He got fired. Now he's worth millions (ft. Andrew Gazdecki)

[00:00:00] Andrew Gazdecki: A lot of people are gonna need to go to therapy for social media. This sort of issue of always wanting more, like more, more, more, more, more. And that's just a kind of circle to completely be unhappy forever. I don't wanna do that.

[00:00:13] Paul Scherer: How did the moment feel like the money came through.

[00:00:16] Andrew Gazdecki: You're just like, what the f#*k. You are set for life. I felt like I won the lottery. I got so lucky. This guy's gonna help you not f#*k it up.

[00:00:26] Paul Scherer: Tell me, tell me about this relationship

[00:00:28] Andrew Gazdecki: I wasn't interested in anything they had to teach. Um, so I guess my, my definition of success is,

[00:00:38] Paul Scherer: Welcome to the first ever episode of Up Next, my new podcast where I have yeah, candid conversations with a lot of successful people to find out what they think about career, how they think about life, how they think about success, and to help people that are similar to, to me, find out what they want from life and, and how to get there.

Our first guest is Andrew Gazdecki. He is really, really successful. I think that is safe to say. And throughout his career, he's started grown and sold multiple companies starting with business apps that he started out of his dorm room in college and sold for multiple million dollars, um, eight years later.

Today he is the founder and CEO of acquirer.com a marketplace that helps startups get acquired.

I'm really, really excited for this conversation. This is Up Next x Andrew Gazdecki.

Good to see you, Andrew. How are you doing?

[00:01:43] Andrew Gazdecki: Doing good, Paul. Thanks for having me on the show.

[00:01:45] Paul Scherer: Yeah, super awesome that you're, you're here.

How would you explain what you're currently doing, um, for a living to a 10 year old?

[00:01:55] Andrew Gazdecki: I run a startup acquisition marketplace that allows startups to buy startups from other startup founders.

[00:02:06] Paul Scherer: That's always a cool question. Uh, cuz usually people are very like, deep in their bubble and like, uh, have troubles explaining that. Um, what was your dream job as a kid?

[00:02:20] Andrew Gazdecki: I actually wanted to be CEO of a, of a business pretty early. Kinda weird. Most people wanna be like professional athletes and stuff, but. From an early age, I always like business and stuff like that.

[00:02:36] Paul Scherer: I'm actually gonna start with like a little bit of ed education. If I would travel back in time right now and ask one of your high school teachers, how do you think, would they describe you

[00:02:47] Andrew Gazdecki: Completely tuned out. I, I knew pretty early that I wanted to be an entrepreneur, and so I just kind of looked at, you know, what jobs were and I just was like, I don't want that.

I'd like to have the freedom and the creativity to build stuff on my own. There's a really funny Gary Vee quote where he says something like, he's like, I'm in, in like fifth grade, I knew I was an entrepreneur cuz I got like a d on my astronomy test.

He's like, he's like, yeah, I don't give a, I don't give a shit about Saturn . Um, so I was kind of the same way. I just, I graduated high school with like a 2.2, um, and now just cuz I wasn't interested in anything they had to teach. Um, and then I went to Chico State where I graduated with a a 2.07, which I think I'm pretty sure is the lowest graduating p a on record cuz you can't graduate 2.07.

So if I had a B minus instead of a B in a class, I wouldn't have graduated. So even my college professors, uh, would probably say tuned out except for, um, I was very involved in the entrepreneurship. Um, , uh, department club, if you will. Um, I'm proud to say I won fourth place, third place, second place, and then finally first place with, uh, business ideas.

[00:04:21] Paul Scherer: That's awesome. And, and going actually into your like university time, uh, what do you think was your definition of success back then?

[00:04:30] Andrew Gazdecki: I really didn't know. So I actually, I can tell you my definition of success. When I entered college, I knew I didn't want to get a job. I knew none of the paths of a typical job would get me where I wanted to go.

And if I'm being honest, my original goal was just to, you know, accumulate some sort of wealth or just not have to worry about money and be able to support myself on my own. And so I looked at college as, okay, I have four years to figure out how to not get a job. So that was my definition of success. So every summer I had this thing where I'd build some new different business or just work on something, tinker on different websites.

I made a job board, I made a real estate marketing web design company. And then eventually a company named Business Apps, which was like a drag and drop mobile app builder, if you wanna talk about that, which ended up, um, running for about 8, 9, 10 years. Um, which is like a hundred years in startup land. Um, but yeah, I, I just, I just didn't wanna get a job.

[00:05:44] Paul Scherer: That's such a cool, uh, reason to go to university actually, in my opinion. And it's actually, um, it's pretty intentional, right? Like to say, hey, I use this time for, for that and not just like, do it because. I really like that. And I mean, we, we can, um, we can go into business apps.

But before that, I would, I would've one question, um, for everyone right now thinking about University, college, um, what's your advice?

[00:06:14] Andrew Gazdecki: I think probably it's changed a little bit now. So when I went to Chico, I think, and I, I got like financial aid and all that stuff. Um, so I had loans I had to pay, but as when I was a freshman and then when I grad, I ended up going five years, which is kind of funny.

Um, and just the footnote there, I went up fifth year to work on business apps and I picked up a minor in entrepreneurship and failed every, so I got an F in that. So I don't have a minor in entrepreneurship, but I just did it so I can get the financial aid. So I. Had, you know, uh, just everything paid for and I just had this free time to focus on business.

So, on one hand it's great because you have so much time and resources and zero responsibility to focus on building a business if that's your goal. And I think most of what I learned was out of the classroom almo, if not everything. Um, I met a lot of great teachers, great connections, um,

Bizness Apps had two small angel investors who raised, um, a hundred thousand. Then we bootstrapped the rest of the business. I met those two investors in Chico. Uh, so shout out to Robert Jino and Christian Breland. Uh, and then also Peter Straus, who is the head of the entrepreneurship department. He kind of took me under his wing, if you will.

So I had a great college experience, but towards the end, college tuition skyrocket it. It went from. , I think it was like 5k, a a year and then it went to like 25 K, or I think it's probably like 50 K now. So, you know, I, I think everyone should go to college. But you know, I say that in, you know, kind of like a double vein of it's just so expensive.

Now, I might have not gone to college at all today if I had the choices, just cuz but knowing the outcome I would. But I'm just trying to think if I had to step back not knowing where my future would be and I'm just getting a degree. Um, so I'm just gonna put my answer as you should go to college. It has benefits, but man has it changed and it's definitely harder to get into.

So Chico State you can't even get into without a 4.0. So I would've never even gotten in . So, . Yeah, that's kind of crazy. And then just the, you know, if your, if your parents can't pay for it, it's just such a huge expense. So, you know, you gotta weigh the benefits. Like, do you really need that degree? Um, there's, there's pros and cons.

I don't have a strong opinion on it. I'm not like, I know some people are like, don't go to college. It's bad for you. But there's also so many benefits to college. I met all my friend, I met, met my wife there. Um, that's a great question. Um, I'm gonna, I'm like 50 50 on that one.

[00:09:21] Paul Scherer: Yeah. My, what I always, I mean even for, for myself, right? I'm 18 and I, I'm not at college. Um, I think it's, it is just, it's about doing it for a reason. Like there's good reasons to do it right, but it's like, you shouldn't just do it because everyone does it, in my opinion.

[00:09:39] Andrew Gazdecki: Yeah. Um, I like that.

[00:09:41] Paul Scherer: Um, and I mean, business apps, you, you, you touched upon that, you started that like straight out of college and like from your college dorm room. Um, and I mean, it's a, uh, you said that, but it's a, it was a platform for like small businesses to, or is I think it's still exists, right? Um, yeah. To to create an app and, and, and engage their, their customers that way.

And before we go into like the specifics of building this company, I wanna talk about mentorship. You already already like mentioned the angel investors. I heard you say like in one podcast you talked about, I think Christian, um, and he said he changed my life.

[00:10:25] Andrew Gazdecki: Um, uh oh abs absolutely. 100% .

[00:10:30] Paul Scherer: Yeah. Tell me, tell me about like this relationship and like mentorship in general.

[00:10:36] Andrew Gazdecki: Yeah, so Christian Friedland, he was the founder of a company called build.com. I have a pretty funny podcast with him, uh, on the Micro choir YouTube channel. He's just a brilliant individual and he started that business with no capital and he grew it to, I think like three or four, $5 billion in gmv. And it's, uh, e-commerce store competes with Home Depot and Lowe's online.

So home repair stuff, think like sinks, toilets, you know, stuff, cabinets, I don't know. Um, big company though, like big, huge office, thousands of employees. Um, and he, he sold the company and stayed on as CEO and only made a few angel investments. So he wasn't a typical angel investor that would make a lot of angel investments.

And so when he invested in me, he just had so much time and. Just availability. And I assume he just, you know, kind of, he, he had already sold his business. He, he was already kind of set for life. Um, and, you know, I just, um, I, I still talk to him all the time and tell him like, dude, you changed my life. Like, thank you.

But I would write him like really long emails. He was almost like a co-founder of the company and I think it's really, really, really rare. And also something not to be expected to find that level of mentorship. So I, I feel pretty grateful that I was able to accumulate so much knowledge. He invested, I think like 60 K or something like that.

And if you just think of what they were paying him as a salary to work at build.com, which I think was in the millions to stay on after the acquisition. Just his time alone that he invested in me was in the millions. And so I'm just forever grateful for everything that he did for me. He like truly cared for me as an individual.

And again, I was, I was young. I was like 21, 22. And he really helped instill in me this, you know, cuz we started growing really fast. And so when you start growing and we were in all the publications, we. , you know, in techcrunch, like 20 times when they used to write about bootstrap businesses, um, wall Street Journal, New York Times, like you, you need, it was just kind of a cliche story, like college kid making mobile apps when no one knew how to make mobile apps.

So it was also, yeah, it was, it had a good story to it and it had a David versus Goliath, like we're small businesses. Um, so it was very, uh, press worthy if you will. Um, and so when you get that much attention, you know, VCs, investors reach out and Christian would always tell me like, Hey, like if you take on this type of money, like you realize like what you have right now is a win.

Like you and I always explain it like this, when you're bootstrapping a business, you're at, let's say like the black track table and you have a bunch of chips and you can cash 'em in, like you can sell the business and. You know, you've won, but when you raise venture capital, you kind of, you know, set, you commit to this goal of getting a lot more chips before you can sell.

And so that's why we, we never raised any venture capital. We, we met with every VC firm you could possibly name. Um, and we got close one time. And I remember emailing the partner just saying, I, I, I'm just too young and I don't know what I'd spend this on. I just don't feel comfortable. And Christian like helped and it's in his benefit to be like, take the money, like grow faster.

But he is like, you know, you gotta, you gotta burden the hand. Don't go for too the bush right now. Like, you know, do that next time, you know, sell this business and do the, the VC thing next time. But like, like you build something special here without a lot of capital, like, that's very rare. Um, so that's where I say he, you know, quite literally changed my life.

[00:14:44] Paul Scherer: I found an interview from you in, from 2011, uh, when you were like 22. Um, and you were asked, like it was right at the beginning or, um, early days of, of, of business apps. And you were asked about like a typical day.

Um, I'm gonna read you a quote now, that what your answer from, from back then?

[00:15:05] Andrew Gazdecki: Um, is it, is it, uh, the idea man, uh, interview? Yeah, I think so. Oh my gosh. That was the funniest interview I've ever done.

[00:15:13] Paul Scherer: Yeah. That was really fun to read. And like during research, I was, I was very, um, proud of myself that I found that

Um, yeah. So, yeah. Um, you said, um, business apps all, all day. Um, 12 hour days in the office, living off coffee, um, and loving every minute of it. Um, putting a heavy emphasis on crushing every aspect of the business. I just enjoy what I do. My friends literally want to kill me because I can't talk about anything but my business anymore, I can't help it.

I love it. Anything that you're passionate about, you're going to make happen. Let's, let's reflect on this answer. Did you feel like you were living the dream back then already?

[00:15:59] Andrew Gazdecki: Oh, yeah. I felt like I won a lottery. Uh, I got so lucky. I mean, uh, I, I'm not technical. I had no sales experience. I didn't have a lot of capital.

I had no marketing experience. I had no job experience. I just got fired from a graphic design job at school. Um, and it was just, it was a moment. And there's certain times where, you know, When you re, when you launch a business market, timing can be the most important factor. And so what I noticed in the market was, you know, there was these app builders coming out, but none of 'em were specific to small businesses.

And I had a job board previous to that, that connected mobile developers with businesses. And I kept seeing this repeated job posted over and over and over and I said, that should be a template cuz people are making, are paying 50 K to have simple apps for typically high-end restaurants and hotels made.

And so, um, yeah, I would say, um, I mean a a absolutely, I mean, it it, it's interesting to reflect back and just think of all the mistakes that we made, um, and how we still made it. And it really was just through, you know, we just wanted it that bad. We just. We worked really hard. Um, we kind of made up for our lack of experience with, you know, working, you know, somewhat outrageous hours, which at, at this age, I, I can't do, but I'm, I'm really glad I, I did that when I was younger.

[00:17:42] Paul Scherer: Yeah, that's, I think there's always this, I I would, I would be actually super curious like how much of that, that answer was like narrative and how much, like, looking back and like, like being, I, I would imagine like being part of this, this like whole thing is like you, you said you felt like you won the lottery.

Um, how much is that? Like how, how different would the answer be right now?

[00:18:10] Andrew Gazdecki: Well, imagine this, so you're growing up as a kid and your childhood dream is to be the quarterback of. I don't know, at the San Francisco 49ers, one day you reach that goal. And so at age 22, I was the CEO of a company that was growing really fast, faster than I had ever expected.

And it was just kind of one of those moments of like, wow, like just kind of first shot. And then that's where I, I like to put emphasis just on the luck of just what happened. Um, and I completely understand, like I, you know, I, it probably could have been a bigger company, it probably could have been maximized more if I was more experience.

But yeah, I mean, it was an exhilarating experience of just like, just the rush of just like finding product market fit that fast, like seeing revenue go into the millions when you're like 22 or 23 and you don't have. You know, a lot of, uh, investors breathing down your throat or anything like that. It was, it was a, it was probably, I always like to say we didn't build the biggest company, but I would put money on saying we built the, the funnest company.

[00:19:31] Paul Scherer: In that same interview, you, you, you name gerba. Shalal

[00:19:34] Andrew Gazdecki: gerba. Shal, yeah. He, um, built and sold like three different companies.

He's had a few scandals though since I posted that. Yeah. Um, so I, I would probably redact that one. Um, but the, the

[00:19:49] Paul Scherer: thing why, why I'm telling you that. Um, like, like the thing you said that was inspiring about him was like actually building the companies, like making, building a 40 million company then a 300 million company.

Um, how much, like how much was that part of the motivation besides everything like the money part, the, like financial, you, you talked about that financial freedom, um, and stuff.

[00:20:14] Andrew Gazdecki: Yeah, I, I have a lot of respect for him cuz he just has a track record. I always say if you do it once, you're lucky. If you do it twice, you're talented.

If you do it three times, like you're on another level, um, like you just know how to build businesses and. They, it takes a lot out of you. I think that's why you see a lot of entrepreneurs, they'll just kind of build one, cuz it literally 10 years in startups is like dog years. It's like a hundred years off your life.

Um, but for those crazy enough to do a second one and then it's successful, and then another one, it's successful, that's really rare. And so I thought that was just really cool how he, uh, kept building these companies and they were kind of bigger and bigger and bigger. And I think another entrepreneur I'd probably replace, um, with him, uh, would be, uh, Parker Conrad from, uh, Zs.

He, you know, had a huge fallout, um, with Zs, but then he came back with the vengeance from rippling. And I, I love those stories where you lose everything. You had it all, you lose it all. . I mean, I hope that doesn't happen to anybody, but, um, you know, it's just such a, that's a good story, an amazing story. If you lose it all, everyone doubts you, and then you pick yourself right back up.

And I think that's what entrepreneurship is all about, is we're, you know, you're gonna fall down. And, I mean, Parker Conrad's story is a, a big story of, you know, falling down. Like all press publications are saying the meanest things possible. And he comes back with rippling, which is, you know, one of the, uh, fastest growing companies to my knowledge.

Um, I think I, I love those types of stories. Um, just repeat founders just, you know, coming back with something to prove or just for the love a building. Ideally.

[00:22:08] Paul Scherer: You didn't fall down though. So you, you sold business apps in, in 2018, I believe. Um, yeah. And, and I mean, there, there's a lot of stuff like out there is, I mean, it's safe to say it like you, you didn't have financial wants after that.

But what, what I'm curious about, like how did the moment feel like the money came through on your bank account?

[00:22:34] Andrew Gazdecki: I've actually talked about this on, on one podcast, but like, I was the opposite of probably what you thought. Like when, so I did have that typical moment of refresh your bank account and you're just like, what the fuck?

Like what? Um, and my first reaction was I j I got really nervous. I like, didn't sleep that night. I was like, um, I always described it as, and I, I really had this thought. I was like, , is this illegal? Like this can't be mm-hmm. true. Uh, and then, you know, it sinks in. And then that's when I kind of started to celebrate.

But at first, I mean, you, the way most people accumulate, you know, wealth, throughout, like a career with a job is like very steady and slow. So it's kind of like one, and then for an entrepreneur it's just like straight line and boop, just, it's so, it's just so much all at once. It's just, it's hard to kind of describe, it's like tr trying, just try, like, just thinking about like, it's like the feeling of your first customer product market fit and the whole journey just kind of ending on a, on like the best possible note all at once.

So it's like emotional, scary, uh, but I will never forget that moment. That was, that was a fun time.

[00:24:04] Paul Scherer: Was there like, you, you, after like after you, you let it sink, was there, um, anything you like bought for your family, for yourself?

Like something like a stupid, um, just like, I can afford it now, I'll just do it. Purchase?

[00:24:20] Andrew Gazdecki: No. So again, this is where Christian Friedland came in. He, you know, he made, uh, a good amount of money off the, the business, um, being acquired. And so he, he was happy. Um, but again, like he connected me with a financial advisor and he is like, Hey, listen, this guy's not gonna help you 10 x your money, but he is gonna help you.

not Fuck it up, basically , those, that, that was his words. Like literally do. And we always talked about a rule where, you know, when I sold the business, uh, to not spend anything for a year. And so I waited a year until I actually, maybe it was a little less than a year, but, um, bought a house, bought a car, that was it.

I'm a pretty simple guy. This sweater's from Target. I mean, I, there's nothing I really want. And then I think you can probably like connect the dots. I just keep building businesses cause that's what I like to do.

[00:25:24] Paul Scherer: I actually think that's a super interesting point. Like, like what motivates you? Cuz I think for a lot of people money is a big part of the motivation.

[00:25:37] Andrew Gazdecki: Yeah. The thing, and, and this is another quote from uh, Christian Friedland too, is, you know, once entrepreneurs like get some sort of, you know, financial freedom, you can transcend money as motivation and, uh, Will Schroeder from uh, startups.com uh, really kind of put this into perspective?

Cause I asked him, I was like, why did I work so hard for that first business? And he is like, well that was like your, that was like purpose for you. Like you wanted a better life for you and your family. So that was, you know, very understandably like why you're, why you worked on that business so hard. Cuz when you look back sometimes you're like, why did I work 12 hour days?

Why did I, you know, go through that much like, you know, pain if you will. Uh, and you know, Now what motivates me today is just helping people. Um, which is kind of ironic. Like even if Microacquire a huge success and you know, I get a big financial windfall, whatever, I'm just gonna build another company.

Like, I don't like, you know, the thought of managing multiple homes or even multiple cars. Like I have to get new tires on my car and I have to get an oil change right now. Like, I don't wanna do that , so that stuff just doesn't interest me. So I think that's where I think a lot of entrepreneurs get things wrong in terms of what they really want out of a startup.

And what I mean by that is I don't think entrepreneurs understand how impactful 2, 1, 5, 10, 20 million can do. Like if you have 20 million, you are set for life. Like, you have your retirement fund, you have your house paid in cash, you have like everything, but every entrepreneur is shooting for like the billion dollar outcomes.

Like, what, what are you gonna do with a billion dollars? What are you gonna do with a hundred million dollars? Like, you're just gonna

[00:27:38] Paul Scherer: Twitter, like, not with a hundred

[00:27:39] Andrew Gazdecki: million, but. I think Twitter is a little more than that, , but yeah. Um, like you're just gonna die with the money. Um, I, I do hope a billionaire goes crazy one time and just starts.

Like, I, I want a pyramid built in the middle of nowhere or something like that. I'll be, if I ever become a billionaire, I, I pledge to become that guy . I was like, I want a, I want a pyramid built with a roller coaster around it. like, and this is where you're gonna bury me or something. Just, just like, it's such an absorbant amount of money.

Like you just put it in the stock market and then like you get to watch it, the number go up more. Like what? I don't, I don't get it. So that's why I'm always trying to tell entrepreneurs, listen, you know, when you raise venture capital, um, you have a 1% chance of reaching, you know, a billion dollar valuation, but that it doesn't stop there.

Now you have to either go public or you have to find a buyer for your business. When you have a business worth a billion dollars, the amount of businesses that can acquire that are very small, your buyer pool. Ironically gets smaller as your business gets bigger. So if you focus on building a business to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, $10 million, you have a pretty good sized buyer pool.

And that is a more practical and realistic approach to entrepreneurship in my opinion. And I think we've just been fed this Silicon Valley narrative of raise a series A through Z and when you sell, you'll have 3% of a billion dollar comp. It's like you can avoid all that and just, you know, bootstrap a business.

It's definitely, you know, both paths have, um, cuz Microacquire's venture backed, so I can speak to both paths are kind of equally hard, but your chances of having a financial, um, success. , um, maybe it won't be a billion, but it'll definitely be life changing. Um, it's far more practical if you don't raise a lot of outside capital.

[00:29:50] Paul Scherer: Everyone that has that has ever given me like money advice has set something along the lines of equity versus investing or whatever. It's just like if you own something and sell it, that's where, where money, where money comes from. It's, it's such a big thing. Thank you for, for sharing that.

Let's, uh, shift gears a little bit and talk, talk about actually Twitter for for a second. Mm-hmm. Like how much time do you spend on Twitter every day?

[00:30:20] Andrew Gazdecki: So I used to write a lot in terms of, uh, journaling or, uh, writing for publications like Forbes Entrepreneur. And so instead of doing that. I just like to write. And so, and I always have, so in the morning I'll usually kind of think of a tweet or something like that.

And I just think it's fun. And that goes back to kind of what motivates me, which is just helping people. If I can help people, like I love the responses of like, oh, I need to hear that. Or just like, thanks for the tip. Sometimes you'll get like, worst tweet ever. And it's like, almost like it anyways. Like I respect your opinion, you know, I'm not always right.

Um, but I would say typically like no more than like two, three hours a day.

[00:31:05] Paul Scherer: Are you, are you actually writing everything yourself? Yeah.

[00:31:09] Andrew Gazdecki: Yeah. I, I've never, I, some people have called me out and be like, they're like, Andrew's not real, he's a bot or something like that. Or he has a ghost writer. Um, and I always does he always

[00:31:22] Paul Scherer: like, and like, engage and, and do this stuff?

[00:31:25] Andrew Gazdecki: Yeah. The reason I do that is cuz. I'm just trying to say, um, well, for two reasons. One is, uh, the comments is kind of where I get ideas for just other tweets. So I read 'em and also I just, it's kind of my way of saying like, Hey, thanks for just engaging and also just like, I respect your opinion, even if you're like, worst tweet eat Ever.

I'll still like it. So it's really me. And you could, you could test me. You can be like, ask me a hard question. Like, uh, I don't know. My, my lucky number is 11. If you just ask me that, like we answer. What's your lucky number? Like I'll say 11. Um, it's always me. It's always been me. Um, but sometimes Drake, Drake does come in and, and Ghost writes a couple tweets, um, here and there.

[00:32:13] Paul Scherer: It's a great way for Drake to like make a little bit money off, uh, on the side. Probably he,

[00:32:19] Andrew Gazdecki: he, he, he does a pro bono, yeah. Oh, okay. That, that's, that's a joke for people. Joke. Not serious.

[00:32:27] Paul Scherer: Um, do you have like an advice for, for like starting out on, on Twitter or another like social media platform for young people? Is it even worth it if you're just like, at the beginning of your career?

[00:32:41] Andrew Gazdecki: Yes, I would say so. I think the main thing, and I think a lot of people are gonna need to go to therapy for social media, um, like, I won't say names, but like the people who just like, just rile people up and just say these, just like polarizing opinions just to get attention.

they're gonna be in therapy, um, for social media because you get addicted to those little dings. Um, so, you know, I, I try to do a couple things. Um, number one, um, I don't really care what people think about my tweets. Again, I just, you know, I respect everyone's opinion. Um, but what I'm trying to say here is, um, you need to find a way to make it fun.

Um, and for me, that's just posting, you know, stuff that helps entrepreneurs, motivate them, teaches something. I'm sharing a story. I'm marketing micro acquire. I'm rooting for other entrepreneurs to succeed. That's fun to me. Um, what's not fun is writing something and then it becomes into like a q and a. I don't have time for that.

Like, I write a topic that has nothing to do with micro choir and someone's like, Hey, what about Microacqure? Sometimes like, I'll just, I'll just like that and I'll just reply later. Um, but my, what, what I'm getting across is find something that you enjoy on social media, because then you'll show up every day.

because it's all about just consistency. And then if you're not gonna enjoy it, you're gonna suck at it. I'm a big believer that the best work that you do is work that you love. And I just happen to like writing little snappy, you know, sometimes good, mostly bad startup tweets. Um, I enjoy it. Um, so I think if you think of it as like a game that you enjoy, but if you get into this sort of like, I gotta build a personal brand.

I'm gonna, you know, write these huge threads, like a shout out to people who write threads. I have no idea how you, how you have time for that, uh, . But, um, again, does figuring out, I mean, maybe threads is your thing and you wanna, you know, really educate people, like find out what you enjoy and then that's how you make work.

And then just do that for like a couple years. And that also applies to startups too.

[00:35:05] Paul Scherer: that's a like universal advice. Um, actually wrote a lot of threats in my early days on Twitter, but yeah, as soon as you're not like senior year in high school, like having nothing to do and just like spending your whole day on Twitter, I, I started like noticing, oh, that's not very, like, feasible and sustainable.

[00:35:26] Andrew Gazdecki: Yeah, I, I wrote a, I've written a few threads, but I didn't enjoy 'em cuz it just, I like, just kind of the more snappy, just, you know, and one thing you'll notice is most of my tweets, they just come from my phone. So I think the best tweets usually come from, um, they're, they're usually kind of reminders to myself or just things that I'm thinking of.

And that's kind of maybe an idea for people of just. , you know, be yourself, like, be authentic. And so, you know, I don't have like scheduling times or anything like that. It's just what am I thinking about today? I don't know. And then I just kind of post it and I don't really care what people think or say about it.

Um, but I, I, I enjoy and respect, um, you know, people's comments, opinions, and it makes it fun, you know?

[00:36:16] Paul Scherer: Yeah. And, and one thing that you do tweet, uh, at least from time to time about is Micro Choir actually have, I don't know if you even see Micro Choir there, but it's, it is there. Oh, right on. Yeah. I'm using the, it's on, on my Wall of fame for, for swag

I, I appreciate that. I, I'm actually, I'm actually really loving the like, cap and the, the swag and it's, and it's a very, like, you can make a lot of, uh, jokes that, like, I, I posted this one time where like, , I was in the supermarket and said, I'm micro requiring some groceries.

[00:36:50] Andrew Gazdecki: I saw that and I laughed. . Yeah, I

[00:36:53] Paul Scherer: think I, I love that.

And, uh, it's, it's even better that like no one, literally no one else other than like, people I know on the internet, like understands that. Um, so yeah. That's, that's really cool. And it is a venture backed business, so you, I think raised 7 million, something like that.

[00:37:12] Andrew Gazdecki: Like 12. 12 or 13?

[00:37:14] Paul Scherer: I mean, there's like lots of traction you're going to like drop the micro, um, . Yeah. Uh, which is, which is super cool. I'm actually, um, with a, with a good friend of mine looking, um, into acquiring something and it's like there is a lot of big stuff there, right. Um, and I mean, what are your personal goals with Microacqure?

Beyond just helping people, like experience what you experience with, with business apps.

[00:37:46] Andrew Gazdecki: I would say it was just, you nailed it. My experience with, with business apps, like going through finding a buyer was so hard. Like it took me like literally years to find a buyer and then there's no education on how to sell your business.

There's a lot more now, but four years ago, due diligence, legal steps, you know, you just had to go through an investment bank or something like that to sell your business. And then, um, after I had sold All Coin, my second company, I was actually looking to buy a SaaS company because I didn't want to go through the.

Part where you eat glass for two years, find product market fit, and you're doing everything. But then I started Micro Choir, um, for some reason. And originally it was just for, uh, personal deal flow. Um, and then I just saw it was so needed in the market cuz there was nothing specific to sas. And then I found out brokers took 15% commission investment.

Banks typically take, you know, two to 3%. So I was like, okay, we got a big market here. Um, I think a lot of entrepreneurs are gonna be bootstrapping businesses and there's gonna be a lot of businesses, specifically sas, um, software companies, um, getting acquired for under say, 50 million. Not the billion dollar outcomes.

Those are still gonna be there. But I think the long tail of just, you know, people building software has been, you know, democratized with. You know, no code tools, just all the information. Like a decade ago when I was building business apps, we were all winging it. There was no book to read on sales str.

There were, but there wasn't like a standard, there wasn't, I couldn't post something on Twitter like, Hey, I need help with this. You know, we, you know, like our billing stack, like, oh my gosh, like there was no stripe, there was no, we were on physical servers for a little bit, if you remember that. So my point being is it's so much easier to create a startup and there's just so many niche opportunities and I think we're gonna see that continue and continue.

So, um, you know, with, with Mike require, the thought was, you know, man, I wish I had a platform like this to help me sell business apps when I was looking to sell it. Because when I sold the business, I was. in it long enough where I was ready to step aside. Um, I was actually looking at hiring a c E O for the business.

Um, but we, uh, sold the business instead cuz I wanted to try something new. I wanted to work on something new. Um, and it was in such great shape. I just, you know, was pretty, I delegated almost everything and so I was kind of just there for the big decisions. Um, and yeah, I think, you know, big plans for acquire.com is, you know, I wanna, I wanna help facilitate not just, you know, the micro acquisitions, but you know, the macro acquisitions too.

I think, you know, I don't think any entrepreneur really wants a micro acquisi. . You know, I don't think any entrepreneur wants to feel like, oh, I sold my business for a micro price. You know, we wanna, I wanna help founders maximizes, and I think with the rebrand, acquire.com, it's a good way to really help entrepreneurs, you know, think bigger.

Like, yo, let's go for, you know, seven figures. Like you can do it if you just push a little bit harder. We'll still support, you know, deal sizes of, um, any range. But, um, I can see acquire.com being just the default marketplace if you're looking to sell business for 10,000 or a hundred million. So that's essentially our goal.

[00:41:39] Paul Scherer: Yeah, that's, that's like the perfect story, right? Like of the, like, it's such a clear pitch of that. Like that's what we are fighting or who we are fighting against and like this is the like perfect solution to replace that with. So I love that. If you, um, I love to ask this question, by the way. Um, in, let's say in a few years, what we are, like, what no one expects and, and acquire.com fails.

How would you like explain this decision to do that? Like to a stranger in a bar? Why wouldn't you regret it?

[00:42:16] Andrew Gazdecki: I mean, it, it has a, I know my, my, my chances since we're venture backed, you know, I'm in that 1% bucket. So, you know, my odds aren't very good.

Just, you know, even as we're, we're doing well. Um, but that's just the reality of startups is you gotta go through it, you know, you gotta go after it. So let's say it does fail and you know, it doesn't work out. . Um, I would've no regrets. Um, because we've definitely helped a lot of entrepreneurs, and again, that's what motivates me.

So e that's kind of like theran, I think even if micro require does fail. And I think if we define failure as, you know, we weren't able to commercialize the business and make it bigger. We still have helped so many entrepreneurs, at least I hope we have, and we've helped 'em sell their business. And I think we've helped a lot of people rethink, you know, what, you know, life-changing money really is, it's not the billion dollar outcome, it's more just, you know, sell your business for just a couple million.

It's so much more realistic, so much more feasible. And your buyer pool is in like the, the thousands, like, so I think even if it fails, you know, I, I have accomplished my goal in terms of just inspiring entrepreneurs and helping entrepreneurs, but. Yeah. I mean, if it goes down like in flames, uh, it, it suck

I'm not, I can't get around that. But if I had to explain to someone, I'd have to probably go over the, I'd have to probably do a retrospect on, you know, what decisions did we get wrong. You know, it'd probably be, I'd, I'd definitely would do a postmortem in terms of, you know, what, just to help people. But, um, you know, I, I'm giving it all I got, so we'll see what happens.

[00:44:10] Paul Scherer: Yeah, I, I'm sure, and I also obviously hope that it's, it's not going to get to this point. Um, a how, how much, like since the early days of business apps, and we looked at this quote like where you described your typical day, how different is a typical day of in your life right now to that?

[00:44:31] Andrew Gazdecki: Um, I recently, I recently tweeted about this, so my, so I have, um, , a lot of boundaries that I set now is cuz when you're, you know, 22, 23, 25, whatever, you don't have a lot of responsibility.

But I'm married, I have a three-year-old, um, you know, I have, you know, a life outside of work, . And so, you know, those are also relationships like you wanna really nurture because if you, if I succeed with my require, I wanna share it with my friends and my family and then all my teammates. Um, so I've, I've really tried to correct a lot of the mistakes I made at business apps.

The biggest one was not delegating early enough, not hiring a team of people way smarter than me earlier enough. Um, also, , understanding that working harder does not translate to our working more hours doesn't necessarily translate to more growth on the business. So I'm more thoughtful with my time and I try to guard my calendar, um, pretty hard.

And, uh, so a typical day I'll work. It depends on the week. Um, but I usually will work between at least 40 hours, some weeks, over a hundred hours. Just depends on if we're recruiting, if there's a product launch coming out, um, you know, if it's kind of one of those, uh, end of the month, if you will. Um, but I make, like right after we get done recording this podcast, I'm gonna lunch with my wife.

Um, I make time for my son every day. Um, weekends, family, friends, um, but just having that stuff, when I was building business apps, I was so heads down. , almost like obsessive that it was, it was borderline unhealthy. When I, when I think about it, I don't, I don't recommend that cuz you need a good balance and you do better work when you can come back and you're like, oh, oh, that, that one problem.

I have an idea for now. Or just, I don't, I don't necessarily sweat, you know, issues or problems or challenges as much as I used to. Uh, cuz I, I've just learned over the years that does no good. Like, you can worry and stress about, uh, there, like when you have a problem in a business, whether that's finding product market fit, you lost customers, someone quit, whatever, you have two paths.

Like one is you can complain and whine about it and like, you know, just basically do nothing and that has zero value. Or you can look at every problem as an opportunity to improve and get better. . And so just that symbol, sort of, I'm a big believer, you know, startups are half mental, it's like a half mental game.

Um, so that's probably a, a big, big switch in terms of how I work and how much I work. So when I do work a lot, it's usually just, we got a lot going on cuz the team is still small, but it's definitely not on the level of, you know, hardcore hustle like business apps. Was it ? If, if you will.

[00:47:45] Paul Scherer: For me personally, like super early stage and I don't have this experience you have, so it's like kind of very limited data set. But is the coolest like part of a startup? Like smaller team, you know everyone.

Is that for you the, the case as well?

[00:48:01] Andrew Gazdecki: Oh yeah. I mean, well every you see it is kind of fun because, you know, you move from, you know, I'd go even smaller is probably the funnest cuz that's when like, you don't know if this is gonna work at all. Like, you know, that's, and then you fi and then you get through that breakthrough and you're able to, you know, hire a few more people.

Um, but yeah, when you can all fit on one Zoom screen, you still have time to kind of joke around in a 30 minute standup. Uh, everybody knows each other on a personal level and a professional level and everybody is able to, you know, have fun and just enjoy their work and know everybody in the company. It becomes really hard when, you know, the company's so big, people just don't even know each other.

Um, and yeah, just, it's just every person that you add to your company is just another layer of communication. And so I'm a big advocate of keeping your team as small as possible for as long as possible. Cuz as small team can ironically move way faster than, um, a big, bloated team with, because then you gotta have meetings about meetings and then strategy talks and it just becomes, instead of just, you know, actually getting stuff done it, in my experience, you know, you get the most stuff done when you're small.

And then after that you just have so many customers to support that you have to have processes to, you know, sustain all that. And that's the same with product. You have such, such a vast, you know, feature set, you know, you have, you need so many engineers to support it and it, you do see a little bit of, um, , uh, you know, slowness in terms of the, the delivery of, of everything.

Um, not, not always the case, but yeah, when you get all fit on a one zoom screen, you have to tile over a bunch that, those are the good days. ?

[00:50:03] Paul Scherer: When you're hiring right now, um, especially, I don't know it's how much you actually do that, but like junior ish people, like younger folks, um, what are you looking for?

What would also be your advice for like, someone my age? Um, in terms of like getting hired

[00:50:23] Andrew Gazdecki: or career, I would say, so if you're looking to get hired, anything to stand out? I mean anything to like, if you can, you know, do something interesting in terms of like, one person I hired, you know, we started the interview and they had a micro crush shirt on.

Like, that's awesome. You know, cuz I like to hire people. I, I have a really simple criteria when I hire. It's just, um, do I think I'd enjoy working with you? Do I think you'd enjoy working at this company and do I think you'd do a good job? That's kind of it. . Yeah, there's a lot of layers that onion. So what I look for is just motivation, attitude, and skillset in that order.

Cuz I can't teach the other two. And if you don't have a positive attitude and you're not motivated to work at micro requires, so to speak, um, it's just not gonna work out. You know, I don't want, I don't, I don't, I don't look to hire people that just want a job. I want people on. My team that wanna be on my team, cuz they like what we're doing, you know, they're passionate about helping other entrepreneurs.

Um, and I think that's when you get the most out of a team is when everyone's rowing in the same direction and there's purpose to the work. And it, it sounds cheesy as hell, but, um, when you all just have this shared, you know, sort of view of like what you can accomplish together, you know, that's where you get the high fives and like everyone contributing and everyone, you know, giving just like really good ideas and feedback and you know, putting in the extra 10%.

And, you know, there's a saying, you know, if you wanna go fast, go alone. But if you wanna go far, go together. And so, you know, I think a lot of people make the mistake of. Hire smart people and then just leave 'em alone like that , I like, I think I, I don't know whose quote that is, but I couldn't disagree with that more.

I think you wanna hire people that are motivated and that are, you know, team players that make each other better. And what happens is you create this, um, organization of just pure learning where everyone is just helping each other out and learning and just, you know, it's a team, like a basketball team.

Everybody's passing the ball, you know, it's not like you just, you know, pick up LeBron James and you just say, Hey, do your thing. You know, LeBron James means like a supporting cast and stuff like that. Probably a bad analogy, but, um, you know, there's a book called The Advantage that goes over, um, basically, you know, let's call 'em a players, a group of unaligned A players.

Um, were. , uh, basically they had some project to complete and they had junior less experienced people, five of 'em, and they were, they were highly motivated, and the A players were not as motivated, and the B players, uh, outperformed them by like a magnitude of like three to four. Um, I need to reread that book for, um, the specific details, but my point being is if you have one bad apple just in a group of five, it just ruins everything.

So again, that's why I always look for motivation, attitude, and skillset.

[00:53:50] Paul Scherer: I would say you're, you're pretty successful, but what does, uh, for, for, do you agree and what does that mean?

[00:53:57] Andrew Gazdecki: Um, I think success is defined by you. Uh, I mean, you know, I think people look up to people with a lot of money as successful, you know, but I think the most successful people are the people that are just the happiest cuz there's, there's things that you, you can't buy, you know?

And that's really where you win in life. You know, I think that the person who's running a one person business, cuz he doesn't like to manage people and is able to just pay his bills and he is laughing with his team every day, doesn't have any stress. That person is richer in my opinion, than any billionaire because they've kind of checked me to life.

Like I recently just got back from, um, Hawaii and I always, uh, kind of joke with, um, you know, my wife when we go out there. You know, you know, we're at, you know, some restaurant and the waiter comes and I'm always like, do they have it figured out? Or do we, you know, because we pay a lot of money to come here and they're just living in paradise and they have the lowest dress job and this, this place is beautiful.

You know, and I think about that often. Um, so I think that success is definitely defined by you. And for me it's just being happy. You know, that's one of the, the core components cuz you know, when you like, think of it this way, like , you know, people going after like billion dollar outcomes, what's really gonna happen is, you know, y maybe you'll get a bigger house.

That's cool and you probably won't use 90% of it. Maybe your car will be fast. Okay, that's cool, but like, you don't need it. Um, you know, but it's, it's really. , you know, the people that you know are, are doing things on their terms, um, with, you know, spending time how they wanna spend it and are able to, you know, just basically live happy lives and that's what makes you live longer.

That's what, you know, everyone really strives for. And I think a lot of people kind of get trapped in this sort of issue of always wanting more, if you will, always wanting more, like more, more, more, more, more. And that's just a kind of circle to just kind of completely be unhappy forever, . Um, so I guess my, my definition of success, Just being able to do what you want to do every day.

And for me, that's just building companies. I love building companies. I love the bad parts. I love the good parts, I love everything in between. And I'm just super grateful I'm able to do that. Um, and I'm, I'd like to think I'm okay at it. Um, but not the best, but I don't know good enough to get on your podcast.

[00:56:53] Paul Scherer: Oh, that's, that's for sure. Um, w was there like one or two key decisions in your life looking back now that like where you went, like left when everyone else went right. Um, that like very much influenced, um, or like made your, you know, success or helped you get where you. .

[00:57:21] Andrew Gazdecki: Yeah, I would say college, you know, from day one being like, I, I don't want a job and focusing four years on, because everyone, you know, they're trying to build a startup, but what they don't see behind, you know, startup founders that they may think are successful is just a ton of work that has gone into accumulating these skills.

So I had to learn, you know, sales, I had to learn, you know, marketing. So when I say I don't have sales, like formal sales experience, marketing experience, I was just learning on my own because I really wanted to learn the game of building a business. So, um, I think that's one of 'em. And then I would say probably the second one,

Uh, I would say, this is gonna sound probably marry my wife. Um, met her in college and actually she was the first one I told about, um, business apps as an idea. And so she's kind of like my secret co-founder to like everything I do. She, she's like chief of staff essentially. She also owns a recruiting company.

Um, so she's got some entrepreneurial spirit in her as well. But, um, uh, those are probably the two best decisions I ever made.

[00:58:39] Paul Scherer: Awesome.

Yeah. Thank you. Thank you so much. Is there anything you wanna, you wanna like plug where, where should people go? Check you, check, check out what you do?

[00:58:48] Andrew Gazdecki: Uh, sure, yeah. If you wanna connect with me on Twitter, just @agazdecki if you can spell that correctly. Good for you. And then just, uh, uh, maybe check out acquire.com.

[00:58:58] Paul Scherer: Awesome. Andrew, thank you so much for taking, taking this time. I really do appreciate it. It was like I learned a million things, um, and I'm super glad you took the time.

[00:59:08] Andrew Gazdecki: Yeah, my pleasure Paul.

[00:59:10] Paul Scherer: And that's a wrap for this week's episode of Up Next. If you want to unlock more secrets to success, then make sure to hit that subscribe button so you never miss an episode again. And if you enjoy the show, I'd be super grateful. If you could take a moment to leave me a review on your. Favorite podcasting platform.

Your feedback helps me to continue bringing you the best content and guests. Remember, you have the power to shape your own future. You are up next Till next Wednesday, I'm Paul signing off. Bye-bye.

Creators and Guests

Andrew Gazdecki
Guest
Andrew Gazdecki
CEO of acquire.com, Former CEO of Bizness Apps & Altcoin (both acquired). EIR at @500GlobalVC. Occasionally write for @entrepreneur and @forbes.
He got fired. Now he's worth millions (ft. Andrew Gazdecki)
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