Ep 56: Tom Libelt

Start and build a smart business and be a big fish in a small pond, with entrepreneur Tom Libelt

Tom Libelt shares his no-nonsense approach to creating a long-term business founded on adding value and solving problems rather than one that simply capitalizes on the latest trends.

Tom joins me in this episode and we discuss:

  • How to recreate your personal brand by jumping into a “smaller pond”
  • The importance of creating a business that you have total ownership over, and not one that a platform (i.e. Facebook, Google, LinkedIn) ultimately controls
  • Tom’s criteria for a long-term business that affords the owner maximum freedom

In this episode we discuss:

00:42                     Introduction to Tom Libelt

  • Tom’s background [00:48]
  • What Tom is focusing on right now [01:16]

02:35                     From employee to entrepreneur — Tom reveals what led him down the path to online course marketing

06:10                     How Tom positioned himself as an “expert” in his field and found his first clients

  • How Tom narrows down a niche to pinpoint the best business opportunity for him [08:29]

15:40                     Lessons from Tom’s biggest failure in business — Do not rely on a business controlled by a platform

  • Tips for entrepreneurs looking to build a business which they have total control over [18:39]

22:04                     What separates “real businesses” from those that are just “riding the wave”?

23:19                     Are you building a business just for the sake of it—at the expense of your freedom?

Quick Juice Questions

23:59      What do you look for in an investment, and why?

I’ve invested in stocks and real estate; but at the moment, I only invest in my own businesses. I invest in myself and things that I can control.

25:02      What most inspires you and where are you most inspired?

I’m more internally motivated. I’ve never looked at outside motivation that much, so I don’t have anyone that I look up to. I’ll take ideas and I’ll listen to people—someone like Naval. He has an amazing podcast and he’s an investor. I’ll look at the ideas of someone like that; but as a person, he doesn’t inspire me. But I tend to look for things like Jeff Bezos’s sayings. One of the things he tells his team is to “focus on the things that don’t change.” Psychology, persuasion, and human behavior—I tend to look for things like that much more than trends. I look for evergreen stuff.

27:29             Which book has inspired you and changed your thinking the most?

I don’t have a business bible that I look back on. I actually think that most business books are garbage. I do like some of the older books like Oglivy on Advertising or some of the old Dan Kennedy stuff, or Breakthrough Advertising, just because it talks about human behavior and persuasion and things like that. But as business owners, we want to know that we’re not the only ones in the situations we’re in; so the books I can recommend to listeners are Shoe Dog, Total Recall, and James Clavell’s The Asian Saga.

29:48             If there’s one last bit of Executive Juice you can share for people who want to get to the top of their property game, what would it be?

It’s a pretty simple concept (but I still find that people don’t use it): Build, or create, more than you consume. Instead of watching Netflix, work on your business. Think about your day and the percentage of it that you’re consuming content and creating it.


  • You need to make things work long-term. Can you do your business from anywhere in the world? Can you control almost all the aspects of it? Can you build a system so you can eventually step away from all of the roles?
  • What I’m excited about is talking to people who are real business owners. We are in business only for two reasons: to fix things and to solve problems.

Connect with Tom Libelt

Books mentioned