Today I spoke with Sean Castrina, a serial entrepreneur, author, and all around educator on all things around entrepreneurship. Sean started more than 20 companies over the last 20 years and is also an author of multiple best-selling books including 8 Unbreakable Rules for Business Startup Success.
Let’s jump into Sean’s story and find out how his mindset of keeping things simple brought him great success in multiple industries.
[00:01 – 07:33] Opening Segment
Sean is a serial entrepreneur. Every year, he tries to add a new revenue stream. To have a new business every year is his goal. With 25 years of entrepreneurship, today, he’ll share with us a lot of valuable insights and pieces of advice that helped him succeed in business.
If you’re going to listen to my whole interview with Sean, you’ll notice one recurring theme with Sean’s businesses– he loves to keep things simple. He prefers service companies because he finds them the simplest since they don’t require inventories, long-term leases, sales tax, and a lot of other things. He also follows a very simple model: test your business idea and execute on it if it works. Lastly, if you want to start a profitable business, Sean believes that there are actually only two things you need to do: 1) Know how to make the phone ring and 2) Hire someone who’s qualified to make your brand promise. Learn more about these two steps and how you can also possibly start a new business every year like Sean so keep on listening!
[07:34 – 23:35] The road to being a serial entrepreneur
Sean’s journey into entrepreneurship started when he lost his job which he thought was very secure and which he was also doing very well in. The reason? It’s because there was a change in leadership. A new regime came in and they just let go of everybody whom they thought was very loyal to the former management. This shocked Sean, but at the same time, also totally changed his concept of security.
After he lost his job, Sean went on to sell life insurance. He did not necessarily like it but it paid the bills and inspired him to start his very first business. Sean got his idea from being around a lot of wealthy people with incredible from the company. His first business? Detailing cars in the parking lot of the insurance agency!
From this company alone, Sean was able to earn $35,000 passive income for the first year. He sld the company later on but the company is still around today. Today, he shares with us the things he does to make sustainable and durable business models:
1) Have a business name that when people hear, they already know what exactly what your business does.
2) Fail early, the earlier you fail the better. Fail forward, if you’re going to fail, learn something. And fail cheap, you don’t have to fail when you’re already all in.
3) Debunk the 3 myths about starting a business. You don’t need a lot of money to start one. You don’t need to have a formal business education. And you also don’t need to quit your job right away.
[23:36 – 38:00] Making it simple and effective
At this point, you’re probably wondering how you would know if a business idea is going to work. Sean advises running it through a business plan. He’s also giving away free copies of a book he wrote, The World’s Greatest Business plan, which will make it simpler for you to figure out if you have a good idea. Do you have competition in your area? Is there a demand for it but not to the point of being saturated? Most importantly, if you’re in a crowded market place, how will you differentiate your product or service?
To be able to differentiate your business from your competition, Sean’s advice is to really just find and focus on ONE promise. Find that one promise that you could make which your competition is either not fulfilling, has chosen not to do, or they can’t do. That one promise has to be something your company could make and deliver on, that if you’re target customer hears about it, they would chase you down for your business.
Lastly, Sean also tells us the story of the success of his handyman company. Aside from making one simple, broad promise, he also thought of himself as his own target market. He then reverse engineered what he thought would be the perfect experience for their customer. By doing this, even though they did not do anything really earth-shattering, they were still able to make their customers very happy. Surely, focusing on that one promise and making sure you fulfill it will bring you to success.
[38:01 – 43:32] The FOCUS FIVE Segment
The FOCUS FIVE are five questions I ask every guest on my show. Keep on listening to find out what book Sean gifts most often; who would he talk to if he can get an hour of any person living or dead, from the past or the present, and why; that one thing he believes but most people will disagree with; his morning routine; and lastly, where are the best places we can connect with him online. (See the links below for Sean’s social media links!)
“In life, simple works in general. If I want to improve on something, just add one habit that would move me the most in that direction.” – Sean Castrina
“Have a name that when somebody hears it, they know exactly what your business does.” – Sean Castrina
“Find the one promise that your company could make and deliver on, that if your target customer heard about it, they would chase you down for your business.” – Sean Castrina
Resources mentioned in the episode:
- World’s Greatest Business Plan by Sean Castrina
- 8 Unbreakable Rules for Business Start-Up Success by Sean Castrina
- Advantage Handy
- Schedule a call with Hans
LEAVE A REVIEW + help someone who wants to explode their business growth by sharing this episode or click here to listen to our previous episodes.
A few last words
Are you working HARD but not really moving the needle on anything? You should check out my POWER LIST and find out how you can get more done to move your business, project, or relationship closer to where you want it to be. Let’s go!