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

After 16 years in the game, Patel has established himself as one of the most prolific marketers in the world. Hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs eagerly await his latest blog post, video, or product.

And yet, Patel says, more than anything, he deeply regrets building a personal brand. Pretty shocking, considering the majority of Patel's businesses have been built off the back of his personal brand and status as an influencer.

"If I had to do it all over again I wouldn't build a personal brand, it was the biggest mistake of my career. I built a personal brand by accident," Patel says.

For all the benefits and advantages Patel's personal brand has brought him, he also feels that it's seriously held him back in other areas he wants to pursue. While it's brought him more clients as a consultant, that very same notoriety has made it difficult for him to even build businesses without encountering problems.

But, like any other entrepreneur, Patel isn't stuck on what might have been. He's here to talk with us about what he's doing now, and how he manages to wield the double-edged sword of having millions of people recognize his name as an entrepreneur and a marketer.

In this episode you'll learn:

  • Simple marketing hacks that anyone can use right now
  • Why building a personal brand can hold you back as much as it can provide opportunities for success
  • A behind-the-scenes look at what Patel is working on right now and his past businesses
  • The astoundingly simple way to create content that drive you traffic, qualify leads, and boost your SEO
  • What most people get wrong about content marketing according to Patel
  • & so much more!
Direct download: FP165_Neil_Patel.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:54am AEDT

What separates the companies that make millions of dollars from those that never make it?

It's not the vision, or the product, or even the founder, it's the people. You can't build a successful business, let alone grow it, without having the right people by your side.

It's a lesson that Ryan Holmes, CEO and founder of Hootsuite, is intimately familiar with. Today, Holmes finds himself at the helm of one of the fastest-growing companies around. Hootsuite is a mega-popular social media tool that boasts over 16 million customers and 5 million messages powered by its service every single day. As of 2013, Hootsuite has raised an impressive $165 million in funding from some of the biggest VC firms in the world and continued to dominate the social media landscape.

In this episode, Holmes advises founders that when it comes to finding your first batch of employees, you're looking for the "Swiss Army knives" and "paratroopers" of the world. People who have the ability to take the smallest instruction and make their own way. It can be tempting to want to hire specialists in the early days, but as Holmes explains, they're more likely to hold your business back in the early days.

Finding the right people is as much about timing as it is finding the right skillset. And according to Holmes, the number one reason Hootsuite managed to grow so fast is that he had the right people by his side from day one.

In this episode you will learn:

  • Why having first-mover advantage means nothing in the startup world
  • What the number one focus of any startup should be in the early stages
  • Building virality into your product. Why, and most importantly, how.
  • Where to find and deploy the "shock troops" of your team
  • Why you should actually stay away from Silicon Valley when looking for A-players
  • & so much more!
Direct download: FP164_Ryan_Holmes.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:43am AEDT

Change is inevitable in the startup world, and only the best entrepreneurs stay on top of the game by evolving with it. Steve Huffman, co-founder and CEO of Reddit, knows this all too well, and in this episode of the podcast, Huffman explains how he's ushering the social media giant to the next level.

Huffman was there in the very beginning, when he and roommate Alexis Ohanian first pitched the idea for Reddit to Y Combinator, and he's at the helm again today as the company strives to reach new heights.

On the surface, nothing much has changed about Reddit since it was first created in their college dorm room 12 years ago. The layout, font, and even the logo remain relatively the same. But over the years, it's grown into a massive and highly influential web of online communities.

Today, Reddit is one of the largest websites in the word, with over 250 million active users and 300 million visitors a month. Beyond boasting impressive traffic numbers and a $1.8 billion valuation, Reddit is home to over half a million active online communities, where users can find anything from a laugh to help with addiction or relationships. The company's now making some serious changes under the hood, even to its appearance.

How things have changed.

"It's important to realize that there was never a point in which there was an idea for Reddit the way it exists today. There was just the idea we started with, to build a place where people can find interesting stuff every day. Not anything in particular, just interesting stuff," Huffman says.

In the early days, no one really knew what they were doing, and Reddit has experienced numerous stumbles and challenges along the way. But Huffman's managed to stay on top, and he's learned a tremendous amount along the way. He shares with us what it was like to create one of the largest sensations of the internet, and how to stay ahead in an ever-changing industry.

In this episode you will learn:

  • Why you should focus on content instead of marketing
  • The difference between customers and users, and why you need to know what separates the two
  • How to build an online community that rivals the population of most countries
  • Picking your battles—when to take a step back and when to step up
  • What Huffman's
Direct download: FP163_Steve_Huffman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:54am AEDT

"How can I solve a problem in the fastest way?"

It's a question that Maneesh Sethi asks himself almost every day, and it's been the main driver behind who he is as a person, and as an entrepreneur. You see, Sethi lives a life of what you might call extreme productivity, and he wants to help you do the same.

The question has manifested in a variety of ways throughout Sethi's life, including starting his own productivity blog, Hack the Systemwhere he examines how people can be more productive and focused in their lives by looking for unconventional solutions. Then there was the time he paid someone to follow him around and slap him in the face every time he was being unproductive.

Sethi's latest endeavor is par for the course in his never-ending quest to become as productive as he possibly can. As the founder and CEO of Pavlok, a wearable device designed to help you build better habits by literally shocking the bad ones out of you, Sethi is determined to help people transforms their lives. Even if it means giving them a zap every now and then.

Sethi knows a thing or two about the power of a little negative reinforcement, as evidenced by the aforementioned slapping, and the way having your back against the wall can bring out your best ideas.

"Our company has been a consistent sufferer of almost-death, followed by me figuring out something to help us survive, followed by learning a lot from that experience," Sethi says.

To save his company from bankruptcy, Sethi has turned to investors, crowdfunding, and even appeared on the hit show Shark Tank to keep his company alive. Through it all, he's developed a knack for finding the best way out, no matter what life throws at him.

In this episode you will learn:

  • Fool-proof tactics on how to become more focused and increase your overall productivity
  • How to build and successfully iterate a physical product for market
  • What to do if you find yourself on national TV
  • Where to go when you need funding for your idea, Sethi's answer might surprise you!
  • How making more sales can actually bankrupt your business, and Sethi's solution
  • Hacks to supercharge your crowdfunding gain and blow past your fundraising goal
  • & so much more!
Direct download: FP162_Maneesh_Sethi.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:22am AEDT

Jodie Fox loves her shoes.

But unlike your average shoe lover, Fox was able to turn that love first into a living room-based passion project, and then a multimillion-dollar online business. She's the co-founder and CEO of Shoes of Prey, a popular online store that allows customers to design and customize their own shoes.

Shoes of Prey recently raised $25 million in funding as part of its Series B round, and while that's impressive enough on its own, Fox managed to validate, launch, and break even on her very first business within two months. That's mind-bogglingly fast, even by startup standards.

The former lawyer also skilfully scaled her business with a powerful mix of influencer marketing and deals with wholesale giants like Nordstrom, to the point that over 5 million shoes have been designed on the platform. Not bad for a first-time entrepreneur.

"I think a founder's job when you start a business is just to do everything that you haven't hired anyone to do just yet," Fox says.

Together with her co-founders, Fox followed her passion, validated her idea, built her first online store, and from there the wins kept on coming.

We are very lucky to have the opportunity to interview her and receive step-by-step instructions on how this first-time entrepreneur managed to build herself a worldwide business with million of customers at lightning-fast speeds.

In this episode you'll learn:

  • Why you need to tap into the power of micro-influencers to quickly grow your brand
  • How to ink deals with the top brands in your niche
  • Exactly when to look for funding, and when to keep on bootstrapping
  • How to conceive, validate, and launch your idea in as fast as two months
  • What holds most online businesses back from being successful, and how to overcome them
  • & so much more!
Direct download: FP161_Jodie_Fox.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:48am AEDT

"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 AEDT

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 AEDT

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 AEDT

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 AEDT

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 AEDT