Dan Zawacki founded Lobster Gram in 1986, a company that sold and delivered live lobsters and seafood around the U.S as gifts. He was the first person in the world to do this and by doing so, he was able to create a new market. As a result, he was featured in Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Oprah, and 500 other media outlets.
After three decades of running Lobster Gram, Dan sold the company. Dan now runs THE 4 MORES℠, where he helps organizations implement the Entrepreneur Operating System (EOS). As a Certified EOS Implementer, Dan helps owners and leadership teams gain more structure, growth, profit, and fun.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- How Dan Zawacki became an entrepreneur and founded a first-of-its-kind company, Lobster Gram
- How going on the radio became the turning point for Lobster Gram
- Dan shares how he used bartering to get a car, gain customers, and enjoy great publicity mileage for Lobster Gram
- How Dan got featured on Oprah’s List of Favorites and how he met Howard Stern
- Dan shares the struggles he had with suppliers and getting a warehouse
- Why Dan sold Lobster Gram in 2017 to start 4 Mores and become an EOS Implementer
- How Dan is helping companies grow their revenue
- Who are the ideal clients for 4 Mores?
- Some of the 25 things that Dan learned in his 33 years of doing business
In this episode…
It’s easy to guess what Oprah Winfrey and Howard Stern could have in common: media. But when you throw lobsters into the mix, what you get is Dan Zawacki and the company he founded, Lobster Gram. Through his unique business, Dan was able to create a whole new market that drew the attention and appetite of people from all over the United States. While being featured by Oprah and Howard is a definite highlight for the company especially in its early days, it was just the beginning of an inspiring business story that Dan would later on use to help other entrepreneurs to grow their own companies.
These days, Dan no longer runs Lobster Gram. Instead, he is now a speaker, coach, certified EOS Implementer, and he has founded a company where he is able to live his passion for teaching, facilitating, and coaching business owners and their leadership teams so that they can get the most out of their companies.
On this episode of Inspired Insider Podcast, Dr. Jeremy Weisz interviews Dan Zawacki of 4 Mores and Lobster Gram about how he became a “lobsterpreneur” and later on, an inspirational resource for entrepreneurial companies. Dan also shares how he grew the business and the struggles he faced along the way, why he decided to become a certified EOS Implementer, and how he now helps companies reach the level of success that they deserve. Stay tuned.
Resources Mentioned on this episode
- Inspired Insider interview with Gino Wickman
- Inspired Insider interview with Mark Winters
- Inspired Insider interview with Joe Sugarman
- Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t by James C. Collins
- Traction: Get A Grip On Your Business by Gino Wickman
- Rocket Fuel: The One Essential Combination That Will Get You More of What You Want from Your Business by Gino Wickman and Mark C. Winters
- Entrepreneurial Leap: Do You Have What it Takes to Become an Entrepreneur? by Gino Wickman
Sponsor for this episode
Rise25’s mission is to connect you with your best referral partners and customers.
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Since this requires a lot of humans (we have operations, developers, writers, audio editors, video editors) to do the work we have limited bandwidth and only want to work with the right company. If using a podcast for strategic partnerships, content marketing, and increasing clients and referrals sounds interesting to you go to www.Rise25.com and contact us or email support (at) rise25media.com.
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Rise25 was cofounded by Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran.
Insider Stories from Top Leaders & Entrepreneurs…
Dr. Jeremy Weisz here, Founder of InspiredInsider.com I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders and like today’s founder Dan Zawacki I’m gonna introduce you in a second but you need to check out past episodes. So this is specifically pertinent to this conversation. Dan, you need to check out past episode people should check out pessoa Gino Wickman Gino wickman. If you don’t know as a Founder of EOS Worldwide organization has helped over 70,000 companies use and implement us tools. He’s the author of you could see some of the books behind Dan if you’re watching a video Traction, Rocket Fuel, Entrepreneur Leap. There’s so many that are amazing and just learning from him is been amazing. Also, check out my interview with Mark Winters who co authored Rocket Fuel with Gino Wickman as well, which you can see behind Dan that you know what that book definitely really helped my thinking, Dan about having someone who’s an integrator and a visionary and what the difference is, so it’s been game changing to even know what that is. Okay, so I suggest everyone check out Rocket Fuel and Mark Winters work as well. Before I introduce introduce you to today’s guest who has been a pioneer in many different things, and you’ll see what I mean in a second. This episode is brought to you by Rise25, which I co founded my business partner John Corcoran. And what we do is we help businesses give to and connect to their dream 100 relationships. It could be partners, it could be strategic partners, it could be anyone and basically we do that because we help you run your podcasts. Okay, and the number one thing for me Dan in my life is relationships I’m always looking at a way to give to my best relationships. And over since 2008 the best way for me has been featuring and profiling amazing people like you on my podcast and sharing with the world what you do. And so if you are a company you thought about starting a podcast first of all you should second of all if you have questions, you can email us go to Rise25.com [email protected] Today’s guest I’m super excited introduce you Justin Breen is the person who’s you need to have Dan Zawacki on Justin Breen, you can go to site BreEpicllc.com he basically creates life, your top connections for visionaries and entrepreneurs. Okay, so check it out. In 1987 was already won 1987 dan, first of all, the Wayback Machine. Yeah, the wayback Machine. He founded a company called Lobster Gram. Um, it’s exactly what it sounds like, by the way, he delivered live Lobsters and seafood around the country as gifts. And he was the first person in the world to do this. Any created a new market. And he was featured in Forbes Wall Street Journal, he was on Oprah and 500 other media outlets. And after three decades of running Lobster Gram, he sold it. And now he runs 4Mores.com. That’s the number four and then M-O-R-E-S.com, where he helps your organization implement EOS. And 4 Mores offers more structure, more growth, more profit, more fun. And Dan’s going to talk all about the journey and about that. So Dan, thanks for joining me.
Oh my gosh, thanks for having me on. That’s, that’s an awesome introduction.
It’s all true. It’s even better. Behind the scenes. You know, what’s what’s cool. Dan is the original idea. You’re live in Peoria, and you call yourself self an accidental entrepreneur. Okay, so what was the original idea behind Lobster Gram?
Well, being an astronaut, accidental entrepreneur, some people have these great business plans and all this. Not me not saying it, you should. But I worked for Honeywell. And I sold computers that were as big as my desk that ran commercial buildings. I’m not even kidding. There’s more power in my cell phone than in these computers. And so it turned on and off the lights and the HV AC and heating and all that kind of stuff. And just out of school and I did it. And boy, it was a lot of fun. And I found out I was really, really pretty darn good at selling it. And the problem was that all my contracts came up in January. So I took all my clients out for dinners, and then it turned into lunches. And this is back in like 8586 and back then no one out and drink iced tea. I mean, everybody jack and cokes and it was a party a good time. My liver was uh, you know, like 23 years old. So it was okay. And but it literally is my whole November December was just going out going out picking out claims because the more clients I got, the more I went out. So I said, I need a great gift thinking I’m like, ah, maybe Omaha Steaks, like, everybody gets almost a great company, though. I said, Harry and David. And I’m thinking, yeah, I work with a lot of these engineers, I’m going to go up and go, Hey, here’s this nice pair for you. Probably, like, just bear with me. And so I was one of those kids that I always love lobster. Okay, when I would go out with my parents, I would always order laughter and they’d say, No, he’s getting a cheeseburger. But every once in a while again, laughter. And so I started thinking, gosh, they’re fun. It’s unique, and it’s memorable. And by golly, I’m gonna find somebody that can ship lobsters out for me. So I tried. And I tried. And I called my friend up in Boston. And he sent me the yellow pages, and I called up all the lobster guys out there. And they all said the same thing. That’s stupid. That’s the dumbest idea. It was a good idea. Someone would be doing it. And I’m like, gosh, they’re probably right. But anyways, can you at least send me you know, a couple hundred lobsters. And then I will figure a way to deliver it. And they’re like, yeah, we could do that. Because you know, they would send them to restaurants. So that’s what they did. And so I literally, I didn’t know anything about lobsters, except I liked them. So in the company car, I put a blue tarp in there. And I drove the airport, and I put all the lobsters, there’s 180 lobsters crawling around my back of my car, just all over. My packaging was horrible, was a jewel bag. And then I bought a couple cases, a lemons, couple cases of butter, and a big bag of bows. So I open up the trunk. I put two lobsters in there, stick butter, of lemon, and I’d staple a bowl on there and write a little gift card saying, Hey, thanks for your business. It was fun golfing with the fun doing this or whatever. And I drove around for two and a half days, and was like playing Santa Claus with love you hand delivered them and deliver them. People didn’t know it. And it was fun. The people’s faces were just priceless. I just know appointments, walk in Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, open up, ah, are these lines be like they are to you later. Gotta go. Because, you know, I had like 60 clients, I had to go deliver all these things. So I was on a roll. And one of the clients work for the Department of Corrections. Like Dan, I saw him like a month later, he goes, Dan, you’re gonna do anything with this lobster thing? And I said, and he goes, Well, if you’re not he goes, my wife wants to. And I go well, well, yeah, I’ve been working on a business plan. And I ain’t done nothing about it. But I’m like, here’s this guy. He’s like a mentor to me. If he thinks this is a good idea, well, by golly, I should at least think about this. So that night, this is the craziest thing. I go to my little studio apartment, which is just little things sit at my roundtable and I start putting together a to do list, which was I still have it to it’s pretty cool. And the number one is get lobsters. Now where do I get named? Make a name? Number three. It’s so funny. How do credit cards work? You know, how do you how did someone give you these numbers over the phone? and magically it goes into your bank account? I mean, that’s how naive of a business person I was.