Startup Advice from Y Combinator

Y Combinator is the most well known and successful Silicon Valley startup incubator. They’re behind well known companies like Dropbox, AirBnB, Coinbase, Stripe, Instacart, and many more.

Check out this list of essential advice Y Combinator put out. What advice do you agree with most? What do you disagree with the most? Why?


The most successful businesses usually start out with a contrarian idea💡 — an idea that *most* disagree with.

As an entrepreneur, you have to be ready for massive amounts of rejection and loads of doubters — some of which will be very successful, smart people.

The biggest break-out 📈 business success stories are filled with rejection from top tier investors and entrepreneurs.

You’ve got to prove your idea right. If you’re right, the rewards are massive. If you’re wrong, you’re still better off than the critics on the sidelines. At least you are in the game, learning, and getting better.

Keep pushing forward. 💪

Lessons From AirBnB

AirBnB’s journey from idea to breakout success is one of my favorite entrepreneurial journeys.

Brian Chesky and his business partner Joe Gebbia had to go through just about every major obstacle in business that one could imagine. Here’s just a small list of things they had to overcome.

▪️Believed in their business so much that when it got hard they didn’t go back to a job. As a result they ended up with 10’s of thousands of dollars of credit card debt.

▪️Created Obama O’s and Cap’n McCains cereal to sell during the election at $40/box to pay off their credit cards  and hopefully keep their business alive.

▪️Got ridiculed by successful VC’s. They were told countless times by very successful people that it wouldn’t work.

▪️Realized that their original plan (airbeds on floors) was too small/limiting. They had a key insight through a customer that led them to the idea of renting whole homes.

▪️Had bad things happen at rentals (huge, districtive parties, etc) that caused a lot of bad press.

▪️Started getting sued by various governments. (Gotta love regularly capture).

The list goes on.

Today AirBnB books more room nights than any hotel chain in the world. Today AirBnB is valued at over $31 BILLION!

If you’re on an entrepreneurial journey let me ask you something: are you willing to go through this kind of craziness for your dreams?

The rewards are huge, but only because so few are willing to stay the course through whatever is thrown at them. 

Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty

Tesla is set to reveal its first electric semi truck soon. I’m curious to see how well it works, but done be distracted by it being electric. Tesla, and many others, are more interested in automating truck driving. 

Right now truck driving employs approximately 7.1 million workers. That’s 6% of the working population in our country. 

Automation/autonomous driving will significantly impact this industry in the coming decades. 

Burying your head in the sand and saying “No way. That will never happen,” is a good way to get ran over by technological advances.

Dig your well before you’re thirsty!

Bonvera – A Couple Questions to Ponder Before Joining

If you found this post, you’re likely looking for some Bonvera reviews and doing your due-diligence on the company. That’s good! Hopefully this post can help you with what you’re looking for. It’s a collection of questions and some related thoughts that you may want to ponder as you’re deciding whether Bonvera is a fit for you.

Note: Click on question to expand answer.

Is Bonvera a scam/pyramid scheme or is it a legit company?

In this day and age, this is a very legitimate question. There are a few things to think about with this question:

  • What is a pyramid scheme?
  • What associations does the company have that demonstrate credibility?

First, let’s dive into what the FTC says about pyramid schemes,

“Some people confuse pyramid and Ponzi schemes with legitimate multilevel marketing. Multilevel marketing programs are known as MLM’s, and unlike pyramid or Ponzi schemes, MLM’s have a real product to sell. More importantly, MLM’s actually sell their product to members of the general public, without requiring these consumers to pay anything extra or to join the MLM system. MLM’s may pay commissions to a long string of distributors, but these commission are paid for real retail sales, not for new recruits.”

Bonvera, while being quite a bit different than normal MLM’s, definitely sells real products to the general public without requiring these consumers to pay anything extra or to join the MLM system.

Second, let’s discuss Bonvera’s associations with other companies, as this directly connects to the FTC quote above. One major thing that separates Bonvera from most other companies is that the majority of the products they sell are manufactured by large companies like Proctor and Gamble and SC Johnson and are sold in competing outlets like Walmart and Target. Bonvera has proprietary distribution deals with these large companies and many other medium and small companies. This is important because not only did these companies do their due diligence, but it also demonstrates that Bonvera sells “real products” that people are already buying.

What should you ponder on the question about the legitimacy of Bonvera? Simply this: do you think multi-billion dollar companies like Proctor and Gamble did their due diligence on Bonvera before striking a deal?

is Network marketing / mlm a good way to make additional income?

This is a great question. Let’s look at some overall industry statistics and comparisons then see what some very successful, well-known, business leaders have to say.

Check out the yearly revenue of these various industries and how network marketing compares:

  • The National Football League (NFL): $9.5 Billion
  • Music industry: $16.4 Billion
  • Video game industry: $67 Billion
  • Movie industry: $80 Billion
  • Network marketing / MLM: $167 Billion

As you can see, network marketing isn’t a small time deal. It’s a huge industry. Here’s the most shocking part – roughly half of that $167 billion in annual revenue is paid out to the people participating in the profession. Do you believe that if that much is getting paid out to people participating in the profession that you’d be able to collect some of it (with a little bit of time and hard work)?

Here’s what a few successful business leaders have to say about network marketing:

“You strengthen our country and our economy, not just by striving for your own success, but by offering the opportunity to others. Your industry gives people a chance, after all, to make the most of their own lives. And to me, that’s the heart of the American dream.” – Bill Clinton while addressing a crowd of network marketing professionals.

“I think network marketing has come of age. It’s become undeniable that it’s a viable way to entrepreneurship and independence for millions of people.” – Stephen Covey

“It was the best investment I ever made.” – Warren Buffet after purchasing a network marketing company.

“Network marketing gives people the opportunity with very low risk and very low financial commitment, to build their own income-generating asset, and acquire great wealth.” – Robert Kiyosaki, best-selling business author of all time

“If I were starting over today, I would make millions in the network marketing industry” – Donald Trump

“Network marketing has produced more millionaires than any other industry in the world.” – Les Brown

“Network marketing is really the greatest source of grass root capitalism, because it teaches people how to take a small bit of capital, that is your time, and build the American Dream.” – Jim Rohn

“Network marketing has been nothing but good for everyone I know that’s involved with it, because they did it seriously. They played full out and they have been very successful. It’s a constant barrage of success stories. I would always get involved – you can always test drive anything, the product, the service, the community. And then lean in to it a bit, and if it feels good, lean into it a lot.” – Jack Canfield

Bonvera Comprehensive Review: Products, Pricing, & Compensation Plan

I came across this really thorough, objective review of Bonvera that I wanted to share with my readers. The author dives into Bonvera’s products, pricing, and their compensation plan. At the end the author offers his/her opinion about the company and whether it’s a legitimate company and worth joining.

Here’s the review:

Bonvera Review: Products, Pricing, & Compensation Plan

Is Bonvera like [insert company name]?

I saw this post about Bonvera on reddit. I had to share it here.Bonvera Picture

Is Bonvera like [insert company name]?

Lemme splain…
First, some people have asked if Bonvera is like those discount shopping clubs where they get rebates or discounts and sometimes money for referring other people. Companies like Groupon.The answer is no. Bonvera is different for a few reasons. One, it’s not just a coupon/discount website. Will get you competitive prices on products? Yes. Will you get discounts for shopping through other websites. Yes. But that’s where the similarities end. Bonvera is unique in that it not only shares money back for sales that result from referrals that shop through the site for their first time (based on products sold), but it also continues to share profit back to the referrer every time sales are made. In other words, Bonvera allows individuals to get paid forever on the marketshare that they help build for the company. Not only is it a great way to earn extra income, but build it long enough to build massive marketshare and you can make significant income.

Second, some people have asked if it’s like some other product company that operates in the network marketing / MLM profession.
Again, the answer is that Bonvera has pretty much NOTHING in common with any other company in network marketing.

Here are some reasons why:

  • Bonvera is NOT selling high-priced proprietary goods. They do carry private label goods such as their Phyzix brand, but the pricing is in line with existing products in the same categories. Just like a store brand/private label good should be. Almost every big box store has store brand goods. Bonvera chose to have some as well.
  • Bonvera sells NAME BRAND goods at competitive prices. These products are literally the same brands that you would buy from Walmart, Amazon, Costco, etc. There is not a single other company that sells name brand goods through a network like Bonvera does. Most other things require you to have to educate and sell the potential customer on why your product is better. In Bonvera, you would simply ask them if they want to switch which store they buy through for stuff they are already buying.
  • Bonvera has partner stores. Partner stores are other e-commerce companies that have made proprietary deals with Bonvera to bring them traffic/sales in exchange for lower prices and/or profit sharing back to the Bonvera associates. Again, this hasn’t been done by other companies on the scale that it has been done with Bonvera.
  • Bonvera’s compensation plan is completely unique. It pulls bits and pieces from various style plans and puts them together in a type of hybrid plan. It is unique in that it is a depth focused plan, not width, yet still always finds the performer and makes sure they get paid – not someone that is just sitting there and got in earlier. The comp plan shares zero similarities to companies you may have in your mind. <- yes, I can say this with confidence even though I don’t know exactly what company you have in your mind. It’s a completely unique plan.
  • Bonvera’s corporate governance is completely unique as well. See the Independent Community Advisory Association website for details:

Here’s what I’m going to leave you with: if Bonvera sounded pretty cool when you first heard about it, dig in to it and you’ll find that everything posted above is true, plus some. Bonvera is incomparable. Feel free to ask questions in the comments below.

For further research and detail, check out this excellent, in-depth review of Bonvera. It goes over the products, pricing, and has a full, very detailed, compensation plan review.

Why People Quit Their Jobs

In a time when unemployment in stubbornly high (counting those that left the labor market) and job prospects are slim, you might think that employees would be less likely to quit their jobs. If you thought that, like I did, you’d be wrong. In fact, according to Forbes and the BLS, the number of people quitting their jobs is higher now than at any point in the last 4 years.

In March, 2.475 million American quit their jobs. This has been steadily increasing recently from a low in late 2009 (just after the financial collapse finally bottomed out) from a monthly rate of 1.7 million quits per month.

Just think about that for a second. Even in the darkest days in the aftermath of the biggest financial meltdown since the Great Depression, 1.7 million Americans each month were willing to tell their bosses to “take this job and shove it.”

This begs the question, “Why are so many people quitting their jobs?” If you do a quick search, you’ll see a plethora of articles outlining the top reasons people quit. You’ll likely notice that among all of the top reasons, almost none of them are related to the company or job itself. Employees are quitting at such staggering rates, even with slim job prospects, because of the leadership (or lack thereof) in the company.

People don’t quit their job; they quit their boss.

What is the lack of leadership costing employers? According to studies on employee turnover, the average cost to replace a single employee is approximately 20% of that worker’s salary. Losing just one employee with a $40,000/yr salary (U.S. median income), will cost an employer $8,000 to find, hire, and train a replacement. In the end, it’s not leadership development that’s expensive, but leadership deficiency.

Many companies seem to think that providing continuing education centered on technical aspects of the job equates to leadership development. What many companies need to understand is that, while job specific proficiency is critical, it’s undermined by poor leadership and interpersonal skills.

This is where a specific, ongoing leadership development program comes in. Note that I mentioned ongoing. One-off seminars and retreats do not get the job done. Understanding leadership vs. management and skills such as how to cast a vision and get buy-in, conflict resolution, public speaking, change management, etc. all require ongoing training and development. They are not developed in a weekend at a conference or hanging from ropes.

With this understanding, LIFE Leadership put together a 6-month corporate leadership education program based off the Inc. Magazine internationally recognized leadership expertise of the company’s founders, Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady. The program is comprised of (4) audios and (1) book per month and covers a variety of topics ranging from interpersonal skills to the visionary process and building social capital. As for pricing, LIFE Leadership decided to undercut the established leadership development market by an order of magnitude. Costing only $50 per month, per employee with a 30-day money-back guarantee on all of their products, they’re aiming right at the jugular of the leadership development industry behemoths like John Maxwell and Tony Robbins. To be sure, LIFE Leadership is gobbling up market share. In just the first two years of business they put up over $120 million dollars in sales. I expect that they’ll continue to disrupt the marketplace and put up impressive numbers as they sign on corporate customers with their new program. Time will tell if my prediction is correct.

If you want to dig into more about their corporate leadership series, see below for one of their sales fliers. Sale of the LIFE Leadership program is not available to the general public on their website. If you want to learn more, leave a comment with your contact information (I won’t post it publicly) and we can chat.

God Bless,

Clint Fix

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