Jeff’s Takeaway From Les Gold And Business Execution

12 Aug 2014

Jeff Sloan

Jeff is a visionary entrepreneurial force with particular expertise in creating and developing early stage companies. Jeff currently spearheads Aria Ventures, LLC whose mission it is to “package” meritorious business opportunities and concepts into viable businesses. Specifically, Jeff and the Aria International team prepares the business plans, identifies the key team members, raises the seed financing, and provides ongoing strategic guidance throughout the development phase, the launch phase and the growth phase.

In addition to creating new ventures, Jeff is the co-founder of StartupNation® (, a multi-media company that provides education and inspiration to aspiring and existing business enthusiasts. StartupNation is now one of the leading brands in the world of entrepreneurship. The website is one of the most visited by aspiring entrepreneurs with over 2,000,000 people using the StartupNation “Ten Steps to Open for Business” startup process. In his role at StartupNation, Jeffrey co-hosted the award-winning nationally syndicated call-in StartupNation® Radio show, which aired in over 85 markets. Today, Jeffrey and co-founder/brother Rich Sloan appear on numerous cable news networks as entrepreneurial experts, including regular monthly appearances on the Fox Business News Network show “Your Money/Your Business”. In the first quarter 2010, the Sloan Brothers completed a nationally televised show on Public Television stations entitled “StartupNation – Open for Business” (StartupNation – Open for Business). In 2005, the Sloans first book, by the same name, was published by Doubleday. A follow up book, authored by Jeff, will be published in 2011.

Jeff’s Takeaway:

less gold better coverToday’s guest is a longtime friend Les Gold about business execution who has always been hardcore. He runs an enormous pawn shop in the heart of Detroit, buying and selling anything and everything to a slew of eager customers. On any given day, he’s dealing in custom jewelry, taxidermy, sailboats, and television sets – and he’s doing it alongside his children Ashley and Seth. If you run a family business or want to learn how he did it, I’d buy his tell-all book, For What It’s Worth – Business Wisdom From A Pawnbroker – available at

  • It’s not where you’re from, it’s how bad you want it. Les is the grandson of a onetime rag-picker, and he’s become a quintessential example of building a business, brand, and fortune through initiative, drive, and an unwavering commitment to build something worthwhile and valuable. He’s not afraid to take risks. Les believes it’s important to get out of your comfort zone and push yourself to do things for which you may have some trepidation to do. He says, it’s important to “face your fears” head on. He’s pulled himself up by his bootstraps and applauds others – like you – doing the same.
  • Sales success starts from within. We’ve all had moments of self-doubt but as he puts it, “you have to project confidence in order to win over your customer”. In order to get to this point, you have to believe in yourself, your product, and your ability to determine what it’s worth.
  • Reinvention is key. Les started in a tiny store where he could barely turn around – years later he has a warehouse and is expanding to multiple locations. He started as a pawnbroker – now, he’s a television star and author. He shares my same belief of “Carpe Diem” (seize the day). . . on the show he shares how a random call rejected by his son became a multi-million dollar opportunity to turn his family’s success into a internationally top rated TV show.
  • Knowing how to negotiate is crucial. Les made it clear you must do three things:
    • Manage your emotion
    • Know your bottom line and stick to it
    • Know when to walk away
  • Every aspect matters. You should experience everything your customer does, as soon as they walks through your door. Who greets her? How is she treated at every step of the process? In similar fashion, what happens when she walks through your competitor’s door? What are you doing differently from that?

Les Gold is a pawnbroker. Chances are good that you’re not – but there’s wisdom behind every corner. You just have to be hardcore enough to look for it. Hope you enjoy this week’s show!