Paul Orfalea - It’s About the Money - [Invest Like the Best, EP.299]
My guest today is Paul Orfalea. Paul founded Kinkos, the popular copy chain, in 1970. He started with a single photocopy shop in California and grew the business into a $2 billion multinational operation over the course of his 30 years in charge. Paul is a non-traditional leader in the best sense and we discuss his philosophy of business building, from why your subordinates should frustrate you, why you shouldn’t love your business and tips he learned on hiring well. Please enjoy this conversation with Paul Orfalea.
Founders podcast on Paul Orfalea.
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[00:02:58 ] - [First question] - What it was like to be a very bad student in highschool
[00:04:22 ] - When he first realized he was unemployable
[00:05:02 ] - The origin story of the very first Kinko’s
[00:07:53 ] - Finding what has worked well in each Kinko’s and coaching managers
[00:11:45 ] - The difference of working on and not in the business
[00:13:57 ] - Why a good salesperson will sell you broke
[00:15:36 ] - Why he teaches, what he teaches, and his teaching style
[00:18:31 ] - Explaining the Federal Reserve in two minutes
[00:21:58 ] - The role of anger in his career and something he’s worked on over time
[00:22:31 ] - Where Kinko’s falls on the spectrum of bad to great businesses
[00:26:18 ] - Lessons learned about using the word employee
[00:27:21 ] - The most clever marketing strategy he ever deployed or designed
[00:27:45 ] - Learning to spread the glory instead of the money
[00:28:30 ] - The state of entrepreneurship today compared to when he started
[00:30:42 ] - What motivated him across his career
[00:31:35 ] - Why being in it for the money seems odd in today’s lens
[00:32:34 ] - Who he most admired or most admires today
[00:32:51 ] - Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman
[00:33:08 ] - Preserving the alignment of integrity and action
[00:34:57 ] - How good he is naturally with numbers and math being dyslexic
[00:38:05 ] - His parents’ impression of him while he was building Kinko’s
[00:39:56 ] - The most interesting person he’s ever worked with at Kinko’s
[00:40:48 ] - What he would have done differently if he started from scratch
[00:41:24 ] - Something that is most underappreciated about the United States
[00:43:00 ] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him
[00:43:57 ] - A big lesson he’s earned in a deeper way that he wishes he could share with others
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