Updated: Jul 19, 2020
Joe Hodges started his company with just $3,500, often slept in his office, and had incredible people help him get started. Then he built it up and sold it for millions 15 years later. Joe joins Allen on the podcast for this special Cinco de Mayo episode, tells his story, and gives inspiration and advice to all those aspiring and early entrepreneurs out there. Cervezas and laughter included. Hyperlinked minute-by-minute show notes below:
SPONSOR: Executive Launch (www.execlaunch.com) – from corporate executive to startup founder
Full Episode (YouTube): https://bit.ly/2AELfia
0:50 Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone!
1:10 We dance badly
2:30 Joe’s bio including knighted into the Order of Salvadore at the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg - and on the board of the Tampa Bay Wave startup accelerator.
10:50 Joe talks about reading Allen’s new book QUIT TO START - How to Discover Your Best Idea, Gain the Confidence, and Plan Your Escape
13:30 Joe’s story starts in Augusta, Georgia - a kid dishwasher in his first job. One of 8 kids, competitive environment.
17:05 Moved to Tampa Bay area, more dishwashing …and disco. But mostly, he liked to work, that was his thing.
18:55 Had a 1.42 grade point in high school and got kicked out twice. So it took two junior colleges to ultimately land at Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL.
19:40 Started selling and publishing a magazine in college and expanded it to other cities
21:00 Early sales jobs seems to always correlate strongly to future successful entrepreneurs
25:10 How to use a clipboard to open a bottle of beer
26:50 Aspiring entrepreneurs should find current entrepreneurs and watch what they do
27:30 Older entrepreneurs never lose the competitive urges
28:40 Personal trainer business in college - and got on a nationally syndicated aerobics TV show called Body Electric
31:06 A nursing home job - learned about the risk of overselling
34:50 Joined third party administrator for health plans, then went out on own with partner.
38:12 Broke up with partner, difference between getting along well and having business alignment.
41:15 Depressed, needed something - a friend helped
46:15 People you meet mid-career and become partners later
47:05 Add people that can balance your weaknesses. Entrepreneurs struggle adding people and delegating, we're all control freaks and perfectionists.
49:39 Miracles can happen to those that are ready to receive
50:30 Assignment in Puerto Rico
51:29 Non-compete ended, started own company Inetico. $3,500 in pocket. Slept in the office. Had 30 days to get revenue going. Local restaurant owner gave him free meals every day.
54:55 A friend flight attendant donated his companion ticket with Southwest Airlines so Joe could get to clients around the U.S.
56:12 Allen calls Joe the ‘Hobo Entrepreneur’
56:30 Generosity is so important in entrepreneurship - people helping struggling entrepreneurs. And generosity doesn’t have to be money, even more valuable when it's not money.
1:02:30 Sold the company for millions after 15 years, 60 employees - kept first client the entire 15 years
1:03:45 Clients are the most important - they believe in you, take a chance on you
1:04:36 Be authentic, be true to what you’re selling, be transparent
1:05:08 Get good at telling your story and talk to everyone about it
1:07:20 How Tony Robbins changed everything for Joe one day when he was depressed and lost in his career and purpose
1:09:30 Identify your fears, share and burden with someone you love
1:15:25 Meet and connect with interesting people
1:17:15 Swimming with sharks (literally)
1:22:00 Put yourself in difficult situations - and always celebrate accomplishments, with those you journeyed with
1:24:10 The biggest motivation and biggest reward in entrepreneurship not talked about enough