Failure and overcoming diversity is something I’d say I’m a bit obsessed with, largely because most people really never open up about it, which makes it a mysterious topic.
The goal of our question and answer series is to put failure front and center to help aspiring entrepreneurs get a bit of a back-stage pass to some of the most well-respected entrepreneurs in America. Not just their failures, but the mindset they possess which has helped them break through adversity and still achieve success.
I personally believe mindset is 90% of the battle.
I most recently had the pleasure of speaking with Louis Spagnulo, Chairman of Illuminati Trust in Miami Florida. Illuminati Trust is a very diverse company which almost writes the definition of multiple revenue streams.
They participate in nearly 40 different verticals from insurance to private aviation.
What peaked my interest the most about meeting with Louis was how he has been able to go from 1 revenue stream (pioneering rechargeable cell phone batteries in the late 90’s) to nearly 40 different verticals.
Entrepreneurs are always told to have multiple revenue streams, so I thought it made sense to dive into the mindset of someone who has created wild 8 figure success with that concept. You certainly can’t create 40 different revenue verticals without having a rock solid mindset for winning.
What is your elevator speech on your professional career: who are you, what have you done and how does that translate into value for your customers?
“Food Stamps to Ferrari’s” took me from stealing food, to digging graves, to fighting for 40 bucks, all the way to being Lending Tree’s 2nd Customer and learning how to master the Internet and Social Media.
Let’s show everyone you’re a normal human being. What’s your personality, hobbies, favorite places to visit, pet peeve? Tell us about YOU.
Super Alpha Male who is always impatient to achieve his goals: driving fast cars to traveling the world, while never skipping a beat.
The only pet peeve I have is interacting with people who lack integrity and drive to get the job done.
What are your “Three Lessons I Learned from My Most Memorable Failure”?
There is no such thing as failure. There are only “lessons” and “recalibrations”. It’s all about your ability to recognize the situation and pivot while staying focused on the goal.
If you do that, failure is non-existent in your life.
What is the best lesson you learned from your worst boss?
To be smart enough to understand that we do business with both our friends and enemies. Never burn a bridge.
What are two daily habits you never break, no matter where you are?
Each day for the past four plus years I always do three random acts of kindness each day. This provides me with a sense of gratitude and helps me meditate better for all that I am grateful for.
I’ve been through hard times and know what it’s like to appreciate a kind gesture, even if it’s something simple.
Little things go a long way.
Many people say success correlates with the people you meet in your life. Describe two that most impacted your success?
The people that have impacted me the most, I have never met.
Author Joseph Murphy and the movie character “Rocky Balboa” taught me everything I needed to know. If we ever have the chance to meet, you’ll know exactly what I mean.
What types of books do you read and why, and what one title do you recommend?
I highly recommend Joseph Murphy’s, “The Power of Your Subconscious Mind,” and I am currently reading the book “Surviving Pablo Escobar” by assassin John Jairo.
Think back in your career to a tough time or moment. How did you handle the emotional part of failure? What was the pep talk you gave yourself?
Don’t beat yourself up. Life is hard enough without you making it worse.
It’s important to understand that part of winning sometimes requires taking steps backwards, strategically or not. Stepping back doesn’t mean you’ve lost or failed, it just means you need to pivot and keep moving forward.
I have strong self-awareness which allows me to block out the emotional side of rejection. I learned a long time ago that mindset needs to be a lifestyle. You can’t selectively turn on a winning mindset, you have to live and breathe it every single day.
Looking back, what was the most unconventional way you landed a memorable deal that made your success turn in the right direction?
My most memorable moment that played a major role in my success is sort of funny for those that know me.
I had just been told that my business was basically completely over and I threw my cell phone against the wall and watched it shatter everywhere, only to realize that the cell phone batteries back then were just standard AAA Rechargeable Batteries.
This gave me the idea to replicate these parts, manufacture them in China, and begin reselling. We ended up expanding and traveling to sell these batteries online in 24 countries. This win is what absolutely turbo charged my career path.