Mike Calhoun

The Anatomy of an Idea

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Mike Calhoun is the Founder and CEO of Board of Advisors, a community for founders, entrepreneurs, CEOs, investors, marketers, e-commerce moguls, business developers, and high-level decision-makers. True to Mike’s mission, Board of Advisors is made up of people dedicated to helping each other elevate their success. 

Mike is also an advisor, owner, and investor in multiple companies. He has worked with numerous products, platforms, and services from the US to Australia, creating successful, revenue-generating, real-world brands and businesses. Mike has a gift for creating opportunities to connect people and cultivating synergistic relationships.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • Mike Calhoun explains why and how anyone can come up with a great idea
  • The value of sharing an idea with a trusted person
  • How often does Rich Goldstein see bad ideas from inventors and how does he support and guide them?
  • Mike talks about his desire to start a podcast and the benefits of connecting with like-minded people
  • Some of the great ideas Mike has seen from his members and how he helps bring out the best in their innovations
  • Where to learn more and get in touch with Mike

In this episode…

Anybody can have a great idea. However, there are some key things innovators have to think about when planning to take their ideas to the next level. Here’s a helpful hint: nobody can do everything on their own. 

The process of innovation involves many players, not just the inventor. Not only do you need to have a great idea, but you also need to connect with the right people to accomplish your goals. That’s why Mike Calhoun believes that relationships build the foundation for elevating your success.

Mike Calhoun, the Founder and CEO of Board of Advisors, is Rich Goldstein’s guest in this episode of the Innovations and Breakthroughs Podcast, where they discuss the anatomy of an idea. They also talk about the value of connecting with like-minded people, the percentage of bad ideas Rich sees from inventors, and why you should share your idea with a trusted person. Stay tuned.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by Goldstein Patent Law, a firm that helps protect inventors’ ideas and products. They have advised and obtained patents for thousands of companies over the past 25 years. So if you’re a company that has a software, product, or design you want protected, you can go to https://goldsteinpatentlaw.com/. They have amazing free resources for learning more about the patent process. 

You can email their team at welcome@goldsteinpc.com to explore if it’s a match to work together. Rich Goldstein has also written a book for the American Bar Association that explains in plain English how patents work, which is called ‘The ABA Consumer Guide to Obtaining a Patent.’

Intro (00:09):
Welcome to innovations and breakthroughs with your host, Rich Goldstein, talking about the evolutionary, the revolutionary, the inspiration and the perspiration and those aha that change everything. And now here’s your host, Rich Goldstein.

Rich (00:33):
Rich Goldstein here, host of the innovations and breakthroughs podcast. Why featured top leaders in the path they took to create change past guests include Joe Polish, Ryan dice, and Roland Fraser. This episode is brought to you by my company, Goldstein patent law, where we help you to protect your ideas and products. We’ve advised and obtained patents for thousands of companies over the past 28 years. So if you’re a company that has software or product or design, you want protected go to Goldstein patent law.com, where there are amazing free re sources for learning about the patent process. And you could also go to welcome@goldsteinpc.com to explore if it’s a match to work together. You could also check out the book I wrote for the American bar association that explains in plain English, how patents work it’s called the ABA consumer guy to obtaining a patent. I have with me here today. Mike Calhoun, Mike is the founder and CEO of board of advisors where he’s established a global community of founders, entrepreneurs, CEOs, investors, marketers, and e-commerce moguls. Mike’s also an advisor owner and investor in, in multiple companies. He’s worked with numerous products, platforms and services from, from here in the us to Australia. Mike truly has a gift for seeing opportunities to connect people and cultivate synergistic relationships. Um, I’m very pleased to welcome back to the program here. Once again, Mike Calhoun welcome Mike.

Mike (01:57):
Oh my God. Rich. I love being here, man. I just like hanging out with you. Uh, in, in the thing I like most is I have a lot of great relationships and big ideas and you can, you can instantly tell me whether they’re good or not. You just have this, this experience and this knack for shooting them down or propping them up.

Rich (02:16):
Yep, exactly. That’s what I do. I either help people or I’m a kill joy. <laugh> one or the other. And I, I love, you know, while I was, uh, starting up the program there, you, you made a little sketch behind you. I see of, uh, of idea, you know, the, the cliche light bulb associated with idea, Mike, but it’s, well,

Mike (02:36):
Everybody, you know what I

Rich (02:37):
Like make it special. You drew it.

Mike (02:39):
Well, you know what I like is anybody, you don’t have to be anything special. You don’t have to have a certain level of income. You don’t have a, have to have any type of certain, uh, experience base. Anybody can have a great idea. Right.

Rich (02:55):
And yeah, and then it’s what you do with it. And then I guess the question is what should you do with it too? Right.

Mike (03:02):
And I think a lot of us have great ideas and, and some of, some of the best resolutions to issues or conflicts or problems are, you know, great ideas. I mean, that’s kind of the, the source of new inventions. It’s the source of resolution. Um, you know, the, the creative spirit that is just part of being a human being kind of starts with the, the, the mind and the ability to kind of see it in your mind before it even really exists.

Rich (03:34):
Yeah. It’s like problem solution. It’s like the, the problem creates the leverage, you know, creates the, the need, creates the urgency, right. To create an idea. It’s like, you’re like, ah, I’m just suffering through this, whatever, what can I do about it? And then comes the idea

Mike (03:51):
Well, too. And when you do have a great idea, what’s funny is we always go to those that it, we think we trust, right. Cuz we wanna know, is it good? Or do we just think it’s good, but if it’s too good, are they gonna run with it? You know what I mean? So it’s kind of like, you, you can’t, you kinda start to figure out who do I really trust? Who could I tell about this to verify, but then they’re not gonna take it from me. And I always think of rich Goldstein. I mean, quite frankly,

Rich (04:23):
<laugh> yeah, that’s true. Um, um, I’m not gonna take it from you. You can trust me. Um, and you know, I think over the years I’ve developed some type of eye for ideas and giving some useful feedback. So you, you may be right. Probably you,

Mike (04:41):
My question to rich is this rich, is this gonna make me rich?

Rich (04:48):
Rich, is this gonna make me rich?

Mike (04:51):
And then I’ll share the idea with you. Rich is this gold steam? <laugh> I don’t know. These are, come on, man. These are just, Hey, you

Rich (04:59):
Know, I’m,

Mike (05:00):
I’m having fun today. I’m having fun. Yeah.

Rich (05:02):
Well, you know, you should have fun every day. You know, there’s no reason for us to not have fun. We’re having in, in having a conversation about what you do with an idea. Right.

Mike (05:11):
Well, and, and, and we all have them, but we qualify ’em with our trusted relationships and it kind of comes down to what do we do with it? Like I think more ID is die. Just nobody follows through, or we just forget about ’em. But you know, having the idea is fun, but it’s what do you do with it? Right, exactly. The work comes in. Yeah. The work comes in after the fact. And what I know a lot of people do is they have a great idea they’ve they <inaudible> validate with trusted resources and then they start working on it. But what they miss is the protection.

Rich (05:50):
That’s true because

Mike (05:52):
You are doing the work of validation and proof casing and creating that product, showcasing it, show, you know, figuring out how to actually sell it or offer it. And then somebody goes, Hey, that is a great idea. They didn’t protect it. I’d like to do the same thing. Right. So ideas can be very profitable and they can waste a lot of time. Um, I, I think what you you’re doing in the industry is actually a pretty cool, it’s a pro it’s a fun job. You get to hear everybody’s creative thoughts, and then you can kind of tell ’em really how good they are. And then when they’re great, you get to work with them. You’ve actually strategically put yourself in the epicenter of great ideas. That’s what I love about you.

Rich (06:39):
Yeah. Thank you. Thank you. I, I, I, I guess I’ve never really thought,

Mike (06:43):
Was that your idea rich

Rich (06:44):
What’s that

Mike (06:46):
Was that your idea to do that,

Rich (06:48):
To put myself in the epicenter of,

Mike (06:51):
Of the great idea,

Rich (06:52):
Those ideas? Yeah, I guess it was, it was my idea. I didn’t, I, I didn’t realize that’s what I was doing, but it, it makes a lot of sense because I love ideas. I mean, I love inspiration. I, I have a lot of ideas for things and, uh, you know, through my life, I’ve always had people around me that tend to help ground me into, um, you know, taking action on the right ideas. Um, but, but yeah, I, I love ideas and, and I love being in the center of that. So thanks for noticing that, Mike, I mean, I think

Mike (07:27):
Like, you know, what I also noticed

Rich (07:29):
Make me really like my life at the moment. <laugh>

Mike (07:32):
Well, you’ve been out, you’ve been on, uh, a little, uh, traveling. You, you, you got a great tan, you look amazing. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, uh, but here’s what I’m actually thinking about. Most ideas suck. If you wanna be just real, right. I mean really a lot of ideas. Aren’t great ideas. They’re, they’re bad ideas. That’s a bad idea. I saw a t-shirt the other day with another BA member. It was a RJ Pilan it said bad. Uh, that’s a bad idea I’m in, right. Like, you know, kind of a, a joke, but a lot of people have, um, ideas that aren’t so great. What would you say in the, um, aspect of your world, people bringing you ideas and concepts that they might want to begin to protect, what would you say is the ratio of good to bad? Like how many, a percentage, how many are really good? How many do you shoot down and ruin people’s days.

Rich (08:29):
Oh, okay. Well look, I never shoot them down and ruin their days. I, I, I, I’ve learned how to give constructive feedback to, to help them see the other side of it. Like, I, I, I, you know, and, and I think that’s one of the things that people are afraid of and that they don’t move forward is they’re afraid that, you know, they’re gonna get laughed at right. But like, I will point out to them where it, there might be better solutions. Right. You know, that then their idea to, to the problem or ways in which their solution can’t won’t work. And I would say though, probably, you know, one out of five is terrible. Um, one out of five is maybe, you know, maybe one of five, one of 10 or is very good. And then the, the, the ones in the middle are mediocre. They have potential, like you’re onto something, but this might not be the best solution. Like, like maybe

Mike (09:26):
I like

Rich (09:27):
That more.

Mike (09:28):
And that’s actually where a lot of ’em fall is the you’re onto something. And that’s where, yeah. The strategy comes into play. You’re onto something, but it’s gonna require you to do this, this and this cuz very rarely is there that unicorn, oh, nobody’s thought of that yet. That’s amazing. You should do it. You know, it’s, that’s good. You’re onto something, but the strategy comes into categorization. What do you do first, second or third? Like, what are we gonna do with it? Right. Um, you, I mean, for, in your scenario, a lot of that guidance is involved with your client, but then you’ve gotta have some sort of a support mechanism or network to help those ideas flourish. What does that look like?

Rich (10:14):
Yeah. I mean, what it could look like is a group of people that get together four times a year in Sarasota, Florida to, uh, you know, to meet other like-minded business people. And, uh, uh, you know, I just, I, since you teed up, I had to go there. Right. <laugh> but, but I,

Mike (10:31):
You guys a golfer

Rich (10:32):
Seriously though. I, I think the, you know, the Joe was describing your group right. Um, in, in there, but, but the, but the idea and really the kernel of it is you gotta get to know people. You gotta get to know people that are like-minded and also people that have resources that you don’t have. Um, you can’t do it alone. Relationship is the foundation of accomplishment. You, you need to be in relationship with people that can do the things that you don’t

Mike (11:01):
Do. I really like that. I really like that. Yeah. Relationship is the foundation. Relationships are the foundation of accomplishment. That was good.

Rich (11:12):
Yeah. Thank you. I,

Mike (11:14):
I almost feel like I might not need to say anything else on this podcast just because that was so good. I mean like, okay, that’s it. I’m gonna write,

Rich (11:23):
That’s like a mic drop moment. Mic drop. It is <laugh>

Mike (11:28):
You, you, you know, I, uh, bought Mike drop.com.

Rich (11:31):
Did you,

Mike (11:33):
Mike, as in, I K a E drop, I was gonna do a podcast, mic drop.com and then I was gonna put you on. I see. I’ve never had my own podcast. I’d jump on others, but, uh, I think I should try my own at some point. Is that a good idea?

Rich (11:48):
I think you should. Yeah, no, absolutely. Well, look, the, the, and the thing that makes it a, um, a good idea is that you are good at, um, at relating to people talking with people and, and, and crap, you turn this around from an interview on you to an interview on me. So

Mike (12:04):
Well, because realistically rich, I believe

Rich (12:07):

Mike (12:08):
I believe that relationships are the foundation of accomplishment and all I’m trying to do here is build a better relationship with you. Yeah.

Rich (12:14):

Mike (12:15):
And how that works. I got it inserted right into the mix.

Rich (12:18):
You’re you’re a natural, you’re a natural. So yes, I say, do that podcast, mic drop.com. Drop that mic. Well, pick up the mic first and start the podcast. Then you could drive, then you could drop the mic.

Mike (12:33):
You know, I remember we were doing one of our first events and we had just invested in like really, really good mics, right. The wireless sander, I don’t know. They’re like 1995, you know, $2,000 a piece.

Rich (12:49):

Mike (12:49):
And somebody does the mic drop and I’m like, you know what I mean? Oh. But it was totally fine.

Rich (12:58):
Pop, pop mics are people that have never purchased a microphone. <laugh>

Mike (13:02):
I was just thinking the same thing. They obviously have never purchased a microphone. Um, now, and I think part of the fun is just getting to go. There you go. Yeah. Um, part of the, the fun thing together as entrepreneurs and just individuals, that’s just part of shooting the breeze, right? Talking about things, shooting your ideas across the bows of your buddies. Um, and, and, um, and having a little bit of fun. Uh, I, I, we have seen, if you wanna talk about some cool stuff, we have seen some really great eight ideas come to the table. Um, the, the bat mug with Chris dinner was one of the, just yep. Most simple ideas that I, I can’t believe why didn’t we think of that from zero to like 22 million? I think it was last year in sales by just taking a bat mug, cutting, cutting a baseball in, uh, bat off at the end, walling out the center and throwing some, some baseball brands, you know, on the outside and graving baseball, uh, logos on the outside of it.

Rich (14:04):
You know, what’s funny about that wildfire, you know, what’s funny about that as you mentioned that. So I, I had Chris dinner on the podcast. This is like, I guess a bit over a month ago and where, and you know where to talking about that. And we’re talking about dugout mugs, the company that he created. And after the podcast, you know, he’s telling me how they’re doing so many giveaway items for different, like large corporations that are branding the mugs and, and giving it out to their people and, and at events. And I’m like, oh, wait a second. I’ve got an event next week in Las Vegas where I’m gonna have lots of people and I’ve got sponsors. And just instantly we hatched the idea of, of giving out the dugout mugs at my event. And, um, and I was like, well, wait a second, a few days away.

Rich (14:49):
Is it possible? And he is like, let me get on with my team and see, and he did, we, he created the mugs that they looked awesome. It said prosper after party. And it had all of our logos on it engraved into the mug and he, and he shipped them out to me in Las Vegas. Um, like, you know, he, he got them done in 12 hours and shipped them out. Um, so I had them in time for the party and they were awesome. And, you know, again, it was that, that was, it’s funny that you mentioned it because I didn’t even tell you that that had gone on that. We, we got, uh, Chris’ dugout mode. Well,

Mike (15:23):
You honestly, the reason I do what I do is I love the, that right there. The thing that makes the, the thing that satisfies me now, I, you know, obviously I like, you know, nice things and I, you know, like nice experiences, but I, I like to work and just, it sounds boring, but for me, I like it. I enjoy it. And what makes me most happy is what you just did. You did something with a member you’re being involved in BA obviously. That’s cool. It’s great. But I love the fact that you’re doing things with members there’s value for him. There there’s value for you. There there’s, um, a level of reward for me to see that we propped up that company. It became a success. And now it’s bring, you know, the ripple effect of bringing Val it’s. I just love the ripple.

Rich (16:17):
It it’s synergy. Right. And, and also it’s like as a connector, which you clearly are. Um, and so am I, you enjoy connecting people. Like, that’s what you, you, you just like when you connect people and that creates value, like you create value over there. Like that’s, first of all, it’s, it’s very satisfying, but it’s also high leverage. It’s like, when you can just, well, make a connection that then creates all this other value in the world without too much effort on your part. That’s leverage

Mike (16:46):
Here, here’s here. If we wanna really put a highlighter on the topic of this call, which is, you know, ideas. Right, right. What I believe that I’ve, I’ve kind of mastered, not blowing smoke up my own skirt, but just how I think I can bring the best value. Right. Is you have, you know, person a and person B and seeing their competencies and understanding the them, you know, what do they want? What do they working so hard at many times we’re working so hard. We can’t see the forest for the trees, but in as a connector, as you’re talking about in that connection, not only putting them together, because that naturally has a tendency to fall apart just naturally like, okay, great. I met somebody boom, back to my world, but getting it to stick and you know, what makes it stick rich? The idea that I insert that they can’t see because they’re too busy. Right. So, Hey, rich, you should talk to Sally over here about X, Y, and Z. Do you see how that comes together? And then you go, oh my gosh, that’s a great idea. I do see how that comes together. And then you’re now discussing this idea of what could be possible together. And then I just get out of the way, right?

Rich (18:05):
Yeah. So you like, it’s like the movie inception, you’re like lean auto Caprio. You implanted an idea that then grew, right.

Mike (18:13):
Well, I love the way you put it. Cause I was thinking more about throwing mud at walls and it’s sticking, but you, the way you put it is

Rich (18:20):
I meet you with Del the Caprio. How could you go wrong with that? Right,

Mike (18:25):
Man. Sometimes he’s, I mean, he’s a great actor. He really is a great actor. I loved, uh, what was the movie Jordan Belfor with?

Rich (18:35):
Oh, Wolf wall street. Yeah. He

Mike (18:37):
Was so good. Now I know Jordan, right. I actually, uh, you know, am friends with Jordan. Uh, he’s an interesting character, but he played that so well, he just has the ability to embody the character. Yeah. I, I love him.

Rich (18:55):
Yeah, no, absolutely. Well, look, you know, this is fun, you know, we, we just got to kind of, um, um, shoot the about like ideas and, uh, and, um, and how you move it forward, creating relationship. Um, rich, just one thing I wanted to highlight on that too, was like all the stuff we were talking about with regard to relationship, it helps the people in the middle, the three outta five, the, the, the people that are kind of onto something, but maybe don’t have the best solution yet is like, you get to talk with other people you get to learn from others is like you get to find to better fit. And that’s where all the work I think gets to happen is with the people in the middle. It’s not a terrible idea. It’s not the most brilliant solution, but you’re onto something you’ve you you’ve identified the problem. Well, Uh, yep.

Mike (19:44):
Yes. And when you’re under the belief system of relationships or the foundation of accomplishment, see how I keep going back to that like that. Right?

Rich (19:53):
No, that’s good.

Mike (19:55):
Now, if you look at, uh, the 10, you have the one and the 10, one being bad, 10 being good, obviously like you said, one outta 10 is good. One outta 10 is bad, really bad. But at the other eight, usually like you said, there is a strategy or a thing that needs to be done to make it better, to protect it, to enhance it, to prop it up. Right. And usually the identification of it, having that potential, what needs to be done and who they need to interact with to get that done. You know, there’s a, there’s a sequential connection there, right. And that’s where I think you, you do so well within our group of, okay, I’ve qualified it. We’ve given you a little advisement, like what needs to happen next? And here’s the person that can help you do that. That is a, that’s a cradle grave solution, right. When dealing with anyone else when you’re not dealing with rich, I don’t know if I’m gonna get that cradle to grave solution. Right. I’m just gonna get an, an opinion and maybe some direction, but I don’t get the end result. I don’t get all those resources. Rich, dude. I love you, buddy.

Rich (21:14):
I love you too, Mike. And uh, if people wanna learn more about, you’ll get in touch with you, how they go about doing so.

Mike (21:22):
So, um, I would say the best way to do that. First off board of advisors.com is our primary URL. We run the top mastermind in the world. We call it the world’s greatest mastermind for entrepreneurs, CEOs, investors, really decision makers that are trying to do something special and exchange ideas, right? Uh, we are seven years strong go to that URL, poke around. If something like that looks like it would be something that you’re interested in. Then you can reach out to me directly. I have a full-time dedicated staff headquarters studios. We we’ve created something here extremely special. Shoot me an email. mike@boardofadvisors.com. It’s an intimate relationship with the members like rich. We get to not only have a membership, but we get to have a friendship and, uh, there’s a genuine desire to help, but we need to get to know each other a little better first. So just reach out mike@boardofadvisors.com. And, uh, I will see those communications. My team will pick that up and we’ll get something on the calendar and we can have a conversation just like rich. I did right here. And I would actually like to hear their ideas, like what <laugh>, what are some of their ideas for their, their company? What are they trying to accomplish? Because relationships are the foundation for accomplishment, right? That’s a, that, that was a big fat bow right there. Wasn’t it rich.

Rich (22:46):
Yeah, exactly. And I’ll go credit. Um, my, my old friend, Ron buying him for that one, right. He told, he said that to me years ago, and I’m not gonna take credit for being the originator of that, but I, I, I live by it and, uh, um, and, and Mike’s, you’ve got a knack for, um, hearing people’s ideas, um, hearing like what the are up to what the challenge is, and then connecting them with a resource that, um, will help them with that. So that’s part of what I appreciate about you.

Mike (23:20):
Ah, she know my, my big idea long term is I just wanna get paid to party.

Rich (23:26):
<laugh> I love it, ladies,

Mike (23:30):
Gentlemen, if you’re listening.

Rich (23:32):

Mike (23:33):
If you’re listening, that’s an inside joke. I actually don’t party. Um, I, I love the work. Um, I love to do stuff. I like to be productive, but, uh, rich, what’s next? What’s next for us on this podcast? What are we doing? Sometimes the ending is just the beginning.

Rich (23:52):
Yeah. What’s next is that we, we, we leave them wanting the next rich in my conversation, which, which, um, we should do real soon.

Mike (24:00):
This was a very rich conversation.

Rich (24:03):
This was a very, yeah. And, uh, and I think we could drop the mic at that. And, uh, I just want to thank you for, for taking part in this conversation, Mike.

Mike (24:13):
Beautiful. Hey, I’m always short on time because I’m trying to squeeze too many things in, but when rich says let’s jump on and have some fun, dude, I love making it happen. And I’ll see you soon. Uh, Def virtually, yes. Always looking forward to seeing you, uh, seeing you in person, even, even if we’ve gotta do a parachute jump out of the plane while we’re flying over Sarasota, you know, I think there’s ways to make that happen.

Rich (24:40):
Well, it sounds like one of us would be the one on the parachute there, so I could see how you would, would be in favor of that. Um, but yeah. Thanks Mike.

Mike (24:50):
I mean, I’ve been waiting to catch you.

Rich (24:52):
Yeah, I that’s true.

Speaker 4 (24:54):

Mike (24:56):
All right. Big dog. Talk to you soon.

Rich (24:57):
Talk to you soon.

Outro (25:03):
Thanks for listening to innovations and breakthroughs. Your host, Rich Goldstein. Be sure to click, subscribe, check us out on the web at innovationsandbreakthroughs.com and we’ll see you next time.


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