Why is it so important to focus your first business goal on making at least a $1 profit? That’s what we’re exploring in this episode with Australia’s first-ever digital marketer, Fred Schebesta, CEO and co-founder of Finder.com.
Over the last 15 years, Fred has built Finder.com a fintech that helps people around the world make better financial decisions and improve their lives.
Fred is not only one of Australia’s most successful entrepreneurs, but he is also one of the most generous with his time, always willing to help others navigate the challenges of starting and running their own business. And he shares many of his business secrets in today’s episode that helped him grow Finder to over 500 employees across 6 countries.
In my conversation with Fred, we cover a wide range of topics including why your first business goal should be to make $1 of profit, taking your marketing mastery and turning it into a process and frameworks that you can use to make the best decisions for your business.
Fred also tells a great story of how he ran over the Manhattan Bridge to secure a whiteboard for his new office for $8 from Craigslist and there is a great business lesson to learn from this story.
So please enjoy this wide-ranging conversation with Fred Schebesta.
What you will learn in this episode
- Ways that you can make the best decisions for your business
- Why it’s important for business owners to save money where they can
- Lessons from Fred setting up international offices in the US, Canada, UK and other countries
- Why your first business goal should be to make $1 of profit
- Why you need to pay your staff well
- How to show your employees that you care about them
- Fred’s advice if you are just starting a business (you need to separate yourself from your company and look at it objectively)
- Why you need to focus on your own strengths
- Take your marketing mastery and turn it into a process
- How Fred manages his time between so many exciting projects and responsibilities
- How Fred has leveraged video to build his personal brand
- How Fred learns new skills
- “I believe that the world’s a better place when it’s well-informed to make decisions. With that premise, I Co-founded Finder. We’re trying to better all the world’s decisions.”
- “If you separate yourself from your business and look at it objectively, you can start to take actions that are objectively good for the business. *Do what’s best for your business.”
- “When starting a business, you need to focus on your own strengths.”
- “Take your marketing mastery and turn it into a process.”
- “I’m engaging in the mastery of video, and therefore translating that into processes and systems that Finder can use. “
- “The internet is full to the brim with answers.”
- “In the beginning, I made so many mistakes and they really hurt. They are the scars that you wear that no one else can see, but you can feel them.”
- “The moments when you are outside your comfort zone is when you tend to fail, but that’s the moment where you can find the most incredible opportunities. Those are the moments in time when you’re feeling so much anxiety and duress, that if you can just put your head up and look around, you will see the greatest opportunities.”
- “If you’re not growing and not feeling uncomfortable, you’re not pushing hard enough.”
Resources mentioned in this episode
- HiveEx.com – Fred’s global OTC & brokerage desk specialises in large order cryptocurrency trading.
- Running over the Manhattan Bridge for an $8 Craigslist Whiteboard
- Aeron Chair by Herman Miller
- The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts
- Larry Ellison Co-Founder of Oracle
- Brian Armstrong Co-founder of Coinbase
- Ben Horowitz Co-Founder of a16z
- The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman
- Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Handbook of Silicon Valley’s Bill Campbell
- The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
- Flash Boys by Michael Lewis
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
- How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
- The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone
What business would you build on Mars?
I’d start a water business. When I look at a company, I like to solve problems.
How would I promote it? I’d call it “Earth”.
Reach Fred here
Transcript Below (or download pdf here)
[Brendan] Hey everyone. I’m Brendan Hill and this is Forward Thinking, a podcast by Metigy.
Each week I talk to inspirational business owners, brands, and marketing experts to learn from their experiences on the front line and uncover what it takes to build a world-class business.
This week, my very special guest is Australia’s first-ever digital marketer, Fred Schebesta. Over the last 15 years, Fred has built Finder.com, a finTech that helps people around the world make better financial decisions and improve their lives. Fred is not only one of Australia’s most successful entrepreneurs but he’s also one of the most generous with his time always willing to help others navigate the challenges of starting and running their own business. And he shares many secrets in today’s episode that helped him grow Finder to over 500 employees across six countries. In my conversation with Fred, we cover a wide range of topics, including why your first business goal should be to make $1 of profit. Taking your marketing mastery and turning it into a process and frameworks that you can use to make the best decisions for your business. Fred also tells a great story of how he ran over the Manhattan bridge to secure a whiteboard for his new office for only $8 off Craigslist. There’s a great business lesson you can learn from this story. So please enjoy this wide ranging conversation with Fred Schebesta.
Welcome to the season finale episode 22. Very special guest today. He’s under a bit of pressure. Season two renewal on the line. And 22 episodes… Why 22 episodes? Good question. Thanks for asking. Simple answer. My favorite show of all time, Seinfeld 22 episodes, a season. While the Seinfield co-creator Larry David said that the 22 episodes a season nearly killed him and caused him to quit the show multiple times, I found 22 to be a magic number. I learnt a lot from all the great guests that we’ve had on this season. None more special than today, I have found a heavy hitter for the season finale.
Unlike the Seinfeld finale, I know he’s definitely not going to disappoint. Fred Schebesta, founder of Finder.com and HiveEx.com. Welcome to the show.
[Fred] Thanks very much my friend. And thanks so much for listening guys and sticking through 22 episodes.
[Brendan] So, first of all, congratulations on your 10 year anniversary of Finder.com. Can you tell us a bit more about what Finder.com does and why you found it in the first place?
[Fred] We believe that the world’s a better place when it’s well-informed to make decisions. With that premise, we have a vision in Finders. We’re trying to better all the world’s decisions. We started off obviously as an Australian comparison service and now we’ve exported that and set up in the US and the UK and just started in Canada. We market to other countries as well in a smaller way, but we’re primarily a service people go to make decisions. You can see all the prices of the credit cards, insurances, energy, cell phone plans… What else? There’s a hundred different categories now. It’s a place to find a better deal. And why is that important for business owners?
This is my second business in all – actually well I guess HiveEx is the third – but I think a lot of the businesses that I get involved with, I’ve always tried to keep costs low. The other part is, you know, getting, the most frequent flyer points because when you have a business, you spend a lot on your credit card. And so you might as well fly for free. We’ll get that upgrade. Those kind of things that can come in handy and I just wanted to bring that all into one place for businesses and, you know… It just helps people save money.
[Brendan] And why is it important for these early stage businesses to be frugal? On your LinkedIn profile, it says that you love to ring up the bank even to save 2 cents. Why is having a frugal mindset so important?
[Fred] Well, I’ve always bootstrapped companies. It’s built on cashflow. But where that comes from, and why it’s possible is because it’s all about saving money along the way and being extremely frugal. So you can put the money obviously to paying yourself- that’s a key thing to do. The second thing is to pay your staff really well. To also be able to take up the opportunities you can and want to do.
I think at the core, it’s the moment in time when you can disconnect the company itself from you as a person. In other words, the company stands up on its own. In order to do that, the company needs to be able to be going concern and I always talk about this in the most simplest way. I think the goal with any business is to make firstly, make $1 of profit, make $1 profit. I mean, pay your taxes, pay all your expenses, pay all your rent, your energy. Every single thing and at the end, you have a dollar of profit and, or more. That is a going concern company. Once you’ve made a dollar, go and make two, and then you go and make four and then eight and obviously, you know, make 1,000 bucks, 10,000. I start from that premise in mind and work backwards.
Saving money and not spending money and being frugal is the beginning of that. Obviously over time, there are ways in which we’ve invested. We invest heavily in our crew and they’re the guys that have made finder what it is. You know even, when I went over to the US in 2016, I ran over the Manhattan bridge just to go and buy an $8 whiteboard. There’s a video on YouTube. You can see me running.
As a reason for that. The reason is I believe paying your staff more, rather than paying for excesses that you don’t really need. At the end of the day, I think I prefer to put more money in our staff’s pocket than to spend on excesses and things like that.
[Brendan] You mentioned your Finder crew and they’re a passionate bunch. I see them all the time walking around the Sydney CBD in their Finder T-shirts. When did you come to the realization that you know, the culture at finder and the crew were so important to your success?
[Fred] I think that… We’ll start at the beginning and I’ll give you an example. Frank and I were the founders of a previous company and we went on to build Finder and we sold the company and worked into a public company.
We understood what it feels like when you work for a company when you don’t own any of the company. One of the things I noticed, and one of the things I felt was “I’m not sure whether people cared about me”. We’ve got an office for the first time. We were actually on a we work before there was a we work.
[Fred] This is in 2009 up on York street here. We, we had tiny, little shared spaces. Ee got an office and the very first thing before we moved in, I said to Frank, we’re going to buy everyone… there are a couple of principles. One, we’re going to buy people THE best chairs. So we went out and it’s not easy to find, but the Herman Miller, they’re about 12 to 1800 bucks a month. So they’re not cheap. But I said, if you’re – and this is the same all around the world – if you’re sitting at Finder, and you’re working, I want you to feel comfortable because we care about you. We care about the work that you’re doing. You’re doing something important. You’re changing the world? And you’re helping people with their decisions all day and to do that, I want to let you feel comfortable. The second thing I said was “buy the best computers”. You can buy a Mac, you can buy a PC, whatever you want, just to buy the best.
[Fred] So those two things, you know, the computer’s not working or you’re feeling a bit uncomfortable, they’re really annoying. Then, sort of about four years’ other things I sort of focused on. I was feeling like, as I was working, everyone’s hungry all the time. And I’m like, I’m hungry. People were working really hard so I decided, right, you. I think it was 12 people I said, right. I said to Frank, I said, let’s, we’re going to, let’s go and buy lunch for everyone. I want to see what happens. We’ll do it for a week. In person, I went to the Thai store and I bought all the Thai and then pizzas. I just went and did it and it just brought everyone together. No one was hungry and we had that chance to eat together and talked about. It was kind of nice.
There’s a book called “The Five Languages of Love”. And in that book, it talks about how you show love. So there’s five different ways. One of them is gifts or acts of service as well. And I thought that’s one way we could do that – we could show love, and I’ve always thought how can the company show love and care for the crew that is contributing so hard to this business on a day-to-day basis and I’d always try and basically start from there and do those things.
[Brendan] Amazing. So I wanted to sidetrack for a minute. We’ll get in the DeLorean. We’ll go back at 88 miles per hour. Going back to 2007 and you’ve just won the ATMA Young Direct Marketer of the Year. What advice would you give the 2007 version of Fred Schebesta?
[Fred] At that time, I didn’t really back myself very much. Like I did, but I didn’t know where this was all going to go. And I always take that serendipitous approach. I don’t really, we didn’t start Finder to be what it is today. We didn’t really know what we were doing. I just wanted to build a great website and heal people with their credit card and get it to rank really high in Google. That’s all I really cared about. I didn’t really think what does this mean or how does it help people. I had no idea. The version that you think of yourself today is not going to be the version that you are in 12 years’ time and in fact, it’s going to be okay. Keep going, keep pushing. It’s going to be okay.
[Brendan] Powerful advice to your young self. So you were the Young Direct Marketer of the Year. So I know you’re an expert across many different marketing platforms. You’ve grown Finder to be the massive business that it is today.
What advice can you give people just starting off in business? I mean, we’ve talked about being frugal in the early stages, so I mean, not going to go out and buy Google Adwords straight off the bat. What advice can you give these guys just starting their business today?
[Fred] Well, first thing is that I didn’t build Finder. I don’t think I should get all the credit for Finder. I actually think there’s incredible people that make Finder what is today. I think I’m just a part of it. I’m just a small part of it. And I think that’s, that’s crucial to starting from that mindset and starting from that place.
The thing I think is hard to remember and hard to learn when you’re starting out is to separate yourself from the company. You are not the company. The company is not you. I think we talked about this just before. It took me a long time to learn this. And you know, I’m not Finder. I went on Sunrise the other day and they said “Mr. Finder himself”.
[Fred] I’m not really. You know, Finder is this living organism in and of itself. It’s made up of some incredible people that make that possible. It is not me. I am mainly just helped to incept this thing potentially in the beginning, but I’d have to think I didn’t create Finder, people created Finder. Great people created Finder. That’s the thing. Once you start to realize that you’re not your company and you start to look at it objectively, then you can start to take actions which are objectively good for the business. Do what’s best for the business every day. I think that’s a key mindset. I hope that’s instructive.
I think the second thing I’d suggest if I was starting out today right now is to focus on your strengths. I think everyone who starts a business, they all… Inside the people initially, particularly the founders, they have strengths. They’re good things. And I think that tends to come from mastery. So, you know, I mastered SEO and building websites and internet marketing. You know, we talked about that with the direct marketing and I was the first direct marketer to win that who was an internet marketer. They used to give awards through the mail. People would send, you know, direct mail in the mailbox. TV ads- they’d call up people, the call centers, all sorts of campaigns like that. That’s what direct marketing was. I was the first digital marketer just to give you context in Australia. That was that time.
And everyone, I think has a mastery, something you must, you master over time. And that was my mastery. I spent seven years mastering building websites and trying to get them to rank and learning how to market a property on the internet. I did it for clients all the time. This was a business we saw, it was on the side of that, where we just sort of experimented and did our own things. That’s what I always experiment. I’m that kind of guy.
[Brendan] But putting that to the side, in those early days, I took my mastery and I turned it into a process that powered the company. So all those skills which were inside me… I translated into processes which sit inside the company and those processes run the business, it’s not me.
[Fred] What I’m saying is, you may begin from your mastery, whatever it may be, maybe you’re great at social media. Maybe you’re really good at Instagram. You go to funny videos, whatever it is. Take that mastery and translate into a series of systems and processes and people, and make that the beginning focus of where you gain a competitive edge and build your company from there because you already know that and you know, what’s going to happen.
Whereas, you know, there are other things you need to master on the way. Don’t get me wrong. And you will always be on like, you know, you’re constantly rebooting yourself and reinventing oneself and I’ve done this quite a few times, and there’s been some really dark times because of that. I didn’t really know who I was and what I good at these days? What value do I contribute?
But it’s cool. What I think you need to understand is what is that initial focus of the company that you were going to master. When I talk about that I mean, what does that number one feature you focus on? What is that number one marketing channel your focus on? What is the number one hiring strategy you focus on and just choose one. Everything else? Whatever. All of that will come. I keep it kind of simple and I just focus on one thing.
[Brendan] So, what are you focusing on at the moment?
[Fred] That’s a good question. I’m really focused on mastering corporate development. I know that word sounds annoying, but it’s about buying and selling companies. It’s about making investments into new things. So I’m running the ventures parts of Finder, so I run Finder ventures. I guess I am the co-CEO of Finder global as well. I actually still have my hand in one thing which is building the brand. I get involved with that and I build a brand of Finder.
Everyone else I kind of work. There amazing people who help make it tick and make it grow. They run all the other components that actually run the business from day to day. I’m looking at the future. So I’m making sort of investments, but not today, but maybe 24 months down the track.
[Brendan] And how would you recommend, I mean, obviously forecasting and looking into the future is hard for people who have small or medium businesses. They’re often engulfed in the day-to-day struggle, the grinds. Are there any recommendations you can give to, you know, stepping aside? How do these guys look into the future and potentially find different winds for their business?
[Fred] I always think when you take a company, the number one step is – and the steps to getting to this place of where you should have planning even longer term – first, you need to master in the existing operation. So I spent, we spent probably seven years doing that at Finder before we went inside doing other things, other countries, new ventures. You know, and I think that’s, that’s the right time period. Seven years to master things. That’s about right. Let’s say 10,000 hours. What is that? I don’t know how it comes out to be.
[Brendan] Ah, you know the Malcolm Gladwell 10,000 hour rule.
[Fred] I think that’s been proven in another book to be wrong and stuff as well, but you know, I think five to seven years, and then you become a master. You know, like what, how long does a plumber and electrician take to become an a, from an apprentice to a master electrician, whatever it may be. Around that same time. That’s what used to be in the Greeks and Romans as well back in time. I think it’s the same thing with a company, right? If I was running a small business – and I am running a small business with five X, you know, there’s three people – all I’m focused on is making that core system run better. That’s it!
I’m not trying to plan out for 24 months and we’re looking at 12 months max ahead, and just day to day, ‘what are we doing right now?’. Making that system smoother better and better and just sharpen that blade. Once you’ve got a bit of traction, just make it better. Where you’re less and less involved.
[Brendan] Speaking of less involved, there’s something I wanted to touch on with you is time management. So obviously you have a lot of different things going on. The same can be said for small, medium business owners. What I like to call it is superhero syndrome. They like to do the accounting. They have to do the HR, they want to do the social media. You talked about mastery as well, which was very interesting, you know, focus on the one thing that you’re really good at. But going back to you, how do you manage your time? With so many exciting projects going on?
[Fred] Yeah, I say no to a lot of things.
[Brendan] You’re a master of no?
[Fred] Yeah. Pretty good at that.
[Brendan] Yeah. What about this podcast?
[Fred] I didn’t say no. Well, I think it’s important to… You know, I get so many requests in my time. Maybe I would take a step back and sort of answer that in a different (way) to give you give context. I think it’s important. So let’s talk about time management. What is time management? Time management is about prioritization where you ask what is important to you and what is not. In other words, do you know what your goals are? Therefore, what priority order do you put things in? In other words, do you know where you are going? Then you kind of summate that. I tend to write these things down. Write five things down. Write five things I want to stop doing, then I write down the five things I want to start doing.
And I just constantly reviewed this and that that’s a simple process. But I think that whole process, what it does is it clarifies for you “This is my goal, this is what I’m doing to stop doing, this is what I need to focus on”. Then I want to commence doing these things. Now take a step back, the other question/component to this which most people leave out is: you’re not a superhero. Well, you are. There is a super power you have, but you’re not a master of everything. In other words, to me a master… There are polymaths and I do think those exist and they’re becoming more and more prevalent these days. I do think people can master more and more things much faster. So I encourage that and I think you have to do that as an entrepreneur.
But I do think what you want to do very carefully is to make a self-assessment of what are you good at? So to keep context. I think there’s four types of CEOs. One is a sales CEO. They go and sell and always selling, selling, selling. There’s a product CEO. They’re always building the product, focused on the tech and making a feature and this and this and this, product, product, product. You know, I think that’s like the Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase selling CEOs, like Larry Ellison. You know, from Oracle. He’s always selling. The CEO of IBM. I’ve forgotten her name, but she’s always selling. I went and saw her speak at this year in San Francisco at the big IBM conference. 35,000 IBM-ers. That was incredible.
You know, there’s a sales, a product… you’ve got operations. They’re just improving the operation, making it run better and better. They’re always focused on it day in and day out. The third one is a marketing CEO. They’re always promoting. Constantly promoting, promoting, promoting. If you took those four types of CEOs – sales, product, operations, and marketing – I would contend that I am more of a marketing CEO and then kind of product and tech. Not so much operations and then not so much sales. Well, sales a little bit, but I think I start from marketing all the time. I go, I how are we getting this out there? That’s what I think about.
And so the reason why I’m here right now on this podcast, talking to everyone who’s listening right now and talking to you is because this is my strength, our promoter. So of all the activities I can do, if I can share with someone else and help them understand how to build their business better, I think that’s a great thing and maybe in some small way, they might want to go and see what Finder is all about and they’ll learn to remember that.
I think that’s my hope from this. Sure, like out of 100 or 1000 people, 1000, 10,000 who listen to this. Maybe only 200 of them, 20 of them go and actually do something about that. Probably that’s probably the hit rate. But over time they pick up enough five cent pieces to make a dollar.
[Brendan] That’s true. Talking about marketing being your strength. Obviously you have a big personal brand. You’re often talking out at events. You’ve got very active social media channels. Talk to me about video. You’re definitely one of the earliest in Australia to really leverage the power of video for your personal brand. Can you speak on that?
[Fred] I contend that I sort of do things maybe because I’m learning about them, but I got into video because I wanted to test the medium. I wanted to learn about it. And I think it’s an important one for Finder to learn about because we brought a lot of content. We 1500 to 2000 pieces of content on our websites around the world every month to give context, right?
And so, you know, we’re making a lot of videos now as well, or trying. You know, and it’s a different medium. It’s a different channel. So the way in which I experiment with that is all right, well, how can I use the channel? And once I learned how to use the channel, then I think Finder can learn to use the channel.
I’m in the same way, I guess engaging in the mastery of video and therefore translating that into process and systems that Finder can use. I see it as a fractal. I constantly just do the same thing over and over again. I master something, I processed and systemize, and then I turn it into the company that do it over and over and over.
I said the other day, I am literally, I go through these cycles and I’m a constant fractal of the same energy and process replicated over and over again and I just have my method.
[Brendan] Can you talk more about your methods? I guess learning how to learn. How do you start on the journey to mastering? Yeah, so I, I kind of learned this from some of my friends actually.
[Fred] When they wanted to do something, I sort of, I’m good at pioneering and experimenting and taking chances. But then one of my friends, he told me about, you know, learning how to do database websites. He just went and looked it up. He just said “How do you do this and put it on the internet?” And I was like “No, what, he can’t just do that! Can you?” It just told you the answer. The answers are out there. The internet is full to the rim with answers. It’s overflowing. It’s a cornucopia of information and knowledge and obviously sifting through that. And once I understood that and then what I do is I just take that information and I just basically apply it. It’s not really that amazing. I just apply stuff. I just do it.
[Brendan] Constant experimentation, as you were saying,
[Fred] I do a lot of, I have a lot of fail experiments as well. A lot of little things I’ve tried and tested and…
[Brendan] So do you learn more from your failures?
[Fred] I think it’s a mixture. Depends on what I was doing, where I was going in that moment in time. I think that if I was to zoom back in the beginning, I made so many mistakes and I learned a lot from that. They really hurt and they had scars where no one can else can see, but you can feel them. I don’t really see them as failures. I sort condense them and keep them kind of small. But what’s interesting from it is those are the moments when I experienced and feel failure were the moments when I was outside my comfort zone. Sometimes I landed them. I was like “Wow! That, that worked”. Sometimes they didn’t work. And I’ve learned to decrease the risk and, play down the downside over time.
You know, you got to understand when we first moved to the US we actually had our first offices in Santa Monica. I don’t know if that was the best idea initially, but I think over time, you know, it was clear we needed to move from LA to New York. New York is where Finders… It’s the way the media, where finance is, right? America has an appeal like that. They have industries whereas I think Australia doesn’t have as much of that as profoundly yet.
If I didn’t do that. And didn’t take those actions. I don’t think I would’ve known that. So the failure there I suppose it was a great learning. I think what was interesting is what I’ve learned to master but when I make a mistake is actually quickly turning into an opportunity.
So we rented an office for two years, but we moved the office and then we immediately realize that this, the place you’ve rented it in, the values are going up so hot, we actually re-rented it for a profit which is fascinating, right. In and of itself. When you zoom out and look at that. I think that it’s about those moments when you’re outside your comfort zone. That’s when you tend to fail.
That’s the moment when you can find and drill up and dredge up the most incredible opportunities. Those are the moments in time when you’re feeling so much anxiety and duress that if you can just put your head up and look around, you see the greatest opportunities.
[Brendan] It’s an interesting topic. Comfort zones. Do you sometimes intentionally get outside of your comfort zone, and everything’s going well, and you want to just take something to the next level?
[Fred] Yeah. I’m that kind of guy.
[Brendan] I like to live dangerously.
[Fred] If I’m not feeling under some sort of anxiety or duress. I try to go and relocate that and feel where can I, you know, a lot of things, I don’t mind sort of pottering along, but I think I feel nice and that’s good. I’ve tested that area to get into that area in the first place but, you know, if I’m not growing and not feeling a little bit uncomfortable and I think we’re not you know, pushing it.
And so it’s probably a weather meter now. I think I’ve gotten to a point where leveraging that for a good gauge of I guess the velocity and how fast we should be going.
[Brendan] Interesting. And what’s in your current business black box? What problems are you trying to solve?
[Fred] I’m fascinated by buying businesses and turning them into extra value for companies. I’m actually very interested to see how, companies have done that and how we can do that at fonder and correct that into a process which adds huge amounts of value and speeds up what we’re doing.
[Brendan] Yeah, mastering this video thing. I don’t know if I’m. It’s a tough one.
[Brendan] Oh, the video contents. It’s definitely one of the most engaging that I’ve seen on LinkedIn. You’ve got your own studio as well.
[Fred] So we took that investment as well and that is probably as a bit of an investment. What else am I trying to master? I think internationalization of languages is going to be interesting. I just went to Japan for the first time. I think it’s a really interesting market. We’ve mastered sort of English in the variants of English, which is, there are not all the same. You know, I think that a lot of the, probably a lot of the areas I’m trying to learn about as well are the kind of topics which I just never engaged in. They’re kind of basic. I mean, I just didn’t do them. Didn’t focus on buying and acquiring businesses at all. Just didn’t do it.
[Brendan] Interesting area. Who do you look up to as your business mentors?
[Fred] I like a guy like Ben Horowitz. A lot of admiration for him and what he’s transitioned to. I’m reading about Bill Campbell right now. He was the coach behind Steve Jobs and Eric Schmidt. I’ve always admired Bill Campbell through other, you know, things I’ve read, obviously reading about that and I think it’s fascinating. I really focus fire on people and vacuum up as much information as I can and then I sort of move on. I guess I have sort of virtual mentors to some extent. I am looking for people. I need someone who’s sort of done a lot of things. Right now. That I can get some mentorship from probably I think Finders is at this point where it’s becoming…an enterprise. That’s different and I’m learning that.
[Brendan] Exciting journey. So you talked about books. I mean, we’ve talked about “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” by Ben Horowitz, “Trillion Dollar Coach”. You talked about, “The Five Love Languages”.
[Fred] I did like that book,
[Brendan] Any other books that you can recommend to listeners?
[Fred] I pick up the book that I’m needing to learn about. Obviously with cryptocurrency, I’ve read about red flash boys because I thought it was just interesting, you know, people who are doing high frequency trading. Not that I’m into high-frequency trading, I just wanted to just fascinated personally about it. It was well written by the same guy that wrote “Moneyball”. I think “Moneyball” is a great movie as well.
[Brendan] “The Big Short” as well.
[Fred] Another movie that I constantly try to play all the time in the office. I love that. “I’m jacked! Jacked to the tits!”. I regularly go back over “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.”
I also regularly go and re-read “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. I read “The Everything Store by Amazon”. I thought that was interesting how he thought about things and… Just the relentless of Jeff Bezos. Phwoah. The guy’s a tornado. Which is great. I’m working very hard to do that as well and be the best version of myself and I think I’ve been spooling up and getting more intense and now I’m really putting them on the pedal to the metal.
[Brendan] I’m definitely excited to see where you go. Just wanted to thank you so much for coming in and dropping all this value. We’ve talked about time management. You’ve obviously got a lot of projects going on. In the show notes, we’ll include all the books and resources that we’ve talked about today that you can find at Metigy.com/podcasts.
Before we go, Fred, we like to ask all our guests a couple of more abstract questions. Get the mind thinking creatively. So we’ve got two more questions to go. First one is… If you could have a billboard anywhere in the world any location. What would it say and where would you put it?
[Fred] Put it in Times Square and just say Finder.com.
[Brendan] Eyeball traffic.
[Fred] Yeah, seriously! Type in Finder.com. You know, get a better deal. That’s it. Simple.
[Brendan] Good answer and the final question. Are you ready for launch? Because you’re on the first flight to Mars with Elon Musk and the first settlers aboard the Space X star ship rocket. What business do you start when you land on Mars and how do you promote it to the new Martians?
[Fred] I’d start a water business. Because you need a bit of water. It’s a bit of a dry place. You know, look. When I think of a company, I think of things which are fundamental problems. I like selling Panadols. I don’t like selling vitamins. “I’ve got a sore” or “my head’s aching”. All right, here’s a Panadol. You know, I don’t like the “oh, you could potentially feel better!”. I’m not into that. You know, and that’s what Finders has always been; a question and answer. A problem, solution kind of business and I love that about it. So with the start a water business and how would I promote it?
I’d call it earth. It’s got that memory, right? It’s bringing a piece of earth and you drink it in every bottle… Probably not earth. No, that’s not a good idea. Doesn’t taste so good. Maybe something… what’s the purest Spring you know. I guess I just call it probably “Spring” or something.
[Brendan] One of those Icelandic glaciers. Something like that.
[Fred] Just call it “Water”. Probably because water’s going to be really rare and I think trademark law would be very difficult to impose from Earth to Mars. Come and get me!
[Brendan] That is a fantastic answer, Fred, and thanks for all your answers today and being really honest. Before we wrap up. Anything you’d like to say and how can people get in touch?
[Fred] I obviously am very active on LinkedIn. You know, I’m a business guy, so come and follow me and that’s the best place. I guess I wish everyone the best and if you (could) remember one thing… I talk about this a lot and I think about this:
Right now as you’re listening, now is the moment. Like right now. Commence. Do what you need to do.
[Brendan] Powerful Fred. Thanks so much for coming in. It’s been fun. Awesome stuff. Thanks for listening guys. Do subscribe. Do follow us here.
[Fred] Thanks guys and thank you, Fred, for wrapping up season one on a high. Amazing episode. And guys, all the show notes will include everything we’ve talked about today. And of course Finder.com so you can check it out at Metigy.com/podcast. Fred? Thanks again. Thanks for watching.
[Brendan] So you can check it firstname.lastname@example.org forward slash podcast. Fred, thanks again. Thanks for watching.
From Metigy, this is the Forward Thinking podcast. I hope you got a lot of value and actionable tips from today’s episode. If you like what you heard, you can help us out by leaving a five star review on apple podcast or your favorite podcasting app. If you know a business owner who needs help with their marketing and I mean, don’t we all know one of those guys, tell him to check us out. Never miss another episode by subscribing on apple podcasts, Spotify, Google podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts to find out more about metallurgy and get a listener exclusive three month free trial. Visit us at dot com forward slash podcast.
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