I just got back from Andrew Wilkinson's Mastermind.
My 12 takeaways from the Berkshire guys of the internet:
Agencies Are In
Cashflow is cool again and agencies are a great business to start with.
@metalabs's cash flow powered Tiny's acquisitions.
Many others are taking a similar path.
Plow the agency cashflows into better business models and equity.
Firefighter to Firechief
Running into a burning building is very different than managing people.
Don't promote to the point of incompetence.
Different jobs require different skill sets.
Power of Personal Brands
Trust and unique insights are more valuable than ever with AI progress. - @ShaneAParrish
1+1 = 100 with the right influencer & product.
Derek of More Plates More Dates has done one of the best jobs of building monster businesses out of his audience.
Keep Incentives Simple
Stock options, phantom equity (warrants) are viewed as lottery tickets.
After @_Sparling_ explained a bonus structure a CEO asked "But how do I buy a couch?"
They bought him a couch & simplified.
Profit share w/ growth expectations is good.
No Perfect Incentives
"Always unintended consequences." - Charlie Munger
X% of topline revenue may work at the start.
Until they underperform and keep getting large bonuses.
Ask certainty vs uncertainty in comp discussions.
"Want X with certainty or chance for Y?"
Bonuses Should Be Unexpected
Spot bonuses are the most effective.
Bonuses shouldn't be consistent.
Giving gifts employees wouldn't buy themselves works well.
Cars, experiences, etc. more impactful.
It is easy in the early days to overtitle.
Hard to take titles and comp away once given. Often need to replace people.
Ex: Call them head of sales. Then hire a CRO above them in the future.
Nothing Compounds Like Knowledge
Reading makes you better and smarter every day.
Chris and Andrew read or learn for 1-2+ hours per day.
Chris was an obvious partner for this reason.
Don't Wrestle with Pigs
All their failed deals started with a bad person.
They drag you down with them.
Avoid "psychos that don't sweat."
You can't do a good deal with a bad person.
Avoid Business with Friends & Family
It always goes poorly. You have to be ok with losing them.
Complicated when power differences are involved.
It only works when people are buying in.
Never Give Away Equity
Don't give equity away for free.
Either reduce salary, give bonus as equity, or let them buy-in.
A good solution is high cash comp, then let them buy into the company with their money.
Nothing for free.
Victoria is Beautiful
400k people on an island near Vancouver.
Tiny has an amazing house / office overlooking the ocean.
The city has a bunch of classic pubs with Canada's busiest water airport in the middle.