We had the good fortune of connecting with Scott Duffy and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Scott, how do you think about risk?
I used to think the most important job of any entrepreneur had something to do with leadership, management, team building, or some other functional skill. But what I’ve learned is the most important job of every business owner has “nothing to do with business”. Instead, it’s LEARNING HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF. So if things don’t go as planned, take longer than planned, or go sideways, you can recover and bounce right back. How do you do it? By following these 3 steps to mitigate your risk every step of the way. 1. Separate your business and personal bank accounts: This is such an important place to start. Decide how much you are willing to risk in this venture. Then take that capital and put it into a separate business checking account (not just part of it, all of it). If that means you have to sell an asset, cash in on a retirement policy, redirect your auto pay, then do it. It is absolutely essential to move the you think you’re willing to risk on Day 1. Because once you put all that money into a separate business checking account, the risk becomes real. You become less impulsive. You make smarter decisions. And if money gets low in your business, you can see it clearly, and make an informed decision about whether or not to invest more personally. 2. Focus on 1 Hammer & 1 Nail: The biggest mistake entrepreneurs make is they focus on doing TOO MANY THINGS AT ONCE. I call this “Hammers & Nails” Syndrome. Let’s say I give you 1 hammer and 1 nail and your job is simple. All you need to do is drive that nail into a piece of wood. Now, you may miss the first or second time, but eventually I would bet you’ll nail it. Now, let’s say I give you 2 hammers and 2 nails. You’ve got a problem. Who is going to hold the nails?!? Let’s say you find someone crazy enough to do it, you have to bring both hammers back and strike at the same time (think about how hard that would be). So you miss the first, the second, the third time. You may never get it right. So, let’s say I give you 10 hammers and 10 nails! You get the point. Again, the biggest mistake entrepreneurs make is the try to do too much at once. So to reduce risk I say, don’t do everything, do 1 thing, really “nail it” and then move onto the next. 3. Make small bets: Never bet the farm on a single idea. Instead, make small bets in your business. Launch products early and often, Get fast feedback and then interate, adapt, and relaunch based on what you learn from real users. And remember, when you launch, don’t try to be perfect. I say 80% of the way there is good enough. The amount of time it would take to get the additional 20% perfect is not worth the feedback you would get from customers today.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My mission is to help change the world through entrepreneurship. To empower an army of entrepreneurs, just like you and me, that are dedicated to making a difference. That’s why I founded the What Now? Academy. To help leaders develop their vision, generate cash, navigate financial roadblocks, accelerate their growth, and build the business of their dreams. But that’s not all. Our goal is not only to build businesses. It’s to help our students become the best version of themselves in the process. Our faculty is comprised of some of the top entrepreneurs, innovators, and key executives in the world. #NoFakeGurus. No #InstagramInfluencers. REAL business men and women, who have built REAL businesses, and continue to make an impact. How did I get here? While I was in college, I got in a terrible car accident. I was forced to drop out of school to recover. During that time, I picked up a habit. I started listening to motivational books on tape. Before you know it, I had a library. I started my career working for Tony Robbins. Eventually, I moved from training to technology. I had leadership roles in startups that became big media brands like CBSSports.com, NBC Internet, & FOXSports.com. Next, I started a company that was acquired by Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. I was living the life of my dreams. Until everything changed, in a heartbeat. The market crashed. I lost everything. I went nearly $400,000 in debt. I had to rebuild myself, from the ground up, and get to the other side. Today, I’ve taken this experience, and combined it with lessons I’ve learned from others. My purpose is to use it. Use all of it, to help people grow.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
The first place I love to take people is Balboa Island. There’s nothing like a walk down Main Street, then down the boardwalk along the water, take the ferry across the bay, and then walk across the street Newport Beach. If we have time, we’ll head down the The Wedge, one of the top surf spots in America.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I big shoutout to my mother, Lisa Duffy Sinclair and dad, Don Sinclair for all of their help and support along the way.

Website: www.scottduffy.com
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