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A New Breed of GOAT: Serial Entrepreneur, with Scott Donnell

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Some serial entrepreneurs like Sir Richard Branson or Elon Musk captivate the collective imagination and rise to achieve celebrity status. We’re fascinated by those who are able to constantly build businesses or products yet the well never seems to dry up. It’s easy to put charismatic leaders on a pedestal who seem to have limitless energy, but we are only seeing glimpses of people’s lives in the media.

How can business leaders, whether c-suite executives or entrepreneurs, maintain a healthy work-life balance so that they can continue to give back to their work and to the world?

And what cauldron of experience and beliefs drives the sort of business leader who wants to become one of the greatest of all time?

Scott Donnell is a serial entrepreneur with many businesses and projects. Currently, these range from Hapbee, which creates and sells a device that uses magnetic fields to improve a person’s mood; to GravyStack, an app that helps educate kids on finances; to HeroMaker Studios, a decentralized comic’s universe. And just recently, Scott sold off Apex Education, a company that helps kids develop leadership skills and have fun with fitness, all while fundraising for their schools.

But simply selling his diverse catalog of companies isn’t the goal. No, Scott’s ambitions go far beyond an impressive exit. 

Scott wants to be a new breed of GOAT — a well rounded greatest of all time who wins in business but is equally successful in terms of family, faith, and health too. It’s a mission that many overworked business leaders have aspired — and struggled — to achieve… but Scott is actually doing it. Find out how on this episode of Business X factors.

Main takeaways: 

  • Find a Coach: When business leaders find themselves in a position where they want to grow or pivot or perhaps want to ensure that they don’t stagnate, finding a life or business coach can be an important tool to get them to the next step. As Einstein famously said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used to create them.” A coach could help business leaders with different kinds of thinking to get out of their comfort zone and give unbiased opinions and direction.  Studies have shown that coaching is effective in reducing procrastination and facilitating goal attainment. 
  • Get Your Business to Self-Manage: Micromanaging every detail of a business may be important to get a business off the ground, but the ultimate goal should be a self-managed company where the role of the founder or executives is to let go of the day-to-day tasks. Empower team members to solve problems without constantly reviewing and approving decisions. Stepping back instead of managing from problem to problem allows leaders to focus on the vision of the company. 
  • Pass on Generational Wisdom: For the first time, there could be five generations in the workforce. Starting from the youngest, Generation Z, Millennials, Gen X, Boomers and Traditionalists with each seeing the world differently. The benefits of generational diversity is knowledge sharing — this is true whether it is within a family or a business. Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends (2020) found that 70% of organizations believe that multi-generational workforces are important for success but only 6% believed their leaders were equipped to deal with it. An inclusive culture that celebrates generational diversity is created by educating employees to understand differences, reject stereotypes and misinformation and to help every generation develop a world view. 

Key quotes: 

“I want to be the GOAT. I want to be the best entrepreneur, but also the best husband and father. And health and faith and everything… This is what I’m created to do, but I set those goals because it creates in me a different mindset, right? Like if you’re just doing entrepreneurship for money’s sake or to get a retirement, I don’t even believe in retirement. That’s another story. But the point of this is to be holistically successful. That is the most important thing.” 

“I fall in love with every single one of my businesses. And it’s very hard to get out of the way. If you are so intertwined in your business, so caught up in your business, you’re the limiting factor. And so in my businesses, I’ve got five companies and they’re all in completely different spaces, biotech, fintech, Marvel Universe, style, comic launch, where we’re doing with all these famous people. We got three unicorns in the making. But I love each of these things.” 

“I was wearing 10 hats. I was doing everything. I was so perfectionist about every little detail that my hair was on fire, and I was burning out and it was terrible, man. And so, I was literally about to drop the business like a couple million bucks and just get out and be like I’m done. I’m going to go live in a cave in Africa or something.”

“I’m not the day-to-day ops guy. Why am I doing a bunch of checklists, things that anybody else could do? My biggest value add is recruiting great people and casting great vision because without vision, the people perish, if you see a vision and this is what all great entrepreneurs have, is a vision for the future. Where are we going? And how do we get there? People really underestimate that value. But if you can clarify it, it attracts people like a magnet.” 

“When I say GOAT, that has nothing to do with net worth. When I say GOAT, it has nothing to do with how many unicorns I have, blah, blah, blah. I set the goal of reducing suffering for a billion people. And that can come in a lot of forms, right? It can come through connection, community, mental health, childhood development, helping parents, all these businesses are literally doing just that.”

Business X factors is produced by Mission.org and brought to you by Hyland.

For over a decade, Hyland has been named a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Content Services Platforms, leading the way to help people get the information they need when and where they need it. More than half of 2019 Fortune 100 companies rely on Hyland to help them create more meaningful connections with the people they serve. When your focus is on the people you serve, Hyland stands behind you. Hyland is your X factor for better performance. Go to Hyland.com/insights to learn more.


Episode 37