What Day Traders and Entrepreneurs Have in Common

Original Interview: Intentional Growth #236: Day Trader Turns Entrepreneur: How to Identify Market Trends and Create Value

Ryan Tansom:  Welcome back to the Intentional Growth podcast. This is episode 236 and I appreciate you tuning back in. Today, my guest name is Maceo Jourdan. He is the co‑founder of Canexxia, which is a company acquiring the home health care and hospice industries to execute a buy and build strategy, which you’ve all heard me talk about.

He has a mission to improve quality of care and ease of access to healthcare. Maceo’s experience expands a wildly eclectic mix of practical real‑world experience from the US Army to the cutthroat world of electronic trading. As an early pioneer in computerized trading, Maceo built out one of the earliest high‑frequency trading systems for the S&P 500.

Before Canexxia, Maceo was the CEO of Retire3 Publishing or R3, which is a Phoenix‑based publishing company. Maceo started the company with a $25,000 loan and grew it to $26 million in just three years.

At the time of his decision to retire, R3 had top‑line revenues of $48 million bucks. Since his exit, Maceo has launched products in CPG, publishing, and healthcare. He’s directly responsible for creating over $80 million in market capitalization for his companies in the last five years.

Today, we’re going to be talking about how day traders and entrepreneurs have way more in common than you might think, how to identify trends, create value and harvest value.

Maceo shares with us his experience of doing both and how it helps him spot market trends, identify industries and pockets of capital and margin right for innovation, and when it makes time to sell your business based on the market trends.

We will even dive into how a mistake cost eight million bucks and what you can do to avoid a similar fate. This is going to be a good episode for you if you’re looking to be more market savvy, understanding the thought process that goes into spotting market trends.

This concept of pools of margin and capital that are ripe for innovation is a wonderful topic, especially if you listened to last week’s episode about star exhibits that pivoted really hardcore in March of 2020, because they were in the trade show industry and how they rode the trend of working from home.

This episode is going to bring even more insight of what you can be doing to make sure that your positioning, your company, and your future strategic plan with the consumers’ dollars, with the trends that are happening now and into the future.

I think it’s crucial to have market data and market insights in order to make sure you are being intentional with where you’re investing your time, money, and dollars so that way you’re not doubling down on a trend that’s declining unless that’s your intention.

Regardless, the more you understand about trends in the market, the more intentional you can be with you and your business and your strategic plan. Thanks for tuning in.

Go check out the Intentional Growth digital course, which is a deep dive in evaluations, exits, deal structures, strategic planning, financial clarity, and strategies. That way, you can actually clarify a path to more valuable business with the end in mind. Without further ado, here’s my episode with Maceo Jourdan.

Ryan: Maceo, how are you doing this morning?

Maceo Jourdan:  Ryan, I’m doing fantastic, especially because I know what we’re going to dig into. This is going to be a good one for your audience, man.

Ryan:  I’m excited. You had a company that reached out to have you on my show and I’ll tell you what, one out of 50 actually is worth it. I saw your bio. I was like, “Hey, this is going to be fun.” I’m assuming with the online space you’ve been on and have been in a couple of other industries that if we were to spend some time, we have a lot of common acquaintances that we’ve got.

Let’s just get us caught up to speed on like what’s your background, the businesses. Then we can kind of unpack the different parts of the journey along the way.

Selling online before Google, entrepreneurs, traders and value

Maceo: Well, I’ll start with, I think what’s most relevant for the audience today. I started selling online in 1993, 1994, back when it was just IRC chat. There was no Google, there was no pay‑per‑click.

Transition out of that was trading in the hedge fund world for a long time, developing algorithms and computerized trading. Then fast forward to around 2005 is when I got back into, I’ll call it, full‑time marketing, if you will. Digital was still really new back then. There were no unified video players. It was the Wild West, man.

I had the good fortune of growing a company from a $25,000 loan to just under 50 million in revenue. We hit 23 million in just a few years. But it was really the culmination of all of my experience to that point that enabled me to execute on that. I exited that company in 2012 and spent a lot of years working with entrepreneurs.

That’s where we connected. I couldn’t understand why there aren’t more entrepreneurs especially in the technology space, we’re not creating something that they could go sell. They didn’t get it immediately. They didn’t get the process. They didn’t understand what the value was, like why should I do it? Because it’s not falling off a log. You and I both know that.

I’ve got a lot to say about that because I’ve worked intimately with entrepreneurs. I’ve even taken on my own dime, gone into companies to find out, could I go into a company and get them thinking about an eventual exit, change it from the inside out. I’ve got to tell you, first of all, the bad news is no. The entrepreneur has got to get this at a DNA level, but…

Anyway, it’s been a wild ride. I’m a crazy mad scientist. I’ve tested a massive amount of stuff. One of my philosophies is, I’m never going to tell somebody to do something that I haven’t tested with my own money. If I am going to experiment, even if I’m a consultant, then I’m going to pay for it. I refuse to let a client test something just because I read it in a blog somewhere.

Ryan: It’s because I listened to a little bit of one of your interviews from a  different podcast and your high‑frequency trading. I’m going to dip into a different dimension for a second. Huge fan of “Ray Dalio,” “Flash Boys,” as well. I thought of it when I saw your bio. I was like, “Oh, my God!” [laughs]

The reason that all came to mind is “Skin in the Game” by Nassim. You actually mentioned Nassim Taleb, read all these books. I think there’s an interesting intersection of business and then understanding the markets and money, but then also like values. There’s an interesting crossover in a couple of different worlds.

Maceo:  As a trader, what you learn very quickly is, it’s not about you. I don’t care if you’re managing $50 billion, you cannot move the market for very long. What every successful trader realizes at some point is you need another buyer or another one and another one and so on, to take price up.

Some people might call that a trend. There are ways to manipulate it. That’s what I did. I was at more of a market making firm and our job was to manipulate price. Even with that, it was all very short lived. Our job was to come in when somebody wanted to exit a big position.

We were there to create ‑‑ actually, the real term for it is called foment ‑‑ an environment where big orders would come out of the woodwork. What traders intimately know that entrepreneurs don’t is value. The future’s market is 100 percent about value because it takes a willing buyer and a willing seller.

I’ve seen guys even on Microsoft, a big symbol sit on the bid or the offer sometimes for 20 or 30 minutes. Why? Because nobody was willing to take their offer or their bid.

Say they’ve got 50,000 shares they’re trying to get out of, it’s like fill or kill, which fill or kill, if you don’t know means, somebody needs to come and take all 50,000. I remember I got in an argument with one of the guys I was trading for. He was trying to exit 50,000 shares of Microsoft and it was always fill or kill.

I’m like, “Steve, what are you doing man? Sell it 5,000 at a time.” “Why? I might not get my price.” I’m like, “You’re not getting any price now, are you?”

He sat there for a second and he’s like, “Yeah, you’re right.” That’s a perfect example of the value was in his mind and it was Microsoft. Nobody would argue that Microsoft stock has no value, but to that one trader at that moment, it literally had no value. He couldn’t sell it.

When entrepreneurs are thinking about their company, it’s the same thing, man. You could be sitting there on the bid for five years trying to sell your crappy company and everybody’s like, “Nope, I’ll pass, I’ll pass,” and all day long, what did the entrepreneurs say? “Why isn’t anybody buying this? I know my company is worth X.” Dude, the marketplace is telling you zero.

Let’s turn things around. Let’s find out what the market actually values. Even on something like Microsoft, which you would think, “Oh, this is a really liquid stock. I can get rid of it any time.” No, mostly you’re dealing with a thousand lot, maybe two, three. 5,000 was really about the most you could reliably get off on Microsoft, but certainly not 50,000. It wasn’t working.

Ryan: That’s huge and fundamental up for a foundation. As we progress our story, interesting counting on that. It’s that after we sold our business, and I realized how the market…What actually goes in your pocket afterwards, and all the odds.

I got in the wealth management for a hot second. Afterwards, understanding what to do with money, got a securities license, and then it shifted my mindset into the world that you’re talking about, so was that different order. That’s when you realize a private business is the same thing.

How did you translate into your business, and maybe give the listeners a little bit of an overview. What was the business? Why did you start it, and what was the opportunity?

Maceo:  It’s a funny story. Coming out of the 2000s, I was a street preacher for about five years.

Ryan:  What?

Maceo:  I know. I wanted to do what God wanted me to do, and I kept getting drawn back into business. Then, finally in 2005, I said, “Well, you know, Lord, if you want me to do this, it’s going to be hugely successful. Otherwise, I’m just going to clean toilets or something.” I don’t know, and so that in 2005, it is when I refocused back on business.

Ryan:  What does the street preacher…Sorry, I can’t get it. [laughs]

Maceo:  I mean, I was…

Ryan: I know what a street is, but those two combined, I have not heard.

Maceo: Basic preaching on the streets, so talking to everyday people about the gospel and Jesus, man. I mean it’s…

Ryan: That’s awesome.

Maceo:  We’re pretty out there. I could tell you a million stories about that, but let me…I digress.

Ryan:  You’re out there selling the truth, man, like so you. 

Maceo: That’s right. Amen. It was right at the beginning of what we now see as “digital marketing, and e‑commerce, and all of that.” Amazon had been in the headlines forever, but they were still losing a crap ton of money. Nobody had really figured it out.

The real issue striking into the heart of what I learned as a trader, is that there wasn’t a trend to jump on. The average person back then still wasn’t comfortable with putting their credit card online. The formatting wasn’t really right, so you could see…For the few people that had a screen to buy on, you can see it.

Saying that, we didn’t have mobile phones. You didn’t have Internet everywhere, so a lot of things that were going on.

Ryan:  Except walkie talkies. I’m thinking of the exact timeline as they were like, you have the company cars that are like “www.” The car is telling you to go on online.

Maceo:  That’s right. Oh man, it was…

Maceo:  You got to remember. Back then, Bill Gates was still like, “Ah, you know this Internet is just going to be a passing thing.” People did think that it was going to facilitate commerce, but nobody knew that it was going to be what it is today.

I jumped in it and looked at it more as a medium, like a marketing medium. I’m very much first in direct‑response marketing. Started in 2005, I tried a bunch of different stuff. It probably shocks people that, “No, I didn’t jump into the financial world right away.”

I was talking to a trading mentor of mine. His name is Larry, and he said, “My boy, you need to start a newsletter.” I was like, “What the heck is that?” We talked about that for a little while. Today, they’re ubiquitous. It’s like eek. Info marketing is ubiquitous online.

I happened to be in those early days of information marketing, when the Internet was accessible to entrepreneurs as a medium for selling info products. Because of the mechanics and the economics of info marketing, digital marketing is very attractive. We were selling through the mail.

You’ve got to spend fifty or sixty cents on an envelope. It’s actually about a buck twenty when you look at all the printing. If you want to get somebody’s attention, then you’re looking at FedEx, which then you’re looking at 13 to 15 dollars just for the envelope and the postage.

We looked at digital marketing as being more capital‑efficient, which it was. That’s why I gravitated to it as a main issue, but then I also saw…This is on computers when I looked at Google and the pay‑per‑click engines, I said, “Man, this is just an auction market, which is like the stock market.”

I said, there’s got to be a way to use some of these bidding algorithms and I applied a lot of my more short‑term trading theories and tactics to a pay‑per‑click very successfully. The bulk of what I did was in applying the same trend, thinking from the markets to business which was my way of constraining risk.

Whereas the biggest risk as an entrepreneur is that you’re going to sell something, and you’re not going to have enough buyers to relieve you of all of your inventory. Entrepreneurs, we all make money on turning capital, no different than a trader. People tend to gravitate towards day trading.

They think, “Man, if I could turn my capital over 50 times a day and every time I did that, I made 100 bucks, I’m going to get rich.” That’s all Walmart’s doing. They’re taking their money. They’re converting it into a product, and then they turn that to consumers.

If you have more and more retail locations, you can turn more product which means you’re turning your capital…capital turnover. It means, let’s get down to the basics. When you look at business, if you’re putting your capital into something, it doesn’t have enough of a trend behind you’re going to be stuck with your inventory. Think Cabbage Patch Kids, Beanie Babies. These things that were these massive fads, massive transfer short amount of time, but then they reached the cliff or the waterfall and demand basically went down to zero. As an entrepreneur, we’ve got to think about our company, our businesses as a capital turnover engine.

Our efficiency as an entrepreneur is going to reflect how much of that capital we are retaining as we turn it over. Those are the dials that you can turn inside of the company, but the main driver that everybody skips is the dang trend. Even the cell phones. The thing that’s rough about cell phones is we’re coming out with a new model, what every year now?

Ryan:  An iPhone’s an iPhone. The camera… [laughs]

Maceo:  They’re selling a different camera, basically. If you look at your…whatever it is that you’re doing in the context of the trend first, and then you can take care of the guts of the company, the capital efficiency seconds, you’re going to find the risk in the business. The risk profile is considerably different.

Trends, capital turnover, strategy, and value

Ryan:  I want to get into your business too, and how this all applied to your business, and then all the companies you worked with too. I want to link up a couple of important themes that you touched on, and I want to hear your input on it.

What I find interesting is that you’re talking about trends and you’re talking about capital turnover, so the cash flow of that. What’s interesting is how you’re looking at trends and strategy, but then also because of your background in trading, you understand value.

Just because of your cash flow, that doesn’t mean that it’s got high enterprise value. You’re weaving this together, Maceo, just talking about the risk of casting this vote. In our training, what we do has some context behind it, is we walk through the buildup of the discounted cash flow.

Company‑specific risk is the biggest variant. You could weave that in as you’re talking about capital turnover and trends. A lot of people aren’t looking at trends, and they’re not looking at a couple of these key components. They’re just waking up and grinding away. They just grind, and they aren’t looking up.

Maceo: Because of my trading background, I’ll try and make it simple and practical at the same time. SaaS, if you don’t know, is software as a service. You’re going to code a bunch of this stuff up. Of course, the adage is there, “Why do I need your crap instead of a spreadsheet?” Let’s assume that you have an idea that’s better than a spreadsheet.

Ryan:  A really expensive GUI, right?

Maceo: Right. By the way, it’s probably not, which is part of your problem. I hate to break it to you. Let’s say you do have something that’s actually going to work. Where most people go wrong is in understanding that your solution is running to obsolescence.

The magic is in thinking where the market is going to be three years from now, five years from now, which is also why it’s really tough. The way around all of this, again thinking about value, is going to a smaller market.

I think this all the way back to the old days when we used to actually trade person to person. A bunch of people screaming in a pit, yelling, yelling, you know, like this and hand signals…

Ryan:  Boiler room. 

Maceo:  Inside of that pit, let’s say it’s the S&P 500. Everybody knows the S&P 500, who’s looked at the stock market. Again, it’s very liquid. It’s not lumber. It’s not Beanie Babies. Inside of that huge pit, you can have major price discrepancies. It’s because, in that small physical area of the pit, somebody walked in with a huge order. It’s that simple.

Even though you’ve got this massive market that’s out there, that could be SaaS. It could be just the Internet, could be retail, could be cell phones. If we think about it in that way, like we have this big marketplace, where do we find these small onset graded pockets of value? If I know…in the old days, we called it paper.

So, if I know paper is coming into the pit, that’s Goldman Sachs or Solomon Smith Barney back in the day with an order to buy or sell, say a million contracts. That’s a lot. I know for a short period of time, you can get a lot off a million contracts, but it’s going to end.

It’s not going to take six years for that to play out. That’s where entrepreneurs miss. They don’t really dig down from this huge space, their market, into the pocket of value.

Let’s say you go into auto dealerships. Not even that, let’s say it’s auto part stores. You realize there’s a lot of mom and pop. They have no way to aggregate any of the inventory. They are either calling people up or going into a book and looking it up.

You go in, your SaaS solution, which is going to be better than a spreadsheet, is yes it’s the spreadsheet just organizing parts, what’s the item id and the price. You can do that with a spreadsheet. If you link them up to some national network, it’s like, “OK, wait a minute, now we’re talking.”

Why is that? It’s because the Internet gives us the ability to connect more pockets of value. That guy in Tupelo, Mississippi all by himself running his part store, has very little value. 5,000 of those guys have extreme value.

When you start choking that up into discounted cash flows and really getting into the nuts and bolts of it, you’re going to find you have at least something to work with when you eventually start talking about who’s going to acquire you. I’ll jump over all of that.

It typically goes, “OK, have I found a pocket of value to who’s going to buy this pocket of value that I have concentrated on?” When you think about exits and strategic buyers versus private equity funds, that’s the secret sauce.

When you jump from your business nuts and bolts to selling those nuts and bolts, you can look backwards at it with a completely different set of eyes. You can start to understand what that eventual buyer is not only going to want, what they are going to value and more importantly, where you can sell your company for more money.

Look, we can all go in and say, “Company X is worth three times EBITDA or five times EBITDA,” or it’s a tech company so it’s 15 times. No, I’m working on a roll up right now where we can actually make a case for 30 times revenue.

How do you do that, Maceo? You do that by, number one, finding a pocket of value. Then going and investigating the people that you’re going to target to buy it, and understanding what makes their business work. Then designing your company, reverse engineering your company to provide that in a legitimate way, not like it’s just bolted on.

Ryan:  I’m curious when you’re talking about finding that pocket of value, given the fact that the US is, what, 70, 72 percent consumer‑based economy. This goes back to understanding the market. You’re going, “OK. People buy,” excuse me, “shit.” People wake up and buy stuff every day.

Who’s buying what and why? It’s usually to make themselves feel good, eliminate frustration, period. Hopefully, those people have money to buy shit.

Who’s buying what?

Maceo:  That’s right.

Ryan:  Then what are the industries that are riding that wave? It’s all starting from margin and accumulating capital in those trusts. It’s like…

Maceo:  I’ll open up the technique that I use to discover trends. Actually no, let me just talk about it practically. When I was looking around at all these different businesses, let’s go back to 2005 in our brains, where I had a lot more hair.

I actually was a lot bigger. I was more of a powerlifter back then, which I’m missing at the moment. It was back then. You’re seeing this muscle‑headed dude walk into a library, hour upon hour every day. Why did I do that?

Ryan:  In‑between street preaching, too.

Maceo:  No. This was when I transitioned out of that. I wasn’t doing that anymore. It was like full‑time…I literally had 25,000 to my name. Let me make that clear. It wasn’t like I had money coming in. We were eating off of that 25 grand at the same time.

I went in and looked at something called the SRDS. Most libraries still have it, although they are not used as much. That was the data aggregator for all of the newsletters and stuff that was sold in direct mail.

The reason why I went there is because in order for them to provide value to advertisers, they had to tell you how many people were on the list, and what was their average purchase price. Dude, if I wanted to know how much people are spending, I’m just going to go look.

One of the things I don’t like about what’s going on now in the digital world is, they don’t expose that information very much anymore. Anyway, I was going through the SRDS, I got into the financial section, I found there was about a billion and a half to 1.5 billion dollars being spent every 90 days on financial newsletters.

I said, “That’s a lot of money.” Certainly I can roll around in that pool, and some of it stick to me. That’s just a practical example of one way that you can do it. Go out, find as best as you can where people are spending their money.

You can go into tools today like Similarweb, Adbeat is another one, where you can at least, from the advertising side, see where companies are spending their money. Granted, they’re not going to tell you what the customer acquisitions costs or what their average purchase price is, but you’ll at least get some of the data.

That’s one way to do it. The other way is, just listen for problems. What are people complaining about? Then talk to those people and find out, “Well, is this just something they’re complaining about because they feel like they need to complain at that moment, or is it a real problem that they have in their business?”

That auto‑parts store, the question would be, how many times a day, or a week, or a month does somebody come in, ask for a part, and you have to tell them you don’t have it, and you can’t get it in a reasonable amount of time? You are probably going to find, in some cases, it’s a lot, especially when you are dealing with specialty parts.

The beauty of the internet

This is where the beauty of the Internet is. You can aggregate the long‑tail. That’s the real power of the Internet. The real power of Amazon is that Jeff Bezos saw early, early on that you can aggregate the long‑tail. The name of the book escapes me. Jeff Bezos is actually written up in it, I’d almost go find it and lay edited it out, anyway.

Ryan:  The Everything Store?

Maceo:  No, it’s earlier than that. This is like ’92…

Ryan:  It was a second edition in ’92 or ’93. Anyway, what that book was saying, was that…This is how sometimes the academics get it right. What the academics were saying is, “Hey, this Internet thing is going to aggregate all of these small markets, to where they’re least accessible.”

If you are going to start something in the digital realm, when you start with that premise, what long‑tail ‑‑ if you don’t know, long‑tail just means you’ve got instead of one big market where people are spending, let’s say $10,000 per transaction, you’ve got 10,000 people spending $100.

Here’s the key, that $100 is not a maybe. It’s not Netflix, where I can read a book or go to sleep or take a walk. It’s like, if I don’t spend that 100 bucks, I’m in trouble or I’m losing something important in my business or in my life. That’s the power of the Internet.

When you look at it that way, you’re not stuck on just that one outlet, which means you may only see one or two examples of it in your town or somewhere that’s near you. Your job then is to go out and figure out how many of these people are there.

Another way to do it would be to go to a list broker, InfoUSA, you can do it relatively cheaply and do a search. How many businesses fit that one category and they’re going to let you sort it by revenue, employee size. You can get a ton of information absolutely for free before you even start, which by the way, is everything.

Most entrepreneurs, the big mistake they make ‑‑ you alluded to this earlier, Ryan ‑‑ is they just jump in like, “I have a brilliant idea. I love my idea because it’s my idea, and I’m going to go make a million bucks off of it.” Then they go spend their life savings, their family’s life savings only to find out five years later, it’s like, “Oh wow, we lost money.”

Then a smart aleck like me comes in and says, “Well, yeah, duh, like I could have told you that in 30 seconds,” which is why I’m that messenger that gets his head lopped off quite a bit only because I’ve got a different perspective.

I come into a company looking at it in reverse. I want to say, “OK. Where do you people want to end up? Do you want to end up with a company that cash flows and you eat off of the cash flow for the rest of your life and dump that into other stuff? Do you want to build something up, build up enterprise value and sell that off?”

You’d have to start with your end in mind in order to get there. We don’t…

Ryan:  From a couple of different things that we were talking about, which is the trend and the strategy, they’re also making sure that at the end, it’s not something that is just revenue, but it’s actually got enterprise value. As you’re continuing the story and say, I’m curious, so obviously insanely important when you start a business. Start with the end in mind.

It’s so like out there, people get numb to it, but it’s so true based on what we were just saying. How do you deal with someone that did the idea, had an opportunity, their client started them off into entrepreneurship?

Now they’ve got a two million dollar business because the opportunity forced them into it or they start without doing this research and they’re in their journey, Maceo, and you’ve got the sunk cost fallacy going. You’re going, “It’s going to work. It’s going to work. It’s going to work.”

Mindsets matter

Maceo:  I wish I had good news. I’ll dovetail this into one of the lessons that I learned as a trader was around mindsets. The average in trading is 90 percent mental. As my career got towards the end, I shifted that to a 100 percent. Entrepreneurship trading, it’s 100 percent mental.

As a business owner, you have got to look at things as they are, not how you wish them to be. It’s so tough when you spend hours and hours. We refer to our businesses like our kids. This is my baby.

First of all, no, it’s not. The employees that you think are so loyal, they’ll leave for more money. They’ll leave for better benefits. They’ll figure it out. It’s like we don’t have to be so concerned about those particular things. Now I’m not advocating for cutting people’s heads off, but that’s the reality of it.

By the way, I’m also a huge proponent of overpaying people and rewarding people, stock options. Main reason why I do that is because that’s why you keep them. It’s like that way they don’t get a better offer and you lose your best people.

The place to start would be, what is the market really? What is the life cycle of your customer really? I’ll give an example, I’m not affiliated with this company. It just came up in one of the Slack groups I’m in.

It’s a company called Videos and it’s about video stuff. We were having a discussion around selling a lifetime package. My point was, first of all, if that was going to be a successful tactic, every VC‑back company in Silicon Valley would be doing it. I can say it’s a dumb idea because none of them are doing it, but let’s dig in, is what I said.

What you wind up sacrificing by selling a lifetime package is some incremental future revenue. Now the guy said, “Well, I can just sell upgrades.” I said, “True, but have you looked at how many of your lifetime buyers bought your upgrade?” He said, “No.”

I said, “OK, well then you’re assuming…” This is the key point. He was assuming he could sell them an upgrade, but he said it like it was a sure thing. That’s an important thing not to miss. In his conversation, he was reinforcing his already done belief that he was OK selling the lifetime revenue because at some future point, he could upgrade them.

He’s not looking at the way things really are. He’s looking at them as he wants them to be. There’s a lot of cognitive biases that go into this. It’s really worth some study. MIT has a great behavioral lab. I narrowly missed going to MIT out of the Army. I got accepted, but I never went.

They do really good work in behavioral economics. I’m telling you, this is the enemy of entrepreneurs. As soon as we get an idea, we think it’s the best thing in the world. What we miss is the longer we stay in that headspace of this is an awesome idea. Fast forward to the company, Videos, it’s three or four years old.

They’ve now resold a massive amount of revenue, but they’ve also conditioned their customer to think I’m a lifetime client. I’ve tested lifetime revenue deals. What you wind up putting into somebody’s head is, “Oh, then I get everything for free.” It’s inescapable. You can’t sell around it. If you try and sell around it, they’re going to be pissed off.

Then they wind up leaving the platform and saying, “Well, I’ll just write off the lifetime money that I gave him.” They cut off their nose to spite their face. “Well, he’s a jerk, I’m just not going to use this product.”

Let’s not get caught up. Let me not get caught up on the lifetime value. It’s the mindset. You’ve got to be able to look at where business is now. Say it’s a couple of million bucks, like Ryan said, it’s grown…You’re in the grind. Your head’s been down for a long time. Now your first, you’re just poking your head up and looking around.

The best thing you can do is focus on data. What do we know and what can we measure? Some key questions that I ask “compared to what” and  “how do you know that”? All you have to do is keep repeating those annoying questions and I’m telling you it’s just like Novocaine. Give it some and it’ll work.

Ryan: For all the people on the misinformation going out these days.

Maceo:  Oh, my gosh. I would get into some pretty heated conversations like for example, somebody saying, “Oh, you should split test the color on your page.” That’s a complete waste of time. If you dig in and you say, “OK, well, how do you know that? Or how do you know that? How do you know that?”

You will eventually find out as they tested it on 150 clicks seven years ago. Based on those 150 clicks, when they stopped the experiment they went from making 5 bucks to making 10 bucks, and they told me, “Oh, 200 percent improvement.”

Ryan:  It’s social currency, like their word of advice.

Maceo: Those two questions, as the entrepreneur, will serve you to get to reality. Look, we’re not trying to make it personal. We’re not trying to insult anybody. All we’re trying to do is figure out what the hell is really going on.

That will help that person, the person you just described. Ask those questions of your team, ask it of yourself. If you’re alone in your office, write it down. If you’re taking notes, how do I know, then fill in the blank. How do I know my lifetime value is $500?

I don’t know. Then write it down. How did you calculate it? Go in and look at your customer cohorts. If you don’t know, cohort is just a group. If you have 50 customers that bought in May of 2012, that would be a cohort. Did you use any of that information?

It will force you to get to the reality of what’s going on, eventually, if you ask it enough. In the trading world, there’s just no time for bullshit. You cannot let somebody’s opinion push, buy, or sell. My goodness, you’re going to lose a massive amount of money. A lot of this I’m steeped in this and mostly through embarrassment.

Ryan:  You touched on an interesting concept too. On the trading floor it’s not about opinions, or not about what was there, wasn’t opinions you just said or?

Maceo:  Yeah.

Ryan:  It’s so synonymous to like, in the private world of M&A, you have the people that are buyers, where whether it’s a strategic buyer, or whether it’s a private equity firm, or you see whoever it is, they’re approaching it, like you just said, and the owner is going, “I started this in my garage, and I risk my 401(k).” They’re going, “This is for the cash flow Sir or Ma’am.”

Handling your emotions

Maceo: They don’t care. Look, we’re never going to separate our emotions from what we’re doing. What a lot of people don’t know about traders, is they’re very much into mindset, they’re very aware of their emotions, and especially the successful funds will make you see a psychologist for this reason.

You’ve got to get a real handle on your own emotions, before they’re going to allocate a bunch of money to you. It’s not enough to just say, ” It’s just business.” Realize that it’s not just business for you, the entrepreneur, going into the situation. The way around it and this comes straight out of trading, is pick your target. What do you want to make for your company?

Write that down. Then also be open when you start getting feedback that says, maybe that’s too high. Obviously, if it’s too low, you’re going to get people saying yes to your offer very quickly. That’s obvious, just raise your price.

If people are saying no, or if they’re giving you pushback, or if you’re not getting calls back, if it’s taking you months to sell your company, because I’m in the middle of two different roll ups right now, I can tell you, it should not take you a year to sell your company, it shouldn’t even take you multiple engagements to sell your company.

It’s because you’re coming back to price in terms. I’ll pay you a billion dollars for your company. It’s a $1 a year for a billion years. It’s price in terms, but again, it’s looking at it from, “What’s going on, what is your buyer willing to pay you and why, most importantly.

Do some due diligence, if you’re selling to a PE firm, look at their portfolio, go to a conference where they’re speaking or get on a Zoom call, listen to what they’re saying, what do they want? What’s their philosophy? What rates of return do they want? You’re going to know with beyond a shadow of a doubt whether or not you even fall into that realm.

Ryan:  That’s the big differences of PE firms compared to the normal entrepreneurs, they haven’t the investment thesis that drives everything that they’re doing.

Maceo:  Yes.

Ryan:  Not many entrepreneurs come up with their investment thesis, which is just your strategic plan. I think about our old business and they say, “Hey, it’s we’re in copiers and print.” That’s not really booming upwards, but there are…

Maceo:  You’re a great business man.

Ryan:  Back in the day, there used to be lots of margins. There’s not anymore so what are we going to do, but…

Maceo:  We want a toner that’s 500 bucks.

Ryan:  Exactly.

Maceo:  Pouring it into the thing. That’s how far back I go.

Ryan:  These fire extinguishers on the copiers just make sure. But my point is, there  are PE firms in this space right now. They have a similar investment thesis blockbuster, which is always fees, the company’s never coming back. Let’s ride this ship right into the ground, but don’t ride it into the ground making a 21 percent rate of return.

Maceo:  That’s right.

Venture capital and private equity

Maceo: The main reason why I tell entrepreneurs, you have to start looking at venture capital, you have to start looking at private equity is because they can’t dig around, they have to have a plan. Nobody in the world is going to drop.

The reason I’m getting so excited about this is because people talk about close markets and there’s no opportunity. It’s not just that. I had the good fortune of going through Special Forces selection. I wasn’t selected. I was never a Green Beret but I made it through selection, that’s huge. Not many people do.

The reason why Special Forces has selections because they don’t want every schmuck off the street coming in and handing them a gun and kicking them out the back of an airplane.

Maceo:  No rational person is going to spend the decades it takes to amass 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 million in cash, and then drop a couple million on you without having a selection program. That’s Yale, it’s Harvard, it’s Stanford. I’m not big on education, I’m just saying, that’s their shortcuts.

They know if you got into Stanford, and they’re going to call some of your professors, they find out you weren’t a total slacker. It’s like, OK, they at least know something about you. That’s enough of that. The reason why more entrepreneurs have got to start studying venture capital is from the investor side of things.

You want people to go through some kind of selection process, why? Because it’s tough to amass $30 million in cash, it’s tough to amass a million dollars in cash. Just think about of a basic, call it average margins of a company, say it’s 8 to 10 percent. Let’s just take 10 percent, that means you’ve had to sell $300 million worth of crap.

Let’s just let that sink in for a minute. That’s assuming everything sitting on all cylinders. There’s actually a little bit more than that, because I haven’t talked about taxes, everything else wrapped.

Ryan:   Taxes in what state?

Maceo:  Exactly right. Let’s crank it up another way. Let’s round it up to 40 percent. Now we’re close to a billion dollars in sales. Think about that. You sold almost a billion dollars’ worth of stuff and now you’ve got this money. Are you just going to drop that on somebody? Let’s think about it from the investor standpoint. How long did that take them?

If they were VC, maybe five to seven years, right? If they had a unicorn like Ark, five to seven years. Start when you’re 23, you’re lucky, now you’re 30.You could do it again. What if you’re like me, you’re not 30 anymore?

Dude, I am not giving anybody a million dollars in cash without asking a whole hell of a lot of questions because I know I don’t have a lot of time on the clock. I’m just not going to fiddle fart around with them.

Ryan:  By the way, people with that much money don’t want a job again.

Maceo:  Oh, my gosh, I heard it on Shark Tank. Robert…I’m going to butcher his last name, sorry, Robert. He was negotiating with a company. They had the audacity to say, “Well, if we’re going to let you in our company, we expect you to work.” Robert, to his credit, just put his pad down, sat back, and he said, “I’m sorry, it just doesn’t work that way. I’m out.”

This is the mindset of entrepreneurs like you said. I’ve been working in this, I started in my garage. Nobody cares.

Ryan:  Have you heard this once or a thousand times, “Say, this is a great company. I make 400 grand a year, I work 90 hours a week. I have all this risk. I’ve got personal guarantees in my house and my 401(k), you should definitely pay me five million dollars for this.”

Maceo:  Right, yes. I’ve heard that quite a bit, actually. [laughs]

Ryan:  Five million for a job, you reverse engineer that and just say it aloud yourself. [laughs]

Maceo:  I had this, a couple of great entrepreneurs in Dallas, the businesses were not even profitable. They came around, but they couldn’t fathom why people weren’t lining up to pay them five or six million bucks for that.

I just broke down the math. I said, “Listen, first of all, if I’m making $200,000 in profit, how long is it going to take me to just earn my investment back? Let’s just start there.” I waited. “Well, we don’t know.” I said, “Somebody grab a calculator. Let’s do it.”

You really going to make us do the math.” I said, “We’re going to do the math right now.” We divided it out and I said, “OK, would you on this call invest five million bucks to take that long just to break even?” Let the pause go until somebody answered me.

Finally, they all one at a time. There’s three other entrepreneurs there. Each of them said, “Well, no.” I said, “Then why the hell are you expecting somebody else to do it?”  I said, “Yeah, maybe if you’re thinking the greater full theory or something like that.” I said, “This is why your businesses are not going to sell.”

I gave him an offer for their businesses. I said, “Look, this is not what you want. I understand this is not what you want, but this is what you’re going to get.” That’s tough news, man. These people…one was 20 years, the other 25, the other one was 30 years in their businesses.

You could see it from their financials. They had dumped money back in. They had overpaid their employees like, “Oh yeah, we know we have more people on than we need.” I’m like, “OK. Why would you do that?” I get it, but now…Here’s the punchline. At the end of their career, this is what they thought.

“OK. We’re going to invest in our company by paying our employees and keeping the thing afloat.” Now they’re at the end of the road saying, “OK, market. Here’s my widget,” which is their company. “Pay me 5 million bucks,” and nobody’s in the bid.

Nobody’s willing to take them up on that. The real tragedy is that the entrepreneurs don’t understand where the value is, where this goes all the way back to what you started talking about is as the entrepreneur, you have to understand where the real value is now.

Now, is it in your people? Yes, to a degree. Is it in your systems and processes? Yes, to a degree. Your equipment? Yes, to a degree. Your job is to think realistically about to what degree are those things valuable?

If you’re talking about a company where you’re thinking I’m going to have five years of a downturn, are you going to get a return on your investment? Sit down, write out how much money you are going to be dumping into your business over those five years. Then, ask yourself, how much of a return do I need on this cash to make this decision worthwhile to me? That alone will save many a heartache.

Ryan: It goes back to this common theme that I keep saying that the people that are doing this, and moving and shaking right now are operators that knew how to do this. Do the work, but also have the finance to be able to guide their work. It’s like the Venn diagram or the intersection in‑between, because it’s not just spreadsheet junkies that have never fired someone and…had the company because of it. It’s combination of the two. I know we’re running short on time in the next 10 minutes. I’m curious, when you’re talking about understanding the true value spot in these trends, then why don’t you give us an insight and say how was it applied to you selling your business the first time, but also with the current roll‑ups that you’re doing?

These concepts have been amazing. It’s been a fun conversation, but how did it apply to both of those journeys that you’ve been a part of?

The big lesson learned the hard way

Maceo: The good news is I learned my big lesson the hard way. This is not going to be good news. With my e‑commerce company, I dumped massive amounts of cash into it to build something that nobody wanted. I was way too early. Classic mistake.

My e‑commerce company, I built APIs into ‑‑ which an API is called application programming interface ‑‑ where you’re joining up two computers. I’ll leave it at that. We had built some of that. We had built up video players. We’d done all kinds of stuff to make our company work. I made the mistake of thinking, “Oh. Well, every e‑commerce company is going to love this.” $8 million.

Ryan:  A lot of data involved in that statement.

Maceo:  8 million. When I tell people, write down the number and then ask yourself what kind of return you want. My return on that was, I’ll just say it was very low and I’ll leave it at that.

Ryan:  Was it because interest rates were low?

Maceo:   It was not a good exit. There are reasons why you don’t see tombstones about the exit. I’m not bragging about it. I’ll leave it at that which is good news, because I’m not talking out of theory. I did it and then looked back and said, “Holy shit, why did I do that?”

I’ve made these classic mistakes. Why the roll‑ups? Well, first of all, that company…’05 to 2012, typical trajectory five, seven years. I mean, I could get into cycle theory and all that, but those are usually the numbers.

I started looking at, “All right. Getting older, how much clock do I have left? How many times can I do this?” Number one. It’s work. How many times can I do it? How many times do I want to do it? What do I want to do in my future? I’ve got to think about it that way.

If you want to build something quickly, there’s no better way to do that than an LBO or a roll‑up. You’re taking an existing company. You’re bolting a bunch of them together, and then you’re selling that mass off to somebody which is usually a private equity fund or a strategic buyer.

Now, if you do it right, you can get great multiples. If you do it wrong, ‑‑ which a lot of people don’t know ‑‑ plenty of private equity gets zero at the end of their fund life cycle, because there’s no value.

Ryan:  Good luck raising some money on the second round for that.

Maceo:  Exactly right. They’re like, “Well, we’ll do fund number two.” It’s a pyramid scheme. It’s like, “We’ll kind of bail these companies out.” They hide that in the disclosure docs. It’s on page 98, which by the way, if you’re investing in something and one of the questions you want to ask is how big is the fund pocket?

[That’s slang for if the fund can actually put in pocket money. What it means is fully to the discretion of the GP, the general partner, which means if he’s got a fund, number one, that’s not doing so well, you might find your money going out to some of those.

Ryan:  I don’t want some of those.

Maceo:  Learned that the hard way too. Anyway, that’s another show. The lesson learned was let’s go back to the e‑commerce company. To do it over with, I would have taken VC money. I would have gone out to Silicon Valley. I would have done the roadshow. I’d have been talking to the Sequoia capitals, the A16Zs, even though maybe they wouldn’t have invested in me, but they would have given me feedback.

By the way, it’s not going to be a lot of feedback, probably one or two sentences every once in a while. That would have helped me refine my pitch, plugging into Silicon Valley networks and finding out. “Hey, what are you working on? What are you doing? What are you seeing out there in the marketplace? Do people actually want this?”

I could have gotten much better coding talent on, and maybe carved out one thing out of my portfolio of stuff that I was trying to sell people and made money on that. Balling all that together. All of those learnings in forming a lot of what I’ve been saying on how to combat and not follow in those footsteps, but then also why am I choosing the route that I am?

The other reason was between 2012 and 2017, I transitioned back into LBOs in 2017, 2018. I had tried going into companies as a hired gun, so CEOs, CMO to…I come in with an agreement for a chunk of equity. It was always right around 10 percent to start, with what I call a hurdle rate. I’d have to grow things in order to get more equity, but it’s all based on what I did.

I even gave the entrepreneurs like, “Look. At the end of the first year, if you don’t like what we’re doing, you can have your equity back,” which is unheard of, which is another aspect of selling. I wanted to make it risk‑free for these entrepreneurs I was working with.

Ryan, I gotta tell you. I had one company. I made eight million bucks in the first 18 months in sales. Everything was growing and blowing. He called me. He was like, “Nope, I want my equity back.” I was like, “Why would you do that?” The main reason why I transitioned was, that was the last straw. Well, no, that’s not quite right. I had one…

Ryan:  A lot of people go into that.

Maceo:  Well, I make it easy for them. I do. I had one more after that. It was another company. It was in, I want get too specific, some cylinder NDA. It was in the consumer package good environment, came in and said, “Look, I’m looking to go to something in two to three hundred million. I’m looking to acquire companies. You’re on board with that?”

“Yeah, let’s go do it.” It became apparent over about the first three months that this was not what those entrepreneurs wanted. I backed out of that one instead of continuing to go along. There was one more after that last one. What’s the moral of that story?

The moral of the story is if the entrepreneur doesn’t have the right mindset, there’s no way you’re going to go in and change that even if you drop millions of dollars in sales on him. In fact, one of the campaigns for that company, I was spending a quarter of a million dollars a month on Facebook for like one vertical, and it was basically day four profitable. The guy still booted me and he killed that project.

He just didn’t like that. He didn’t like me. He didn’t like my toothpaste. I don’t know. It came down to his mindset. He  had stuff in his mind about how things should go or the way he wanted things to go rather than looking at it objectively. We’re building a business. We’re not going to be here forever. Let’s build something with the value and sell it off. So I said, “You know what, I just need to get back into my own devices.”

Ryan: Maceo, I think what’s super interesting to me, and I’ve been trying to almost self‑process over the years as I’ve gone through my journey to realize the things that you’re discussing, too.

There’s the mindset, but a mindset encapsulates your knowledge base and your emotions so if we’re talking about understanding the technical stuff, but then also managing emotions, and you’re talking about trading as well as M&A. Can you help someone shift their mindset, which is a hard messaging, with knowledge and education to say…? Because it’s hard as hell to manage your emotions, man.

I’m like the first to say I wasn’t sales guy copier guy and all the emotional visionary stuff that comes with that. Over the years, I’ve been able to still be that person, but use like data. Keep me in check again…

Maceo:  Yeah, great.

Ryan:  Your style, but I’m curious like how have you seen people that have been unable to make the jump or how do you personally manage those two dynamics?

Practical things you can do

Maceo: Fortunately, there are some practical things you can do. There’s a woman named Denise Shull. She runs a trader consulting program and it’s just as simple as this. You can’t bottle your emotions up, which for dudes, that’s not what we want to hear, right? I’m not saying…

Ryan:  God.

Maceo: I’m not saying, because I’m a dude, right? I’m not going to cry and you know blubber or do…Oh I will cry, but I mean I’m just a typical dude. But if you are a guy that cries, what Denise would tell you is, then go in your closet and cry.

One of the first things she would work on with a trader is, OK, when you lose a trade, what’s your emotion? What’s your emotional rainbow? You’d have to write it down, so a bit of this is journaling and it’s all free flowing. What’s running through your mind, what are you saying? I did a lot of recording anyway, so a lot of it got captured on tape.

What you might expect, being an ex military guy, mine was, it’s not crying. It’s like the other, I’m going to break something.

Ryan:  Power lifter before.

Maceo:  Oh yeah. For me it’s like I definitely get emotional satisfaction if I break something. I’d have stuff in my garage that I could go break, buy like cheap aluminum pans. In fact, my kids when they were little, they would freak out because I would take a pan and I would bend it.

For a kid, it’s like really solid but they were cheap, but I was still kind of strong. Anyway, just know yourself. That was Denise’s encouragement, was, know who you are and be OK with it. If you’re somebody that, you need to have a punching bag in your office, which we actually had a client who did, big hedge fund manager.

He had a bad trade, he would lay into the punching bag for 5 or 10 minutes and he would be fine afterwards. Give yourself, number one, the freedom, especially as a man to experience, and I mean that, your emotions, don’t hold it back. You really want to go until you feel that release.

This is where women really do have a leg up on us, because, man. If a woman needs to cry, she’s just going to start crying. If she needs to yell, she’s going to yell. With dudes, because we hold that back that’s where we’re like whoa, what, why are you doing that?

She’s doing it because that’s what she’s feeling. Now, you do like you do. You want to be circumspect when you do that, right? I would try and go into the garage and do all this.

My younger son unfortunately saw me during one episode. I took a hammer out of the top of my workbench because I couldn’t find something, and I mean this is like a two inch thick piece of wood and I busted off like this huge chunk of it. I’m like, that’s the level. If you do that and you’re committed to that, I’m telling you, you will find massive results because you’re no longer going to have the aftereffect. The aftereffect is where we go wrong, because we got this anger that’s bottled up.

That’s when it’s comes out with our wife and our kid, and our business partner, and our employees. This ripple effect in entrepreneurship is what is going to cause the problem. Like if a PE firm is coming in, they say, “Yo, I’ve got these loose cannons, he’s running around screaming at everybody.”

That’s where they’re going to draw back, because they know that toxicity is going to infect the company. From a personal standpoint, especially as men, experience the emotion. Don’t hide from it. Some guys that might get dark. I’ll go to some really dark places, as I’ll let my brain do that.

I’ll let it do it for a while, and what I’ll find is I’ll always reach a point where it’s too much, and then it just fades away, but then I’m good. I’m not snapping at somebody, especially my kids. Like I’ve got a hard day at work and I know I’m in a bad mood, I’ll go take care of it.

It’s 5, 10 minutes. If it’s really bad, sometimes it’s 15 minutes. It’s committing to that level of work. The next stage of it would be, if you’re a guy, you got to find somebody. Maybe it’s your spouse, but maybe not. You may need another dude that you can share this stuff with.

I’m leaving the ladies out deliberately, they usually have this handled, I find. They have a girlfriend they can go talk to, you know what I mean? It’s more…I don’t want to say it’s more natural for them, all the same.

Ryan:  Interesting. Again, we don’t have time for this podcast. I’ve interviewed a lot of very successful women on this show, and their leadership and management style is insanely effective to build powerful cultures because they’re asking for input. They’re collaborative. It’s not people‑driven. A lot of generalizations here, but [inaudible] .

Maceo: For the most part.

Ryan: They’ve managed that scenario ‑‑ into using your story in example ‑‑ because you go into a different company, or you get to the deal table and all that crap’s bottled up. Good luck. Doing every deal dies a thousand deaths before you expose it.

Maceo:  In debt.

Ryan: You’re going to be on issue number three and explode. If you can’t, it’s so…That you said this world is objective, it’s happening. You’d be able to control your reactions to it. [laughs]

Maceo: The trader or the way you’d experience, you’ve got something on your computer screen. The office is totally calm. You can look around. Nothing is going on, and yet if somebody had a heart meter on you, you’re sitting there 120 beats per minute.

You’re sweating. The thoughts that are running to you, because you’re in a rage. Because you saw something happen on your screen. If you don’t have an outlet for that, you’re going to make a decision based on that emotional state. The biology is clear. People call it fight, flight, freeze.

Know that when you get into that state, you have biological blocks to logical thinking. Biological blocks to creative thinking. You’re less creative. You’re more impulsive.

In the military, we say, “You don’t rise to a level. You fall to a level,” and I am paraphrasing it. You’re going to fall to a level, not rise to one. If you’re at the deal table and you don’t have some of this managed, what are you going to do?

If you’re going tomorrow to talk to somebody…If you can’t fake that you only speak Spanish and have a translator there, or if you do speak a second language, I would say have somebody translate. This is a very unknown tactic of the Japanese. What the Japanese would do, you know they speak perfect English, is bring in a translator because it gives them time.

Ryan: Oh, that’s brilliant. I didn’t know.Maceo: Built in some way of getting time into your negotiation process. Like I said, if you’re going tomorrow and you haven’t done any of this work, you’ve got to do that.

Decision making

Maceo:  A lot of the traders that I studied under would tell me, “Hey, once you’ve decided to get on a trade, wait 5 minutes, wait 15 minutes, get up, walk out the room.”

I had one that would train me to write a physical check for my loss. That’s all delaying the decision from the action, because you may make the decision in a mental state that’s not good.

That translates into the click of a mouse because that’s so easy, they wanted to build in a buffer. You’ll find when you really dig into ‑‑ not system traders like Dalio, but traders that have more discretion ‑‑ you’ll find that they build a lot of that in.

Where it’s not like, “Oh, I want in,” and click, they’re in it. The ones that do, I’ll say this, sometimes what we think is a born trader or born salesman is really somebody that through their environment develops certain traits.

You’ll find this especially with people that came from abusive relationships. Because they had to manage that abusive relationship, they’ve got great people skills. They are very good at looking at somebody and telling what their emotional state is because that’s like the difference between getting a beating and actually getting dinner that night.

Some of what we observe in the world is really a byproduct of where somebody came from. The next piece that I’ll give people is, my personality is geared this way. For me, it is a little bit hard wired and it comes from what’s called politeness. It’s part of the big five personality inventory.

Politeness isn’t please and thank you, it’s more giving people respect solely for their position. I don’t care if people, Donald Trump or Joe Biden in my room. I’ll be like, “So what? You’re just a dude. You put your pants on just like I do. I can care less if you’re the president or you’re gazillionaire.”

For me, I’m able to look past the surface stuff and go behind all that to get to the real story. How did the deal really get done? How did you really get to be such a good salesman, because I would endeavor people to do that, really dig in.

Don’t take people’s words for it. Again, how do you know that and based on what? It’s like, “Well, I was just born a salesman.” How do you know that?

Ryan: Based on what? That is the phrase.

Maceo:  I’ve got three. It’s based on what, how do you know that, and it’s all math.

Ryan: Rather last but my partner would answer.

One thing in this planet that can’t be solved with math. Short of time, I need to let you go because you’re busy. Maceo, this has been a lot of fun. Two final questions. What does the word intentional mean for you?

Maceo:  Intentional would be the application of will over time.

Ryan:  I like it. What’s the best place to find you and everything that you’re doing online?

Maceo:  Unfortunately, everything I do isn’t online because I’m keeping my secret safe. [laughs] My little devious plans. maceojourdan.com, that is the best place only because that’s where can actually get in touch with me. I’m very much about working on practical stuff. I’d rather help you make a hundred million dollars than give you a PDF.

Ryan: No, I love it. This has been an absolute joy. Thank you so much for coming on the show.

Maceo:  Good. Glad to be here. Thank you.

Ryan: I hope you enjoyed that episode with Maceo. If there is a big take away I think you should have is the importance of market data. Really understanding the trends that are happening in the marketplace. What are those trends doing to the consumer dollars and the businesses that you’re working with and how is that going to impact the margin erosion or margin surplus that’s going to be happening inside the space you’re playing?

Whatever areas you need to spend time researching, it’s worth it because it’ll give you the confidence you need to double‑down on your strategies or pivote those strategies to make sure that you don’t wake up in a couple of years caught off guard that the trends were not in your favor.

If you want to understand a little bit more underneath the components of strategic planning, check out the Intentional Growth digital course. Go to arkona.io, check it out on the Education tab and there is a deep dive inside of strategic planning inside of our course. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out. Otherwise, I will see you next week.

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