Oct 16, 2017

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks to Entrepreneur Michael Lyons

NGPF Fellow Steve Penley reached out to me a few weeks back and said, "I have this former student you need to have on your podcast because he has a great entrepreneurial journey to share with you." So, I reached out to Michael Lyons and this engaging conversation ensued. Michael shares how he came up with the idea for a business he started out of his dorm room, how he had to make a decision to turn down business in order to preserve his company's reputation for quality and how Steve's classrooms encouraged him to purse the entrepreneurial path. Enjoy! 


  • 0:00–1:04 Introduction
  • 1:05–10:51 How Steve Penley’s business class inspired Michael 
  • 10:52–17:09 Michael’s first college venture and his encounter with Warren Buffett!
  • 17:10–18:45 The budding of the flower business
  • 18:46–23:06 How GlobalPetals developed their niche
  • 23:07–26:28 From Apple stocks to Flowers stalks
  • 26:29–31:01 Establishing relaciones in Ecuador
  • 31:02–34:04 Overcoming his biggest challenge
  • 34:05–40:05 Righting the countless snafus that come with start-ups
  • 40:06–42:13 Michael’s favorite florists
  • 42:14–43:56 Entrepreneurs: born or made?
  • 43:57–48:00 Michael’s advice: talk to those who have “been there, done that”
  • 48:01–50:31 Next on the agenda: building themed houses
  • 50:32–51:55 Conclusion



“It’s always good to start a business out of a problem that exists rather just thinking about something that could potentially be interesting… or cool... because when there’s already a problem that exists, you have a market”


Interested in entrepreneurship resources? Check out NGPF's Entrepreneurship lessons, activities, projects, and blog posts



About the Authors

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

Danielle Bautista

Danielle is a native of Southern California and a recent graduate from the University of Maine, where she braved the frigid winters—a feat in and of itself—and earned her Bachelor's degree in International Affairs. She has a passion for working with non-profit organizations and serving populations in underprivileged communities. When Danielle isn't writing NGPF blog posts, spearheading various outreach projects, or managing contests and flash surveys, you can find her doing some sort of outdoor activity, learning a new hobby, or cracking what she thinks are witty puns!

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