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April 5, 2023

Silicon Valley Business Development Master Kurt Davis Shares All On Growing Your Business (#218)

Silicon Valley Business Development Master Kurt Davis Shares All On Growing Your Business (#218)
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“Don't go at it alone, make friends and build teams because it's a lot more fun along the way.” -Kurt Davis

Kurt Davisis a technology executive and investor with over two decades of experience building tech startups throughout Silicon valley, Europe and Asia. From 2008 to 2017, he worked with a startup called Boku where he led global business development, focusing on deals with the Apple, Microsoft, Spotify, Sony, and more. 

Kurt's book Navigate to the Light House, A Silicon Valley Guy to Executing Global Deals. Quantico's boat poo, whose journey from closing small sales deals to transactions worth billions of dollars. 

Speaking to other entrepreneurs Kurt realized that many get stuck in their initial market, but a few leap the chasm to bigger opportunities. And hence he wrote the book.

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Enjoy the interview!


[00:00:00] Jeffrey Feldberg: Welcome to the Deep Wealth Podcast where you learn how to extract your business and personal Deep Wealth.

I'm your host Jeffrey Feldberg.

This podcast is brought to you by Deep Wealth and the 90-day Deep Wealth Experience.

When it comes to your business deep wealth, your exit or liquidity event is the most important financial decision of your life.

But unfortunately, up to 90% of liquidity events fail. Think about all that time and your hard earned money wasted.

Of the quote unquote "successful" liquidity events, most business owners leave 50% to over 100% of the deal value in the buyer's pocket and don't even know it.

I should know. I said "no" to a seven-figure offer. And "yes" to mastering the art and the science of a liquidity event. Two years later, I said "yes" to a different buyer with a nine figure deal.

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Let the 90-day Deep Wealth Experience and the 9-step roadmap of preparation help you capture the best deal instead of any deal.

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Kurt Davis is a technology executive and investor with over two decades of experience building tech startups throughout Silicon valley, Europe, and Asia. From 2008 to 2017, he worked with a startup called Boku where he led global business development, focusing on deals with the Apple, Microsoft, Spotify, Sony, and more.

Kurt's book Navigate to the Light House, A Silicon Valley Guy to Executing Global Deals. Quantico's boat poo, whose journey from closing small sales deals to transactions worth billions of dollars.

Speaking to other entrepreneurs Kurt realized that many get stuck in their initial market, but a few leap the chasm to bigger opportunities. And hence he wrote the book.

Welcome to the Deep Wealth Podcast, and for all you listeners out there in listener Land, I've got a rhetorical question for you. Would you like to know how to grow your business? Do you want to create a market disruption? Do you wanna expand and go into other areas? And I know, of course, the answer is yes.

That's what we're here today with our very special guest. It's gonna be an episode to remember, but I'm gonna stop it there. Kurt, welcome to the Deep Wealth Podcast. Such a pleasure to have you with us. And you know what, Kurt, there's always a story behind the story. So what's your story? What got you to where you are today?

[00:02:56] Kurt Davis: Thanks for having me. I'm super excited to chat and get to know your audience and you. What got me to where I'm today perseverance.

Just keep going sometimes, maybe sometimes to your detriment, but like perseverance, right? I think it just, I think a lot of company building deals and things like that just take some nitty gritty and you just have to get, keep going.

And that's important. I think keeping my nose to the grind, staying focused and it's any endeavor, whether it's writing a book. Learning a language, building a company. It's just seeing something through to the end. And I think that's just a really old-fashioned quality I think a lot of people don't have anymore.

So I think that's one thing.

[00:03:36] Jeffrey Feldberg: You know, you're a very modest guy. I agree with you, by the way, Kurt, everything that you're saying, but you're also the modest guy because your background, where you've been and what you've done, some of the circles that you rubbed elbows with, all those things. I mean, literally, you wrote the book on it, which we're gonna talk about today.

Navigate To The Lighthouse: A Silicon Valley Guide to Executing Global Deals, and we'll have a link to that in the show notes. But I'm wondering when you're back in the startup days and you're in Silicon Valley and you're working with startups, some fairly remarkable things began to happen. And what's the story behind the story on that one Kurt?

[00:04:12] Kurt Davis: Back when I was in California, which I'm not anymore, but back when I went to those early days was the sleepy days of San Francisco. I was right there before Y Combinator. In fact, I got an apartment with the original Y Combinator gangs, the first two groups.

[00:04:28] Jeffrey Feldberg: Wow.

[00:04:29] Kurt Davis: So I knew most of those guys.

And they weren't very fond of, well, I won't get into that, a lot of those companies have succeeded. But I think, you know, I saw something a lot of people will never do is what was that like? How did it get started? Who were the people? More so who were the attitudes and what were the personalities?

And I think that was more interesting. And then, you know, as that world exploded I was sitting in this company which was not great. It was like scuttling along if you will, and you had several years where it kind of just leveled out and we were able to push through it and make it work.

And that was the foundation of the book, Navigate to the Lighthouse, which is how did we get over that hump of hitting our first set of users and then transitioning to a larger set of clients who took the company IPO.

[00:05:20] Jeffrey Feldberg: And again, for our listeners, we'll have the book and all your books actually because you've written a number of them in the show notes. But you start the book off in an interesting way, actually. You're taunting and challenging, and I'm talking about part one and chapter one where you're saying, hey, sales is not business development.

And so without necessarily giving the whole thing away, because we want our listeners to go through the book and read it, but what would you want them to know? Why is sales not business development? Because for most people, particularly in the corporate world, we think of sales. We think of business development.

The two go hand in hand. So Kurt, what's going on with that?

[00:05:56] Kurt Davis: I think sales is a, you have a product, you have product market fit, and you are rinse and repeat. This is, let's get out there, let's sell it. Let's see how many deals we can close. There is a definable kind of market. There's a product and there's a customer set, and you go for it.

And you sell until you can't sell anymore. And that you usually have your pricing and your terms and everything is, you know, cookie cutter. Biz dev is saying that's great, but how do we do something bigger? How do we change the trajectory of the company?

Do we need to pivot slightly? Do we need to go into a new market? Do we need to change the product significantly to get to a new set of customers? And that takes a lot of conversations. It takes investor support. It takes technology support and product support. So it's fundamentally, you're developing version two of your business and that's what business development is.

And the kind of subtitles to that are not only am I creating version two, but how do I do that? I have to find a kind of ancillary or a tangential product fit that gets in there. I have to maybe to do that, I might have to go buy or acquire a company. I might have to make a massive partnership to get us to that area where they teach us how to create that product.

We might have to go into international markets, and, start to reach out beyond where we are. So those are the kind of subtitles to that.

[00:07:23] Jeffrey Feldberg: And back in the day when you were knee-high into startups and helping them out and investing, what would be some of the more typical mistakes that in the early days' companies were making that you were helping them not only not make those mistakes, but get on the right path to doing the right thing?

[00:07:42] Kurt Davis: When I work with startups now, I'm always just very cautious with how they are, like addressing the market and the needs they're going after, right? So there's just a lot of questions I really just focus on the customer set, Is this product really needed? Is it going to be, when you have the conversations, is it something that gets people really excited or is it something that just is another salesperson calling them is it something that's impactful to their businesses?

I really have them hone in on the person they're selling to in that other company or those companies. In this case we're talking about B2B a lot of B2B SaaS here. Understanding that the impact that you're making is significant enough.

Because I think a lot of companies, you certainly see a lot of companies today, especially in the SaaS world, their impact is very minor. There's a lot of times that get funded, which, you just wonder. This is not that different from what's out there. It's a minor impact. It's not significant.

And they, these companies just are churning wheels. And that's very, it's very important to, to figure out if your impact's gonna be big enough. And I think that's what I work on with a lot of entrepreneurs because if your impact's modest and you miss.

You miss bad. But if you're going after a massive impact and you miss, you can miss 20 or 30 or 40%, you'll still be okay.

[00:09:05] Jeffrey Feldberg: And speaking of impact and strategy, business development, knowing what to do, I would imagine that falls into the Lighthouse framework. And again, from a high level, what would you want our listeners to know about the Lighthouse framework that you developed?

[00:09:19] Kurt Davis: Really, it's kind, it is always fun when I talk to people like yourself, cuz, you bring out these concepts and I really appreciate your reading and reviewing, but it also makes me rethink how I conveyed it in my book. And in this case, I think really what that, that lighthouse framework is distilling as which companies are gonna make the biggest, what product or technology you'll have that can make the biggest impact on the customers

And trying to analyze that. And then which one's the most likely to adopt the technology, which is also very important. You have to look at a lot of things. You have to look at financial reports, market economics.

You have to talk to people. You have to really think about what, and then the last thing is then what becomes my priority? Where do I spend my time? That's the big question of a salesperson was where do I spend my time and how do I produce or a biz dev person? And then using that information to say, here's the deals I want to go after.

Learn more about and one day you have a funnel of 50 companies or deals and you get to talk to half of those, and then you have a pipeline of 25 or 20, and you talk to them, a handful of times. And then maybe you get down to four or five and then maybe there's really only one deal that happens over the course of 12 months.

And so that, so you got one deal to get done in a year and that deal better be extremely impactful to the company.

[00:10:43] Jeffrey Feldberg: Sure. And it sounds like Kurt, over time from where you were to where you are today, that things evolve, things change your perspective changes your experiences, changes along the way with that. So as we sit here today, it's a different world. We're post-pandemic technology has just surged into the forefront and what worked yesterday isn't necessarily working today.

And so as we sit here as business owners, I mean, after all, we're the change makers. We're the ones that find the painful problems, solve them, hopefully, make the world a better place. From where you are today, Kurt, what do you want us to know? What's changed for you? That's really making all the difference.

[00:11:20] Kurt Davis: You know, I guess the question is what has changed since the pandemic for me? You know what, I'm actually working on another startup, which is not what I thought I would be doing. But what happened has changed is the pandemic has a lot, has created a bunch of opportunities, as you mentioned, opportunities to do.

And use capital and capitalism to do good. We've seen the explosion of climate change and energy but also health tech and things like that. So whenever you see a paradigm shift in market economics or in the world, whether it's due to a financial crisis, possibly a war, which is terrible, but and in this case, the pandemic there is a new world.

And a new world means there's new opportunities. So I started to look at what could be a cool new opportunity to help people through business. I got started to get really interested into healthcare over the pandemic due to family, I was taking care of three family members who all passed, and so I got to really know the healthcare system. Have come across a company that was doing temp staffing for dental workers of all things, and took the CEO job and we're raising money and we're growing it, and we have a big vision to create more than a dental staffing company, but to do a kind of a pan non-hospital healthcare staffing firm for anything from vet to radiology to whatnot.

[00:12:40] Jeffrey Feldberg: Oh, terrific. So it sounds like you're changing, you're adjusting as things come along. And I know if I take you back in time somewhat, you were helping a company that went on to become a very large one for mobile payments, digital payments, Boku. So looking back, there's always a narrative, and usually, the narrative doesn't have to necessarily be a complicated one.

It can be a simple one coming at a Boku, which was a startup, and you cut deals with some of the largest companies on the planet, the titans of business. What's the lessons learned looking back now, a number of years later?

[00:13:14] Kurt Davis: I think the biggest lessons learned are be aware of your building blocks. When you're in a company and you're in the weeds, you sometimes don't know what you're building on and building to. And so be aware of what, even if things don't work out, that whatever execution you're doing is building onto something that could lead to something bigger.

So when we were working on deals, we always said this was a great deal, but this is the foundation to get to this deal. . You know, sometimes we said these deals are practice, this is practice. And to get to that deal, now we get to that deals practice to get to that deal and that deals practiced to get to that deal, and that deal helped us to get over here.

Most people have some real startups, and I think you have to be happy with those wins and gains and do it again, and do it again. As you work for. Know that you're building on stuff. Cuz if you're not then I think you're not going anywhere. I do see startups who I'm like, I don't see what you're building towards. I don't, just don't see this. So that's one.

Shoot big enough. You gotta shoot big. Because like I said earlier, if you miss, you at least miss halfway. And I would also say, be very objective about what you're doing.

People get wrapped up and get really myopic or get passionate about what you're doing. I think it's dangerous as an entrepreneur.

You need to be very objective. Rational with what you're doing. Because if you're not, I think there's two big problems there. You will attach yourself too deeply personally to the company which is not healthy, just from a personal point of view. But you will also not make hard decisions, if you get passionate and attached, you will not see objectively what's working and what's not working.

and then you won't be able to make either hiring decisions, HR decisions, product decisions. And sometimes you have to say, this is just not working. This doesn't work. We have to do something else and this does work, or this doesn't work. And so I think, detach be objective and I think that's very powerful when you're doing a startup.

[00:15:12] Jeffrey Feldberg: And speaking of powerful and startups, I know this is also a passion of yours, and unfortunately, it's also a topic that tends to get overlooked because it's too easy to be, yes, we're gonna do it, we're gonna get there at all costs. It doesn't make a difference. Whatever it is, we'll just do whatever we have to do to get there.

And oftentimes particularly in the early days, we tend to sacrifice our health and our mental well-being to make that happen. And I know on your side that well-being is something that's front and center for you. It's a passion of yours, and you even have a wellbeing challenge. Kurt, what's going on with that?

Because I'm reading between the lines here. I suspect you've probably seen some things, particularly in the circles where you've traveled, made an impact on you for better, for worse, that you've taken that forward and you're now out there helping people that get the best of themselves with health being a part of that.

So what's going on with your Wellbeing Challenge?

[00:16:07] Kurt Davis: Yeah, so we did something over the pandemic, we called it Ultimate Wellbeing. And we were just, teaching, wellbeing practices, and different things I'd learned. And everything from breathing and meditating to perspectives to cognitive behavioral therapy.

And, you know, we're just letting people just connect on these types of things who hadn't been exposed that much to 'em. And it's helpful. It just helps people realize that you have to be aware, that you can't do anything successfully, whether you have your family or ready, start a company, or do whatever else.

If you yourself are not in a good position. I've talked to entrepreneurs who are working, around the clock and I've told 'em, you work too much. Like you need to go for a workout, take care of yourself. Like you will show better when you meet investors and people, that's probably like way more important than, slaving over your deck or whatever else for another hour or two.

I think sometimes perspective and stepping back and limiting your work and like I said, detaching to itself and something is important. So, you know, everyone should do their own check-ins every day and see if they're in tune with themselves before they take on any kind of mighty challenge.

 Because a great athlete, would. It doesn't go out and compete without having his or her well-being. I don't think any entrepreneur or business person should either.

[00:17:33] Jeffrey Feldberg: And Kurt, when you're talking about wellbeing and health in general, that's certainly here at Deep Wealth, one of our focuses, I mean, the tagline for the podcast is helping you extract both your business and personal Deep Wealth, because the two are interconnected. If you don't have your health, it's going to manifest in your business.

It's gonna be a challenge for you. Other things are gonna come up with that. So for the listeners who are saying, okay, yeah, Kurt, I hear you, but you know what, I'm healthy and I just don't have the time. Once I scale the business, I get it to a certain level. Sure. Then I can take the time and look after the health.

What would you say to that listener,

[00:18:08] Kurt Davis: I would say do it the other way. Take care of your health and take care of yourself, and then go scale the business like. You can't reverse what's been done. And there's, I've seen people lose their health and everything over working in stress and too hard and you're only gonna get so much done.

And I always ask, is that extra 20% worth it in a business environment? And it's almost invariably never, it's not worth it. Is that extra hour or two a day when you could be? You know, getting some social stuff, doing stuff that helps you. It's not worth it in the long run.

You can give up a lot. There's a lot of people, I'm still single partially that probably do the fact that I traveled so much, I was on the road all the time and during the years and, coming back for the pandemic, but a lot of single people cuz they put so much in their careers and I would tell every young person your career is gonna be fine mostly. You get one shot at a relationship and things like this. And there's no reason not to go spend time on it when you're younger, cuz it's the time you have for that stuff. So there's a whole life in the twenties that you can live that are, as long as you keep a steady job and a good resume you'll have so many opportunities in your thirties and forties.

So I say take your twenties and go do interesting things, whether it's, travel and take your time and there's no reason to come out of the gates and a lot of people in entrepreneurship, they teach this stuff and I always chuckle and I always, I tell a lot of 'em. I'm like I think what you're doing is crazy. I think you should go get a job and learn and take it easy

[00:19:38] Jeffrey Feldberg: And Kurt, as you're talking about your travel, I'm taken back actually to the introduction of your book, which is very touching, and you dedicated to your mother and your father who have both passed on. But in the introduction, you thank them for letting you live the life the way that you wanted to.

And travel was a large part of that. And so for our listeners, who are these desk jockeys that are at the desk, 80, 90, a hundred hours a week in some cases, just trying to make things happen. Having been really straddling both worlds here, Kurt, from the travel side of things, just getting up and out there, seeing different people, different cultures what could you share with us about that and your experiences.

[00:20:17] Kurt Davis: I think getting out of the US is such a hard, in most cases, such a hard working environment and people really like to work and maybe too much.

And all cultures, as we know in Europe and other places, they take more vacations and people don't. Then I think the people work here.

We work so hard here probably because we do see lots of ways to make money. We see lots of ways to have opportunities. We see lots of ways to do good. So all these things can get people excited like, hey, I can actually do something that's gonna impact. And because we live in a free society, because we live where there's capital and things like this, and so I think all of that stuff sometimes builds up with people and they overdo it. Whereas when you go to other places that don't have this, people tend to just fall into things like, you know what? We like to be in our community. You know, we really like good food and things that are more innately human.

Because like this, not this pool of opportunity. I call it Americanism, yeah, we live in this country and the one thing that's great about US Americans is there's so many people who wanna make an impact, right? You look at social media, influencers impact, everyone's talking everyone.

And so, you know, everyone kind of cares. A lot of people care sometimes. Maybe we don't agree with what they care about, so you have this pool, but in other countries, you don't see these things. And so what happens is they tend to, hey, we are what we are. Let's just live in the moment.

We're probably not gonna have the resources and things to create these massive companies or make an impact. So they tend to live where they are in their communities a little bit more and be part of that. And I think the biggest thing I kind of say to other people who are sitting there working hard every day, or as in a New York City or Lexington, Kentucky, is know your community.

Know the people beside you, get to know them. Like I think one of the things we lose as a country because of politics and stuff is we just forget our community. Like people in the same neighborhood can't even hang out with each other cuz of politics and things like this. And it's just sad. That's the biggest thing is, I wish we would get our communities back and be more integrated and get to know each other a little bit better.

[00:22:30] Jeffrey Feldberg: Putting ourselves out there, whether it be traveling around the world or traveling right next door to meet the neighbor that we haven't spoken to. And I imagine, Kurt, that those kinds of experiences, open us up as people. Give us a broader context, and if we bring that back to the business world. One of the things that you talk about in the book, and I'd love to hear your perspective on this since writing the book, it's really more on the art side of business, and that's all about the narrative, the storytelling.

A lot of people tend to overlook it at Deep. Wealth, that's a big thing for us. Our step number three, future buyer. We talk about how to create a narrative for the future buyer, how to create a narrative for your future customers, and what that should look like. So for our listeners out there who perhaps haven't bought into stories and storytelling and narratives, what would you say to that person of your experience with narratives?

The importance of them and how the right narrative can win the sale and really win the day.

[00:23:26] Kurt Davis: I think there's a few different ways people talk about narratives. They talk about storytelling, they talk about the user journey, like products, like have they ever user has this happening, this happened, it comes in here and this is the solution. And I think all of that is fine is good but in the book I talk about a chapter, I talk about, your pitch, and your story and I think the storyboard and the storyline is as important to the company.

And to sales as anything else because your team your product team, your engineering team, your CS team need to know the story of the user journey and why this is valuable. Cuz your story is really your why. This is what's happening. This is your market. This is the problem, this is the solution.

This is the solution within the solution and how we're going to bring that user on. And so once that story is created as a leader of your company, then the company, the people within the company have to understand that and buy it. Then as a salesperson, your salespeople have to take that and communicate and dissect it to the extent they can to get people to buy into the partnership or the sale.

Now, most of the time when you're selling it, they know the story or they know what they're doing. But the trick is how much time do I have to tell? You might have 30 seconds to tell the story to get someone's attention. You might not have 10 minutes to go through a presentation, so how quickly can you communicate and get to the point that hooks them?

That's a different skill than the story you're telling within the company to get everyone to do the correct jobs to execute against what we need to. So storytelling is very important and is very powerful. And making sure it's consistent. When it does change, letting everybody know, this part of the story is not working, so let's adapt it over here. But consistency is quite important as well. So it's important internally as well as externally.

[00:25:28] Jeffrey Feldberg: And Kurt, you've been on both sides of the table. You've been on the side of the table where you're sharing that narrative to get a contract, close a contract, get a new client. As an investor, you're getting pitched all the time with narratives. So from that perspective, when it comes to a narrative, any suggestions or insights or tips for our listeners of what should be in their narrative or how they should be thinking about it?

[00:25:51] Kurt Davis: Always start with a very salient and understandable problem. A lot of people tend to say well, I was, you know, there's a story and they have this big soliloquy. You gotta hit people up front with, for example, we are running this dental staffing platform.

And my narrative is very simply we come in and we say, ensure your office operates efficiently every day. And they're like, great. How? And I'm like, we make sure that you're staffed every day through temp staffing. Great. Done. Okay. But when you tell the story, you have to lead with the problem.

Hey, are you having a problem filling your office seats in order to serve your patients? We know that this problem occurs in 20% of the market based on this data because I think so many people don't get to the problem early, they're just like, Hey, we're doing this really cool thing, and da, da da.

But you're like no, no, no, no, no, that's fine. But what are you solving for? Now entertainment businesses may not solve for something but generally, like when you're building a business, you have to solve. So lead strong with the problem.

And then from there, go to and show the problem. Don't just don't tell the problem, show it.

Show it on a visualization, a video, that's the problem. And everybody who can relate to that problem is gonna put their hands up. I did a pitch recently and the first thing I did was, I asked the question how many people in this room have had a dental appointment canceled because their hygienist didn't show up?

30 out of a hundred people raise their hands. And I said I counted 'em. I said this is exactly the market size that we've addressed in this country. There's 150,000 dental offices and we expect 30% of them to have this problem just like in this room. And they all looked around at each other and are like, that is a big problem.

[00:27:38] Jeffrey Feldberg: And for our listeners, I hope you're listening carefully because Kurt, what you're sharing really is at the heart of everything. And as we say here at Deep Wealth, the world's favorite radio station of your current client, your future client, maybe an investor or a buyer for the business.

They tune into w i, the what's in it for me radio station. And so Kurt, to your point, when you're talking about what that painful problem is, how you can solve that problem, Now you go from suspect to stranger to possibly friend and ally when you can share your story, show how you solve the problem, and get some credibility along the way.

And I take it, that kind of approach has really made the difference for you. Would that be correct?

[00:28:24] Kurt Davis: I think, really focusing on the problem, making it personal, how are we all attached to the problems that we wanna work for, and then getting to a point where the solution sometimes, you can be nimble like you need to be flexible. Hey, this is not all what you and you have to be humble.

Maybe we don't have the solution. I've gone into meetings where like, I'm not sure we got the solution, but we wanna solve that problem and this is what we're doing. Where else can we go with this? And they're like, oh yeah, let's talk about it. Let's talk about it. And all of a sudden, like your conversation, was way different because you didn't pitch them.

You didn't go in the front door and say, I've got this, you need to buy it. You're just saying, I got, we got, we both got this problem, let's work on it together. Right? And that's the narrative you want to get into. When you want a liquidity event. You want to get somebody on your team because, in a liquidity event or a massive partnership, you're really asking someone to join a team with you.

Whether it's a massive group of investors, whether it's a buyout, or whatever, and that's the kind of conversation you need to have.

[00:29:30] Jeffrey Feldberg: Absolutely. And you know what Kurt in our experience in our circles is not just with a liquidity event. You're looking to hire some world-class talent while your narrative's gonna make a difference. And as we talk about this, I'm thinking of a number of surveys and studies of both employees as well as employees that were looking to leave to another company.

And what kept employees in the company or what attracted employees to a different company it was the narrative, what the leadership is doing, what the mission and vision is all about. And again, it really goes more to the art side than to the numbers and the data and the stats. As important as that is, it's those bigger pictures of the emotionality, that goes behind it.

That really makes a difference.

[00:30:12] Kurt Davis: Yeah, I'd love to. I've actually jotted notes on the art and business and art inside of it. And the art, what you're actually talking about is the art of the creation of creativity, showing, not telling visualizing, illustrating emotions. That is powerful and it's a lot of what Apple does, and they're very good at it. They spent a lot on it, to be honest. And I always say there's two types of art.

There's that art within business, and then there's the art of what I call the flip side is the creation of businesses. How when you do a book, when you write a book, it's a constantly changing flow.

There's constant editing, new words. I don't like that. I like this. And painting, drawing music is similar. But business and art, actually, people who are creative.

Can really establish really creative ideas by looking at markets and problems. And not just reasoning from analogy, but reasoning from frameworks and physics and foundations.

But like, hey, let's create something that doesn't exist to solve this problem. How many people actually do that? A true artist is gonna take that whiteboard and we're gonna say, they're gonna paint something that's completely new that's different in the world that hasn't been done. And that's true biz.

That's really the art of business and the people who are out there building just crazy new things for climate and things like that. They're really trying to do completely new things.

[00:31:39] Jeffrey Feldberg: The intersection of creativity and emotions and logic and business and all kinds of patterns. I mean, that's where the magic really happens.

[00:31:48] Kurt Davis: That's where the magic happens. Yeah, you're right. I was, I'm gonna coin this. The art of business and the art in business.

[00:31:54] Jeffrey Feldberg: There you go. Yeah. I like that. Kurt, let me ask you this, because, openly we could go down so many different tracks. I'm gonna ask a question. It's a bit of a tough question to ask. It's like saying, hey, pick your favorite niece or child or cousin from all the ones that you have, but I'll throw it out there.

Anyways, Kurt, whether it's from your book or from some recent experiences with your healthcare startup of what you're doing every episode on the Deep Wealth Podcast, we'd like to have one actionable takeaway that at the end of this episode, a listener can start doing today in his or her business. So of all the different things that you've tried and done and the strategies, what would be one thing that you could recommend for a listener coming outta this podcast to start doing today that would begin to really make a difference on a go-forward basis?

[00:32:42] Kurt Davis: That is a great question. The one thing I would highly recommend is to understand risk management.

And I think so many people don't understand that from both a personal and as well as a business life. If you take the wrong amount of risk at the wrong time, you could come out in very bad shape.

If you take the right amount of risk. We can't timing in life. We don't control a lot of times. So the amount of risk you take, you can control.

And let me tell you, like not only in a startup, I'm in a very early stage startup with a very little bit of capital, and I am taking very measured bets of risk to figure out what to do to make this thing grow on a daily basis.

But they're all very measured. So I know if I make a bad bet in one place, which I have recently, I only lost 5,000 or $10,000, but so many people don't understand risk management, so they don't understand how to place strategic bets, not only in their lives, but in their businesses, and understanding that, hey, losing smaller amounts of money is way better than losing lots amounts of money.

Losing smaller amounts of time is way better than losing lots and lots of time. And so I would say, learn risk management as a function of making investments. And that I learned from the ex-founder of the last company and he was a genius at making educated risk management bets. And just watching him do these things, I learned a ton.

[00:34:21] Jeffrey Feldberg: Some great insights, some great advice there, and I suppose it's like anything else. It's always, I'm not gonna use the word balance. I don't believe in balance, but perhaps some kind of measured moderation and not one extreme, not the other extreme, but finding just that right approach for that risk. Then, going in one extreme one way or the other.

[00:34:41] Kurt Davis: It's exactly what it is. I'm not saying, you know, I don't know what balance means. When I do things, I do them all in. I do them strongly. I do them with force, but I don't spend all-nighters on my company. You know, I'm gonna get off this call. I took an hour today to have this conversation, which wasn't related to the company.

I'm gonna get my one-hour hardcore cycling exercise in. It's gonna give me a little bit more ooph to get two more hours in tonight of cranking through some investor presentations, and I'm gonna have a very good day. But it's a measured amount of work that I'm doing, not at the cost of my personal detriment.

And I'm managing the risk because I do know I'm at a startup which may fail. Like it just may fail, but I'm not gonna fail my health. I'm not gonna fail my own interest in having a great discussion with you that's gonna help the company or help whatever else. So that, I don't know if that's balanced, but it's measured.

[00:35:35] Jeffrey Feldberg: Kurt, I call it blended if you want balance, go to Hollywood. It's in a movie or it's in a fictional book. Not in real life. I don't believe in balance, but we can blend things together and that's where we can get the well-being, we can do what we need on the business side, but also make sure we're taking care of ourselves, our loved ones, and our mental health and keeping things moving it forward. Blended you see there, look at this. There you go.

[00:35:59] Kurt Davis: That's a great book title blended, not balanced. Hey, I'll buy that.

[00:36:03] Jeffrey Feldberg: Love it. And speaking of not so much books, but movies Kurt, let's start to wrap things up and movies actually ties into my favorite question. I have the privilege and honor to ask every guest on the podcast. Kurt, when we look to the movie Back to the Future, you have that magical DeLorean car that can take you back to any point in time.

And Kurt, here's the fun part. You look outside your windows tomorrow morning and not only is the DeLorean car, curbside doors open waiting for you to hop on in, so you hop in and you can now go back to the past to any point in your life, Kurt, as a young child, a teenager, whatever point in time that would be.

What are you telling your younger self in terms of life lessons or life wisdom or, Hey Kurt, do this, but don't do that. What would that sound like?

[00:36:50] Kurt Davis: I think I would have three pieces of advice.

[00:36:54] Jeffrey Feldberg: Terrific.

[00:36:54] Kurt Davis: One is take it easy, be patient. There's no rush. There's no competition.

So I would say that. I think a lot of people's anxiety these days and depression, they forget how to take it easy. Of course, I think sometimes there's reasons not to, but there, stresses out there.

The second one would be to know thyself.

I think through that old, adage, but like really trying to understand who you are as a person and what makes you tech. What makes you excited about life? What makes you healthy? What makes you wake up every day and live a good day?

And so just know yourself and own yourself. Be fine with it. And I think the third would be, don't go at it alone. There's a lot of make friends and build teams cuz it's a lot more fun along the way.

[00:37:40] Jeffrey Feldberg: Terrific advice from the trenches. This is not theory thank you for sharing that. For our listeners that have questions or they wanna get in touch with you, where is the best place online that they can do this?

[00:37:51] Kurt Davis: I have a website, www.kd You can email me at kd[at]kdalive. Instagram account called kdalive. You can LinkedIn, me, Kurt Davis. So pretty easy to find and my bald head's out there. So yeah, hit me up if you have any questions. I always, try to reply so.

[00:38:10] Jeffrey Feldberg: Terrific. And for our listeners, it can't be any easier. It's in the show notes. It's a point-and-click. Take Kurt up on his offer. Reach out to him. This guy's been places he's seen things and success leaves clues, and Kurt has picked up on that and is now paying it forward. And speaking of paying it forward, Kurt, a heartfelt thank you for taking part of your day, sharing your wisdom, and insights.

And if you'd like to say here at Deep Wealth, please continue to not only thrive and prosper but stay healthy and safe. Thank you so much, Kurt.

[00:38:41] Kurt Davis: Thank you. Thank you for having me. That's fun.

[00:38:42] Sharon S.: The Deep Wealth Experience was definitely a game-changer for me.

[00:38:45] Lyn M.: This course is one of the best investments you will ever make because you will get an ROI of a hundred times that. Anybody who doesn't go through it will lose millions.

[00:38:55] Kam H.: If you don't have time for this program, you'll never have time for a successful liquidity

[00:39:00] Sharon S.: It was the best value of any business course I've ever taken. The money was very well spent.

[00:39:06] Lyn M.: Compared to when we first began, today I feel better prepared, but in some respects, may be less prepared, not because of the course, but because the course brought to light so many things that I thought we were on top of that we need to fix.

[00:39:22] Kam H.: I 100% believe there's never a great time for a business owner to allocate extra hours into his or her week or day. So it's an investment that will yield results today. I thought I will reap the benefit of this program in three to five years down the road. But as soon as I stepped forward into the program, my mind changed immediately.

[00:39:44] Sharon S.: There was so much value in the experience that the time I invested paid back so much for the energy that was expended.

[00:39:55] Lyn M.: The Deep Wealth Experience compared to other programs is the top. What we learned is very practical. Sometimes you learn stuff that it's great to learn, but you never use it. The stuff we learned from Deep Wealth Experience, I believe it's going to benefit us a boatload.

[00:40:08] Kam H.: I've done an executive MBA. I've worked for billion-dollar companies before. I've worked for smaller companies before I started my business. I've been running my business successfully now for getting close to a decade. We're on a growth trajectory. Reflecting back on the Deep Wealth, I knew less than 10% what I know now, maybe close to 1% even.

[00:40:26] Sharon S.: Hands down the best program in which I've ever participated. And we've done a lot of different things over the years. We've been in other mastermind groups, gone to many seminars, workshops, conferences, retreats, read books. This was so different. I haven't had an experience that's anything close to this in all the years that we've been at this.

It's five-star, A-plus.

[00:40:53] Kam H.: I would highly recommend it to any super busy business owner out there.

Deep Wealth is an accurate name for it. This program leads to deeper wealth and happier wealth, not just deeper wealth. I don't think there's a dollar value that could be associated with such an experience and knowledge that could be applied today and forever.

[00:41:12] Jeffrey Feldberg: Are you leaving millions on the table?

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