SFN140: Got a Business Idea? How to make sure that it will work, with Pat Flynn
Pat Flynn is an entrepreneur, speaker, author and presenter on his ´Smart Passive Income´ webcast. He has a number of successful businesses and bases everything that he does on the premise of helping people out – be it through his businesses, his podcast, blog or new book. Pat understands what it means to run a successful business – from ensuring that you have a market, to finding your place in the marketplace, to making sure that you are going to keep motivated. In today´s show, Andy chats to Pat about how to make sure that your business aligns with your life, why you don’t need to be loved by the whole world, and taking the scientific approach to testing your business.
29 Jan 2016
SFN212: How to Build Something From Nothing (and Achieve Profitability More Quickly) - with Nathan Latka
Today’s interview will completely change the way you think about starting businesses and selling products. Nathan Latka pre-sold about $80,000 of product, built up the Facebook marketing business Heyo, and sold it by the time he was 26-years-old. He is also one of the most entertaining (and somewhat controversial) people in the entrepreneurial world. Now Nathan is pioneering a new way for entrepreneurs to enter the software space more quickly, more easily, and for relatively cheap. We’ll be learning about the methodologies and processes that helped him purchase an existing product, with 20,000 users, for only $1,000. Click here to learn more and read the blog post at TheFoundation.com/podcast. Resources Check out Nathan’s podcast: The Top Download & Use Send Later (which includes Nathan’s email templates) Learn more on NathanLatka.com Production & Development for The Foundation: Starting From Nothing Podcast by Podcast Masters.
17 Apr 2017
SFN 171: Jeremy Chatelaine On Building A $50k+ Per Month Lifestyle Business
Jeremy Chatelaine is the founder of Quickmail.io, a tool to help businesses generate leads on autopilot with automated outbound emails and smart follow-ups. Quickmail.io is one of the first companies to provide a solution for sales automation. In just two years since inception, Jeremy grew Quickmail.io to over 1,000 customers and over $50,000 in monthly recurring revenue. In this interview, Jeremy breaks down each phase of growing his business, from validating his idea to his first customer acquisition to hiring his first team member. He also shares his insights on the realities of a having the freedom of choice with your lifestyle business, and why chooses to focus on customer experience over massive growth. In This Interview I Ask: 2:30 - Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur? 3:34 - What problem did you build Quickmail.io to solve? 4:41 - What did your process look like to validate the idea? 5:42 - Can you give us a sense of where Quickmail.io is right now in terms of monthly revenues and customers? 6:35 - What was it actually like for you to get your first customers? 9:42 - When you first experienced this problem for yourself, did you initially go see if there was something out there to solve it for you? 10:57 - When did you make the shift to focus on Quickmail.io as the business [you’re] going to build? 12:05 - Where were you finding those people [to have one-on-one sales conversations with]? 14:25 - How many sales conversations would you say you had? When you were doing the one-on-one sales conversations, how long did you do that? 15:38 - Once you switched from having one-on-one conversations, what was the primary way that you were acquiring new customers? 16:25 - Roughly what dollar amount, on a monthly basis, did you grow to [during the period] you weren’t really focusing any specific marketing effort? 19:20 - What sort of things are you looking for that would cause you to advise someone it’s time to leave [their] job? 21:42 - What is your most successful channel for customer acquisition? What is the number one factor that drives growth for you over the past couple of months? 23:45 - Have you thought about, [in] three years, what Quickmail.io would look like? Do you have a vision in place for what you want Quickmail.io to be? 24:45 - What was just one thing you personally needed to work on or overcome to grow Quickmail in the way that you did in the last two years? 28:48 - Have you put together any team? 31:13 - What does it look like for you to run a $50k/month business? What do you do on a daily basis? 35:44 - Who is an entrepreneur you admire? 36:30 - Is there something that you do every day in a ritual type way, no matter what? 39:21 - Who was your hero growing up? 41:47 - You’re going to a desert island and you can only bring one book, what book would you bring? When to Quit Your Job When you know for sure that if you spend more time on your business and it will equate to more sales, then you can quit your job. If you leave before there’s a predictable path to more customers, you’re gambling with your future and your family. The Freedom to Choose When and When Not to Work Many people build a lifestyle business to have the freedom to choose when and when not to work. However, sometimes you may need to force yourself to work, even when you don’t want to, in order to get things done. Other entrepreneurs who only work when they “feel like it” end up not doing much for their business. A business is like a child. It needs to be fed and changed. There are a few things that you just have to do. It’s not always sexy, but just do it. How to Choose Your Mentors Have mentors with the skillsets you wish to acquire. Show Links: Quickmail.io, website Quickmail.io Job Opening for Customer Support, apply
26 Aug 2016
SFN156: Startup Advice From Award-Winning Serial Entrepreneur Dan Martell
Dan Martell is an award-winning Canadian serial entrepreneur, and the founder of the recently acquired Clarity.fm, a venture-backed startup that makes it easy to connect with top business minds over the phone. In 2012, he was named Canada’s top angel investor, having completing over 33 investments with companies like Udemy, Intercom, and Unbounce. Dan is back on the podcast giving us actionable steps on launching a startup from scratch. He shares why it’s easier to start a company today than ever before, how to determine your most important tasks as a CEO, and the common mistakes to avoid when launching your first startup. In This Interview You’ll Learn: 2:08 - How Dan uses the seven pillars to measure his life, and orient his actions to get what he wants. 6:37 - How to focus on high-income tasks with the entrepreneur scorecard. 12:59 - Why the opportunity for anyone with a great idea to start a company is greater than ever. 18:46 - The truth about what it takes to become part of the one percent in America. 19:30 - Why you need a M.E.V.O (Minimum Economical Viable Offer), and not an M.V.P (Minimum Viable Product). 24:45 - How Dan went from 0 to 50,000 customers in 16 months by using content marketing. 32:32 - The most common mistakes new founders make. Show Notes: Dan’s Blog - danmartell.com Dan’s Previous Episode - thefoundation.com/podcast/episode12 Dan’s Course - IdeatoExitOnline.com
10 May 2016
Most Popular Podcasts
SFN164: Jason Carter on Generating $115k Using Cold Email
Jason Carter is a software engineer with a PhD in computer science. While going through The Foundation Process, Jason dabbled with a few different niches. Once he started seeing results, he focused on the path of least resistance. Through consistent action and reflection, he learned what he what he was doing wrong in his process, then made adjustments to set his system right. In just eight months he was able to generate $115k all from using cold email. In this interview, Jason tells us what he’s learned from mistakes he’s made when he first started cold emailing people, and what he changed in his subsequent emails. He also shares why he deviated from developing a software for multiple customers in one niche (like most Foundation students have done), to developing software on a per-project, one-off basis. In This Interview I Ask: 4:41 - What was going on in your life before the Foundation, and what was the impetus for you to decide to go through [the program]? 6:01 - Have you ever been out there selling to the customer? 7:42 - How did you kick off your first project? 10:24 - How passionate are you about dentistry? 13:50 - What was the call to action in the [initial] emails [you sent] that made it seem like you were asking for too much for a cold email? 14:39 - What did you change when you [started] cold contacting the list of dentists you had an affiliation with? 12:52 - Take us through the story of the first person you started working with. What was that like? 15:27 - Why did you decide to build a software for one dentist as opposed to many dentists with the same problem (what students typically do in The Foundation)? 16:50 - So what did you make on this first project? What did you quote it? 18:20 - What was the time frame from the time you sent the first email to the time you started getting paid by your first client? 19:50 - If I were to go out there and pick a list of 100 people, what are some of the mistakes that I would make as a novice? 25:00 - What have been the outcomes of cold email in your life? 22:47 – Have you ever really done anything [related to] a sales career? 23:12 - How uncomfortable was it for you to do this? 23:29 - When you get that voice in the back of your head, how did you get through that? 24:33 - From the time that you did your first project, how many other consulting projects have you brought on as a result of this cold email outreach? 24:49 - You want to tell the Vegas story? 27:50 - Where are you going to take all of this? 28:38 - If I were just the middleman entrepreneur who went in and discovered the problem and then hired a developer to complete that deliverable , out of the $115k, what would I actually keep in my pocket? 31:40 - What is the biggest takeaway for you over the last eight months? The Foundation Process Find a problem to solve. Pre-sell your solution to that problem. How to Pick a Market You can pick a market that you’re passionate about, but it would be better to pick a market that actively spends money and invests in their growth. “What you need to fall in love with is the process of starting businesses rather than the specific niche or passion.” - Frank Mocerino Tips for Cold Emailing Find the top influencers in your target market. Those are the type of people who will do extra work (and spend the money), are passionate, and want to grow. Mention your common affiliation (ie: college or networking group) in the subject line of your email. If you don’t have a common affiliation, take the time to read their blog or listen to their podcast. Then share what you found valuable from your experience with their content. They will appreciate you for taking the time. Keep in mind that one lead can connect you to another. Top influences will know and put you in contact with other people in their field. After confirming their problem, ask them if they know of others like them who also suffer from that same problem. Mistakes to Avoid When Cold Emailing Don’t send emails to general addresses like firstname.lastname@example.org. Instead, go for the direct email email@example.com. Don’t try to sell them something in the first email. Instead, explain your interest in learning about their pain and wanting to help create a solution for them. Example: Jason was too focused on himself and what he wanted from the email recipient rather than what he could do to help them. “I was focused on ‘This is who I am and this is what I want’ instead of ‘This is who I am, how can I help You?’” Don’t worry about the quantity of your email list. It’s not about how many people you email. It’s about the quality of the people you email. Show Links: The Science of Cold Emailing, sign up form
8 Jul 2016
SFN179: Ryan Moran on Entering the Freedom Fast Lane
I have Ryan Moran on the podcast today because he has one of the coolest minds I have ever met in the entrepreneurial space. He is the Founder of Freedom Fast Lane, a business that inspires, educates, and empowers people to live extraordinary lives through the understanding that money and freedom are the result of who you become, rather than the other way around. Ryan is also the Founder of Capitalism.com, which exists to dispel the theory that the government is the best solution to problems, and it instead strives to empower individuals to take personal responsibility for their actions. “The more experienced I get in business the more I realize that the things that are hard to me are easy to someone else, and the things that are big to me are small to someone else. So we might as well just create whatever the heck we want in life, right?”In This Interview I Ask: 4:45 - How did you get into business? What has your path and trajectory been like? 7:15 – What’s the difference [between an entrepreneur and knowing how to make money]? 9:20 - Why did you stop going to school to be a pastor? 12:40 - What happened on your first mushroom trip? 15:40 - Tell me about the mentality you had behind hosting such an ambitious first Freedom Fast Lane live event? 25:50 - What goals does Ryan have right now? 28:55 - Talk to me about beginning phases. If you’re starting from scratch, where do you go? 31:00 - Can you give me an example of a product you launched on Amazon? 33:20 - How did you find customers? Business and Money “I really didn’t know how to be an entrepreneur. I just knew how to make money.” There is a difference between being an entrepreneur and making money. Entrepreneurs build something bigger than themselves and solve real problems with real customers. You can work your way into a high-paying job and be successful, but you aren’t building anything that’s yours. Are you building a brand, or are you selling things? For example, Ryan started selling yoga products on Amazon. He started with a yoga mat then he added blocks, towels and other yoga products. He made this decision because there was an audience that already existed, and he identified that audience as likely to be environmentally conscious. He carved a niche for the company as an environmentally-friendly yoga brand and created Facebook groups to target his audience.Starting a Business From Scratch “Who is the audience that you’re serving and how are you giving them a solution? If you can answer those two questions, everything else is super easy.” If you have never started a business and you have a goal to make more money, Ryan believes that there are two parts of the equation that you need to figure out. Before you figure these two things out, everything else is a distraction. The audience that you serve and the pain points that they have The solution that you give your audience Losing His Religion Ryan was originally going to school to be a pastor. He was questioning his faith and running a business, so he ultimately graduated with a degree in business. Losing his faith made him angry for a while, but he found a place for faith and spirituality during his journey. Ryan is currently working on a documentary called Losing My Religion to tell the story of Ryan finding his truth. Spoiler: the opening scene features Ryan on his first mushroom trip.The Freedom Fast Lane “I believe the fastest path to financial freedom is to build a business and invest the profits.” At the Freedom Fast Lane, Ryan teaches entrepreneurial individuals how to build businesses and re-invest the profits – and he practices what he preaches. Ryan doesn’t take a salary from Freedom Fast Lane, he makes his money from physical product businesses and consulting. You can do the 10 Day Challenge to start on a path towards making more money, enjoying more time off, and living a life you love. Freedom Fast Lane Live 2016 will be in Austin, TX December 9th - 11th. They have an amazing lineup of speakers – Tom Bilyeu, Peter Diamandis, John Mackey, Cameron Herold and Alicia Silverstone – that were chosen because they are doing things the fastest and the biggest in the entrepreneurial space. If you go to Freedom Fast Lane Live 2016 because you listened to this podcast, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you my cell phone number. We will have a little get-together for The Foundation community.Resources Learn more about Ryan: Freedom Fast Lane | Facebook Listen to the Freedom Fast Lane podcast Learn about Ryan’s documentary: Losing My Religion Capitalism.com Production & Development for The Foundation: Starting From Nothing Podcast by Podcast Masters
10 Nov 2016
SFN209: A Roadmap to Revenue in 18 months
Are you lost and looking for revenue? Today’s guest, Dan Martell, maps out how you can develop an idea, iterate upon it, and start generating revenue over the next few months. Dan is a passionate entrepreneur who founded and exited three software companies over the past decade and he is an investor in over 30 others (like Udemy, Intercom, and Unbounce). The first time Dan was on the podcast he shared how entrepreneurship saved his life. Today he’s bringing a crazy amount of value. Get ready to take some notes! Click here to learn more and read the blog post at TheFoundation.com/podcast. Resources Connect with Dan: Website | Youtube | Email Production & Development for The Foundation: Starting From Nothing Podcast by Podcast Masters.
6 Mar 2017
SFN221: How to Bootstrap a Business with a Full-Time Job & Family to Feed
We all know starting a business is hard – and it’s even harder when you have a full-time job and a family to feed. Balancing all of these priorities is extremely difficult… but it’s not impossible. Today’s guests, Dean Collura and Eliot Dill, were facing that exact challenge when they started TitleTap. However, they still managed to grow the company from nothing to hundreds of customers and hundreds of thousands dollars of revenue in just a few years. In this episode, they will share how they got there, the challenges they faced along the way, and how you can bootstrap something when you have so many other responsibilities. Click here to learn more and read the blog post at TheFoundation.com Resources Learn more about Dean & Eliot (and get free tips) at DiligentMe.com Learn more about TitleTap: TitleTap.com | Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter Production & Development for The Foundation: Starting From Nothing Podcast by Podcast Masters
18 Jul 2017
SFN175: How To Build Your Perfect Day - with Craig Ballantyne
Craig Ballantyne is a productivity and success transformation coach and the author of The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life. He has contributed to Men’s Health Magazine since 2000, and in 2001 he created the popular home workout program Turbulence Training. On his journey to success Craig has had to overcome crippling anxiety attacks, and he did that with his Five Pillars of Success and Transformation. Today Craig shows men and women how to use these five pillars to lose 10-75 pounds, get a raise and make more money, find the love of their lives, and overcome any obstacle in the way of success. You can read his daily essays on success, productivity and business at Early to Rise. In This Interview I Ask: 2:40 - Can Craig talk about the rules that he has, why he has them, and why they matter for people when it comes to building out these perfect days? 5:20 - What are some of the rules that Craig has? 10:20 - How does Craig consistently make time for his routines and avoid getting overwhelmed by the rest of the world? 15:10 - Tell me about your Five Pillars of Transformation. What are they and how do they work? 26:40 - What are Craig’s thoughts on meaningful incentives versus consequences for not doing stuff? 28:45 - I’m a big fan of the vision setting process. Craig has a story that shows how impactful the vision setting process can be. Tell us about that story. 41:20 - If you were giving someone the formula for building their perfect day, what does that entail? (Some of) Craig’s Personal Rules for Success Get up and go to bed at the same time every day. “You can use whatever hours you want, but it’s a nice structure to really accelerate the work you get done over the day.” Have a rule about your health. Anything related to stress relief, physical training or nutrition. “It doesn’t have to be an all encompassing rule … but what’s the most important health rule that you can follow that’s going to give you energy and give you overall health and really contribute to your success?” This might be a paleo diet, meditation or consistent exercise. Work on your number one priority first thing in the morning. If you give your number one priority 15 minutes in the morning six days a week, then that 90 minutes of work every week will really compound. The Five Pillars of Transformation and Success Better planning and preparation Professional accountability Positive social support Meaningful incentive The big deadline The Impact of Setting a Vision “The Vision is essentially where you want to be in a couple years from now. Not only thinking about it, but actually writing it down. I call it creating a movie script for your life.” Five years, three months and 17 days after Craig first articulated his vision to his coach – owning a business like Early to Rise – Craig bought the business of his dreams. Not something like it, but the exact business of his dreams: EarlyToRise.com. Craig developed a mentor relationship with Mark Ford, the previous owner of Early to Rise. Mark told Craig to narrow his focus and set four goals: One for your health One for your wealth One for your social self and One for your personal enrichment or charity endeavors How To Build Your Perfect Day This is incredibly important. If you learn to optimize your day, and you just focus on your daily habits, your perfect day becomes your perfect week becomes your perfect month becomes your perfect quarter becomes your perfect year. This is the highest leverage point to be focusing your time and energy on if you’re going to be making some sort of habit change. Figure out how you best operate. Do a time journal. You’ll identify when you’re wasting time, and you’ll identify your own “magic time.” Solidify your sleep schedule. Focus on your number one priority first thing in the morning. Control the rest of your morning so you don’t get sucked into any rabbit holes and get through a lot of your to-do list. In the afternoon, deal with the chaos that the world brings you. Be prepared by planning two solutions for every obstacle you expect to encounter in your daily life. Finish work by five so that you can go home and focus on what counts in your life. Resources The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life by Craig Ballantyne Early to Rise Five Pillars of Success and Transformation Turbulence Training “7 Rules Everyone Should Follow” by Craig Ballantyne The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level by Hendricks Gay, PhD Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life's Work by Steven Pressfield Double Double by Cameron Herold Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey Downloads MP3 Transcript Production & Development for The Impact Entrepreneur Show by Podcast Masters
21 Oct 2016
SFN201: Train for the Challenge by mastering your inner game
If you’re listening to this right now, you are ambitious. And ambitious people want awesome sh*t. But if you want to make that happen, you need to Master Your Inner Game first. Jacob Sokol is a life and business coach who has been described as a mix between Jay-Z and Deepak Chopra. For the past seven years, he has been on a mission to help people live with less anxiety and greater fulfillment by mastering their Inner Game. Jacob is known for creating The Inner Game Immersion, a 10-week immersion process that helps people level up their mental clarity, emotional mastery, physical optimization, and spiritual purpose. Click here to learn more and read the blog post at TheFoundation.com/podcast. Resources Connect with Jacob: Sensophy.com | Facebook | Twitter | Jacob (at) sensophy.com Master your Inner Game at PlayTheInnerGame.com Production & Development for The Foundation: Starting From Nothing Podcast by Podcast Masters.
30 Jan 2017
SFN165: Jenn Scalia on Creating a Membership Site
Jenn Scalia runs a coaching business and membership site for women who want to put themselves out there and run their own online business. Formerly, she enjoyed doing social media full-time for the largest casino in Atlantic City until she was laid off. Jenn felt like she hit rock bottom after her second layoff in two years. It was then that she decided that she wanted control over whether or not she worked and how much she earned. Jenn then moved back in with her parents’, and leveraged their support to get out of debt and slowly grow her business to the six-figure company it is today. In this interview, Jenn tells us all about Little Black Business Book, and what it takes to run a membership site. We also talk shop about creativity and why she’s addicted to investing in one-on-one coaching. In This Interview I Ask: 2:35 - Did you go and get another job after [getting laid off]? 4:21 - What were the first 60-90 days like from the time you [decided to start a business]? What did it look like in the first three months of you figuring all this stuff out? 5:40 - Did you have habits or rituals that you did everyday? Did you do things to condition your mindset that way you could keep moving forward even though it was kind of tough? 6:50 - What are you saying in your marketing materials in order to attract clients that sets you apart from the other options that people have? 7:40 - How would you describe your ideal customer? 8:20 - How does your membership fee work? 9:20 - What are some of the specific mini courses that people could go through as a part of the membership site? 10:11 - When you launched the membership site originally, how many mini courses were a part of that? 14:04 - What’s a typical time frame from you’ve got the idea to it’s on the membership site? 14:40 - What’s your magic when and where for creation? 15:57 - Do you have a specific place you like to create? 16:42 - What are the strategies that you use you to acquire your ideal customers? 18:12 - How do you capture testimonials? 20:47 - What’s your most popular mini course? 21:48 - What’s your favorite social challenge that you run? Give us a taste of what that looks like. 23:12 - What’s content prompt? 23:36 - What kind of team is behind this? 24:22 - What do you think is the biggest chokehold in your business? What are you working on the most? 25:28 - What do you see for your business in the next three years? What’s that look like? 26:25 - Of the education and training you’ve experienced yourself, what are some of the game changers for you? 27:35 - What’s the latest book that you’ve read in the last six months that has shown you something new that excited you or that grew your business or your personal life? 28:26 - Did you systematize [drinking water] in any way? 28:52 - Let’s say you woke up and you don’t feel like you want to work. Do you have something that you do to push through or step back from the business? How do you look at a “down day”? 30:29 - Do you ever abstain from technology? 31:36 - What does success mean to you? How to Position Yourself in the Marketplace Position yourself as a thought leader and as someone who is the go-to person in your niche. Create a viral visibility so that people know who you are and know about your business. How to Capture Testimonials In order to get the right answers, you need to ask the right questions. Get your customers to express the journey from when they decided to hire you to their end result. Some questions you might include are: Where were you before you purchased [product/service]? What happened during your experience with [product/service]? Where are you now after experiencing/using [product/service]? Pro Tip: Ask for video testimonials that included specific numbers and actual results such as an amount of money saved or earned or percentage increase of goal(s). Jenn’s Business Game Changer “Every time I’ve worked with someone one-on-one, at a higher level, it definitely moved the the needle for me. I’ve also taken lots of courses, but I don't think, looking back, any course or program itself was a game changer. It was really having that first hand one-on-one support and accountability that really changed it for me. I'm addicted to it.” “If I don’t continue to invest in myself, and I don't continue to have that support I'm not going to be able to continue to run a business that’s seven figures.” Show Links: JennScalia.com, website Your Body’s Many Cries for Water, book
15 Jul 2016
SFN198 - Bootstrapping software is simpler than you let it be
Stop trying to hack early-stage startup growth. Get ready for real world, practical advice on bootstrapping a software business. David Hauser has been there and done it and he isn’t brainwashed by some of the Silicon Valley methods for hacking growth. David bootstrapped Grasshopper from $0 to $30M in revenue before selling it & founded Chargify, made it profitable then raised money through Mark Cuban. Click here to learn more and read the blog post at TheFoundation.com/podcast. Resources Connect with David: Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook Production & Development for The Foundation: Starting From Nothing Podcast by Podcast Masters.
23 Jan 2017
SFN232: The Foundation & Future of Internet Marketing
Phil MacNevin has over 16 years of experience in design, digital marketing, entrepreneurship training, and leadership, and his unique background has allowed him to work with some of the top people and brands in the industry: His digital marketing agency, LiftMedia, has built and automated marketing funnels for industry experts like Eben Pagan, Jordan Belfort, Christian Mickelsen, Chandler Bolt, and The Foundation. Phil also launched a new podcast, Automate and Convert, where he helps entrepreneurs increase traffic, optimize conversions, and maximize their productivity – all while automating their business and marketing. Click here to learn more and read the blog post at TheFoundation.com/podcast. Resources Learn more: LifeMedia.co | YouTube Connect with Phil: Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn Listen to Phil’s podcast: Automate and Convert Launch by Jeff Walker
24 Oct 2017
SFN194: How to escape corporate servitude by bootstrapping
Do you want to escape corporate servitude to live a life of value and make a greater impact? Four years ago, Carl Mattiola left Tesla Motors and graduated from The Foundation as one of the most successful people in the class. He was generating $3-4k in monthly recurring revenue for a software product. Now he is making well over six figures every month as the Founder or Co-Founder of three companies: ClinicRise, ClinicMetrics and Breakthrough PT Marketing. You can make the leap too. Listen to Carl’s story to discover how The Foundation helped him achieve his goals. Click here to learn more and read the blog post at TheFoundation.com/podcast. Resources Connect with Carl: Website | Carl (at) CarlMattiola.com ClinicRise ClinicMetrics Breakthrough PT Marketing Production & Development for The Foundation: Starting From Nothing Podcast by Podcast Masters.
13 Jan 2017
SFN187: Don’t make your own mistakes; learn from these
“I wish I had heard this interview two years ago. It probably would have saved a lot of hard times.” –Wyatt Jozwowski Bootstrapping is great because it forces you to focus on what matters: maximum profit in the least amount of time, while maintaining the ability to reorient and make the best decisions. There’s also a fine line between making decisions that matter and making short-term decisions that hurt you in the long-term. To help you walk that fine line and make the best decisions for bootstrapping your startup, Wyatt Jozwowski & David Abrams share how they turned Demio’s rocky start into a successful launch and the lessons they learned along the way. Click here to learn more and read the blog post at TheFoundation.com/podcast. Resources Try out Demio: Website | Facebook | Twitter Connect with Wyatt: Twitter Connect with David: Twitter Production & Development for The Foundation: Starting From Nothing Podcast by Podcast Masters.
26 Dec 2016
SFN155: How to Become Who You Are - with Jules Schroeder
At the age of eighteen, Jules Schroeder ran her first six-figure business teaching other college students how to run their own businesses. Four years later, at age 22, she co-founded a publishing company that made seven figures its first year in business, specializing in making books #1 Best Sellers on the Amazon Kindle platform. Today Jules runs CreateU, a one-year online education program that focuses on learning the specific skills you need to create the career & lifestyle you want. In this episode, we talk to Jules briefly about her company CreateU, and some lessons she’s learned from her experience running three businesses. Then we go in depth to break down the three parts of becoming who you are. Jules shares her insights on relationships, creativity, and improving your skills. In This Interview You’ll Learn: 2:08 - About CreateU. 10:21 - How to determine if you should go to college. 12:40 - Why you should get hands on experience and limit your consumption of how-to information. 15:33 - How to learn from failure, and what Jules learned from her failures. 20:00 - What success means to Jules. 22:43 - Part 1 of Becoming Who You Are: How to Maintain Close Relationships. 28:31 - Part 2 of Becoming Who You Are: How to Cultivate Your Own Creativity. 33:02 - Part 3 of Becoming Who You Are: What’s One Area of Your Life You’re Actively Improving? 37:09 - How to relax from your business without feeling guilt. Show Notes: Jules’ Website - julesschroeder.com CreateU - createu.life Unconventional Life Show - unconventionallifeshow.com
6 May 2016
SFN160: Aaron Vidas on Customer Acquisition
Aaron Vidas is the founder and CEO of Strategy Box, a company that helps others companies find their most profitable customers and creates radically simple plans to help them grow. In this interview, Aaron talks to us about how he transitioned from moving back into his childhood home and working with low leverage clients to working with companies ten times as big and quadrupling his rates. In This Interview I ask: 5:09 - What did you study in university? 6:04 - Knowing what you know now, [would] you go back and do that university program? 8:23 - What are some of your ongoing takeaways from backpacking through China? 17:31 - How did you go about firing your own clients? 24:50 - What shift did it take to go from calling companies making under a million in revenue to companies that were 10x-ing that? 29:08 - What does simplification actually mean? 33:28 - What are people doing wrong when they’re tracking the lifetime value of a customer, and how does that affect what they’re able to do with that information? 38:23 - What do you define as great leadership? How to Calculate Lifetime Value of a Customer Lifetime value is an estimate of how much a customer would bring in over the lifetime they are with the company as a customer. Lifetime Value of a Customer = [How much money do you earn per month for a customer, over a period of time (usually 36 months for younger companies)] MINUS [the customer acquisition costs] Discounted Cash Flow is understanding that a dollar spent today is not a dollar three years from now. When calculating customer acquisition cost: INCLUDE any expense related to marketing, including half of what you pay yourself (if you perform marketing tasks) INCLUDE Development costs and other variable costs such as hiring customer service or an account executive DO NOT include employee salaries How to Cold Email Clients 10x As Big As the Ones You’re Currently Serving When reaching out to prospects, make it abundantly clear that you’re not going to sell them anything and you just want to learn about their problems. It just so happens you might actually solve those problems and if they feel inclined to they may want to hire you later on. You can use this script: “This isn’t a sales call. [This] is what I do. [These] are some of the clients that I work with. [So and so] suggested I get in touch with you. I solve [these types of problems] for [these companies]. Can I have a ten minutes of your time? I really just want to know what your situation is, and if this is a fit for you or if it isn’t, and just why.” In The Foundation, we call this process “Idea Traction.” Alternatively, you can say this: “Hey, I’ve got nothing to sell you right now. I want to understand some aspects of your business to see what types of services you’re lacking, and to see if I could potentially develop a solution in the future. Can I have ten minutes of your time?” Pre-Qualify Your Clients Before You Contact Them Ask yourself, over two or three years, how much could this client spend with me? If the answer isn’t a big number you need to ask, should I be going after them in the first place? How to Simplify Your Business Ask yourself, a year from now, what do you want to be doing? Then work backwards from that. Some other questions you can ask is how much would it cost to acquire a customer or how long would that customer stay around for? How to Fire Clients There comes a time when you might have to fire your least profitable clients to grow your company. Firing your client doesn’t mean you’re leaving the relationship in a negative way. Take the extra time to help your client continue their business without you. Step One: Have an open and honest conversation about the relationship. Explain why you are unable to serve them to the best of your abilities. An example might be that the client is self-sabotaging themselves by not doing their part in the collaboration to accomplish agreed upon goals. Step Two: Refer your clients to alternative service providers so there’s no interruption in their services. Show Links: AaronVidas.com, website Strategy Box, website Customer Acquisition Cost, slides
10 Jun 2016
SFN163: Jennifer Barcelos & Sandy Connery On Developing and Growing A B2B Company
Jennifer Barcelos and Sandy Connery are both alums of The Foundation Class of 2013, who met and instantly became friends at our Foundation live event. Jenny was a lawyer and new mom wanting to explore new ways to fund the nonprofit organization she worked with, while Sandy was a certified pedorthist, who after selling her previous business was looking for a new entrepreneurial challenge. After uncovering a common pain point shared by yoga studio owners, Jenny founded Namastream, a virtual wellness studio service for yoga instructors. Sandy, being a fellow yogi and Namastream enthusiast, joined the team a year and a half later. In this interview, Jenny tells us the story of how Namastream came to be, and what her experience of building a SaaS solution from inception to growth is like. Sandy shares what prompted her to join the Namastream team and how roles are divided between them. In This Interview I Ask: 4:59 - How many studios did you end up speaking with before you saw the pain you were going to solve for them? 5:35 - How do you actually take that pain and start taking action toward building a solution to it? 7:20 - How were you thinking about the long-term vision of what you wanted to get out of building something? 10:01 - People always say that you should build a business in an area that you’re passionate about; is yoga a passion of yours? 12:50 - Jenny, how long did you run [Namastream] without Sandy, and what was the impetus to bring somebody on? 14:54 - How did you decide to bring someone on as a partner versus hiring a rockstar team member that you pay as an employee? 16:50 - Sandy, what drove you to get involved? 19:35 - How did you go from a bootstrap company to going through the 9Mile Labs Accelerator program? 27:28 - What are some of the core takeaways from the Accelerator program? 29:30 - How do you two divide your roles in the company? 33:30 - Who’s the ideal customer for Namastream? 37:41 - What’s the vision for Namastream over the next three years? 40:13 - Do you feel like you went in and dominated yoga and now you’re spreading, or does it feel it doesn’t do you any good to sit around and dominate yoga for years before you spread? 42:12 - [What is] the biggest mistake that you believe you’ve made that has led to breakthroughs or growth? How to Validate a Pain Point Interview multiple target customers and find a common pain point. Have an additional conversation with each of those same customers you interview, and get them to confirm the pain point you’ve discovered. Research bigger brands and companies who have already figured out how to solve the pain point you’ve discovered, and evaluate their solutions. How to Qualify a Potential Partner This person should know your business. This person should be someone you trust 100%. This person should be as excited and interested in your company as you are. Example: Jenny and Sandy were already accountability partners within The Foundation program so Sandy knew all about Namastream from their conversations. Sandy was always interested in Namastream so when Jenny proposed a partnership, Sandy intuitively said yes. Show Links: Namastream, website Soulful MBA: Start Your Own Health and Wellness Business, website 9Mile Labs: Accelerator Program, website
1 Jul 2016
SFN208: How to Bootstrap a Business to $1M in Monthly Recurring Revenue
Do you feel in control? Bootstrapping a business allows you to create a life that you control – even if you have to start the process after work and on weekends. Today we have an incredible bootstrap success story: how Paras Chopra launched and scaled Wingify to over $1M in monthly recurring revenue – that’s right, monthly. In this episode you’ll learn… why bootstrapping gives you control. the difference between a good launch and a bad launch. how to leverage your core value. Click here to learn more and read the blog post at TheFoundation.com/podcast. Resources Connect with Paras: ParasChopra.com | Twitter Learn more about Wingify: Website | Facebook | Twitter Founders at Work by Jessica Livingston Production & Development for The Foundation: Starting From Nothing Podcast by Podcast Masters.
27 Feb 2017
SFN170: Brian Scudamore On Growing Your Business With the Right People
Brian Scudamore is the founder of many companies under the umbrella of O2E Brands (Ordinary 2 Exceptional). He started his first business 1-800-GOT-JUNK, a junk removal company, in college, and grew it to a global brand with franchises in over 30 cities across North America. Brian’s other franchises include Wow 1 Day Painting, You Move Me, and Shack Shine. In this interview, Brian tells us how he grew 1-800-GOT-JUNK from a college side hustle to a 250 million dollar franchise. Brian credits his success to two things: having a clear vision for his business, and hiring the right people. In This Interview I Ask: 2:30 - How much money can you make running a junk removal business? 4:07 - What were you studying when you were in college? 4:42 - If you were about to have the possibility to enter college today and you still wanted to be an entrepreneur, do you think you would go through it? 6:36 - What did [it] actually look like for you to go from nothing, to getting something created out of thin air? 10:26 - What kind of income were you actually taking home, roughly? 11:44 - During those first five years, what was your relationship like with [your friends and family] relevant to your business? Were they supportive? 14:53 - After you lay off these eleven people, do you start to create a system in a structure around exactly what it looks like to hire the perfect employee for you? 18:32 - So you've actually never taken outside funding for 1-800-Got-Junk or any of the brands, is that right? 20:21 - What kind of a process have you put in place to onboard new franchisees and keep the culture? 21:45 - Was there anything that happened with the franchising model that you guys really learned a lesson from? 24:49 - You guys have a pretty unique way of managing your vision, don't you? 26:26 - How close to that five-year goal did you hit your 30th city? 27:46 - So when does O2E [Brands] come about in relation to 1-800-Got-Junk? 29:46 - What goes into taking a two-to-three week job and making it into a one-day job? 32:01 - What other businesses are now under the O2E Brands’ umbrella? 33:20 - Was [You Move Me] something that you actually engineered from the ground up with you and your team about what an ideal moving experience would look like? 34:49 - What's the kind of core idea behind the whole concept of the entrepreneur? Why is this so important? 36:53 - Why is [entrepreneurship] potentially a better option than a pure entrepreneurship model? 39:26 - What skill sets or lessons did you need to learn to go from one million, and then to fifty million, and then to 250 million? What are the distinctions and that sort of growth? 41:43 - What does it look like for you to be the vision and the culture side of the company in terms of what you do in a day? 43:34 - What does your “painted picture” look like for the next three to five years? Learn in the Way That Works Best for You In the world of business, there're so many ways to learn. Brian’s style of learning had always been getting out and talking to mentors, finding real-life people who had been where he wanted to go and learn from them. It all depends on what you're doing. If you're learning to code, you don't necessarily need to go to college. If you're learning to be a doctor, you probably should. Lots of successful people have gone the route of the classroom and studying to get an MBA. Find the method that works best for you. Overnight Success Stories Take a Long Time As entrepreneurs, it's worth reminding ourselves that “overnight success stories” take a long time. It took Brian ten years to generate his first million dollars in revenue. There's so much talk of people getting into tech and building the next billion-dollar app, but those are truly unicorns. They do not happen very often. Real businesses are the ones that take time, take that passion that never wanes, and you're just constantly giving to try and really grow your company. Systematize Your Business Write down all your business processes into a documentation of how your brand does everything. Systematizing became the foundation for 1-800-Got-Junk’s scaling. Brian took everything in his business, how he answered the phone, how he price jobs, how he resolved customer complaints, how he marketed the business when things were slow or busy; and compiled it on a one-page checklist of “how you do this the 1-800-Got-Junk way”. “Inspect What They're Expecting” When it comes to customer service, always ask, “What we expect, is that getting delivered?” A CEO shouldn’t ever get so far away from the front lines. You have to connect. You have to check in and you have to “inspect what you expect”, even as you continue to grow a business. The Keys to Growing a Business Successfully Have a Vision of Where You're Going “If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there”. It knows exactly where you're going. You don't have to figure out exactly how to get there until time starts progressing and you start figuring out the how. The vision is all about where you going. What's the destination? Imagine pure possibility. What could the future look like if only you could imagine it? Write down on a sheet of paper that your business would look like, feel like, and how you’d act at a point in the future. Example: The “painted picture” for 1-800-Got-Junk was a five-year vision that they would complete by December 31, 2003. It said they'd be in the top thirty metros in North America. It said they would be on The Oprah Winfrey Show. It said they would build the “FedEx of junk removal”, but with clean shiny trucks, friendly uniformed drivers. That painted picture compelled Brian to start seeing the future, and he shared it with friends, family, co-workers, and new hires so that everybody would see this vision and make a decision if they believed, or if they should be doing something different. Find the Right People It's all about people. It's people that make businesses grow and succeed and thrive. Find the right people. Ask yourself, who’s the team? What does the team look like? What are the right seats? Bring those people in who have the same shared passion for your vision and towards building something bigger together. Hire and train them. Give them love and support and everything they need to be successful. Treat them right. Never compromise on the quality of people that you bring into your organization. However, keep in mind that no one will ever be as passionate about your business as you are. What is an Entrepreneur? Entrepreneur stands for two things: opening doors to a new opportunity and then working together, building something much bigger together than anyone would have ever chosen to build alone. An entrepreneur is someone who isn't going solo. They're not flying solo. They're building something together and what's awesome about our entrepreneurs is once they've had their own runway and started becoming successful, they recognize that the fastest way for themselves to grow, is taking other employees they have and saying, “Hey, have you ever thought of running your own business, of living the American Dream? I think I can help”. O2E Brands is a cheerleading organization. They set a vision and help everybody work together towards that common vision. They also provide opportunities. They open doors and say “Come on in. Take the risk”. They invest with entrepreneurs and help introduce them to people could partner with one another to build a successful moving business or shine-our-window and gutter cleaning business in a new market. Show Links: 1-800-GOT-JUNK, website O2E (Ordinary to Exceptional), website You Move Me, website Wow 1 Day Painting, website Shack Shine, website
21 Aug 2016