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082: Turning Mistakes Into Massive Successes with Louis Spagnuolo

Louis Spagnuolo is a serial entrepreneur and currently serves as the Chairman of Illuminati Trust, LLC, a diversified company, as well as Chief Executive Officer for Don’t Look Media LLC, a highly recognized privately held Internet Monetization Company.

During his career Louis has worked with Professional Athletes, Entertainers, National Business Leaders, Heads of State and countless genuinely fantastic people, while sharing in the financial dreams of all his clients to the tune of over $884 Million Dollars in deal participations.

Recognized in over 278 major media publications, Louis is a nationally sought after expert in Internet Monetization, with an emphasis on asset acquisitions that can be leveraged to generate liquidity events.

Louis is also an active contributor to such charities as the Make-A-Wish Foundation, The Special Olympics, Camp Fiesta Children’s Cancer Caring Center, The Caring Bridge, The Haven Home For Boys, Stop Hunger, Habitat For Humanity and Charley’s Fund.

 

Places to Find Louis:

On LinkedIn, Louis Spagnuolo

Show Notes:

[3:00] minute: Set the stage for us, what was life like for you growing up and what was the mindset around money and success that was instilled in you as a child?

  • Wasn’t aware of where they fell on the financial spectrum.
  • Grew up in Boston and the struggles they had helped him later on in life.
  • Grew up in a neighborhood of first generation immigrants who were mostly happy to be there, which left him without a real business role model during childhood.
  • Louis was the one who was ambitious and wanted to see and do more, one of the main places that helped him out was the library.

[5:00] minute: The benefits of a library and reading.

[6:20] minute: The abundance of free education that is out there.

[7:00] minute: Tell me about your first big success in the business world, I believe it had to do with selling batteries in college is that right?

  • Cell phones were brand new in the United States. The battery only lasted six months and were the biggest hardship of owning a phone.
  • Was upset one time and broke his phone; doing so allowed him to notice that it was actually just AAA batteries in the battery pack, which gave him a business idea.
  • Replicated all the major phone brands batteries for significantly lower price.
  • Couldn’t sell them in the United States because of how the big phone companies worked, so instead he sold internationally in South America.

[10:30] minute: What’s especially cool about the start of that business is this idea that so many companies are born out of people looking at the things that are annoying them, that are frustrating, so for those who are looking for an idea the biggest thing to do is just look around you and see what you see. Would you agree with that?

  • First thing Louis tells someone pitching him a product or business is “what problem does it fix.”

[12:30] minute: You spoke in another interview about allowing your lifestyle to expand with your income, so while you were making a lot more suddenly in your 20’s you were still living month to month, tell me about that?

  • Huge void in education on how to handle success.
  • Naive to the fact that it isn’t guaranteed to keep rising and that you can’t plan for everything that is going to happen to you.

[14:15] minute: Dorothy had a similar experience and explains how she learned the same lesson.

[15:20] minute: What advice do you have to someone in this place whose income is rising and they are becoming successful and want to avoid the trap of mismanaging their money?

  • Lot of people that help with investments but no real education for someone who is growing their income through their business or job.
  • Try to live off of 25% of what you make.
  • The more successful you become, the more exposure you have to these high ticket variable costs that can be unexpected.

[17:30] minute: What happened in that cell phone business, I believe there was a little bit of a crash or setback?

  • Went from making $161 a week to $60,000 a month, and as a young kid he was spending money like a drunken sailor.
  • Confident the money would never end.
  • A lot of his money and inventory for the business was in Venezuela during the time when Hugo Chavez forcibly took over the government. The new regime caused interest rates to spike and created drastic issues that essentially shut down the company and caused them to lose a lot of their money.

[21:20] minute: I appreciate you sharing and think it is so key that people learn from their mistakes and that the most we can learn from someone like yourself is through hearing about their own failures.

  • Totally agree.
  • After the cell phone business Louis joined an investment firm where the first 30 companies that they put money into failed. He considered this the best education he could have ever gotten.

[24:00] minute: What’s the balance between focus and diversification in your portfolio and how should someone know when it is the right time to go for that second or third business or revenue stream?

  • If you have a winning horse, ride that horse to the finish line.
  • Have finite focus.

[25:40] minute: I read that every day for the last four plus years you’ve done three random acts of kindness, can you tell me about that?

  • Something really basic can make a big impact, for them and for yourself as it is so gratifying.
  • Everybody that is listening could be doing this.

[28:10] minute: At this point in your career, what does fulfillment mean to you, what does it mean to be able to give back the way you do?

  • You have an obligation to help those who haven’t been as fortunate.
  • The person that benefits is you.

[31:00] minute: Who has been the most impactful person on your journey to do well and achieve financial success?

  • Family as a whole.
  • It’s really hard to do it on your own.

[31:50] minute: Who has been the most impactful person on feeding your drive to do good and have an impact?

  • Himself.
  • Self motivation is key, you’ve got to want to.

[32:30] minute: When you are having a bad day, what do you do to get out of a funk?

  • Everyone has a bad day, it’s normal, so don’t panic about it.
  • Wash his face with cold water, which is shown to help your endorphins.
  • Walk for 10 minutes.

[34:00] minute: What book do you find yourself recommending to people most often?

[35:00] minute: What is the best piece of advice on happiness you’d give our listeners?

  • Have a purpose.

 

Do Well & Do Good Challenge Nominee:

Make-A-Wish Foundation

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Web Description:

Wishes are more than just a nice thing

A wish experience can be a game-changer for a child with a critical illness.

This one belief guides us in everything we do at Make-A-Wish®. It inspires us to grant wishes that change the lives of the kids we serve. It compels us to be creative in exceeding the expectations of every wish kid. It drives us to make our donated resources go as far as possible.

Most of all, it’s the founding principle of our vision to grant the wish of every eligible child.

Wishes are more than just a nice thing. And they are far more than gifts, or singular events in time. Wishes impact everyone involved – wish kids, volunteers, donors, sponsors, medical professionals and communities. The impact varies. For wish kids, just the act of making their wish come true can give them the courage to comply with their medical treatments. Parents might finally feel like they can be optimistic. And still others might realize all they have to offer the world through volunteer work or philanthropy.

Whatever the odds, whatever the obstacles … wishes find a way to make the world better.

 

Where to Find Dorothy:

Visit Do Well and Do Good’s free Facebook community here and arrange a one-on-one with Dorothy herself!

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About the author, Dorothy

Dorothy Illson is the founder of Needle's Eye Media, a full-service Facebook advertising agency. She's also the host of Do Well & Do Good, a podcast dedicated to telling the stories of people who have created financial success and leveraged it to increase their positive impact on the world.

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