going to start racing, and it's going to trickle out into all the other parts of my day. It's pretty much ruined, just because I let that feeling of that hint of anger manifest into a reaction that it's hard to get out of. That's what meditation does, is it allows you to see those feelings and those thoughts come through, and then not act on them. If you're new to meditation, then a sensory deprivation tank is a good way to throw yourself into the ring.
Michael Light: I love it. It's a great life hack for getting benefits of meditation without having to spend hours on the meditation couch.
Dan Schwartz: Yeah, exactly. It's pretty affordable and it's not as “whoo-whoo” as it sounds. The facilities that fulfill the sensory deprivation, they're usually like spas. They're very clean, very professional, very relaxing.
Michael Light: How do you find time to do this? Many entrepreneurs, they're always busy.
Dan Schwartz: I build systems. I build systems of execution for my team and also for myself. The essence of entrepreneurship, I always say, is the ability to create systems that serve other people. If you can create systems that serve other people and then remove yourself out of the fulfillment of that system, then you will reap many, many, many rewards, because you can scale that and you're not the bottleneck. That's how I do it. When I left the band, at the root of that decision was freedom, and then the higher … like Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs … was like, okay, I had the freedom to actually achieve self-fulfillment and impacting as many people as possible, and realizing my full potential and then eventually my full creative potential.
In order for me to do that, I needed to create a system that served people, so what was that? First it was just, in business, I just shared. I don't know why, but I just had to share what I was doing and how I was able to manage my business from the road. I shared it on YouTube, and I didn't really know why I was sending these videos, because my business partner was like, “Dude, you're sharing the golden goose here. This is our system.” I said, “I don't know, it might be useful for people.” I didn't quite know why I was doing it, and sure enough, people were like, “Man, I want this, I want this system. How much can I pay you for you to install this system into my business?”
That was the first hint at this is what I should probably scale up, and I would start doing these one-off. I would keep creating these videos, and I would keep following my gut because people kept validating my gut instincts. This is the concept that we talked about before the call, trust your gut but verify, and that's kind of what it was. I trusted my gut that I needed to share my knowledge with the world in some aspect, and then that was verified by people commenting and emailing me saying that they were interested in that, how can I help them.
Michael Light: The ultimate verification is they pay you money for whatever, the trial.
Dan Schwartz: Yeah, exactly. If they ever mentioned how much, “Very nice, how much,” if they ever say that, that means you have a solid business model on your hands and keep exploring that. Don't go all in yet, but explore that. I think it's a long-winded way to answer your question, how do I have the time to pursue more self-fulfilling activities. Well, first I had to build a business to give me that freedom. I had to identify the market opportunity, then I had to build a solution for the market opportunity, then I had to remove myself from the fulfillment of that.
There's a really good book called “E-Myth Principle,” that's the foundation of this mindset, but everything that you do in your business can be done by other people. The only thing you need to do is, until you have other people do it, is you document the exact manner in which how you perform that activity. Essentially I created a handbook, a step-by-step process to incorporate the system I created for managing your leads for any other business. I created a step-by-step so other people could do it. If you just follow the steps, it'll work, no matter what.
Actually, I didn't even create that handbook. I had a virtual assistant do it. I shot a video, like an hour-long video about how to set everything up. I gave that to a virtual assistant. They turned it into a step-by-step guide and they used screenshots from the video to put into the guide, and it's super-detailed. Then I took that document, which is just … think about everything you have in your head, and imagine if you had it externally represented somewhere, like as a video, as a document, as an audio description, and then imagine just handing that off to someone. Boom, that's it. That's entrepreneurship right there. You're just creating a little framework for how to execute something that's fulfilling a need, and now all of a sudden you're removed out of that.
That was phase one of my business, was just doing these one-off, pay me a couple hundred bucks and we'll set up, get your business organized. I just had one person, one virtual assistant that I hired on Upwork.com, and I used my gut to make sure this person was cool. I even gave them a sample project to make sure that they were cool, and that's kind of how it started. This wasn't InvestorFuse, this was kind of a consulting first step, just to see if I can get enough people to pay me for the service and validate it and get feedback from people.
That's how you can remove yourself from … once you identify a market opportunity, the step for entrepreneurs or the skill for entrepreneurs is figuring out how to get them out of the equation so that they can just focus on the business versus working in the business. That mantra there, actually that's my passion, is figuring out how to get myself out of the equation so I can actually grow the business. I can make it healthier, I can make sure the right people are in the right seats, I can make sure we have money, I can make sure the customers are happy on a macro level, versus having to do all the detailed minutiae that goes with it that will eventually lead to burnout for most entrepreneurs.
Michael Light: That's one of the reasons why being busy all the time is really bad for your business, and that's a trap a lot of entrepreneurs fall into.
Dan Schwartz: Yeah, totally. Totally. If you're doing something that is a repetitive thing, outsource it immediately, unless you really enjoy doing it. Just document it and then hand it off, easy. Once you do that, make a list of everything. If you are an overwhelmed entrepreneur right now and you feel like you're stuck doing everything, the first step is to create a document with a bullet-point list of every little task that you do, from reaching out to bloggers to, you know, calling the fulfillment center to make sure your stuff gets out. Every little task that you do, bullet-point it out.
Then once you bullet-point it out, separate it into categories, marketing, administrative, finance, sales, et cetera. What you did right there is you basically made a jobs and responsibilities document for future hires. That's what it is, and you can even go as far as you can bold the activities that you love doing. Now you have a framework for what your job role is and how you should be outsourcing everything else.
That's what we did with InvestorFuse is my technical co-founder and I, we listed out all the things that we did. We bolded the stuff that we're good at and we like doing, and what was left, the bullet points that were left, gave us the exact job description that we needed to post to find who we're looking for. If you think of it that way, it makes it much more believable how you can execute on an otherwise complex business model.
Michael Light: That is a great tip, to do that. Even if you're going to continue wearing some of the job hats in your business, having it documented helps you plan for future growth and hiring those people.
Dan Schwartz: Yep.
Michael Light: We've got time left for one more question, and it's a really important one, Dan. What's your definition of success?
Dan Schwartz: I'm glad you asked that. It's like we planned this or something. No, but success to me, I think we all grow up thinking that success is having like a million bucks in the bank, right? If you ask why enough, then you get to the real reason for why you want to have a million dollars in the bank. For me, I think the definition of success is you are doing what you are good at on your own time, on your own terms. If you can wake up in the morning and pursue activities that you're good at, and you're living in your zone of genius and you're doing it on your own terms, you have time freedom, freedom of place, freedom of choice, then you are successful. If you are in the pursuit of that, then in my opinion you're also successful, because there is no light at the end of the tunnel. There's just the journey of pursuing the light at all times. If you are in pursuit of that, then I also believe you're successful.
Michael Light: Yeah. I mean, it's like in old-school business, there was only one dimension, make more money, and now we've got multidimensional. It's the money, it's the enjoyment, it's the freedom of time and place. I would add in there it's your health as well, because it's a little tricky to enjoy the other ones if you're sick. The other thing, with the whole American focus on the pursuit of happiness, a pursuit is like a vocation, a job. It's enjoying what you do. It's not running off to an elusive happiness at the end of the rainbow. It's happiness now in you're enjoying what you're doing, but we forget that.
Dan Schwartz: Exactly, yep. Whether you have a job or not, I think that applies too.
Michael Light: Oh, yeah. I mean, you can be … even if you have a job, you can be entrepreneurial in that job and bring your creativity and improve things and make it more agile. Ask what would it take. If the job's a 7 out of 10 joy value for you right now, what would it take to make it an 8 today, and see what your intuition tells you.
Dan Schwartz: A good way to do that actually, if you're in a job and you're at a 7 out of 10 enjoyment, ask your boss how he can grow his company and see if there's an intersection. Just ask your boss, “Hey, what needs to happen for this business to double?” If you ask him that, he'll go on a little tangent, and see if anything that you're doing or any of your skill sets that aren't being used at this time could apply to some of the activities that might help grow the business.
One, that'll give you the power to do stuff on your own to help grow it. You'll probably get more money because of it, and you'll be able to do more things that you'll enjoy because it has direct impact on the success of your company. That's one thing. As a CEO myself, that's something that I'm always impressed with, when my team comes to the table with questions like that. It helps stir the pot.
Michael Light: I have to say, if I had an employee come to ask me that uninvited, I'd be impressed. It would lead to some great ideas, and it would help them grow their position.
Dan Schwartz: Exactly.
Michael Light: That is genius.
Dan Schwartz: Win/win.
Michael Light: Yep. I love win/win, and as many wins as there are parties in the game.
Dan Schwartz: Exactly.
Michael Light: If folks wanted to find out more about you, how would they do that, Dan?
Dan Schwartz: If you're interested in automated lead management, you can go to InvestorFuse.com to learn more about the business that I grew. [email protected] is the best email for me. If you're interested in peeking into my mind a little bit more, I also have a personal blog that I semi-regularly post on. It's Daxbeats.net, d-a-x, beats like drumbeats, Daxbeats.net. That is my personal blog and about me, and it updates everything I'm working on. You can check out the blog posts there, and definitely read … if you're in the space of you have nothing to lose and you want to journey out onto the entrepreneurial path, read the stats blog post that I posted in the foundation, that is linked up in the show notes.
If you have any questions about that, if you have any questions about what you can tangibly do to get unstuck in your current situation, I'd love to hear from you and see if I can help uncover a solution for you. That's kind of what I like to do.
Michael Light: Great. Well, thanks for being on the podcast, Dan. It's been a real joy talking with you.
Dan Schwartz: Yeah, Mike. I appreciate you having me. I love the central thesis of this podcast, and it sounds like you've been interviewing a lot of awesome people, and keep it up. I appreciate you having me on.
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