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Trend Following with Michael Covel

Bestselling author Michael Covel is the host of Trend Following Radio with 6+ million listens. Investments, economics, decision-making, human behavior & entrepreneurship--all passionately explored. Guests include Nobel Prize winners Robert Aumann, Angus Deaton, Daniel Kahneman, Harry Markowitz & Vernon Smith. Also: James Altucher, Dan Ariely, Jean-Philippe Bouchaud, Kathleen Eisenhardt, Marc Faber, Tim Ferriss, Jason Fried, Gerd Gigerenzer, Larry Hite, Sally Hogshead, Ryan Holiday, Jack Horner, Ewan Kirk, Steven Kotler, Michael Mauboussin, Tucker Max, Barry Ritholtz, Jim Rogers, Jack Schwager, Ed Seykota, Philip Tetlock & Walter Williams. All 600+ eps at www.trendfollowing.com/podcast.
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Bestselling author Michael Covel is the host of Trend Following Radio with 6+ million listens. Investments, economics, decision-making, human behavior & entrepreneurship--all passionately explored. Guests include Nobel Prize winners Robert Aumann, Angus Deaton, Daniel Kahneman, Harry Markowitz & Vernon Smith. Also: James Altucher, Dan Ariely, Jean-Philippe Bouchaud, Kathleen Eisenhardt, Marc Faber, Tim Ferriss, Jason Fried, Gerd Gigerenzer, Larry Hite, Sally Hogshead, Ryan Holiday, Jack Horner, Ewan Kirk, Steven Kotler, Michael Mauboussin, Tucker Max, Barry Ritholtz, Jim Rogers, Jack Schwager, Ed Seykota, Philip Tetlock & Walter Williams. All 600+ eps at trendfollowingradio.com/rss.

Jan 22, 2018

Michael reaches back and brings on three authors from the archives with three great books: Fascinate, Simple Rules and Visual Intelligence.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Sally Hogshead on Fascination
  • Kathleen Eisenhardt on Simple Rules
  • Amy Herman on Visual Intelligence
Jan 19, 2018

Cognitive dissonance is everywhere. Michael quotes from an article by Alwyn Lau titled “Quick to Attack and Condemn: Why We do It.” Trumps presidency has produced arguably the greatest case of cognitive dissonance in history.

Many cognitive dissonance with the markets. What is the best way to counter cognitive dissonance? Take a minute, stop, and look for an alternative explanation. Stop hallucinating and start studying. Read perspectives from both sides and educate yourself.

Staying attached to news and breaking headlines only feeds the problem. Are you in cognitive dissonance about markets? Politics? Have you given yourself a back test?

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Cognitive dissonance
  • Donald Trump
  • Fact checking
  • Bitcoin
  • Breaking news
Jan 15, 2018

“The Edge… there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.” –Hunter S. Thompson

Taking the lead from Thompson...Michael goes in search of the edge.

Jan 12, 2018

Ben Hardy started blogging in May of 2015 and in just under three years has gained over 300,000 email subscribers and become the most followed writer on Medium.com. Ben is also just a few months away from his PHD in organizational psychology at age 29. His three foster children, as well as personal experiences, inspired his new book, “Willpower Doesn’t Work: Discover the Hidden Keys to Success.”

Ben sees willpower as a fight against the natural environment and consequentially, a losing battle. Getting out of typical environments helps to see things from the outside and remove yourself from the echo chamber of mass society. Experiencing emotion, both good and bad, is also important. Finding a sacred space that triggers good emotions is important to mix into daily routine – a place to go everyday that re-centers you, and you look forward to going.

How does Ben have time to write new articles, with great content, and continue growing his following? We live in an information world and having the right writing skills can help grow a business immensely. He is a big proponent of re-purposing evergreen material. Also, learning how to structure content and write headlines are some of the quickest ways to see boosts in traffic. Lastly, publishing your content on the right platforms is key. The three websites Ben believes provide the best opportunity for you to see massive growth are all covered in this great conversation.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Western and eastern philosophy
  • Getting out of your environment
  • Sacred space
  • Morning routines
  • Squeeze page
Jan 5, 2018

George Anders is a New York Times best selling author and journalist who has written for national publications spanning over 30 years. He shared a Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting in 1997, while at The Wall Street Journal. Michael is a huge fan of George’s classic, “Merchants of Debt” published in 1992. His most recent work is “You Can Do Anything: The Surprising Power of ‘Useless’ Liberal Arts Education.”

“You Can Do Anything” shows how humanizing technology has become one of the fastest growing jobs. 6% of technology jobs are programmer based with the other 94% being human relations based. Social media, branding, psychology, etc.–they have nothing to do with coding but are just as essential to running a successful technology based company. George gives one example of an exceptional sales person he met who happened to be an English major. He sat beside her and witnessed first hand why she was so exceptional at selling – it was how she talked to people and fostered relationships with customers over the phone. You don’t need a business degree to sell. You just need an intuitive social way of talking with people and making your customer feel comfortable. Building a successful company takes a combination of tech savvy and psychology.

Having the confidence and audacity to take a risk and reach out to some of the highest achievers in a field of your interest could be your greatest chance at a dream job. To be the best you learn from the best and you won’t get very far if you are shy about it. George also stresses that no matter what your major was in college (or if you even went to college), it is important to know that you can go in any direction with a career path. Michael and George end the podcast talking about climbing Mt. Fuji. George describes the gorgeous landscape, scenery, and a mistake he made that anyone following in his footsteps should avoid.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Confidence in business
  • Journalism
  • Targeted marketing
  • Mark Zuckerberg
  • Alumni connections
  • Audacity
  • Persuasion
  • E-books
  • The explorers spirit
Dec 31, 2017

Happy new year and please enjoy my all day 11-hour compilation covering 3 of my favorite guests. A timeless reminder to start 2018 the right way! And if you don't want to listen all the way through then enjoy my opening intro rant!

Dec 29, 2017

Ozan Varol is a rocket scientist, author and award-winning law professor. His contrarian view show throughout his writings and interviews. He focuses primarily on showing how extraordinary thinking produces extraordinary results. Ozan’s newest books are The Democratic Coup d’État and Comparative Constitutional Law: A Global and Interdisciplinary Approach.

Michael and Ozan Varol take a winding path through modern life across politics, geography and the proper way to argue.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Extraordinary thinking
  • The Democratic Coup d’État
  • Contrary thinking
Dec 25, 2017

A Merry Christmas podcast designed to challenge traditional thinking. Hint: Watch out for the biases and do the work.

Dec 22, 2017

Ken Blanchard is an author and management expert. His writing career spans over 60 books with his most successful being “The One Minute Manager” selling over 13 million copies. “The One Minute Manager” was first self published by Ken and his co-author and released in 1982. It quickly sold over 20,000 copies with no publicity, giving them a leg up when they were ready to negotiate publishing deals. Ken’s students span all backgrounds from large companies to entrepreneurs. His books have been translated into 40+ languages and the lessons and training he provides translates to all ages in all countries.

Where did it all start for Ken? Ken’s dad was an admiral in the Navy. He gave up a career on Wall Street to join the Navy and fight on the front lines of WWII. He taught Ken invaluable leadership qualities that he passes on throughout his books and in his training. What was one of his biggest lessons? You are only as good as the men around you.

Ken teaches three key lessons in one minute managing: one minute goal setting, one minute praising, and one minute reprimand. He believes good leaders are a combination of nature and nurture and proper training can go a long way in building successful relationships–which build successful companies. What are you doing to grow intellectually, physically, spiritually, and in your relationships? Competing with the best requires constant learning.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Seagull managing
  • Assumed constraint
  • Self leadership
  • Power of constant learning
  • Vulnerability in leadership
Dec 18, 2017

Cryptocurrency is sweeping the world. From taxi drivers to Instagram bikini models – everyone is talking about getting rich off it. Millions of people are willing to jump on board immediately–whether it’s a good or bad idea.

Building off that thought… Michael recently posted this question to listeners: “You have a trading strategy that you have tested over and over but you lose 5% the first year using it, what conclusions do you draw from that?” He reads feedback from listeners who are willing to throw their strategy away after having one down period. Warren Buffett, however, has famously said that if you cannot afford to lose 50% of your portfolio then you shouldn’t be trading – what do you think he would say about a mere 5%?

Michael finishes the podcast reaching back into his archives and pulling some trading rules from past trading legends. He calls this list his “43 Kickass Trading Rules for Bitcoin and Crypto Trading.”

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Bitcoin
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Volatility
Dec 15, 2017

Robin Hanson is an associate professor of economics at George Mason University and a research associate at the Future of Humanity Institute of Oxford University. He is an expert on idea futures and markets, was involved in the creation of the Foresight Institute’s Foresight Exchange, and DARPA’s Future MAP project. He is co-author of “The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life.” And today Robin and Michael dive right into the heart of our hidden motives.

“The Elephant in the Brain” helps confront hidden motives embedded in the brain–things people don’t like to talk about, also known as, elephants in the room. Robin shows that once our brains are able to confront these blind spots, we can better have a grasp on ourselves and the motivations behind how we think–which of course can then lead to possibly better policy.

Think about it: Why does one person find another attractive? Why do we laugh? Robin answers these questions and more throughout his work. He forces you to dig into the deeper, darker parts of your psyche and look in the mirror. And Michael takes great pleasure in letting Robin reveal his awesome insights on today’s show.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Hidden motives
  • Humans as political animals
  • Deception vs. self deception
  • Selfishness
  • Understanding your motivations
Dec 11, 2017

Very experienced guys make great interviews. They bring age, perspective and wisdom to the table. Tom DeMark and Perry Kaufman are two men that have previously been on the podcast that exemplify this statement. Michael went back into the archives to bring these men and their interviews on the podcast today.

Perry Kaufman is an American systematic trader, index developer, and quantitative financial theorist. He is considered a leading expert in the development of fully algorithmic trading programs. He currently is president of Kaufman Analytics.

Tom DeMark is founder and CEO of DeMark Analytics and the creator of the DeMark Indicators. Tom considers himself a market timer and believes that fundamentals are critical; however, he and Michael still have a lot in common. His work is price and technically driven.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Price movement
  • Fundamentals
  • Technical analysis behind the scenes
  • Elliott wave
  • The Fibonacci sequence
  • Forecasting
  • George Soros
  • Michael Steinhardt
  • Paul Tudor Jones
  • Steve Cohen
  • Computerizing indicators
  • 100% algorithmic trading
  • Systematic vs. Automated
  • Optimization vs. Validation
  • Tail events
  • Discipline
Dec 8, 2017

Matt Smith is CEO of Royalty Exchange, an online rights platform where users sell portions of their royalty income and investors bid on it. The primary goal of Royalty Exchange is to make royalty streams investable. They have held over 200 auctions in the last 18 months where artists and investors interact in the buying and selling of royalties. Recently Matt launched a sister company Royalty Flow–created to purchase larger royalty streams and get more investors involved.

What is the process of Royalty Flow? Investors can buy shares through a platform called Folio, those shares are then transferred to a major exchange like Nasdaq. Royalty Flow was created after being approached to buy Eminem’s royalties. Royalty Flow provides a way for a pool of investors to purchase. What are motivations for investors to buy royalties? Investors view this as a hedging strategy because it is uncorrelated to their other portfolios. In contrast, what are some motivations for selling off royalties?

There are hundreds of thousands of investors that contribute to artists getting their music out there – music producers, song writers, etc., not just performers. Those contributors have royalties. Artists and their contributors see the advantages to diversification and investors see a sense of security in having a steady flow of income outside of their Wall Street portfolios.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Streaming music
  • Music royalties
  • ICO’s
  • SEC regulations
  • Sesame Street royalties
  • Eminem royalties
Dec 4, 2017

Larry Hite recently called Michael and left him a voicemail regarding podcast episode #606. Larry has seen his share of ups and downs and has had a great career so praise from Larry was a nice surprise. Michael follows Larry’s praise by sharing a recent Facebook conversation with a critic. The conversation ensued regarding a post quoting Sam Harris. The back and forth that began with this Facebook “friend” starts with her calling Michael dogmatic (among other things) and by the end of the banter she evolves to calling him a cult leader. What is the takeaway from this conversation? Develop a system for dealing with people and their opinions. What is a key thing to keep in mind while developing that system? Not everyone’s opinion matters.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Trend Following 5th Edition
  • Dogmatic
  • Trend following performance
  • How to filter trolls
  • Sock puppets
  • Sorting the real from the fake
Dec 1, 2017

Michael Gervais is a high performance psychologist. He works with top performers to train and implement skills necessary to pursuing and revealing one’s maximum potential. His clients include world record holders, Olympians, internationally acclaimed artists and musicians, MVPs from every major sport and Fortune 100 CEOs. He is also co-founder of Compete to Create.

Part of Michael’s training is helping clients realize there are things we are in control of and things we are not in control of – therefore focus on what you can control. We can train our bodies, our craft and mind. Michael teaches clients through science based research that refining ALL three of these areas are essential to becoming successful.

So what does world class awareness look like and how do you achieve it? There are no words that can capture what awareness is, but when someone becomes fully aware, it is as if they are fully engrossed in the task at hand. They have an intimate understanding of how their thoughts, actions, and words are lining up with the environment. However, just being “aware” is not enough for mindfulness. Creating mindfulness could be as simple as focusing on one thing for a length of time. This might mean refocusing the mind thousands of times. As soon as you allow yourself to get into the moment, performance jumps astronomically. Athletes are a great way to judge this. They live in a world of compressed time. Most athletes only have a couple of years to compete at peak performance. Because of this, top athletes tend to understand being mindful and grasp the importance of being in the present moment faster than the average person.

Another aspect of Michael’s work is learning what motivates a client. There are two types of motivations: internal and external. Science has shown that people more aligned with internal motivations tend to outperform those motivated by external factors such as money, fame and power. However, regardless of your motivations or natural talents (or lack thereof), Michael stresses that greatness is accessible to everyone. Investing in mental skills that help deal with challenges that come your way is well worth the time to cultivate. Work on mastering the aspects of your life that you can control. Understanding how to do it is the easy part, implementing is the hard part.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Living in the present moment
  • Mindfulness
  • High performance training
  • Grit
Nov 27, 2017

Michael explores two of his favorite monologues covering Roger Waters of Pink Floyd fame and trader Nicolas Darvas.

Nov 24, 2017

Tim Larkin is one of America’s leading Pro-Victim Rights and Personal Safety Advocates. He has had a 25 year career training over 10,000 clients in 52 countries in how to deal with imminent violence. His books include How To Survive The Most Critical 5 Seconds Of Your Life and Survive The Unthinkable. His newest book is When Violence Is the Answer: Learning How to Do What It Takes When Your Life Is at Stake.

Tim’s father was an officer in the Navy. He knew at the age of 13 he was going to be a Navy Seal. His whole adolescence and early adulthood was dedicated to that goal. After college he started his Seal training. Toward the end, with just a couple weeks left of rigorous training, he went out on a routine training dive and a wave hit his ear. Tim burst his eardrum and his career was over. This was the first time, at age 21, his body had failed him. Sometimes the smallest things, like an eardrum bursting, can change your whole course of life. This lesson learned early on by Tim translates to everything he now teaches.

Tim has always stressed that the human mind is the only thing we do not have a weapon against. The human mind will always find a way if there is intention and Las Vegas is an example of that. Gun control is important however there is no amount of laws that will stop someone from inflicting pain, and this is where Tim’s work comes into play. He shows how a rational fear of violence is necessary in today’s world.

Knowing where threats lie, having an exit plan and being self-aware at all times might feel mundane, but it could save your life. Tim runs through real life scenarios: both men and women being targeted and attacked. What is the biggest takeaway? There is no benefit in focusing on the differences between you and a predator (ie. he is bigger, stronger, faster), but rather focus on the similarities and where the universal week spots are throughout the human body. We as humans are all hardwired to protect ourselves. Even though predators may be bigger, stronger, faster, if you understand basic human injury, you can exploit that and stop an attacker.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Las Vegas shooting
  • Simulated shootings
  • Asocial violence
  • Non-verbal cues
  • Disabling one of your sensory feelings
  • Navy Seals
  • Exploiting the human body
  • Knowing principles not techniques
  • Violence is a 50/50 endeavor
  • Killing with kindness first
Nov 20, 2017

Michael explores meeting the achievers, great coaching and brings back two trend following legends from the archives–a must listen.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Meeting the achievers–how?
  • Coaching
  • Trend Following Legends Ed Seykota and Martin Bergin
Nov 17, 2017

Robert Carver got his start in finance working at trend following firm AHL in 2001 during his final year of college. He was introduced to quantitative trading while at AHL and for the first time began thinking of finance in a systematic way. He later went back to AHL, working there from 2006-2013. His newest book is “Smart Portfolios: A Practical guide to building and maintaining intelligent investment portfolios.”

It took a lot of research and digging for Robert to decipher which financial tools available to traders were appropriate for him. He knew he was not the only trader with this problem so he decided to write a book laying out what he had found through his research. Robert gives actionable tips and guidelines for others who may need help finding what trading instruments are right for them. Robert also wanted “Smart Portfolios” to be a book for the average investor. He wrote it in a way that is not over complicated. Any trader, new or professional, can pick it up and find it useful.

Robert bases portfolio selection around three questions: 1. What should you invest in? 2. How much of your capital goes into those investments? 3. Do you make changes to your portfolio along the way? Whenever he receives questions from people, those questions usually fall into one of the above categories. There is never perfection when trying to predict how a portfolio will perform but Robert stresses that if you start your investing answering the above questions, you will be on the right track. After the right portfolio and financial tools have been selected it’s necessary to understand different types of returns. Michael and Robert finish the podcast discussing differences between geometric and arithmetic returns.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Portfolio selection
  • Benchmarks
  • International investing
  • Fundamental trading
  • Warren Buffett trading
  • Expected average performance
  • Leveraging a portfolio
  • Luck vs. Skill
  • Venture capitalism
Nov 13, 2017

Michael throws Jeff Bezos, Amazon and trend following into a giant melting pot. Jeff Bezos is a trend following trader – along with venture capitalists, Hollywood, the MIT black jack team, Warren Buffett (to some degree, yes), and many more.

Michael notes an excerpt from a document written in 1983, gleaning wisdom from Richard Dennis and Bill Eckhardt. Not relevant today? Think again. Richard Dennis makes it clear in the document that you never know where the next home run is coming from – missing a big payout is just as bad as taking a loss. Are you guilty of forgetting about big opportunity when trading? Do you focus too much on your downside? Most unfortunately get fixated on the downside and ignore the positive unknown.

Michael also notes an article written by Li Jiang titled, “What I Learned From Reading Every Amazon Shareholders Letter.” Li lists key lessons he has pulled from shareholder letters: type I and type II decisions, end each day of business like it is the first day, always operate like a hungry upstart, only the paranoid survive, make small bets because you can’t predict anything, move fast and break things, and if you are offered a seat on a rocketship – don’t ask which seat, just get on. Jeff Bezos’ words dovetail seamlessly with trend following philosophy. Thinking outside the box is essential to making great things can happen.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Jeff Bezos
  • Amazon
  • Type 1 errors/decisions
  • Type 2 errors/decisions
  • Sunk cost
  • Opportunity cost
  • Prediction
  • Trend following is dead?
Nov 10, 2017

Mark Kritzman is a Senior Lecturer in Finance at the MIT Sloan School of Management, founding Partner and Chief Executive Officer of Windham Capital Management and serves as a senior partner of State Street Associates. Mark has written six books, his latest titled “A Practitioners Guide to Asset Allocation”.

Mark began his career on Wall Street in 1974 and was immediately drawn toward systematic trading. At a time when there were not many quantitative traders, he was affectionately titled a “token quant” within his company.

Over the years Mark has been an advisor to many funds. While working with various companies it became clear fund managers were mixing how they invest with how they would choose asset classes. He decided to break down the most basic and logical ways of organizing the investment process. What are some components of an asset class: stable composition, be investable, internally homogeneous, externally heterogeneous, raise the utility of a portfolio, and you should be able to access it in a cost effective way. From there, depending on a persons risk, different combinations of asset classes would make up a portfolio.

Being in the game as long as Mark has, he has been able to witness the enduring and turbulent nature of markets. He saw one silver lining come out of the 2008 financial crisis – it provided a context where investors could go back to the basics of trading, and in particular, recalibrate how they manage risk. Mark finishes the podcast talking fixed weight portfolios, Peter Bernstein on scaling portfolio risk, dynamic asset allocation and explaining Samuelson’s Dictum.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Definition of an asset class
  • Actively managed portfolios
  • Passively managed portfolios
  • Time diversification
  • Portfolio diversification
  • The fallacy of large numbers
  • Leverage
  • Value at risk
  • Risk management
  • Fear and greed
  • Risk and reward
  • Exposure to risk
Nov 6, 2017

Today’s mega combo episode is Chris Voss, Robert Cialdini, Philip Tetlock, Spyros Makridakis, and Tim Ferriss.

Chris Voss is the author of, Never Split The Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It. Chris is a former international hostage negotiator for the FBI. He has had an amazing career full of great experience and insights. Chris first entered the FBI in 1983 and has been involved with over 150 kidnapping cases.

Robert Cialdini is best known for writing Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion published back in 1984. Robert is the “go to man” for understanding effective persuasion. Reciprocity, commitment and consistency, social proof, authority, liking and scarcity are six key principles of influence he teaches. His new book, Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade, introduces a seventh key principle of influence.

Philip Tetlock is a Canadian American political science writer currently at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is right at the intersection of psychology, political science and organizational behavior. His book, Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction, is probabilistic thinking defined. Phil is also a co-principle investigator of The Good Judgment Project, a study on the art and science of prediction and forecasting.

Spyros Makridakis is Rector of the Neapolis University of Pafos NUP and an Emeritus Professor of Decision Sciences at INSEAD as well as the University of Piraeus and one of the world’s leading experts on forecasting, with many journal articles and books on the subject. He is organizer of the Makridakis Competitions, known in the forecasting literature as the M-Competitions.

Tim Ferriss is an author, blogger and motivational speaker known for his bestselling books. Tim has revolutionized the idea of writing a book; he has engineered the process of a bestseller.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Aversion to negotiation
  • Negotiating skills
  • Never pretend people are rational
  • Business negotiations compared to hostage negotiations
  • Lying three times
  • “How” and “Why” questions
  • What are superforecasters?
  • Probabilistic thinking
  • Looking at data
  • Location independence
  • 80/20 rule
  • Known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns
  • Uncertainty
  • How to publish a book
Nov 3, 2017

Frank Ostaseski has dedicated his life to helping others. He is co-founder of the Zen Hospice Project and founder of the Metta Institute. Frank is a Buddhist teacher, international lecturer and expert on the end-of-life experience. His work spans from helping the homeless to the wealthy to the young and to the elderly have an easier transition to the other side. Frank loves what he does because of how “real” the experience of death is. His new book is The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully.

How did Frank begin helping people with the experience of death? It was not a linear path. Frank had experiences with death early on in his life with the passing of his parents. He later was introduced to the Buddhist practice with the central tenet of Buddhism being the study of constant change. When his son was born he felt it was important to “birth his soul”. He went to a program where everyone was grieving and learning about the loss of a soul. Frank on the other hand, wanted to learn how to gain a soul for his son. He didn’t find much help with that, however the leader of the program invited him back to see first hand what experiencing death was like. He later visited Central America working in refugee camps where he saw a lot of misery and death. He then went to San Francisco when the aids epidemic was running rampant on the streets. Each experience kept pulling him in a little more and more and every death he witnesses continues to show him how precious and precarious life is.

Frank’s five invitations, outlined in his book, have become his road map and guidelines for life: don’t wait, welcome everything and push away nothing, bring your whole self to the experience, find a place of rest in the middle of things, and cultivate don’t know mind.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • The territory of mystery
  • The inevitability and intimacy of dying
  • How saying goodbye at a party relates to saying goodbye when dying
  • Importance of human connection
  • Don’t wait
  • The reality of constant change
  • Openness during the travel experience
  • Trusting our intuition
  • Common humanity
  • Resting in the middle of activity
  • Discovering the truth
  • Stoicism
Oct 30, 2017

Mike Salguero is a serial entrepreneur. His newest venture is Butcher Box – delivering meat from the farm straight to your door. He got his start in the business space selling t-shirts in high school and continued making t-shirts throughout college. He credits his t-shirt businesses to teaching him how to market and grow a brand from the ground up.

Mike’s first large scale business was a company that helped carpenters market and sell their custom furniture. The company was called CustomMade. Mike and his business partner bought the URL for $150,000, revamped the website, raised $30 million of venture capital and at it’s peak employed 60 people. By the time Mike left the company they were down to 6 employees. His partner stayed with it and has turned the company around, but most investors lost everything. He learned a lot from CustomMade – the paramount lesson being how to market a product.

Butcher Box was started a few years after stepping away from CustomMade. Mike and his wife wanted to eat cleaner and healthier. He found a farmer whom he was able to buy grass fed, humanely raised, hormone free meat from. After about a year of buying the meat for himself and his friends he started learning how he could turn buying grass fed meat into a business. Mike started the company with $10,000 of his own money and did a Kickstarter campaign that raised $215,000. Today, they are north of 30,000 subscribers with three distribution facilities. Butcher Box sells beef, chicken, and pork from hundreds of different farms across America. What is their #1 goal? To replace the butcher.

Michael ends the podcast asking Mike, “What is the one thing I didn’t ask you in this conversation that you want the audience to know?” Mike drives home the point that if you want create a successful business you have to have extreme discipline focused on seeing how you are going to get to the next day, week, quarter and beyond. Most think they need to raise lots of money. That focus needs to shift to building a great company, with a great business model, that you are able to personally manage without outside investors.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Benefits of eating grass fed meat
  • Marketing a product
  • Commodity meat vs. grass fed
  • Raising capital (or the importance of not raising capital)
  • Entrepreneurism
  • Starting a business
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