Skip to main content

At Work

All things work-related

The Speakeasy Gang

Top Entrepreneur Takeaways from Speakeasy San Diego 2017

By Business Philosophy, Entrepreneur Insights, Motivational No Comments

Last week, I had the good fortune to attend the San Diego Speakeasy event, hosted by Eric Berman and Travis Houston. It was set up for motivated entrepreneurs to get together, connect, share war stories, and learn from each other.


Here are the big ideas I took away to apply to my business.

Get Leverage in Your Business

Super-marketer, and head of Digital Marketer, Roland Frasier, spoke about getting leverage in our businesses. It’s the way to accelerate growth. Two questions he posed I found helpful:

  • What activity contributes the most to your profitable growth?
  • What are we doing now that we can easily replicate?

Do more of these!

Roland Frasier at Speakeasy San Diego

Roland Frasier at Speakeasy San Diego

How to Grow

I made a list of items he mentioned that is helpful for the entrepreneur to be thinking about:

  • Buy your competitors
  • Expand internationally
  • Turn your cost centers into profit centers
  • Buy complimentary media
  • License brands and products instead of building it yourself
  • Borrow a salesforce
  • Add physical products to services, and vice versa

For more information, see Roland’s presentation at

Sean Stephenson

Standing at only 3ft tall, Sean Stephenson is a giant in the world of motivation and inspiration. When Sean was born doctors predicted he would not survive past birth because of a rare bone disorder that stunted his growth and caused his bones to be extremely fragile. Despite these challenges, he’s taken a stand for a quality of life that has reached millions of people around the world, including Sir Richard Branson, President Clinton, and his Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.


Sean’s message spoke directly to most of the entrepreneurs there, who have a tendency to get too “heady” and forget to work from the heart. He reminded us that “Emotion is the currency of humanity” – it is the bond between all of us. Learn to influence it, and magic is created.

Sean reminded us that our worlds are created by the attitude and perception we bring to any situation. Since that’s the case, then we need to bring the party!

Ask yourself, “What space am I creating right now around me?”  If you don’t like where you are, then change it.

Finally, he ended by reminding us that at any event, don’t think about trying to get something from someone. Instead, the best question you can ask at a networking event is, “What’s lighting you up right now?”. You’ll hear raw emotion from your conversant and might even find some common ground.

Are You Making it Rain?

Dean Grey had an awesome quote:

“If you’re going to make it rain, you better own the bucket”

What this means is that you should be thinking about more than just getting sales. Instead, think about building the machine that gets more sales. This is why at TakeLessons, we focus on email capture and nurturing almost more than anything else.

The Speakeasy Gang

The Speakeasy Gang

Scaling Your Business

Ever heard of Beachbody? You know, the multi-billion dollar physical/health company? Babak Azad was one of the most influential marketers that helped them scale into the billions while buying over $500m in paid media. Here were a few of his takeaways:

  • You don’t have to have everything in place to scale – just the critical things. Your goal is to know your critical components and to focus on those. For Beachbody, it was creative, offers, and maximizing LTV (customer lifetime value).
  • He who can pay the most for acquisition wins.
  • If you’re doing direct response, keep it simple: two offers, two channels. No need to go into several channels at once. Get really good at a couple and get an unfair advantage there.
  • Don’t outsource your success. You have to own the critical areas of your business.
  • Strategies are more important than tactics.
  • As you scale, brand matters. It’s more sustainable and helps lower CAC (customer acquisition costs).

In the Stock Market?

Finally, my friend Phil Town gave us a rundown on his view of the stock market. In summary, it’s expensive right now. Be careful and have cash. At some point, this bull run is going to slow down.

Pay attention to the FRED. This is the Federal Reserve St. Louis Wilshire Gap Ratio. Below 80% is normally a good time to buy. Above 100% gets worrisome. And where is it right now? 140%.  Let this be a danger sign!


Here’s my final takeaway. Although the market is fraught with risk, there’s never been a better time to be an entrepreneur. The road is difficult and draining at times, but rewarding beyond belief. Keep your head up, keep one foot in front of the other, and march on.

Until next time…


Steven Cox at San Diego Speakeasy

Steven Cox at San Diego Speakeasy