Episode 1: Five Lessons I’ve Learned on My Business & Entrepreneurial Journey

In this initial episode of Inside the Lion’s Den Podcast, I dive into why I am starting the podcast, how I hope it will benefit you and your business, and even where the name of the podcast came from.

In my career, I’ve seen smaller, private companies taking care of their people. And I’ve seen larger corporations taking care of their company. The goal with this podcast is to bridge the gap between the principles and practices of corporate businesses as well as the new ideas and effective strategies that are used by online businesses. 

Inside the Lion’s Den

Did you know there’s no such thing as a lion’s den? Lions live in groups called prides. However, the phrase of “being thrown into the lion’s den” means being put into a dangerous or hostile situation. Sometimes, entering or growing a business can give you a similar feeling. 

My objective is to take you places that may seem scary or unknown in business and provide insights for you. We’ll go on this journey together so that you can learn what I’ve gleaned from my experiences working with successful companies, inside investment management firms, and alongside top business leaders.


My Business Journey

Before you learn from me, I want to share a bit about my own business journey so that you understand what I can offer you.

I entered the world of entrepreneurship around the age of 8. I was buying and selling gum and lollipops from my locker at school. I would trade and sell baseball cards based on what I saw as trends with the players. 

From a young age, I understood what it meant to earn and save money.

Once I hit college, I realized I wanted to go into business as a career. I connected with an investment banker who ended up being one of my mentors. He helped me understand what was available for jobs and roles on Wall Street. He taught me how to network, guided me to helpful books and movies, and also how to make important phone calls.

He taught me to ask, “Is now a good time?” whenever I made a phone call. I learned an invaluable lesson from this: respect other people’s time.

My mentor also taught me to ask anyone I spoke to whether they had one or two contacts they would be willing to introduce me to. By taking this advice, my network expanded exponentially within Wall Street.

I was focused on getting the job I wanted, and I aligned everything I did during my college career towards that goal. The interview process was grueling, and sometimes I would make it to the final round, but not get an offer. I learned the importance of pushing forward after rejection. 

“Persistence and perseverance was ultimately one of the things that allowed me to get multiple job offers.”

I ended up with an excellent opportunity at a small private equity firm. This job taught me a lot during the few years I was there. I later took a new role at a consulting firm valuing business investments as well as entire companies.

After this, I took a job heading up a valuation group and overseeing much of the asset management in their multi-billion dollar hedge fund portfolio. Over the course of this podcast, I’ll share more about the various types of companies and investments.

Once this fund closed, I transitioned to a large private equity firm as the Director of Business Analysis. I reported directly to the CFO/COO and I was his deputy. I learned and built up my skills in operational and process, project and team management, and much more.

When my boss retired, I moved back to consulting and working with a variety of businesses in various industries.


My ECommerce Experience

Alongside of my career in business, I built side businesses within the ecommerce space. I started seeing opportunities to make a profit on the different online auction sites. It began with the furby, and expanded into Disney DVDs and sports cards.

I began learning all about online business–things like building an email list, unique selling proposition, and building cash flow. 

When the shipping of the products became more cumbersome than profitable, I took a step back from this venture until Amazon FBA became available.

At this point, I have 2 different physical product businesses selling on Amazon. This also resulted in service and consulting businesses that I’m a part of.


Why My Businesses Thrive

The businesses I’m involved in are able to thrive because of my combined knowledge of overall business, digital marketing, financial analysis, operations, and leadership. There are still failures, but this allows us to learn and improve.

Key lessons that can help you:

  1. Value of a mentor
  2. The importance of networking (business is about people)
  3. Value and respect other people’s time
  4. Being singularly focused on one thing
  5. Perseverance

Moving forward, I want to share with you the lessons I’ve learned from both my experiences in the corporate world and through my entrepreneurial ventures. 

Here are a few things you should know about me:

  1. I’m not afraid to let business owners know when they are standing in their own way
  2. I walk fast, I talk fast, and I listen fast – I’m a New Yorker
  3. People describe me as logical, analytical, and personable
  4. I have a knack for identifying pain points and root problems right from the start
  5. I care a lot about whatever I’m involved in
  6. My name, Aryeh, means “lion”

Thanks for listening to this episode. If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to subscribe, and head over to Apple Podcast to leave a rating & review.

If your business could use some deeper insights, and you’d like to learn more about working with me, head over to applytotheden.com.

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