An Interview with Kat Mische Elle
Randy, tell us about who you are.
In a nutshell, I’m a farm kid from Northern California. And when I say farm kid, I mean farm kid. You know, the kind that grew their own food
My dad was a contractor and my mom stayed at home. We didn’t have a lot of money, but we never were hungry. I was raised where you got up, you fed all the animals first thing. The rest of the day would include anything that involved the upkeep of the property like plowing a field and baling some hay. When I was entering my teen years, I also worked full-time as a farmhand on a real farm. It was a farm called Sodaro Orchards in Northern California that farmed peaches, almonds, and walnuts.
It seemed like I worked nonstop on that farm. I was good at it, but I didn’t like it. I worked there from when I was thirteen until after my second year of junior college when left and transferred to a university.
I didn’t think about it at the time, but it shaped everything I’ve ever done in my life after leaving farm work.
A typical day could consist of getting up at 4 am, moving sprinkler pipes, getting to school by 6 am, asking the football coach to get to the school early so I can get into the gym, work out, then go to class all day and then go to football practice after school. After practice, I would go back and work a couple more hours on the farm. That was my daily routine. I didn’t have a grudge about it. It’s just what I did. It was the type of home I was raised in, so it was normal. The excitement came on payday, especially after the wage got increased to $4.25 an hour.
Once I got into high school, I was a goody-two-shoes type of kid and stayed out of the party scene, I was borderline a nerd. But because I was a very good wrestler and a captain on the football team, I had a rare spot in the lunchroom.
I wasn’t picked on, but I wasn’t the super popular kid either. I was just right down the middle of the road. I am the first person from my family to go to college, which was received with some ridicule from some members of my family because we were a family that worked. You go to work, and you use your hands. I could do it and do it well, but I didn’t want to anymore let alone the rest of my life.
I have a green thumb and I can turn a wrench. But it wasn’t my thing. I’d rather write or inspire somebody or lead a team. My coaches were the driving influence behind everything I did, both football and wrestling. Their encouragement helped push me further with school so I could keep playing those sports. Not that my family wasn’t supportive about my sports, it just didn’t resonate with them.
As an adult, my tolerance for laziness or excuses is very little. It’s because I never saw laziness or entitlement when I was growing up, you had to earn what you wanted.
I went to college, and I paid for it, (literally). I didn’t take a loan. I worked full time, played two sports, and managed to get through college. I rode a bicycle everywhere I went. On the rare occasion, if I needed a little help my father always knew just when an extra hundred dollars was needed.
Was Top Ramen your only food source for a few months at times? I have lived that reality before.
Yes. I’ll never eat it again, (laughs).
While in college, football and wrestling were the driving force. Being a competitor and an athlete was all that mattered and the clarity that I was going to be a coach someday.
I completed school and finished with a master’s degree in Education.
I wanted to be a schoolteacher and coach football, wrestling, and baseball. I was coaching three sports, teaching summer school, and working all the time, and I loved it. Then one day I just was staring at the paycheck, looking at the pay scale realizing that I can’t do this forever. I’m not even thirty years old and I felt stuck for a moment. This is when I began wondering what could be next?
It was being in that stuck place that actually began to inspire me. I shifted gears with everything. I knew I needed to change some perspectives in my life beyond a job. My personal life, relationships, and friendships. Once I did that, a whole new world of possibilities opened. My wife and I made a conscious choice to not have children and I began to think about the things I can do. I’m free to create at my own pace, which is not a slow one, and reap the benefits both personally and professionally. I liked the idea of being a teacher was because I was doing good in the world.
But I also started to realize that successful business owners can have as much or more of a positive impact in the world too.
What are the courageous steps it took to make the change when you were leaving the previously decided path for your life?
I love that question. This was tough. This question is tough, and it really does resonate with me though. I was as committed to being a schoolteacher since I was a little kid. And when I decided to leave the profession, it was more than difficult. But I asked myself two simple questions, and I put some thought into this. I said this to myself, “If this new venture works out, will my life be better? And will I have a greater impact?” These were the only questions. Once I could answer yes to them, I was full throttle!
And what were the amazing adventures and benefits from doing so?
I learned everything I know about being a CEO and running a company coaching freshmen high school football.
If you can coordinate fifty fifteen-year-olds into cooperative cohesive action, you can coordinate adults.
I’m so grateful for what I learned as a teacher; I use my education degree every day. I use the coordination of athletic programs for the discipline of punctuality, focus, and determination which are extremely important in being successful in business.
Now branching out into my next chapter, I was a solo entrepreneur, and now I was an executive leading a corporate team.
My title was Vice President of Small Business Education and Training. We did great work and as a group, we expanded the company and helped many small businesses succeed.
All these paths, even though they were very different, they prepared me to be in the role I am now which is the CEO of FlipInvestor Inc. We are a disruptive software technology company in the fintech space. We are to financial services, what Netflix was to Blockbuster. In order to be disruptive, you must be better than the existing competition, easier to use, and less expensive. We are all three.
We are a simple software platform that allows the average person to participate in the stock market as if they had an entire team of Wall Street professionals doing all their trading for them at a fraction of the cost. We also allow you to put cryptocurrencies into the same A.I., and it will automatically trade for you as well. You can have Apple and Bitcoin in the same Smartfolio, all being managed by A.I., without any need for a wallet, a crypto key or a separate brokerage account. It’s a one-stop shop. The iFlip platform does it all and we are out to change the way the world invests.
What is next for iFlip this year?
We are launching this quarter our crypto platform and merging traditional finance and equities and ETFs with modern-day cryptocurrencies. We’re putting them together in unique Smartfolios. We are doing it in a manner where the beginner can participate and use the A.I. completely for free. We are really excited about it and we are growing quite rapidly. We hatched the idea in 2016, started coding in 2017, alpha launched in 2017 through 2018 and 19. Beta launch in 2020. We were only going to run the beta for eight months, but COVID happened so we took that time to strengthen the platform. And now we are formally launching the company on April 1, 2022.
Do you have a favorite quote, and how is it relevant to your life?
My favorite quote is this, “Life passes most people by while they are busy making grand plans for it”.
I had a grand plan to be a teacher and to coach football and wrestling. And upon realizing that goal, I realized that was just one step in a grander plan. I could have kept planning. I could have planned all the other things over the next decade. I would have had an impact on lives, I would have taken all the trips and vacations I wanted to take. And that is what most of us do. We get comfortable and we plan and we plan and we plan. People get stuck, and they don’t move, they stay in the same job for 50 years. People take their little retirement, and they die. I’m never going to do that. No moss will have ever grown under my feet.
If life appears mundane, it’s because it is. And the only way you do something about it is to stop planning and start doing.
Who do you thank for helping you on your way to success?
It’s the coaches. My high school football coach Jack Danielson and my college wrestling coach Armand Brett. Also, my current business partner, Kelly Korshack. She has taught me more about the investing world and the world of finance than I could ever imagine. And one of my other really good mentors is Chalmers Brothers. He wrote the book, Language and the Pursuit of Happiness. After reading that book, I went and hired him to coach me for the next year and now we are friends.
And absolutely my wife Karen!
She’s the one that encouraged me to leave teaching and to grow.
Every crazy venture I do, she supports full throttle and there is no doubt, I would not be here today without her!
What is the best way for people to find and follow you?
Just look for Randy Tate. I’m on every social media platform on the planet. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also email me directly at Randy@iflipinvest.com.
And what is your website for iFlip?