As a founder, it can be challenging to know when to make the shift from pouring every dollar you have into getting your startup off the ground to taking a few chips off the table to eventually paying yourself first. However, every business owner should begin to separate their own personal finances from the business as soon as possible for a few different reasons.
In this episode, Malcolm Ethridge sits down to discuss best financial practices for founders and how to know when it is time to begin to allocate your revenue to more personal goals. Malcolm runs through tools and tricks to grow your business and build sustainable financial habits for you and your business.
How to invest in your own business and build funds for your long-term goals
Counterbalancing your business’s high burn rate with low personal expenses
Reinvesting extra cash flow into retirement and diverse investments
Protecting what you have built and your loved ones through insurance
For startups, investors often put a lot of emphasis on cap tables. They want to see a diluted picture of equity ownership among you as a founder, any co-founders or partners, early investors, and key employees before they’ll seriously consider handing over a check to invest themselves in your company. That’s because a healthy cap table illustrates not only your business’s potential for growth in the future, but also communicates to your investors just how solid your judgment is as a CEO.
In this episode, Malcolm Ethridge speaks with Jason Ray about how to tell a compelling story to potential investors. Jason shares why investing in what matters to you as a business owner and to your business doesn’t always sacrifice an investment return, and how it can help attract investors who are interested in your cause. He also dives into why it’s important to know your key performance indicators from the very beginning, why some businesses are hesitant to take loans and how that can prevent them from growing, and what goes into good financial modeling and forecasting.
Why investing in ESG doesn’t necessarily mean sacrificing investment returns
Why it’s important to get yourself in gear from the very beginning as a business owner and be prepared for a potential investor
How a lack of experience with taking out loans and knowing how much they need creates hesitancy, and how that hesitancy can become a hurdle for business growth
What goes into good financial modeling and forecasting
Jason founded Zenith Solutions to deliver accessible, high-quality financial education and advice to individuals and institutions. His work is inspired by racial and age wealth inequality that exists in society.
Prior to founding Zenith, Jason helped renovate a longstanding independent wealth advisory firm, Carnegie Wealth Management, by building new technology, private placement structures, and research capabilities. He delivered investment advice and financial plans to families with a net worth upwards of $10M. Earlier in his career, Jason also gained extensive experience evaluating and creating solutions for financial advisors at Lincoln Financial and FS Investments.
Though it may seem like a very distant and high-class problem that only the super-wealthy among us will ever have to contend with, for many tech workers who have accumulated a significant sized stake in their employer, it is not unlikely that estate taxes are something they will have to consider as a part of their overall financial plan. In fact, with the number of bills currently floating around the halls of Congress with the intention to increase tax revenue by lowering the estate and gift tax thresholds, there could be significantly more Americans who will be impacted by this “problem” soon enough.
In this episode, Malcolm Ethridge speaks with Aaron Rubin, a partner at Werba Papier, about some of the lesser-known estate planning challenges facing those with concentrated equity positions. Aaron also shares some of the more common mistakes he sees clients make prior to and immediately following an IPO that could be avoided with proper planning.
How to design a plan that keeps more of your money in your pocket and out of the hands of the IRS
The interesting and unique things he has seen people do following an IPO
Who should be concerned about qualified small business stock
What an intentionally defective trust is and how to apply it
Aaron Rubin is a partner at Werba Papier, a wealth management firm that caters to pre-IPO executives and early employees. Prior to his current firm, Aaron spent time at Deloitte where he worked on trust and estates and honed his skills in their private client advisory. He also received his JD from the University of Illinois. In 2019, he published Financial Adulting, a guide to help young professionals navigate the challenges of taxes and investments in estate planning.
As anyone who has ever bought and sold any sort of digital asset in the last couple years can attest, the rules and regulations around reporting those transactions to the IRS can be very fuzzy. Coupled with the lack of information made available by the IRS itself, and the lack of general knowledge and adoption of crypto by the accounting community, it can be very tough for investors to make heads or tails of it all.
At best, you manage to stumble across a couple of really helpful twitter posts or youtube explainer videos offering solid tidbits of information that may or may not be directly applicable to your individual circumstances. But at worst, you make a mistake in reporting your transactions in one year, that ultimately opens up your returns from previous years to scrutiny, and you find yourself in the middle of a full-blown audit with no idea how you got there.
In this episode, Malcolm Ethridge speaks with Micah Fraim, CPA and crypto enthusiast, about the taxation of crypto. Micah shares his knowledge about how crypto and NFTs are taxed, how to save money on taxes when investing in crypto, why you should stay up to date on the ever-changing IRS taxation policies about crypto, and how to track activity across multiple digital wallets without using a platform like Coinbase.
How crypto and NFT trades are taxed today
How to take advantage of the current crypto winter to save on taxes
Why he is such a fan of cryptos and their future long-term
Some recommendations for how to tack crypto activity and keep good records across multiple digital wallets
Micah Fraim is the founder of Fraim Cawley & Company. Micah is a certified public accountant who works with small business owners on preparing tax returns and offers more advanced tax planning. In addition, he is also a self-proclaimed crypto enthusiast and has recently published the book, Decryptifying Crypto Taxes.
A stock option is the right to buy a specific number of shares of either a stock or an index at a preset price. These options allow traders to speculate on the directional performance of a stock or index without owning the shares outright. For better or worse, options trading has now been democratized and made available to just about anyone, regardless of their individual risk tolerance, risk capacity, and overall understanding of the inner workings of options contracts.
In this episode, Malcolm Ethridge speaks with Todd Rampe, author of “Get Paid, Learn To Trade” and founder of the Wealth Builders Institute. Todd is a trading educator who teaches individuals how to trade options using the software he built. He shares the advantages of trading options, what dollar amount makes trading options worth the benefit, why he chooses to teach people instead of selling his software, and what his 3 golden rules of options trading are.
The advantages to trading options rather than owning the underlying stock outright
The point where someone can afford to trade options, and what amount won’t result in enough of a benefit
Why he chooses to teach people how to trade options instead of selling his software to them
Todd Rampe is the founder of the Wealth Builders Institute in Las Vegas, NV. Todd Rampe is one of the very few trading educators that actually trades his own account using the exact method he teaches both new and experienced traders. The secret to his success lies in his proprietary software, Triple Sync Logic. Using this unique software allows Todd and his students to spot Market Reversals, which are widely considered to be the single best time to enter a trade, because, at that stage, you will get in the trade right before the price changes direction.
Todd was very fortunate to learn how to trade in 1998, from someone he calls his “7-Figure Mentor,” because of how successful his mentor was, and of course, the amount of money he made. So, after well over 2 decades of trading, developing software and the methods that go with them, Todd is able to teach virtually anyone how to use his incredibly dependable Triple Sync Software, regardless of their experience. Todd Rampe built the Wealth Builders Institute to ensure that anyone that wants to learn to trade effectively, will have the best possible tools and knowledge at their fingertips, to accomplish that goal, in a very short period of time.
In the simplest terms, a mentor is anyone who possesses more experience and knowledge than you in a given industry. They have skills you want to master in order to thrive. And you’d rather lean on their experience and expertise and learn from their mistakes, rather than having to go and make those same mistakes on your own.
Entrepreneurs need mentors especially, and perhaps more than other professionals, simply because it is nearly impossible to formally teach entrepreneurship in any controlled setting. There are just too many variables that will inevitably change from entrepreneur to entrepreneur and business to business.
In this episode, Malcolm Ethridge speaks with Ron Bauer, a venture capitalist and the founder of Theseus Capital, about the role mentorship plays in the success of a startup founder. Ron shares his roadmap to success for entrepreneurs, talks about mentoring entrepreneurs, and how founders can find the right mentor for the right moment.
How he applies a hands-on, academic methodology to the way he invests, and his hands-on approach to mentoring his entrepreneurs
His roadmap to success for startup founders
How to be proactive in the current market and how long he anticipates it lasting
How to find the right mentor for what you need at the moment
Why you should do something you enjoy and not focus solely on doing something to make money
Ron Bauer is a venture capitalist and entrepreneur with over 20 years of financing businesses. He is focused on the Life Sciences, Technology, EdTech, and Natural Resources sectors, where he has created a number of exciting ventures side by side with some of the world’s leading entrepreneurs and scientists, as well as world-class academic institutions that include Oxford, Cambridge, Stanford, Cornell, and Hebrew University to name a few. He is the Founder of Theseus Capital Ltd, the family office investment vehicle for his portfolio companies.
We’ve all heard the popular saying “it’s not what you know, but who you know.” But when you hear the word “networking,” how many of the feelings that start to bubble up are negative ones, such as anxiety, discomfort, and maybe even fear? And that word can be especially triggering for those who consider themselves introverts.
And while there have been several social media platforms and other tech tools built over the last couple decades designed to help make networking and building relationships easier for both introverts and extroverts alike, there will never be any true substitute for the authentic human connection felt by sharing a meal together face-to-face.
In this episode, Malcolm Ethridge speaks with Nick Gray, the author of The Two Hour Cocktail Party, about how to build big relationships by hosting small gatherings. Nick shares his secret formula for becoming the best host, how to become a natural conversationalist, why networking in person is better than online, and some advice on how and when to host.
How to become a natural conversationalist
Why it’s important to lead conversations with authentic excitement and energy about your passions and interests
Why networking in person leads to better relationships than online
Why you should host a small gathering instead of meeting for drinks
Nick Gray is the founder and owner of Museum Hack. After growing it into a multi-million dollar business and being featured in a TEDx talk, he sold Museum Hack. Nick published The Two Hour Cocktail Party, sharing his formula for growing big relationships by hosting small gatherings. He also writes a popular newsletter for business owners and entrepreneurs called “Friends Newsletter,” because he originally wrote it just for his friends.
Historically, gold and other precious metals have been how we trade with one another across borders and globally. Gold bars were the original store value before there was such a thing as the US dollar. The gold standard was so consistent in its ability to maintain its value through varying economic cycles that we backed up our dollars with it. Incorporating precious metals into a diversified portfolio as a hedge against the volatility in both the stock and bond markets sounds like a good idea.
In this episode, Malcolm Ethridge speaks with Patrick Yip from APMEX about diversifying investment portfolios with precious metals. Patrick explains why precious metals are a favorable investment during hyperinflation and why so many Americans continue to put their money toward gold and silver despite the approaching cashless society. Patrick then discusses how his company, OneGold, allows people to invest in gold and silver effortlessly through their credit card rewards.
The types of precious metals APMEX sells and the various forms they are available in.
Why Americans should own and invest in precious metals in a time of hyperinflation
Why do Americans continue to invest in precious metals, even though we’re approaching a cashless society
How OneGold’s credit card lets you earn rewards in the form of gold and silver, rather than points or cash-back
Patrick Yip is the Director of Business Development at APMEX, and currently manages One Gold, a digital precious metal platform. Mr. Yip joined APMEX in 2011 and held roles in merchandising, sales, project management, and business development. Before APMEX, Patrick worked for asset management companies, and at Fortune 500s, such as Disney and Twentieth Century Fox.
One of the biggest problems that need to be solved almost immediately after launch is making some noise to let the public know you and your product or service exist. If not, no matter how good that product or service is, you likely won’t be in business for very long. And as daunting as it might sound, blitzscaling your content creation can be done; especially with the use of social media.
In this episode, Malcolm Ethridge sits down with Mark Lachance, CEO of Maxy Media, and author of “The Lucky Formula.” Mark gives us the critical takeaway about how you can create your own luck through creating magnetism. He also explains his work in blitzscaling businesses by adopting social media; emphasizing why every business should prioritize content creation.
The types of businesses he has scaled and why he keeps coming back for more
The key takeaway from his experiences with stacking odds in his favor by building magnetism
How to make your own luck in business
Why it’s important to blitzscale your business’ influence with diversification across social media and marketing platforms
For those who have thought of an idea for a tech startup in a crowded space, it can be tempting to think that your idea must be completely brand new and inventive. Especially when you consider the seemingly ubiquitous announcements that so-and-so big name venture capital investor has chosen to back so-and-so startup looking to go where no one has gone before, which tend to dominate the headlines. However, if done right, there can also be room for those who have built a better mouse trap to enter into a crowded space and make a name for themselves.
In this episode, Malcolm Ethridge sits down with the CEO and co-founder of Battery Xchange, Desmond Wiggan, to discuss what it was like starting his own tech company, a few of the hurdles he has encountered along the way, and how one small tweak to their target market has made a big impact on their success.
What it was like building a tech company in North Carolina and the importance of starting where you are
How the idea for Battery Xchange came out of necessity while he was on a work trip overseas
What it’s like being a third-generation entrepreneur
Why Battery Xchange ultimately pivoted its focus from restaurants and bars to universities and sports venues
Desmond Wiggan is the CEO and co-founder of Battery Xchange, a sharing economy platform providing device charging on the go. Prior to founding Battery Xchange, Desmond spent time as an account manager for Pepsi corporate and spent time as a cross-border technology consultant working in Guanxi. He is a highly motivated innovator who aspires to emulate leaders, such as the Rockefellers and the Carnegies for his generation. During Desmond’s early career in cross-border technology, he learned the importance of relationships and networking, which has now made him a relationship seeker and networking junky. He wishes to leave a legacy for himself and his family. Demond’s goal is to gain as much exposure, experience, and knowledge as he can.