Ronen Menipaz 2:54
Yeah, so um, there’s a thing where, when I, when I came here to because I was, I was raised in Canada. And what’s amazing about that is meeting Jews is is, is like, finding a diamond in the rough, right, but not in a bad way is just something that you appreciate a lot that you have some common ground with. And for me, it was coming to a place where you can actually meet many of those kinds was, for me, a purpose. My, my, my, like, I’m a descendant of people who built this country or went from the Holocaust. So I was young and excited to be in the army. So I came here and like the high school later stages, and I want to do the army thing and stuff and, and, you know, like, be so people, like, you know, to be a part of that community because it was something very important to me. And I was born Canadian, unlike my parents, which spoke English to me and we only spoke English at home, but we’re actually born and raised in Israel. So for me I wanted to be as Israeli my sister is born in us and stuff like that. So is for me to do that I wanted to be, you know, scientistic on that stage, Moving here was insanely hard. But everything at heart is like eating a salad. It may not be tasty, but it’s worthwhile. That’s on you know, hindsight. But I literally came from a place where there was a it wasn’t it was a public school where we had like ice hockey and the recess and pizza day and whatever, to a place where it was, it would no air conditioning to TV channels instead of 300. Not knowing the language and, and you know, I used to collect cards and trade them and here they were, there was a game where you it was on quantity, not in quality, so they would pack them up. up and clap their hands to make them relevant when I would see cards that are worth money, and they didn’t have a Beckett here, and I was like what’s going on? So I felt like a little bit like fly, going back, because it was the pivot point, it was like in the late 90s. So what happened was, it was right before the bubble. So I think two or three would help me out a little bit. So it’s like, I’m not changed, I didn’t have a cell phone, and it came, you know, everything happens. So it managed down. But I was thrown out, like, literally from every school, and, like, I know, not because I was really problematic, just because I had no language skills, I socially, you know, different and, and, and I’m already a kind of like I’m hyperactive, creative. And I’m a son of a professor, which are an entrepreneurial, and industrial engineering and British administration, where the fear theoretical, so I, it’s a person who is a genius that knows everything. But it’s always theoretical. And I’m very hands down because of that. So I’m doing my way and I’m going to, you can’t, you’re not going to tell me, like not in a better way. It wasn’t a bad way. But now it’s like, this is the model. I’m like, No, you know what, this is the model. And then, so also that type cast on it, I had literally seven schools, I one time did physics, they threw me out, I did music and do that. So I really wasn’t. I didn’t. It didn’t it didn’t work. That well.
Jeremy Weisz 6:24
Wasn’t that seamless, I guess you could say, What was your one
Ronen Menipaz 6:27
that didn’t finish school?
Jeremy Weisz 6:29
What was the first you feel like your real entrepreneurial company, you know, fast forward through, you know, trading cars or anything like that. It feels like you always kind of had the sense you were an entrepreneur, even before it was glorified.
Ronen Menipaz 6:46
And I sort of actually, you know, maybe today, I wouldn’t get that I, I could have done something differently. But I felt like there’s no way in hell, I would get a job I don’t like or I wasn’t smart, and it wasn’t talented. So I had to make my own way. pathway. And the first thing was actually there’s one of two, the first feedback I got was by selling vacuum cleaners from door to door when I was 16 to get money. And it was something great because it took away my ego. And it made me a lot more social approachable, because it’s an impossible thing to sell a $2,500 Kirby vacuum cleaner by knocking by doors, okay, and getting in and showing them how it works. Okay, you have about six seconds. That’s not even an elevator pitch. And it’s 100% negativity. So you have to flip that switch really quickly. And even then, you have about an hour and a half to sell $2,500 which I even now in hindsight, it’s if I’m not young, and really energetic. I think today, I would not be able to do that. But it really helped me because of the persistence side, I was actually doing better. And I didn’t quit till I did good and add my own employees. Which leads me to the second thing, my real entrepreneurship. First one is to solve a problem. I was unprofitable, unpopular. And I had time on heads gigging out of school, and I really wanted to be popular because I had no language I needed to have a superpower. Yeah, I know. It’s not that it didn’t have money. My parents are great. They helped me out. But he did have especially the amount I was I wasn’t especially good looking. I didn’t think I was smarter, charismatic. And, you know, I had to I solve that because it made me sad not to be Papa. And I wanted to also kiss a girl or you know, any, any normal KPI that you have when you’re younger. So the first day
Jeremy Weisz 8:47
Spoken like a true investor a KPI when it comes to women, but yeah,
Ronen Menipaz 8:53
how do I do that? You know, like, you know what? So what I did is I opened up a club, like a place, which was actually a chicken coop in a kibbutz and I persuaded the kibbutz to split the profits which I don’t even know how I said that then they said like you know, it was just you know, share the profits whatever. And I told them we we do free because it’s non alcoholic in the beginning, free whatever. And they pay an entrance and we bring a DJ and the chicken coop was an endo chickens who was just staying there. So they said, You know what, let’s do it. And he started off with my birthday, which I brought probably like, you know, a few tenths of people. And if you fast forward, four or five weeks when you do a club for people who don’t have any other options, and you’re very persistent on starting to get it and you you’re not looking I then I wasn’t talking about potential I was divided whatever I had just to make it work, right. Because it was for a different KPI right. So fast forward. It was one of the first clubs in like that had selection in the entrance. since it became a place for 3000 children per week children’s sorry, for the end it also was in 17. I had Thursday’s was for college people. Okay, which was my place literally people were five years older than me was 730 years and whatever. It was so packed that we had to do the selection of cars. It was before the legalize this. So we would actually say, oh, five men in a car with a Peugeot. No, thank you. And they would take a secure password. And we built like a summer place or whatever. It was, the they have a newspaper called outlets, which is, you know, the seventh biggest newspaper in Israel. That’s the second that was the second income after the club for for the kibbutz. Okay, and, and, and it was, it was a, it was like cash based, I had no idea what I’m doing. Like, there’s a whole story about that side to that. But literally, I was like, you know, if I would make about $10,000 a week, in the beginning, it was likely making a billion today was insane. And I hit that KPI was pretty good popularity on the side. And that was really my first like, from nothing, making something ideas that came out. And like first positive feedback that I’m, you know, I did something and I owned it. So like, for myself,
Jeremy Weisz 11:22
I want to get to Empathy One in a second. And what you look for when someone is pitching you their idea and themselves, but before I had you answer that I’m really curious, Ronen about you said, you know, with a vacuum cleaner sales, I mean, that really puts hair on your chest, you know, to do that, and it’s a lot of rejection. And you said, it’s not even an elevator pitch. It’s like you have five seconds or less. What did you do at that point to get in the door? What were some some things that worked within that split second, they see you there, like, slam the door or let you in?
Ronen Menipaz 11:59
Yep. So I ab tested that. And the trick that worked most is this, when I knocked on the door, I had a calculator in my head, and the vacuum cleaner under my armpit. And usually, because I was I was literally an age, I was also shorter than most of the people who answered the door. So when they did that, I would hand the calculator and go under the arm, which was probably on the holding the door and start vacuuming as fast as they can on the battery, which holds about seven minutes and start talking like this was supposed to meet to happen. And we had a meeting, which today I wouldn’t do because I don’t have the guts and I understand how inappropriate it is. But it got me to sales were about at least 80% did not throw me out. At least 50% heard me out. And about 10%, maybe 7% would actually about purchase the product meeting, it would give a handout like the beginning. That was $500. I’m thinking about it thing, which for me, that was the KPI. And it took less than seven seconds to do that. Love it.
Jeremy Weisz 13:07
So I’m curious of a story because you probably get pitched a lot, a lot of companies contact you wanting to work with you and in the other founders. But what was a case where you heard someone’s pitch and what they were up to? You passed? It wasn’t a fit, and they came back to you. And then you decided it was a fit?
Ronen Menipaz 13:34
Well, okay, so I’ll tell you this, the way we mark it, just to understand the context is helping entrepreneurs no matter what, so the pitches themselves, is the way you market because entrepreneurs, they never there’s no time where you can find an entrepreneur, they need to meet you. So you need to be top of mind. So our marketing, all our marketing efforts are trying to meet as much as possible. Not it for a nor Yes. And the answer to that question would be I would never, it would never fall because I passed on something that I liked. Okay, it would usually mean that they passed on me, but I still wanted to work with any work together. Right. So so it wouldn’t happen that it would because then I would just say I have no time to do that respectively. Okay, which doesn’t mean I passed on the offer because I thought it was good. Right? So then the story, but there are times where which is even harder for me I think because it’s getting a no. Right and then coming back and not maximizing on the deal. But closing the deal. Although you know that the options are less because they didn’t want you at the beginning. So an example for that is there was there was a company where is called OVIVO, which is a gaming company where they were amazing entrepreneurs. It was very well well planned. It was exciting trend. We only take things that we have active impact on okay, they know about enriched To begin with, I’m not a, I’m not a very good passive investor, we’re very good as a community active investments. And I really wanted to invest all of the capital they needed and take account of all we can do for that structure. Okay, and try to do a, a real deal. And for them to take us, instead of saying, a round a round v, right? See, let’s do all round A, B, C, together, and just go through KPIs, and we don’t need the other politics, I love it. These are very talented people. And I really thought they would be synergetic. For us, we will learn to them, they will learn for us, and it’s really a match. What happened was, they passed because they thought that maybe the potential, which is, you know, always true. They if they do A, B, and C, okay, they can get more money, and also the strategic partners that they need, you know, put it on, which is also true. And by the way, we wanted to do that as well. We just saying, we want it, we don’t want to do it when we’re not selling when we prove that that was the difference between us. And they said, but we really want you. So we’ll give you like a piece of advisory board or like, whatever, just for you. So it’ll be part of it. I said, Guys, listen, I don’t like to do things like that. It’s okay. I’m helping you anyways. Okay, they insisted I, that’s the amount of time when someone gives you something that you say it’s I don’t think this is a fair deal. I keep it. And he says, okay, because I’ll hang around. And I’m a Canadian, so the Canadian side will try to be involved anyways, because he apologized. And then Israeli side would say your sucker, but 50% of
Jeremy Weisz 16:42
us internal struggle in your head battle? Yeah,
Ronen Menipaz 16:45
that’s my worst partner is right, right inside you. Anyway, so so. And what happened was, I actually helped them do the whole round stuff. And when they became complex, and quick and annoying, and stuff like that, and they had a few challenges on the way, they came around circle and said, Okay, you know what? We agreed. So how much do you want now, and he expected us and I’m not saying this to market, it’s a real story. They told us to, like, try to maximize it. And then it said, No, we’re not going to do that. Let’s just run. And it was actually from a freebie to a few millions dollars of investment to a very successful, amazing company. And I think that thing that I didn’t maximize, but we didn’t, because it was few partners involved is something so important, because from that moment forward, I felt no politics. Okay. And it was really like saying, Thank you, because you didn’t make me feel bad about it, which Whoever understands what an entrepreneur is, and thinks that money makes him tick is someone that needs to go in, be an entrepreneur. It’s probably like the last thing. So that was something and for an entrepreneur to trust one another on the breakthrough on this one, was something that I really felt as part of the success more than the talented people in the idea itself. Yeah, and so they passed on me, but you know, I’m okay being the second best option as long as it’s successful. So,
Jeremy Weisz 18:10
if anyone goes to M51.co. And on the about page, it says very clearly, we are not a venture capital firm. Okay, we do not invest in business plans. We don’t even open the files. You said we invested people. dig into that a little bit further. You made a you know, it’s a statement right off the bat.
Ronen Menipaz 18:32
Yeah, so one thing, we do open files. But but it’s, but we’re extreme on the message, because on purpose, because there’s a problem. We are unique, but it’s complex to explain if you don’t feel it. But explaining what we’re not is really important because a venture capital, the interest is making money and interest rates or exiting for your portfolio. And that’s their end game. Okay. A angel investor is trying to make the either have fun, educate himself or make interest rate on that. And here’s what we’re not, why we’re not, we do not want an exit strategy. Exit for us is amazing, but it’s a fallback, because you three reasons to do an exit one, you’re sick of the business, and you don’t like your partners, to your you, you can’t you don’t believe in yourself that you can grow. Okay? And you know, you can’t do it without the bigger company getting you. Okay? And three, you don’t like what you’re doing anymore. It doesn’t like it. There’s a form of ego wanting in the newspaper. But it can’t be that like, I can’t believe that that’s just that. But those reasons are exit. So it’s fallback strategy where I always have a fallback strategy, because as an investor and an entrepreneur, I got hit so hard sometimes that you have to know how much you’re willing to risk and why not Can you make your own rules. So that’s important because we’re in the same interest, I think of someone who’s passionate, because what we want is a vehicle. We want that to rise. It doesn’t matter if it pivots. And that’s the people we have. It’s what you do with it. Not in the beginning, but throughout the lifetime. And we want people to enjoy being in the joy, the partners, they believe in themselves, right, and they’re not going to be sick of their own vehicle. And so for us that died, and we’re not looking for liquidity, and we’re trying we do we have a community that we know that that money, it’s not that there’s going to be an interest to make ROI on that, or someone pushing behind that. So that’s what we’re not, that’s why we’re active, we’re not good as if you want to you if your Mustang course, you wanted them to your way. And we just want to be with impact. It’s not we want to control and we want to be part of it. Because you’re young, energetic, and we have time, and being an investor is really boring. So so we do things that we love, if you want them to be they have fun here as
Jeremy Weisz 21:01
well. What are the criteria you look for? Who is a fit for M51?
Ronen Menipaz 21:05
Okay, so who is a fit on M51? On? So? That’s a great question. So instead of getting into exactly who it is a few characteristics is the characteristics I call them. The real life superpowers, okay, that are a must. There’s a lot of things that it depends, it differs, but there’s a must one optimism, we will not touch someone who is negative as an entrepreneur, you will not necessarily who is, is a non optimist, like if the for many reasons, it’s a 100%, no deal to there is a real pain to solve either our own problem or a specialty or something in not in the idea. Okay, but in the it’s a passion, but it’s something that for him, he committed out loud, to his family to himself to other people. Three, he will not fight for potential, you will fight for existence, meaning it’s more important for him or her to want this to be alive than to be cheap on something that does not exist. Okay, these are three, I’ll say characteristics that are no deal, no matter whatever deal that’s in. There’s all kinds of other rules, we have 51 There’s a reason for that, and the other 51 Bible rule, but that three, three, definite knows that it doesn’t even go through filter, I don’t want to see an Excel app. Thank you so much. And I think You’re incredible, but I think you have to do a few things. And like me fail a bunch of times, okay, and understand why you’re doing this. Because I was like that, by the way. But I have to say I wouldn’t invest in myself when I was like that. I got better.
Jeremy Weisz 22:59
When you start M51 Who are some of the key people that you decide to bring on board.
Ronen Menipaz 23:07
Everybody except for me. Like I understand, I’m, that’s how I see the world the world is me. I’m a multiplier of one in NASDAQ. And whereas myself today, now the deal is how much multipliers around me that it can be exponentially having to grow. So I’m always worth one. So the key was the people who are behind me, which are the vitamin family, which were with me on the exit side in beginning on the high tech, which are incredible. They come together with the you know, someone that I met, they’re called the kuna by which is insanely talented, brilliant person. Also they are brilliant. And that that’s, you know, having no impact on a certain business but having those people on the way to learn from their failures and their structures and just picking you know, those those little fruits on the way robust. A few people that add various different exits or success and failures with me, I have something that I’m very proud of which is really stupid fact that i i like it because I’m a journey person. Plus this mission is my proof. I have I’m not that old yet. I’m about 40 and 24 years from my first incorporated company, like the real I love the smaller companies. And for me to say one thing, I do not remember. No, you know what, that’s just how he’s saying it. I have no partner that didn’t. That I left him with. either. You hit his KPI where we wanted to be to the business itself. Three, he became better. He will lifestyle for tea, tea. He wished for some more more professional or add just a little vintage that was positive Even if I failed with them a few times, for me, it was my responsibility. I don’t have one partner, I have businesses that didn’t succeed a lot. But I don’t have a partner. So that asking the question is those people that had those successes that know that I’m a marathon person, and you know, there’s something about the beginning of something, you need people to be like a speaker phone, pinch yourself all the time. So those people who believed in me and our success or our produce, that could actually help me have those relationships, which is unique in its title, and it’s Andre and it’s, it’s Tomer and, and like, you know, I’ve list but the community was people who already knew before and it was, it was, it was a lifesaver on that side. And they were very,
Jeremy Weisz 25:49
I want to talk about running some of the some of the podcast episodes, so I’m gonna believe out on the podcast. And I wanted to start with your brother, and what you’ve learned from your brother, specifically, around culture.
Ronen Menipaz 26:04
As my story that you heard in the beginning, I was definitely not the most talented and the most matching, I actually thought for a while that it was the son of a milkman or something, because they, we have a very big diversity of types of family. We do have a gigantic common denominator after I learned that, but I was, but as siblings, you are competitive. But I have to say, I have an incredible ly trying to be empowering and empathetic family, which I didn’t appreciate as much as they do lay down your father, I understand that. Holy shit. You guys are great, which I saw as minus before, because it was my fault. I changed cultures. So here I’m getting into my brother. My brother is academically very good. He’s an amazing people person. He’s a great manager. And he is a great learner of methods meaning my dad, as opposed to me doing it my way. He was very good at adapting and learning and thinking methodically, his career because he was staying overseas like marriage and family. And he studied like it’s yard McKinsey. Worked for Yossi Vardi and Zi Galia, and venture capital. Then he was CEO of eBay, Israel, VP of eBay, US and today’s VP of the biggest accurate tech company. Indigo after like, 10 years in as the VPN different, like data science and marketing and stuff like that it did everything there’s like, his superpower is this. So because he was born in Israel, raised the US he raised in Canada, studied in France, worked in Portugal, worked in London, worked in China worked in Israel, he has a very good learning of also, like the empathetic start that part the people person pleaser, okay, and methods and thinking, you know, specifically a method logical plus, knowing the languages and never having like, a certain home being like that global thing in the years of the 90s. Okay, he actually was really intrigued and passionate about cultures, because his end job was doing, not the venture capitalist normal thing, but acquiring giant companies and implementing and stuff like that. And he was amazing at it on the sense that deals are made mostly psychologically and on trust and stuff again, and the culture gaps between that we had the common denominator, and he always had a method to get in. And him and my father wrote a book about it, where they already have like a model, or equation of what type of industry you’re in. And what is the next branch you should open by culture gaps on actually on a number base, finally, enough, and this wasn’t for the podcast, but this is it.
Jeremy Weisz 29:02
International Business it’s called. Right, so they have
Ronen Menipaz 29:06
this amazing graph of an equation. We’re wrong anywhere. It’s, it’s online, it’s digital, it’s not Jojo. It’s hardcopy, it’s translated.
Jeremy Weisz 29:17
But they were just like, the National Business and Amit Menipaz.
Ronen Menipaz 29:22
And Professor Ehud Menipaz, which is my father. And, yeah, and just for the listeners to understand, my dad was here, and I didn’t have the book. And I thought about it, how disappointing that is as a son. So I have that book. It wasn’t for the podcast, this was total total non plan. And you asked about my brother. Coincidence. Anyway. So that’s it. And I think that’s why he’s so easy to implement in a company. Because if you’re looking for a global company, and understanding you know, this, like I lost a lot of money by not thinking about culture gap. And it’s a pain, it’s insanely, it’s insanely, a deal breaker, where you where you don’t even know why it didn’t work. Like there’s things there that It’s unexplainable. And the worst thing about it is in the global Internet, it’s like, if you’re opening up a business 90%, you’re gonna have to get that it’s not like you know what it was before. So it’s definitely a great spread. And that’s what’s passionate about. So he was a big inspiration. And he, after I had no ego, and I started asking for help, which was a great decision by me, I actually learned a lot of easygoing, logical sense of how to cite from this global platform that you can connect it to everybody what to focus on, which is, I think the hardest thing today, what not to focus on is a lot harder than what to focus on.
Jeremy Weisz 30:47
First of all, right, one last question. I know we’re a little bit over here. Before I ask it, I want to point people to M51.co. That co to check out more and learn more about what they’re working on. And just check out what Ronen is doing. It’s Ronen. And then last name Menipaz. We’re gonna talk about some I know it’s like picking a favorite child, but some interesting episodes from your podcast and the guests you’ve had on?
Ronen Menipaz 31:19
Oh, no, actually, that’s, that’s actually things that I would listen to passionately and some that are less for my features. It’s just not objective. It’s not choosing, it’s that there’s definitely people that aim or appreciate there. So whoever is looking for an inspirational mindset, okay, and there’s unique people super realized superheroes, like a superhero, that definitely is doing something for the greater good, you feel it, you know it. And if you missing it from like, the old way, like, you know, the old places where you did something for a community or world or something that where there’s less people like that. There’s the Russian woman who’s trying to go to Mars, which is an amazing story. And she’s like, I hear like, there’s there’s a Foo Fighters songs, I think Foo Fighters, it’s called, there goes my hero, he’s ordinary, okay. There’s a few people that I that I have that are like that, she’s real life for me. Okay, a great impression of, of reminding you what how important that journey is. And it doesn’t matter if you’re, if you’re, if you’re doing something you love, you’re going to be amazing. And you’re going to be rich enough, not only in your pocket, also in your mindset, because everybody wants to be around you. The second one would be Brian Halligan is He is the founder of HubSpot, where I’m always intrigued in amazing ad taking things from nothing to like, you know, a business and amazing at leveraging and solving problems and making them gigantic and solving problems on the way. But there’s something about maintenance, where what I’m, what I am intrigued about is, how does he with everything you can do stay focused all the time, say no to all kinds of opportunities. And I’m saying this on this. I want more people to be proud of the checkpoints that have 10s of 1000s of employees than selling and doing something cool. But it is hard. It’s even hard for me because you will always want to be exciting and you want to save yourself. So he has a lot of inspiration on that note and it’s a pain that I I admire and just
Jeremy Weisz 32:15
really quickly, people can go to Reallifesuperpowers.com Check it out. And there’s a you know, Brian Halligan of HubSpot’s on there. And the other lady is its Do you recall her name? Was it Darren or is that someone different? No, no,
Ronen Menipaz 33:46
it’s an Anastasiya. Anastasiya. Yeah, so one last one. Practical shortcuts for being on time and, and utilizing your time Hillfield had to. It’s simple, but it was great. That’s it. Those are my favorites. Sorry, other guys. Check it
Jeremy Weisz 34:05
out. As well as M51.co. Thank you, Ronen. And the first one Thank you. Thanks, everyone.