October 6, 2007 – Jonas Olmsted, Michael Gerber & Ingrid Vanderveldt on Club E
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Rob: Welcome to Startup Story Radio. I’m Rob McNealy and we’re broadcasting from our flagship station AM 760 KKZN in beautiful Denver, Colorado. The lines are open, so give us a call at 303-713-7600. You can also instant message the show by visiting our website at startupstoryradio.com. I would like to thank Kelly Par for pushing the buttons today. He’s doing a wonderful job. I would also like to introduce Jonas Olmsted, the President of Club Entrepreneur, which we’re going to get to in a moment. We may also have Michael Gerber from the E-Myth and Ingrid Vanderveldt calling in. Ingrid was the host of CNBC show’s Made in America.
Before we get into all that I just want to say it’s been an absolutely amazing week. Last night I went to a great party. It was for the launch of this new affluent lifestyle magazine called Shine magazine. The party was at the XJet Club down at Centennial Airport here in Denver and I made some great new friends and I reconnected with some great people I haven’t seen in a while. It really got me thinking about how important it is to network in this society. I think this holds true for not only for entrepreneurs, but even just corporate types. You know, you gotta get yourself out there. I find that so many talented and clever entrepreneurs never make it. Not simply because they’re not clever enough or they don’t have a good enough idea. It’s because they’re just not understanding. They under-emphasize how important getting connecting to others is. How important that is to really get yourself out there.
For all you people that are entrepreneurs, some of you might feel that you’re introverted or you’re just not interested. I can say that being connected and networking with individuals and building relationships with people is probably the most important thing you can do. I think it’s probably the most important determining factor of becoming a successful entrepreneur. And that’s kind of what I wanted to talk to Jonas today about. There’s a great new event and a great new organization that’s going to be blown out and launched here in Denver on Tuesday. Jonas, how are you today?
Jonas: Great. Good morning.
Rob: Tell me about what we’re doing on Tuesday.
Jonas: Well, Tuesday is two things. One, it’s the launch of the Denver chapter of Club Entrepreneur, which is the second of two. The first was from Phoenix, started this year and in six months has 800 members and it’s really a vertically integrated program of students, startup, existing small businesses, harvested mentors, coaches, and investors. It’s a vibrant group and it really hits what you were talking about. It’s all networking and growing your center of influence and also the people you go to for advice to help you avoid some of the mistakes that a lot of folks make along the way.
Rob: I read this book called The Richest Man Who Ever Lived. I’m trying to get the author on because I really believe in this book. It’s just a terrific book. Basically, it took the Psalms and applied how King Solomon Psalms-and it’s not really a religiousy book, but it takes the advice from King Solomon and explains how to be successful. By today’s standards the author basically says that King Solomon would have been a trillionaire. One of the things they say is always get the counsel of others. Seek the counsel of others. Basically, getting good mentors and advisors on board for anything you do.
So, networking is a big part of that. People are not just going to come drop great opportunities in your lap. Well, sometimes it happens, but generally after you know a lot of people and they know you. I’ve talked to numerous angel investors and venture capitalists and they say they’re not necessarily investing in the idea, they’re investing with the CEO or the founder of the company. Tell me a little bit about yourself so people get to know who you are.
Jonas: Sure. My experience-I started selling radio time in this town on KDX in 1975. It was really a ready-fire-aim situation. It was total on job training, but the owner of that station was a great sales guy, really knew the broadcast business and was my coach, my mentor, and knew that I had the energy and passion. And in four years we were selling Jazz in pretty much a cow town, which our nickname back then was really a challenge, but we had students, we had African-Americans, and we had high-end clientele. It was a mix bag of people, but they all had a passion for jazz and we had a great crew of advertisers. My background basically went from-I spent the last 14 years, or excuse me-the first 14 years involved in radio syndication, music production. Built a company that provided commercial background environments for fast food restaurants like Chili’s and Houston’s, as well as Ralph Lauren retail.