Protect the Core, Expand the Edges: 7 Principles to Support Sustainable Scaling the Right Way with John St. Pierre

“Have patient ambition. If you have the patient ambition to persevere and build through these times, you will be rewarded.”  —John St. Pierre

Scaling a business is no small feat. It requires vision, planning, and perseverance to take an enterprise to the next level. As a company expands, owners must protect what matters most— their ownership equity.  With the right people and processes supporting growth, owners can step back from day-to-day tasks to guide the overall direction and scale steadily over time into much larger operations that deliver ongoing value for all stakeholders.

John St Pierre is a Canadian entrepreneur, business mentor, and coach who is passionate about helping other entrepreneurs build businesses strategically for sustainable long-term success. Starting in 1995 as a College Pro Painters franchisee, he later became a VP of Sales for and President of WorldAtMyDoor. In 2003, John co-founded Legacy Global Sports and BrandPoint Services, the latter being a $100M+ company where he serves as the majority owner and chairperson.

In this episode, JP and John discussed key lessons learned around protecting founder equity and reinvesting profits internally rather than relying on outside funding, the importance of leveraging new technologies like AI and blockchain through tools that boost operational efficiencies and margins, why entrepreneurs should focus on projects with real utility rather than speculative coins, and the opportunities that may come by staying informed on emerging technologies such as AI. 

Episode Highlights:

  • 00:04 Scaling to $100 Million Businesses 
  • 05:01 From Business Failure to President
  • 15:21 7 Principles to Scaling Your Business The Right Way
  • 19:35 The Importance of a Reliable Legal Team
  • 25:33 Operational Efficiencies in Business
  • 29:07 AI and Crypto Tools for Efficiency
  • 32:36 The Fundamentals of Crypto 
  • 35:39 The Future of Blockchain 



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Conduct Law


  • 15:29 “I was growing for the sake of growing. I was just going hard and fast. But there’s a lot of essential elements that I was omitting.” —John St. Pierre
  • 18:20 “The way you’re going to monetize and build wealth for yourself and your family and build something you truly love and adore is through this thing called equity and how do you protect and grow that equity over time.” —John St. Pierre
  • 19:29 “Reinvesting in your business is a lot better than bringing investors in and getting diluted.” —John St. Pierre
  • 22:38 “Corporate attorneys are working for the company. It’s important for business owners to have advisors on their behalf looking out for their interest as well because things can go wrong.” —Jp McAvoy 
  • 27:47 “Operational productivity is a major source of margin development.” —John St. Pierre
  • 31:00 “The rules change; the technology changes. It’s important to make sure that you’re continuing to be on the forefront.” —Jp McAvoy
  • 34:12 “If you’re not an expert in this area, take your time to understand what you’re investing in. Dollar-cost averaging will protect yourself one way.” —John St. Pierre
  • 38:03 “If you think what you’ve been doing for the last 10 years is going to be good for the next 10, you’re missing incredible opportunities to grow your business substantially.” —John St. Pierre
  • 39:36 “Have patient ambition. If you have the patient ambition to persevere and build through these times, you will be rewarded.”  —John St. Pierre

A Little Bit About John:

John is an entrepreneurial executive with 25 years of business leadership experience who has co-founded and grown two companies to over $50M in revenues.

John began his entrepreneurial career in 1995, while a college student, as a franchisee for College Pro Painters. Upon graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Southern Maine, he continued to develop his entrepreneurial skills as a general manager for College Pro.

In 1998, John joined other prominent College Pro entrepreneurs as a VP of Sales for, a venture capital-backed platform connecting homeowners with vetted contractors.

After the dot-com crash in 2001, John took a role as President of WorldAtMyDoor, an e-commerce platform for small businesses, which was successfully sold in 2002.

In 2003, John co-founded 2 companies: Selects Sports Management (which was rebranded Legacy Global Sports) and Rhombus Services.

Legacy Global Sports, a global youth sports management company founded in 2003, rapidly rose to $50M+ in global revenues before John was replaced as CEO in 2018.

Meanwhile, BrandPoint Services, a national commercial contracting and project management firm founded in 2003, is a $100M+ company to which John is the majority owner and chairperson.


JP McAvoy: On today’s show, John St. Pierre, an entrepreneur. You’ll hear how he cut his teeth originally with college pro as did actually, and how he learned principles there. He continued to apply to a number of other businesses including legacy global sports and brand points services from 50 to $100 million. He’s written on this, now speaks about this broadly. Here’s my conversation with John St. Pierre. 

John, thanks for joining us here today. Happy to see you, I guess from New Hampshire? Where exactly in New Hampshire are you located? Portsmouth, which is what I think you were saying just north of Boston, right?

John St. Pierre: Yeah, exactly. One hour north of Boston. It’s really a strip of land between Massachusetts and Maine, and that’s New Hampshire right on the ocean. That’s where we are.

JP McAvoy: What kind of winter did you have?

John St. Pierre: Pretty mild. Tractor it out a couple times, but that’s been a pretty good one. We’re expecting one more to come sometime this month. We’ll see what happens. But pretty good, overall.

JP McAvoy: You get a big dump of snow, or how does that look when you say winter and get the tractor out?

John St. Pierre: We live around the ocean here, so we get a little bit of the ocean effect. Which means it doesn’t snow as much right near the ocean, more inland and in the mountains of New Hampshire and Maine. But when we do get dumped down, we get some dump. We gotta get out there with the snowblower and get that off the driveway. But usually within a few days down here, it’s gone. So when you have a mild winter, you’re in good shape.

JP McAvoy: So Canadian originally, what took you to New Hampshire? How did you find yourself down there?

John St. Pierre: I grew up in the Montreal area. I went through my high school years there and wanted to play hockey in the United States and found an opportunity to come down and play college hockey, and got an accounting degree in school. And once you’re down here and you see the opportunities and career opportunities that were present from my college years, took a job right out of college and kind of never looked back, got married and have kids, established a family down here, so of all my family back in Montreal, but now loving life down here.

JP McAvoy: How do you get back and forth? I guess it’s not much of a drive, is it?

John St. Pierre: It’s only four and a half hours to Montreal from the Portsmouth, New Hampshire area. So pretty easy to get back and go visit, and you still live in Chicago. That’s a little more difficult getting on the planes for those. But yeah, nice and close now.

JP McAvoy: Easy to go back and forth from there. What kind of work did you begin doing out of college?

John St. Pierre: In college, you may appreciate this as a big Canadian Ontario thing. But in college, I was a college pro painting franchise. And so for two summers in college, I ran my own college painting business and just taught how to run a business from entrepreneurial roots and really how to hire, train, fire, sell, estimate, do your own accounting payroll and all those kinds of things as a college student and post college in the franchise company. Actually, they were called the franchise company. They own college pro painters. A whole bunch of other franchise contracting companies hired me to be a general manager and move out to the Midwest and hire and train college students to run their own painting business. So I did that for a couple years. That’s what brought me to Chicago.

JP McAvoy: Fair enough. I ran a real college franchise as well. A number of good friends have as well, which is interesting. And I did mine in the Kingston area as I went to Queens. A good couple of good friends. I know the pedigree. And it’s interesting to hear that you were, I guess, groomed? Or they asked you to stay on. You must have excelled. Where are you operating your franchises?

John St. Pierre: It was operating differentials in the state of Maine. That’s where I went to school, and so the franchises there. You’ll appreciate this, JP. The year before I became a college pro franchise, I was here going to school in the United States, but I didn’t have a work visa. I had a student visa so I couldn’t actually go work anywhere. I couldn’t go work at a bar, or restaurant, or do a summer job. So my best friend, Stefano Murali who went to Queen’s University had a great idea. He said, all my friends from Queen’s are going to plant trees in northern Ontario, we should go plant trees. So sure enough, we grabbed our backpacks that summer, my first summer in the United States, went back with him to Northern Ontario to plant trees, lived in the wilderness for a couple of months, got paid 10 cents a tree and got bitten by black flies and everything else. We hitchhiked all the way home to Montreal and I said next year, I’m gonna figure out a way to stay in the United States. And that’s where I found College Pro as a franchise opportunity because a little interesting wall piece here, you can own a limited liability company in the United States and not have a work visa or a green card. And so I was able to run my own business and hire employees that were paid W-2, but I was able to do that on a student visa. And that’s why that gave me an opportunity to run my own painting business in the United States. Satisfying summer.

JP McAvoy: There you go. It’s so interesting the ways that we can organize and do. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. You learned some great business concepts, obviously through that exercise. Did you do accounting in school as well as that when you were studying at the college level?

John St. Pierre: Exactly. And my father said, we’re gonna go into the United States and do business. I want you to specialize somewhere. He can’t just specialize in business so he pushed me into the accounting road, but didn’t really want to be an accountant. So going to do internships at an accounting firm wasn’t exciting to me. Running my own business was what led me there. And then the same thing, post college, I didn’t really want to go work for a big public accounting firm. So I took the opportunity with college Pro to be a general manager and continue that entrepreneurial route.

JP McAvoy: You do that for, I guess, a couple of years. And where’s your path leading from there?

John St. Pierre: This time period was around the late 90’s. So I became a general manager from 96 to 98. And the internet is buzzing this .com thing is happening. Anybody who’s saying has to leave their well paid career job to go follow this .com thing. So that was one of those guys. And a bunch of general managers from college pro led by Eric Doebele, one of the top general managers of the company. He founded a company called, which was an online contractor referral service. So you need a kitchen done, your house painted, you go on, and we’d send you prescreened contractors. Well, we all left our jobs at college pro to go join Eric on this venture. Got VC funded, got $25 million in venture funding from Silicon Valley, and we were cooking with gas. Traveling around the country, opening up all these offices, all these sales reps, brainless contractors to fulfill homeowners needs, then there’s the crash happened. We were supposed to get around 50 million. They really take us to the next level, and that funding never came. And the company somewhat kind of imploded from within ended up selling all of the assets the bank did ultimately to a company called service magic, which was then rebranded to, which was then merged with Angi. So Angi right now was really at the roots of it That never passed through the .com era.

JP McAvoy: Yeah. And that’s what happens in business cycles as companies take shape, they take form, they may pass through from one to another merger acquisition. Hopefully the core asset, there’s some value that’s been created there, and you’re able to leverage it and take advantage. It sounds like that’s what they did. Where do you go from there? Obviously, I imagine as part of that implosion, you’re on to the next venture.

John St. Pierre: Well, not so easily. I was 24 at the time when this imploded. You have to imagine that in your early 20’s, you just graduated college, you have tons of stock options and this .com venture funded company, you think you got this whole thing figured out. I thought this business thing was easy. I’m traveling around the country, seeing every state in every city in the United States. It was very fun for me. The moment I got let go from this business, I thought it was everything for me. I was living in Beaverton, Oregon at the time. So right outside of Portland, and I got in my gray jeep Cherokee, and I started driving back towards Chicago. I had just recently purchased Tony Robbins personal power tapes. I never listened to it before so I started popping them in. That’s a good opportunity to listen to these things. And basically listen to Tony Robbins personal power all the way back to Chicago, taking my time trying to figure out, what am I going to do next? What exactly am I going to do? 

I received the call from Charlie Chase. Charlie was the co-founder of CertaPro Painters. He was the original guy who took College Pro from Canada to the United States, then formed CertaPro Painters. He had known me through the college pro ranks and he gave me a call. He had an e-commerce company in Philadelphia and made an investment. He was looking for someone to kind of help salvage that as well. Because going through the same crisis during that time period as all the other e-commerce companies, he invited me out to Philadelphia to come take a look. I did and I went out to Philadelphia, became the president of a company called (inaudible) which was basically a group on Meet CitySearch before it’s time for small businesses and communities for couponing. And we ended up salvaging that product a couple years later and exiting for a small recovery of some of his investments. So that’s kind of where I headed to Philadelphia, and so that’s kind of rounded up.

JP McAvoy: Wow, it was amazing. We had similar experiences. I went down to California, worked with a couple buddies. .com is interesting. You said the CD-Search, because we’re growing a company that was one of the largest competitors to CD-Search. At one point, we actually explored a merger. That fell apart, the company was subsequently sold to, I guess at the time was Compaq, and a merger was really coming to form Alta Vista. The company was called Zip2. The company at that time was called Zip2. It was actually started by a couple of friends.I don’t know, probably recognise the names now, but Elon and Kimbal Musk started the company back in the day with friends from Queens. And as they say, that company has grown and sold. And then from that or next spin out becoming PayPal and on and on. The thesis is take an asset, try to create value from it, spin it, grow it, it doesn’t always work. Get up, do the next thing. Keep working on it because these businesses do grow and they do succeed if you put your mind to it and are willing to work through the obstacles.

John St. Pierre: Yeah, that’s data storage. Sounds very familiar.

JP McAvoy: Exactly. A couple of them. So it’s interesting. You do all that. And obviously, Charlie Chase, well known for the growth there. What does he do after that? Or what’s the next project after that in Philadelphia?

John St. Pierre: He was still the CEO of CertaPro Painters. He actually took a couple years off, went back to the VCO CertaPro Painters. Charlie today is the CEO of California closets, a very large remodeling company down here in the United States. They’re also in Canada as well, I believe at this point. I was kind of okay. Now, what do I do? I have this new opportunity to start fresh, and I actually started a commercial project management company. I had a lot of experience finding contractors with Handyman online, and met a partner who used to work for FujiFilm. And it’s been 14 years of FujiFilm. Fuji at the time was getting away from film, and they were moving to digital. So digital cameras are now coming out to the early  2000 to 2003. You can’t bring your digital camera to Walmart and ask for the four by six prints. You have to take this SD card out of your camera. And what we were doing is we were installing these kiosks in all the Walgreens, Rite Aid, CVS, Walmart, Sam’s clubs so people could bring their digital card, put it into the kiosk and order their prints, and the mini lab would print them and bring them out to you your pictures. And so they had to install 3000 of these across the country. And I said to my partner, Jeff, look, you can get the contract. I can find the contract. I know how to find contracts all across the country. We formed a company called Rhombus Group and started off with a list of 3000 sites to go project manage these installations. Roll the camera 20 years later, JP, that company is now called Brand Point Services was worth $100 million national commercial services provider in the United States and Canada.

JP McAvoy: Amazing. And again, that same growth trajectory creates that value and grows that value. Right, exactly. Now you’re on the 100 million dollar journey, tell us a little of what is involved in the 100 million dollar journey.

John St. Pierre: Yeah, exactly. So I had a book that came out in 2023 called The $100M Journey. I just shared the story of that one company that started off in 2003 is now a 100 million dollar company. But in between all of that, there’s another story. And there’s a story of massive failure. When I started that project management company called Rhombus Group in 2003, I also found myself back in the roots of sports and hockey, and a couple of best friends. I got together and said, why don’t we start this little hobby hockey business where we can bring youth hockey teams over to Europe and do international tours? And guess what? We’ll get free trips to Europe. Wouldn’t that be fun? Let’s put this thing together. It wasn’t really a business, it was more of a hobby. Well, that business started to take off. And we started doing more and more international tours, youth hockey tournaments, Youth Hockey Camps, teams and a whole bunch of different things. And so my project management company was growing, and the sports company was growing at the same click. And then 2008 happened, the great recession. And guess what happened in contracting businesses in 2008. They kind of halt and come to a stop if not a dip. But parents are still spending money on their kids. 

So I woke up in the aftermath of 2008, and the sports company was around a $10 million business, and the project management companies ran a $5 million business. I said, I’m passionate about sports. Let me take this company and keep growing it. Came up with an aggressive plan to grow that company from 10 million to 100 million in five years. A lot of stories in between that, but at the crux of it. That’s what I wanted to do. Let me build one of the largest US sports companies in the world. And we started growing, and we started acquiring. We acquired 14 other sporting businesses. We brought on investors, we started to keep building the business, and we grew that business to worth $50 million in global revenues. And we were ready to bring on another round of capital. We brought in around $20 million of capital. And six months later, I was fired. And that’s after 15 years of building this business. I put myself in extremely vulnerable positions, and was terminated from the company that I had co-founded. It was my love dream and passion, it was the culture and business I always dreamed of having with all my best friends in it, and I lost it all. And it was in that moment of failure and picking myself back off the ground, looked over to my left and saw the little engine, that contracting company that was still a small business. I said, you know what? I got to synthesize these learnings. What did I learn introspectively through this experience, apply those learnings to that business and see if I can get this to work. We subsequently grew that company from 5 million to worth 100 million the right way.

JP McAvoy: So interesting. You see the right way as well because you’re on track with the previous. I’ve had countless founders that have one way or another X. It had or been exited from their baby right from the company that created it. That’s another whole topic. That’s another whole conversation. Obviously, through hard work, but also know how to be able to grow a number of businesses that way. So what are some of the lessons or some of those things that you say you learned from the first that you were able to apply to the second to get to that 100 million plus?

John St. Pierre: A lot of entrepreneurs can grow. And so in my mindset when I was growing, the scores were coming, grow, grow, grow. I was growing for the sake of growing, I just knew I could sell, I knew I could go acquire. I knew I could build a team. I knew I could do all those different things. And I was just going hard and fast. But there’s a lot of essential elements that I was omitting. And so in the book behind me on our journey, it’s like what seven principles of entrepreneurial success, I’ll just rattle them off and you tell me which ones connect. Principle one is protect and grow your equity at all costs. Principle two is build your own capital through operating cash flow of your business. You don’t have to go hand in hand to banks and financiers to get dilute principle one, your equity. 

Principle three, reinvest smartly. Don’t chase shiny objects and run all over the place. Reinvest and grow your operating capital so you can actually protect your equity. So they all kind of go in sequence here. Principle four, build a culture of entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship within your organization. People treat your business as if it’s their own. Principle five, protect the house. There’s a lot of vulnerabilities in running a business. How do you protect every single hole on the boat? Principle six, how do you access owners’ liquidity and tax efficient ways? Keep the maximum amount of cash flow in your business to continue to grow without needing investors to grow. And principle seven, how do you move from CEO to chairperson so you can do the thing that everybody always tells you to. They always tell you to work on your business, not in your business, John. And like, how do I do that? I’m working 80 hours a week. I’m totally stressed, I don’t have time to do that. How do you move from CEO to chairperson? You can be more strategic about the growth of your business. So those are seven principles that I learned that I failed miserably in scenario A. I applied to the business in scenario B, and within a short period of time was able to grow a business, I said the right way.

JP McAvoy: Powerful. And your seven principles are really different from a lot of the principles that a lot of entrepreneurs would put as the key principles, although I have to think that you’ve hit it on the head, and that we’re talking about business here. And I think what you’re focused on is for profit business. It begins with the capital. It begins with the cash. And it sounds like that’s something obvious through the years, as you sought investments and tried to grow companies the importance of having that cash, but you’ve got a different perspective with it. I guess, maybe you’re in a different paradigm with it. Can you explain more about what that looks like? Because it’s part of the first few principles you discuss or actually runs all the way through the thinking that you’ve put into the book.

John St. Pierre: Certainly from a law perspective, how many times do you see partnerships fail a lot? And a lot of those times, they don’t have clear operating agreements or no good buy and sell agreements. They just decided to marry each other and go into business together. 50/50 to realize years later, they don’t even like each other. Business is like a marriage. As confident as I was to grow things. I never really started a business myself. I was brought onboard. Hey, come on, let’s go do that. We’ll do a third or 50/50 a year. Why? I lacked the confidence, I didn’t have the capital. Whatever the reasons were, we put ourselves in these positions only to find ourselves years later trying to unwind these particular situations. But the way you’re going to monetize and build wealth for yourself and your family, and really build something you truly love and adore is through this thing called equity. And how do you protect and grow that equity over time. And in this scenario of success. 

I actually started off as a 25% partner in that business back in 2003. But over time, I bought more equity in the business, bought partners that I want to have a majority control and ownership in the business. Whereas in the other scenario of failure, I started off as 33%. And today, I got fired. I own 8.37% of the company I co-founded. My vision, my baby, my everything. I glamorized, we just raised $20 million capital. Look how cool we are. So we glamorize the wrong thing as entrepreneurs. I’d much rather own 100% of a $10 million business than 10% of $100 million business. Because I know I’m in control of my own destiny. I can build something for the long haul. And that’s a piece that really, although I went to accounting school, although I had a lot of mentors, I learned from a lot of entrepreneurs and read books, and I totally missed the concept and principle on how to protect your own equity. Building your own cash out of your business, and being very frugal and earning your own net operating cash flow so you can reinvest in your business is a lot better than going to put a bank down on your business, bringing investors in and getting diluted. All those kinds of things.

JP McAvoy: I think it’s important what you said. And as a lawyer, I’m not sure everybody listening does, that equity is so important. It’s so expensive, initially, when you talk about the 50/50, or a third, a third, third, and then to just give it away or not give it away, but to turn it over to investors. You do that very wisely and sensitive to the value of that equity if you’re gonna grow the company the way you just described. If you are going to try and grow with a company from 10 to $100 million? Well, that equity initially is gonna be very, very expensive equity. And so as you deal with those initial partners, you won’t have a good sharing agreement. You want a good operating agreement to describe what the respective rights and obligations are to describe what happens if things go wrong. That’s the important thing. I often describe them as an operating manual for the owners of the company so they can understand what is to occur with it. I’m presuming that you didn’t have very good ones to begin with, and you’re now focused on ensuring that as you build companies, you put proper paperwork in place. Is that a fair statement?

John St. Pierre: Yeah. At some point, there’s a bunch of different things that you said that tie into each other. I do think entrepreneurs give away equity way too, and give it away as a big word. Maybe not to investors, you can’t say they’re giving it away. But let me tell you about this owner, say, hey, come work for me. I’m gonna give you 10% of the business. They don’t even think about the terminal value of that 10%. They just think, oh, I want to really attract GPU to my business. I’m gonna give you equity. They do that, they don’t think well, the terminal value of it. But then on the investor front, or the operating agreement front, to the question you just asked, all these times I drafted operating agreements, all of the times, buy sell agreements are everything. I had a corporate attorney who would assist me with them, but I never had my own attorney looking for my insurance perspective. 

From my perspective, I didn’t understand the difference. What do you mean? The corporate attorney, I’m the one working with a corporate attorney. They would say, yeah, I understand that the corporate attorney is looking for the business’s interest, but who’s looking at your interest? I don’t need to do that. The corporate attorneys are gonna do that, as an example. And so we would go into these sophisticated investor situations where the investors had their attorney, and we had our business attorney, but there was no John attorney in the room taking care of my stuff. I was penny wise and dollar foolish. It was like, well, I don’t have to pay for my own attorney to do that. I don’t need that. Well, guess what? After 15 years of growing and coming to worth $50 million, I lost everything because I didn’t protect myself. I really did not protect myself. A really good friend of mine, he’s the CEO and owner of Handyman Connection and another franchise driven in the United States. He would always tell me, John, you always have to go into these agreements with the end in mind. You always gotta protect yourself in every agreement at all times. And by the way, he had told me this well before these situations happened. But until it happens to you, you kind of brushed it off a little bit. That’s never gonna happen to me, I got this thing. And you have this era of overconfidence not protecting yourself that you’re your own counsel for you. Anytime you’re dealing with a business agreement is something that I have completely changed.

JP McAvoy: Again, there’ll be people listening that miss the essence of what you just described because of corporate attorneys working for the company, it’s important for business owners to have at least independent thought on their behalf, independent advisors on behalf if not an attorney looking out. As you say, for their interest as well because things can go wrong, or things can go sideways. And so it’s important to think through those scenarios and have some thought given to what will occur as each of those does. You describe the growth, you describe to awake. Something outside of the control of the business owners impacts the business, then what happens? You got to bring capital. What does that look like? And then how do you navigate the new circumstances? You’re obviously in a spot now where you’re describing or making sure that other people understand the principles at hand as well, what lies in the future? What are you building now? What projects are you working on now?

John St. Pierre: Yeah, so I guess on two fronts. Rhombus Group, which is the original brand that we started in 2003 is now formed into a holding company. So I have a holding company with five other small and midsize businesses, including the one we talked about today that I work with the CEOs and mentor, the CEOs and presidents of those companies to continue to grow. And I’m the chairperson of those businesses as my own commercial interest there. I spend a lot of time coaching and mentoring entrepreneurs, a lot of them in that 5 to $20 million range. They have been in business for 10 plus years, they have a vision of growing 5x or 10x in their company in the future. But I don’t want them to make the same mistakes I’ve made. Part of my mission right now in life is to help entrepreneurs build the business of their dreams without falling off the cliff, without making those catastrophic mistakes that you make when you’re trying to go from a lifestyle business to a high performance business. It’s very rocky terrain, and there’s a lot of vultures there. And it’s a very dangerous area that you can find yourself losing the business you put your heart and soul into. And so I’m really on a mission to help entrepreneurs protect that and coaching along the way.

JP McAvoy: You’ve been there, you’ve done that. How do you get compensated for that? What does your involvement look like for somebody listening to might be interested in working with you?

John St. Pierre: We do strategic planning meetings with entrepreneurs to lay out a full 10 year strategic plan all the way down on what they should be doing, and we do sessions like that with companies. I do a lot of one-on-one coaching with entrepreneurs that fit specifically that said, and there’s a monthly retainer for that where I work with them on the goals for the business. We lay out the strategic plan and then we’ll work on a three year engagement that hit this B hag that you set for this business, but also protecting you and make sure you don’t veer off course chasing shiny objects, or bringing on investors, or taking on debt, how do we do it the right way and create net operating cash flow on this business. So do it through those mechanisms. I provide a lot of content and tools from the book. I have a free workbook. You can download it You can go download, I’ve got like 10,000 hours plus valuable tools, and there’s financial templates and things that I’ve used in my businesses you can go download and use yourself, or even book a free consultation. I’ll walk you through how to use those tools for your business, if that’s of any assistance.

JP McAvoy: Great. And sounds like it, John, as you described, it even seems to go back to some of the principles that we were learning back in the college pro days, which makes sense. There are good business principles, they’re being taught a lot of business owners. Kimbal and I have still talked about some of the things we learned there and how it relates to some of the things that we even continue to do to this day. Sounds like the same things actually occurred for you. You’re able to leverage that along all the other lessons you’ve learned along the way.

John St. Pierre: In the first part of the book, I talk about my entrepreneurial journey and story as a teenager, and I spent a couple of chapters on that college experience. And actually, all the things I learned through massive turmoil and failure, how I’m going to pay my painters on Friday. I had to borrow money from my father to cover a bill for one week, and I never learned from my father and the loan agreement he put in place for me and all those financial tools. (inaudible) is foundational to that growth, success, learnings and something that I truly cherish.

JP McAvoy: That’s fantastic stuff. And so you’ve got it all online. Now, what was the name of the URL again, if you can just say it for people.

John St. Pierre: It’s

JP McAvoy: You’re obviously working on this and lots of other sides of interest. We were talking about before we hit record here some of the other things that you’re involved with as well. We’re getting a lot of conversations now and people looking at where business is going or where the future of things are. A lot of questions about AI, Crypto, all these types of things. What types of way do you play in those spaces as well?

John St. Pierre: As a mentor and Coach entrepreneurs, I’m always trying to sharpen my saw. So listen to a lot of content on YouTube, you’re meeting with a lot of professionals. I have a podcast as well called Entrepreneurs United Podcast. We bring in a lot of professionals, these different areas like you. It’s just always sharpening our saw. It’s part of what is so powerful. Last year, we had an event in Austin, Texas. We had Dr. Luke Wilson who’s an AI specialist down there to come and talk to all our entrepreneurs about how this AI thing is changing business, and how it can help you increase your operational efficiencies at the end of the day to produce, and how that opens up other avenues. So from an AI perspective, the tools that are out there, I think there’s a lot of gamesmanship around that. And there’s a lot of marketing tools out there who are really starting to find different ways to use the technology to increase operational efficiencies within our current teams so they can do more. And I think operational productivity is a major source of margin development. So we’re looking at a lot of tools in that area. You see a lot of tools. We’re on, and have been for 20 years. All the AI being integrated. They’re integrated in the Google suite and a whole bunch of different areas. And if you don’t have somebody in your business that’s kind of your czar, if you will, to kind of try and find these little opportunities like something as silly as put your employee handbook in a tool that people can query and ask questions to find out the answers versus emailing the HR person, right? There’s a lot of small tools like that that are happening. And yeah, Blockchain technology and Crypto, that’s a whole different story, but doing the same in that area as well.

JP McAvoy: Let’s start with the first, because you’re so right. As we discuss AI, people need to be aware. I think we’re all now abundantly aware that it’s going to change everything. It’s in the process of changing things. And the way that I think that we’re focused on right now is to leverage it. Everyone’s discussing, what are the tools? What are the best tools? The most effective tools? How can we leverage them for whatever purpose, for whatever goal we’re working towards? You mentioned Salesforce. Obviously, the Google suite of products that are evolving. What are the types of tools you see there have been affected to this point to use? And what do you see the future of those?

John St. Pierre: I developed the top 10 tools for entrepreneurs that I had researched that I thought were fantastic beyond the normal Chat GPT. And one tool that our team seems to be really subscribing to and loving is a tool called Scribe. And Scribe is a tool where you can actually go on to your computer and go through the steps of how to do something and it automatically creates the SOP manual for you automatically. Here’s how you do this step. All you have to do is go click around your buttons and actually do the steps yourself. And our team just absolutely loves that. Because you’ll go to your team and say, hey, we got to develop 100 SOPs for the SOPs that we’re doing. And 10 months later, I’m on the 10th one, trying to get this approved by everybody. So the creation of SOPs digitally and automatically through your clicks is a massive tool that we really think can move things. I mentioned Cody AI, I hadn’t mentioned its name, but Cody AI is the one working, get trained on your particular documents. You can ask question pins and sub your own internal chat bot for questions. I think it’s a great tool for HR type compliance. You put in your employee handbook, you put your health and medical benefit plan and you can literally ask, hey, what’s my copay for this particular situation? It’ll answer the question. Because how many times you have to go through this 100 page manual to figure out what your PTO time is, or whatever’s going on. And there’s a lot of tools where we are testing, I won’t mention Chat GPT, but I’ll take it to another level. There’s Chat GPT teams now, we can actually train the model on your own information. And some of the things we’re trying to do is take a lot of our data and put it into it to figure out what we can query on our own. We’re trying to figure out these complicated reports and different things. So those are three off the top of my head that I know our team is experimenting with and using.

JP McAvoy: Really powerful stuff. Thanks for that, John, great examples. And so people need to be aware, and again, continuing to scour like you say, what’s occurring. Constantly people complain that as soon as you decide to work with soldering the way you’re gonna go, the rules change, or the technology changes. It’s just important to make sure that you’re continuing to scour and continue to be on the forefront of this because it is going to continue to change what we are seeing. And then let’s just discuss that to say that intersection between Crypto and AI as well, are you seeing any projects that are grabbing your attention there?

John St. Pierre: The AI part, I find fascinating. I’ve been following it for a few years. I went through the current cycle that we’re coming out of, I guess, it really from a side that had to really evaluate what is my interest in the space because I did chase some coins and some different things, what was going on Saturday live, and I played a little bit of those games. And at the root of it where I come out on, if I don’t understand it, I don’t know if I want to be in it. I’m not a day trader. So go where I understand and I understand functionality. So I’m a big Aetherium fan, the big link, chain link fan where I think there’s going to be long term application to these particular tools. Apple is using Google in their vision, a lot of tools like that. So I do believe that those projects that have long term viability, and I can see exactly how it’s going to work are of interest to me. Certainly Bitcoin, I’m invested there from a store of value perspective, but I don’t necessarily see the application. But I view it as the gold piece. I’m subscribing to that piece. But there’s a lot of tools now. You just hear these things like this coin and that coin. I advise people to stay away from that unless you’re day trading, and you’re just trying to figure out a hot ticket. That’s high risk, high reward and not a game I want to play in.

JP McAvoy: Memecoin and that game is just a game. You need to be immersed in it and watch the latest of it cause it’s gonna go quickly as well. It’s not really investing, that’s just gambling. But what you’re describing is, and I think it’s possible to invest in Crypto, I think as you just described there now, there’s certainly an investment thesis. And then there’s the fundamentals, right? Where are things going? What’s the next application? Or whether the next way you’re going? I think it’s gonna be important to consider where things are stored, and how things are going to be interconnected with each other. A lot of it’s being built on a theory, as we know. I don’t think that’s going away anytime soon. And I guess from there, it’s a question of, how is it going to be adopted next, or I guess made use or more usable? Next, you’re looking at layer two, is there any like that on the Aetherium side of things?

John St. Pierre: Not really. They just keep coming out left and right. I remember looking at a few of them a couple of years ago. And to that point, if you’re not day trading these or you’re not gambling, knowing when to get into these projects is really, really important. And knowing how to dollar cost average into stuff that you really like is really, really, really important. A lot of people don’t understand that they may see the buzz of Bitcoin today and go put a ton of dough into it. They don’t want to miss the train, as opposed to taking 150 of what they put in today, and put it in every week, or put it in every month and just put it over a period of time, and understand the value of dollar cost averaging, probably one of the biggest myths for retail investors. If you’re not an expert in this area, take your time to understand what you’re investing in. And dollar cost averaging will protect yourself one way.

JP McAvoy: Yes, a good investment. There is a way to invest, obviously, with a much better way of managing because people are always trying to time too high, time too low. I think that’s proven to be a fruitless exercise. So yeah, that’s certainly through the power of dollar cost averaging. Why Link has so many legs in the future?

John St. Pierre: Well, I think it’s the repository of information that everybody’s going to have to pay for to get access to. And I kind of look at it as it may not be a great analogy. But if you think about database management, where does all this data have transactions and where’s all this going? And Link is proven to be a leader in that space and continues to have entries in all of these major projects where they become the repository of that data. There’s another one with, Solana is another project that I like substantially, but the name escapes me. But they’re kind of like the file repository where everything’s kind of going as data just keeps coming, and the transaction layers keep coming in. Because every transaction is stored forever, it needs to be accessible by all these different chains, as you mentioned. And so that has to be a central repository. And Link has done a really good job of that. And they’ve just been that steady, consistent player with functionality that I think over the long haul has a chance to win. But it’s a different game. It’s playing a different game than some of these ones that have 100x, I see them more as a more stable Crypto project.

JP McAvoy: They’re building that infrastructure to bring the real world on chains. And they seem to be getting some traction with it. What about some of these more AI plays that we’re hearing now. I’ve come across anything or even looked at things like Render, Tensor or things like that?

John St. Pierre: By the way, Render are two that I may have miscommunicated. Render is the one that’s doing the visual image, sorry, our weave is actually the storage repository for Solana. So I had those two, both of those projects I love. So for that part I love was the other one that you had mentioned.

JP McAvoy: I think it’s trying to do a combination of those things. And I think earlier stages, and so some people are saying, looking for the fundamentals and the solution providers. And I think you’ve named a number of the ones that are trying to create the solutions that we think are going to be recorded. It’s storage, rendering, blinking things. Because the power of the Blockchain, I think, is going to be empowered by AI. We talked about our businesses being powered by AI, I think the same thing is going to apply to those operating in the Blockchain space. And at the same time, we’re gonna see all kinds of noise. You described the Memecoins and all these things, there’s a lot of noise, and people take advantage of those things. Especially the retail losses. So again, part of scouring or making sure that you understand what’s going on is asking these types of questions, listening to these types of shows, and giving yourself the most knowledge you possibly can and making the best possible decisions. So what did things look like in five years from now? This is the question I put to most. Because again, it says all that anecdotal. We’re just trying to determine what the future is gonna look like. I think by talking about it, we actually helped create that. What are things look like in five years from now, John?

John St. Pierre: And I’m assuming you’re talking about globally and not just my particular businesses. I think from the perspective of what you just talked about, the merger of blockchain and AI technologies are all going to come together. Crypto currency is kind of another side product of tokenization of Blockchain. So if you think about Blockchain AI, that’s all coming together. And I truly believe, and I’m gonna speak to small business entrepreneurs because it’s the area that I’ll play in here. As a small to medium size entrepreneur, you mentioned this, or you need to have somebody in your business, it’s understanding where the puck is going to use a hockey analogy and continually researching it. Because if you have your head in the sand, and think what you’ve been doing for the last 10 years is going to be good for the next 10. You’re missing incredible opportunities to grow your business substantially. Use these tools to create higher margins. You can reinvest in your business, not dilute your equity by building your own net operating cash flow. But if you’re missing the boat on how to increase your margin operational efficiencies of how these tools are all going to come together, don’t fall asleep too long because then your competitors who do figure it out will eat your lunch. So you really have to be highly focused as a small unit size, business entrepreneurs see where that’s going and see how it can actually help implement into your business in a functional way. There’s a lot of marketing tools as an example, JP, that a lot of from Opus Clip to digital tools for social media marketing, and a whole bunch of different things on the marketing side. But I think a lot of entrepreneurs are really struggling to figure out, okay, how do I increase my operating margins through these tools? That’s really gonna need to be researched in the next five years and figure it out in your business.

JP McAvoy: That’s well said, and things aren’t going to change so dramatically in the next five years. Marketing 2030 is being the timeframe where we’re looking at a whole new world. And so we’re on our way there, John. Appreciate your time here today and the way that you’ve given us some way to focus on that, some of the principles you discussed are really important. I got it all in your book. And you mentioned that the best way to get in touch with you from there, I’d like to end the shows with one thing or maybe something that’s worked for you in the past that you could pass on to others to take with them through the rest of the day, through the rest of the week after that.

John St. Pierre: The one message that I had to learn the hard way, but it’s now something I preach to everybody that will listen, have patient ambition.

JP McAvoy: I like that. Patient ambition.

John St. Pierre: Even where things are going for the next five years, stay healthy for the next five years. You may live forever. There’s so many things going on in this world, but be patient. We have a long road ahead. A lot of times as entrepreneurs as business people, we want to do things right away. We want instant gratification right away. If you don’t have to be very ambitious but have the patience to take your time, plan things out correctly and build foundational blocks, keep building, and building, and building and have the grit to persevere through the things just like we did in our college days. We didn’t have patients, we just were ambitious. If you have the patient ambition to persevere and build through these times, you will be rewarded.

JP McAvoy: Thanks very much, John. Appreciate having you on the show. I look forward to next time.