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"The truth is I didn't like working for somebody else."

Most entrepreneurs start their own business because they want to take charge of their own destiny, and for Brian Clark, the CEO and founder of Rainmaker Digital, Copyblogger, StudioPress, and the Rainmaker Platform, his story doesn't start off any different. It doesn't matter if you haven't heard of Clark before, but if you've been anywhere near the startup space in the past 15 years or so, you've undoubtedly felt his influence.

With his first successful business he stuck with what he knew, taking his four years of experience in law and starting his own small law firm. He quickly set himself apart from the rest of the competition with his natural marketing instincts and his ability to build an audience.

"What most young attorneys can't do is develop clients, and I figured out how to do that. And in that moment an entrepreneur was born. I was just so amazed that I could develop a business by myself with just an email newsletter. No one understood what I was doing at the time, they thought I was crazy, but it worked!" Clark says.

A few years, and a couple more businesses later, Clark began working on a small blog that would come to be known as Copyblogger, one of the most influential content marketing blogs in the industry. Some of the world's top content marketers can fondly remember turning to Copyblogger early in their careers to learn how to write better headlines and become better writers.

Clark helped blaze the trail for this new style of marketing, and to this day, he's still pushing the boundaries of what is possible.

While most people are still trying to figure out whether to focus on building the perfect product or growing their audience, Clark has devised a strategy that's allowed him to do both at the same time, all while growing his multiple businesses at warp speed.

It should really come as no surprise that, here at Foundr, much of our own business model and content marketing efforts have been directly inspired by Clark and his successes. This is why we're very excited to present to you this eye-opening interview with the one and only Brian Clark.

In this episode you will learn:

  • The chicken or the egg? Settling the startup debate between which comes first: building the perfect product or building your audience
  • What are you good at? How Clark finds co-founders who complement his strengths and weaknesses
  • The unique business model of combining content, SaaS, digital and physical products for maximum profit
  • Clark's step-by-step instructions on how to build the perfect product
  • Why people aren't paying attention to your brand and what you can do about it
  • & so much more!
Direct download: FP160_Brian_Clark.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:52am AEST

Jonathan Siegel has started close to a dozen different companies—some have been hugely successful, others didn't quite go as planned, and for one, he sold his shares after a falling out with his co-founders. Siegel has been a serial startup founder since he was just 12 years old. Now at 40, he has seen it all, and he's sharing his lessons—on products, investors, and selling a business—with Foundr.

"It doesn't feel like a job, as much as it just feels like I'm getting paid to do something for fun," Siegel says, about his love for the entrepreneurial life.

Siegel has had a knack for entrepreneurship since he was putting together and selling computers all the way back in 1989. From there, he's had a lifelong passion for creating something new every chance he got. Whether it was starting his own businesses, constantly creating new products, or building products for other people.

For Siegel, entrepreneurship isn't so much a money-making exercise or a career, but a lifestyle that constantly allows him to strive forward and look into the future.

"If you do something as a creative outlet, the amount of money is not the goal. And I don't believe that every entrepreneur is running around thinking about how much money they have in their accounts. I think that every entrepreneur runs around thinking, 'Hey I want to bring this thing to life. I want to create something bigger than myself. I want to see the thing that I create influence other people in the way that they work and the way that they live,'" Siegel says.

This passion has helped Siegel learn many valuable lessons on his own journey, not just about himself, but about what entrepreneurship is all about.

In this episode you will learn:

  • How to turn entrepreneurship from a career to a creative outlet
  • Understanding the difference between a startup that's successful on paper, and one that works in real life
  • How to handle disputes between co-founders
  • Why it's so important to understand your motivation as an entrepreneur
  • The lifecycle of building companies that you intend to sell
  • & so much more!
Direct download: FP159_Jonathan_Siegel.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:29am AEST

In the late 1970s, Brian Smith was a young Australian surfer looking for the next big thing. Little did he know that while flipping through a magazine, he would stumble upon an idea that would grow into one of the world's most iconic brands. With more than $1 billion in sales worldwide, you can find the UGG brand in millions of households.

What does it take to build such an iconic brand?

Smith openly admits that, at the time, he had no idea. He struggled to get people interested in his product, and even when they were interested, he found it difficult to turn them into customers. In fact, after his first season of sales, Smith had sold only 28 pairs of boots. The outlook was not good for his fledgling brand.

While many entrepreneurs would become disheartened and give up, Smith realized that no company becomes successful overnight.

"You can't give birth to adults," Smith says.

Smith believed that every successful business in the world has to go through a period of infancy, where almost nothing happens, and only then can you start getting the traction and momentum you need to explode your business.

For UGG, that infancy stage would go on for another four years until that lightbulb moment came and Smith figure out what he had to do. What happened next turned sales from only $15,000 to $200,000 almost overnight.

In the years that followed, Smith would find his sheepskin boots on the feet of young surfers, snowboarders, and eventually A-list celebrities.

In this episode you'll learn:

  • The stages of building a global brand and how to move through each one as quickly as possible
  • When to hold em' and when to fold em', Smith details how to recognize when the moment is right to sell your business
  • How to use grassroots events to build your early customer base
  • Why the most important element of your brand is not what you think
  • & so much more!
Direct download: FP158_Brian_Smith.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:12am AEST

Andrew Barnes's company  GO1 is a Y-Combinator alum that's raised over $4 million in funding, grown to over 400,000 users, and is currently the world's largest onboarding, compliance, and professional development learning platform. If that weren't impressive enough, Barnes hit those benchmarks in under three years. The secret weapon? An airtight B2B, or business to business, sales process.

In our interview with Barnes, he shares with us how the Australian-startup-that-could found its path to achieving explosive growth and influence, eventually ranked as one of the 100 most disruptive startups in the world. He also tells us how he and his team mastered B2B sales, a huge arena of entrepreneurship today.

"I remember in YC we were up late just basically cold-calling trying to generate interest and see whether they'd take us, we'd try Google Adwords and spent a fortune on that, we tried a whole host of different options. And what we eventually stumbled on is a model with sales development reps that identify people that match our criteria," Barnes says.

Then it's just a matter of knowing the right person to contact, what to say, and when to say it. It's a process that Barnes has mapped out to a T, with a ton of little tricks and hacks along the way to get the job done. Barnes, much to our benefit, shares this sales process to Foundr and our audience, along with the many lessons he's learned as a lifelong digital entrepreneur.

In this episode you'll learn:

  • One simple hack to turn your cold calls into success stories
  • How to find and secure high-profile investors for your startup, locally and internationally
  • How to find A-players for your team no matter where you are
  • The keys to running a distributed team and keeping everyone on track
  • Why doing less can actually make you a better entrepreneur
  • & so much more!
Direct download: FP157_Andrew_Barnes.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:58pm AEST

Sophia Amoruso was a community college dropout, working a variety of odd jobs to support herself, when she set up a humble eBay store called Nasty Gal Vintage. The rapid growth that followed has become the stuff of startup legend, and in this episode of the podcast, Amoruso shares what she learned from the roller-coaster ride of Nasty Gal, and tells us about her new endeavor, Girlboss Media.

Over the course of a decade, Amoruso had a meteoric rise, during which she became the head of a retail empire, and was named one of the richest self-made women by Forbes in 2016. She also became a symbol of brash millennial entrepreneurs and a trailblazing icon for female entrepreneurs especially, following the release of her New York Times bestseller #GirlBoss.

Then, the same year Netflix developed a scripted comedy loosely based on the book, Nasty Gal found itself filing for bankruptcy. In those 10 years, Amoruso had bigger highs and lows than many entrepreneurs experience in a lifetime, but the story isn't over yet.

Today, Amoruso has moved on and is working on continuing the momentum of her book and the devoted following she built around her story. Nasty Gal Media is as focused as ever on helping women around the world launch their entrepreneurial careers.

We were very fortunate to be able to interview Amoruso amid her hectic schedule of growing a new business. She shared with us the many lessons she's learned from her exciting and colorful career, along with fascinating insight into what makes a brand explode, and how to come out on top in today's tumultuous startup world.

In this week's episode you will learn:

  • Amoruso's guide to creating a brand that leaves a mark on customers and investors alike
  • Key lessons learned from the rise and fall of a nine-figure business
  • Customer services mistakes that can kill any business
  • How to create products that are inherently sharable and immediately recognizable
  • & so much more!
Direct download: FP156_Sophia_Amoruso.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:47pm AEST

In 2011, four lads from Dublin were running a successful business that let programers and engineers know when a user encountered a problem with their program. The problem was that none of them were particularly interested in the world of programming errors.

Instead, they found their passions centered on why it was so difficult for online businesses to talk to customers. They didn't know it at the time, but they were about to reinvent the concept of content marketing.

So Des Traynor and his three co-founders sold their successful business, packed their bags, and moved to sunny California.

"We were four Irish founders and basically our previous company, we had already done the bootstrapping thing. ... When we were going through this change of business and this change of approach, we said, 'What's the opposite of running a bootstrapped business off the north side of Dublin?' Well that's come to Silicon Valley and raise a million dollars, and that's what we did," Traynor says.

It turned out to be the right move, as the company that now known as Intercom raised more than $160 million in the past six years, building a customer base of over 17,000 customers, and making over $50 million in revenue. Their mission was simple: to make online businesses feel less like talking to a robot and feel more personal instead.

The solution to that was to help businesses talk to their customers through their own websites and apps instead of the usual mish-mash of emails, texts, and phone calls. Intercom built its reputation and customer base through the power of content marketing, but in a way that might surprise you.

Instead of following the traditional strategy of hiring a content team, focusing on SEO and backlinks, and churning out at as much content as possible, Intercom went in the completely opposite direction and developed a unique content strategy that led their business to go viral within the startup community, while building a beloved brand.

"We're not one of those people that do all that black hat stuff. I really, really hate that. We had a recommendation recently to go post on discussions.apple.com and write a piece that links back to your site, and it was just so puke-worthy. I could never get excited about gamifying the Google algorithm and building the business on such a messy, fragile house of cards," Traynor says.

Traynor goes in-depth with us in this episode about why the conventional content marketing strategy doesn't work anymore, and how to really get your message across.

In this week's episode you will learn:

  • How to move quickly and stay lean while managing an international team
  • Where to find top-tier talent for your startup, no matter where you are
  • A sly way to make your business go viral
  • No to SEO! The biggest mistakes marketers make when using SEO
  • Why you don't need a content marketing team to get half a million page views per post
  • & so much more!
Direct download: FP155_Des_Traynor.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:43am AEST

Every entrepreneur at some point faces the dilemma of simply not being able to pour any more hours of work into their company. As a result, they get stuck.

That's where Clate Mask, CEO of Infusionsoft, comes in. In the 10 years Infusionsoft has been operating, Mask has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs use the power of email marketing to double their growth, triple their leads, even quadruple overall revenue.

For Mask, automated email marketing is the secret weapon for any business that's trying to scale. In today's podcast episode, he dishes on how to do it right.

"What happens in an entrepreneurial business, when you're running a small company, it's very, very difficult to follow up effectively with all your leads and customers, and things slip through the cracks," he says. "You're wearing 10 different hats trying to run the business, and ... you just can't keep it all straight when the business starts to grow and when you start to have some success."

At that point, you can either hire more people to handle the workload, which can be costly, or learn how to automate your business.

Mask has helped Infusionsoft's 125,000-plus users create their own automation campaigns by mapping out customer lifecycles, and pinpointing the best times and messages to engage customers and get as much of a return as possible.

In this week's episode, Mask tells us what the marketing strategies of his best users look like, and how you can incorporate them into your own business.

In this episode you will learn:

  • The one thing that most business owners don't recognize is stopping them from growing
  • A battle-tested, tried and true guide to getting the biggest return possible on every single customer
  • The three most critical points in the customer lifecycle and why ignoring them puts your business at risk
  • An exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the email marketing strategies of Infusionsoft's top clients
  • How to combine automation and authenticity into one winning combination
  • & much more!
Direct download: FP154_Clate_Mask.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:06am AEST

In his lifetime as an entrepreneur, Steve Olsher has crashed, burned, and reinvented himself in the face of tremendous failure. But for Olsher, there was never any other path. If you can relate, he's got some indispensable wisdom to offer.

"I've been an entrepreneur pretty much since I've been old enough to pick up a rake and move some leaves around, or grab a shovel and do some snow-shoveling and clear some sidewalks, driveways, that sort of thing. We're all naturally wired to excel in very specific ways, and for me, I've always just been wired to rub a couple of dimes together to make that quarter," Olsher says.

Olsher has spent his entire life as an entrepreneur, and with it has experienced all the highs and lows, from starting a widely successful business that was prepared to go public within a year, to losing it all and walking away from a company he spent nine years of his life building.

But if success is defined by how well you can bounce back from failure, Olsher is one of the most successful people on the planet. Taking the knocks in stride, and embracing the lessons they taught him, Olsher went on to pursue other entrepreneurial ventures over the next six years, before reclaiming his original business and domain name, Liquor.com, and building his business from the ground up again.

In the years since, Olsher has distilled a lifetime of experience and lessons into helping others figure out what their passion and their purpose are. Today, he is now a New York Times-bestselling author, and is all about helping people reinvent themselves into who they truly want to be.

In this episode you will learn:

  • Hard truths you need to know when bringing on investors
  • The importance of needing good advisors and mentors you can turn to when you need it
  • When you should and shouldn't listen to your gut as an entrepreneur
  • How to find out what your "what" is, and how to figure out what your purpose is
  • Where to find your winning business idea
  • & much more!
Direct download: FP153_Steve_Oshler.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:01pm AEST

Getting rich is for amateurs. A real entrepreneur, one with serious guts and vision, wants to make the world a better place.

If that's you, it's time to enter the world of social enterprise—business that seeks to make both a profit and a positive impact, on anything from education to world hunger. This is a tall order, but it's possible and an increasingly popular form of entrepreneurship. So today's podcast is going to show you exactly how to make money, while also making a difference.

Unlike your traditional businesses, social enterprises have a much harder time securing funding and even staff. The legal frameworks and business models can also be much trickier. Lucky for us, we were able to sit down with Adam Braun, founder of Pencils of Promise and MissionU. He shared with us how he managed to raise over $50 million in contributions, build hundreds of schools, and grow a worldwide staff of more than 125 employees as a social enterprise.

As he turned 25, Braun only had $25 in his bank account, but was still determined to build a school for the less fortunate. Before crowdsourcing was even a thing, Braun turned to strangers to help him fund his first project. He used social media and event marketing to attract people to his cause, relying on influencer and word-of-mouth to secure the funding he needed.

"You start scrappy and understand that maybe one day you'll have the resources to hire full-time staff and work with capital at hand, but most people don't start that way, and I certainly didn't," Braun says.

Starting with this grassroots marketing strategy and an all-volunteer staff, he built Pencils of Promise into a huge success. Today, more than 400 schools have been built as a result, and Braun's turned his sights to education in the United States with his new project MissionU.

In this episode you'll learn:

  • How to use event marketing to build your brand and attract investors
  • What makes a story "newsworthy" and how to use it to build an audience
  • Braun's methodology for attracting A-players to work toward his vision
  • Social media marketing tactics to reach your target audience without paid advertising
  • The right way to go about asking for money, whether it's for crowdfunding or from investors
  • & much more!
Direct download: FP152_Adam_Braun.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:36am AEST

Russell Brunson knows a ton about building effective marketing funnels. It's a skill he learned after spending nearly 10 years making money online by building funnels for all sorts of things, from potato guns to coupons. Now as the CEO and co-founder of ClickFunnels, Brunson heads one of the fastest-growing bootstrapped companies in the world.

"We're growing faster than any VC-backed company that I know of, and we do it because we had to do it smarter, and we do it through the funnels that we practice and we preach, and it works," Brunson says.

In a mere two-and-a-half years Brunson has grown ClickFunnels to more than 36,000 active customers and, even more impressively, he's been able to turn those customers into a passionate community of evangelists loyal to the brand. He's since taken his talent and knowledge for building effective sales funnels and has distilled it all into an incredibly easy tool that anyone can use, as well as a number of bestselling books.

But it hasn't been an easy road and it's taken a heap of knowhow, expertise, and foresight to get there. Luckily for us, he's sharing his best advice with the Foundr audience.

In this week's episode you'll learn:

  • The key to building an effective sales funnel
  • How to inspire and build a community around your brand
  • What qualities you need to be a leader who inspires
  • Why the best way to understand your market is to be your own customer
  • How to find and keep A-players on your team
  • & much more!
Direct download: FP151_Russell_Brunson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:20pm AEST