Cuban’s Investment; Hsieh’s Regrets; 5-Hour Workday; 3 Ways to Love; 100% Customer Retention
September 8, 2016
WD-40’s Obsession; Hardy #1 Again; ScaleUpU KC; Please Send NO Stuff
September 22, 2016

WARNING: I’m promoting a politician in this insight – though not who you likely think!

"…insights for scaleups"

HEADLINES: (WARNING: If you don't like politics, I would skip)

Going outside the established duopoly is hard, but who's better qualified than entrepreneurs to do so?
  Entrepreneur Martin Babinec, Independent Candidate for US Congress

Procrastinate on Purpose this is the clever title of Rory Vaden's latest book outlining what he calls the "5 Permissions" you can give yourself (like "ignore") to dramatically reduce your workload. Go right to page 84 to see a useful list of nice ways to say "no." And I love his story, just prior to this list, where he describes being told no by someone five times, but in gracious ways, and he's now an even bigger fan of this person. Page 71 outlines several ways to eliminate work – the first being to stop making re-decisions! My team just suffered from this very situation – what a waste of time. GPro and book club members will receive his book next week. Then come hear Rory keynote our Growth Summit in Dallas Oct 25 – 26 – that hour will save you thousands.

Procrastinate Tax Reporting — in the US Sept 15 is the very last day you can file your corporate tax returns. I hate everything about the laborious process – the time, expense, intrusion – I wonder how we ended up in such a convoluted mess and if anyone can fix our screwed up tax system – OK, that's my rant. So, as they say, bad things happen when good people don't do anything. However, entrepreneur Martin Babinec is doing something – he's running for US Congress as an Independent on his own Upstate Jobs Party. Please read on…

Founder of Trinet Makes Independent Run for Congress Martin Babinec founded and built one of the largest PEOs (Professional Employer Organization) in the US – a company he took public two years ago at a value over $1 billion. I first met Martin as my "student" in the MIT/Inc./YEO Birthing of Giants executive program I founded and hosted at MIT (now called EMP). The first thing I noticed? He looks like Bill Gates. Everyone in class did a double take when Martin walked into class. Anyway, I became so impressed with his entrepreneurial vision and talent that Gazelles signed on as a client and we've been "employed" by Trinet for almost two decades.

He Has the Momentum — Starting with zero name recognition 6 months ago, Martin is already polling at 21% and gaining on both the Democrat and Republican candidates. More importantly, there is a huge number of undecideds. Martin is fully staffed and is all in for the final two months of the campaign. Noted Martin in an email to me last week:

I've truly learned a ton in this journey and it has pushed me outside my comfort zone to do many things I would not have otherwise done. This is what keeps us young 🙂 And I truly believe that if I can pull this off as an independent, others with our kind of profile will be taking notice and more likely to follow on with efforts of their own.

Don't Procrastinate — Martin is doing something – at least consider doing something by supporting him. I donated and hope you will too – all the funds are going straight into advertising to fuel his momentum – Below is more information on Martin's background, why he's running, why an independent bid, etc.

Martin Babinec Background Highlights:

  • Moved family to home town of Little Falls NY in 1999 – commuted to Silicon Valley for 11 years while still running TriNet.
  • Struck by how Upstate NY has the right assets, but a dearth of venture backed startups. As the best talent leaves, families get broken up.
  • Started non profit Upstate Venture Connect in 2010 – mission is to connect 1st time entrepreneurs in new industries with the resources who can help them across the entire Upstate NY region. Helped launch 6 seed capital funds, 3 college accelerator programs and private capital funded StartFast Venture Accelerator. UVC has also created region wide community calendar and startup resource map – both of which are deployed at community websites throughout the region. Total UVC network now numbers 10,000+ supporters who share the vision of helping the next generation of entrepreneurs in new industries.

Why run for office?

  • Frustrated with hearing politicians talk about creating jobs and then keep repeating the failed corporate welfare strategies of the past as they hope for a different result.
  • Congressional role offers leadership opportunity to influence other policy makers, as well as community and business leaders in the District.
  • Goal: Shift discussion and resources towards fostering the environment that supports homegrown innovation companies over business attraction – retaining our best talent who create new things also drives job growth allowing us to keep our families together.

Running as an independent:

  • 2016 election cycle showing strong voter frustration with traditional parties and candidates.
  • NY State election law offers both a path for 3rd party candidates to get on the ballot as well as the potential to influence political discourse by forming a new special interest based party – Upstate Jobs Party with a mission to engage voters, community leaders and businesses to support initiatives and policies that cut across imaginary boundaries to help entrepreneurs get connected to the resources they need.
  • With every independent that gets elected, more are likely to follow.

How can people help?

  • Out of district supporters welcome. Support through social media, referrals, contributions and more – visit for description of opportunities.
  • Spread the word to any friends with ties to Upstate NY – particularly in the middle of the state as District 22 covers an area roughly Utica to just east of Syracuse and south to Binghamton.


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Verne Harnish
Verne Harnish
Verne Harnish is founder of the world-renowned Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and chaired for fifteen years EO’s premiere CEO program, the “Birthing of Giants” and WEO’s “Advanced Business” executive program both held at MIT. Founder and CEO of Gazelles, a global executive education and coaching company with over 150 coaching partners on six continents, Verne has spent the past three decades helping companies scale-up. The “Growth Guy” syndicated columnist, he’s also the Venture columnist for FORTUNE magazine. He’s the author of Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0); Mastering the Rockefeller Habits; and along with the editors of Fortune, authored The Greatest Business Decisions of All Times," for which Jim Collins wrote the foreword. Verne also chairs FORTUNE Magazine’s annual Leadership and Growth Summits and serves on several boards including chairman of The Riordan Clinic and the newly launched Geoversity. He is an investor in many scale-ups. A father of four, he enjoys piano, tennis, and magic as a card-carrying member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.