Ian and I go way back to high school, and it was great having him on the show today. He’s a lifelong entrepreneur, a creative thinker, risk taker and relationship builder, and I’m thankful he joined us for this episode.
Ian’s always had a natural leader’s charisma; something unique and influential that led people to follow him. He really learned to harness his gifts through his work with ‘The Master’s Program’ with Bob Shank. Bob’s was the most authoritative voice outside of his influential father’s, and the 3-year program really grounded Ian.
He believes that the key to his success is that he’s so committed to mentorship. “If you don’t follow the advice of your mentor, they are not your mentor.” With mentorship, you find somebody that’s a peer or higher than you, and you position them in such a way so that they can start speaking into your life about something or some things. Then you make a deliberate decision to not knit pick their life or how they apply what they’re telling you. A mentor’s role is not to show you how to live, their role is to declare what they know to be true.
Confidence is something that Ian has always had. He admits, though, that he isn’t 100% confident, but he seems to be more confident than most. And there’s a big relationship between confidence and being risk-averse: the less risk-averse you are, the more you’re willing to take chances, so the more confidence you appear to have. One of Ian’s favorite mantras and confidence boosters is, “The wind is at my back, all I do is win.”
One thing that Ian learned early in life is that high capacity people like him need to be challenged in order to avoid some of the perils that life can throw at you. If you’re not challenged, you can tend to look for immediate pleasure or a numbing of feelings in the form of drugs. For these reasons, he has lovingly pushed his children to excel in what they love to do and to help them avoid the things that derailed him early in life.
As one of the co-creators who launched the software company Kukui, Ian learned some value lessons about business and relationships. He wrote about these seven lessons in a LinkedIn article called ‘7 Principles I Learned Launching Inc. 76th Fastest Growing Company.’ He broke down the seven principles for us:
- Don’t let your job define you
- Be defined by other more important values like your faith, your family or your character. Don’t let the 14 hour days and the total commitment to the company be all you’re about.
- Find a trustworthy partner
- You need someone you can trust that will look after your needs as well as have the skills to take care of the company.
- Just sell
- Sales solve everything. You don’t need a loan or startup money. Get out there and find the people who are willing to buy from you.
- Be your customer’s partner, not a vendor
- You have to be willing to sacrifice to put your client first. This goes both ways and they need to be willing to tolerate and be gracious with your mistakes.
- Be generous to employees with equity and bonuses
- Share with your team so they feel as they’re part owners, that they’re building their
- Recruit the right people at the right time
- This is the toughest thing, as many of those initial employees aren’t right for the company beyond that initial growth phase. If they’re no longer a fit, you have to part ways, but do so graciously.
- Live your brand
- Be faithful to your message and be a signboard for it.
Ian shared quite a lot of powerful and inspiring words today, and I’m very grateful for this awesome interview.
SOME QUESTIONS I ASK:
- What are some historical entrepreneurial influences of Ian’s?
- What are some things he learned on his wayward path early in life?
- What are Ian’s views on mentorship?
- What are some questions entrepreneurs should be asking themselves daily?
IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:
- How ‘The Master’s Program’ with Bob Shank really impacted him
- How his parents and lineage influence him
- What ways Ian and Mike Tyson are very similar
- How having a “safety rope” for entrepreneurs can stifle success
- Plus much more…
DON’T STOP HERE…
- Learn more about Ian: Website | LinkedIn | Email
- Guerilla Branders: Website
- 7 Principles I Learned Launching Inc. 76th Fastest Growing Company: Article
- ‘The Master’s Program’: Website