"G Sale Mike Interview One day, by accident, I stumbled across this site, it totally impacted my life and changed my mind-set about marketing completely. " Jim Davis a true disciple of Michael Senoff

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The G Sale Mike Interview and Transcripts

Life Long Lesson & Money Making Adventures of Mike, The Garage Sale Guy

15 years ago I stopped at a little garage sale on Clairemont Drive. This is a busy street that I drive every day close to my home. My son Joe must have been only 6 or 7 and there was a guy named Mike having a garage sale.

It's was a glamorous garage sale. From your car window, you could see the spray painted wood sandwich sign "SALE", the tall colorful surfboards, The beach cruiser bikes, art work and more.

Mike knew how to stage a sale with colors and attention getting items to get people to stop and shop.

His same was different. You had to stop.

So we stopped and found a yellow push sweeper. I wrote about it 8 years ago in an email called "Germans Make Good Stuff".

Over the years, I would see Mike set up at different homes on the same busy Clairmont Drive.

Mike was having sales during the week not just on Saturday and Sunday. And from what I could tell by the amount of people at his sales, he was making some good cash money.

We must have shopped his sales 20 times over the years. Each stop we could find something different to buy. It was a treasure hunt.

So Recently, Mike and I stated talking about buying and selling. We got to know each other a little better.

I would tell him stories about our finds and he would start to tell me and my sons these amazing stories about his life.

I wanted my boys to hear his stories. There were business lessons to be learned.

I had to get and interview with Mike. I wanted to share his story with you too.

I asked him three times if I could interview him for my web site and news letter. And each time, he would decline my invitation. He told me he did not want to reveal his garage sale secrets.  

On my next visit with Mike, I printed out a physical version of June's Money Shot Newsletter. I give him a copy to  read. He could see all of the buy sell case studies we had documented.

I invited him again to let me interview him about his methods for buying, selling and how he sets up his sales.

He was afraid to share his methods about his street sales but agreed to let me interview him about his other business and money making ventures.

And that is exactly what I did.

I have broken this interview down into six thirty minute digestible segments.

Mike talks fast and shares in a colorful descriptive style.

I know you are going to learn a lot from Mike's money making ventures, stories and ideas.

Get ready for a wild ride and adventure from Mike, The Garage Sale Guy. Now let's get going.


Part One:

How To Think Bigger: An 8-Year-Old Who Makes More Than His Parents

Mike grew up at a time when it was perfectly okay for parents to drop their kids off at a museum or park for the day while they went to work. And Mike found his love of art during those times. He also found he had a knack for it. So when his dad brought home a Creepy Crawler kit, Mike was soon making the most realistic bugs around, selling them at school for a profit, and also at a bait-and-tackle shop as lures. But when the owners of the shops started ordering 10,000 at a time, that’s when the real lessons came out. And in this audio, you’ll hear Mike’s amazing story of how he overcame the obstacles of mass-producing Creepy Crawlers, and how he started making his own allowance.

You’ll Also Hear…

  • What happened the day they wanted to expel Mike for taking the other kids’ lunch money for Creepy Crawlers

  • The simple business lessons you can take from a museum – like ones about exclusivity from Jackson Pollock, Claude Monet, and the guy who “stole” the Mona Lisa and sold forgeries of the painting like they were the real deal

Mike found out early on that when it comes to entrepreneurialism, it helps to think big right from the beginning, and in part one of this six-part audio series, you’ll hear lessons about thinking bigger that are so easy to learn and apply that even an eight-year-old can run with them.


Part Two

Why It’s Vitally Important To Control The Channels and How To Do It

If someone has control over any part of your business, your business is vulnerable. That was the hard-knocks lesson Mike learned when he was eight years old and Mattel discontinued the Creepy Crawler kit because kids were burning themselves on the little oven it came with. Mike wasn’t even using that oven. He was mass-producing at that point, but he was still tied to the goop they used to make the crawlers, and could no longer find anything to replace it when it was discontinued.

It was a lesson that stuck with him into his older years. And in part two of the series, you’ll hear how he used that lesson when he opened up a shop in Pacific Beach and started selling Redwood bear sculptures. Once he found out how good his margins were, he followed his source all the way up to Northern California, but still found things weren’t reliable with the Native American artists carving wood there. And in this audio, you’ll hear all the business lessons, tips, and tricks he learned along the way. 

You’ll Also Hear…

  • The crazy reason Mike’s shop had things hanging from the ceiling on wire – even a piano – and other “out-of-the-box” ways he used his artist’s eye and entrepreneurial know-how to sell a ton of stuff

  • The little-talked-about benefits of having qualified customers already lined up and waiting: That’s what Mike did with his Redwood sculptures. (Customers paid top-dollar and bought them straight off his truck, sight unseen, too)

  • The strange way Mike figured out he was “buying himself out of his own product” and what he did about it

  • The biggest (and easiest) secret Mike learned from his unusual trip down the freeway with a humungous covered Redwood sculpture strapped to the back of a flatbed truck that demonstrates the power presentation has when it comes to getting top dollar

  • The unexpected lessons that come up when you’re dealing with artists and their one-of-a-kind pieces, and how to deal with them

  • Why you won’t be able to believe how Henry Ford secured his production channels – all the way down the line to the crates the timber he was using was shipped in – and what you can learn about securing your own business from that.

The bottom line is, if you want to have a viable business, you can’t just think margins, especially if someone else has control over them. Take control over as many aspects of your business as you can so no one can hold you over a barrel later. And in this audio, you’ll hear real-life examples of how to do that.


Part Three

The Art Of Negotiating

When Mike got sick of dealing with unreliable chainsaw artists who would constantly leave town on him without notice, he decided he needed to gain more control over his products and his income stream. He bought a chainsaw and moved up north. And in this audio, you’ll hear the business lessons he learned about supply and demand when it came to dealing with locals and securing wood for his production, strategies for increasing his productivity at a skill he knew very little about, and also how he managed to make $2500 on a day’s worth of “rough” sculptures he ended up making (an amount the locals thought was impossible for him to get).  

But Mike found, sometimes, it’s all in how you negotiate with people.

You’ll Also Hear…

  • A word-for-word look at how Mike approached gift shops with his rough sculptures and negotiated reasonable deals that totaled up to huge profits

  • The one-and-only proven-effective way to deal with locals and negotiate dirt-cheap prices for goods and labor

  • Little-known wood-carving secrets that will give you a whole new perspective on the art

  • The craziest stories about small towns you’ll probably ever hear – from the time Mike gave an acquaintance a pair of Levi’s (you’ll never believe what the guy did with them) to the jaw-dropping, dangerous ways he’s seen people carving out their sculptures

  • The scary side of entrepreneurialism: the one day Mike got ripped off, and what he wishes he’d have done differently

There’s a hard truth when it comes to business: Once you’ve got a reputation for making money, people may want to charge you more for their part of your business and increase their piece of the pie too. It’s all part of the negotiating process. And in this audio, you’ll hear strategies for keeping your margins the highest they can be.


Part Four

The Power Of Asking

Mike was at the supermarket one day when he was about eight years old when he noticed a woman struggling to bring her groceries out to her car in the middle of a snowstorm. He asked if she needed help, and couldn’t believe it when she paid him for it. Soon, he was helping everyone he could, and was surprised when the store manager called him into his office, told Mike he could keep the money he was making, and even thanked him for helping customers. However, it wasn’t long before the bigger kids took over. Instead of going home defeated, Mike went to the manager and explained his situation. The manager kicked the other kids out. And Mike secured his exclusivity again.

Mike figured out a powerful lesson that day: no one is going to walk up to you and say, “You look like you could use some help. Here you go.” It just doesn’t happen. In fact, you’ll rarely get anything in life if you don’t ask for it. This includes closing deals, blocking the competition and securing your exclusivity, and even asking for business in the first place. The worst thing that can happen when you ask is “no.” But there are far worse things that will happen if you never ask at all.

And in part four, you’ll hear a few stories that illustrate this, including the crazy way Mike ended up using those bigger kids that day when demand for his services in the snow outweighed his supply. 

You’ll Also Hear…

  • Key strategies for blocking the competition in business, even when the big guys step in

  • The very simple tactic Mike used for buying low and selling high when he was four years old and started collecting unwanted keys from his neighborhood: he ended up turning those keys into jewelry and selling them back to the same neighbors

  • The little-thought-about vending machine route Mike had as a kid and other non-traditional entrepreneurial ideas he’s done (and the lessons he’s learned along the way)

  • The “Tom Sawyer” method of doing business: what that means and when to use it

  • How Mike used the power of asking to create his own paper route collection agency where he’d help his friends with paper routes collect money from dead-beat customers – and how much he charged them for his services

  • The one goal Mike had as a kid that helped keep him focused while fostering his entrepreneurial ways, and the sneaky way he hid most of his money from his parents

Nothing happens by chance. If you don’t ask for things in life, they probably won’t happen. But in part four, you’ll hear just how easy that can be, the power it has when it comes to business, and how to make it a part of your success story too.


Part Five

How To Think Bigger And Find Your Unique Angle


When Mike found himself at a truck stop one day, waxing big-rig murals just to make $200 a day, he took it one step further. He asked his customers what else they needed and discovered there were many things tired truck drivers didn’t want to tackle after a long day’s work, but that still needed to get done: waiting an hour to fuel up a tank, greasing an axel, polishing aluminum, etc. It wasn’t long before Mike had a crew and a price list together so, as soon as the truckers would pull into his stop, he had them sitting in a recliner with a beer and a list of his services sitting right in front of them.

Mike says it’s a matter of thinking differently. Whether it’s hanging a piano upside down from the ceiling or having a teepee in the front of your business with a Native American carving up Redwood right in it, a business needs a reason people buy from you and not from others. It needs a unique angle or selling proposition. And in part five, you’ll hear examples of how to take a simple idea and make it unique (and bigger).

You’ll Also Hear…

  • The unusual #1 thing those truckers usually wanted more than anything else (and yes, Mike’s price list included it too)

  • Real-life examples of how you can keep thinking bigger and expanding your business: Mike expanded his business from truck stops to also polishing up vacuums and Harley Davidsons

  • The quick story that demonstrates why it’s so important to have everything down in writing as a contract

  • The shocking reason artists usually sell themselves short and a little trick for not letting that happen to you

  • The real reason you should always be looking for opportunities and a few examples of how to do that – even on your day off

  • Why you won’t believe what happened when Mike went to the owner of the truck stop and asked if he could have exclusivity on his lot

In order to succeed in business, you need a reason for people to buy from you and no one else. And in part five, you’ll hear how to find that kind of unique angle – and then take it and run with it, expanding on your idea so you’re making more money with less time and trouble.


Part Six

How To Make Your Own Luck


One of Mike’s favorite parts of the museum when he was a kid was the T-Rex skull displayed there, but since he could never find a huge, life-size, authentic-looking replica as an adult, he decided to make his own, carving it out of wood. He was just finishing it up outside his new location in La Jolla when one of the richest people in San Diego, Sandy Shapery, stopped him and told him he had to have the sculpture. In fact, he wrote Mike a blank check for it. Every artist’s dream. And in this audio, you’ll hear all the crazy details behind the story, and how to make those kinds of opportunities happen in your life as well, because believe it or not, they never happen by chance.

Mike says he’s spent a good part of his life reading and listening to how-to business books – everything from Zig Ziglar to Napoleon Hill – but the number one piece of advice when it comes to entrepreneurialism he ever received was this: Have a goal and visualize it. And in part six, you’ll hear what that means, how to do it, and the power that can have over your life. 

You’ll Also Hear…

  • The real difference between an asset and a liability – and why it’s so important to always be thinking in terms of assets

  • The "no-sweat, no-brainer" business secrets you can learn from Joan Rivers and Donald Trump

  • An insider’s look at the Shapery home (imagine secret parking garages and walking through a geode) and exactly what the millionaire did with his huge T-Rex sculpture

  • The “ABCs” of business (conceive, believe, achieve) and how they’re the key to the visualization process

  • Why you should create your own “pirate booty” treasure chest of all of your achievements and when to break that out and roll around in it

When it comes to business, it’s hard to believe your biggest obstacle might be your own mind, but it usually is. It’s a simple fact: if you don’t think you can do something, you won’t be able to. And in part six, you’ll hear how to stop being your own biggest obstacle and how to use your mind to start achieving bigger and better things every day using the power of visualization, so you can start creating your own luck.


PDF transcripts download part 1 mp3
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