Dave Lukas Chats with Jeff Wald
258: Ideas Are Cheap and The End of Jobs with Serial Entrepreneur, Jeff Wald
This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Jeff Wald. Jeff is a serial entrepreneur and founder of WorkMarket, an enterprise software platform that enables companies to organize, manage and pay freelancers efficiently and compliantly. Jeff built WorkMarket from scratch and sold the company to ADP in 2018 for over $400 million. Jeff and WorkMarket won the Stevie Award for best HR software, were ranked as one of CNBC’s 25 Companies to Watch and received several other awards.
But as with any entrepreneur story, it wasn’t success out of the gate. Jeff had failures and learned a lot of lessons on his way to success. His story and the legacy he has created with it is truly amazing and I cannot wait for him to share it with you today, along with his best advice to succeed as an entrepreneur.
Jeff says he was fortunate to be born into his family and be born in the U.S. He started his career in finance as an M&A banker at JP Morgan working 100+ hours a week. He then went to business school and when he came back, he realized that it wasn’t the best fit for him or his life. He ended up at a venture firm and after a few years in, he really felt the call to entrepreneurship. He was helping people create their dreams and there was something about that was so amazing to him.
His boss told him that he needed to go after this calling. He did and funded the business himself. The business failed and he lost everything. In fact, his mother called and asked him if he needed to move back home. He had 30 days before he couldn’t pay rent and figured out how to create some income. Ironically, several years later, he restarted the business and ended up selling it for a nice profit. For a while Jeff wouldn’t tell people about the failure and the 2-year depression he went through. He didn’t want to own it. Eventually, he did and learned that sharing his story and telling the truth about his journey helped him find his true self and become a more effective person. It was freeing.
At the 9 min mark, Jeff and talk about this process of freeing yourself, but realizing fear and those things are still there, but you learn to handle them better.
At the 14 min mark, Jeff shares the story or Workmarket…
What was in the PowerPoint slides that landed you $6 million in initial investment?
What is the future of work nowadays?
What are the main findings from work?
At the 33 min mark, Jeff and I discuss why it is such a good time to be an entrepreneur.
You’ve said, “Ideas are cheap.” Explain that.
Top 3 lessons learned going through a process to sell a company?
What are the values you used to build the company that resulted in a lot of other companies being created by employees?
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