Foundr Magazine Podcast | Learn From Successful Founders & Proven Entrepreneurs, The Ultimate StartUp Podcast For Business

New to the US from Pakistan, Syed Balkhi was a lonely and isolated 12-year-old. Unable to speak English fluently, he took to communicating with new friends—computers—and quickly found comfort interacting with these non-human companions. Soon Balkhi was learning how to code and build websites, and that very same year he made his first dollar from a website he created.

Now 27, Balkhi is the founder of WPBeginner, the first and largest WordPress resource website in the world, and co-founder of many accompanying businesses. He was also named a top entrepreneur under the age of 30 by the United Nations, his websites receive millions of monthly pageviews each month, and his software runs on nearly 8 million sites serving billions of monthly impressions.

Listen in as Balkhi takes you through the early years of his entrepreneurial journey and how, brick by brick, he built his empire.

Key Takeaways

  • How Balkhi decides which versions of existing software to acquire and improve
  • Why managing four products independently helps his team increase focus and output
  • How to build a business, one small step at a time
  • The key factor behind his companies' explosive growth
Direct download: FP223_Syed_Balkhi.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:57am AEDT

 Tobi Skovron, Founder, CreativeCubes.co

Dog toilets and co-working spaces? An unlikely pairing. But if you talk to Tobi Skovron, you'll find they have one thing in common—they inspired him to create two passion-filled businesses and realize his dreams of becoming an entrepreneur.

Skovron walked away from a promising career in medicine to pursue entrepreneurship, even though he had no idea what business he wanted to run. It wasn’t until Skovron got a dog that he came upon an idea that would take Australia by storm—an indoor dog toilet called Pet Loo. Piggybacking off of the success in Australia, Skovron decided to expand into the US market. He quickly faced a lot of challenges, however, since he made the move right as the 2008 recession hit. Skovron lost half his money right away.

Starting over in Los Angeles, he realized the spare bedroom in his Venice Beach apartment was not the ideal environment for him to breathe life into his US expansion, so he joined a co-working space to rekindle his inspiration. There, Skovron realized a new passion for this collaborative environment, which ultimately led him to his next project.

Skovron sold Pet Loo and started CreativeCubes.co, a hotel-like co-working environment that houses a curated community of passionate people. We here at Foundr have even used CreativeCubes.co to shoot many of our course videos!

These days, Skovron's less interested in financial return, and more interested in providing quality experiences and fostering an environment of positivity and creativity. Listen in and get inspired by this journey from aspiring entrepreneur to two-time founder.

Key Takeaways

  • How the idea for Pet Loo became a reality (it was his wife's idea)
  • The 10-year journey of designing, manufacturing, marketing, and selling Pet Loo
  • How Skovron’s love of the co-working landscape led to the creation of his second successful product
  • Why Skovron won’t scale his business for the sake of scaling
Direct download: FP222_Tobi_Skovron.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:09am AEDT

Welcome to our newest podcast format, video interviews! You can expect more of this format in the coming months. Subscribe to our YouTube channel here to be notified when we publish new videos.

Today I had the pleasure of sitting down with the co-founders of Quad Lock, a mounting device to securely attach your smartphone to your bike, car, motorcycle, arm or in any situation where you need a hands-free moment. These guys are killing it with $9 million in yearly earnings in only four years!

This was a phenomenal interview, as Peters and Ward gave us 45 minutes of pure gold on how they built a strong brand reputation and high-quality product, how they manufacture their products in China, how they got started as a simple Kickstarter project, and so much more.

They also discuss brand longevity, how to become trendsetters, and how they overcame their biggest scaling challenges. If you want to learn how to build a long-lasting brand and scale your physical-products business, this is an interview you don’t want to miss!

Key Takeaways

  • What you need to build a physical-products brand with a strong reputation
  • Why Kickstarter is a good way to introduce your brand to the market, as long as you do it right
  • How to get started and maintain manufacturing out of China
  • Quad Lock's biggest challenges around scaling, and how they have overcome them
  • Quad Lock’s philosophy on hiring A-players
Direct download: FP221_Quad_Lock.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:37am AEDT

Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg started their business as good friends on a couch, with nothing but their laptops and a healthy dose of hustle. Today, their millennial women-focused media company theSkimm serves seven million daily subscribers, employs 70 people, and boasts more than 30,000 enthusiastic brand ambassadors.

The company also just closed a round of Series C funding led by GV (formerly Google Ventures) and a group of mainly female investors—including the likes of Shonda Rhimes, Tyra Banks, and Spanx founder Sara Blakely.

Weisberg and Zakin have maintained a close friendship and strong collaboration throughout their six years in business. This dynamic forms the backbone of their company and sets the tone for daily operations, which is largely focused on supporting and empowering women.

In this interview, learn about the early days of theSkimm, the power of community and connection, and how the brand monetizes its content to build a sustainable media business.

The company publishes news that fits into the daily routines of its members, continually nodding to its mission statement of making it easier for people to live smarter, more connected lives. But if you ask us, these powerful founders are the smart ones, effectively proving the mantra, “We are all stronger when we work together.”

Key Takeaways

  • How and why they waited two and a half years to monetize their community of loyal followers
  • How they monetize their content with multiple income streams to build a sustainable, well-rounded business
  • Details of the Skimm’bassadors program and why it has grown so rapidly
  • Zakin and Weisberg’s top tips for growing a content-based business
Direct download: FP220_The_Skimm.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:15am AEDT

Mike Michalowicz appeared to have everything an entrepreneur could want—big companies and lots of revenue coming in. But things aren’t always as they seem. As Michalowicz was high on fleeting indicators of success, his businesses were leaking profits. “I got caught up in the vanity metrics…how big my business was revenue-wise and how big my business was people-wise,” Michalowicz says.

After feeling the sting of and two failed investments and losing millions, Michalowicz found himself struggling with depression—along with a realization that ignorance and arrogance were a deadly combination. Thankfully, with support from friends and a rekindling of his love of writing, Michalowicz was able to pull himself out of the ashes and rebuild his career—this time with heart and soul.

Michalowicz used writing as a way to find solutions to all of the biggest challenges he faced as a founder. His books Profit First, Pumpkin Plan, and Clockwork tackle managing cash, business growth, and automating a company, respectively. His next book will focus on how entrepreneurs can serve a greater purpose and make an impact on the world.

Listen in and get inspired as Michalowicz gets brutally honest about his own struggles, and shares years of lessons learned to empower other entrepreneurs.

Key Takeaways

  • The actions that led Michalowicz to lose millions and hit rock bottom
  • How Michalowicz found his niche and rebuilt his career after 10 failed companies
  • Why working too hard can signal a lack of efficiency
  • How to manage cash and avoid spending money you don’t have
Direct download: FP219_Mike_Michalowicz.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:28am AEDT

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