Would you love to know how Millennials think? Do you want the secret to hiring these young, top performers?
If you are seeking super achievers, then my guest, Max Goldberg, is one person who can offer you key insights into tapping into the Millennial workforce.
A 22-year-old high performer himself, Max is the Founder of Next Frontier and co-Founder of Wisconsin Space Race. He has also worked with one of the leading thought leaders in the world, Peter Diamandis, and is connected to Elon Musk.
You don’t want to miss my conversation with Max as he shares his unique perspective on efficiently identifying and utilizing the abundance of a young, and talented workforce.
Listen to the podcast here:
How To Find And Attract Young Super Achievers with Max Goldberg [Podcast 227]
Have you ever been to a place where you were like, “There’s so much young talent out there?” These Millennials are younger that I would love to learn how to tap into, but maybe you haven’t leveraged this abundant resource. This human capital, the opportunity to work with these bright, fast, high-paced, high growth and high performers. Would you like to know how to be able to do that? This conversation and interview are all about being able to do that. We’ve got a unique guest. He is somebody who is a high performer in many incredible ways. We’re going to get into his story as well as how you can benefit from tapping into this human capital, abundant resources of people like Max. He is in school right now. He’s also the Founder of Next Frontier. He’s also the Cofounder of WI Space Race, competing for a $1 million Base 11 Space Challenge Prize for the first student team to design, build and launch a liquid rocket into space.
This is going to be a fascinating conversation. He is also going to answer the fundamental often overlooked question, how can young entrepreneurs efficiently identify and utilize the resources available locally across the globe? As you’re reading, how can you tap into this resource to be able to attract, find, potentially hire, keep and build a workforce of super talent, super achievers? Some of the stuff that Max is going to share with you is going to be off the charts unbelievable. Max, welcome to the show. How are you?
I’m amazing. I’m grateful that you’re having me. I’m glad that we get to have another conversation.
How old are you?
When I was 22, I can promise you as you’re reading right now, I was not building rockets to put into space, running companies this way. It’s fascinating what you’re up to. What’s amazing is how we met. We were at a conference together and we have to give a shout out for John Corcoran and Jeremy Weiss at a conference called Rise 25. What ended up happening is Max was in the middle of competing, a competition prize opportunity to get the unbelievable glory and opportunity to work for one of the most incredible thought leaders. The most influential leaders in the world named Peter Diamandis. He was in this contest. He had to do some certain things in different criteria. He had to sell a certain amount of these different programs. He had to contribute a certain amount of way. He had to demonstrate his leadership in this other way. We’ll get into some of that here. How many people jumped into this thing to compete for this role?When you go through competitions, don’t rely on your innate talents, but go and reach out to other people and build new relationships. - Max Goldberg Click To Tweet
There were about 500 at the beginning of the competition.
There were 500 competing for the ability and the privilege to be able to go work side by side as an intern for Peter Diamandis, who’s brilliant at what he does. Out of all those 500, you ended up being the winner. You’re talking to somebody who’s a high performer, a high achiever who makes things happen. He’s since been working with Peter for several months. If you don’t know much about Peter, he has a program called Abundance 360 and all kinds of other amazing things that they do with amazing entrepreneurs. All of that being said, Max, welcome. I’m looking forward to this conversation. You’ve 22 and you’ve been able to start to shape your mind. The students you hang out with, but it probably hasn’t always been this way. I want to get an idea of how can I create and make sure my kids are on a path to be a super achiever like you. Tell me, what’s the secret to that?
I’m humbled that you think that I’m a super achiever. I’m in a little bit of good thing for my parents. I’m grateful for my parents. I’m also incredibly lucky. I’ve had some opportunities come up that have been valuable for me. I’ve been in the right place at the right time. A lot of it is timing with some of the projects that I’ve been able to work on. For example, I came to the university. My first week on campus, I hear that Elon Musk is looking for a bunch of students to compete to build a Hyperloop pod prototype.
It was totally just timing. I happened to be on the campus and saw that poster for that group. When I saw that poster with the Peter internship, I happened to check my email on the day that he sent it all saying that he was looking for his Strike Force fellows. I’ll plug our program. Now I’m running the Strike Force Fellowship and we’ll be recruiting our next cohort of young entrepreneurs in the coming summer of 2020. If you know any high-achieving young entrepreneurs, you can send them to Google search for the Strike Force Fellowship with Peter Diamandis. They’ll be able to find that program. It’s been timing, some masochism, hard work and reading a lot of philosophy. Stoicism has helped a lot in recent years too.
What was it like as a kid? Do you remember a point in your life where you got inspired and you saw things differently? You wanted to go build, create, innovate and/or be around people who are doing those kinds of things. I can remember a time when I was, but I’m curious if you can track back to when that was for you. What was that point?
I’ve always liked building things. Legos were a big part of my childhood. I always loved Legos and space too. I’ve always been a space cadet. Space is like my North Star where I love to go and what I love to do. It has the most impact hosted both in terms of the philosophy of humanity and being human. When we can go out to the stars, go explore and go find other life, that’s pretty mind thing in and of itself. Also on a more practical level space has enabled us to do everything from calling Uber to go on Tinder to chatting right now to make long distance phone calls to better manage our crops on farms.
With orbital technology and being able to put things into orbit, it’s truly transformed how we are living life. I didn’t realize that part of it until later on. I always thought rockets were cool. It was right after one of the space shuttle accidents. It’s was in a little bit of a lull. When I was a kid in 2011, the space shuttle program stopped. We stopped sending astronauts up. I totally missed the Apollo program. It was during that lull in the space shuttle program and towards the end of the space shuttle program. It was interesting. I always used to play with the little Apollo action figures though. I used to have a Saturn five that I’d carry around. In my third birthday party, I’d wanted to have a space theme. I don’t know where exactly it started, but I’ve always been fascinated with space. Because of that, I’ve had different milestones in my life come up associated with space. That’s where my love for building and engineering comes from.
Speaking of love for engineering and this framing, what were some of your early influences? What books were you reading? What were you paying attention to? Was it you saw Star Trek? I’ve talked to several friends of mine who are up in Peter’s world, Star Trek had a huge impact on them. I’m curious if beyond the influences you had, would you take Star Trek or Battlestar Galactica as your choice?
I’ll note that just like how I grew up in a strange place for the space era. I also grew up in a strange place for the Star Trek era. The Star Trek series ended before I was growing up. The new movies, which are awesome. They didn’t come out until now or a few years ago. I had to grow up in a strange place. I was a Star Wars kid when I was younger because the first movies came out when I was four, five, six, seven, eight years old. When I was a little bit older, I got into Battlestar Galactica. My password for all the nonsense junky stuff that I use is related to Battlestar Galactica, which is a little interesting. Battlestar Galactica has played a big role in my life.
Who knew that was the case? Maybe a little research would tell you that. Your earlier influences, books, programs, those types of things that you think had the biggest impact on you. What would one to three of those be?
It’s probably the Ansari XPRIZE. I don’t remember what day it was. I don’t remember what television network it was. I remember sitting with my dad watching on the news and hearing, “The first private spacecraft got to space” and seeing spaceship one come down and land in some grainy 2004 news clip. That was a big influence in my life. From there, I got into private space that’s interesting. Maybe people can build rockets. I was a little kid. From there in high school, I remember this thing called the XPRIZE and SpaceShipOne. I don’t know what that was and how to write a final econ paper about something.
I chose incentive prize competitions and how they are a massive benefit to the economy, which is what XPRIZE does. They host massive incentive prize competitions to spur innovation. From there, I started reading more about SpaceShipOne and the Ansari XPRIZE. That whole private space race that happened that got kicked off with building SpaceX and Jeff Bezos building Blue Origin and concept of incentive prizes got me back into Peter’s work. That got me to where I am now, working with Peter with some of the other things I do.We live in the greatest time in human history because there's so much opportunity out there to take advantage of. - Max Goldberg Click To Tweet
Speaking of the incentive programs and the incentive prizes, what is something that you noticed that more normal everyday businesses could be leveraged with an incentive prize model to help them innovate, to help them grow? Give us an example or two.
Incentive prizes are interesting because you don’t have any upfront costs. You can structure them in a way that if you don’t get the results you want from the prize, you don’t have to pay any money out. You can say go to a college campus, talk to your local makerspace or if it’s more of a software product, there are a bunch of platforms including HeroX, which is a spin-off of the XPRIZE Foundation where you can go to host these competitions. I think 99designs also have an incentive prize model. You put up $99, $299. If you give me a logo that I like, I’ll pay you. That’s the version of incentive prize competitions.
For me, what I focus on as a college student is I’m always thinking like where can you incorporate incentive prizes that benefit the students, allow them to make some money, refine their design skills and also further along in their careers running startups or maybe even corporations allow those people to twenty million brilliant young minds on college campuses, not all of the twenty million are engineers. Not all of them are interested in this thing, but arbitrarily a percentage of that, it’s a lot of people to leverage. If you go to a local university, you say, “I want to spend $5,000 for my lawn mower with a bunch of new sensors so I can start acquiring a lot of new data. I want to design a new website.” You go to the local graphic design school and you say, “I’ll give you $2,000 to design my website and whatever the best design is, wins.”
You get a lot of ideas that you wouldn’t otherwise necessarily get. You may not even use the final thing that you choose, but you have dozens of these little strategic byproducts that can come out of it as well. Max, I have to imagine that our audience is curious. You’re in your twenties. You’re the Founder of a company. You’re Cofounder of Space Race. You are talking about working with one of the leading thought leaders in the world, Peter Diamandis, being connected to Elon Musk. You’re around all these amazing successful entrepreneurs. From what you’ve witnessed, what you’ve discovered, looking at business owners, entrepreneurs that are running a good solid sized business, maybe they’re doing $1 million, $2 million, $3 million a year. How could they be leveraging this untapped capital of twenty million college students, many of them who want to go out and show what they can do, get experience and all those sorts of things? What would you recommend if you were those business owners?
There’s a bunch of different ways that you can go about it. It depends on what your goals are. I’ll start with something that’s a little more personal to me. Right now, we’re building a rocket as a student team, which means we’re a nonprofit and we’re doing fundraising. We have an interesting value prop. Most student engineering teams that are doing something hard, like building a rocket, building a Hyperloop pod, building a race car. I’m not working on all three of those, but there are students around the country who are working on a bunch of different, hard engineering competitions. They might not even be engineering competitions. They might be different business competitions, etc. I’m more familiar with engineering competitions. For example, we’re building a rocket at UW Space Race. A former team that I was on, Badgerloop, which is a Hyperloop team. They build a Hyperloop pod for the SpaceX Hyperloop competition.
Which is part of Elon and Peter’s thing?
Yes, that’s part of Elon. My opinion on that is that SpaceX and Tesla is a recruiting pipeline and that’s why they’re holding the competition. That’s a totally different conversation. I don’t know that for a fact, I’m speculating, but about these competitions is those teams all need to raise funds. If your goal as a company is to rebrand yourself and get some more innovation and associated with your brand, an easy way to do that is to sponsor one of these teams for a few thousand dollars. You have them make some nice marketing footage, get your logo nice and shiny on the innovation that they’re building. That is some easy innovation association for your brand. That’s one way that I’m focused on right now, helping brands create value that way.
Another way is, as we were talking about before, incentive prize competitions, any engineering campus will have some makerspace or students shop. If you need a product built or prototype for a few thousand dollars, which to college students can be a lot of money, you can go there and you can say, “I want to host a competition. By the end of the month, I’d love to have five designs from different student teams of whatever your product is.” You can choose the best one and pay out the student team. I know Foxconn, which is a big company that makes a bunch of different mobile phone components and a lot of other things, they hosted some smart cities competition on our campus. They put up $5,000 or $10,000 for a student team who came up with the best design for a smart city, which is basically like high tech, build from the Internet City. Other competitions that I’ve seen, there’s a sensor company. I do not remember the name of the sensor company, but they wanted to develop new use cases for their sensor packages. They put on a $5,000 competition with our makerspace where they said, “We want students to do this. Who puts together the best design using our sensors, we’ll pay them $5,000, which was a drop in the bucket for them for the work that was being done by the students on our campus.”
As you’re reading this, I don’t want you to get lost in some of the details here. What ideally Max is doing for you is opening up opportunities, possibility, a new way to think about leveraging ideas, insights, testing, challenges and more through like a group process, a group competition. I’m going to put Max on the spot here, but I want you to think about what would happen for you as you’re reading, if you did this. You put out a competition. I’m going to have Max give a little bit of the backstory of the details. You had a waiting list of people knocking down the door, up to 500 people saying, “I want that role.” They get that role. They’d go through a certain amount of criteria. Talk about the ultimate recruiting system, one of the best-recruiting systems in the world that’s public that I perceive is the NFL.
The NFL does a great job of recruiting talent. They put people through a gauntlet of different tests, different drills, different rituals, routines and observations before you ultimately get signed a contract upfront. What would happen if you could create your mini version of that pipeline or that recruiting for, that ability to tap into resources, ingenuity, innovation on a dime? That’s what we’re talking about here for you. Max, when you took advantage of the contest and not all the micro details but high level, what were you competing for? How many hours did you put into it? What were some of the criteria of performance that they were using to evaluate this?
That competition that I competed in 2017, it was predominantly a sales competition. They offer a virtual course. We had to go and sell that course. The price point was $100. Along with that, we had to do some content development for Peter so that they could see how we think about synthesizing information and compiling ideas, which is a lot of the work that I now do as part of Peter Strike Force Team. I couldn’t quote you on how many hours I put in. It was probably fifteen hours a week or something like that for four or five weeks plus a lot of travel. It’s more like six to eight weeks probably. I can give you some stats on our cohort, which I thought was interesting. We took a different approach and we wanted to see how much value we could create and see what type of community we could cultivate within this fellowship cohort. We made it much more community-oriented, education-oriented rather than strictly the competition.
For the competition component of the fellowship, we had them doing a lot more synthesizing information as opposed to sales. On average, we probably had 20 to 25 hours put into that. How many hours on average we’re putting in, it was effective. That’s the third mechanism that you can use in addition. They’re sponsoring a team to up your innovation and up the innovation association with your brand. They are putting on an actual monetary prize for the student team to do some design work or business development work from you. The third is you can put out different milestones that you want people to hit to see how they perform in the job function that they’ll eventually have like Dan was saying about the NFL.When you challenge the status quo and the everyday type model, you offer a new way to look at things. - Dan Kuschell Click To Tweet
When you were going through this process, what was the carrot for you at the end of it? It wasn’t a paid thing initially, as I recall. It was an intern that you were qualifying. The ability to work side by side with Peter’s team. Peter does a degree in this like new role and now because you perform them in that role and the internship, it’s now led to you being able to do some additional work with him. Speak to that a little bit.
I’ve been a fan of the XPRIZE’s work and Peter’s worked for quite a while. The opportunity to jump into that ecosystem stood out for me. It was extremely desirable for me to pursue that and get involved. The amount that I learned from that internship alone is worth its weight in gold. It’ll carry me through, not that alone, but it carried me through. I’m sure that everything that I’ve learned will be very valuable for the rest of my career. It was like a hyper-condensed MBA into four months of business development, content development and working with a high-performing team.
It’s also the competition in itself. This is interesting. When you go through a competition like that, it’s a real-world opportunity to refine and hone some of your skills as you’re going through the competition. For someone who might not have ever sold something before, going through a competition where you need to sell something, that’s a great skill. Having a reason to get that skill in a low risk situation where the worst that happens is you invested 40 hours and you don’t get the internship at the end, that would have been worth its weight in gold for me alone because as someone who had never gone about selling anything, that was an interesting opportunity.
The next thing is when you go through competitions like this, if you’re a student and you’re smart about it, you won’t rely on your innate talents, but you’ll go and you’ll reach out to other people. You’ll build new relationships and you’ll go identify mentors that you can say, “How would you go about solving this problem and winning this competition?” You get to cultivate further your network of relationships and mentorship with people who you wouldn’t have otherwise had a reason to connect with. Those were some valuable things that came from the competition journey itself. I loved that journey. I was excited about that journey. Winning the internship was the icing on the cake for me.
Speaking of that, there are layers of this, one, it’s for the business owners who are reading right now, how can you leverage those incentive-type models to help you have a bigger impact, have a bigger reach, do it in a way that’s cost-effective and risk-free for you? In many ways, you’re providing a mentorship, a fellowship to a degree for the people that you’re coming in contact. Now, if you don’t enjoy that thing, this might not be like a fit for you to try to implement in your business. If you enjoy the idea of working with smart, hungry, high achievers, helping give them guidance and give them some coaching and mentoring, it can be a total win-win situation. That’s one layer. The other layer is what happens when you put yourself in an environment and a culture like this where it’s compressed. There are these different challenges along the way and what happens. One of the things that hop out for me, Max, we would have never met had you not been in this incentive context in all likelihood. You’d probably have been better off of that.
I’m always grateful for that.
I know we’ve had a conversation about every quarter since, as I recall, give or take. I’m pretty certain I’m not the only one that you have had adopted a mentor relationship. I can’t state it enough if you don’t know who Peter Diamandis is, he is a genius and one of the top fastest growing, most influential people in society directly and indirectly and you get to work with him. It’s how a young person who’s hungry, taught himself, willed himself into a partnership with one of the leading influencers in the world named Peter Diamandis, now connected to Elon Musk. You’ve also been able to connect with a lot of other sharp people who are willing to lend a hand and go, “I’ll be an adopted mentor for you.” Who are some of the other fascinating people that you’ve met? If you can talk about it, if not, no big deal. You’re a type of person that provides value first. I love that about you, which is why it’s so easy to want to help and support what you do.
You come with a giving mentality and heart first, not like what can you do for me thing, which was most, not young people but many people, not all but many people get it wrong is they go, “What can you get out of this?” When you come from a place of this incentive model, let me go give first, let me add value first. Let me show you what I can do first. Strategic byproducts are amazing. Who are some of the people you’ve met and these adopted relationships and what have you learned as a result of it?
The team that I work with working for Peter, they are some of the most incredible people I’ve ever and definitely the most incredible people I’ve ever had the chance of working with. I’m grateful for all of them. That’s pretty much it. They’re professional. They’re warm and welcoming. Gratitude is permeated throughout every aspect of the organization. I’m grateful that I get to work and learn from the people at PHD Ventures and on Peter’s team. That’s probably the best answer that I can give you there. I’ll note one other program that I found valuable and that I’m grateful for is the Matthew Isakowitz Fellowship and the Isakowitz Family. That’s an aerospace-related fellowship that I dual purpose over the last summer.
Matthew Isakowitz was a late twenty-something aerospace entrepreneur. He passed away in 2017 and his family, to honor his memory created the Matthew Isakowitz Fellowship to encourage and inspire other people who are passionate about aerospace to get into entrepreneurship in aerospace and in space exploration in general. I had the opportunity to participate in that fellowship. Their family and that program and the people that have to do that program have been absolutely incredible. I’m grateful for all of them. Those are the two groups that have served me well over this journey.
Your spirit, you can hear it, you can feel it. As you’re reading right now, ideally you can feel that too. One, Max is attributed. If you have a podcast or you have someone you know of and you go, “I’d love to introduce you to a young entrepreneur from aerospace, I hope you will think of Max. You’ll want to reach out. I can get you connected to Max to help open that door and build a relationship. Number two is how can you put incentive competitions in place in your business to attract great talent, great people who also come from the right place too. That’s the other thing. It’s a value system that you’re ultimately adapting or adopting in your business by imploring and implementing this type of style or method. Max, as we come down the home stretch, number one, if people want to go deeper with you and they want to learn more about what you’re up to, where can they go to find out more about Max, your stuff and all the cool things that you’re a part of?
In reflecting on my past few years of being an undergraduate at university, in my opinion, and in my estimation, doing a decent job of leveraging resources while I’ve been here. I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting about, “How can I pass these lessons on? How can I move from being a student entrepreneur to being an entrepreneur who’s running high-revenue generating businesses? Hopefully and ideally one day, how can I adapt the lessons that I’ve learned for that stage of life?” To do that, I have the Next Frontier, which is the company that I started.You're never going to be perfect. To elaborate on that, you still need to do great work. - Max Goldberg Click To Tweet
I’ve been putting out podcasts, blogs, writing, thinking and having conversations with interesting people, interesting friends who I’ve met. I put out a conversation with my friend, Vlad. He’s one of the people who if I need to make something, I go to Vlad. Vlad knows how to make about anything. I had an interesting conversation with him about how he leveraged resources on campus to learn how to make anything. That blog and that podcast would be the best place to go to check that out. To see that, you can go to my website, MaxwellGoldberg.com. If you want to go to the blog in particular, it’s MaxwellGoldberg.com/blog. If anyone wants to connect with me, I can put my email out there. You can reach me at Max@Zahaven.com.
I want to encourage you to go deeper with what Max is up to. Pay attention to what he’s doing. He’s a young person who’s going to make a big impact in the world and now into entrepreneurship, aerospace and a whole lot more. You can check out what he’s doing at MaxwellGoldberg.com. You can email him or go to MaxwellGoldberg.com/blog. As we come down the home stretch here, Max, what are one to three action steps that you hope our audience take from our conversation?
I would encourage you to ask the question, how could you set aside a small portion of your budget to reinvest it in your community and the young people in your community, and in doing that create massive value for yourself and for your company? What problems do you have that you might want to outsource or delegate to a workforce with a unique perspective, with unique skill sets which are hungry and are driven to do great work? How can you find those people in your community? What universities can you tap into? If you have questions about that, I’m happy to help if you send me an email. That’d be number one. How can you tap into this creative human capital cloud that we have access to because everyone’s so young, hungry, driven and talented? That’s number one. Number two, I’d highly encourage if you have young entrepreneurs in your community to go mentor them. If you are an entrepreneur, find mentors, have internships with people like Peter, with people like the team at PHD Ventures has been valuable for me. It’s made me happier. I highly encourage mentorship, seeking out mentors and seeking out mentees. Even 30 minutes a month can totally change a young entrepreneur’s life.
What would be something I should have asked you that we didn’t get a chance to ask yet?
This is a little bit of changing topics, but I’ll bring it back after I finished with this segment. Gratitude has been so invaluable to me and that gratitude from growing up with grandparents and great grandparents who survived the Holocaust, the Great Depression and living in that environment has cultivated a sense of gratitude. When it comes to resource utilization, I view resource utilization as an extension of gratitude. We have so many more resources available to us than at any other time in human history. The fact that we can have this conversation over a video call, record it, publish it and however many people are going to read it. If you thought back ten years ago, you couldn’t do this.
Recognizing that we live in the greatest time in human history, we’re not persecuted here in America. There’s nothing going on that’s negative. We’re not at risk of being harmed hopefully and ideally. On top of that, it’s not that there’s nothing bad happening, there’s so much amazingness happening that student teams can build rockets. That entrepreneurs can use video chat from across the country. You can go into 99designs, have a total marketing brand package put together for $200 in a week, that you can outsource work to someone across the world, have a work and have them be able to eat and feed their families while you’re also having work done at unprecedented low price levels. It’s such an amazing time to be alive and there’s so much opportunity out there to take advantage of.
You hit the nail right on the head. As you’re reading right now, what would have to happen for you to put some of these simple strategies in place? What would have to happen for you to realize that this isn’t a strategy that’s cut out for people like Elon Musk or Peter Diamandis or the most successful people in the world? This is a strategy that you can put in place starting now. It’s so much easier than you’ve been led to believe if you get out of the box of maybe linear thinking. People have paid for Labor for many years, you can implore this group model, this collaborative model, this gratitude model to attract, to bring in, to innovate, to develop, to create and to ultimately go set records in your industry.
Max is a byproduct of that. He’s a product of that. He’s now part of the ecosystem that’s creating these opportunities all over the world right now and you can too. I want to encourage you to think what would happen for your business? What would happen for you if you become a mentor to someone like a Max? In your local community, even at that community level? Let’s not even go global yet. It starts locally. If you did that in your local community, you created opportunities, you created impact, you created a mentoring role for some of these young people to fit into and you got great value from it too.
I wouldn’t say it’s free labor but it’s low cost, low-risk labor, high ingenuity, high innovation. Maybe some of the things that you could use help with right now. If that’s not what you’re looking at, none of this will apply. If it is what you want, I encourage you to take action. As Max offered, if you want to understand more of some of the intricacies, not only did he study the idea of using incentive programs, he’s come through the process of incentive programs. He’s now part of creating, developing and innovating new incentive programs every day, right now as we speak and looking at launching a rocket into space, another rocket, a different rocket, a liquid rocket, which is fascinating. I’m like a kid in a candy store. I used to love the old version of Battlestar Galactica. I used to love watching it. I used to love the old version of Star Trek to a degree. I like Battlestar Galactica better.
We’re living in an era of the most exciting time in human history where the things that we saw as kids back then, right for us 50 somethings in Star Trek and in Battlestar, many of them are happening. They’re real because of smart people like Max and the other types of things that can be done when you stretch the status quo. When you challenge the status quo, when you challenge the everyday type model, this is a new way to look at things. It’s a new model. Max, you have a pretty cool family life. I’ve met your dad. You’ve talked a few times in our conversations about your family. If you were to turn to your dad right now and thank him in this spirit of gratitude, what would be the one thing that pops in your mind that you’d think your dad for in helping inspire and still implement certain values in you, what would you thank him for?
I’d probably say dedication to excellence and realizing that it’s never good enough. At the same time, you’re never going to be perfect. To elaborate on that, you still need to do great work. He’s always pushing for me to do great work and be perfect but realizing that I’ll never meet that perfect expectation has been valuable for me.
How about your mom?
Gratitude relating back to the heritage of my grandparents growing up with them, surviving the Holocaust. I get my sense of gratitude from her, gratitude for living in the greatest time in human history and not having an anything horrible happening around us. That comes from her. Thank you, mom and dad, for those to invaluable lessons.
You inspire me, Max. That’s why I love our relationship. Congratulations on all the amazing things happening for you. You have a great heart. You’re super smart. You’re throwing around terms like ecosystem and launching rockets into space. You’re 22 years old. I wasn’t using terms like that when I was 22 or even 50. The beauty is you bring a spirit of innovation to the world. I’m better for it by having you in my world. I know the people that you’re lucky enough to work around. They’re lucky to have you a part of their world too. Any parting words that you’d like to share with our audience?
There’s a fourth way that you can tap into this crowd that I didn’t get to mention before, but that this is one of the most valuable that business owners should be looking into. That’s the concept of business plan competition. I’ll take two angles. Number one, you’d love to develop, you’d love to test their viability. You don’t have the manpower to go and do that. At the same time, on college campuses all over the world and beyond college campuses all over the world, I wrote a blog on this with some information about where you can find these business plan competitions. There are these business plan competitions with X number of millions of dollars available for young entrepreneurs and also older entrepreneurs, people who have more established in their career to take advantage of.
What these business plan competitions allow you to do, they allow you to flush out your idea in a concentrated format. They also allow you to get startup capital without having to give up any equity in your business. There were a few interesting concepts around business plan competitions. The way that they’re structured. For your audience, what might be interesting is a great way to meet young entrepreneurs is to go and be a judge or a sponsor or go get involved with these business plan competitions. Go meet the people who are at the cutting-edge, who are innovating, who are building businesses. Even if you’re not a judge or a sponsor, show up, go meet these people and go talk to them. You ask them about what they’re doing. Maybe they’re looking for seed investors or Angel investors, maybe they’re looking for advisors. It’s an interesting place to go and meet young entrepreneurs.
On the other side of it, the business plan competition model, if you have a larger company, if you have a deal that you want to develop or maybe you have some data that you have from your product, literal data numbers. You’re trying to figure out how can we use this data to generate more revenue? Maybe you put on entrepreneurship business plan competition within your company and you say, “What are your business ideas? What business development do you want to do?” Maybe you take a weekend or you take a week and you have people do these sprints. Alternatively, maybe you can sponsor a specific business plan competition where you say, “Here’s the data that I have. I want to turn this into a business. What are your ideas?” The same thing you go to your local university, you say, “Who wants to compete in this competition?” That’s another interesting model. If you google business plan competitions, you can find a bunch about what exists out there. Business plan competitions are one of the most underutilized resources both by young entrepreneurs and corporations that are out there.
It’s nothing like saving the best for last. That was good like a right hook to wrap and roll things up. As you’re reading right now, what would have to happen for you to put a business plan competition idea in place on all kinds of different levels like Max described for you? What would it do for your business if you hosted a business plan, even if you didn’t host one? What if you went and became a sponsor or a judge at one? What would it do to open up doors, your new insights and ideas? Many times when you participate, coach and advice for some of these, you learn more from it than anybody in the thing, which is another weird strategic byproduct that you get when you create a collaborative type model like this.
Max, it’s been a pleasure. I am so grateful for you being with us for sharing your wisdom. I want to encourage you, go check out what Max is up to. Go to MaxwellGoldberg.com. The blog is at MaxwellGoldberg.com/blog. I want to encourage you to take action with what Max has been sharing with you, incentive programs, incentive models, find a way to put them in place in your business to attract talent and/or to create more growth in you and your business. Remember, your business will only grow to the extent you do. What a great way to be able to explore adding growth without risk. If you never want to miss an episode, you can go to GrowthToFreedom.com/subscribe. Seize the day and we’ll see you next time.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Next Frontier
- WI Space Race
- Base 11 Space Challenge
- Rise 25
- Peter Diamandis
- Abundance 360
- Strike Force Fellowship
- Ansari XPRIZE
- Blue Origin
- Matthew Isakowitz Fellowship
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About Max Goldberg
Founder of Next Frontier, and Co-Founder of Wisconsin Space Race, competing for the $1M Base 11 Space Challenge Prize for the first student team to design, build, and launch a liquid rocket to space, Max is answering the fundamental, often overlooked question: How can young entrepreneurs efficiently identify and utilize the abundance of resources available to them both locally and across the globe?