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

As a former Navy Seal, Brandon Webb is no stranger to life’s roller coaster of adversities and triumphs. In the military, pressure is a constant, and learning how to withstand and thrive under that pressure has made Webb a victor in his own battles, whether in business or everyday life.

In this interview with Foundr, Webb shares the story of how he lost millions in his first failed startup and turned his misfortune around to build and scale his eight-figure media and ecommerce business, Hurricane Group, Inc. He shares exactly what the turning point was that gave him a burst of forward momentum and the realizations that led to his success.

Webb’s astonishing accomplishments have been shaped by the principles he's mastered to overcome adversity, maintain laser-sharp focus, and make better decisions under pressure. He discusses how learning the necessary principles of FOCUS have helped help him create attainable, actionable goals that influenced outcomes and have helped him win in life and business.

As a New York Times-bestselling author, Webb also takes you behind the cover of his new book, Total Focus: Make Better Decisions Under Pressure, where he discusses how to approach the challenges and complexities of growing a startup using the indispensable life skills and principles he learned as a Navy Seal.

Key Takeaways

  • Why saying no to some irresistible opportunities can save your business.
  • How to figure out the delicate balance between doing too much and doing just enough to move the needle
  • Why raising money can sometimes bury you deeper into a hole of failure
  • The one thing all young entrepreneurs should know to avoid an insecure financial future
  • The single trait an entrepreneur needs to get investors to fork over their money
  • Webb’s personal and business goal-setting strategies that have led him to winning in business and life.
  • And more!
Direct download: FP175_Brandon_Webb.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:38am AEDT

Anyone, technically, can build a business. But it takes real skill to convert an audience into die-hard followers who will stick with you no matter what. Ben Rattray is an expert at doing just that, now at the helm of one of the largest online communities in the world, not to mention a major force for social change.

Rattray is the founder of Change.org, one of the world's biggest social enterprises with over 100 million users spread across 196 countries, empowering everyday people to create and join social causes. In 2012, he was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world, according to Time magazine, and he's partnered with titans ranging from Virgin to Amnesty International.

But before it became the massive vehicle for online activism it is today, Change.org looked very different. In fact, it actually wasn't until 2011 that Change.org became the online petition platform we all know and love today.

Like most entrepreneurs, Rattray had to go through a few pivots before finally developing a model that actually worked. While most entrepreneurs can only afford to pivot maybe once or twice, if they're lucky, Rattray had the power of community behind him. And that power can take you a long way.

Rattray did what most others could not, he managed to not only build a huge community that loved what he was doing, but he was also able to keep them loyal to his brand even while undergoing multiple changes. You don't have to be in social enterprise to understand the magnitude of such an accomplishment, and just how valuable it can be to any business.

Luckily for our listeners, Rattray knows exactly how to do it.

In this episode you'll learn:

  • Why a name is everything. Rattray goes into detail about how to find the right name for your company
  • Why you always need to find investment before you launch
  • How to take advantage of upsells and cross-sells to increase your bottom line
  • Pivoting and changing your business model
  • The how-to guide for mobilizing your community using content
  • & so much more!
Direct download: FP174_Ben_Rattray.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:09pm AEDT

If you don't know Kevin Kelly's name, you undoubtedly know his work. Staying mostly behind the scenes, Kelly has quietly influenced the world as we know it, from pop culture to how we interact with digital technology.

He launched and built up one of the most influential media brands in the world, with a devoted audience of millions—a brand that's published, and even launched the careers of Pulitzer Prize winners, presidents, filmmakers, and of course, billionaire entrepreneurs.

Kelly is co-founder of the one-and-only Wired magazine.

In his time as editor-in-chief at Wired, Kelly was a pioneer of helping the world understand and interact with the internet and digital technology at large, as their role in our lives exploded. Since then, he's gone on to publish multiple books and launch multiple successful businesses. Throughout this interview, though, one theme persists:

Kelly is a true futurist.

Not only have many of his predictions about the future come true, from crowdfunding to wearable technology, but his keen ability to hack into these cultures early on, before they've hit the mainstream, has been the key to his success.

Luckily for our listeners, Kelly reveals in this sweeping interview his methodology for culture-hacking and how he's just so darn good at predicting the future.

In this episode, you'll learn:

  • Kelly's method for culture-hacking an audience and building a worldwide brand
  • The future of print media, and how digital entrepreneurs can take advantage of it
  • A rare behind-the-scenes look at the history of Wired
  • The true meaning of "a thousand true fans" and what it means for entrepreneurs
  • How to package every product "like a magazine"
  • & much more!
Direct download: FP173_Kevin_Kelly.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:03am AEDT

For any startup to be successful, it's going to need an amazing team. It's why Fortune 500 companies are willing to pay their executives so much, and invest millions of dollars into finding and hiring the right people.

For the founders of startups, though, especially those that are bootstrapping, there's barely enough money to pay themselves, let alone hire anyone anyone else. The challenge of finding the right person to bring onto your team becomes that much harder.

It's a position most founders find themselves in when they need to start bringing on new staff, and Cyan Ta'eed was no exception.

In the beginning of Envato, one of the world's leading digital marketplaces with over 1.5 million active customers, it was just Ta'eed and her two other co-founders. It was a 100% bootstrapped operation, and still is today, and for a while, the three-person team was enough. But they soon quickly realized that if they were to grow any further, they needed to grow their team.

"We couldn't offer above market, because so many startups who had taken funding to get these amazing, sort of, guns. These people who can command these incredibly high salaries," Ta'eed says. "So instead we would look for people with great potential, people who were entrepreneurial themselves, people who we knew could take the ball and run with it."

Ta'eed hit the pavement and began the seemingly impossible task of finding that unicorn who's driven, entrepreneurial, and a problem-solver. In the end, though, she found a system that made finding and hiring exceptional talent, exceptionally easy.

In this interview you'll learn:

  • Where to look for when hunting for A-grade talent
  • How to know whether your new employee is really going to help you grow
  • What a highly effective founding team should look like
  • How to juggle building multiple products without losing focus
  • How Ta'eed disrupts an entire industry
  • & much more!
Direct download: FP172_Cyan_Taeed.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:14am AEDT

Despite being a prolific investor as one of the judges on Australia's Shark Tank, Janine Allis would rather sell her family home than seek investor funding. How do we know? Well, that's precisely what she did to start her own business.

Allis started her first business while on maternity leave, and it was then, like so many entrepreneurs, when she realized she didn't want to live by someone else's rules anymore. The result was Boost Juicea retail empire that stretches over 500 stores across the globe, making it the largest and most profitable juice bar chain in the world.

While Allis certainly isn't entirely against the idea of taking investor money, she does caution entrepreneurs that raising capital should never be the first goal. And she has some indispensable advice on how to avoid the common money traps so many entrepreneurs fall into.

The most important stake any entrepreneur has in their own company is their equity and the passion they have for their own project. Bringing on investors not only means that you'll lose out on some of your equity, but it also means that you may have to make room for someone else's passion and vision for the company. And, most of the time, investors are more interested in the bottom line as opposed to the founder's ideas.

"I'm a firm believer that you only ever ask for money when you don't need it," Allis says.

She has seen firsthand how many entrepreneurs get caught up attempting to solve all their problems by throwing everything they have into fundraising—a Hail Mary pass that, more often than not, ends up hurting a business in the long run.

To help you avoid that common pitfall, Allis has some choice pieces of advice that you need to hear.

In this episode you'll learn:

  • The simple solution to avoiding the money trap and investors
  • Expert advice on how to build your business to grow as fast as possible
  • Her secrets to building a killer brand that connects with millions
  • What to expect when dealing with investors, and how to know if one is right for you
  • How to have it all as an entrepreneur. No concessions, and no compromises
  • & so much more!
Direct download: FP171_Janine_Allis.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:10am AEDT

Greg Mercer built an entire lifestyle business without having to build his own products, distribution network, or even an online store.

Instead of creating his first business from scratch, Mercer took advantage of the tools around him and started selling products on Amazon. It worked, to the point that he and his wife were both able to quit their jobs and start traveling the world. He had achieved the dream that so many of us are working toward, all by cleverly riffing on an industry giant.

Within two weeks, though, he was bored. Fortunately for us, Mercer's next project is helping others find similar success.

Selling everything from wrist braces to cages for tomato plants, Mercer realized he had stumbled upon a proven formula. A formula he could use over and over again that allowed him to find products people wanted, sell them on Amazon, and turn a significant profit. The next step was obvious.

Mercer built a tool called Jungle Scout, which allows other ecommerce entrepreneurs to find opportunities to make money on Amazon. Despite having limited himself to a budget of only a thousand dollars, having absolutely no coding or technical experience, or any experience in the software business, Mercer hacked together Jungle Scout, his first bona fide startup.

After starting out as a complete novice, Mercer began learning on the job, and despite encountering some classic hurdles and mistakes, has found himself at the head of a fast-growing company.

In this episode, you'll learn:

  • Mercer's strategy that anyone can use to make a profit on Amazon
  • What every ecommerce entrepreneur should be aware of when selling online
  • How to build a SaaS from scratch, with no tech skills
  • What to watch out for in ecommerce opportunities
  • How to build and manage a remote team that actually works
  • & so much more!
Direct download: FP170_Greg_Mercer.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:15am AEDT

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!
Direct download: FP169_Mark_Cuban.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:24am AEDT

Often as entrepreneurs, we envision success as owning more objects, like a fancy watch, a big house, or a fast car. But what if there were a more authentic, more enriching version of success? One that involves less?

That's the question that Joshua Fields Millburn seeks to answer, as one half of the duo who call themselves The Minimalists. Millburn and partner Ryan Nicodemus have built an entire brand around how to live a better life by having less.

Millburn runs a website with an annual audience of more than 4 million readers, hosts one of the most listened to podcasts in the world, has published multiple best-selling books, and has even produced and filmed a critically acclaimed documentary. In this episode of the podcast, Millburn gives us the crash course on redefining success, and otherwise decluttering and streamlining your life.

Millburn first adopted the minimalist lifestyle after spending years climbing the corporate ladder. By the time he was in his late 20s, he realized he wasn't happy, despite having everything that he thought he wanted.

"I always felt I was one promotion away in my career from being happy. But of course, I had all these other things that came with that ostensible success like stress, and anxiety, and discontent, and overwhelm, and of course a boatload of debt," Millburn says.

He says that too many entrepreneurs get caught up in the idea of constantly wanting to achieve the next goal, and the one after that, and so on so forth. But rarely do they ever take a moment to think about why they're working so hard, and to what end.

According to Millburn, the key to achieving happiness is to pursue meaning over anything else. And to do that you must first ask yourself, "How can my life be better with less?"

In this episode you'll learn:

  • What the minimalist lifestyle is and how to start living it today
  • The key to finding things that give value to your life
  • Balancing the hunger entrepreneurs have with the minimalist lifestyle
  • What it means to give yourself permission to be happy
  • & so much more!
Direct download: FP168_Joshua_Fields_Millburn.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:33am AEDT

Great entrepreneurs have that rare ability to take risks that others find crazy, coupled with a single-minded determination that allows them to bring their visions to life. But some of us want to do much more with that talent than simply create a profitable company. Some of us want to change the world for the better.

If that sounds like you, you're going to want to hear what Samasource founder Leila Janah has to say in this episode, as that's exactly what she's done during her incredible career.

Janah runs one of the most influential social enterprises around, responsible for raising over 30,000 people around the world up from poverty, and rebuilding entire communities.

Rather than the typical charity model of distributing donations to make an impact, Janah realized early on that in order to combat global poverty, she needed to come up with a more innovative solution. She decided to build a social enterprise that operates like a business, but in service of reducing poverty.

Janah focused on empowering poverty stricken communities in India, Haiti, Uganda, and more, contacting companies like Google and Microsoft that were looking to outsource their work, and training individuals with the skills they needed to complete that work.

This revolutionary business model has changed the way people think of success when it comes to social enterprises. Janah has shown what happens when you use the powers of entrepreneurship for something other than just profit, and the world is so much better of for it.

In this episode you'll learn:

  • The role of the entrepreneur when it comes to social enterprises
  • Keys to leading and managing a global enterprise with thousands of employees
  • How to pitch your social enterprise to investors and secure funding
  • Why every business should be looking to make a difference in the world
  • The skills that every entrepreneur needs to succeed, no matter what industry you're in
  • & so much more!
Direct download: FP167_Leila_Janah.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:56pm AEDT

Ask yourself, just how many hours have you sunk into that palm-sized rectangle of plastic, metal, and glass known as the smartphone?

As the co-founder of Kabam, one of the world's leading companies in mobile games, Holly Liu might be able to provide an answer to that, and it would likely be a huge number. But luckily for us, and our listeners, she's far more interested in talking about how she managed to build a billion-dollar company from scratch by giving away her products for free.

If you don't know Kabam already, you've probably heard of the company's hugely popular games, such as Kingdoms of CamelotThe Godfather, and Marvel's Contest of Champions, just to name a few. Each one operates on a "freemium" model, where users can download and play games for free.

This might sound crazy, but it's actually a ludicrously lucrative business model, with Kabam making the bulk of their revenue through in-game currency and advertising revenue. Kingdoms of Camelot alone has, to date, grossed over $250 million.

The secret behind Liu's success is simple, she just asks herself:

"Where are the people?"

That question led to Kabam's successful pivot into building a Facebook game and tapping into the power of viral marketing, to even partnering with the major studios in Hollywood to build games for upcoming movies and franchises.

For Liu, there's so much more to surviving in the mobile gaming industry than building a successful product, especially when great products exist on almost every corner. It takes an equal amount of dedication to marketing, finding the right partnerships, and, as always, understanding where your customers are.

In this episode you'll learn:

  • What opportunities lie within the mobile gaming industry
  • How to take your business where the customers are
  • How to pivot when your first, second, and even third ideas fail
  • What goes into making a product as viral as possible
  • Why you should look to grow your company through the power of partnerships
  • How to make being social your competitive advantage
  • & so much more!
Direct download: FP166_Holly_Liu.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00pm AEDT