Making Billions: The Private Equity Podcast for Fund Managers, Startup Founders, and Venture Capital Investors

Achieving Unprecedented Success: The Art of Business Mastery for Startups, Venture Capital Funds, and Private Equity Deals

August 14, 2023 Ryan Miller
Achieving Unprecedented Success: The Art of Business Mastery for Startups, Venture Capital Funds, and Private Equity Deals
Making Billions: The Private Equity Podcast for Fund Managers, Startup Founders, and Venture Capital Investors
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Making Billions: The Private Equity Podcast for Fund Managers, Startup Founders, and Venture Capital Investors
Achieving Unprecedented Success: The Art of Business Mastery for Startups, Venture Capital Funds, and Private Equity Deals
Aug 14, 2023
Ryan Miller

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Aaron is the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and #1 Amazon Bestselling author of “Exponential Theory: The Power of Thinking Big.” He’s raised over $150M in capital as well as building and selling 12 companies. What this means is that Aaron is the guy you want to listen to when it comes to raising capital and creating exponential change in your organization while in your pursuit of Making Billions.

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Website: pentiumcapitalpartners.com

[THE GUEST]:  Aaron Bare is the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and #1 Amazon Bestselling Author of Exponential Theory: The Power of Thinking Big. The book is a culmination of Aaron’s 15 years of experience as a strategic facilitator where he helped leaders solve problems at over 500 companies in nearly 100 countries and all 50 States. Aaron has sold 12 companies and started four accelerators, and three non-profits throughout his career. He’s a leader in digital transformation, sustainability, and inclusion that helps executives digitize and disrupt

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DISCLAIMER: The information in every podcast episode “episode” is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. By listening or viewing our episodes, you understand that no information contained in the episodes should be construed as legal or financial advice from the individual author, hosts, or guests, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal, financial, or tax counsel on any subject matter. No listener of the episodes should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, the episodes without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer, finance, tax, or other licensed person in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction. No part of the show, its guests, host, content, or otherwise should be considered a solicitation for investment in any way. All views expressed in any way by guests are their own opinions and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the show or its host(s). The host and/or its guests may own some of the assets discussed in this or other episodes, including compensation for advertisements, sponsorships, and/or endorsements. This show is for entertainment purposes only and should not be used as financial, tax, legal, or any advice whatsoever.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Aaron is the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and #1 Amazon Bestselling author of “Exponential Theory: The Power of Thinking Big.” He’s raised over $150M in capital as well as building and selling 12 companies. What this means is that Aaron is the guy you want to listen to when it comes to raising capital and creating exponential change in your organization while in your pursuit of Making Billions.

WANT TO LEARN HOW THE BEST INVESTORS MAKE MONEY? SIGNUP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER:
https://mailchi.mp/d41cfc90bd9f/subscribe-to-newsletter

Subscribe on Youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTOe79EXLDsROQ0z3YLnu1QQ

Connect with Ryan Miller:
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rcmiller1/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/makingbillionspodcast/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/_MakingBillons
Website: pentiumcapitalpartners.com

[THE GUEST]:  Aaron Bare is the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and #1 Amazon Bestselling Author of Exponential Theory: The Power of Thinking Big. The book is a culmination of Aaron’s 15 years of experience as a strategic facilitator where he helped leaders solve problems at over 500 companies in nearly 100 countries and all 50 States. Aaron has sold 12 companies and started four accelerators, and three non-profits throughout his career. He’s a leader in digital transformation, sustainability, and inclusion that helps executives digitize and disrupt

Everyday AI: Your daily guide to grown with Generative AI
Can't keep up with AI? We've got you. Everyday AI helps you keep up and get ahead.

Listen on: Apple Podcasts   Spotify

Support the Show.

DISCLAIMER: The information in every podcast episode “episode” is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. By listening or viewing our episodes, you understand that no information contained in the episodes should be construed as legal or financial advice from the individual author, hosts, or guests, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal, financial, or tax counsel on any subject matter. No listener of the episodes should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, the episodes without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer, finance, tax, or other licensed person in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction. No part of the show, its guests, host, content, or otherwise should be considered a solicitation for investment in any way. All views expressed in any way by guests are their own opinions and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the show or its host(s). The host and/or its guests may own some of the assets discussed in this or other episodes, including compensation for advertisements, sponsorships, and/or endorsements. This show is for entertainment purposes only and should not be used as financial, tax, legal, or any advice whatsoever.

Ryan Miller  
Hi, my name is Ryan Miller and for the past 15 years have helped hundreds of people to raise millions of dollars for their funds, and for their startups. If you're serious about raising money, launching your business or taking your life to the next level, in the show will give you the answers so that you too can enjoy your pursuit of making billions. Let's get into it. 

Look, raising capital and analyzing business models can make you a ton of wealth or make you lose at all, depending on how well you understand these winning formulas. So in this week's episode of making billions I have my friend Aaron Bare, a 12, time entrepreneur and best selling author to give us his secret formula for growing 12 companies and raising over $150 million in capital. Let's get into it. 

Hey, welcome to another episode of making billions. I'm your host, Ryan Miller. And today I have my dear friend Aaron Bare. Aaron is the Wall Street Journal USA Today. And number one Amazon Best Selling Author of exponential theory, the power of thinking big. He's raised over $150 million in capital built and sold 12 companies. So what this means is that Aaron is the guy you want to listen to when it comes to raising capital and creating exponential change in your organization. So Aaron, welcome to the show, man.

Aaron Bare  
Ryan, I'm so excited to finally get on your show. I've been a listener for a long time and just fascinated by the community you build and just all the different people and stories and conversations you've had. Glad to be here.

Ryan Miller  
Awesome, man. It's so good to have you. And thank you the honor is all mine to have someone with your background and your caliber. I mean, what I just said about you doesn't do you justice. There's so much more to unpack here. So you don't want to tune in at the end we're Aaron gives some of his best crunchiest advice. So hopefully, if I asked nicely, you'll give us some of the cheat codes. But before we get into that maybe can walk us through like how did you even become an expert in your field and where to begin for you.

Aaron Bare  
It really all started back when I decided to venture out in the world. I was from a small place called Fort Wayne, Indiana and ultimately saw well just, I'll just tell you the story. I broke into the University of Notre Dame's Career Center as a non student. So I get into this career center to get an internship because my college didn't really have the best internship. So I thought, well, I'll get a good internship. So I see this bulletin board and I see this little thing on there that says Semester at Sea. And ultimately, at that point in my life, I'd never been out of Fort Wayne, Indiana had a very small mindset, you know, big Jimmy was going across town. So this this venture to Notre Dame was a big venture. And then I literally opened my eyes up that, you know, I could travel the world. And from there, it led me to 12 countries and what I would say accelerated learning and growth and on a path, just to think bigger and bigger and bigger. And then honestly, to get perspective from, you know, people that I met along the way to kind of see through their eyes and how, you know, they grew and built their businesses. So I didn't become afraid of launching companies and doing things my history is I sold 12 companies, I failed at a lot more, we can definitely talk about failure, as you know, an opportunity to learn and grow. And then from there, I you know, became entrepreneur residence at Arizona State University, Thunderbird, and then singularity, which is in Silicon Valley at NASA Ames, where I got to be around a lot of exponential entrepreneurs. And in that I was around Peter Diamandis and Salim Ishmael and some of these great thought leaders and exponential. And that really inspired me to think like, Well, why do these exponential thinkers? What are these people that are creating unicorns and these billionaires, and so I was a facilitator and was able to kind of get in the room with Elon Musk and Bill Gates and facilitated conversations at Microsoft, and Tesla and Starbucks and a lot of these different leading companies around the world. And in that experience, I just started taking notes after every day that I'd be in there. If some of the different people they'd walk in, what did they do that was so different? How do they think different about they approached every, you know, problem as an opportunity, and they thought a little longer term than everyone else. And so I started collecting these I collected 1200 pages of notes over a 15 year period of time. And that ultimately led me to writing exponential theory. And from there, you know, it is a self fulfilling prophecy, when you start talking about exponential stuff, you draw exponential people in and you know, I'm working with a dozen family offices, and really helping them think bigger about their own portfolios and investing into kind of some of these new exponential technologies that I write about in my book, as well. So it's really just been a self fulfilling path to think bigger every day and grow a little bit every day. And I've just been lucky to grow to my old age, and I continue to love what I do every day.

Ryan Miller  
I love that you're living the dream. And if you can hear the passion in Aaron's voice, that is what we all aspire for, is just living that dream. I know it's a term thrown around living the dream. But you can't have that. So now we're here. You've done a ton of work. I mean, 12 companies, we just skated past what that'd be that alone. We could do a whole episode on nevermind, you're running neuroscience companies and being around all of these titans of industry. But what kind of stuff? Are you up to today? Maybe walk us through I know you have something that you do. It's not only in your book, but you have some called Change Agent Academy. Maybe you can walk us through a little bit about what you're up to today.

Aaron Bare  
Yeah. So um, after exponential theory came out, and it was well received, you know, as you said, as Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and we were number one business best selling book on Amazon for a couple of weeks. And actually, we're number two behind John Grisham, which, you know, was was an honor because I grew up and that was my dad's favorite author. I really was hoping that I'd Eclipse them but it never happened. So still working hard to get my dad's approval on that but he was thrilled that I was on a list with John Grisham. Anyways, that just kind of opened doors. I mean, I think for any of the listeners out there that ever you know, have the the structure to kind of think through writing a book and actually putting your thoughts on it's it's an incredible thing. process to kind of get clarity on your own vision for who you are, and then translating that into really, you know, opening doors. And from that, I learned that this thing that I was talking about all these notes that I had, I had this really methodology is the theory is exponential theory, the practice is the change agents Academy. So, my goal is to create change agents, which are exponential thinkers that, you know, be the change they see in the world. And we really created a process, a seven step process that really came through just kind of all these research that I did over 15 years, and ultimately led to the change agents Academy, which is a program called the X MBA, which is exponential mindset, beliefs and attitudes. It's a little knock on MBA programs, because I taught in a couple MBA programs, I always now say MBAs are for middle managers. And if you really want to be a leader in the future, it's that you have to have an exponential mindset, belief and attitude. And that is the you know, thing that I see in all the different relationships that I have, if it's, you know, people that have created unicorns or massive funds, or have a managing, you know, enterprises at global level, you do realize that they have to think at a higher level, and they have to focus on bigger obstacles. And I think that's one of the things that my change agents Khadem II has to get people out of their own way from thinking about maybe what happened in traffic on the way to the office that could, you know, really disrupt the whole day to understand if you can regulate your emotions, and you put the thought to what you want, as you put that thought out there, if that emotion, you really feel it, and that's where you'll, you'll hear me talk a lot of conviction, conviction and passion, you know, my goal is to kind of help other people get that so they can obviously, really open doors like I've been able to, with the things that I've created around myself and the relationships I've created. And it's been it's been an incredible journey, Ryan, and you know, I'm just fortunate enough to talk to people like you, and have you in my network. And, you know, that I know, is just gonna expand my mindset even more.

Ryan Miller  
So Right? Yeah, perfect. And that's, that's what it's all about. So if you follow the show, I know Aaron, and you and I, we spoke offline, we had no short supply things to talk about, especially a lot of theories and our perspective on how to grow companies and all these things. And boy, does anyone have a ton of knowledge, you're gonna distill it down here, maybe we have a seven hour podcast, or we just distill it down either it will, we'll see how long the show goes. But in all seriousness, though, this is a ton of information. And one of the things that you touched on is something that I also strongly believe in is one of the catalysts for raising capital is what I call a long game strategy is what I call reputation and relationships. And so as you possess and invest in good reputation, relationships, and yes, you can raise capital without it, that's okay. But with it, my goodness, do things really take off for you. And so with reputation relations, these are some of the things that are at least in my lands, and Aaron's talking about as far as having me in his network. And he's in mind and all these different things that we're doing building reputation, we're building relationships, and continue to scale up. And that's how a guy like Aaron can raise $150 million, because you need a reputation relationship. And the way he's gone about it, start and sold, what 12 companies I've been teaching at universities raising all this money. And so little by little, you build your rep and your relationships, and then you distill it down in that book, exponential theory. So I'm wondering, as we turn the corner here, let's talk about some of the stuff that everyone came to listen. I mean, I'm sure people come and listen to you, they fly all around the world. And listen what you said. And so we're fortunate enough to have just a few minutes of your time, what are some of those deep competitive advantages that you can provide for our audience? If you had to teach them a masterclass? What would be some of these principles that you would be able to teach people in starting scaling a business? Any of the above?

Aaron Bare  
Yeah, I think scaling a business. You know, one of the biggest things that when I go in to work with startup companies, and they often have a marketing budget, kind of have some rules of thumb for marketing budgets that are pretty helpful in I've been in enough startups and involved with literally hundreds of them and an investor and 40, some of them. But as entrepreneur, presidents have really seen 1000s of business plans that they all have the exponential hockey curve, which is what my book is about. So everybody, you know, if everything goes right, you're gonna have an inflection point. And then things are just going to take off to lay the seeds for that the foundation really is really getting your message, right, you know, finding the product market fit, so that you can actually get to a place that you can start scaling that and, you know, scaling, it really comes from a marketing budget and kind of figuring out what is the most effective way to go to market and some rules of thumb is that I always I, you know, I'll compare it to kind of your own commitment to working out in the gym. If you only work out in the gym, you know, one day a month, you're likely not to show any progress whatsoever. And it is about consistency and persistence. And it's also about experimentation, and learning and testing, and how your body responds to the different weights and different things. And you know, it's actually paying attention to your body, so you can learn about that. But when you think of a company in that way, if you only spend, you know, zero to 10% of your dollars on marketing, it's likely a sentence that you're sent to die. And it's kind of like the idea of as a human being, you know, if we don't breathe in five minutes, we're pretty much gonna die. So that's right there, the universe has told us this breath is really, really the most important thing that our, you know, automatic nervous system kind of regulates and just, you don't really have to think about it, it's just a good, good habit that we're in to breathe, but you can go two days without water, not you know, maybe three days, you know, 10 days, maybe up to 13 days without sleep. So you start to see the importance of these different things. And then you can go about 30 days without eating, some people can go longer. But the idea of this is it's kind of translated the same as how you put your your dollars into marketing, you're gonna die if you don't do these things. And marketing is one of those things and a start up is if you don't build awareness and you don't have some hooks and really some funnels to get people into your messaging and learning that Aren't you so that you can even see if your messaging is right? Once you figure that out, and you have that product market fit, then it's time to scale, then if you just want to maintain that, and this is where a lot of companies like, Hey, we got a 15% market budget over overall spend, or in candidly, that's gonna maintain, that's not going to, you know, have high growth, anything over 15, if you get into like the 30%, you start to see companies that are learning how to grow, especially if they effectively find their product market fit, they find their conversion ratios, and they start building that. So in that there's also this strategy that I've worked with some unicorns that have raised a ton of capital, too much capital, and I call it the overgrowth syndrome, where, you know, they may put 5x, what the revenue is into customer acquisition, well, that's an unsustainable, that's hyper growth, unsustainable model. And candidly, it kind of breaks a company really quick, I would have tuned that to, you know, a human being going get Botox every day, it's kind of a thing is a little overkill, and you're not really learning what you're doing. Money's buying your way out a mistake. You know, sales is the lifeblood of a company. But it's got to be healthy sales that are repeatable, predictable, scalable, and sustainable, which we'll talk about here in a second when we get into another part of this around sales. But in the end, you know, it's it's finding a healthy market budget, that actually creates what I call predictable growth. So as you kind of figure that out, then when you're ready to kind of scale and you've kind of figured out how to scale that you can step on the gas. And that's where, you know, you look at a Series A Series B, you see some of these companies where they can really, really start to turn on the floodgates, but they have to be ready, staffed up and ready to be able to do that. But they have to also have figured out these product market fit scaling, launching these new markets, what is their product lineup, how are they going to, you know, cross sell into new product lineups, all those different things have to be learned along the way. And I generally help companies to focus on one product launch at a time because too many of them go in too many different directions, spend too much too fast and never figure out, you know, what their message is, and confused the market. So scaling a business is pretty important is to kind of figure out, you know, how do you market to the consumer, the the business, you know, if you're a b2c or b2b that you want to get to, it's really understanding having that perspective of the buyer that you're actually going after? And then understanding like, why do they buy from you. And once you learn those things, then you can put some gas in the tank and kind of go, it's just there is overgrowth, and I've been part of a couple of companies that, you know, bought their way into things. And it kind of fell apart pretty quick, after they were required by their investors to create a sustainable model, they weren't able to kind of keep that. And so

Ryan Miller  
yeah, interesting. And so you know, just to recap, so about from your experience less than 15% was easier, obviously, zero to 10%. That's, that's the death sentence, or at least a downward spiral, likely, from your vast experience, around 15% Is that 15% of your budget, or 50% of revenue,

Aaron Bare  
15% of revenue, but it could be the budget or revenue. But ideally, you know, these are, these are companies, when you're turning the corner, they they want to start to cut back. So after you start scaling, you start to cut back on these numbers. So at first, it would be 15% of your budget, but then it would translate into ideally. And that's where it becomes unsustainable for those companies that are doing 5x, the revenue can't keep that going for very long. So there's a transition period, every company's a little different. I mean, some companies engineering first versus Salesforce, but it's it's really figuring out in the very early stages, it's kind of figuring out, what is the business models that's going to work in that intelligence is going to come from finding that repeatable predictable model by spending that money to figure that out as quickly as possible.

Ryan Miller  
So 15%, to maintain and then 30 to really start growing. And isn't that funny, I know, you and I talked about that. The joke that I would hear back in my days was a CFO is revenue hides all scenes. And what they mean by that is like every company has issues and things I need to fix, and they just throw more money out, instead of actually doing the root cause analysis and fixing it and making it better. They're like, I don't know, just, here's, here's more money for more band aids, just by sticking your band aids are more crazy. Whatever it is put that together. Interesting. When the revenue starts to dry up, the first thing to cut is marketing often. And so it sounds like we're saying just before you get too carried away. Sure. I mean, you need to adapt. But before you get too carried away, if you're you can't cut your way out of a recession, you have to grow your way out. Maybe that means different product, it's not always marketing as a problem, but could be different product fixes, whatever that might be. I think the point is, is we're just giving rule of thumb on marketing. But really the point is, is revenue. And revenue has a multifaceted thing. You can learn about that in Aaron's book, or many of these other books that are out there to find product market fit, whatever it is, the point is, is work with people like Aaron to understand what's going on, get a mentor, listen to the show, whatever you need to do, and make sure that you're very good at understanding the root causes of your analysis of your revenue issues if you have that. And that goes to founders, but it can also be to private equity people. And so if you're buying a business or launching one, these are some of those things that you should really look out for. And maybe you found a business you love, and they're only spending 5% on marketing. Okay, well, you follow Aaron's formula, you know, you can create significant value, if that is the issue. So a lot of things can come just from the marketing, but we're not done there. So raising capital and increasing that revenue. You mentioned things repeatable, predictable, scalable, can you maybe walk us through that sounds like a model that really has some weight for you, maybe walk us through for our fans around the world? What do you mean by that? And why should anyone care?

Aaron Bare  
Yeah, so it just want to say on the marketing, just to kind of put a peg in that is every business is different, like like Tesla was able to kind of create a waiting list and avoid some marketing costs. But they did that through some other ways, some stunts and different things. And there's always going to be different funding for every business. It is not prescriptive, but it is an idea to kind of look at that as comparing it as a benchmark to other businesses. So and in that when you kind of transition to raising Capital, you know, I think everybody when they raise capital first time is, you know, has this imposter syndrome, you know, how do you ask people for money and, you know, you believe in your idea, and you think you can change the world, but the fact that is first time founders statistically, you know, you get better as you become founder again, and again, and, and I guess that's myself, I've found a lot of companies, which really just means that I've made a lot a lot of mistakes, including selling my companies too early, taking on part management teams that, you know, didn't have my best interest in mind, even though I was the founder. So there's all these things to learn. But specifically on raising capital, I think when when you're going to pitch basically a venture capitalist, or even private equity, anything, you know, really comes down to this formula to create something that's repeatable. And what that means is, you know, if your product or service is repeatable, you know that you get the certain outcomes, you know, your net promoter score, you know, the outcomes of the product itself, you know, how much how many people customer acquisition costs, you know, your attrition rate, your lifetime value of a customer, now, it becomes predictable in the sense that if I can pour, you know, going back to scaling a business, I can pour more money into that or more percentage of my revenue. And I can start to kind of grow that, that then create something that's predictable. Now, that gets really interesting, because I've been part of a early shoe company, that's a major brand that the predictability of it was, I could literally, and this, this is kind of a small venture model, and actually don't have this in my capital raise percentage or whatever. But we literally are raising $3 million a day for this company, because we found a hole in the market that people wanted to buy the shoes online, so we were literally burning through, we would have hundreds of 1000s of dollars, that by 10am, we would be out of our budget, which created like $1.2 million in sales, that little period, we were able to go out and raise several millions of dollars, and put that into some Pay Per Click Funnels and literally just massively grow that literally in a Christmas season, we were able to scale that to over $50 million for a shoe company, which was, you know, obviously the jackpot for them, the Venture Partners made money because they recycled money every every three days, they were able to kind of put that money back into the market. But those are the kinds of things that becomes predictable. Like I could say, like if I put this money into this thing, it's going to run out, but it's going to create 12x, the value I put in well, now when you go to any investor, and you can show them on a screen, the 12x value, you know, you become very predictable. And that's where you start to scale like okay, now give me $3 million for today. So I can last the whole day. And let's see how far I can take this budget. And then we were able to, you know, literally create, we ran into the high end of that we were able to run out of money and actually sell where we didn't find any more demand for those shoes in that that's kind of the part of the part where you want to get to is like, Okay, well, we can put $1.2 million, and that'll last for a whole day, as Christmas season ramped up, we got up to $3 million on some of the key days. But it's an interesting model for a company that's not prepared to take advantage of that I was kind of prepared because I've raised a lot of capital, and I really, you know, had the cliffnotes to be able to go to some of my network and friends to say, hey, here's an opportunity immediately to help this company grow. But it's a guaranteed return on investment in a very short time, there's a high percentage investment for them to borrow that money because it was such a short term, but there was very, very low risk when you really look to it. So that becomes a magic formula, predictable, repeatable, predictable, scalable, and the idea of sustainable, it wasn't a sustainable model, because it really was Christmas season, we did find out that that that fell off after Christmas, and they were able to kind of manage it themselves. But you know, for the following year, they were ready for that. And they actually put a lot of investments into their e commerce and different things to optimize that to lower that cost. And I was part of that, because I owned a digital strategy firm for 15 years. But in raising capital in particular that I've been in front of, you know, many of these startups, you know, I've raised four and a half million for 120 for another 60 for one. So all these different startups, you know, part of a groups of teams that would go in and raise money on Sand Hill Road and in different places. So I've been in the Sequoia and opened down all those different venture capitalists. And you know, they're looking for that repeatable, predictable, scalable and sustainable model. And candidly, the further you get if you get repeatable, predictable, you can raise, you can easily raise a few million dollars. I say, if you get repeatable, repeatable, scalable, now you can raise 5 million plus and this is kind of the rule of thumb. You know, it is a rule of thumb, it is not a it's a heuristic a shortcut. But it's it's not an ingrained in truth. But if you get to sustainable meaning that like, hey, if I get this money, we're going to create this many customers and the lifetime value of their three year customers and lifetime value is this. Well, now you have like your everyday SAS model unicorn. And that's where you get poured. Like it's always the startup founders that are like, Well, how did that company raise $20 million dollars was because they had this formula, repeatable, predictable, scalable, sustainable, and they were able to prove that at least emotionally, and on a spreadsheet that people believed that that was going to happen. And I think it's important part of you know, helping investors kind of see the future through your eyes. And that's all part of the game is to make it their idea. And vice versa. Because if you're both sitting on the same side of the table saying we we will grow this now you just have to enter these unbelievable networks, which also has helped build my network over over my lifetime being involved in all these different networks. You're a couple of degrees away from everyone. And that's where you can really get about anything done. And that's where when I was in Silicon Valley, I think the magic of Silicon Valley, which it's it's fading where I think it's now been dispersed to Austin and Boston and New York and Atlanta, even in Phoenix, but Silicon Valley was a fact that if you were working on a widget that went into Facebook, you could call a Facebook engineer and they would literally come over because As you heard that network was so tighter, you needed to figure out something with Google's algorithm. And you know, back in the day, as a early adopter of technology, I was able to grow, you know, even my ex wife social media to 2 million followers in less than 18 months. And she was literally there. At that time, the number seven ranked chef in the world, you know, we're able to get 9 million visitors to our website from from doing that. But that was because I had inside track. Now that's all changed because of algorithms and everything. But I think the opportunity is really to help people get repeatable, predictable, scalable, sustainable, if you can talk in that language, when you're pitching, and you have a confidence, and you really believe emotionally that you can do that. And you can back up your assumptions, you're gonna raise a lot of money really, really quick. And that's where it becomes a magic carpet ride. Because then you have to deliver as quick almost, it feels like quicker than what it took to raise that money. And that's the that's the founders conundrum, right? Raising capital or building a company, and why so many companies require co founders to be able to do that.

Ryan Miller  
That's right. So I mean, my goodness, that was jam packed with some good stuff. So what what Aaron is saying is through repeatable, predictable, scalable and sustainable, it sounds like you'd be honest, Aaron, but it sounds like we're talking about is revenue for either your startup or your investment fund, or whatever it is, cash flow matters. And so if you can prove to an investor that there is in your business model, maybe revenue, but maybe other things, but the point is, is they have to understand that what opportunity they are listening to come out of your mouth. And eventually they know you're gonna ask for money at the end. And to unlock that, from Aaron's vast experience, I'm doing this, you saying look comes down to four things to convince investors based on your business model, your business model needs to show that it's repeatable. Did you get lucky? Or can you actually keep pulling this revenue off? predictable? Okay, great, scalable, awesome, and finally, sustainable. So from that large shoe manufacturing, I think I know which one you've done, we will we'll leave that out. But trust me, folks, it's a big shoe company. So he was able to support this. And so then you go into sustainability, to say, not only can we grow it, repeat it and scale it. But we can maintain that for a very long time you build those things, and investors are going to be delighted. I absolutely love that. I'm wondering if you could do one more thing from your investment. So for example, let's say when it's capital raising, like how do you, technically investors would be what we would call buyers, you're buying the part of the business, whatever? How do you approach that in capital raising? Like, is there a buyers funnel or anything like that? Maybe you can walk me through?

Aaron Bare  
Yeah. So you know, I just throw in the National Association of sales professionals, I've I have some pretty good results as far as sales in my history. And even in the last year, I've sold $50 million, a digital transformation for a client of mine. So part of it is actually and this is where I reverse engineer really sales were. When I ran the National Association of sales professional, I wrote a article that said sales is dead. We all live in a buyer file. And I think the the internet and the ability to educate yourself on products really put the power into the hands of the consumer or the businesses buying those products or procurement. And in that I really had always studied, you know, what are the persuasion and influence and psychology of selling and there's a professor actually at Arizona State University where I taught named Robert Cialdini, he's retired emeritus kind of professor that really created this model back in the I'm gonna say 60s, called the powers of influence. And I really took that and I laid that on top of I went through every when I was running the sales association with different sales training, there was they all wanted my validation of you know, that I would put it out to our members that this was a great sales training program. So you got the Sandler programs on one end that were teach the pain, you know, make them feel the pain make them squirm in their chair, you have the Carnegie to make them your best friend, and you had Miller Heiman and spin and you know, solution selling and strategic selling, he had all these Richardson, there was so many different one of them. But in the end, I boiled it down that you really need to do three things. And I think it's such an easy way to kind of think about sales, you need to connect with people, you need to ask questions, and then you obviously need to close and that all those sales processes, you know, basically fit that model. So I ended up creating something where when I said sales is dead, kind of got a big uproar against a lot of my people, and even the sales professionals that I worked with, and I said, No, the skill of selling is going to be alive forever. It's just you can never get caught selling anymore. And I think we've all felt this, you know, like, literally, like public speaking is, you know, is fearful as death as much as it is, is going to buy a car, you know, I mean, it's it's literally right up there as far as the fears and people's life. Right. And I think that's changing a little bit because you know, we've kind of realized is that people don't aren't sold to as soon as you start selling them, you get an emotional response. I think all of us have been trained to do this, because we're much much more educated buyers. So I invest a lot of time building this buyer funnel, which on the connect phase is you gotta establish credibility, trust and interest with your buyer. And that really is, you know, through done a couple different ways through authority or liking and if you have authority, it's your subject matter expert. So if you think about my business model, just to be transparent with my own brand, and how I've kind of gone to market I wrote a book called exponential theory, the power of thinking big. Well, that puts me around a lot of family offices and rich people. They're like, how do I actually think bigger about the things that I'm doing because it takes just as much energy to invest $500,000 is the 5 million to 50 million. It's an interesting proposition when you start scaling revenue and working with some of these clients is how do you help them to think bigger so they can make a bigger impact and make save for bats, and that's part of the game that I'm playing on a daily basis helping people. So in the buyer funnel, I have this authority of being the author of exponential theory. And then Lion King, I'm a stand up comedian, I do improv, I won the state championship and improv and like, I have fun on stage. So I do the speaking things that I take people on an emotional roller coaster because I talk about my own change journey. And in a way of like confessions, where I'm just honest about the failure that I've had, I've failed a lot. And I think it's important to share that. And that's allowed me to kind of learn from it and grow and in that, so I've established authority and Mikey now I generally have connected with somebody, then you get to the second phase of this is that you got to answer some questions. So they understand and everybody goes through the same process, when you're gonna go buy a pack of gum, or you're gonna, or you're gonna buy, you know, a $50 million IT services to implement digital transformation. And then that second phase of connecting you want to say social proof, who else is bought this product, who else is buying this, so you often see this and buyer funnels and marketing as well as sales. And then it's like consistency, if you can get people to understand for their reasons to buy something. And this is where, you know, my sales is not selling, it's really just been, you know, you don't want someone they're gonna have buyer's remorse if you sell on something they don't want. So it's asking the questions to really go for the know, and really work to disqualify people versus like, sell them on your product. It's like, Well, why do you think it would be good for you? And in a way, these are sales questions, but they're opening people up to really think about why they would want to buy something versus you telling them and it really is this, I always say on sales you have, you want an 8020 rule as you want to talk about 20% of time. And part of that is you have one mouth, two eyes and two years. So the mouth should only be open 20% of time, and the other should be listening and hearing what's going on. And I think it's important to ask those questions to get people through that process. And then the final thing, reciprocity as a final thing is like if I do this, am I building a relationship? What other things what are some ancillary things that I would get for building this relationship, which I look at, you know, in this thing that change agents academies, when people join, I really opened up my rolodex on my network to them so they can kind of get where they want to get. And I helped them find their massive transformative purpose, really go through these models that we talked about as far as marketing and sales and creating this repeatable, predictable, scalable, so I fine tune their pitch. And I work with a lot of different accelerators in this fashion. And then the last thing is closing, which I think closing is really simple, because you're not selling anything. So what you want to do is contrast like, what are the other options and really talk about the other options of what they could buy and not persuade them in yours or anything, but just really have a good conversation so that you had an open conversation about them? And then it's really scarcity is, you know, is there a way to get people to commit to that? And what's their timeframe to solve the problem that you've, you've experienced? And if they solve that problem, what's the benefit of that outcome? And ultimately, I say, you exhaust all your questions, you know, during that buyer funnel, and, you know, it's as easy as what's next? And that's the question I often ask if I'm in front of you asking you what's next? It's because I want you to be comfortable to say where you want to take this conversation, because a lot of times, you don't want to like put someone in a pressure situation, but it's what's next is like, Well, how do I buy? How do I, how do I sign up? What do I do? You know, and this goes to investors when you're pitching a capital fund. Well, what's next, you know, is when someone talks about a term sheet, you know, all of a sudden, you start to know that there's some buying signals. And that's, you know, reverse engineering, the reverse the psychology of really buying, but it's what is demanded today, because we're tired of being sold to. And I think that funnel, that buyer funnel creates a very comfortable experience where, you know, everyone's always in a buyer funnel. And I think this is where you build your reputation and your relationships, you know, going back to what you said, is really just being the honest broker to never put someone in something that doesn't make sense for them actually helped them make a decision not to do it. I mean, I would say, 25% of the time, when I do that contrast, I I really helped them buy something else, I'm like, Well, it sounds like you want that. And a lot of times well, but I want to work with you. Because that other sales rep was bad mouthing my product in bad mouthing me, which ultimately, we are all about relationships. And what I will say is when if it just comes down to price, you let people buy on price, they'll come back to you later, because they want the relationship when things go wrong. And that's where, ultimately, especially when you're buying b2b like big services, you know, I've helped these consulting firms really sell millions of dollars of services to these fortune 500 companies. And in that process, this, you know, I'd say, negotiation of the buyer funnel, people are often surprised, because what ends up happening is we end up sitting on the same side of the table, and we get down to the final stage, and I'll assess there, then they show the budget, you know, I mean, I think this is hard for a lot of people, like here's our budget, what should I do with it, and then I literally will carve out budget for my competitors, if it makes sense if they have a better product that fits within their system, or their team has better skills that fit that. And that's where I don't even have to worry about the sale today. And this is the other big thing that I would tell everyone is, you know, we often overestimate what we can do in one year and underestimate what we can do in 10. But it is really about playing the long game and thinking about the relationships you build. It's not worth it to sacrifice anything for today. And I only say that because those relationships are gonna grow and grow and grow and I'm at the age that you know, I have anything I want to get done. I can you know, a phone call away and make happen whether it's a plumber or going to a concert getting front row tickets or whatever. It's relationships that I've built over the last 30 years that enabled me just to have a good life because I treated them well and did things for them when they weren't expecting and I just kept giving and giving and giving. So now you have an opportunity to to grow and do anything one, you know, and in the end, I really think this is a we're in a learning period of the world where we have to experiment and learn. And we have to be able to make mistakes and learn from, you know, there's a lot of canceled culture out there that, you know, we've got to really think about how do we actually help people learn from their mistakes instead of and move on and help them grow bigger. And that's where I've worked a lot of family offices that have gotten into some issues and conversations that the goal is to get him past that and really rebuild the reputation not because of them just because of public persona, and some some different media and different things. So my role is in, you know, in helping all these people as often just help people change. And that requires tough conversations, personally, professionally, organizationally, to help them grow. And that's where all these kinds of things I've really experimented with, and, and played with made a lot of mistakes to kind of figure these things out over, you know, a long career.

Ryan Miller  
Thank you for that. That's absolutely brilliant. That's what Aaron's talking about, at least as I interpret it is growth, progress, everything he's talking about, and what he what he's doing, and he's seeing it in his own way. And we both agree, it's like, Hey, man, your relationships matter, probably more than you realize maybe you've had moments where relationships didn't work out and you're little disappointed, or whatever that might be in business or personal. And you spent a few rotations around the sun, you a lot of us might have one or two of those moments. The point is, is learning the value of those relationships and leveraging that and that that is why we call it long game strategy, right? I mean, some people are best friends of the day they meet, but over time building those truly predictable and sustainable I use the bookends of your formula. But doing that in a in a relationship is really important. So it's like if you're both to scoundrels, right, as I say, no honor amongst thieves. You know, like good luck with that relationship. But if there's some moral and some standards that's sustainable, and you can say, look, there's certain lines that we don't cross in this friendship, even and maybe that friendship stem from business, or maybe a business stem for friendship. Either way, those relationships matter and rescaling. So as we wrap things up, is there anything else that you would like our fans around the world to know anything at all?

Aaron Bare  
Yeah, no, I, you know, I've built this change agents Academy to kind of share a lot of these things, work with a lot of accelerators, startups, unicorns, I also work in the boardroom at global companies and coach CEO, so I website, Aaron bear.com, you know, as a place to learn more about me and the change agents Academy is the place where I'm really growing a community of change agents, that our ultimate goal is to get them through this kind of curriculum that I talk about a process of change theory and, and change practice, where they can go into companies and create influence tanks and create innovation tanks and revenue tanks where we literally go in like a think tank and really solve really big problems by applying the wisdom of a crowd versus an democratized like decision so that companies can move faster. And that's just all part of my background and facilitation of how to grow that. So the change agent Academy is really a recruiting tool to help people work directly with me so that I can help them, you know, really create the change they want to see in the world, whether it's starting in the next unicorn being the next Google or, you know, really person that wants to be a farmer on Mars. And we have, we have all types of different change agents that are really preparing for their own futures. And it's just enable them with the network and the tools so they can actually get there. 

Ryan Miller  
Yeah, I love that. Thank you for that. And thank you for your time. He was very generous. And I didn't realize I wanted to be a farmer on Mars until I actually heard it. I was like, That actually sounds a lot of fun. But we'll see. I don't know, maybe maybe it's my great grandkids.

Aaron Bare  
Remember, just remember, there's in five minutes you die, like if you don't break. So that's the thing, they got to figure out

Ryan Miller  
the whole breathing thing. So there's that awesome, man. Well, you know, just to synthesize your time together, folks, learn the marketing budget formula for growth. 30% gives you the odds of greatest odds of success. The second thing that we talked about is raising capital. Just make sure your investors see your opportunity as repeatable, predictable, scalable, and sustainable. And finally, when launching your pitch, be sure to establish credibility, trust and interest you do these things, and YouTube will be well on your way in your pursuit of making billions.

Wow, what a show. I hope you enjoyed this episode as much as I did. Now, if you haven't done so already, be sure to leave a comment and review on new ideas and guests you want me to bring on for future episodes. Plus, why don't you head over to YouTube and see extra takes while you get to know our guests even better. And make sure to come back for our next episode where we dive even deeper into the people the process and the perspectives of both investors and founders. Until then, my friends stay hungry. Focus on your goals and keep grinding towards your dream of making billions


(Cont.) Achieving Unprecedented Success: The Art of Business Mastery for Startups, Venture Capital Funds, and Private Equity Deals

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