Warren Buffetts Rule, 3 Companies worth 100's of Millions, and calculating your hourly rate

and a new life hack

Welcome to Biz Brainstorms โ€“

My name's Connor, I'm the author of this newsletter. Every week I'll send you an email covering ideas, lessons & tools to help you start or grow your business.

These emails are designed to be skimmed. Hope you get a good idea or a laugh.

Today's Outline:

  • Warren Buffets 5/25 Rule

  • 3 Companies That Turned Boring Products Into Marketing-First Brands

  • How to Calculate Your Hourly Rate

  • Rich in 1920 or 90k/yr in 2020?

  • Life Hack for your calendly/zoom link

๐Ÿ“š 1 Business Lesson:

As you prepare for 2023, a lot of people use their time to set goals.

I had the chance to look back on my 2022 goals and do a post mortem on why I missed some company & personal goals.

The answer was consistent: I'm doing too much.

That's why I think Warren Buffetts' 5/25 Rule is a helpful framework to prioritize your goals (both business and personal).

The model is simple:

  1. Write down 25 things you want to accomplish in the future

  2. Prioritize those 25 items in order of importance to you

  3. Separate the lists (one with 5, one with 20)

  4. Throw out the list with 20 and only focus on the top 5

It's simple, but it's hard because the reality is, you probably REALLY like items 6-15.

But do you like them enough to jeopardize your success of achieving 1-5?

Everything you didnโ€™t circle just became your Avoid-At-All-Cost list. No matter what, these things get no attention from you until youโ€™ve succeeded with your top 5

Warren Buffett

I ran through this experiment last week and found it very useful. Let me know if you try it.

๐Ÿ’ฐ 3 Companies That Grew From Superior Marketing

I remember in college, the theme was to always invent the next game changing company.

But now that I'm in the real world meeting founders daily, I'm learning the best way to really make money is by simply doing what others are doing...better.

Here are 3 companies that have done just that:

1. Daves Killer Bread โ€“

Dave Dahl is a legend in the baking world.

Having spent 15 years in an out of prison for crimes ranging from selling meth to robbing houses, he finally partnered to launch a whole grain organic bread company that employs ex-cons.

Looks like they sold to Flowers Foods for $275 million in 2015 and did 29.6M in 2021 according to Zippia.

2. Big Ass Fans โ€“

This company literally sells massive industrial fans for warehouses, large venues, etc.

This is their logo.

The founder Carey Smith sold the company for $500M in 2017.

When asked how he determined the sale price, here's what Smith said ๐Ÿ˜‚

3. Liquid Death โ€“

Liquid death has been gaining a ton of popularity in the last few years for their epic marketing campaigns when in reality they sell...water.

Their marketing is hilarious.

Like this year, they have people taste-test cans of $1.99 Liquid Death with the most expensive fluids on the planet:

  • Liquified Japanese Wagyu Cheeseburger ($51)

  • Spanish Squid Ink ($58)

  • Beluga Caviar ($580)

The formula here seems to be:

  • Massive Market

  • Boring Competitors (Bread, Water, Warehouse products) ๐Ÿฅฑ

  • Not-Boring Marketing

โฐ How To Calculate Your Hourly Rate

Naval has a great piece on setting an aspirational hourly rate.

The main thesis is:

  1. Pick an absurdly high hourly rate

  2. Outsource anything that is under that rate.

Between you and I, I think this is a great idea to protect your time.

Especially in a world where everyone wants to pick a little brain. ๐Ÿง 

Here's the easiest formula for you to set your rate:

((Your Companies EBITDA ร— Market Rate Multiple) รท 365) รท 24

If you run an e-commerce brand doing $1,000,000 profit and can sell for a 3x multiple, you should not get on the phone with anyone who wants to "pick your brain" for under $350.

๐Ÿ”Ž Perspective

Comparison is the thief of joy.

But when you zoom out, I think it's clear we are living in one of the best times ever (despite when the news may say).

I found Nathans perspective really helpful here ๐Ÿ‘‡

๐Ÿ”Ž Life Hack I Just Learned About

Rather than finding long commonly used links such as:

  • Calendly

  • Zoom

  • Important Documents

Just buy a domain name (ie. BookATimeWithConnor.Com) and have it auto forward to your Calendly or zoom link.

Until next week ๐ŸคŸ๐Ÿผ


PS โ€“ Want to chat 1:1?

I'm opening one consulting call for readers of this newsletter each week.

2 Areas I know about: E-commerce (Amazon & DTC), Buying & Managing Commercial Real Estate

The goal is simple. You show up with specific questions and leave with actionable steps.

For Biz Brainstorms readers, I'm only charging 50% of what I normally charge. So if you're interested, you can book here โ†’ (scheduling link gets sent after payment)