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Today we sit down and have an energy-filled conversation with Rob Basso about the principles in his first book, “The Everyday Entrepreneur.” Rob is a recognized business leader and speaker, and has built a reputation as a successful entrepreneur who is committed to helping others live the entrepreneurial dream.
Rob is the founder of Advantage Payroll Services, founding investor in Empire National Bank, co-creator of the BusyFit DVD, and creator of BassoOnBusiness.com. His candid, down-to-Earth advice is valuable for any business owner.
So grab your headphones and turn up the volume!
In this episode of the Entrepreneur Addiction Podcast, we discuss:
- The paper route
- Patrick’s 3-hour career
- Wrapping resumes in sandwiches
- Plunge into your personal mission
- Live a good life, make a difference in the world
- What separates entrepreneurs from general business owners
- Throw caution to the wind — when it’s time
- The least expensive time in history to start a successful business
- Lemonade stands are too static
- “PIPER FIVE GULF TANGO!”
- Be prepared, yet bold
- Reputation management in a digital age
- Keep territories in mind; don’t erode your own base
- Tools to compete with the “big boys”
- Make your own luck
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Fueling your business success, this is the entrepreneur addiction podcast, breaking the small business loan news you need if you obsess about your company. Heard exclusively on Lendio.com. And now here are our your hosts: Brock Blake, Dan Bischoff and Patrick Wiscombe.
Patrick: This podcast is sponsored by Lendio.com, the online source you need to find the right business financing to grow your company. So check them out: Lendio.com, to get your business growing right now. It’s the entrepreneur addiction podcast episode number fifteen. My name is Patrick Wiscombe. Thank you as always for tuning us in and taking us along wherever and however you’re accessing the podcast, whether it be on PatrickWiscombe.com or on Lendio.com/blog. How are you Dan?
Dan: How are you doing? We have a great guest today, by the way.
Patrick: We do.
Dan: The book just came out this week.
Patrick: Was it this week?
Dan: I think they just had a party this week. Is that right?
Patrick: Is that right, Rob?
Rob: Yeah. We had a great launch party for the “Everyday Entrepreneur”, my first book. We had the co-founder of PriceLine.com there. The founder of “Tony & Tina’s Wedding”. The creator of “GodSpell” on broadway that just got released last week. We really had an all-star cast to celebrate entrepreneurs, and it was fantastic.
Patrick: That is the voice of Rob Basso, the author the Everyday Entrepreneur. And I just like the title: Apply the Triple Threat of Ambition, Confidence, and Conviction for Success on your on Terms. I guess the first question I’ll ask is what did you do before you became an author?
Rob: Well, my background, my entrepreneurial story started probably when I was eleven years old. A lot of people my age, I’ll be 39 next week, probably had their first paper route. I still remember the days waking up before the sun was actually up, delivering those papers. Before all my friends were actually thinking about school, I was out there delivering the papers to forty to fifty customers. That where I got the entrepreneurial bug. I was transfixed with having money in my pocket at an early age. Fast forward a couple of years. Now I’m in the payroll and human resources business. I own the largest privately held payroll and human resources company in the northeast, called Advantage Payroll Services.
Patrick: I’ve heard of Advantage Payroll Services.
Rob: Well that’s good to hear. Wow! I guess we’ve done a good job marketing.
Patrick: I guess so. Did your friends think that you were strange having a paper route and actually having money in your pocket at, I guess you would’ve been, twelve? Somewhere in that range?
Rob: I was eleven or twelve years old, and honestly I was one of the only kids that I can think of that was actually in that situation, and you know, I’m a product of the worst parents, like unfortunately many, many American kids. It left a lasting impression on me because if I wanted something, there just wasn’t enough money in the can my mom put on the counter to get the things I wanted or needed. And I think it was definitely different because I grew up in suburban South Jersey, I like to say the mean streets, obviously as a joke. It was really Bucolic South Jersey. My mom made a very modest living, but knew to put me in a really good school district. So we always rented an apartment at a really nice school district so I could get a good education. My friends were wealthy. We weren’t. And it left a lasting impression on me. And I think my friends thought it was a little bizarre because they didn’t have to do the things I did. I know that formed me into the individual I am today. I’m certain of it.
Patrick: What specifically… Was there a moment or a few moments that you can recall that you were like, “I need to continue doing this.”
Rob: You know what it was… You’re right. I think it was more of an culmination of moments where I had every part time job under the sun. I made jewelry in an artist’s basement. I parked cars when I was old enough to do it. I threw pizza at a pizza restaurant. I did anything and everything. I even ran a printing press in a local printing shop when I was in high school. I realized all the things that I did not want to do, and I don’t mean that in a demeaning way. They were all perfectly legitimate jobs for which any hard working American should be applauded. I just knew that I didn’t want to work for somebody else and be under somebody else’s command on a daily basis. And I knew that I wanted to strike out on my own because of those experiences.
Patrick: I like you have experienced a few jobs. In fact, I literally was a pizza guy for three hours, and I knew that I didn’t want…
Dan: That long, huh?
Patrick: Yeah, woo! It was a whopping three hour career.
Patrick: But therein lies a lot of shaping who I was. I found out what I did want to do, and I found out what I didn’t want to do in terms of work, whether it was working for somebody or working for myself,
Rob: Yeah, it was the exact same way for me, and I cherish everyone of those experiences even though some of the jobs were not fun, and you were very poorly rewarded for the very hard work that you did. It really shaped me as an individual. And I honestly think you hit it right on the head. It was more realizing what I didn’t want to do. Even my first job out of college. Here’s a cool story. I was a history education major, and what was I going to do with that? I thought I was going to get a teaching job. Well, I graduated in ’94 from Oxford University. I couldn’t find a job. So I took a job working at a deli in an office building. What I ended up doing was wrapping my resume in the sandwiches for all the business people coming in. I got four job offers and took a job.
Patrick: That’s awesome! I’ve never heard of that.
Rob: Well, I can still picture people pushing the mustard aside, and I got some grimaces from people who were really annoyed, and I got a lot of smiles. But here’s the thing, I didn’t even know what marketing was. I just knew I didn’t want to be behind that deli counter. I wanted to be on the other side of the counter getting the sandwiches not making the sandwiches. I think that’s basically the story of a lot of entrepreneurs. (There’s missing voice in the recording here) It’s not jealous. It’s realizing that you have a better purpose or a higher purpose in life. You basically have to decide are you going to be the trailblazer? Are you going to be the one creating your own path? Or is somebody else going to determine that for you? And it doesn’t meant that you’re less of an individual if you’re not entrepreneurial. It just means that some people are born and bred to be entrepreneurs and… I do think you can be taught to be an entrepreneur. As a matter of fact, I’ve seen it happen myself. I think I was born and bred. You know, to each their own.
Patrick: Why did you end up in the payroll industry? What was it about payroll that you went, “You know what, I kind of dig this.”
Rob: Well, here’s the really funny part about that. When I first got that first job out at the deli, it was in the payroll industry. I didn’t even know what the payroll industry was. I barely got a paycheck as it was. I probably got paid cash or something half legitimate when I first started working. The reality is, I fell into the industry because of a nice HR woman, who actually ended up not hiring me. The woman who hired me from behind that deli counter called me a week before I was to start my first professional job and said, “Rob, I feel awful. I had budget cuts. I can’t hire you.”
Patrick: You’re kidding.
Rob: And I’d said, “No,” to all the other individuals. So I was back in the deli making sandwiches, completely embarrassed because I was out there puffing my chest out: “I’ve got a job at the end of the week. I’ll be with you guys on the other end of the counter.” The woman felt so bad, she introduced me to her husband, who ran a regional payroll company. Didn’t know what it was. Didn’t care. I took the job. Was there best salesman two years running. Underpaid. Under-appreciated. Went out and struck out on my own.
Dan: Let’s talk about the title of the book: The Everyday Entrepreneur. What does that mean?
Rob: It’s interesting. You know, there’s titles of books out there, like the Millionaire Next Door, and things like that. The reason I picked the Everyday Entrepreneur was because some of the running themes in the book talk about how ordinary people seem but turn out to have extraordinary careers and extraordinary lives. What I’m finding, and what I found in the book interviewing wildly successful people that you’ve never heard of, is that they have a lot of commonality. And it usually begins in being very ordinary individuals. A lot of people don’t necessarily have, you know, the highest IQ do be necessarily the most successful entrepreneur. Nor do they necessarily have all the breaks in life. What I found was the commonality was they always had a personal mission that they were plunging forward in. And whether they were rich when they were growing up or whether they were poor when they were growing up, whether they were from divorced parents or a real tight family, they always had this sense of personal mission. To me, that’s really about being an everyday entrepreneur. You don’t have to be a Bill Gates or a billionaire to be a successful individual.
Dan: I hope not.
Rob: Too much in our society we peg on the dollar amount of what’s in your bank account because it seems like it’s the American way. You take a guy like Jeff Hoffman, who was one of the co-creators of the family of companies that really became PriceLine. You could certainly say he doesn’t need any more cash. But he’s basically dedicated his life now to going around the country and the world helping other entrepreneurs. He doesn’t have to do that. He does it because he wants to do it. He feels responsible to help other individuals, not necessarily become wealthy, but live a good life and create a difference in the world. That’s what it’s about, being an everyday entrepreneur.
Patrick: In addition to PriceLine, what are some of your favorite companies or entrepreneurs that you interviewed that we would not know.
Rob: Well, there was a woman named Selena Cuffe. She owns a company called Heritage Link Brands, and they import wine from South Africa. Now, on the surface, okay, it’s a wine company. Sounds interesting. The reason I liked her was because she left her very high paying, very high six figure job in the corporate world to really step off that ledge to follow her dreams to go back to her heritage. Thus the name of the company: Heritage Link Brands in South Africa. And work with the people of South Africa. Employ some of the people in South Africa. And bring their culture to the world through the wine. I still find it amazing that individuals who had so much going for them in the corporate world, and then they literally take an enormous risk to basically leave it all behind them. The thing about entrepreneurs is that they understand risk, and they understand what it takes to be successful. That’s what separates them from a general business owner or someone who might work for a larger corporation. She didn’t just leap off a bridge. She jumped off a cliff, but she was wearing her Harvard-trained background as a parachute. She took risks, but she had the backing and the background to know that she had a really good chance to be successful. Her story plays out through the whole book. There’s thousands of stories like that all over America that you’ve never heard of, that really inspire me on a daily basis.
Patrick: How would you classify someone who want to leave their job, that is scared to death, like Selena, what would you tell them to do? Just go for it? Or is their a graduated step, you know, a step by step process to get yourself away from your job and move in and work for yourself.
Rob: I would say, especially in light of today’s economic situation, you have to be more measured in your approach. If you’ve got a good job, and you’ve got a family, or whether you don’t have a family or not, you really have to conscious of the value that job is giving you. Not only potentially you getting really good training working for a corporation, but you have that stability. What I always suggest, at least in the very beginning, is take modest steps in your spare time to figure it out what it is that you really want to do, how you’re going to do it. Set up the bones and the structure of your organization in the free time that you have, and that might be at 10:00 at night or 2:00 in the morning. But that’s what you have to do. I really would take just measured care of just quitting a job and running out and following your dream without a real plan in place and without making sure you’re properly capitalized because now a days it’s much hard to just go out and find the doors that you might need to actually run your organization. Wouldn’t it be great if you already had a few clients in your spare time, in your part time, in whatever it is that you’re trying to do before you actually quit that big job. But eventually you need to take the leap. You need to say, “Hmm. I’ve got all my ducks in a row.” And you have to take that monetary risk and leave your job. If I didn’t focus a hundred percent of my time for the first bunch of years with the Advantage Payroll Services, there’s no way my company would’ve been successful because it’s all encompassing.
Patrick: So don’t throw caution into the wind, entirely?
Rob: In my modest opinion, I would say that you have to take a much more measured approach. Don’t completely just ditch it until you’re certain that’s it the risk that you’re really prepared to take because it is your life, and especially if you have a family and responsibilities. But nothing ever big came from sitting on your hands, so eventually you do have to take that leap.
Dan: Yeah. I thought the last chapter you talk about that. By slowing down instead of just saying, “I hate working for the man. I’m going to get out of here.” Right? Is there a reason why that chapter was the last chapter in your book.
Rob: I wanted to leave a lasting impression. There was a lot of, you know, great stories throughout the book from these visionaries that I got to interview, and I wanted to leave a lasting impression with, “Entrepreneurism is great. It’s going to save America. It’s going to put America back on track and create the jobs we need. No government program is going to do that, but you better be darned prepared for this opportunity when it presents itself to you, and make that big leap.” And sometimes you’re just not ready, and I wanted to leave people with that bit of caution. To say, “It’s not for everybody. Just because you have a great idea doesn’t mean that it will be successful, and I think a lot of people don’t understand that. “Oh, I’ve got this great idea. I really want to do it. It’s going to be wonderful. I’m quitting my job, and I’m going to start my newest tiddlywink company. And everybody’s going to buy it.” Well, wait a minute. Why? And a lot of people have a lot of gusto but not a lot of planning behind it. It’s being proactive but planning out every step of the way. And sometimes being an entrepreneur is haphazard, and the best things come from mistakes that happen in your life or mistakes that happen in your business model. I can say that with some of the investments that I’ve made. I wanted to leave a lasting impression that you have to cautious about what your doing, and throw caution into the wind when it’s time to do so.
Dan: It sounds like minimizing risk before you jump, right? It’s getting your parachute before you get the jump, in essence, right?
Rob: Yeah. You ever see those Roadrunner cartoons in Bugs Bunny where Roadrunner would jump out of the plane and pull his chute, and a bunch of forks and knives would pop out and not a parachute. You know, that’s unfortunately what some people do, and it’s unnecessary to do that, especially if you already have a job that puts food on the table. With technology, it’s the least expensive time in history to get into business on your own, on your own terms. I’m a firm believer of that. That’s why, even though, you know, I’ve been a pundit and a frequent guest on some major news programs on a consistent basis, you know, I implore people not to listen to a lot of the negativity that you hear out there about what’s going in the world, about what the government is doing or not doing, or about the landscape. Some time you’ve just got to do it. Make sure you’re the guy or the lady to be the one to be doing it. I mean, that’s the biggest problem. Not everybody is ready to make this leap yet.
Dan: I think that’s great advice. Let’s rewind a little bit in your book. I love the title of the chapter: “Lemonade Stands are just too Static”. Explain that concept a little bit.
Rob: What I talked about earlier is people’s personal missions. I can say from personal experience and interviewing these fine individuals in the book that the one thing that I believe that made these people successful is that they were not stagnate. They constantly pushed forward, and tried new things and now opportunities where that’s where the success comes from, having these personal missions and saying, “I’m not going to let it stop me.” But also understanding when it’s time to cut a losing proposition when it’s just not going to make it. But also be willing to try things in-between. Have multiple opportunities going at the same time while you’re getting started, and gravitate towards the strongest opportunity that you have. And then put all your effort in that direction. It’s about plunging forward. It’s about not being static, and I meant that literally. I don’t think I’ve ever had a lemonade stand in m life. Lots of children did. I didn’t want people to have to come to me. I went to them for the opportunity, and I created my own luck.
Patrick: Are you a pilot?
Rob: I am. I learned how to fly a handful of years ago, and it’s been a wonderful experience. It’s very much like running a business.
Patrick: Okay, that was my question. How is being a pilot like running a business?
Rob: Well, you know, I tell this story a lot. It’s about my first solo flight. It was right here in Republic Airport in Long Island. It’s the busiest general aviation airport in the nation. Corporate jets are coming and going intermixed with these little itty-bitty prop-planes that I was flying. And I remember the solo flight because I heard, “Piper Five Gulf Tango cleared for takeoff.” My hands were sweating. Sweat was dripping of my eyebrows. My stomach was churning. I pull on out to the runway. Twenty-nine knots, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty knots, and before I knew it, my little Piper Warrior was airborne. Then I hear from the tower again, “Piper Five Gulf Tango move out of the way. You have Cable Vision jet coming through. Swoosh. At three hundred miles an hour, the corporate Cable Vision jet blasted through the airway right next to me, literally shaking my plane. That moment I knew that I was capable of flying in the same corporate airways as the corporate giants. And to me, that’s what business is about. Business is about these rocky landings that you could potentially have or these clean, perfect takeoffs into a blue sunset. But on a day to day basis you don’t know which one you’re going to get. So you have to prepared for all opportunities and challenges that come your way. You have to be prepared yet bold. That’s my favorite statement because too many business owners are one or the other, but not both. That in a nutshell is what it’s like to be a pilot and run your own business.
Patrick: Chapter three, if memory serves, you talk about image and reputation and why they matter. But you talk about it in the concept of today’s digital age. Why is that so important?
Rob: Because once you put it out there, you can’t get it back. Here’s a good example. The CEO of GoDaddy.com. I think everybody has heard of them. It’s where you can go buy URL’s or whatever website that you want to have, and you can buy and sell them on this platform. You’ve seen their cool commercials on the Superbowl. Well, there is a picture that he put out himself holding a big huge rifle, standing on an elephant, a dead elephant, which he had just killed in Africa, with really no comment.
Rob: Yeah. I hear you guys chuckling.
Dan: Yeah, I remember that.
Rob: You remember that picture?
Rob: Well, it was like a firestorm because their was really no explanation of why this happened, and a lot of people were horrified. “What is he doing killing elephants? This is insane.” Well, it took several days. Nobody reacted to the story. It really didn’t give the right impression of what happened, so there was a lot of negative connotation. The reality was, he was in a village in Africa where it was routine to kill the elephants because the elephants would trample their food supply, their fields. So this was a very normal practice for these indigenous people to avail themselves of, but that’s not how the general public saw it. So it took several days to get the story out. By that time the damage had been done. You could make the argument that this guy was savvy and said, “Well, this is going to get a lot of publicity, so we’re going to do this.” I honestly don’t think that’s what happened. I just think he put it out not thinking very much, and he got a lot of negative reaction. The problems is, even though several days later there was some sort of a retraction or explanation, it really didn’t matter. There’s a negative taste in your mouth about what happened because most people never heard the retraction. The only heard the first firestorm. A picture speaks a thousand words. People make up their own minds what the picture was, and it gets around that way. And that’s really the best example I can give. There’s hundreds others, but you know, I’ve worked really hard, if you look at my online reputation, to be very careful what I put out there, how I put it out there because it only takes one, you know, flub to really send your constituents and your stake holders reeling in the wrong direction. I think everybody’s made minor mistakes, but image and reputation is more than just your online presence. It’s your presence in person. You know, what kind of attitude and what kind of clothing you wear. I know it doesn’t seem fair or right, but do you guys really want to see your banker in cutoff shorts and a t-shirt kicking back with his feet up on the desk when you’re going to do your deposits. There are just some things that you want a certain way. You expect people to act and be a certain way. It might not be right or fair, but I’m a bigger believer that you should be playing the part that you’re trying to fill for your clients.
Dan: I think that’s a really tough balance for a lot of companies because on one point you’re supposed to talk quickly and get out there fast, and then how do you build a balance of being human and fitting whatever that is with making sure whatever you put out there is the right thing. You know, do you want lawyers and everybody to look at it before you put something out there. I think it’s a tough balance. I don’t know how to do that exactly.
Rob: You know, it is difficult, but it depends on the size of your organization and the type of your organization. My organization is not large enough where I have to have other people putting our messages out. I don’t put every single thing on our social media out, but I discuss everything. We talk a lot about my tone, and how my personality is supposed to play through the things that we do. And I think if you train your staff really well and the people that you work with with your social media and your online campaigns, they start to think like you think. And it’s really made a big difference with me. You get them bought into the story of Rob Basso or the story of the everyday entrepreneur, and they start to eat, sleep, and breathe it, and eventually it just comes natural to other people, even though it’s not yourself. It’s pretty darn cool. It’s amazing. It’s worked well for me. It also comes down to trust, guys. You’ve got to trust the people that you work with, and to know that it’s not perfect. The best part about this is, if you make mistakes, I don’t mean horrible things set in the marketplace, I mean a mistake. You know, a spelling mistake. Or maybe the tone is just a little bit wrong. People make mistakes. You’re not expected to be perfect. You’re just expected not to be a heathen or discuss things that are inappropriate online.
Dan: Maybe unless your brand is… maybe unless your audience are those heathens, though, you know. (laughter)
Rob: You know, that’s the thing. Maybe some of mine are, but I have no idea. The reality is, you’ve got to stick and be true to your brand. If you run an adult, you know, website, then you’ve got a particular brand that you’re trying to instill. Mine is more of a professional, you know, “Help thy neighbor,” attitude, is what I’m trying to project in my image, though.
Dan: I like your story about the ice cream truck you had and going into someone else’s territory and stepping on people’s toes. Talk about, how do you balance taking the blinders off so you can step out of that proverbial box. At the same time, you’re not stepping on anybody’s toes. I’m not sure I phrased that question very well, actually.
Rob: No. I think I understand what you’re saying. Here’s the thing. With the ice cream truck story, I mean, I rented a handful of trucks, and I had individuals drive them right out of college. We were inadvertently encroaching on these people’s territories because the information wasn’t relayed to me properly who had what streets. You’d be amazed on how profitable some of these ice cream truck territories are, and we’d constantly be going and in and kind of pilfering, you know, long standing drivers who made their entire living doing this. And we really ruffled some feathers. It was almost like a Sopranoesk scenario where they had to bring us in. They had clagsigniaire and had a whole big conversation. I could have avoided all of that trouble I really just knew the rules and knew the lay of the land. And what I did was, I found out after these territories were marched on, how to actually make my own routes more profitable. So the best thing that happened to me was realizing that I didn’t need to pilfer, even though I was unknowingly doing so. I just figured out a way to make my routes more profitable. Like for example, we knew that, the kids, when they came around, they would have a quarter extra based on the price of an ice cream, so we held a lollipop in their face and said, “Would you like a lollipop for later.” There’s not one kid that we probably didn’t take, you know, have the quarters come in our coffers from because, of course, they wanted a lollipop for later.
Rob: I mean, this is not unique, but while I was doing this, I had no business degree. To me it just seemed like common sense. You wanted to make as much money, professionally and appropriately, as you could doing that route. You know, abiding by territories and rules, I think is acceptable. It doesn’t mean that when you’re prepared to really compete with somebody else in their own territory that you shouldn’t go head to head with them and try to take their client base. It’s just that, if it’s contractually not allowed, you shouldn’t do it because it’s not ethical. I’ve had both experiences, and people trying to do bad things to me. You know, employees that left trying to steal clients, even though they’re not supposed to. As business owner you have to learn how to protect yourself, and it a big part of being a big person and understanding what you’ve built is really valuable and protecting your territory. I would protect my clients and my territory and spend every nickle I had to make sure someone didn’t take something that I believe was mine.
Dan: Let’s talk about competing with those other companies, with franchises maybe. You know, like that coffee shop down the street, how does that mom and pop coffee shop compete against the Starbucks?
Rob: I think they can level the playing field by the use of their regional, local social media outlets. I know we talked a little about that earlier, and a lot of people think it’s over-hyped and it’s not as productive because they can’t necessarily say, “Well, they came in because of they saw our social media.” There’s so many tools that are available. You look at the texting tools available now, which are widely available to restaurants and small retail shops, where you sign up for this product or whatever it is, their coffee shop. They automatically text you updates or special things that are going on intra-day and that coupon is only good for three hours. You’d literally have to run to the coffee store to get it. I’ve heard extreme success stories with these very simple and expensive technology available that is available to anybody, whether you’ve got a small coffee shop on the corner or you’re a medium sized company. The big guys easily have the capability to do this. They can just do it at the five thousand stores that they have. Using the tools that the big guys have, that are now available to you, when ten years ago they were not available to you. Don’t think that just because they’re doing it, you have to be entirely different. I completely disagree with that. I can think of many ideas that I’ve taken directly from my bigger competitors, and used them in my own way and just made them more successful by making them more personal, more connectivity as an individual to my client base. That’s why in my payroll company we have the highest retention rate in the industry of keeping clients. My big public competitors lose 32% of their clients every year. We only lose six.
Patrick: The only reason I’m asking is because, when we talked about payroll services, as I look out my back window, I’ve got a big ADP building sitting right behind me. That’s why I was asking that question.
Rob: You know what. They’re a great company. They’ve blazed the trail on making this industry standard for small and medium sized businesses. We wouldn’t be in business if they didn’t come up with the idea. I just think I built a better mouse trap.
Patrick: I firmly believe in competition because I think it makes everyone better. Agreed?
Rob: Completely agreed. Even though I’m a modest sized firm, we’re successful in the region here that we serve, we are a big thorn in their side. They don’t like competing with us. They don’t like us in the marketplace. We’re actually a topic of their sales meetings. They had program a couple years ago called the Advantage Killer Program. I mean literally.
Rob: And I love it because to me it’s like, “You’re really worried about little old me, you know, in your marketplace?” But I take hundreds and hundreds of clients from them every year, and eat into their margins. They don’t like having me around, but it’s fun. It’s a fun game, and I’m friendly with my competitors in the marketplace, and we joke about it whenever we see each other at trade shows.
Patrick: “Oh, there’s that Rob Basso guy. Grrr!”
Rob: Oh, they don’t like seeing me and my team out in public because we just do it different. Guys, it’s all about making that connectivity in the marketplace. When we did this big launch event last night, we had sponsors support the event. And a couple of the people that came were like, “How did you get sponsors to support your book launch event?” I’m like, “Oh, it’s a natural. Think about it. There’s going to be two hundred and fifty high end professionals there for the launch of this event. There’s an opportunity for them to get their name in front of all these individuals.” I even had Cable Vision, the largest telecommunications entertainment company here in the New York area, be one of our premier sponsors. You know, they’re a huge business. They’re an enormous business, but they have small business clients. Why wouldn’t they be there? So, when you have an opportunity to partner with large businesses, they’re not necessarily the evil empire. Take advantage of the relationship of these larger organizations and see your business grow by leaps and bounds. The fact that I’m even connected to this big organization, they sent out invitations to hundred and fifty thousand people for me. Even if none of those people showed up, now a hundred and fifty thousand people know who Rob Basso is, that he wrote a book.
Dan: That’s great.
Patrick: Well, and this podcast will only add to that number, so.
Rob: Oh, I’m certain. I know you guys have tons of people listening to your podcast. I’m excited for you to get it up on my site and let all my friends and family and constituents listen to it.
Dan: As are we. Hey, I think we passed over one thing that you said earlier. We kind of just skimmed over it, but I think it’s very important. We were talking about the lemonade stand, and at the end you said, “I look to make my own luck.” How do you do that?
Rob: The best way to make your own luck is to put yourself in a position and surround yourself with the influencers that can help you. I think Evan Lamberg, who is now the president of Universal Music Group. He was the vice president when I wrote the book. He just got promoted. He kind of has the best to look at it. He sees New York City as the center of the music universe. So when he started in his career, he started at the bottom. He was literally getting coffee, getting files for people. He would show up before people actually got to work, be waiting there to unlock the door. “Hey, Mr. SoAndSo, what can I get you? How can I do this for you?” He learned the ins and outs of that business by basically being the gofer for these big guys in the industry, and anytime anyone wanted something: “Where’s that Evan kid? Where’s that Even kid? Get him. He knows where it is.” And he made himself indispensable, and he surrounded himself with the influencers. You know, fast forward twenty five years. Now he runs the company. That can still happen today. People think that can’t happen anymore. It absolutely can. If you surround yourself with influencers and if put yourself and find yourself in your own center of the universe. It’s different for everybody in any industry. You need to decide what it is and where you’re going to be, and that’s where you need to spend your time. Then you’ll make your own luck. What I really want from writing this book, and part of the reason I wrote this is, I really wanted… I mean, you guys, this is the first time we’ve spoken, my whole goal is to really inspire that entrepreneurial spirit to help America get back on it’s feet. And I feel an obligation as an entrepreneur, and as someone who’s lived through success and failures, to really help other people. I think that’s what this country needs to round around again, and that’s the message I want people to hear. I hope if they go out and get my book, and they can get it at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, the Nook, the new Kindle, wherever books are sold you can find my book, I hope they feel inspired, whether their a brand new business owner thinking about getting into a business or a seasoned person, that stories in there help them get back to their roots and understand what it takes to be successful in America today because we can be back on top, guys. There’s no magic bullet to this. We just need to work together and make this thing better than it is now, and I want to do my part to help.
Patrick: Rob Basso, author of the Everyday Entrepreneur, very, very nice to meet you. Nice to get inside your head and why you wrote the book, and I always enjoy talking with authors, especially entrepreneur authors because there’s just a certain amount of enthusiasm. Alright, Rob Basso, author of the Everyday Entrepreneur. Dan Bischoff, director of communications at Lendio.com, it’s always good to see you.
Dan: Yeah, it’s great to be here again.
Patrick: Be sure to pick up the podcast at PatrickWiscombe.com. You can also subscribe and listen to the podcast on Lendio.com, and then Rob will stick it on his website, which is… what is your website?
Patrick: We’ll give you some codes so you can put it there. So for Dan, Rob, I’m Patrick Wiscombe. Thanks for listening to the Entrepreneur Addiction Podcast. We’ll talk to you next week. See you.
Voice: Making business loans simple, this has been the entrepreneur addiction podcast, helping you secure the capital you need, with your host Brock Blake, Dan Bischoff, and Patrick Wiscombe. Heard exclusively at Lendio.com.