Dave Lukas Chats with Shawn Khorrami
272: The Truth About Failure and Why Your Product is Not Your Business with Shawn Khorrami
This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Shawn Khorrami. Shawn is a serial entrepreneur since the age of 16, having started and managed more than a dozen businesses across an array of industries, with special focus on e-commerce. He’s owned everything from law firms to brick and mortar outfits in the hospitality and restaurant industry, to online businesses focusing on B2B and B2C and managed thousands of employees servicing tens of thousands of customers large and small across the country. He’s been featured everywhere from the New York Times to the LA Times, TV, and top publications.
Nowadays, he focuses on helping businesses maximize their success by coaching and training their CEO’s and leadership teams throughout all areas of a business. But, what struck me most about Shawn when we connected was his candid thoughts about failure, how the product is not the business, and as he says “a lot of times having more guts than brains.” I want to explore all of this and more with him in this episode.
Reach out and ask Shawn for a copy of the free e-book.
Shawn is a first-generation immigrant from Iran. A lot of his motivation came from his father, who in Iran, owned a construction firm. He would go to work with his dad at 7 years old and on. He thought he would follow his father’s footsteps and get into construction. When they moved over to the US, things didn’t carry over from Iran. His dad ended up owning income property. But there wasn’t much in the way of property management services or systems for small investors.
Shawn created a basic database program that allowed for property management focused on smaller investors. This became a business of its own as Shawn sold it to his dad’s friends and it grew by word of mouth from there. He ended up going to college and got degrees in mathematics and computers as well as in economics. He then got a law degree and educated himself in sales, marketing, accounting, etc.
Shawn never thought of working for anyone else. He’s never created a resume or had a W2 from a company he didn’t own. He’s a process guy who seeks how to streamline businesses and edges through process to make them more successful. He would create something that worked well for a problem in his business. He would then productize it and go sell it to his competitors.
He failed a lot and was good at overcoming it to succeed. People began to seek him out and ask him to consult for their businesses. He learned that successes can become failures too because of the lack of good processes and systems.
Only an idiot would go seek out failure….tell us the truth about failure.
At the 14 min mark, Shawn shares an example of failure and how he learned from it.
Your product is not your business, your business is your product.
Talk to us more about your business being your product….
An example is a restaurant that makes great food – but what gets people in the door and keeps them coming back. If you staff is rude to patrons, do you think they will come back? Instead, you must create not only great food, but a great experience and that is the product of a good restaurant – not just food.
Tell about the principles you use to grow a business and in tough times as well…
Where do you see the future going?
At the 44 min mark, we talk about opportunity in the midst of a pandemic.
Misfits, you know how important my health is to me, especially as a competitive triathlete. As such, I’m always looking for the best products to ensure I’m operating at optimum levels. This is just as important in my businesses as well. I have to be at my best.
I recently was introduced to an amazing product called Magic Mind. It was developed by Silicon Valley entrepreneur and angel investor James Beshara who, among other things created and sold Tilt to AirBnB. He developed it to help save his life after a trip to the ER where the doctors told him that his caffeine intake and stress were causing him a heart condition. After 7 years of research and 55 iterations, James perfected Magic Mind. It’s used by top athletes, executives at companies like Microsoft and Google and a host of others.
So, what is it? It’s a simple blend of all natural ingredients including Nootropics that helps you to have better energy, think more clearly boosting memory and mood, reduce stress and support your body’s different systems like your immune system to run at optimum levels. It even has ingredients like Tumeric to help reduce inflammation.
And the best part is that it comes in a little shot that is great tasting drink. I was surprised at how good it tasted the first time I tried it.
Misfits, if you are looking for a delicious, easy way to help give your body the nutrients it needs to perform at your best, Magic Mind needs to be part of your everyday routine.
And right now, they are giving Misfit listeners 20% off and a 30-day money back guarantee! Just go to www.Magicmind.co/Misfit or use the promo code Misfit20 at checkout on their site.
Misfits, do you have a great idea for a software product, but maybe don’t have the resources to create it? It used to be that you would need to hire a team of developers and project managers, etc. to get it done, but all of that has changed. And the company that has made it super simple and easy is Aloa.co.
Aloa is a platform for outsourcing software development for startups. Aloa provides clients the platform and tools to achieve a predictable and successful outsourcing experience. And it’s done through a three-pronged process: Partner Network, Platform, Process.
Partner Network: Aloa has vetted through over 7,000 firms around the world, doing the upfront effort to find the diamonds in the rough. And through their proprietary process have qualified only the best to be their network.
Platform: Aloa buil their own project management platform, Aloa Manage, so their clients, even non-technicals, can manage their team as easily as editing a Google Doc. They’ve also built Aloa Pay, so clients don't have to deal with foreign transaction fees, foreign exchange rates, or international-contracting tax compliance making things simple and easy.
Process: It is impossible to have a one-size fits all solution, that is why Aloa assigns a Strategist to work with each Client in building out a customized development strategy ensuring their Clients have the tools and foundation needed for a successful project.
And if that is not enough, their hourly rates offer an amazing value compared to what is out there and the rates include everything in them with no hidden fees which make it easy to budget and plan for your project.
Right now, Aloa is giving Misfit listeners 20% off for their first 4 months on all services – that’s an incredible savings off their already low rates.
Just go to Aloa.co/Misfit
Misfits, almost every small business faces competition from much larger companies in their industry and in order to compete against them – and WIN – small business owners and entrepreneurs need to arm themselves with the right tools and resources.
That’s why I want to tell you about a new podcast that I highly recommend called the David Vs. Goliath podcast. In each episode, host Adam DeGraide covers the 5 “smooth stones” that every business needs to slay the “Goliath” in their industry... it’s one of the best new podcasts for small businesses!
David Vs. Goliath is dedicated to helping small businesses leverage technology to compete and win against their large competitors. The show is packed with everything you need to succeed - Insightful guest interviews, sales roleplaying, and actionable tips you can apply directly to your business today
And if you’re looking for a great episode to start with, check out the two-part series with Bob Tasca…It’s practical, educational, and entertaining.
If you’re a small business owner or entrepreneur, the David Vs. Goliath podcast is a must listen. Just search for “David Vs. Goliath Podcast” on YouTube, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Enjoy!