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Mike Watts ON: Becoming a Six Time Founder from Scratch

Dustin shares insights from his recent conversation with Mike Watts, the founder and CEO of Love Handle USA.

The Birth of Love Handle

The conversation kicked off with the intriguing story behind the name "Love Handle." Mike, a self-proclaimed shameless marketer, wanted a memorable brand name for his smartphone grip product. The inspiration came from his daughter, who suggested "Love Handle" because of her affection for her phone. Mike found it fitting as people love their devices and need a handle on them. The brand name also mirrors their commitment to giving back to the community.

The Journey of a Six-Time Founder

As a six-time founder, Mike shared his approach to product development. He always starts by identifying a need, often based on his own experiences. For instance, he developed a weed eater head that solved the problem of the line not feeding out correctly. Similarly, Love Handle was born out of the need for a secure grip on phones. Mike emphasized the importance of constantly evolving and iterating products based on customer feedback.

Standing Out in the Market

When asked about competition in the phone case space, Mike highlighted that Love Handle's product is an aftermarket accessory that works with any phone, regardless of the brand or case. This unique selling proposition sets them apart in the market.

Building a Strong Team

Mike stressed the importance of building a strong team with shared culture and values. He reflected on his past experiences of hiring employees for the wrong reasons and emphasized the significance of finding the right people who are customer-focused, humble, and willing to go the extra mile.

The Power of Self-Education

Mike credits his knowledge of establishing core values to the podcasts and books he has consumed over the years. He mentioned that he has never hired a consultant but instead learned from successful entrepreneurs through their writings and podcasts. He also mentioned seeking guidance through his faith.

The Art of Exiting

Our conversation then shifted to Mike's previous company exits and the factors that influenced those decisions. He explained that the timing of the exits depended on market conditions and the opportunities that arose. Mike shared that reallocating resources to new projects was a wise move for him, even though the company he exited is still successful.

The Drive for Legacy

When asked about the motivation behind his continuous entrepreneurial pursuits, Mike revealed that he is legacy-minded and wants to make the most out of every opportunity. He also discussed the importance of having a mentor and a great tax accountant as valuable resources in his entrepreneurial journey.

The Future of Love Handle

Mike shared his plans for the future, emphasizing the importance of being on the playing field of entrepreneurship and being open to new possibilities. While companies have expressed interest in buying Love Handle, Mike sees a lot of potential for growth and wants to capture more opportunities before considering an exit.

Family and Legacy

Mike shared his experience with family and legacy. He values the special time he gets to spend with his children as young adults. He believes that leaving a legacy is not just about wealth, but also about investing in people and being a servant leader.

The Janitor of the Company

Mike describes himself as the "janitor" of the company, always willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. He believes in being humble and recognizing that success is not possible without the support of others.

Closing Thoughts

Mike expressed his desire to inspire people to take their first step towards their goals. He believes that the first step is the most important and encourages listeners to try something new or research something they're interested in.

In conclusion, Mike's story shows that you can create whatever you want and not be limited by initial thinking. His journey is a testament to the power of perseverance, humility, and a commitment to serving others.

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