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Cover image of Foundr Magazine Podcast with Nathan Chan

Foundr Magazine Podcast with Nathan Chan

We interview hard to reach entrepreneurs. (Mark Cuban, Tim Ferriss, Sophia Amoruso, Tony Robbins, Barbara Corcoran, Gary Vaynerchuk, & many more).Unlike most podcast interview series Nathan Chan literally started from knowing nothing. He was just an average guy working in a 9-5 job he utterly hated. He knew nothing about entrepreneurship, nothing about startups, nothing about marketing, and nothing about online or how to build a business. So from launching Foundr Magazine he's gone out and spoken to some of the most successful entrepreneurs and founders in the world to find out exactly what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur, so YOU can learn from them.Why this podcast? Because we're asking the same questions you want to know as an entrepreneur on their journey to building an extremely successful business. We're on the front-lines facing the daily battles you are. How do I get more customers? How do I scale my business? I want to start a business, but just don't know where to start? How did this person get millions of customers and make millions of dollars and have a such a massive impact on the world?Some of these entrepreneurs are very well known, and some not known at all and that’s the cool part! Here we will share with you our best interviews from Foundr magazine showcasing this persons processes, failures, critical lessons learnt and actionable strategies showing YOU how to build a successful business. This is NOT your AVERAGE everyday entrepreneurship podcast.We've also interviewed many successful game changing podcasters like Jim Kwik, Pat Flynn, Lewis Howes, Jordan Harbinger, Joel Brown & many more!

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60: How to Become Financially Free with Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins talks fast. Conversing with him is like riding Space Mountain: You get in, you hang on, and before you know it, it’s over and you’re left feeling bewildered, slightly euphoric, and wanting to smooth your hair. Robbins has become a household name as the man who popularized life coaching. Imagine your client list including Oprah, Princess Diana, and Bill Clinton—all before you hit your mid- 30s. He’s spoken to more than 50 million people in 100 countries. To call Tony Robbins just a self-help guru would be like calling Muhammad Ali just a boxer. It doesn’t quite cut it. He is a force of nature, an industry, and a global brand. His advice is still sought by the likes of professional athletes, CEOs, movie stars, rappers and world leaders. When Foundr interrupted Robbins’ schedule for an interview, he was 40 miles from the Arctic Circle, racing Lamborghinis across a frozen ice lake. As you do. “I was eaten up by my crazy schedule, going to 15 countries a year, so I decided, ‘I’m going to find a little time to play,’ and this was on my list. So it’s nice to be able to experience it.” It’s a fitting vacation. Robbins is best known for his high-intensity seminars. To say he’s bursting with enthusiasm is an understatement. It seems as though he’s sitting atop an erupting volcano of energy and optimism. His voice is booming, with its trademark rasp. He makes each point with the force of an artillery bombardment. In this interview you will learn: How to deduce your market to the metrics that matter The steps you need to take in order to be financially free Turning past pain into pure motivation and a hunger for success Tony's ethos in living for impact, and how the money will follow How to serve your client in the best possible way & more more!

45mins

30 Sep 2015

Rank #1

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276: Using Content to Build a Community, With Beardbrand Founder Eric Bandholz

Rise of the Urban Beardsman How Eric Bandholz challenged the stereotypes of bearded men and built a booming community with Beardbrand. Eric Bandholz didn’t like being put into a box. In his former life as a financial advisor at a big bank, for example, he was expected to fit the stereotypical facade of a banker—suit, tie, clean-shaven. He didn’t like it, so he quit. With his newfound freedom, Bandholz embarked on an entrepreneurial journey, all while sporting a fresh, full beard. While he loved his rugged new look, he noticed it was happening yet again. This time, he found himself stuffed in a box with the likes of ZZ Top and the guys on Duck Dynasty. Of course, Bandholz didn’t identify with any of these well-known bearded figures either. And he began to realize that other full-bearded men from all walks of life didn’t fit this mold either. “I ended up going to this event where I sort of meet other guys like me, like stay-at-home dads and ministers, salespeople, doctors, lawyers, who are all rocking beards and they didn’t really fit the traditional stereotype,” Bandholz says. “So I was thinking about it. … Who are these people? How do I describe them?” Seeing there was a broad community of bearded men without a home to call their own, Bandholz founded Beardbrand in 2012. Along with co-founders Lindsey Reinders and Jeremy McGee, Bandholz created a community where bearded men could unite, evolving later into a full-fledged lifestyle brand complete with their own beard care and styling products. With an army of loyal followers on social media, which includes a YouTube channel with over a million subscribers, Beardbrand has grown into an “upper seven-figure business” with ambitions to reach eight in the near future. Bandholz has come a long way from his suit-and-tie-wearing days. In the Beginning In 2011, Bandholz was working for Merrill Lynch in Spokane, Washington, as a financial advisor. It was a respectable career that had a bright future and potential for growth, however, it wasn’t a future he saw for himself once he was in it full time. Although he loved the work of financial advising and investing, it was stuffy atmosphere and the overall “bank life” that Bandholz knew was not for him. Not wanting to spend another moment in a job that wasn’t a good fit, Bandholz packed up his portfolio and moved on. The next move? With a background in marketing prior to his career in finance, Bandholz founded Sovrnty, a startup with a mission to help companies set up marketing automation. Although he had great plans for the business, it never took off. “I was like one of those gurus. I’d never done it, right?” Bandholz says. “So I’m telling people to do something that I had never really done.” Unable to sell businesses on his idea, he shifted Sovrnty’s focus to something that he was good at, which was designing and building WordPress sites. Although he was getting some business, it still wasn’t enough. He was pulling together around $2,000 a month at Sovrnty, but he was mainly relying upon his wife and her full-time job to keep the lights on. Always searching for new clients and ideas, Bandholz was a regular at networking events. And at whichever event he attended, he was always getting called out as one of those cliched bearded figures. The light bulb went off. If he didn’t like to be lumped into the stereotypes about bearded men, there had to be others who felt the same. These guys weren’t lumberjacks, roadies, hillbillies, or hipsters, but how exactly would he characterize them? What would he call them? He settled on “urban beardsmen.” And in 2012, Beardbrand was born. The first thing to launch was the blog, Urban Beardsman, which would become a place where Bandholz could help foster a community and connect with other men who didn’t fit the Grizzly Adams stereotype. Beardbrand would soon follow, an organization that united that community of urban beardsmen. There they could also find the tools they needed to feel confident about their beards and personal styles. But getting from simple blog to full-fledged business proved to be a difficult task. Startup Weekend Although Bandholz was still working at Sovrnty to help make ends meet, he had high hopes for Beardbrand. However, a clear vision on how to grow this new community was nowhere in sight. “Aw man, it was terrible. It was just terrible,” Bandholz says. “There was just no strategy at all in those early days.” The community was growing, but it was hardly going viral. He was posting regularly to Urban Beardsman, had a Tumblr page, and posted some videos to YouTube, but nothing was really taking off. Despite its middling traffic, the blog was the only one of its kind back then, which by default made Bandholz an expert on the topic of beards. Because of its uniqueness, the Urban Beardsman would catch the eye of a reporter at The New York Times who was writing an article and wanted to quote Bandholz. As Bandholz waited for the Times article to be published, he convinced friends Reinders and McGee to join him and collaborate at a Startup Weekend, where they could share their ideas on potential projects. They originally came together to work on a different startup idea that Reinders had, but it soon became clear that they didn’t have the capabilities to create her software product in house. Needing a new business to work on, Bandholz proposed his side project. “I was like, hey, I got this Beardbrand thing and this New York Times reporter is going to quote me in an article,” Bandholz says. “Why don’t we turn that into something?” And turn it into something they did. Reinders and McGee were on board, and in 2013 the business arm of the company was born. Without much capital to start making their own products—they only put $30 into the business at first—the team opted to become an ecommerce company that sold beard oils from a vendor with standard retail markups. “When the New York Times article posted, we were able to get a couple sales,” Bandholz says. “And I think the first month we did like 900 bucks in sales. And then it was kind of like 900 bucks, 1,000 bucks, 600 bucks … 2,000 bucks, 3,000 bucks, 7,000 bucks. And then it just seemed like we got a lot of momentum into that fall season and holiday season.” After almost seven years in business, which included an appearance on Shark Tank (spoiler alert: they didn’t get a deal), the momentum is still going strong. Beardbrand continues to grow in community, employees, and revenue, and is now located primarily in Austin, Texas with about 15 team members and 120 products sold through their website. Bandholz, whose main focus is on the creative direction of the company, still has major plans for the future of Beardbrand. They intend to try their hands at branching out to create their own custom barbershops, where they can create the same experience a customer may see in a Beardbrand YouTube video. They do this by not only creating an amazing barbershop environment, but also by hiring the right barbers and stylists and coaching them on the information a customer is looking for when they sit in the chair. “[Customers] can to go Great Clips or they can go to their local barbershop and get a really good haircut,” Bandholz says. “But what we want to deliver is that education similar to how we deliver it on our YouTube Channel.”  Whether it is through their popular YouTube videos, blog, or even future barbershops, Beardbrand will always work towards its core mission. “We’re not just here trying to sell products for vanity,” Bandholz says. “We believe that when you invest in yourself, you become a better person and you make the world a better place. You live longer. … I feel this responsibility that I’ve got to get that message out there as much as possible so that we can make the world a better place.” 3 Content Marketing Tips for Bootstrapped Startups When Eric Bandholz first started Beardbrand, cash was minimal. He was still working at his first company, Sovrnty, and was building Beardbrand on the side. They knew that they didn’t have the money to pay for marketing, but what they did have was their time to invest in content marketing. Bandholz knew that with the right content and strategy, they could reach millions of people. “Content marketing was essentially our only option in those early days,” Bandholz says. “We didn’t have cash to put into the business. So it started with sharing our story on Reddit. It started with, you know, reaching out to people on Twitter and sharing our product with influencers and not paying them for it.” Being proactive with their content marketing strategy in the beginning was a key component of Beardbrand’s success. Here are three tips to help your startup bootstrap using content marketing. Get Started, But Be Patient Without a marketing budget, Bandholz turned to content marketing to help draw eyes to Beardbrand. It was cost-effective, with the bulk of the investment being his own time to create the content. The trick was not only to post content and to post it often, but to also know that in the beginning, you won’t get much of a return on your investment. Content marketing is a long-term play. The first step is to just create something. Anything. “While it does build up over time, it also doesn’t do anything in the beginning,” Bandholz says. “And you really have to like… stoke that fire and get it going. And you get it going by creating, you know, 20 or 40 or 50 pieces of content that start to build that foundation.” Do What You Like To Do With so many different funnels and channels to produce content for, it can be intimidating on deciding where to start. According to Bandholz, the type of content you should produce first should be for the channel you’re most interested and passionate about. “I think you look at yourself and what you like to do,” Bandholz says. “Are you more of an audio person? Then maybe podcasting’s the way to go. Are you more of a writer, you know, introvert? Do you like to express yourself through words? Then blogging is a great way to go. Then, of course, if you’re narcissistic like me…then video is a great source for you.” The more passion you have for a certain medium, the more likely you’ll churn out content and stick to the long-term plan. Understanding Expectations Not all content is created equal, and it’s important to understand the goal for each piece of content you create. At Beardbrand, they use the sales funnel model, where their “content at the top” is there to bring awareness to the brand, the “middle” is used to introduce the products, and the “bottom” hopefully helps to turn the reader into a buying customer. “Sometimes we have content that is there to inspire people,” Bandholz says. “You know, it’s not going to drive any sales. It’s just there to help build awareness to the brand. And then other good content is stuff that drives sales and gets engagement, or gets people talking and spreading the word.” By diversifying the types of content you create, you enhance your chances of attracting different types of readers and content consumers on different platforms. As Bandholz says, as a creator, you don’t know exactly what part of the funnel really “helped them become a customer.” For instance, the customer may have first learned about your company through a YouTube video, but it was perhaps the blog or an email newsletter that really got them to trust you and that turned them into a paying customer. Whichever type of content strategy you decide to implement, one thing is for certain—just get started. You never know who is reading. Interview by Nathan Chan, feature article reprinted from Foundr Magazine, by Nick Allen Key Takeaways What drove Bandholz from his career as a financial advisor Why his first startup Sovrnty failed to take off The lightbulb moment that inspired Bandholz to launch Beardbrand How Bandholz leveraged content marketing to grow his business on a tight budget The struggle to grow the community into a full-fledged business How Beardbrand eventually caught the attention of The New York Times The partnerships that helped Bandholz start selling beard grooming and styling products From investing $30 into an ecommerce business to making 7 figures What Bandholz envisions for the future of the company

57mins

12 Nov 2019

Rank #2

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03: Marianne Cantwell Shares with us Step by Step How to Escape the 9-5 and Build a Business and Life You Love Online

Ever wondered how you ended up working the job you’re doing? Ever felt like you sort of just, fell in to it? Ever wondered how to escape ‘the corporate cage’? Finding out what you are good at, what drives you as a person, and then finding suitable work based upon that should be a keystone of our society, but unfortunately, it is not. Entrepreneur Marianne Cantwell aims to change all that. Marianne Cantwell works in helping people find their driving passion, breaking free from the corporate cage and creating “free-range” careers. She runs a successful business called free-range-humans and explains that your interests should be a key driver behind your actions, not the blind pursuit of riches. Marianne Cantwell explains that living a dream is simple, it’s possible, and takes guts.  As a woman who has thrown away the security of the 9 to 5 quite early in her career to chase down projects she loves, she is an authority on the subject. Put simply, she broke away from the corporate life and has succeeded doing what the rest of us dream about, which is running her online business from anywhere on the planet.     I Need Your Help!   If you haven’t already, I would love if you could be awesome and take a minute to leave a quick rating and review of the podcast on iTunes by clicking on the link below. It’s the most amazing way to help the show grow and reach more people!   Leave a review for the Foundr Podcast!

50mins

22 Nov 2014

Rank #3

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268: How Life Coach Marie Forleo Figured Out Her Life, and Empowers Others to Do the Same

Figuring It Out Why Marie Forleo walked away from Wall Street to help people build lives they love. Marie Forleo was on the brink of the American dream. After graduating as valedictorian from Seton Hall University, making her the first in her family to graduate from college, she’d landed her first post-grad job on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Her peers were millionaires, and she was on track to become one, too. But that dream came crashing down after a panic attack halfway through a workday left her sobbing in the pews of the nearest church. Just six months into her job, the little voice in her head was telling her that she was on the wrong path, and she knew she had to make a change. Of course, she was petrified by the idea of leaving her job behind (especially with the mountain of debt that came with the pursuit of the American dream), and she didn’t know if she’d ever find something that would truly fulfill her. Determined to figure it out, Forleo eventually made her way to a new career path that would not only bring her happiness, but would also enrich the lives of many others experiencing their own difficulties. Today, Forleo inspires millions through her work as a life coach. She has over 578,000 YouTube subscribers on her award-winning channel, MarieTV, with over 49 million views spanning 195 countries. She’s also ushered 55,000 students through her eight-week marketing school for business owners called B-School. She’s even been interviewed by Oprah herself. And now, Forleo’s got a new book coming out, Everything Is Figureoutable, in which she unpacks the life lessons that she considers to be the secrets to her own success. While coaching wasn’t her next, or even her next-next career choice after leaving Wall Street in the dust, by trusting her gut, advice from her parents, and the tiny voice of truth in her head, she found her way there eventually and built a life she loved. Struggling to Start When she was younger, Forleo dreamed of becoming a Disney animator or a fashion designer. But amid her disillusion with the job on Wall Street, all she could think was, “What else am I going to do?” With her head spinning and stomach performing an intricate gymnastics routine, she called her dad. She was horrified by the idea of disappointing him, but didn’t know what else to do. “I was quite broken,” she says. She told her dad about how unfulfilled her coworkers seemed, her growing fear that she would end up like them, and her unmet desire to do something that brought joy to herself and others.  After baring her soul, Forleo nervously waited for her dad’s response. What he said would shape the course of her entire life. He reminded her that she would be working for the next 40 years or more of her life, and she needed to spend that valuable time doing something she loved. She quit her job two weeks later. But as little voices in our heads often do, Forleo’s told her just enough to get her out the door, but didn’t offer much insight on what she should do next. She loved design, but was also fascinated by business, so she decided to give the world of magazine publishing a go. Through a temp agency, she got an ad sales assistant position at Gourmet magazine. Forleo loved her boss and publisher, and, with a desk conveniently located right next to the test kitchen, she believed she had finally found her niche. But six months in, the voices of doubt took up their chorus once again. “I couldn’t deny the fact that I didn’t want to be there,” she says. Forleo wondered whether a more creative role in the magazine industry would quiet the voices, so she snagged a job on the editorial team of Mademoiselle. Sure enough, when she reached that six-month hurdle, the voices told her that, once again, it was time to move on. Discouraged, frustrated, and afraid for her future, Forleo wondered if there was just something wrong with her. Why couldn’t she find any work that made her truly happy? A Calling for Coaching The profession of life coaching wasn’t something most college graduates in the 1990s considered or even knew existed. In fact, Thomas Leonard, who is commonly called the father of the profession, only began his work in the 1980s. So when Forleo stumbled across an article about life coaching in the early 2000s, it was as if she was uncovering a buried treasure. “When I read this article, I swear to you, it was like the clouds parted and cherubs came out and they were shooting little sunbeams into my chest,” she says. At just 23, Forleo questioned whether she had anything to offer as a coach, but she says something about it just felt right. So she enrolled immediately in a three-year, part-time training program. When the six-month wall that had diverted her path so many times arrived, she pushed through it like tissue paper. And for the last two decades, Forleo’s “move along” voices have been silent. In 2001, she launched her first weekly newsletter, called Magical Moments, which attracted a modest following. Slowly, but steadily, her reach grew. Forleo attributes much of her success to her tremendous patience, calling herself “a worker bee.” Her skills and audience grew, and she launched new, ever-evolving platforms. As the 2000s rolled into the 2010s, Forleo launched B-School, her online course on marketing for business owners, as well as her wildly successful YouTube channel, MarieTV. But her journey wasn’t all unicorns and balloons. She encountered moments of failure (like the time she tried to build a custom coaching platform without a lick of relevant tech expertise), but each one taught her a valuable lesson. “I realized the power of positive quitting,” she says. “I think there’s a big distinction between giving up and moving on.” She also learned the principal of, as she puts it, “simplifying to amplify.” As Forleo began to draw international attention for the work she was doing, she felt the pressure to create more, attend more, and give more. Pulled in so many directions, the beginnings of burnout set in and she felt she wasn’t giving her best to her flourishing business. “Having a really successful, thriving business is not just about the money,” she says, emphasizing each word. “How does your team operate? How do they feel showing up to work every day? How do you, as the founder, feel? Are you so stressed out that you want to run away and hate that you even started this thing?” So in 2013, she decided to scale back and focus instead on the things that enabled her to make the most impact. She says she killed over a million dollars in revenue with a snap of her fingers. But the flood of creativity and renewed sense of direction that followed laid the groundwork for her to rapidly recuperate that amount and much more. So when others tell her that she should be investing more time in a particular platform or conference or trend that she feels will take her off track, she has no problem saying no. “I’m not out there to chase things,” she says. “I’m not going after vanity metrics. I give no shits about any of that. The metrics that matter to me are the lives I can impact, the profitability of the company, the difference I can make through our philanthropic endeavors, and am I actually enjoying my life.” She also knows who to listen to when considering what to add to her business—her customers. “The feedback, the iteration, the constantly making it better is how you get to something that’s legendary,” she says. “And I think folks don’t have the patience or the ability to focus over time and the desire to make something extraordinary, and that’s why we have so much mediocre.” Forleo says that the Customer Happiness department is the largest chunk of her 30-member team because they are committed to responding to every single email received. So, for example, when she noticed an influx of emails from MarieTV viewers lamenting that they most enjoyed listening to her show in the car as they drove but hated running up their data, she created a podcast to solve the problem. And if anything is clearly evident, it’s that Forleo is, to her core, a committed problem solver, a trait she attributes to her enterprising mother. Sharing Her Secret to Success Forleo’s mom, the child of two alcoholic parents from the projects of north New Jersey, “learned by necessity how to stretch a dollar bill around the block like five times.” She was always looking for ways to save money, so if something was broken and the price for a professional to fix it was too steep, she would fix it herself. From a leaky roof to cracked bathroom tiles, lack of experience or a college degree didn’t keep Forleo’s mother from tackling even the most complicated projects. One day, Forleo found her mom hard at work fixing her favorite radio, a Tropicana orange with a red and white straw for an antenna. Staring at the fully disassembled radio, amazed, Forleo asked her mom how she planned to put it back together again. Her mom told her that nothing is too complicated if you just jump in and get to work, because “everything is figureoutable.” That conviction lodged itself deep in Forleo’s heart, and it carried her through everything life threw at her, from difficult relationships to launching her own business. So when the time came to write her second book, she knew she had to share this principle with the world. In Everything Is Figureoutable, which comes out this month, Forleo builds on three simple rules:     All problems (or dreams) are figureoutable.     If a problem isn’t figureoutable, it’s not a problem. It’s a fact of life.     You may not care enough to solve this particular problem or reach this particular dream, and that’s OK. Find something you really do care about, and go back to Rule #1. While these principles can be used in every aspect of life, Forleo feels they are particularly applicable to entrepreneurship, a career path she feels is often “over-glammed.” She says that being an entrepreneur is a lot harder than it looks because it’s all about suffering in the short term to reach long-term goals, and sometimes that period of suffering can feel neverending. “I think we all really feel stuck in our lives from time to time, but if you do embed this belief that everything really is figureoutable, it gives you this energy to get up and go again,” she says. Forleo also insists that the ability to change direction is essential for a business owner. “To survive as an entrepreneur, you have to be incredibly nimble and flexible and to keep evolving yourself,” she says. “Otherwise, you’ll get left in the dust.” And she advises any founders who are living in fear or doubt about their business or career path to pull out a trusty journal and write it all down. “We, just as humans, underestimate the value of writing things out and writing things down,” she says. “When it comes to feeling stuck—when it comes to feeling fear, which can stop many of us—we allow it to stay amorphous and kind of shapeless like a boogeyman in our head, rather than being concrete and specific about it on the page.” Forleo’s particular brand of down-to-earth optimism has inspired millions, and, through her new book, she is excited by a new opportunity to share a piece of how she achieved her dreams. As Forleo’s business continues to grow, expand and evolve, one thing has remained ever constant: the belief that her audience can fashion a life they love, just like she did. Because, after all, everything is figureoutable. Interview by Nathan Chan, feature article reprinted from Foundr Magazine, by Erica Comitalo Key Takeaways Why Forleo was miserable living the American dream The advice Forleo received from her dad that empowered her to walk away from her job on Wall Street Her brief stint in magazine ad sales and editorial work How Forleo discovered the world of life coaching The journey of scaling a newsletter, online course, and YouTube channel to an international level Forleo’s thoughts on positive quitting and the motto “simplify to amplify” Why Forleo decided to scale back on her business and kill over a million dollars in revenue in the process Who Forleo turned to when deciding the new direction for her business The valuable lesson Forleo learned from her mom, which inspired the premise for her new book Everything is Figureoutable Forleo’s survival tips for entrepreneurs

58mins

16 Sep 2019

Rank #4

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81: 15 Million+ Followers on Instagram & Counting! Interview with The Instagram Queen Gretta Rose van Riel

Every day there’s an entrepreneur out there who believes that they’ve found the golden ticket. The one idea that is so revolutionary that it’s going to change the landscape of their niche and bring them a huge success. Unfortunately, no matter how great of an idea it may be, nothing happens unless you have a brilliant plan to execute it. So where to start in this crazy startup world? Well, according to Gretta Rose Van Riel, it starts off with finding not just the right product idea but the perfect one. By using a bit of research, and a little bit more patience, she was able to find the type of product that took her to over 600k in revenue in just under a year! By utilizing Instagram she managed to spread her brand’s message and exposure, growing to over 15 million followers in just a few years! It is very rare you’ll find anyone else as savvy as the founder of SkinnyMe Tea when it comes to the world of e-commerce. In this interview with Foundr Gretta breaks down for us the nitty gritty details of the e-commerce world and shows us just what it takes to make it as a 21st-century entrepreneur. In this interview you will learn: Learn the easiest and cheapest way to build a website for your business Important Insights on how to use Instagram to help start, grow and build up your brand account Learn how to identify trends and physical products that you can successfully sell online How to get your perfect funnel for you to start selling immediately The do's and don'ts of E-commerce & much more!

52mins

1 Mar 2016

Rank #5

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284: Mastering the Art of Paid Media: Spending Over $85M on Facebook, With Structured Social Co-Founder Nick Shackelford

Nick Shackelford used to be a goalie for the American pro soccer team, LA Galaxy II. So how did he end up being an expert in the online ad space? After leaving the soccer league at the end of 2015, Shackelford felt limited by his career options—either training people or playing in a low soccer division—and decided to take the road less traveled instead. He gained experience in paid social media through an internship at PepsiCo. and a stint at a digital marketing agency. Shackelford used the knowledge he gained to start his own fidget spinner business called Fidgetly. This was where he further cemented his paid marketing know-how and also mastered the art of scaling quickly without breaking the bank. Even after the close of Fidgetly, Shackelford continues to put his knowledge to good use by helping brands through his online marketing, branding and consulting company, Structured Social. Whether you’re looking to learn more about scaling, media buying, or paid advertisements, Shackelford is your guy. Make sure to check out his interview to take a deeper dive into these fascinating topics! Key Takeaways How Shackelford went from pro soccer player to intern at PepsiCo. His experience working on paid social media campaigns for the iPhone 7, iPad Pro, and the Apple Watch The rise of fidget spinners, and how this trend helped launch his own business Fidgetly The discovery of Shackelford’s superpower: scaling via paid marketing An overview of Shackelford’s work with various brands after closing Fidgetly How he helped one company clear $10.7 million in sales in 35 days using online ads Shackelford’s best advice for 6-figure businesses that want to accelerate growth The traits of a good media buyer A sneak peek from Shackelford into the new Foundr course he’s teaching

57mins

15 Jan 2020

Rank #6

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149: How to Use Influencer Marketing to Generate Millions with Gretta Rose van Riel of SkinnyMeTea

In 2012, Gretta Rose van Riel, like most aspiring entrepreneurs, found herself spending all of her free time building a business. It was nothing more than a passion project at the time, something to do in her spare time when she wasn't working at her day job. Despite the fact that she had no real plans to become a full-time entrepreneur with her own business, it wasn't long before that passion project grew into something bigger. She soon knew that this was something she just had to devote all of her time and energy to. "Basically, I had an idea that resonated with me so strongly, I just knew that it was something that I had to pursue," van Riel says. The result was a multimillion-dollar ecommerce business called SkinnyMe Tea, the world's first teatox using the natural benefits of tea to help you achieve your health, fitness, and nutrition goals. That alone is impressive enough, but what really separates van Riel from the rest of the pack is that she didn't just build one multimillion-dollar business, she's built many. In five years, Van Riel has transformed herself from just another employee to serial entrepreneur, with multiple ecommerce businesses under her belt. She's effectively cracked the code on how to successfully build a business online, including coming up with the perfect idea, the best way to market it, and how to rapidly scale. In this week's episode you will learn: How to build an incredibly loyal customer base through social media The easiest way to hack into the power of influencer marketing to build your brand Gretta's method to developing the perfect product from idea, to validation, to selling Why Instagram should be your number one channel for customers and sales The foolproof marketing formula guaranteed to double your revenue & much more!

1hr 11mins

24 May 2017

Rank #7

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110: The Secret to Creating & Mastering Content at Scale with Sujan Patel of ContentMarketer.io

Every morning of every day, Sujan Patel starts his day by getting out all of his creative energy onto paper. The process is relatively simple. He starts by recording himself talking about whatever topic he wants to write about as a way to order his thoughts. He'll then send this recording to a transcriptionist and when he gets it back he'll spend around an hour cranking out a 1,500-2,000 word blog post. For Sujan, this is the secret to being one of the world's best and most prolific content marketers today. Just 10 years ago, content marketing just wasn't a thing. Sure, blogs existed but they were rarely used in marketing. Today, content marketing is one of the go-to strategies for businesses everywhere. But with everyone eagerly jumping onto the content marketing bandwagon, simply having a high-quality blog just doesn't cut it anymore. In order to really harness the power of content marketing and see some tangible results, you're going to need a little out-of-the-box thinking. "Everyone's writing content for their customers, their existing customers, or who they think their customers are. What I like to do is, I don't even talk about any of that stuff. I talk about content circles. And what a content circles is, is [the] content that circles your industry." As the founder of ContentMarketer.io, the ultimate tool for content marketers, Sujan is one of the most knowledgable people around, and he shared a ton of his wisdom on the subject with us. In this week's episode you will learn: The best way to generate ideas for articles that your audience will love Just why content marketing is so powerful and why everyone is using it How to create content that generates you leads and customers What to do when you find yourself with writer's block How you too can start writing for places like Forbes, Inc. and Fast Company & much more!

48mins

21 Sep 2016

Rank #8

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201: Zero to $10 Million in 4 Years: How King Kong’s Sabri Suby Went from Work-at-Home Consultant to Booming Agency Founder

To Sabri Suby, business is a jungle and only the strong survive. To be successful, you need to dominate the digital landscape and crush the competition into a fine powder. That fierce attitude has served Suby, and his clients, very well over the years. Suby is the founder of King Kong, the fastest-growing digital marketing agency in Australia. Last year, King Kong raked in $7 million in revenue from its digital marketing campaigns, over $200 million in sales for its clients, and this year, is aiming to top that. Hustling since he was a teen, Suby learned how to sell early on. Making a whole lot of cold calls over the course of his life, he never let up. Starting King Kong in his bedroom on his girlfriend's laptop, Suby preferred to jump into the trenches and get his hands dirty instead of wasting time reading business books and attending events. That unrelenting approach definitely paid off. Listen in as Suby discusses why his agency scaled to millions in revenue so quickly, how to dominate direct response marketing, and why a service-based business should be the top choice for entrepreneurs. ATTENTION: Suby has partnered with Foundr to teach an epic new course, "Consulting Empire.” If you want to learn how to start and scale a service-based business, whether you are a consultant, coach or freelancer, Suby reveals all of his golden strategies (the exact ones he used to scale from zero to $10 million) in this new course. It’s just about ready so get on the free VIP waitlist here to be one of the first we notify when it launches!

59mins

30 May 2018

Rank #9

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139: How to Become a Master Networker to Increase Your Income, Happiness and Startup Success

Jordan Harbinger is one of the most influential people in entrepreneurship today, thanks to his popular podcast The Art of Charm. His show recently hit its 10th anniversary, and Harbinger has interviewed some of the greatest minds and personalities in the startup space and more. Starting off as a law school graduate who landed a job as a financial attorney on Wall Street, it didn't take long for Harbinger to become quickly disillusioned with the life that being a big shot attorney offered. Within a year, he left his job to work full-time the Art of Charm podcast, but not before taking with him some key lessons from his stint on Wall Street. During that time, Harbinger learned of "the third path" to success that no one seemed to talk about. The one that wasn't about working long hours, or even being the smartest person in the room, but instead was all about networking. He found that the key to success was all about sharpening your social skills in order to develop the key relationships you need in order to succeed. That lesson turned Harbinger's life around and opened up a whole world of possibilities that he never thought possible. In this week's episode: How to develop and master the social skills you need to succeed The competitive advantage behind networking and building relationships Why podcasting changed the game and how you can harness its power How to become a highly influential person The secret to creating a successful podcast & much more!

46mins

29 Mar 2017

Rank #10

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45: Our Top 7 Instagram Hacks To Generate 100's of Thousands of Followers

So we've decided to mix things up a little with this podcast episode. This one is a short bite-sized episode, detailing our top 7 hacks for Instagram. You're probably not aware, but in the past 8 months we've been quietly building up a very strong community on Instagram, and within the space of 8 months our Instagram account is 197,000+ followers from the time of writing this. So often our community is asking us how we did it, so I wanted to share with you our top tips and tricks on how to gain a massive following on Instagram fast. In this episode you will learn the following tips: - The importance of posting content regularly - How to create epic content and why - Why you should have a CTA (call to action after every post) - The importance of optimizing your bio and account - How to use hashtags and a secret hack to increase your engagement in 30 seconds - What an S4S is, and why it's super important - Why you should be commenting on other pages. If you would like to learn more on how to take advantage of Instagram for your business make sure you sign up to find out more about our course that we're launching soon called 'Instagram Domination'. You can do so here - www.foundrmag.com/getig

9mins

10 Jun 2015

Rank #11

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79: How to use Instagram to Generate Millions of Dollars in Your Niche with Deonna Monique

One common trait among successful entrepreneurs is a sense of urgency—spotting a need and responding without hesitation in order to address and capitalize on it, even when that means taking a risk. Deonna Monique is a prime example. As a consumer of hair extensions, she had long struggled with finding the right product, and what she saw as a lack of authenticity in the market. But when she realized through social media that the problem was much bigger than her own, she started a company. “I thought I was on to something,” Monique tells Foundr. “So a week after I opened my business, I quit my job. I just went for it.” Despite some serious tests of faith along the way, Monique stuck with her company Boho Exotic Studio, and ended up earning seven figures in that first year, she says. Now approaching three years in business, and she has a strong foothold, all with her chief channel of marketing being social media platforms like Instagram. Monique’s lack of hesitation, no-nonsense approach to connecting with her customers, and faith in the quality of her product and service, have added up to a stunningly fast ascent, all in the face of serious business and personal hurdles. In this interview you will learn: How to let your customer be the face of your company What to do when it feels like you've hit rock bottom as an entrepreneur The best ways to hack social media marketing to further your brand and grow your audience The perils and benefits of diving straight into building a business as a new entrepreneur The importance of looking past all the doubters and believing in yourself and your dreams & much more!

51mins

16 Feb 2016

Rank #12

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181: Running a 7-Figure Business On 5.5 Hours a Day, With Ari Meisel of Less Doing

Entrepreneurs find inspiration in all sorts of places. But for Ari Meisel, founder, bestselling author, and productivity expert, desperation was the driving force behind the launch of his successful company, Less Doing. That same desperation led him to breakthroughs in productivity that changed his life. At just 23 years old, Meisel was enjoying a thriving real estate career, but after suffering some major business blows and landing $3 million in debt, the stress overwhelmed him and he was diagnosed with debilitating Crohn’s disease. Managing the disease crippled Meisel’s ability to work regularly. Some days he was unable to work longer than an hour. During this difficult experience, Meisel realized he needed to devise a way to accomplish more work in the limited time he had. Through a long process of experimentation, Ari developed his Less Doing, More Living productivity system, which allowed him the time he needed both to build a new business and improve his health. A devoted husband, father of five, and dedicated businessman, Meisel now helps individuals and businesses around the world become more effective—all while working only 5 ½ hours a day. He's also recently teamed up with Foundr to teach his Less Doing, More Living system to our awesome community. In this inspiring interview, learn the secrets behind Meisel’s airtight productivity system and discover how you can also become a productivity master and optimize, automate, and outsource your life and business. Key Takeaways Ari’s 15-minute outsourcing rule that frees you up to focus on growing your business How saying no to new opportunities can grow your business more than saying yes The power of using machine learning to slash your work time and automate systems Why working more hours does not always translate into getting more work done

53mins

11 Jan 2018

Rank #13

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258: The Story Behind Game-Changing Travel Brand Away, With Founder Steph Korey

Selling Luggage and a Lifestyle How Steph Korey and Jen Rubio co-founded a luggage company for the modern adventurer that is taking the world by storm. Jen Rubio called her friend Steph Korey to vent about an irritating, expensive problem that just about any frequent flyer has endured at some point. She had a busted carry-on. Rubio was suffering from suitcase-demolition blues, and Korey wasn’t sure what brands to recommend. So Rubio texted a dozen of their trendiest, travel-savvy friends—the kind of people who would know all the best hotels in Bangkok—but they had no clue where to direct her to buy the perfect suitcase. They were quick to tell her which brands to avoid—sharing similarly frustrating stories of failure—but no one had the answer she was searching for. The search seemed hopeless. A single, action-packed year later, Korey and Rubio shipped the very first piece of Away carry-on luggage. Today, the luggage company that is so much more than a luggage company has sold over a million bags to customers across the world and captured the imagination of a generation known for its desire to chase down experiences instead of possessions. “This business isn’t really about luggage or suitcases at all,” Korey says. “What we’re really creating is a travel brand, and travel has the ability to really impact someone’s life.” With an eye on revolutionizing the luggage industry while leaving the world better than they’d found it, Korey and Rubio designed a bag that is durable, practical, and looks dang good in an Instagram photo. And that was only the beginning. Charting the Course In the beginning, Korey wasn’t sure she even wanted to start a business. She just wanted to learn more about the way other people traveled. She and Rubio had become friends while working together at Warby Parker, the online store that home delivers hip eyeglasses at affordable prices, so they knew firsthand the challenges that come with life at a startup. Rather than cannonballing into the deep end, the pair chose to start small and simply follow their curiosity. They decided to create a survey and send it to 50 people in a vast array of demographics, including male and female students, young professionals, established professionals, and retirees, who lived both in the US and abroad. After sharing information about how they traveled, how they packed, and what travel products they used, each person taking the survey was asked to forward it to five of their friends who also came from varied backgrounds. When the survey finished making its rounds, Korey and Rubio had over 800 responses to sift through. The pair was quickly able to start noticing themes, particularly when it came to how the existing luggage industry wasn’t meeting travelers’ needs. The survey results showed that travelers wanted a light piece of carry-on luggage that maximized packing space and still fit in the overhead compartments of airplanes. They also dreamed of a bag that could take a baggage handler’s beating if they decided to check it, including wheels and zippers that wouldn’t fail. Respondents also expressed the need for a place to put dirty, sweaty laundry after trips to the gym, summer walking tours through cities, or perilous mountain climbs. Oh, and they hated traveling with dead cell phones. With these results in mind, Korey and Rubio moved into the next stage of development. Korey says they were still unsure whether they wanted to start a business when they sat down with a group of designers from the fashion, luggage, and industrial design industries. They weren’t even sure when they decided to partner with two industrial designers to transform their findings into a product design. The team had plans for their new carry-on bag in one hand, and plane tickets to Asia—where they planned to meet with dozens of luggage manufacturers—in the other, but were still unsure where this journey would land them. It was only when a family in the manufacturing business told them their radical design could be actualized that it all clicked together. And just like that, the family agreed to manufacture the first 3,000 Away carry-on bags. Well, not quite. “I’m glamorizing this story a little bit,” Korey says. “It’s, in reality, probably a little more along the lines of we begged them to work with us.” Korey and Rubio spent days with the family, attempting to convince them to manufacture the bags. With every new pitch she used to convince the family—that they were about to revolutionize the luggage industry, and their business model was totally unique, and this was a chance to get in on day one with a company that was going to be huge one day—she felt herself becoming more convinced that this was it. It was finally time to start this business. Their manufacturers came around, too. “I’m entirely certain that they didn’t believe any of that,” she says. “Actually, they’ve told us that they didn’t believe any of that, but that we were so sincere and passionate about what we were doing that they just couldn’t turn us down.” Now that the ball was officially rolling, and Away was on the verge of becoming a reality, they had to jump a final, daunting hurdle. They had to find the money. Gathering Supplies “Raising any kind of capital is difficult, but raising seed capital is particularly difficult, because you can’t really tell the story of your business metrics at all, because they don’t exist,” Korey says. “You just have to tell the story of your vision and what you’re trying to create, and it really takes a leap of faith from investors.” But she adds that the knowledge she had gathered from her time leading the supply chain at Warby Parker, and Rubio’s experience in the marketing team there, gave them a definite advantage. “That is for sure the only reason that we were able to convince investors to take that leap of faith,” she says. “We knew what we were doing, and we would create something that resonated and that was successful.” In fact, she recommends that all aspiring entrepreneurs invest some time working at a startup. “I think it’s essential that you spend at least a couple years working at a startup first, for two reasons,” she says. “One, find out if you like it! Some people don’t like that chaos. … And then the second reason is it really gives you a sense of context of all the different pieces that go into creating something from nothing.” In the summer of 2015, Korey and Rubio were ready to create something, so they met with more than 20 different investors across the United States over the course of a week. After many failed pitches, and several uncomfortable red-eye flights, the pair met with Forerunner Ventures, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm that invests primarily in early-stage ecommerce brands. While most of the firms they met with simply didn’t understand what they were trying to do with Away, Korey says that Forerunner was captivated by their vision. “We’re really creating a broader brand and business around inspiring people to live a life of new experiences, and equipping them with all the products they need to make those travel experiences more seamless,” she recalls saying in her pitch. Within the first meeting, Forerunner was on board as a partner. With over $2.5 million raised, it was finally time to make some suitcases. Excited by the prospect of holiday sales, Korey says they set their launch date for November 2015. But as the date drew closer and the production of the first 3,000 suitcases was delayed until February of the following year, they had to get creative. Instead of selling the suitcases during the holiday season, they published a coffee table book called, The Places We Return To and paired it with a gift card for the February release of the first round of suitcases. “It was really one of the first moves we did as a brand really establishing ourselves as first and foremost about travel and not about travel products,” Korey says. In the book, they featured stories and photos of successful chefs, writers, photographers, and other talented professionals. Each person was asked about their favorite place in the entire world, why they loved it, and what they did during their visits. “We ended up with this collection of short stories that were very intimate because it was about people who were so knowledgeable about their favorite place in the world,” Korey says. Those featured in the book helped spread the word about the exciting new travel company, its mission, and the revolutionary new suitcase that was on the way. And the word traveled like a millennial with a break between jobs. Korey says they prepared 2,000 books and gift cards. By Christmas, every one had sold. Embarking on the Journey In February 2016, the first ever Away customer (his name is Adam) received his carry-on bag. Three years later, over a million bags in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes have made it across the world in shipping boxes, overhead bins, and car trunks. The ribbed, hard-shelled luggage is becoming more recognizable by the day. By offering their luggage at direct-to-consumer prices, what was once reserved for only the chicest of travelers could now make it to the general public. They take their social impact seriously, as well. Away works with manufacturing companies that have, as they say on their website, “exemplary and thoughtful work environments we would want for our own employees.” The company has also partnered with several charitable organizations, including Peace Direct, Charity: Water, and Kode with Klossy. So what’s next for Away? Korey says the company is currently working to expand across Europe, Asia, Australia and other parts of North America. Taking a page from Warby Parker and other disruptive ecommerce startups, they’ve also launched a brick-and-mortar component to their business with six American storefronts and one in London. And as Away continues to expand, they’ll continue to release new products that support the modern traveler. Korey is excited to see where the company goes next, not merely because she wants the business to flourish, but because she genuinely cares about the needs of Away customers. From the moment Korey and Rubio sent their first survey, they knew that the “why” behind their brand lay directly at the feet of their customers. “You should never start a business because you want to start a business. It’s a terrible reason to do it. It’s going to be a long slog if you’re not really focused on a particular insight or a problem that you’re trying to solve,” she says. “Whether you’re just getting started and you don’t know where to start, or you’ve already gotten started, and you’re trying to figure out the next step, it really starts with deeply understanding the customer.” It starts the way Away did: with a need, an idea, and a customer survey. Interview by Nathan Chan, feature article reprinted from Foundr Magazine, by Erica Comitalo Key Takeaways How one phone conversation between Korey and Rubio inspired the idea for Away The role data played in cementing the need for better luggage How the data insights were transformed into a product design Why one investor and one manufacturer decided to take a chance on Away How Korey and Rubio made the best of a worst-case scenario during their launch The journey from producing an initial batch of 3,000 units to selling millions Why Korey believes every entrepreneur should work for a startup first What the future expansion of Away looks like Korey’s words of wisdom for aspiring entrepreneurs

34mins

9 Jul 2019

Rank #14

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120: The Master of Systems (Michael Gerber) Shares How to Scale Your Business

Thirty years ago, Michael Gerber released a book called The E-Myth: Why Most Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About it. It carried within it lessons on what it means to be an entrepreneur, the importance of systems in building a scalable business, even the different types of people who start their own businesses. It laid out the common pitfalls that happen to most novice entrepreneurs and gave practical advice on how to avoid them. The best-selling book has since inspired millions of people to start their own businesses, and is still considered to be a must-read for entrepreneurs everywhere. Startup thought leaders like Tim Ferriss and Seth Godin have heaped praise on the lessons outlined in this book. But before Gerber began changing the lives of a whole generation of business owners, he explains, he never intended to become an entrepreneur. It was only through a chance meeting with a distraught business owner that Gerber found himself with his first client and in the position to help someone grow a business. "I discovered something I'd never known before, and that is the conclusion I've come to over the years—that despite the obvious differences between industries, between vertical markets, between kinds of companies, what I began to discover was that from a business development perspective, they're not different at all." Despite all the technological changes that have happened since that first client, Gerber asserts that the key principles behind building a business have remained the same. In this episode you will learn: What exactly it is that makes an entrepreneur different from everyone else How to be a dreamer, a thinker, a storyteller, and a leader The difference between strategic and tactical thinking, and which one you should be doing Why everyone should start thinking about building a business How to make your business unique, even if your product isn't & much more!

1hr 2mins

1 Dec 2016

Rank #15

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244: Viral Growth and Influencer Marketing in Ecommerce, with Ben Francis of Gymshark

At 16, he began building websites. At 18, he became a regular at the gym. At 20, he started sewing and screen-printing workout apparel in his garage. By 26, when most adults are only on the cusps of their careers, Ben Francis had already launched a viral gym clothing line, served as its CEO, and stepped down in favor of a more creative role in the wildly successful company. Today, the Gymshark founder works alongside 190 staff, including the high school buddies who partnered with him to launch the brand, bringing this unmistakable apparel line to customers in more than 130 countries. And while it seems like this former pizza delivery boy magically rocketed to entrepreneurial stardom overnight (OK, he sort of did), his success can be traced back to a dedication to community building and an innate understanding of social media influencer marketing, long before it was a thing. But it all started with amateur website building, a love for fitness, and a whole lot of YouTube. Years before he was a CEO, Francis longed to make a name for himself in the fitness space. But the closest thing he had to investors were people calling to order a pizza, so establishing a clothing brand couldn’t have seemed less attainable. Not to be discouraged by limited funds, Francis and his high school friends began a workout supplement drop-shipping business and quickly realized that there was an opening in the workout apparel market. Dressing a bodybuilder and a skinny, weight-lifting newbie are two totally different jobs, especially when you’re going for form-hugging designs fit for a workout. Francis and friends, however, believed they could create a line that would be sleek, modern, and appealing to gymgoers of any body type. “And so,” Francis says, “I bought a screen printer and a sewing machine and started to make the clothes by hand.” The designs were an overnight sensation. “People were seeing the clothes, and they were so iconic and unique, that it sort of started to spread like wildfire,” Francis says. But the real secret sauce was the passion he and his friends had for YouTube. Influencing Influencers In the early 2010s, YouTube was rising fast. People passionate about everything from movies to knitting, gaming to, yes, fitness, were creating video content and building communities around shared interests. Francis and his friends were among the millions who joined online followings based on their hobbies, but stuck around for the personalities in the videos. One such fitness YouTuber who held their attention was Lex Griffin of Lex Fitness, whose channel now has over 440,000 followers. Another was Chris Lavado, whose channel has 65,000 subscribers today. Realizing they could leverage the followings of others, Francis and his friends pursued a business strategy that put them on the map, and that they still use today. They sent samples to Griffin, Lavado and other fitness YouTubers they admired, and hoped for a stamp of approval—and a video to prove it. While the term “influencer marketing” has only recently entered into the pop consciousness, the principle has been around as long as marketing. Attracting the favor of a wealthy or influential person by showering them in gifts that define a brand is as a classic move, a point Francis illustrated by sharing some history of his hometown of Birmingham, UK. For hundreds of years, the Jewellery Quarter in central Birmingham has been a hub for opulent accessories. Many jewelers open businesses in the Quarter, and the competition is fierce. But historically, there was one way to ensure that a brand’s name would be on everyone’s lips: become the first choice of royalty. Frances explained that this principle of vying for favor worked then and still works now. “They would provide a bunch of free jewelry to royalty so that people would associate that jewelry with the royalty and then hopefully back to the brand and go buy it,” he says. “It’s no different to what influencer marketing is nowadays.” “I think it’s worked forever, and as far as I’m aware, I think it’ll always work.” And so, like an ambitious jeweler in the 1700s, Francis sent off his product to curry favor with those who had the power to make his brand catch fire. And it worked. “They absolutely loved it, and they’re still with us today,” he says. “That started, I guess, what you’d now call an influencer market for us.” Today, Francis continues to leverage the audiences of athletes through an ambassador program that now includes such personalities as bodybuilder Matt Ogus, lifestyle and fitness vlogger Nikki Blackketter, and weightlifter Whitney Simmons. Because of Francis’s early success in harnessing an influencer-generated market, Gymshark has never relied on investors for capital. “We never needed investment,” he says. “So why complicate things?” Francis recognizes, though, that there was also a component of luck at work. He entered the world of social media influencer marketing when it was still a young idea, and those with followings weren’t inundated daily with products in search of a boost. “I do think it’s a hell of a lot more difficult than when we first started,” he admits. “It’s a completely different place now.” But if he were to launch a new business today, a venture he says would be a fun challenge with the vastly changed online landscape, he knows exactly where he would focus his attention. “Product is king at the end of the day,” he says. “I would focus on creating an absolutely brilliant and a gorgeous product because I think from that, it’s like a snowball effect.” He believes that by designing a remarkable, unique, and stunning product, anyone can rise above the cacophony online. “If you get someone’s attention with a genuinely brilliant product, people will wear it, people will use it, and people will talk about it.” But for now, Francis is focused on the current community he has built. Fostering Community Growing up, Francis loved attending events and expos in his hometown and dreamed of the day he would not only participate, but host his own. His belief in the power of person-to-person advertising was instilled in him as a young expo attendee and has continued to stick with him into his mid-20s. “Even though the world is becoming ever more online, and 99.9 percent of what we do is online, there is always space for that human connection, and I think that’s really, really important, and it’s a real important thing to Gymshark.” So in Gymshark’s very early days, when an opportunity to participate in an expo presented itself, Francis says that nothing could have stopped him from finding a way to join. When he reached out to one of the coordinators to find out how much it would cost to get Gymshark a spot, he was quoted a price far more than they were able to afford at the time. But as Francis likes to emphasize, he plans hyper long-term and hyper short-term and lets the rest in between work itself out. “This was 12 months in advance of the show, and I was like, ‘Right, yeah. We’ll have it. We’ll get that, and we’ll just sort of make it work,’” he says. “It was our dream to go to an event like that.” And go they did, beginning a successful string of expo appearances that were initially in the UK, but rapidly branched out internationally until, eventually, they stopped going to expos and started hosting them. “I literally think, ‘Let’s make the product that I love,’ and by default, I think other people would love, and let’s create the event that I would love to go to, and by default, I think that other people would really enjoy to go,” he says. He also says that when it comes to events, making a profit is not the immediate goal. Just like the early days spent working a screen printer in a garage, Francis’s motivation is simply a desire to create something awesome. Something he loves. “We just sort of think, ‘Right, what would we really, really love to go to? Let’s go make it happen. Let’s forget about the profit and loss at that point for that event. Let’s just go make something really, really cool.’” But rapidly gaining a dedicated following, especially when selling a physical product, has its challenges. Francis says that Gymshark’s biggest challenge at the moment is keeping up with demand, especially when YouTube influencers or expo attendees are hyping them. “We definitely made massive improvements in the last six to 12 months, but there’s still a long, long way to go,” he says. Part of the Gymshark’s effort to keep up with growth meant Francis himself coming to terms with his right role within the company. As CEO, he quickly came to realize that he was in a position that he was not suited to fill. “We were growing so fast, and the role of the CEO is very people oriented,” he says. “I’m very much an introverted person. I’m much more suited, and work better, in either a very small team or on my own where I can really dive into a project, focus on that thing and make it really special. “As we were growing bigger, it became more and more evident to me that the CEO really needs to be a lot more of a strategist and a lot more of a people person than what I am.” So Francis made the difficult decision that it would be best for him to step into the role of Chief Brand Officer instead. But the transfer of CEO power didn’t just happen overnight, which he feels helped build trust among himself and the staff. It happened over a period of about a year as Steve Hewitt, the current CEO, slowly took on more and more until he finally stepped fully into the role. Of course, passing leadership on to someone else is always a humbling and challenging process, but it’s one that Francis has come to embrace as an opportunity to become more fully himself. “I think it’s very important to be self-aware and to understand what you are good at what you’re not good at,” he says. “I’m a massive, massive believer of that.” Today, Francis has the freedom to focus on product and vision, gathering small teams together to pursue new designs and strategies for the future. So what’s next for Gymshark? Francis says that they are always pursuing innovation and are currently in the process of designing new fabrics, as well as looking to branch out of the strictly apparel space. And in an effort to keep avid followers and fans of the brand up to date, Francis has recently launched a vlog series of his own, giving a behind-the-scenes glimpse into Gymshark and into his world. In the 10 years since Francis started creating amateur websites from home, his world has utterly transformed. But many things remain the same: a love of fitness, a passion for social media, and an unbreakable bond with his high school friends turned business partners. The Gymshark brand invites each customer and avid follower to “Be a visionary.” And Francis is asking nothing of his followers that he hasn’t done himself. After all, where would Gymshark be without an enthusiastic pizza delivery boy who had the vision to buy a screen printer, and the boldness to show the world what he could create? Ben Francis’s Tips for Success Launching a brand new product on your own or starting your own business is never easy. No matter how large or small the venture, it requires vision, courage, and determination. But Ben Francis believes that there are three things any beginning entrepreneur can do to improve their chances of success. Surround Yourself With Support Francis says he was once asked to share a story about a time when he was told that he couldn’t do something. He paused to think, but his mind came up blank. “That never happened, because I never surrounded myself with those people,” he says. Starting a business is a challenge, but with the support of people who inspire and motivate you, Francis believes that mountains are reduced back into molehills. Embrace Self-Awareness Being honest with yourself and clear about who you truly are is one of Francis’s crucial steps to success. “Self-awareness is key,” he says. “I think it’s massive. You can only kid yourself for so long.” Without the ability to identify which skills you have in abundance and which you lack, you’ll be unable to build a team around you that complements your abilities and improves upon them. Play to Your Strengths Once you’ve identified your strengths and weaknesses, Francis insists on the importance of allowing them to guide your decisions. “Could I do an operational…role for a little bit? Absolutely. I’m reasonably intelligent. I could manage,” he says. “But would I be able to do it for a sustained period really, really well? Absolutely not.” Rather than forcing yourself to be something you’re not, Francis encourages all entrepreneurs to be honest about their strengths and find ways to play to them, even if that means relinquishing, as he did, the title of CEO. Key Takeaways How interests in building websites, going to the gym, and sewing and screen printing combined to help him launch a wildly successful business How connecting with YouTube influencers helped Gymshark take off On using events to build community The biggest challenge Gymshark faces right now Why Ben traded the role of CEO for Chief Brand Officer On separating personal brand from company brand Why Gymshark has never taken investments What he would do if he were to start a totally new ecommerce brand today What his personal life is like now that he’s a successful business owner What’s next for Gymshark

36mins

3 Apr 2019

Rank #16

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41: How to Hack Time with Tim Ferriss (not to be missed)

We’ve all been curious about the best way to get better at languages, sports, cooking, fitness, and of course, how to start a business. Using a grand total of four hours per week, Tim Ferriss showed us how. Ferriss needs no introduction. Multiple New York Times best-selling author. Entrepreneur. Self-help guru. Investor. Celebrity. And now star of his own television show. Even if you know nothing of entrepreneurialism, you probably know the work of Tim Ferriss. The 4-hour Workweek ring any bells? Chances are, it’s that book your roommate is always gushing about. A #1 New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-seller, it has seeped into the zeitgeist and changed more lives than its detractors would like to admit. The 4-Hour Workweek was on the New York Times best-seller list for four-and-a-half years straight and stayed on other lists for seven consecutive years. Released in 2007, this seductive and seminal book was about escaping the workaholic lifestyle to “find your muse.” For the uninitiated, that means a business that takes up little time, yet turns over enough revenue for you to enjoy a sort of freedom from the office bullpen. If it weren’t for Tim Ferriss and The 4-Hour Workweek, a lot of us wouldn’t be where we are today. I know I wouldn't! So it's with great pleasure I bring you the man, the myth and the legend Tim Ferriss. P.S. If you would like to check out Tim's new TV show, 'The Tim Ferriss Experiment' which we highly recommend! You can visit - www.itunes.com/timferriss In this interview you will learn: - Tim's strategies on how he exploded the 4-hour work week brand (the early days) - How he builds solid relationships with influencers and doesn't use the hard sell - The no.1 marketing strategy he uses for approaching any project and making it explode - The top 5 productivity tools that are changing the game for Tim right now that allow him to hack the hell out his time and get insane amounts of work done (gamechanger) - Tim's new epic TV show and the secret to learning any skill FAST - An extremely humbling story of how Tim got his first customers for his first business, and what it's like for every single person when they first start out on their entrepreneurial journey - & So much more of course :)

34mins

3 May 2015

Rank #17

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17: The Science of Success & How to Become a Super Successful Entrepreneur Before It's Too Late with Matthew Michalewicz

Where do you see yourself in ten years? And more importantly, is that where you want to be? Without a doubt, you've spent an unproductive afternoon at your desk staring listlessly out the window, listening to the chatter of co-workers, staring at piles of reports, puzzled on how you ended up there. What happened to the life you dreamed about when you were in high-school? If you’re feeling a little unfulfilled, the good news is, you're not the only one. According to Harvard studies, a whopping 74% of people are unhappy in their work. Job satisfaction in the USA recently fell to its lowest level in 22 years and continues to show a consistent downward trend. There's a reason why three-quarters of employees don’t walk away and cash in their chips, and instead opt to stay unfulfilled. To find out why, we spoke with Matthew Michalewicz.  Michalewicz is an international expert in entrepreneurship, innovation, and success psychology. He has established boards that include former heads of state, Nobel Peace Prize winners, and Fortune 500 CEOs, and has a track record of starting businesses from scratch and selling them for tens of millions of dollars. His work has been featured in numerous television shows and publications, including Time Magazine, Newsweek, and Forbes.  In this interview you will learn: - How to pitch Rockstars like Bill Gates - Learn the science behind what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur - The secret sauce on the most successful entrepreneurs in the world - How Matthew Has built 4 extremely successful businesses - Key mindsets for becomming a super successful entrepreneur   I Need Your Help!   If you haven’t already, I would love if you could be awesome and take a minute to leave a quick rating and review of the podcast on iTunes by clicking on the link below. It’s the most amazing way to help the show grow and reach more people!   Leave a review for the Foundr Podcast!

46mins

21 Dec 2014

Rank #18

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169: Billionaire Business Lessons with Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban

Mark Cuban is a very busy man. As one of the star judges of the hit show Shark Tank, Cuban has invested in nearly a hundred different startups that have appeared on the program. That's not even mentioning the investments he makes outside of the show, and the dozens of other businesses he's founded or manages himself. So how does a single person manage to keep so many plates spinning at the same time? His secret: Hiring the right people. Cuban is always making sure he has the best people staffing the hundred-plus businesses he's involved in. And while hiring seems like a pretty basic business practice, finding the right talent is a true art, and one that Cuban has mastered. It's a process of finding the right person, putting them in the right environment, and then continuing to build their personal growth and passion about the job they're doing. And in Cuban's case, multiplying the process for a thousand-plus employees. That may sound hard, but Cuban says the one skill every founder and entrepreneur needs to master if they want to become a billionaire businessman, is knowing how to be a leader. If you don't know how to recruit and manage people, you're just not going to make it very far. It can take decades of trial and error to figure out how to deal with the thousands of different personalities out there, and knowing what to prioritize at any given time. But Cuban has figured it out, and he's sharing his secrets with us here. In this episode you'll learn: The art of finding and nurturing the talent in your team How to deal with problem employees, without just firing them Whether mentors really matter—when you need them, and when you don't How Mark Cuban manages a thousand-plus employees The surprising reason you shouldn't be looking for invesment & so much more!

28mins

11 Oct 2017

Rank #19

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195: From Pro Skateboarder to Running a Brand-Building Empire, With Rob Dyrdek of Dyrdek Machine

Growing up as a fanatical skateboarder first in Ohio and then moving to California as a teen to pursue skating professionally, many of his friends and fellow skateboarders were older than him and running their own businesses. From a very young age, he was steeped in skateboarding’s DIY culture, always on the lookout for the next frontier in the sport, or scrappy new brand to emerge from the scene. From skate shops to clothing companies, Dyrdek was exposed to a variety of entrepreneurial ventures early in life. Key Takeaways The core traits Dyrdek looks for when investing in businesses and entrepreneurs What his “core to more” philosophy is and how it contributes to a company’s longevity Dyrdek’s many business successes (and failures) and what he learned from each

39mins

18 Apr 2018

Rank #20