Ep471: Fred Diamond – Learn How to Recognize Opportunities

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Quick take

BIO: Fred Diamond is the co-founder of the Institute for Excellence in Sales, a member organization for sales leaders and their teams.

STORY: Fred had a friend in college who reached out to him three times requesting him to work for him over the years. Fred turned him down every single time. That friend ended up building a company that he sold three times over for five billion dollars.

LEARNING: Be open to the opportunities that come your way. Work with people you like and trust and who trust you too.


“If you want to start working for yourself, start now.”

Fred Diamond


Guest profile

Fred Diamond is the co-founder of the Institute for Excellence in Sales, a member organization for sales leaders and their teams. Members include Amazon, Salesforce, Red Hat Software, and Intel. He is also the host and producer of the award-winning Sales Game Changers Podcast and webcasts. Fred is based in Washington, D.C.

Worst investment ever

Two years after Fred graduated, he got a call from his college friend, Mark. He told him that he was starting a company and was inviting people to go to New York and talk about what kind of company they should start. Even though Fred was impressed with Mark in college, he didn’t consider him a serious entrepreneur, so he didn’t go for the meeting.

About seven years later, Mark called Fred. At the time, Fred was working at Compaq computer while Mark sold direct marketing services. He asked Fred if he could get a meeting at Compaq to pitch his services. Fred got him a meeting with the guy in charge of direct marketing, and he did a great presentation. Afterward, Mark asked Fred to work for him and help him take his company to the next level. Fred still didn’t quite see his friend as a serious entrepreneur, so he said he wanted to stay at Compaq.

Over the next couple of years, Fred moved to several companies, and eventually, he decided he wanted to work with pre-IPO startups. He happened to be in New Jersey on his way to Germany for some customer meetings and decided to have lunch with Mark. He told him of his desire to work with pre-IPO startups. Again, Mark asked Fred to work for him in D.C. He’d pay him $150,000 a year and give him 10,000 shares. Again, Fred turned Mark down because he didn’t think his company was what he thought a pre-IPO company looked like.

Fred went on to work with two pre-IPO companies that folded in just a year. Eventually, he started his own company that has gone to be the success it is today. While Fred is successful today, he regrets missing the opportunity to work with Mark, who built a company that he sold three times over for five billion dollars.

Lessons learned

  • Learn about people in your circles who seem to be successful.
  • Find people you can trust and who trust you.
  • You’ve got to see what the opportunities might be and then step in to take them.
  • Work with people that you like.

Andrew’s takeaways

  • When we’re in a situation, we see things differently than how we see them coming out of that situation.
  • Now and then, things are going to seem glaringly obvious. But most of the time, it’s not going to be that clear and obvious.
  • Be open to opportunities and grab those that are right in front of you.

Actionable advice

If you want to work for yourself, start sooner. If you’re committed, cut the bait, meet some brilliant people, be smart, hire someone, figure out where the cash flow will come from, and get the support of a spouse.

No. 1 goal for the next 12 months

Fred’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to triple the sales of the Institute for Excellence.

Parting words


“Start today. There’s no better time than today. Get out there and make something happen.”

Fred Diamond


Read full transcript

Andrew Stotz 00:02
Hello fellow risk takers and welcome to my worst investment ever stories of loss to keep you winning in our community we know that to win in investing you must take risks but to win big you've got to reduce it. Join our community to claim your podcast listener discount on my valuation masterclass Boot Camp, where students learn how to value companies like a pro and advance their career. Go to my worst investment ever.com to join the community for free. Fellow risk takers, this is your worst podcast host Andrew Stotz, from a Stotz Academy, and I'm here with featured guest, Fred diamond. Fred, are you ready to rock,

Fred Diamond 00:42
I am thrilled, so excited to be here. So excited to be here.

Andrew Stotz 00:45
I'm so happy to have you here. And it's been really good to get to know you and follow you on LinkedIn and see all the contributions that you make to this world. I want to introduce you to the audience. Fred diamond is the co founder of the Institute for excellence in sales, a member organization for sales leaders and their teams. Members include Amazon, Salesforce, Red Hat, software, and Intel. He is also the host and producer of the award winning sales game changers podcast and webcast. Fred is based in Washington, DC. And I have to say, we are both Tom Petty fans, Fred take a minute and filling for the tidbits about your life.

Fred Diamond 01:30
No, it's great to be here. I'm in Northern Virginia, right outside of Washington DC, from Philadelphia, originally, I'm a big Philadelphia fan. So if we have any listeners out there in Philly, it's good to hear from you. Good to see you. And I love what you're doing. I listened to your podcast are very, very compelling and interesting stories. Like the angle, it's unique. And we'll talk about something a little bit different today. But I'm thrilled to be here. And I appreciate the opportunity.

Andrew Stotz 01:55
Yeah, and, you know, I, I wonder if you can tell us just a little bit about, let's say, for the listeners out there. And let's say you know, my listeners all across the world. Tell us a little bit about some tidbits about like, your expertise and what you bring to the world of sales, what you bring through either your podcast and your other contributions. And you know, I know, you write a lot on LinkedIn. So for the listeners out there, just go to Fred diamond and look for him on LinkedIn. I also had the links in the show notes. Maybe you could just tell us a little bit about your secret sauce of what it is about you.

Fred Diamond 02:31
Sure. So I run what's called the Institute for excellence in sales. And Andrew most of my early career was in corporate marketing, I worked for Apple computer for a long time, Compaq computer, a large software company called Compuware, but I always knew that sales was the most critical function in a company. So 2002, I went to work for myself as an outsource chief marketing officer. And then most of my clients that were hiring me were sales VPS, who were struggling because marketing wasn't really going well. So we created the Institute for excellence in sales in 2012. We've been fortunate to have some great member companies like what you talked about, and we run programs for their sales organizations. We have a amazing program that I'm very proud about called the women in sales program. It's called the women in sales leadership forum. We have women in sales from all over the world and we talk about things like presence, decision making, presentation networking, the commonality is they're all women in sales, but you know, leadership skills, if you will. And our mission is to help sales leaders, acquire, retain, motivate, and elevate top tier sales talent. So everybody who's involved with the IES they know that they're in sales. Our good friend Lisa McLeod wrote a book called sales is a noble profession. Selling is a noble profession. We believe in that, you know, we don't have too many people who are like, Ooh, I'm afraid of sales, we embrace the profession. We do four webcasts a week we do one for women in sales, one where I interview sales VPs and every Thursday we do a show just on mindset. We talked about the mindset side of sales, I have some leadership coaches, I have had famous athletes, I've had entertainers talking about the mind side, you know of selling, which is so critical. And then every Friday we do a show called Creativity in sales, where we talk about sales process, tactics, things like prospecting, social selling, so we're all about helping the sales professional, take his or her career to the next level.

Andrew Stotz 04:36
Exciting Well, I'm gonna have all of your links in the show notes. So ladies and gentlemen, if you want to learn more, just go there and click on them. I know from my perspective sales as a finance guy, I people look and they say finance is hard. I always say no, no, no, no, no sales is hard. Finance is actually just a lot of formulas. Okay, we got to make up some assumptions and be Good bullshitters but you know, with sales, you gotta get out there on the front lines, as I said in, when I was head of research, running teams of sales, I said that, you know, the salespeople who are calling the fund managers and the clients around the world, and they're using our research to talk to them. I always say that, you know, the salespeople are on the front line with their rifles, and research is the bullet. And if we do not provide the bullets to the salespeople, how would you feel being on the front line and being fired out by your competitors, and you don't have anything to fire back. And that was kind of my best way of describing a research operation for, you know, research related to investing in the stock market. But I really learned and I didn't understand it when I was younger, but now I know, the value of sales is massive.

Fred Diamond 05:52
You know, essentially, I mean, if nothing gets sold in, there's no reason for accounting. You know, you talked about finance, there's no reason for finance department, no reason for product, things have to be sold. You know, you're asking, what are some of the little tidbits, you know, we talked about things like empathy, we talked about things like accountability. We talked about prospecting, obviously, we talked about research preparation, but the keyword Andrew that comes through time and time again, courage, you know, to be successful in sales, you need to have courage, you need to get past plox, you need to think about what's stopping you, you know, either internally or at your company, or in the customer site. I mean, yeah, the last 18 months, right, you know, having to sell through the pandemic, at home, you know, without your team around you. And it's the sales professionals who have made it through their companies are making it through because of the sales organization. So we appreciate the role of the sales professional, and we celebrate it. And we're very, very proud to be able to do that.

Andrew Stotz 06:52
That's beautiful. Well, I love it. And I know, for the listeners out there, a lot of people, you know, as my business partner, says, He has two things, we have a coffee factory, and we sell a lot of coffee, here in Thailand. And as he says, coffee solves everything. And sales solves everything. So it's so many problems that, you know, you can just get out of if you can sell. So I'm glad to have you on the show. And I think you know, for the listeners out there, follow Fred on LinkedIn, learn more, we'll have links in the show notes. All right, well, now it's time to share your worst investment ever. And since no one goes into their worst investment thinking it will tell us a bit about the circumstances leading up to an Intel is your story.

Fred Diamond 07:38
Well, this is gonna be a little bit of a different twist than a lot of your guests. So you know, even though I have an MBA, it was in marketing. So you're a finance guy, I think I got a D in finance when I got my MBA. And, um, that's not true. I probably got to be probably got to be in a managerial accounting as well. But so it's a little bit of a different story. And it's more of a career story. I have. So I worked for Apple, like I mentioned, and I worked in the beginning of my career was my second job. I worked for McGraw Hill on the first job. And one thing I began to notice the McGraw Hill company, I worked for reviewed tech companies. So I got to review apple and I got to see Apple, but it's, you know, at its finest in the early days of Steve Jobs and Wozniak days. So I said, I want to go work for one of those types of companies, you know, a company, it's going to have a lot of the Silicon Valley excitement, big stock payoff, the IPO, you know, of course, the Netscape and all those kinds of things. And that's what my career was really focused on. So I started my career in Philadelphia, where I'm from I went to college in Atlanta, Georgia, Emory University that I moved back to Philly. I had a fraternity brother, and I mentioned his name, his name is Mark Byron. And he's absolutely fantastic guy. He was a year younger than me. And he was an absolutely brilliant guy. I'll give you a clue. I was a year older than him. When I went back to Emory. The year after I graduated, I went back as, you know, the next year we had a fraternity formal and a lot of guys came back. I stayed in Mark's apartment 1985 He had a K Pro PC, right. So here I am at this company that's evaluating all the PC companies when the base at IBM PC compatibles became big. He had a K Pro computer in his dining room, and I walk in and I'm like, how did you get a K Pro, and he was stunned that I knew about Kaypro. I said, buddy, I said, you're gonna go far. Long story short, he went so far, he created three companies that he sold for $5 billion, and kind of giving away the punchline. But here's the story. Two years after I graduated, I was two years out of college. I got a call from him. He goes, Hey, Fred, he goes, I'm starting a company. I'm inviting people to come up to New York. We're going to talk about what kind of company we want to start. And I'm like, Yeah, okay. All right, you know, even though I was impressed with him in college. I also remember him wearing nothing but sweats and a T shirt. And I'm like, There's no way I'm going to put my chips into this guy's basket, if you will. So I didn't go to the meeting, and I called him a year later I said, hey, whatever happened? He said, Yeah, he goes, nobody showed up. So I created the company anyway. And we're off and running. And I'm like, That's great. Now, Andrew, I thought that my process was going to be work for a great company, work for another great company, go to a startup that's going to get a bunch of shares, hit a million dollar, you know, stock IPO type of thing. And I knew what my path looked like, yet. Here was my ticket right here. About seven years later, he calls me, I was working at Compaq computer. And he sold basically direct marketing services. And the way I tell the story is, every time someone buys a cruise, he gets three bucks. You know, through flyers and coupons and all those things. It might be oversimplifying it. So he asked me if he could get a meeting at Compaq. And he would like to pitch their services. So I was in marketing. So I got a meeting with him and the guy who was in charge of direct marketing, Mark and his partner came down. They did a great presentation. Afterwards, he said, Hey, goes, Yeah, I'm sure you like to hear. But you know, once you come work for me, he says, you know, he goes, I think we'll have some fun, we're ready to take it to the next level. You know, why don't you come up to New York or jersey? You know, and I'm like, Yeah, you know, I still didn't quite see it. He didn't picture I didn't. He didn't look like the pre IPO startup thing that was going to happen there. And I said, Yeah, I'm gonna stay here at Compaq. Yeah, a company that was kind of past its prime, even then this was the mid 90s. Anyway, fast forward. I had a wife who wanted to move back to Detroit. You're from Cleveland. So we moved to Detroit in the late 90s. And I went to work for a company that did mainframe software. And I had to move to Detroit. My first wife wanted to move back home, and her mother was getting ill. So we moved to Detroit. I hated working for this company, I got to travel all over the world. I didn't make it to Thailand, but I didn't make it to Singapore, Australia, Bali, Indonesia, all over the United States, all over Europe. But the stalks had already happened. There was no way I was going to make a lot of money. I was making a decent salary as a marketing director, but I wasn't going to make big money. So I told my then wife, I said, I can't stay here. I said, the windows closing on these pre IPO type things. We got to figure it out real quick, and it's not gonna happen in Detroit. And she said, Okay, if you find something, I'll consider moving. So I went to New Jersey to see my friend. And the reason I went to Jersey was because I was going to fly to Germany for some customer meetings. So I stopped over to have lunch with him. And I told him what I'm looking to do. I said, I'm looking for a new thing pre IPO. What hit the stock homerun. And he said, Freddie, he goes, he called me Freddie. He said, You know, why don't you come work for me, he goes, I'll put you in DC, I'm trying to get into DC, you know, you come work for me in DC, I pay $150,000 a year, I'll give you 10,000 shares. And I'll move you from Detroit. And I remember my response, Andrew was like this, like, that's okay. You know, you don't look like, you know, these big pre IPO things, you know, that are hitting, and I was like, That's okay, Mark. And I eventually wound up getting a job in Washington, DC with a pre IPO company, in 2000. That was in and out in one year, you know, classic thing raised $80 million and expensive money. And then eventually, it just spent it all and just close the Friday before the Friday before Thanksgiving, you know, told people to leave. It was a horrible, horrible thing. I then went to another company that was a pre IPO that burned out after years of data storage company. And then I went to work for myself in 2002. I started the Institute for excellence in sales in 2011. And I started running it full time in 2015. So I'm happy. You know, the Institute for excellence in sales. We're having a great time we provide great service. Yeah, it's, it's a living, you know, I'm earning a decent living, I can't complain. But I met my friend about four years ago. He would call me every year on my birthday. And he was that's why he became so successful. And four years ago, he said, Friday, he goes, I got some news for you. I'm like, What's the news? He says, I have this disease. It's called. It's called Mars. And he says, don't look it up, because you're not going to find anything. He said, But now I have about four years left, he said, it's basically going to take over my body like ALS, or Lou Gehrig's, and I want you to know, so I'm like, Oh, well, I want to come see you. And he goes, alright, well, I'm going for some treatment, but we'll definitely make it allow you to come up here. So in 2017 I went up there to New Jersey to meet him. And he was in a wheelchair. He could see he was losing some of his stuff. And his daughter was there. He wanted me to tell his daughter all these stories about him. And I'm sitting there and he's sitting there and then he said Friday he goes, You were such an employee. One person in my career, I really wished you had come work for me. But I understand. He said, I want to let you know I want to help you. Because I've created a company that we sold three times for $5 billion. And he said, he said, I've kept a billion dollars billion of that for myself. And I've made all these people, there's another guy in our fraternity went to work for him. I remember thinking, like, oh, I guess I missed an opportunity. But I also said, you know, what, I missed an opportunity. So, you know, kind of a little twist on your podcast here, you know, the worst investment was not going to work for Mark. Now, I don't know if I would have, you know, made $100 million. With him, it might not have worked out, it might not have been, I might not have enjoyed myself, who knows. But three times, you know, three times Andrew, he came to me and said, he came to me and said, I want you to come work for me. And I didn't, I didn't know for the listeners out there the lessons, it didn't look like what I thought it was supposed to look like, you know, there's all these IPOs happening at the end of the 1990s. And I thought it looked like a certain thing, company has an A round B round C round, you get your 10 15,000 shares, you get them, you know, price at a certain point value at a certain point, company IPOs you're worth something on paper a year goes by you can start cashing in men, right? You know, I thought that's what it looked like startup, Silicon Valley startup type of thing. In retrospect, I had no idea. You know, none of the pre IPOs I was with did anything, most of them fail. You know, as you know, had I, the one company I went to had it IP owed, we would have all been underwater because the market crashed in 2000. But, you know, I tell young people who asked me for advice, I say, if you ever think you're gonna go work for yourself one day, make a list of the 10 people that you really respect in college that you can see yourself working for, and keep that list in your desk somewhere. When you're ready, go research those 10 people if you're not in touch, and think about working with them, because that's where you meet the people that you know, you can trust. You know, you have those great moments, those crazy moments, the lychee leave me moments, you know, the tearful moments, the beer, the tequila, whatever. And Byron would have been on that list of blessed memory, he actually passed away during COVID of the disease. But he lived a full life and he made a lot of people wealthy. And he also gave a lot of money to charity and things like that. So that's my story.

Andrew Stotz 17:24
Well, let me summarize what I took away from it. I guess, you know, one of the things that we have to realize, of course, with this show is that Hindsight is 2020. We have hindsight bias when we're looking back. And so when we're in the situation, we see things differently than when we see them coming out. And that's an important lesson right there. I mean, don't expect you know, every now and then things are gonna just seem blaringly glaringly obvious. But most of our life, it's not going to be that clear and obvious, right. But I think, also, you've told the story of this is what I thought it should look like. And it didn't fit that, and therefore, I'm not gonna look at it. And I think my takeaway from that, is that our goal, you know, to take the opportunities that come in front of us, we've got to be open to those opportunities.

Fred Diamond 18:28
Yeah, the other thing? Yeah, that's a great point. Yeah. It's interesting, too, because, you know, he said to me many times, over the years, we've kept in close contact. And he said, Friday, he said, I want to let you know, you were one of the first people to really see something in me. And he said, You know, I wanted to kind of give you something back on that. And, and we talked about when I seen him, I actually saw him one more times after that, and he lost his ability to speak and communicate. But that one time that I saw him in 2017, he did say to me, I want to help you. And we, I felt kind of bad because his health was going down. And, you know, I could have used an investment, but I really didn't want to ask him at that point. And, you know, just the time had passed, if you will. And I didn't want to be, you know, one of these people as this guy is dying. But the other message to there is, you know, if you think about this, and you're in your work line of work as well, who do you trust? You know, one thing we talk a lot about at the Institute for excellence in sales is being trusted, you know, being the concept of a trusted advisor, right? You know, the trust 1000 people the Adjust 100 You know, at the end of the day, when you really get down to it. There's a small group of people, you know, Jim Rohn, talks about the five people, right, that you want to have closest to you. You know, maybe you have four, maybe you have a dozen, whatever it might be, but there really is a limited amount of people that you could truly, truly trust. And I'll be honest with you, I'm just people you meet in college now. Byron didn't look like in 2016 like he did in 1985. You know, I remember him You know, he didn't have a nickel to his name, you know, he, I mean, we're playing poker once and he kept borrowing money from me and, you know, that kind of, you know, maybe kind of clouded, you know, my thinking of, but this and then people grow people change people learn things, you know, find more, if you're listening to the show, you know, ask some of those questions, you'll learn about your people who seem to be successful. And, you know, it's interesting, you know, somebody you know, at the age of 17, is different than somebody you know, at 27, someone different than, you know, at 50. And you gotta be open to understanding what that looked like. And I, I really wasn't, I always told him, I said, I respect how well you've done, I'm proud of you. But I never really appreciated it till the opportunity had passed.

Andrew Stotz 20:43
There's three things that I want to mention now that you're talking about. The first thing is about trust. So let's talk about that. I teach an ethics class in CFA for Chartered Financial Analysts, and I always ask the audience, you know, think about it for a moment and try to answer this question, how many people do you truly trust if you had a secret that you wanted to tell? But you didn't want the world to know? You know, you know, there's, you know, the people not to talk to because they'll go out and tell the world, but how many people would you really trust? And the answer is between zero and five? And I only say, you know, if you think it's five, you probably haven't tested them well enough. So first thing that I try to teach them is that from that we've already produced some kind of empirical evidence that trust is rare. So then I challenge them, like, what kind of person are you if I asked the people around you? Are you the one that they say is trustworthy? And the second thing I want to talk about the story of the drowning man, I have to tell this story. And I know some people have heard it, but I'll just tell it really quickly and that is a fellow was stuck on his rooftop in a flood. He was praying to God for help. Soon a man in a rowboat came by and the fellow shouted to the man on the roof jump in. I can save you. The stranded fellow shouted bad. No, it's okay. I'm praying to God and He is going to save me. So the rowboat went on. Then a motorboat came by the fellow in the motorboat shouted jump in, I can save you to this stranded man. And he said, No thanks. I'm praying to God. He's going to save me I have faith. So the motorboat went on. Then the helicopter came by and the pilot shouted grab this rope and I will lift you to safety. To this stranded man replied, No thanks. I'm praying to God. He's going to save me. I have faith. So the helicopter reluctantly flew away. Soon the water rose above the rooftop and the man drowned. He went to heaven. He finally got a chance to discuss the whole situation with God at which point he explained. I had faith in you but you didn't save me. You let me down. I don't understand why. To this. God replied. I sent you a rowboat. A motorboat and a helicopter. What more do you expect?

Fred Diamond 22:54
Yeah, that's a great, I love that story. I have a similar one. If you don't mind me telling you real quick, yeah. Man goes into a ape goes into a synagogue and he says God, you need to help me I need to win the lottery, please help me. And then it goes back in. You probably even know the punch line already. He goes in on Wednesday, says God it's a you got to help me please, I need to win the lottery goes in Thursday goes back in Friday. And he says God, it's a boy, I really need to win the lottery. I have so many debts. It goes it on Saturday on the Jewish Sabbath. And he says God, it's a please help me out. I need to win the lottery of 70 years is booming voice Ayoob buy a ticket. So you know, similar type of thing. It's like, you know, you got to, first of all, you got to see what the opportunities might be. And secondly, you gotta you got to step in, right? You know, you got to lean into those and you can't be afraid i Yeah, I don't spend a whole lot of time wondering if I had gone to work for Mark. I mean, at the same time again, I really haven't spent that much time with it. But, you know, if I affected what, you know, my life definitely would have changed. And you know, the other thing too, is back to the concept of trust. You know, there's very few people that you genuinely like, you know what I'm saying? I mean, if you think about it, How many friends do you really have? I heard an interview with like, like, Daryl hall or something, some rock star, he said, he has like three friends. I'm like, Yeah, what do we mean? Like three friends? I mean, you know, so if you think about that, it's like, you know how many? Yeah, I mean, Howard Stern talks about that all the time. It's like, yeah, I have no friends and like, we have no friends mean. So how we're sort of being a big DJ and serious. But the same thing. It's like, you know, the ability if you're out there listening to work with people that you like, you know, that you've you've gone through, it doesn't mean it's always going to be fun because you know, when you're when you create a company that's worth five Bill, you still got to work pretty hard, man, and there's pros and cons and ups and downs and bankruptcies along the way and people get sick, getting someone dies and all that stuff.

Andrew Stotz 24:52
Well, one last thing I said there was three things The third thing is there's a book called Rich Dad, Poor Dad. And it's a obviously a very A big bestseller. And I always tell people, This is a terrible book. terrible advice. And people say, Well, why do you say that? I mean, there's a number one bestseller. I said, because the rich dad was an entrepreneur, the poor dad was a salary man. So now let's just take this statistic, what percent of people in this world are entrepreneurs, Tom, smile, point, 00, whatever that number is. So here's a book that's advising everybody, everybody to be an entrepreneur. What awful advice to give to people, if everybody followed that book, millions of people would crash and lose everything, because they're just not made out to be an entrepreneur. So when I, at the end of this podcast, I say, to help us create, grow and protect our wealth, I'd like to tell people that you want to separate the idea of creating wealth, from growing wealth, we grow wealth by investing carefully in the stock market. And you know, investing in business and letting that grow. And I tell people don't go into stock market to create your wealth. You create that wealth, either through business, or the poor dad, my father was a salesman all of his life, he had a great salary, and no, nothing, nothing fancy, but he was able to build, if you can keep your costs below your monthly income, you are creating wealth every single month. So that's a second way you start a business. A second way is that you get a salary job, and you keep your costs low. Now you've created wealth every single month. And the third way, I always tell people, if you are not an entrepreneur, find one and help him be successful. And those are the three ways that I see to build wealth or create wealth in our life. So

Fred Diamond 26:47
those are three, those are great. I love the way so the other thing I tell people, too, is, you know, the guy who makes 200,000, but spends 200,001 is worse off than guy who makes 30. You know, he spends 29. So I've seen so many people who are unhappy one of my big beliefs, Andrew, is it the cause of a lot of unhappiness is spending above your means. And so that's a whole separate topic, I'm sure you've talked about many times, but you know, if you if you spend less than what you make, you have potential to, to, to have a happy life.

Andrew Stotz 27:18
Fantastic. All right, based upon what you learned from this story, and what you continue to learn what what action would you recommend our listeners take to avoid suffering the same fate?

Fred Diamond 27:28
Well, you know, it's a great question. The other little twist to it is that it took me until 2002, to work for myself. So you know, I graduated from college in 1984. And then, you know, I always knew when I was at Apple, I was like, wow, everybody here, this was one of my misconceptions. I was like, everybody here wants to create the next Apple. And I was wrong with that. What I realized was also the people at Apple because it was the best company in the world at the time, wanted to work for a great company. You know, I like what you said before about point, zero 0%. And I thought everybody here wants to start the next Apple. Well, the reality is very, very few people wanted to start the next Apple, but they wanted to work for a great company. It took me until 2002 To finally work for myself, and a man when I, you know, I like to tell people I worked at Apple and compact and a large software company than two startups that just kind of blew up. And finally, I was given this opportunity in 2002. I was like, alright, let's figure this out. Let's go create something. Yeah, I tell people to if you want to work for yourself, started sooner. You know, the old expression. best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the second best time is today. So you know, it was kind of like finally I got the opportunity to work for myself, which I always wanted to do. You know, I don't know if I really had the mindset to start it earlier. But you know, sometimes, as I say to myself, yeah, I don't have to go to Compaq or the company in Detroit. You know, I could have started to work for myself right after Apple. You know, so if that's if that's something you really want to do out there as well. And a lot of times people say make sure you have this big base and you have a job and work at night. I tell people you know what, if you're committed man, cut the bait, meet some smart people, be smart, hire someone, you know, like, Andrew and figure out, you know, where's the cash? where's it gonna come from? Get the support of a spouse, if you don't have a spouse that's willing to support you get the hell out of there, but a spouse? You know, I tell people the number one secret to success as a supportive spouse.

Andrew Stotz 29:26
Yeah, yeah. And last question, what is your number one goal for the next 12 months?

Fred Diamond 29:33
Well, I have three, but the number one goal is to grow the Institute for excellence in sales. So we have a great opportunity to because of the pandemic we've been exposed outside of the DC area part of the pandemic. We were very focused on DC which is a very good market. It's the fifth largest metropolitan statistical area in United States or in North America for that matter. So there's a lot of business for us. A lot of b2b a lot of companies, but because of the pandemic, we've met people over In the world, not just people like you who that we're networking with, but sales, VPS, and customers all around the world. So we're looking to triple the size of the business in the next 12 months. And I think we can do

Andrew Stotz 30:11
it exciting and we'll have the links to all that in the show notes ladies and gentlemen, so you may be a part of that. Well listeners there you have it another story of life to keep you winning. My number one goal for the next 12 months is to help you my Listen, reduce risk and increase return in your life to achieve this I've created our community at my worst investment ever.com And when you join you also get that special discount on my valuation masterclass boot camp. As we conclude, Fred, I want to thank you again for coming on the show. And on behalf of a Stotz Academy, I hereby award you alumni status for turning your worst investment ever into your best teaching moment. Do you have any parting words for the audience?

Fred Diamond 30:52
I'm honored to have that and you know, just want to tell people out there, like sounds trite, but, you know, if you have a dream, go follow it. Start today. no better time than today. Even as we're kind of hopefully winding down this pandemic, get out there and make something happen.

Andrew Stotz 31:07
Beautiful. And that's a wrap on another great story to help us create, grow and protect our well fellow risk takers. This is your worst podcast host Andrew Stotz saying I'll see you on the upside.


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About the show & host, Andrew Stotz

Welcome to My Worst Investment Ever podcast hosted by Your Worst Podcast Host, Andrew Stotz, where you will hear stories of loss to keep you winning. In our community, we know that to win in investing you must take the risk, but to win big, you’ve got to reduce it.

Your Worst Podcast Host, Andrew Stotz, Ph.D., CFA, is also the CEO of A. Stotz Investment Research and A. Stotz Academy, which helps people create, grow, measure, and protect their wealth.

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