The StartupCamp Podcast with Chris Graebe Each week, we deliver advice from some of the greatest thought leaders, entrepreneurs, and influencers. Tune in to a show created for the startups, entrepreneurs, and everyday dreamers that want to learn how to form strong ideas, launch lucrative ventures, position their brand, love their people, and develop business models that offer freedom to their founders. Your host, Chris Graebe, is a multi-million dollar e-commerce entrepreneur, a former reality show star, and a man passionate about seeing people win in life and in business. *To suggest a guest for our show, or host Chris on your show, please email Thu, 04 Jun 2020 02:05:30 +0000 en-US © 2019 StartupCamp StartupCamp, hosted by Chris Graebe, is a weekly interview with high performance leaders bringing practical wisdom for aspiring entrepreneurs, bloggers, and dreamers. Chris Graebe Each week, we deliver advice from some of the greatest thought leaders, entrepreneurs, and influencers. Tune in to a show created for the startups, entrepreneurs, and everyday dreamers that want to learn how to form strong ideas, launch lucrative ventures, position their brand, love their people, and develop business models that offer freedom to their founders. Your host, Chris Graebe, is a multi-million dollar e-commerce entrepreneur, a former reality show star, and a man passionate about seeing people win in life and in business. *To suggest a guest for our show, or host Chris on your show, please email StartupCamp clean The StartupCamp Podcast with Chris Graebe How To Become a Super-Angel with Jeff Clavier Tue, 19 May 2020 10:00:47 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

Angel Education,angel investing,business,confidence,COVID-19,entrepreneur,finances,growth,leadership,lessons,startup investing  How To Become a Super-Angel


Today we have a special guest—Jeff Clavier a veteran in the angel space. He grew up in Tours, France, and moved to California with his wife and kids to pursue angel investing full time.

He lucked out making connections in the early days of Web 2.0, was named a “Super-angel” after just a couple of years, and now has a diverse portfolio of companies.

Discover his investing wins like getting in on the ground floor of Fitbit to his embarrassing misses—including Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Uber—and why he doesn’t lose sleep over it.

Jeff is invaluable for fledgling angels looking to spread their wings.

Listen now.

clean no 45:21 Chris Graebe
Cleaning Up the Earth – One Tablet at a Time with David Shahan Thu, 14 May 2020 11:00:26 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

angel investing,COVID-19,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,growth,investing,marketing,startup,startup investing,strategy,success Cleaning up the earth – one tablet at a time.


David Shahan knows a thing or two about cleaning up other people’s messes. He worked in the dry cleaning and the commercial janitorial industry before coming up with Dazz—cleaning tablets that turn any bottle with tap water into a cleaning solution safe for your home. 

David’s business has innovated in an industry that doesn’t often see disruptions and is easing the burden on our landfills at the same time.

Discover how angel investing has played a large role in Dazz’s journey, how his persistence with the Home Shopping Network paid off in the early days, and why a retailer outside your niche may hold the keys to a different kind of market.

Listen now.

clean no 35:17 Chris Graebe
Don’t Be An Entrepreneur (It’s not for everyone) with Anthony Franco Tue, 05 May 2020 11:00:07 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

angel investing,business,COVID-19,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,fear,finances,investing,leadership,learn,startup,startup investing,success Don’t be an entrepreneur. It’s not for everyone.


From innovating in the tech and software space to dry-erase boards and stickers—how does one even leap from one to the other? On the podcast this week is Anthony Franco, co-founder of McSquares—a whiteboard company. He walks us through the beginnings and exits of his various companies, including one company that didn’t even make it to market before it was acquired.

Discover why he pivoted from tech and software to physical products, the benefits of manufacturing in-house, and his experience with angel investing. Listen now.

clean no 34:11 Chris Graebe
Trust Your Instincts with Josh Muccio – The Pitch Tue, 28 Apr 2020 11:00:48 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

angel investing,business,COVID-19,entrepreneur,growth,leadership,learn,lessons,marketing,networking,startup,startup investing,strategy Trust Your Instincts with Josh Muccio


Do you like shows like Shark Tank, but want to dive deeper on the deals? This week we have Josh Muccio, creator and host of The Pitch – a podcast about real founders pitching to real VCs, and everything that happens after they receive funding.

The Pitch, now a Gimlet Media show, has been downloaded millions of times. But that wasn’t always the case.

Discover why Josh decided to tank the original 55 episodes of The Pitch, how he pitched Gimlet with a cold email and waited while he burned through his savings, and the process of making each episode. Listen now.


clean no 43:39 Chris Graebe
Heeding the Call to Partner with People with Next Door Photos Tue, 21 Apr 2020 20:42:50 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

angel investing,business,COVID-19,growth,investing,startup investing Heeding the Call to Partner with People with Next Door Photos

Startup is a time of risk but also thrills and unpredictability – especially when you’re out to revolutionize the real estate market. Next Door Photos partners with realtors to edit photos, videos, and even create floor plans and 3D models for listings so houses can get on the market faster.

Taylor Blom and Paul Vander Kuyl are the minds behind it. They didn’t just want to create a franchise opportunity. They wanted to partner with locals who wanted to start a business.

In this episode, Taylor Blom and Paul Vander Kuyl outline why it’s important to trust your business partner, the thrills of navigating the “messy middle”, and demonstrate how they built their media editing arm to create a positive impact for victims of human trafficking.

Listen now.


clean no 37:35 Chris Graebe
I’m Just Going To Get It Done With Christine Outram Fri, 17 Apr 2020 14:15:11 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

Angel Education,angel investing,character,COVID-19,entrepreneur,growth,investing,leadership,startup investing I’m just going to get it done with Christine Outram


Originally hailing from Australia, Christine Outram came to California with an entrepreneurial spirit and passion for creating and overseeing businesses and projects. She jointly holds a patent for the development of the Copenhagen Wheel (turns your regular bike into an electric bike), has done app development for cities, and worked for years at an ad agency. Now, she’s turned her eye on the education market with Everydae, an app that helps high schoolers develop better study habits.

Check out Everydae’s round on WeFunder here:

In this episode, Christine discusses the benefits of working in multiple industries and why angel investing appeals to her (spoiler alert, it’s not just about the money). Listen now.


clean no 34:13 Chris Graebe
State of the Union – How Should I Do Business During COVID-19? Fri, 17 Apr 2020 14:00:23 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

angel investing,business,COVID-19,entrepreneur,investing,startup,startup investing How Should I Do Business During COVID-19?

In this frank and free-form discussion, Chris lays out some real advice for aspiring entrepreneurs, angel investors, and business-owners. If you’re not working right now and you have the capacity to start something new, now could be the time to start your dream business or invest and grow your wealth. Discover why you should be thinking about selling or investing, even during a downturn in the market. Listen now.


clean no 10:03 Chris Graebe
Give and Grow with Phillip Stutts Tue, 07 Jan 2020 12:00:14 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

angel investing,business,entrepreneurship,founder,growth,investing,leadership,lessons,marketing,networking,startup How the election day mindset could set you apart from the competition.


Not many young people can say they’re into politics, but Phillip Stutts had the bug at an early age. He has over two decades of experience in the world of political marketing, and contributed to over twelve hundred political victories, including three presidential victories. He’s the founder of Go BIG Media and the founder/CEO of Win BIG Media, and bestselling author of Fire Them Now: 7 Lies Digital Marketers Tell.

Discover the similarities and differences between political marketing and business marketing, and how Phillip brought strategies from the political to the corporate world. In short: knowing your audience is critical. Phillip also gets personal about his health and how his “give and grow” mindset applies not only to his personal life but his business as well. Listen now.


clean no 50:30 Chris Graebe
Finding the Good Good Good In Being Different with Branden Harvey Tue, 31 Dec 2019 06:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,character,confidence,connection,create,creative,dream,entrepreneur,success,writing How one man harnesses the power of good news in his business.


Influenced by Seth Godin’s work at a young age, Branden thought deeply on how he was going to distinguish himself from his peers. After a career as an Instagram influencer and photographer, he created the Goodnewspaper. He discusses the value of having a mentor at a young age, who not only helped him improve his craft, but also sharpened his business skills. Learn how he started and maintains a newspaper in the digital age, the benefits of having systems, and the realities of having a business that provides value but people may not realize they need what you’re offering. Listen now.


clean no 42:26 Chris Graebe
Disrupt Yourself with Jay Papasan Tue, 24 Dec 2019 06:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,character,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,growth,leadership,learn,lessons,strategy,writing How to become the business that will put you out of business


Jay Papasan is always looking to improve his businesses. After all, he says, if you’re trying to become the best, you have to be willing to disrupt yourself at every turn. Jay is the co-author of multiple books including The One Thing, which has sold over a million copies, and is the vice president of Keller Williams Realty Inc, the world’s largest real estate company. Discover how he and his colleagues wrote a book in ninety days, his various insights into the writing and publishing industry from having spent years in the book world, and the importance of setting goals far beyond what you want to achieve. Listen now.


clean no 47:06:00 Chris Graebe
From Zero to $50 Million and Beyond with Brendan Synnott Tue, 17 Dec 2019 06:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

angel investing,business,confidence,dealflow,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,fear,finances,growth,investing,lessons,networking How to take a risk, right now.


Survivor, SNL, slinging granola – what do all these things have in common? Brendan Synnott joins us for a conversation this week about his entrepreneurial journey. It’s more expensive to take a risk over time, he says. He and a friend grew Bear Naked, a granola company, from zero dollars and craft markets to $50 million and eventually sold it to Kelloggs. Discover what Brendan learned from growing the granola business and the importance of transparency between company and customer. Listen now.


clean no 36:15:00 Chris Graebe
Exposure Makes You Bigger with Lee Cockerell Tue, 29 Oct 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,character,confidence,connection,create,dream,fear,growth,leadership,resilient,strategy How one man went from milking cows in Oklahoma to changing the culture at Disney World

It was a long journey from his family farm in Oklahoma to opening Disneyland Paris and shifting the corporate culture at Disney in Orlando, but Lee Cockerell did it. How? He wasn’t afraid to try new things. A good education is one thing, but making a point to expose yourself to new ideas, different people, and exotic locations will only make you more resilient. Now, Lee is a speaker, podcaster, and author of four books including, Creating Magic: 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies from a Life at Disney. When you’re resilient, you can handle anything. Listen now.



clean no 51:12:00 Chris Graebe
How to discover what you stand for—and communicate it to the world with Brian Burkhart Tue, 22 Oct 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,communication,dream,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,growth,leadership,learn,management,marketing,public speaking,success  How to discover what you stand for—and communicate it to the world.


He’s helped successful Shark Tank pitchers, TED talk speakers, and $100,000 winning Tech Week presenters refine and nail their message. And it all started with a love of public speaking and connecting directly with people in the audience. Brian Burkhart is the author of Stand for Something, and is here to talk about the nitty-gritty of communication and clarity of purpose behind your budding brand.

Your actions are dictated by your beliefs, Brian says, and the best brands communicate what they stand for. He pulls no punches here—it’s not easy to uncover what you stand for. Fortunately, in our conversation today, he shares some insights to make the journey a little smoother. Discover the mic-drop question that will help you think deeply about your company’s beliefs, why conviction and connection are the two most important elements of public speaking, and a discussion on being secure and insecure in the entrepreneurship world. It doesn’t matter if public speaking is a large part of your business. Mastering communication, or at least improving your skills, will help connect you with people who will believe in your brand. Listen now.


clean no 42:37:00 Chris Graebe
Multiply Your Impact with Allison Maslan Tue, 15 Oct 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,confidence,creativity,dream,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,growth,leadership,learn,lessons,marketing,networking How to build your business and scale it beyond you


Marketing. Homeopathy. A beauty salon. Jewelry manufacturing. Scuba diving. Allison Maslan has done it all—she’s successfully built and scaled ten businesses from the ground up, and today, she’s here to help new entrepreneurs do the same with her book, Scale or Fail. 

Discover why many entrepreneurs are unable to scale their businesses, why growing your business doesn’t necessarily mean going the wholesale route, and creative ways to march to your own drum.

No matter the industry, the principles of growth and creating an impact remain the same. If you’re working harder than ever at growing your business and not seeing the impact you desire, this is the conversation for you. Listen now.


clean no 41:02:00 Chris Graebe
Crawl, Walk Run with Eli Crane Tue, 08 Oct 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,character,confidence,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,growth,leadership,lessons,marketing,success  How Eli Crane took Bottle Breacher from his garage to Shark Tank – and beyond


Eli Crane didn’t always want to be an entrepreneur. While he was a Navy SEAL, he received a unique bottle opener as a gift, which inspired him to create his own .50 caliber shell bottle openers. His fellow SEALs loved them, and inside his garage, Bottle Breacher was born. Eli takes us through his journey, from auditioning for Shark Tank to the realities of navigating an immensely successful deal. Discover how the SEALs saying, “Crawl, Walk, Run” resonated in his entrepreneurship, why being inflexible can be your downfall, and why going too deep can ruin your perspective. Listen now.


clean no 47:32:00 Chris Graebe
Plot Your Escape with Jonathan Mendonsa Tue, 24 Sep 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

confidence,dream,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,failure,fear,finances,leadership,learn,lessons How to grow your side hustle into a full-time gig – the smart way.


Jonathan Mendonsa never wanted to be an entrepreneur. So he spent twelve years becoming a pharmacist, racked up six figures of student debt, and became miserable. That’s when he started plotting his escape, and fell into the financial independent movement – by starting the ChooseFI podcast. Now, he’s escaped debt and lives his dream and wants to share his knowledge with you. Discover the importance of plotting your escape before you make the leap into entrepreneurship, why knowing how much your life costs gives you power, why loyalty can make or break your business, and how to monetize your podcast the right way. Listen now.


clean no 59:18:00 Chris Graebe
Go Fix What’s Broken with Brian Dixon Tue, 17 Sep 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,connection,customer care,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,growth,leadership,learn,relationships,startup How to start your business – by focussing on the right thing.

The biggest mistake beginner entrepreneurs make is by focussing on the wrong aspect of their business out of the gate. Purpose, practice, and profit are all well and good, but you have to start with–you guessed it–people, says Brian Dixon, business coach, and author of Start With Your People. Discover why you should build a “runway” with your family before building your business, how to repair burnt bridges from ages ago, and stop looking for your dream team, because they’re already working for you. 


clean no 46:54:00 Chris Graebe
Develop Your Infinite Mindset with Simon Sinek Tue, 10 Sep 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,character,connection,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,growth,leadership,success How to grow your business in a never-ending world of change

How do you play a game with no finish line? Simon Sinek, author of Find Your Why and Leaders Eat Last is back again with his newest book, The Infinite Game. The big idea? You have a finite time to play in the never-ending landscape that is business. It’s not about finding short-term wins – it’s about setting your business up to outlast yourself and everyone else.

Simon talks about the five principles to help you play the Infinite Game: Just Cause, Trusting Teams, Worthy Rivals, Existential Flexibility, and the Courage to Lead. He also shares why your Just Cause has nothing to do with what you’re selling, the single greatest tell of a good leader, and where true courage comes from.


clean no 42:13:00 Chris Graebe
Implementing A Word Of Mouth Strategy with Jay Baer Tue, 03 Sep 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,creativity,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,marketing,networking,relationships,startup,strategy How to create long-lasting buzz for your business and turn your customers into salespeople

Back in the early days of the internet, Jay Baer served as the vice president of marketing for an internet company without really knowing what the internet was. He sold Budweiser dot com for fifty cases of beer. He went on to found five multi-million-dollar companies and write six New York Time Bestselling books, including Talk Triggers.

Jay teaches that to create natural buzz and interest in your business, you must do something operationally different that makes your customers rave about their experience with you. A gimmick – but not just any gimmick – one that relates to your customer and is relevant to your business. You want your customers to tell their friends, “So the coolest thing happened to me today…”

Jay explains the difference between talk triggers and going viral, the golden handcuffs that might be keeping you at your day job, and why competency doesn’t create conversation.


clean no 48:44:00 Chris Graebe
Speaking The Language of Money with Oren Klaff Tue, 27 Aug 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

angel investing,business,creativity,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,investing,pitch,startup Strategies to speak to investors and elevate your sales game

How do you talk to money? The same way you talk to anyone else – you have to speak the right language. Oren Klaff, venture capitalist and author of Pitch Anything and Flip the Script, is here today to help us understand the underlying thought processes and strategies to being heard by investors. He says, if you put the correct idea into someone at the beginning of the conversation, it’s far easier to close the deal at the end.

Discover the art of the “status tip-off”, aka, how he went from mistrusting a high school student valet to handing him the keys to his car in sixty-five words, why you should show your technical competency in a “flash roll”, and how to erect a dome of rules for the conversation, to help guide a person to your desired result. 


clean no 58:55:00 Chris Graebe
Light Your Hair On Fire with Lindsay Teague Moreno Thu, 22 Aug 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,confidence,dream,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,family,growth,success,work-life balance,working mom How one woman raised her children AND built three, multi-million dollar businesses

If you are a parent, you may have heard someone say, “Enjoy every moment while it lasts.” 

Lindsay Teague Moreno never fully bought into the idea that, as a mother, you should enjoy when your kids are throwing a temper-tantrum. Not only did she want to feel what she wanted to feel, but she wanted to make her dreams of running a business a reality – all while being a stay-at-home mom.

In just a few short years, she managed to build a seven-figure income, all while staying true to her personal vision and beliefs. One of her secrets? Ditch the plan B. Put yourself in a place where you’re so emotionally connected with your offerings that it lights your hair on fire.

Lindsay Teague Moreno’s newest book Boss Up explores ten philosophies to help any entrepreneur improve their game and achieve success. We go deep on the power of storytelling, the “unsales” tactic for those who don’t enjoy selling, and advice for entrepreneurs who are hesitant to begin their journey. 

clean no 47:41:00 Chris Graebe
Keep Your Focus; Become Unstoppable with David Hauser Tue, 20 Aug 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

angel investing,business,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,growth,lessons,small business,startup,success,work-life balance How one man bootstrapped his business to $30 million – and sold it to become an angel investor.

Although David Hauser had an entrepreneurial spirit from a young age, when he co-founded Grasshopper (then GotVMail) in 2003, he realized he had a lot to learn about running and scaling a business. But the biggest lesson he learned in the twelve years he ran Grasshopper? Every time David’s attention shifted away from Grasshopper to start a new business or chase a new idea – Grasshopper suffered. Keep your focus, he says, even when you have the urge to chase that shiny object. In the long run, you’ll be thankful.

Now, David is an angel investor and the author of Unstoppable: 4 Steps to Change Your Life. In this episode, we discuss paid marketing versus organic content (and how David advocates for small businesses), what he looks for in a business as an angel investor, and the importance of screening your new business for employees that share your core values.


clean no 43:53:00 Chris Graebe
Focus and Become Great with Greg Mercer Tue, 30 Jul 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,lessons,small business,startup,success How one man created a game-changing Amazon software business

Greg was stuck in a cubicle writing engineering reports. He was a civil engineer, after all. Yet his whole life, he’d had this entrepreneurial drive. He started by googling “how to make money online” and eventually began selling on Amazon. He got extremely good at it. So good, he started tracking Amazon product data in spreadsheets – and discovered a pattern that made him hit home-run product launches nearly every time. This excel sheet formula became Jungle Scout, a product data aggregator for Amazon that helps sellers find potential successful products to sell.

Learn about Greg’s transition from corporate life to traveling the world and starting a software company (even though he’s not a developer!), why “profit over passion” is an important business motto, and why you need to pick one marketing strategy right now – and stick with it. Listen now.

clean no 44:04:00 Chris Graebe
Don’t Lose Your Authenticity with Rachel Cruze Tue, 23 Jul 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

brand,business,character,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,family,finances,lessons,small business,startup,success How Rachel Cruze found her passion and took responsibility for her future

As the daughter of Dave Ramsey, Rachel Cruze didn’t have a typical childhood. She learned how to budget at age nine, and when she was a teenager, someone at Ramsey Solutions had the bright idea to invite Rachel on stage at a weekend live event to be the spokesperson for a line of products aimed at kids.

That would frighten most – but Rachel learned that public speaking was her passion. She continued to make speaking part of her life by following in her father’s footsteps and creating her own brand all about preventing debt, becoming debt-free, and family budgeting. She’s the host of the Rachel Cruze Show, a YouTube channel and podcast devoted to saving and budgeting.

In this episode, Rachel tells us what it’s like to grow up under the wing of a successful entrepreneur and shares her passion for helping others. Listen now.

“I think for a lot of entrepreneurs, there’s just this belief that they can do anything and they can control their life.”

In the Ramsey household, Rachel grew up with the mindset that she could pursue whatever passion held her interest – but if she wanted to create her own business, she was responsible for it, as the business rises and falls with you. Entrepreneurs, she says, have this grit that propels them to create their own change instead of just living with what they’ve been dealt.

“In the name of being more sophisticated, it lost some of the hearts.”

Rachel wanted to refine her video creation process. Although she was used to and enjoyed the spontaneity of coming up with topics and speaking off the cuff, she decided to start writing scripts and change her delivery style on camera. She even brought in a teleprompter. The result? It wasn’t working. The very thing she enjoyed about speaking in front of a camera – the spontaneity – was lost in this new process. She had to re-examine what worked and remove what didn’t while still delivering a professional product.

“People crave authenticity.”

On video especially, people can sniff out insincerity, Rachel advises. That’s why it’s all the more important you speak or write about a topic that’s close to your heart. Don’t be afraid to be a little vulnerable with your audience.

clean no 28:16:00 Chris Graebe
The Art of Negotiation with Chris Voss Tue, 09 Jul 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,growth,leadership,lessons,negotiation,small business,success How to negotiate with anyone, from a former hostage negotiator

From small-town Iowa to lead international FBI kidnapping negotiator, Chris has taught negotiation as a business skill at universities across the U.S. It’s through these teaching sessions that he developed a comprehensive, practical methodology, which eventually became his book Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As if Your Life Depended On It.

Today, Chris joins us to share powerful pieces of negotiation wisdom that you don’t have to be an FBI agent to utilize. These effective, easy to understand tactics can work in your business and personal life and are especially helpful for entrepreneurs who feel like they’re always getting the short end of the stick. Listen now.

“It’s what you say versus what they hear.”

Think about the phrase, “How am I supposed to do that?” Your tone can dictate the mood of the phrase, but what it’s really saying is, “I can’t do that.” Said gently, the person on the other side of the conversation will realize you can’t budge on that particular point. The objective of “How am I supposed to do that?” – an easy phrase to incorporate into your repertoire – is to get the other person to see your perspective on the problem. Once they do that, it’s easier to move them to a solution.

“There’s something more important than the deal itself.”

A control-oriented negotiator is a vulnerable negotiator, Chris says. You can give your opponent “control” of the situation by telling them that they are in charge if they care more about that then the actual deal on the table. Once you give them what they want, they may defer to you for the next step. After all, it doesn’t matter who came up with the idea – as long as you don’t care who gets credit, anything is possible.

“That’s right.”

The two most powerful words you can get the other person to say? It’s not “You’re right.” It’s “That’s right.” When someone says, “You’re right,” they can easily dismiss you. “That’s right” comes in when you’re agreeing emphatically with a point. Chris shares a strategy to help the other person say these two powerful words to you.

Chris emphasizes that it’s not about getting to yes in an exchange. It’s about mastering the intricacies of the “no” so you can get what you want.

clean no 40:04:00 Chris Graebe
Your Podcast Is Going to Fail with John Lee Dumas Tue, 02 Jul 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,create,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,lessons,startup,success How one man found and dominated the business podcasting market

After returning from his tour in Iraq, John Lee Dumas fell in love with podcasts, and especially podcasts that interviewed entrepreneurs. But he would binge all the episodes and would become dismayed when he’d run out of content. He saw a market for a podcast that brought fresh entrepreneurial perspectives every day. That’s how Entrepreneur on Fire was born.

Now, John Lee Dumas (or JLD for short) makes six figures a month on his podcast and lives it up in Puerto Rico. He shares a snapshot of his journey and drive to create a successful podcast. Listen now.

“I had to have trust and faith that my daily shows were building to something.”

For 2,000 days, JLD posted an episode – that’s nearly five and a half years of daily content. But, for the first nine months, his podcast barely made any money. Remember that nine months of daily content is nearly three hundred episodes. And weekly podcasts would only put out fifty-two episodes a year. After nine months, he felt the momentum grow, and after thirteen months, he’d reached his tipping point.

“Your podcast is going to fail.”

If you’re just out to copy a successful podcaster, you’re probably going to fail. Remember that JLD started his podcast because he was willing to do something no one had ever done before – release an interview with an entrepreneur every single day.

You have to operate in what JLD calls the “Zone of Fire”. Essentially, the place where your passion AND your expertise meet. JLD offers free podcast courses on how you can create your first podcast, but, if your heart isn’t in it, it’s going to show.

As an aspiring podcaster, you might be tempted to play it safe with your questions when you have a guest on the show. JLD shares his number one question to ask a guest to get them off-message and engage with them on a deeper level.

clean no 33:25:00 Chris Graebe
Prune What You Love with Dr. John Townsend Tue, 25 Jun 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,leadership,lessons,relationships,success How to recognize and cultivate healthy relationships to sustain you and your business

Business can be a lonely place…  And people will suck you dry if you’re not careful. 

Fortunately, Dr. John Townsend has a solution, and it’s all about building more positive relationships. He’s a business consultant and psychologist who directed a healthcare company for a decade and worked often with business owners who suffered from depression and anxiety. 

He wrote his new book, People Fuel: Fill Your Tank for Life, Love, and Leadership, to help leaders and entrepreneurs like you ensure you’ve got the right people in your corner, cheering you on. Listen now.

“The biggest problem with entrepreneurs? Too big a vision…You’re going to have to prune things you love.”

There are three things you need to succeed: vision, follow-up, and healthy relationships. Even if you have the first two and you don’t have the latter, success is going to be difficult to achieve, Dr. Townsend says. According to his research, people fuel our brains. Just as our bodies need bio-nutrients to survive, so our brain requires relational nutrients to sustain itself. Meaning: healthy relationships give us energy. Unhealthy relationships take away energy.

“We’re being fed by them, we take that from them, and we give it back to them.”

Who are the gains and who are the drains? You’ll have to take a hard look at the relationships in your life and figure out who sustains you – and who drains you. Every relationship falls into what Dr. Townsend calls the 7 C’s: Coaches, Comrades, Casuals, Colleagues, Care, Chronics, and Contaminants. The bottom three you have to avoid, as much as possible, while seeking the top three to create your “life team” – a group of people who you can support, and who offer support in return.

“The person you have not forgiven controls you.”

When you have been wronged, you might be fuming and sitting around waiting for the other party to approach you and apologize. But, that may not happen. Dr. Townsend says that when in doubt, provide or receive forgiveness – because the alternative can be all-consuming.

Dr. Townsend unpacks so much more for us about how to be happy, productive, and fulfilled at work. Check out the podcast now.

clean no 37:14:00 Chris Graebe
The Beautiful Art of Service with Horst Schulze Tue, 18 Jun 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,customer care,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,lessons,management,startup,success Why keeping the customer happy is the not-so-secret key to success

When he was eleven-years-old, living in a small German town, he proudly told his parents he would someday own a hotel business. They were concerned, as that was not a respectable career choice at the time. At 14, he took a position at the closest luxury hotel, nearly 100 km away.

This isn’t a hotel we could ever stay at, his parents told him. This hotel is for very important people.

On his first day, the maitre d’ told young Horst Schulze, “Don’t come to work every day. Come to be excellent in what you are doing.”

At first, he was confused. What was so excellent about cleaning floors and washing dishes? Yet, after watching how the Very Important People who stayed at the hotel treated the maitre d’ as if he was the most important person in the room—he realized that excellence. And deciding to be excellent was the secret to his success.

Horst Schulze went on to co-found the Ritz Carlton and authored Excellence Wins: A No-Nonsense Guide to Becoming the Best in a World of Compromise. This interview is perfect for the startup entrepreneur, as Horst does a deep dive on his thought process behind creating a luxury brand that serves the customer better than the competition. Listen now.

People talk about service, but they have no process for it.

There are three subconscious desires that every customer wants when they make a purchase, regardless of industry, Horst says. First, you want the product to be defect free. Second, you want it when you want it, regardless of time limits. And, lastly, you want the people who give it to you to be nice to you.

Yet, it’s not just about following these three basic steps. You have to have a vision for where your company will be in ten years. You should make a detailed list of twenty ways you are going to deliver your product or service better than the competition—and then have everyone in your company, no matter how menial the role, focus on this list.

Don’t get carried away with what you think is right.

When plastic cards became the leading-edge replacement for physical keys, Horst became excited. After all, in his mind, it was a more secure system. Yet, at first, his customers hated the idea. Why, they asked, do I have to use cheap plastic as a key to enter my luxury hotel room?

Just because something is leading edge, it doesn’t mean you need to adopt it immediately. You, as the business owner, know the benefits. But, the customer needs time to adjust to new technology and changes. There’s value, he says, in being just behind the curve.

Horst offers practical advice for entrepreneurs who strive to be the best in their industry—regardless of industry.

clean no 42:39:00 Chris Graebe
Make Better Decisions Now with Annie Duke Tue, 11 Jun 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,growth,learn,lessons,success How to take charge of your decision-making

Annie Duke was so close to receiving her PhD in psychology. Yet a chronic illness left her in the hospital, unable to work. Having a knack for poker, she decided to try playing professionally.

During nearly twenty years as a professional poker player, she won millions of dollars and holds a World Series of Poker bracelet. Now, she’s a consultant, speaker, and the author of Thinking In Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All The Facts.

As an entrepreneur, you’ll make thousands of decisions – and you’ll rarely have all the facts. Some will be life-altering and others will have no impact. Annie Duke helps us navigate the decision-making process so you can move forward with confidence, even in uncertainty.

“We have this battle between the person who we are right now and the person we want to be in the future.”

There are many reasons we make poor decisions, but one reason is that we only take short-term gain into account. That’s why we have to be time-travelers—in a manner of speaking, Annie says. Taking a moment to think, “What would Future Me think say about this situation?” could change what you do today, at this moment. A large source of frustration is probably a blip to your future self. The idea of this exercise is to give yourself some much-needed objectivity.

“You should wrap your arms around [uncertainty] and give it a big ol’ hug.”

The power of “I’m not sure” might surprise you.

First, saying, “I’m not sure” isn’t the same as, “I have no idea.”

You probably know, based on your best guess and your values, what you will do after listening to this podcast episode. By leaving room for some uncertainty, you’re opening your mind up to alternate paths and decisions.

By the same token, having complete certainty in your beliefs can be limiting. If you only seek out information that confirms your beliefs, you’re missing out on potentially valuable information from an opposing side.

You’re never going to be 100% certain. But if you’re certain enough, that should be enough.

“Why am I here?”

You can do the math and make your decision tree (she explains how in the episode) to get clarity on your position. But all of that may not matter if you don’t know how you got to where you’re at. You have to carefully consider emotional angles as well as logical ones when you’re weighing decisions—one of the reasons why a pros and cons list won’t cut it for decision-making.

clean no 48:46:00 Chris Graebe
Staying Motivated in Your Business with Scott Belsky Tue, 04 Jun 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,growth,learn,lessons,motivation,small business,startup,success How to actually work on and in your business without becoming discouraged

Co-founder of Behance, Scott Belsky, kept a notebook called “Essential Insights” handy during meetings and phone conversations with creative entrepreneurs. Whenever he’d hear something poignant, he’d jot it down, with the intention of putting it into practice in his business and personal life.

Flipping through the pages and realizing he’d collected 860+ insights, he started to organize them into categories (Endurance, Optimization, The Final Mile). Through this framework, his book The Messy Middle was born.

Here at Startupcamp, we often focus on how to start a business. You may have heard or read a lot about entrepreneurs selling their businesses. But what happens in between? How do entrepreneurs sustain their creative drive and their motivation to continue, even when things seem bleak?

Scott Belsky speaks to the silent struggle of entrepreneurship: the day-in, day-out battle of keeping your business alive and well. It’s a must-listen for any would-be entrepreneur. Listen now.

“The competitive advantage of most start-ups is sticking together long enough to figure it out.”

How many times have you seen a budding entrepreneur post on social media that they’re starting a business, and six months to a year later, the thought pops into your head: what happened to so-and-so and their startup?

When you’re working towards a long-term goal, Scott says, you’re suddenly at odds with the short-term rewards system on which the nine-to-five world operates: getting paid every two weeks, bonuses at the end of the year, perhaps a scheduled vacation or days off. People fool themselves into thinking a long-term goal can sustain them on a day-to-day basis, when that may not be the case.

The solution? You have to create your own short-term milestones and celebrate them, no matter how trivial they may seem. You have to create a culture where people show up, even if it’s an act of love.

“Great teams are made by developing a process or way of being that is constantly optimized.”

Optimizing the right aspect of your business is part of scaling—but how do you know what to optimize? Scott says it’s not about fixing what’s broken. Instead, if something works, improve it. Make it the best it can be before improving anything else.

It’s not just about A/B testing what color on a button drives the most conversions. It’s about A/B testing systems within your business, too.

“Part of the job of the entrepreneur is to accept the burden of constantly processing uncertainty.”

Even on his honeymoon in Thailand, part of Scott’s brain was back at his office, worrying about his team and the finances. He says that like a computer dedicating 20-30% of its RAM to maintaining the operating system, you too will have a portion of your brain always thinking about your business and worrying about its future.

Success corrupts, Scott says. When people start receiving attention, they stop paying attention. You can sustain your business only if you remain aware of the opportunities surrounding you.

clean no 31:57:00 Chris Graebe
Being A Warrior with Erwin McManus Tue, 28 May 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,character,creativity,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,growth,lessons,success How to find inner peace to achieve exterior success.

When Erwin McManus was fourteen, he started his first business: a lawn mowing company. He’d approach corporations and affluent houses and earn ten to fifteen times what other kids earned mowing suburban homes in his own neighborhood.

Since then, he’s started multiple companies in film and fashion and is the lead pastor of Mosaic. Most recently, he’s the author of The Way of the Warrior: An Ancient Path to Inner Peace.

We have to recognize, Erwin says, that inner peace is a daily struggle. It’s never over. Life doesn’t get easier. Instead, we have to challenge ourselves to be stronger, every day, to be ready for whatever comes our way tomorrow. It’s this mindset that has guided him through his entrepreneurial successes and failures. Listen now.

“Your power is silent.”

Erwin’s grandfather had a profound impact on him. He could walk into a room without making a sound. He never raised his voice. People who yell, he said, are powerless. They try to fill the space with noise because they know they have no impact.

From his grandfather, Erwin learned the idea of “being invisible” and having silent power. Making decisions is a silent power. Affecting people’s values, even when you’re not in the room—that’s also a silent power. Learning to nurture people to find good ideas, instead of being an idea person—another silent power.

The idea is not to intimidate or drive others away. Instead, pull people in. This is how you will have the most impact.

“I can tell you, the peace I’ve had, I’ve lost many times.”

After waking up after a six-hour surgery during his battle with cancer, Erwin immediately got out of his hospital bed to go for a walk. He refused medication. He wanted to stand in his pain; he knew if he withstood raw, physical pain, he could face anything life threw at him.  

Erwin doesn’t just open up about his physical pain. One morning, Erwin woke up to discover that his business partner had stolen his business. All the profit Erwin had reinvested, everything that Erwin had built, was gone—he estimates a loss of $5 to $6 million. He was devastated, not just by the loss, but by the betrayal.

A week later, his former partner calls him, asking him to fly to New York to negotiate a buy-back.

Erwin’s response? “Keep it.”

It took years, support from his family, and inner strength to recover, but Erwin stands firm and has no regrets or bitterness towards his former partner. “They didn’t have a strategy for generosity. They only had a strategy for greed.”

Erwin’s warm personality draws you in, no matter if he’s detailing the business ventures of his youth or his financial hardships.

“If you are dealing with this internal struggle, you’re a warrior. It takes incredible courage to own the fact that there’s stuff inside you that you need to deal with.”

clean no 48:16:00 Chris Graebe
The Proximity Principle with Ken Coleman Thu, 23 May 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,connection,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,fear,growth,lessons,relationships,success How to surround yourself with the right people and find your sweet spot

For much of his young life, Ken wanted to work in politics. But when the opportunity finally arose, he realized—that’s not what I’m passionate about.

His passion had been awakened years before when he stood on stage as the lead in the high school play. The audience gave him a standing ovation, and that was it. It took some more years of searching and refining to define his passion and mission exactly: it wasn’t just the performance, but the pressure of performing live and impacting others… that was his true calling.

Now, Ken focuses on helping others discover their strengths and passions. He hosts The Ken Coleman Show, a daily national radio show and podcast. He’s also the author of The Proximity Principle, where he explains the importance of surrounding yourself with the right people.

Ken Coleman reminds us that pursuing our passion isn’t easy; it means facing our inner demons on a daily basis, no matter how much success we achieve. Listen now.

“Each person was created to fulfill a unique role.”

Ken’s ultimate mission is to help people find their sweet spot—where their talent meets their passion. When people call into his show each day, he doesn’t know what he’s getting. That’s his passion: the pressure to perform live and deliver wisdom to a real person who needs it to move forward.

But it took self-reflection, pursuing careers he wasn’t passionate about, and the humility to learn for him to arrive in a place where he can perform each day.

It also meant learning to recognize the voices of fear and doubt.

“A chain, a rope, can render a powerful animal powerless.”

If you go to the zoo, Ken says, you might see a lion or a tiger chained up or locked behind a fence. We walk by and we yawn because we are safe. But if we see that animal in the wild? We run.

We tether ourselves with the chain and ropes of fear and doubt. How many times have you thought, “I don’t think I can do this”? How many times has a loved one told you, “Take the safe route, stay in your nine-to-five”? Fear chains us to where we are and doubt makes us question our abilities.

That’s why it’s important to surround yourself with the right people—the five archetypes Ken mentions are the professor, the mentor, the producer, the peer, and the professional. These people aren’t afraid to tell you when you are wrong and will support you when you’re right. If you seek them out, they will teach you what you need to know so you can move closer to where you want to be.

“It’s not the awards. It’s not the rewards. It’s the significance.”

Once we find our passion and turn it into a career, it can sustain us, but it’s not about us. What we create through our passion serves others. You want to go bed every day asking, “Did what I did today matter?” and “What can I do better tomorrow?”

clean no 55:40:00 Chris Graebe
Bring Your Most Evolved Self To Work with Cy Wakeman Thu, 16 May 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,growth,leadership,lessons,strengths,success,work Say goodbye to the hidden costs of your business and hello to change

Cy Wakeman hadn’t planned on being a drama researcher. She’d earned such a reputation during her time as a social worker and health administrator that, during her first maternity leave, she received numerous calls to help or manage leaders. Eventually, she started speaking. Her accountant finally looked at her and said, “You have to start a business.”

Drama is emotional waste that can be upcycled, Cy proposes. Her unique approach has helped multiple leaders and businesses transform the way they show up to work by diffusing or eliminating gossip and complaining. Two years in a row, she was named one of the Top Global Leadership Gurus and she’s a Top 100 Leadership Expert to Follow on Twitter.

Now, in her book (and podcast of the same name) No Ego, she dispels the myths of change (it’s not that hard) and engagement (it doesn’t always drive results). Listen now.

“Drama is fueled by the way we lead; it’s not just the cost of doing business.”

When you get a bunch of people together, you might expect that some won’t get along. That’s just the way it is. Right?

Cy disagrees. You can actively reduce drama in your organization. If you engage with your employees but you don’t hold them accountable (or worse, if they don’t hold themselves accountable), they become entitled. Time spent complaining or feeling victimized is unproductive, and by calling people to greatness and holding them accountable, you can increase output and wellbeing.

“We need to insist that people quit being shocked by change.”

During her daily meetings, Cy asks her team to share what they’re consuming, be it podcasts, books, or other media. This is part of increasing accountability and change readiness.

One of the greatest misconceptions in the workplace is that change is hard. Change isn’t hard, Cy says. Change is only hard for the unready. Everyone is responsible for their own growth. When you have leaders that sympathize and coddle, you decrease their accountability for action. A well-rounded, educated team that is curious about the world is adaptable to change and doesn’t play the victim or blame their environment for their circumstances.

“What can I do to stop judging and start helping?”

Picture a light switch on your head. People have two states, Cy says. You have a high-self and a low-self. The low self is the victim and blames the world for their circumstances – it’s full of ego. The high self looks inward and wonders, what’s my part in this mess? Switching between them requires self-reflection. If you can switch your team to be more accountable, you can create more collaborative, helpful team members.

Cy has been called “the secret weapon to restoring sanity in the workplace,” and we pretty much guarantee you’ll be rethinking how you show up tomorrow.

clean no 40:50:00 Chris Graebe
Four Rules to Break to Become Rich with Nathan Latka Thu, 09 May 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,lessons,productivity,small business,startup,success How to take charge of your own distribution channels

He has his own private equity firm, a podcast with over ten million downloads, and he’s a college dropout. Today we’re speaking with Nathan Latka, founder of the Top Entrepreneurs Podcast, and author of How to Be a Capitalist Without Any Capital.

In this episode, Nathan takes us through four assumptions or rules other entrepreneur thought leaders espouse and why they are wrong: don’t focus on one thing (be a generalist), copy your competitors (it’s not the idea, it’s the execution), forget about goals (use systems instead), and don’t chase the trend (buy into what makes the trend hot). Listen now.

clean no 39:55:00 Chris Graebe
Remove Your Superhero Cape with Mike Michalowicz Thu, 09 May 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,growth,lessons,management,productivity,success How to design teams that solve your businesses’ problems so you can focus on what matters most

If you had no money, what would you do for a living? Michael Michalowicz knows the answer to this question personally because he’s been there. He built businesses, acquired wealth, lost it all (except his family) and started over. Now, he owns three companies, with three presidents, and spends his time working on his passion: writing actionable books for small business owners. His titles include The Pumpkin Patch and Profit First, and his newest is Clockwork: Design Your Business To Run Itself.

The goal of Clockwork is to choreograph yourself, your employees, and your clients to work cohesively towards a common goal. In this powerful episode, you’ll learn about Superhero Syndrome: the entrepreneur’s propensity to swoop in and fix your businesses’ problems, instead of allowing your employee to make mistakes and learn from failures. He also explains QBR (including updated concepts not in the book!) and why your business needs to be doing the Four D’s (Doing, Deciding, Delegating, and Designing). If you’re not already scribbling away, add Trash, Transfer, Trim onto your to-do list too. Go forth, and listen right now.

clean no 45:14:00 Chris Graebe
Wrestling With Social Good with Sarah Dubbeldam Wed, 08 May 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

brand,business,character,confidence,dream,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,startup,success How to stick to your core values, no matter the cost

As a young woman, she was told: “You’re too sensitive. Just consume the media and don’t think about the underlying problematic messaging that oversexualizes and demeans women”. Even as she became the face of large marketing campaigns and her image was plastered on billboards, she saw how her skin and body was being retouched and manipulated. She realized she was a cog in the machine she had always wanted to disrupt.

So Sarah Dubbeldam made it her mission to create positive media for women. She’s the founder of Darling Media, formerly Darling Magazine, and a pioneer in refusing to retouch models in their photographs. She tells her story—the success of her initial Kickstarter campaign, to running out of money, to being picked up by Anthropologie, to redefining the business in the face of a struggling marketplace. Sarah’s strong core values cost her business in the beginning, but in the long run, they defined her brand. Listen now.

clean no 52:26:00 Chris Graebe
The Power of Language with Phil M. Jones Wed, 08 May 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,lessons,marketing,networking,small business,startup,success How to control conversations to create a win-win outcome for you and your customer

What’s the difference between a stereotypical salesperson and a professional salesperson? The answer: one word. For Phil M. Jones, carefully selecting your language makes the difference for your customer.

Selling has a bad rep, but it doesn’t have to be sleazy—it can be carefully controlled to create desired results, aka more sales for you and your business. His books, Exactly What To Say and How to Persuade and Get Paid, include practical phrases and processes that you can use to attract more customers. In this episode, we review the main points—have a notebook or your notes app ready. Learn the most powerful selling phrases you can use in everyday conversations, the benefit of a question tree, and why an abundance of business opportunities isn’t necessarily a gift. Listen now.

clean no 43:44:00 Chris Graebe
The Power of Collaboration with Andrew East & Shawn Johnson Tue, 07 May 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,character,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,family,growth,lessons,social media,success How to authentically deliver content, even if you live in a fishbowl

On their own, Shawn Johnson and Andrew East have incredible stories. Shawn is an Olympic gold medal gymnast. Andrew is a long snapper in the NFL. Both live in the public eye—and have for a long time. Now, they’re building a digital marketing/publishing empire together and they’re here to help others do the same.

They give an overview of their stories: how Shawn’s mentors sat her down at sixteen and prepared her for the reality of “living in a fishbowl” and Andrew’s perseverance and ambition, even after being signed and waived by six different teams.

They discuss the impact their parents had on them, and the mistake many parents make when putting children in sports or activities today, their YouTube journey, and the importance of just getting content out there. Listen now.

clean no 41:03:00 Chris Graebe
Just Have Fun With It with Dr. Henry Cloud Tue, 07 May 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,growth,lessons,success Mindsets and strategies to trust the right people and get the right things done

Before Dr. Henry Cloud became known as a psychologist, bestselling author of over forty books, and leadership coach to Fortune 500 companies and small businesses, he and his friend were on their way to a Christian radio station to guest-host a four-hour show. In truth, they were dreading the experience—so they decided, let’s just have fun with it and talk about what we want.

Three hours into the four-hour slot, the station manager and an attorney enter the booth and kick them out of the station.

But days later, they got a call from the network. They had never seen a response like what they had generated, and they offered the pair an opportunity to do a show.

There’s a lot to unpack in this episode. Dr. Cloud discusses his life in business from his beginnings in college finding his faith, to now. He talks about the five elements to consider about a person before trusting them and the three things you have to have for your business to come together. Listen now.

trust the right people with Dr. Henry Cloud

clean no 1:03:14 Chris Graebe
Do Less, Achieve More with Michael Hyatt Mon, 06 May 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,growth,learn,lessons,productivity,small business,startup,success How to get the right things done so you are free to focus on building your best life

More than eight years ago, Michael Hyatt shook off his job as CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers to start his own business. The problem? He couldn’t manage his own calendar. His email inbox was a mess. Doing administrative tasks was a pain—he wanted to bill for his time, not waste it doing internal, but necessary tasks.

The biggest lesson he’s learned in his many years since becoming a bestselling author, leadership coach, and productivity expert? You can’t scale your business unless you scale yourself. That means hiring people to help you out where you need it most, to free you up to do your most important work.

In this episode, Michael walks us through actionable lessons in his newest book, Freedom to Focus. Create a life where you can win every day by focusing your to-do list, learn about where you’re at on the Freedom Compass, and the most eloquent way to say no. Listen now.

clean no 43:01:00 Chris Graebe
Say Yes Before You Know How with Christy Wright Mon, 06 May 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,growth,lessons,small business,startup,success How to roll up your sleeves and make it work in any situation

Christy Wright had a strong entrepreneurial influence growing up. She grew up in her mother’s cake shop, watching her mother tackle every conceivable problem from troublesome customers to flat tires in the rain. It’s this mentality, coupled with her strong-willed personality, that has carried her through today.

She’s the founder of the Business Boutique, which is all about equipping women with the knowledge and mindset they need to run businesses they love. No matter your gender, you will find great value in this episode today. We discuss the importance of serving your audience, no matter if you run a for-profit or non-profit business, how Christy bought and ran a horse farm with no prior experience, and the importance of saying yes to opportunities, no matter your current skillset. Listen now.

clean no 42:14:00 Chris Graebe
How To Choose The Right Business with Elaine Pofeldt Thu, 02 May 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,finances,small business,startup How a regular person can choose the right business and make more for themselves

Elaine Pofeldt didn’t always enjoy writing about the business world. When she started her journalism career, she believed it was boring. But, a friendship with a fashion designer changed her perspective. This led her to investigate and report on solopreneurs and creatives who scale their business profitably – and in ways you might not expect.

Now, in her book The Million Dollar One Person Business, she explores what makes high-earning solopreneurs tick, what sets them apart from the crowd, and in what industries they participate to skyrocket their businesses to one million dollars in revenue. Listen now.

“How do you make more?”

It’s an innocent enough question, but important for a freelance journalist like Elaine. She left the world of magazine and online journalism to enjoy more flexibility with her four children – and realized that to support herself and her family, she needed to make thirty to forty percent more revenue just to cover her health insurance costs. By asking this question, she uncovered the million-dollar solopreneur experience.

“How much am I willing to lose?”

We often think of successful entrepreneurs as risk-takers, but Elaine echoes Adam Grant’s sentiments here: successful entrepreneurs often don’t take big risks, they take calculated ones. She tells the story of a couple who started an Amazon business by investing $5,000 in a product that didn’t end up selling. Yet, they weren’t upset. They set aside that money purposefully to experiment with the product and came away with valuable knowledge about the market.

“People don’t realize what the freelancer’s or entrepreneur’s life is.”

Elaine believes that there is good in the gig economy – and the more individuals and companies that participate, the more policy can be enacted to benefit the freelancer and solopreneur lifestyle.

This episode gives you the low-down on real people with high-revenue businesses—real people, just like you and me.

clean no 45:40:00 Chris Graebe
When “fake-it-till-you-make-it” Blows Up In Your Face with Dhar Mann Thu, 25 Apr 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,failure,lessons How one man learned the true meaning of success – the hardest way imaginable.

Picture this. On a campus like any other, there’s a room with rows of college students. They’re dialing phone numbers, trying to get people to re-mortgage their houses. After all, it’s 2006, and there’s lots of money in real estate, right? 

An early-twenties college student walks into the room. He’s dressed in a suit and carries a briefcase. He owns this scrappy mortgage business, along with another marketing company, and he’s making more money than his college professors. Little does he know, it’s all about to come crashing down.

It sounds like the plot of a blockbuster movie. Yet it was only part of Dhar Mann’s life. Now he owns Live Glam, a beauty subscription business, but before that, he owned a string of businesses that saw wild success – and devastating, life-changing failures – more than once. We’re talking going from nine exotic cars and living in a mansion to sharing a 300 square-foot apartment and owing his friends and family hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Buckle up. In this rollercoaster of an episode, Dhar takes us through the story of his life. How his scrappy but short-term mindset earned him millions of dollars, why he kept losing it all, and how he managed to make a lasting change. Listen now.

“To me, entrepreneurship is a way of looking at problems.”

When the real estate market crashed, Dhar was living a lavish lifestyle. Multiple fancy cars. Partying on weekends. When the money stopped rolling in and he found himself deep in debt because of his lifestyle, he didn’t think, “I should probably sell my cars.” He thought, “I’ll start a luxury car rental business.”

“I was attracting all these people into my life, because of the person I thought I wanted to be.”

At one point, Dhar was making six figures of passive income off a seemingly legitimate investment. He cultivated a baller image in person and on Instagram and accrued over a million followers before Instagram is what it is today. Four-story mansion, luxury cars, reality star fiancé, he had it all – or so he thought. But when he lost everything, that’s when he discovered who his real friends were, and ultimately, who he wanted to be.

“When you nail it, that’s when you scale it.”

During his medical marijuana business phase, he attempted to roll out a national franchise for a hydroponics store specifically for home growers – before the first store had even made money. Dhar learned the hard way that you have to nail it before you scale it, even when you have national media attention and massive demand.

Dhar’s wild story is simultaneously a cautionary tale of the allure of wealth and fame and the dangers of a “fake it till you make it” attitude. It’s also proof that you can make a one-eighty shift in your life with no money, a scrappy mindset, and the desire to change for the better.

clean no 47:52:00 Chris Graebe
Principles for a Life of Breakthroughs and Purpose with Jean Case Thu, 18 Apr 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,create,dream,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,lessons,small business,startup,success How to use what you have now to build an impactful business

How does the youngest of four from Normal, Illinois grow up to influence the beginnings of the internet, work in the non-profit sector alongside powerful names like George Bush and Bill Clinton, and serve as Chairman of the Board of the National Geographic?

CEO of the Case Foundation Jean Case tells us her life story and outlines her successes and failures in her book: Be Fearless: 5 Principles for a Life of Breakthroughs and Purpose. This episode is a must-listen for anyone who feels they can’t start a business because of who they are, where they live, or their current economic situation. Listen now.

“That generosity of others… was pivotal in terms of how the story of my life played out.”

Jean Case was the youngest of four kids in a single-parent household. The community stepped up and offered her many opportunities that shaped her young life: a full scholarship to a private school, a mentorship with the mayor, and political campaign experience that eventually lead to a job in the Reagan administration. From there, she was furloughed, which made her seek out employment in the tech space—a sector she fell in love with. Each opportunity and event built on the other and lead her to where she is today.

But Jean will be the first to tell you that it’s not because of any inherent “specialness” that afforded her these opportunities.

“It’s very easy getting caught up in this world thinking, ‘I can’t be the one.’”

The research she details in her book suggests, firmly, that it’s not a special genius gene that makes a person more likely to succeed. Jean took advantage of the opportunities where she was and used them to propel her forward. This is a powerful lesson for a budding entrepreneur—to start where they are—which is one of her five principles in Be Fearless.

“The underserved need to be served better, and there are powerful ideas of how to do that that are probably not going to come from Silicon Valley.”

Less than two percent of venture capital goes to female founders and co-founders, a statistic that Jean finds sobering. Yet, she says, female-lead brands and diverse teams are outperforming other cohorts. Jean sheds light on inspirational stories of female entrepreneurs who innovated where they were at and built powerful brands, without a lot of prior experience or formal help.

Jean unpacks the five principles (Start Where You Are, Be Bold; Take Risks, Make Failure Matter, Reach Beyond Your Bubble, and Let Urgency Conquer Fear) with real-life stories and examples. She also gives tips on how you can apply them to your life, even if you’re just getting started.

clean no 33:58:00 Chris Graebe
How To Improve Company Culture with Dr. Randy Ross Thu, 11 Apr 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,culture,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,lessons,relationships,startup How to build desirable, intentional relationships at work and at home

Dr. Randy Ross, author of Relationomics, consults with businesses large and small to improve organizational health and workplace culture. Culture—the relationships, values, and behaviors you have at work—is a pivotal foundation for any seasoned or startup business. He believes that, by cultivating and improving relationships around you, you can create a place where everyone will be happy to work.

He is a compelling speaker who offers practical advice along with high-concept ideas—making this episode a must-listen.

“Business is powered by healthy relationships, and healthy relationships define culture.”

Culture is your biggest differentiator, he explains—but what does that mean for the entrepreneur just starting a business? Crafting an environment where people bring their best to work is the foundation of success. It also means hiring or surrounding yourself with remarkable people.

“The right people are your greatest asset. The wrong people are your greatest liability.”

People are an asset, but only if they’re the right people. But it’s not easy to hire or surround yourself with the best people—after all, how do you know they’re right until they’re actually doing the work? Dr. Ross says the right people have a “trilogy” of qualities: they believe IN one another, they want the best FOR one another, and expect the best FROM one another. The greatest resource you have as a leader is the latent energy inside your people—if you didn’t make the right hire, chances are, you can cultivate it.

“We have to know where we are not strong and affirm others in that area of strength.”

When Dr. Randy Ross asks if you have a relational plan, you might give him a blank stare. Not only should you have a business plan, he says, but a plan for developing your relationships, both at home and at work. He describes his four principles for healthy relationships and a simple but effective exercise for improving any relationship.

Whether you’re still working your corporate job or you’ve just jumped ship, building desirable relationships in your workplace can set you up for later successes.

clean no 40:06:00 Chris Graebe
Changing the World with Disruptive Thinking – Jay Samit Thu, 04 Apr 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,small business,startup,success How one man disrupts industries and governments to solve problems

What kind of person runs an ad in the newspaper for a fake special effects job to find employment?

Jay Samit did exactly that after seeing the original Star Wars in theatres as a young man. By running the ad, he was able to see what education and qualifications the applicants had – and what companies had a potential worker out the door.

For the last three decades, he’s launched billion-dollar businesses, transformed industries, and held senior-level positions at companies like Sony and Universal Studios. He’s also the bestselling author of Disrupt You! Master Personal Transformation, Seize Opportunity, and Thrive in the Era of Endless Innovation.

In this episode, Jay Samit champions disruptive thinking to solve problems and achieve seemingly impossible goals. Listen now.

“The key to disruption is an internal process.”

If you miss a math class in high school, you might convince yourself you’re bad at math. In believing it, you may make it true. But Jay says it’s these stories we tell ourselves that prevent us from improving our situation. Think about one aspect of yourself you’d like to change, he advises, and you’ll realize just how malleable you really are. This is the heart of disruption: if you can change yourself, you can change and influence others.

“There’s no shame in failing, there should be shame in not trying.”

Jay recommends an exercise to encourage disruption: write down three problems you face each day. A few days in, you might think you’re out of problems—until you start focusing on the granular, everyday annoyances. He shares stories about entrepreneurs who turned annoyances and problems they thought they could never solve into successful, wide-ranging solutions for consumers.

“Solve a problem for a few friends, you’re popular. Solve for a million, you’re rich. Solve for a billion, you change the world.”

Jay Samit is famous for his outside-the-box thinking, even as a kid. He’s dyslexic, and he came up with a creative solution for group projects so his classmates wouldn’t realize his reading skills weren’t as strong as theirs. Fast forward to adulthood: hear how he managed to convince McDonald’s to do a promo with Sony and navigated a three-million-dollar insurance snafu.

Jay shows us that instead of giving in to fear, we can channel our energies into solving problems, no matter how large or small.

clean no 39:08:00 Chris Graebe
When to Leave Your Corporate Job with Amanda Boleyn Thu, 28 Mar 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,lessons,small business,startup,work She Did It Her Way founder explains the smart way to transition from day job to entrepreneurship.

Amanda knew the white-collar life wasn’t for her. Even so, she went to college, got a degree, and started working a corporate job.

But she dreamed of a bigger life. In 2012, she jumped ship and began consulting on a freelance basis with large corporations. After a few years, she started a podcast, She Did It Her Way, to help women transition from a nine-to-five job to starting their own businesses. Now, it’s not only a podcast but a yearly summit and a membership site.

In this episode, Amanda expresses why you have to be emotionally ready and deliberate about leaving your corporate job to start your business. Listen now.

“Stop making excuses for why you can’t be where you are and stop being a victim of your circumstances.”

Part of being a successful entrepreneur, Amanda says, is being comfortable with making “elective” decisions: a choice that you aren’t forced to make, but might move you forward toward your goal. Don’t wait for bad things to happen to you to make a decision—take control of your circumstances, she urges. If you know what you want, say yes to the things that get you there.

“It’s important to create weekly content to build up your audience, but it’s important to understand that that isn’t your product.”

Any would-be entrepreneur researching how to build an audience online may come across advice about giving away content for free on their websites. Amanda encourages everyone to be strategic about content creation and clear about your funnels. Don’t just start a podcast without a plan, she advises, and don’t quit your job to make time to create more free content.

“It’s all about what you do in the lead-up phase.”

Does this sound familiar? You’re starting a business while working full time at your corporate job, but you’re emotionally overwhelmed. You think that means it’s time for me to quit. Amanda would say, don’t! Validate your business idea, become intimate with your numbers, and learn how to be more efficient before you make the jump from corporate to entrepreneurship.

Amanda reminds us all that entrepreneurship is a difficult journey, one that shouldn’t be taken lightly or by one who isn’t ready to get real with their numbers.

clean no 35:39:00 Chris Graebe
Breaking Down the Science of Entrepreneurship with Adam Grant Thu, 21 Mar 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,lessons,small business,startup,success,work How original thinkers find success – and how you can too.

Adam Grant’s claim to fame? He may have started the first social network at Harvard, years before Facebook. But then he shut it down because, when you can see people face-to-face, you don’t need an online network, right?

Adam Grant is a Wharton professor, organizational psychologist, researcher, and the bestselling author of Originals, a fantastic book about how individuals find success by challenging norms and championing new ideas. He also has a podcast with TED called WorkLife, where he explores unusual workplaces to change your perspective on what a workplace can be.

Today, Adam joins us to break down the science behind entrepreneurship. Whether you’re starting a company or you’ve been in business for a while, he shows you to question workplace norms and behaviors to achieve your goals. Listen now.

“I don’t have to be cut from a different cloth or have different DNA to do this.”

Adam outlines the traits of the original thinker from his research– and the traits, they might surprise you. It’s not about taking outrageous risks or jumping feet-first into a business idea you’ve been dreaming about. Successful entrepreneurs often don’t like taking big risks, but they carry on with their plans anyway, despite fear. He also shares research suggesting that quitting your day job to pursue your dream business might not be the best idea—at least, not for a while.

“He realized the mistake he was making was, he was unrolling his whole vision, and people weren’t ready for it.”

Throughout the interview, Adam returns to Elon Musk as an example of an original thinker, and specifically, a tempered radical: someone who rolls out their seemingly untenable plan for the future in reasonable, actionable steps, until the public sees the bigger vision as realistic and possible. In this, he also explores the difference between self-doubt and idea-doubt. Those who have complete certainty in their abilities but doubt their ideas will press forward—they’re more likely to question their process and find better alternatives when times get tough.

“More and more, the power is in the hands of the people who are motivated and talented.”

People no longer want to put their lives on hold for their nine-to-five. If you’re here on this journey with us, chances are that statement resonates with you. Adam Grant shows us that changes can be made if we’re brave enough to take action.

clean no 51:27:00 Chris Graebe
How to Get Your Most Important Work Done with Justin Kerr Thu, 14 Mar 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,lessons,small business,startup,work Become more efficient with the power of over-communication

When Justin left his position as the youngest senior executive at GAP to form his first startup, he had only one question: “Am I going to make a million dollars or a billion dollars?”

That mentality left him defeated on his couch, questioning his life choices. But Justin is resilient. He climbed the corporate ladder once more—only to leave it again, this time better informed.

Now, he’s the founder of Imprint Projects, a post-advertising creative agency, and the author of fourteen books including most recently, How to Be Great at Your Job.

Justin stresses the importance of happiness over striving for the top and shares his insight on how to excel at the things you do, with practical tips to make you hyper-efficient at that most odious chore—answering emails. Listen now.

Justin Kerr

“Be careful what you wish for. For me, I wish I’d made a better plan before I jumped ship.”

His entire life, Justin had been taken care of. His parents supported him through school and even post-graduation. But leaving comforts behind and experiencing the hardship of independence with his startup was the kind of failure he needed to become a better business owner and human being.

Justin bounced back from his crushing defeat and emerged with a stronger vision and skill-set, and is now a successful entrepreneur and author many times over. One of the most powerful skills he credits to his success: the ability to communicate clearly and directly. Specifically, Justin is a master of the art of email. In this podcast episode, he shares some of his best tips for writing fast emails that get the job done, and even gives advice on how to win an email fight and still remain a team player.

“I feel like half the world’s problems would be solved if we used bullet points to communicate.”

Finally, Justin reminds us that contentment in our work can be greatly undervalued in our society today. But, not everyone has to jump off the corporate ladder to be happy or to pursue their dreams. Sometimes, our busy lives have little time to consider what we actually want. If you find something you enjoy doing, and you believe you’re happy—stay there, Justin encourages us. And if you need to leave to move forward, find the courage to do so.

“Society tells us it’s all or nothing, but there’s plenty of room in between to be happy if you let yourself be.”

clean no 50:58:00 Chris Graebe
Getting Dangerous on Social Media with Free & Low-Cost Strategies with Shane Barker Thu, 07 Mar 2019 06:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

brand,business,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,marketing,small business,social media,startup How you can take control of your brand with free and low-cost marketing strategies

Shane has been working in the online space since the early days. He even teaches a course for small businesses and aspiring influencers at UCLA about personal branding. He remembers how easy it was, in the beginning, to use influencer marketing to your advantage. Now, it can be difficult to make your mark online.

In this episode, Shane gives us a suite of practical tips and stories from his clients about making your brand stand out online. Listen now.

“For me as a marketer…I take every business that comes to me as if it is my business because I did start at a point where my budget was literally nothing.”

If you’ve got no time and big bucks, you can pay someone like Shane to create or improve your online marketing strategies. But if you’re small and scrappy, Shane says that the best thing you can do is consume all the content you can get your hands on. You don’t have to become a marketing expert—you just have to lay a foundation.

“You can go and get enough information to be dangerous.”

Allocate money for marketing, but that’s not enough. You have to know WHERE to spend your money, whether you have hundreds or thousands of dollars. He can help you answer the question, “Where do you spend your first dollar?” In some cases, it’s finding someone who already has an audience you want.

“Every influencer is their own business.”

When it comes to working with influencers, it’s not about the follower count. A large audience means nothing to Shane if the influencer shows up late to a meeting or doesn’t take their job seriously. It’s important to develop a relationship with your influencers so they can market your brand in a meaningful, impactful way.

Whether you’re a small business or an influencer on Instagram, you’re sure to find some value in Shane’s stories.

clean no 57:30:00 Chris Graebe
Live Like a Millionaire in All Areas of Your Life with Matt Aitchison Thu, 21 Feb 2019 06:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

brand,business,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,marketing,small business,social media,startup Are you too focused on money to ever truly be wealthy?

Matt Aitchison woke up in jail one day and realized if he didn’t change his ways, he would never truly be free. Expelled from high school and arrested after some poor decisions in college, Matt dove into entrepreneurship to turn his life around. He bought his first house without using his own money and earned over $100,000 profit on his first flip.

Now, he’s a successful real estate investor with a passion for helping others realize their dreams of financial freedom.

In this episode, Matt explains how you can have your own entrepreneurial transformation and why real wealth isn’t a number in your bank account, it’s apparent in every aspect of how you live your life. Listen now.

Money doesn’t bring happiness, says Matt or “Matty A” as he likes to be called, but it did bring him the freedom to help others, which is his true passion.

“You don’t need to have it all figured out, but you have to get in the game.”

Once you know what you’re after, it’s all about having the discipline to “move the needle forward” with high-impact activities. Not just once, twice, or three times, but every time, over time. It’s not a sprint—it’s a marathon.

“There are so many people who are going to invite you to play small with them in life.”

Having a mentor impacted Matt’s journey immensely, allowing him to traverse the sometimes-risky real estate arena while avoiding many mistakes and pitfalls. Now a mentor himself, he shares his wisdom with other would-be house flippers. As long as there are deals to be had, he believes any market is viable—and he competes in one of the most expensive housing markets in the United States.

“I think [entrepreneurship] is one of the greatest calls to adventure and one of the greatest self-discovery processes on the planet.”

Matt shows us all that with a little guidance, discipline, and good old-fashioned hard work, anyone can turn their life around and achieve the freedom they crave.

clean no 48:48:00 Chris Graebe
Don’t follow your passion, follow your “different” with Christopher Lochhead Thu, 14 Feb 2019 06:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,lessons,small business How do you compete as a small business against giant corporations?

This is one of the best times to be an entrepreneur—but not niching down is a colossal mistake, according to Christopher Lochhead. He’s a multi-talented entrepreneur, marketer, and author.

And Christopher says that one of his “ah-ha” moments has been this: small businesses who don’t distinguish themselves are going to fail.

“It’s the people who are different that make the difference. ‘Follow your passion’ is really stupid advice. Follow your different is very good advice.”

In this compelling conversation, Christopher drills down on the idea of not being better, but embracing your different, and using that to make an impact on what matters most. Listen now.

Christopher Lochhead is terrible at math. He’s also dyslexic and he can never find his keys. Yet as a Silicon Valley marketer, he built and sold several successful companies, managed multi-million-dollar budgets, wrote bestselling books, and interviewed some of the world’s most brilliant minds on his popular podcast, Legends and Losers.

“It’s the struggles we choose that makes us who we are.”

Christopher believes that you can’t be a legend without being a loser, and those who roll with the punches and continue to preach what they love are the ones who are going to come out on top. On this podcast episode, he shares stories of small businesses succeeding despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles, driving home the point that anyone who finds their strength and uses it to solve a problem can be an entrepreneur.

“My dream in life is that one day most people, rather than follow their incremental better, will follow their exponential different.”

Christopher is as passionate as he is engaging. From advertising blunders to small businesses creating unlikely successful products, you’re sure to have a few ah-ha moments of your own in this one.

clean no 1:05:15 Chris Graebe
Paving The Road To Success With $5.50 And Relentless Discipline with Nathan Chan Thu, 07 Feb 2019 06:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,dream,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,small business,startup,success Nathan Chan launched Foundr magazine to the glorious tune of two subscribers ($5.50 in sales)

In less than 15 months, he had put the Sir Richard Branson on the cover, and Foundr had cracked 100,000 subscribers.

Nathan’s extraordinary climb—from entrepreneurial nobody to the founder of an international brand—has been anything but glamorous. He calls his first year the “trough of sorrows”, where every day was an emotional grind and uphill battle.

By the same stroke, Nathan’s life and stories are a template for how we can all succeed as entrepreneurs—through persistence, force of spirit, and a commitment to his customers.

In this powerful conversation, Nathan is sharing his best advice for dealing with doubters, cutting through the noise of a thousand competitors, and tackling social media. Listen now.

road to success

Things look pretty glorious for Foundr at the moment, with 1.6 million Instagram followers, an email list that is growing by thousands a day, and a number of new offerings that are turning cost sectors into profits. But as Nathan will tell you,

                 “There is no story without struggle.

What he means by that is that real lows came before the highs. Just take Foundr’s launch, when after months of hard work (on top of his regular 9-5) Nathan managed to nab a mere two subscribers. The cover of the magazine was a goofy stock image, something that Nathan finds almost embarrassing.

Fast forward a few years, and now you’ll find the likes of Arianna Huffington, Sir Richard Branson, and Seth Godin on the covers. But Nathan doesn’t look back on that first stock image with regret. Far from it, it’s a reminder of how far they’ve come, an important part of the story.

Moreover, Nathan knew that perfect was not going to be attainable. A stock image cover was better than no cover at all.

“You want it to be perfect, you care so much, you want to be proud of it – but if you just don’t get it out there, nothing’s gonna happen.”

That’s one of the key entrepreneurial lessons Nathan learned as the founder of a digital magazine. Even though he only started with two subscribers, Nathan felt he had a responsibility to ship a monthly issue. He worked tirelessly to not let his customers down, but accepted the fact that his product would never be “perfect”.

And in our conversation, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Nathan is sharing a trove of other insights that he’s gained on his road to success, from pitching Sir Branson, to growing explosively through social media, to strategies to make your little scrappy startup totally lethal.

We’re huge fans of Nathan, and we know you will be, too.

clean no 46:15:00 Chris Graebe
How To Make A Living As A Creative Or Art Entrepreneur with Lisa Congdon Thu, 24 Jan 2019 06:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

art entrepreneurship,business,creative,entrepreneur,small business The Internet is exploding with opportunities for creatives and artistic entrepreneurs.

That’s what Lisa Congdon says. She’s the multi-talented artist, illustrator, author, and entrepreneur who’s teaching her fellow creatives how to thrive in the digital economy.

So what is Lisa’s advice? Build a body of work through a personal challenge. Dive into multiple income streams. Above all, don’t listen to that nagging professor-voice in your head telling you your work isn’t good enough.

In Lisa’s words, “I got where I am by sharing the wonky, naive, unfinished stuff I was making back in the day.”

Learn how to put Lisa’s best advice into practice—and a whole lot more—on this episode of the StartupCamp podcast.

creative entrepreneurship

Lisa’s path to becoming an artist/entrepreneur wasn’t typical. She never even went to art school. Though that might have actually helped her, she explains:

“Because I hadn’t gone to art school, I didn’t have that professor voice in my head saying, you’re doing it wrong! Or, you can’t be an illustrator and a fine artist at the same time. I was just like—I like all these things, I’m just going to do them.”

Lisa actually started out as a teacher and then went on to have a successful career in a non-profit. She didn’t go full-time as an art entrepreneur until 39!

Just goes to show, it’s never too late to follow your dreams.

Of course, she had been putting her nose to the grindstone working on her craft and her business before then. To build a body of work, Lisa made herself personal challenges.

After all, “There’s no way you can do something every day for a year and not get better at it.”

Whether you’re an artist who wants to become an art entrepreneur or a creative person who wants to bring your dreams – art or otherwise – to life, we know you’ll take a ton away from this interesting conversation.

clean no 52:10:00 Chris Graebe
How to Create Perfect Customer Experiences (and Find Your Yellow Tux) With Jesse Cole Thu, 17 Jan 2019 06:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,customer care,dream,entrepreneur,startup,success How can you stand out from the crowd?

Whatever’s normal, do the opposite.

That’s the advice of Jesse Cole, founder of Fans First Entertainment, author of Find Your Yellow Tux, and Owner of the Savannah Bananas, an amateur baseball team.

Jesse and his team have done something incredible with the Bananas; selling out their 2017 and 2018 seasons by completely transforming the baseball business model. Jesse himself is a kind of spectacle, wearing a banana yellow tuxedo and top hat to work every day.

Jesse’s mantra is all about putting fans first and standing out from the crowd, a must for any new or growing business. Learn all about Jesse’s tricks and tactics for getting attention, creating the perfect customer experience, and leading a winning team on this podcast episode. Listen now.

Perfect Customer Experience

What could you possibly learn from a man in a yellow tuxedo?

A lot, it turns out. Remember that the success of the Savannah Bananas has been pretty incredible. They’re not even technically a minor league baseball team (they’re a “wood-bat” collegiate summer league team), and they’re still selling out every game.

Jesse’s approach to business is all about creating a perfect customer experience, standing out from the crowd, and building a team based on real love. In this fun and interesting conversation, you’ll learn about some of the wacky tactics that Jesse has used to gain eyeballs (just take a guess at what the “Banana Nanas” are) and, more importantly, the mindset he used to generate them.

But, Jesse’s rise to success hasn’t been all sunshine and bananas. Before the Savannah Bananas hit a grand slam, they were striking out. Jesse and his wife, actually, sold their dream home to finance their unconventional business.

They made it, and so can you. With Jesse’s advice on PR, personal communication, and customer experience, you can create your own stand-out company and make waves.

clean no 36:36:00 Chris Graebe
Applying The Mindset Of A World-Champion Athlete To Business With Ben Bergeron Thu, 10 Jan 2019 06:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,small business,startup What can crossfit teach us about business?

Great business, like great coaching, has to be transactional and transformational.

That means that you need to focus on measurable results and company culture, says Ben Bergeron. He’s the coach of six world champion crossfit athletes and, most recently, the author of Chasing Excellence.

But Ben is more than just a great coach. He’s also the owner of several successful crossfit gyms (“boxes”) and a SaaS subscription-based training company.

On this episode of The StartupCamp Podcast, Ben is teaching us how to apply the discipline and excellence-driven mindset of a world champion athlete to entrepreneurship. Listen now.mindset

What’s it like to train the fittest man in the world? And how can you apply those insights to your own business?

The qualities that make great athletes are essentially the same that make great business culture. According to Ben, it all boils down to being hungry, humble, and smart (the hallmark qualities of a great team player in the words of Patrick Lencioni). For instance, to improve his sprinting time, Matt Fraser did the last thing you’d expect the “World’s Fittest Man” to do.

Ben’s mission is excellence. His businesses, like the athletes he trains, are constantly striving for growth and improvement. In Ben’s words, the keys to excellence are all about creating processes with very specific steps. When Ben coaches his athletes on sleep, he doesn’t just tell them to get to bed early; he maps out every step of their nightly routine.

On this episode, you’ll also learn:

  • How to effective teach yourself (or someone else) discipline
  • What to look for in new coaches or employees
  • Ben’s best advice for someone who wants to open their own gym

Good luck in your own pursuit of excellence and enjoy.


clean no 40:25:00 Chris Graebe
What’s The Future Of Social Media (And How Can You Make It Work For Your Business)? Thu, 03 Jan 2019 06:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,small business,startup What’s the next big social media platform?

It’s not actually social media, says Jeremy Goldman. He’s the CEO and Founder of Firebrand Group, host of the FUTUREPROOF podcast, and the author of Getting to Like: How to Boost Your Personal and Professional Brand to Expand Opportunities, Grow Your Business, and Achieve Financial Success.

Basically, Jeremy is a guy who knows his way around social media. Really, really well.

On this episode of The StartupCamp Podcast, we’re talking to Jeremy about the future of social media and what it means for your business. We’ll dive into paid advertising, influencer strategies, and analytics. If you want to build up your brand with the power of social, give this episode a listen!social media

Why is your business using social media?

That question is often overlook by businesses of all kinds, says Jeremy. All too often, entrepreneurs and MNBs alike go into social media looking to improve arbitrary stats (engagements, anyone?) and end up burning dollars.

That’s just one of the helpful directions Jeremy is laying out on this episode of The StartupCamp Podcast. Here, we’re getting into the nitty-gritty of what works and what doesn’t in terms of paid advertising strategies, influencer strategies, and analytics. Jeremy shares examples of what has worked for him in the past, what he advises clients and companies to pursue, and the common traps they fall into.

When it comes to social media, Jeremy explains, we have to always be humble and learning. That means constantly trying new things to find a strategy that is uniquely suited to your own business, not just being copycat. Zag, when others zig.

We know you’ll get a lot of great insight into the ways you can make social media actually work for your business from this podcast.

Oh, and you’ll also learn why the future of social media isn’t actually social media. Enjoy.

clean no 42:26:00 Chris Graebe
Outsmarting The Status Quo Featuring Nathalie Molina Niño Thu, 27 Dec 2018 06:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,character,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,lessons,small business,startup,success How do you build a company when the odds are stacked against you?

You say, “Screw it, I’ll do it my way.”

That’s the advice of Nathalie Molina Niño, the latina tech powerhouse who is fired-up about outsmarting the status quo.

Nathalie launched her first tech startup at the age of 20 and is most recently the founder of BRAVA Investments, which invests in companies that deliver economic benefits to women.

On this episode of The StartupCamp Podcast, you’ll learn how Nathalie leapfrogged the obstacles in her path and how you can do the same.

As the daughter of first generation South American immigrants, Nathalie Molina Niño knows first hand what it’s like to try to build a company with obstacles stacked against her.

Nevertheless, she’s run 5 successful tech ventures to date, in addition to her own investment firm. She’s sharing the lessons of her success in her new book, Leapfrog: The New Revolution for Women Entrepreneurs.

But Nathalie’s advice is good for more than just women. For anyone who is looking to start a company against the grain–either due to their financial circumstances, their ethnic background, or the novelty of their ideas–you’ll find this conversation full of helpful advice.

Molina Niño’s big message: if they won’t let you sit at the table, build your own table.

In this episode, you’ll also discover:

  • More stories about successful female (and male) entrepreneurs who fought against the status quo (and won)
  • What vanity metrics are, and why you should avoid them in your business
  • How men can get involved to support the aspiration of the women in their lives
  • How Nathalie learned about leadership the hard way

As entrepreneurs, we’re always trying to buck the system. This episode is your chance to learn how from a pro.

clean no 33:32:00 Chris Graebe
How To Build Your Influence With Julie Solomon Thu, 20 Dec 2018 06:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,leadership,small business,startup What does influence mean to you?

That’s the question Julie Solomon asks to all her guests on the Influencer Podcast, which explores the secrets behind influencer marketing.

On this episode of The StartupCamp Podcast, Julie’s diving into some of those secrets and strategies. She’s sharing insights into her own marketing results, as well as the inspiring story behind how she became one of the world’s leading experts in influencer marketing.

So what does influence mean to Julie—and how can you build your own influence and personal brand?

The answer might surprise you. Tune into episode the below to find out.

You can create any life you want with a laptop. That’s the truth behind Julie’s story.

And the key to bringing your dreams to life is to just keep moving. That’s what Julie had to do. She moved from Tennessee to New York City after college and pounded the pavement googling names and companies until she landed a job with an elite PR agency.

She moved again to Los Angeles to support her husband in his career. Each time she moved, Julie found herself following her fear. She was intimidated by the prospect of change, but it was the promise of finding something better that ultimately kept her moving.

Once in LA, Julie found herself smack dab in the middle of her audience: young women looking to start their own lifestyle brands, monetize social media, and become influencers.

Following your fear and getting in front of your audience (physically) are just two of the inspiring lessons we can take away from Julie Solomon on this episode of The StartupCamp Podcast.

You’ll also learn:

  • One of the most surprising insights Julie has had into her own influencer strategy
  • How to choose the distribution channels for your brand
  • Why Julie recommends launching your own product or service line
  • What it really means to have success

According to Julie, this last part is the secret to everything. People begin chasing the idea of success, but never actually know what that means (and therefore never find it). To truly be successful, we must become journey-driven.

Listen to the podcast now, and learn what that means for you.

clean no 40:43:00 Chris Graebe
How One Couple Escaped The Corporate Grind Through Online Courses Thu, 13 Dec 2018 06:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,creation,dream,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,small business,startup Do you have something to teach?

Sarah and Dillon King think so.

That’s why they started Launch, an online course that teaches people how to create and market their own online courses.

The Kings are our guests on this episode of The StartupCamp Podcast. They turned to entrepreneurship because they wanted to spend more time with their young children. Their success gave them financial independence and family time.

Listen now to learn how they did it, and how online courses could become your thing, too.

online course

When Sarah and Dillon King decided to start their own business, they didn’t have any previous entrepreneurial experience. At first, it was a bumpy ride. But they learned constantly, and eventually came to a realization: everyone has something to teach.

It was that realization that gave birth to Launch.

Now, Launch is a seven-figure business that runs on autopilot.

On this podcast episode, you’ll learn how Sarah and Dillon pulled off this huge success and began to live their dream life. You’ll also learn:

  • How Sarah and Dillon fuel their business and their marriage
  • The benefits of monetizing your unique talents
  • What questions to ask yourself as you get started

Financial freedom might be easier than you think. Listen now and subscribe!

clean no 41:42:00 Chris Graebe
How It Feels To Break $100K With Connor Shelefontiuk Thu, 06 Dec 2018 06:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,small business How one Shopify entrepreneur turned $308 into $4 million.

Connor Shelefontiuk’s make-or-break moment came when he had $8 in his bank account.

He’d just burned his life savings on a failed Shopify store, learning a lot but not making money. He only had two options: go back to mopping floors, or borrow 300 bucks from a buddy and give it one more shot.

Connor took the loan from his friend…

Listen to the podcast to hear what happened next:

I’m honored to host Connor on this episode of The StartupCamp Podcast, where he’s sharing his crazy story and plenty of expert business advice related to eCommerce (and everything else).

But I’m especially thrilled to be introducing him as the newest StartupCamp Coach!

Connor transformed his life with Shopify. Since taking that mini-loan of $300 from his buddy (and adding in his own ample $8 bank account), he has launched 11 ultra-profitable Shopify companies and made over $4 million.

Now, Connor’s making it his mission to help others do the same with his new course, Shopify Freedom Formula.

On this awesome episode, you’ll also learn:

  • How it’s possible to launch a Shopify store for less than $100
  • What dropshipping is (and why it’s the future)
  • How Connor keeps his margins at 30-50%
  • What a client avatar is and how to create one

No matter your industry, I know you’re going to love hearing from Connor. He’s sharing advice and lessons that apply to every business.

If you think Shopify might be for you, check out Shopify Freedom Formula. This is one of the cheapest, smartest businesses to get into and the course is led by an absolutely incredible human, our own Connor Shelefontiuk.

clean no 45:51:00 Chris Graebe
Our Hope For You, This Thanksgiving Thu, 22 Nov 2018 06:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,family,lessons,small business,startup,work-life balance We’re going to keep this short and sweet.

It’s probably safe to say that most of us will try to fit in some work over the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and weekend. It’s in our nature, after all. Still, we will urge you to take time to rest and reflect. This week’s podcast is short and sweet. No interview or story of success, just a simple message from all of us at StartupCamp hoping that you will take time to appreciate your work, employees, and most importantly, family.


We wish you all a very happy and life-giving Thanksgiving.

clean no 9:12 Chris Graebe
Finding the Solution with Francis Tao Thu, 15 Nov 2018 06:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,small business,startup Finding success by creating solutions.

“Am I solving a problem?’

This is one of the most important questions an entrepreneur can pose to themselves. Our guest on this week’s The StartupCamp Podcast asks himself this with almost every decision he makes.

Francis Tao is the founder of Sawa, an automated graphic design platform. He began as a self described “air-traffic controller” for marketing initiatives within other companies, but realized that too much time and money were spent on creating basic marketing assets. Sawa is his solution.

On this week’s episode of The StartupCamp Podcast, we learn about Francis’ continuing journey to solve problems with and within Sawa—sometimes before they even happen.


Like many entrepreneurs before him, Francis had to live his problem before discovering a solution—one so potent that it’s gone on to help many other marketing professionals that were in the same frustrating spot as him. Now, at the helm of Sawa, Francis continues to solve problems for his customers and employees, while also looking forward to prevent them from happening in the first place. With clear goals and a simple philosophy, Francis has built an exciting solution for anyone in marketing. This episode covers a lot of ground, including:

  • The value of good advisers
  • Serving your users
  • Why culture is crucial
  • Hiring the right people

Be sure to check out this week’s episode if you’re looking to launch a solution of your own, or fix a problem within your business.

clean no 58:46:00 Chris Graebe
Viral vids, celebs with character, and a new hotel to change the world: In conversation with Jeremy Cowart. Thu, 01 Nov 2018 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,small business,startup Don’t let the unknown hold you back.

How many times have you been struck with a new, exciting idea and thought, “I should turn this into a business. It could change the world,” only to convince yourself that you don’t have the right skills, time, or resources to get it off the ground?

Eureka moments are the fuel to the entrepreneurial fire, but those flames will die fast if you don’t stoke them with some good, old-fashioned “belief.”

This week’s guest on The StartupCamp Podcast is Jeremy Cowart. You might know him as one of the world’s most influential photographers, but what you may not know is that he is also in the midst of building—literally—a new hospitality franchise, The Purpose Hotel. Jeremy shares with us how he turned his eureka moment into a reality by believing in himself and the idea.belief

Jeremy has photographed some of the world’s most recognized and celebrated artists, actors, musicians, and athletes, so his creative eye and mind are finely tuned. After realizing that there is great potential for hotels to have a greater impact on the world, he quickly got to work. The mission is bold and innovative, and has seen its share of challenges, but Jeremy has never stopped believing that it will succeed. This conversation covers a lot of ground, including:

  • Allowing yourself to be inspired
  • Staying genuine on social media
  • The power of kindness and character
  • Finding the peanut butter to your jelly

Every bold step requires belief, both in the ideas and in yourself.  Check out this week’s episode and start turning your big ideas into bigger realities.

clean no 42:00:00 Chris Graebe
Think Like a Fixer with Bradley Tusk Thu, 18 Oct 2018 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,lessons,small business,startup The Art of Disruption

If anything is standing in the way of launching your business, Bradley Tusk is your man. He’s done it all—high profile politics, tech startups, consulting, strategy, philanthropy. All with a disruptive edge.

His new book, appropriately titled The Fixer: My Adventures Saving Startups from Death by Politics, is the subject of this week’s The StartupCamp Podcast. In this episode, we chat with Bradley about his early days as campaign and communications director for big-wig New York politicians, how he helped Uber get up and running, and ways to get things done by being disruptive.disrupt

A “fixer” is usually described as someone who can make deals—typically with devious or illegal intent. That’s not at all the case for Bradley, though he is an artist when it comes to communicating the benefits of new companies to the government or regulating agencies. His portfolio with his VC firm, Tusk Ventures, reads like a list of dream startups; many of which wouldn’t have been able to launch without his political savvy.

Although his skills are rooted in communication, his drive comes from wanting big, bold ideas to reach consumers. His passion for innovation is inspiring and laced throughout all of his companies.

In this episode, Bradley shares stories from his book, as well as:

  • The cultural importance of your product
  • Identifying obstacles early
  • The value of building skill
  • Working for equity rather than salary

Not everyone will follow Bradley’s same path, but his journey will resonate with anyone looking to disrupt their industry. Check out The Fixer and give a listen to this week’s podcast.

clean no 37:24:00 Chris Graebe
Quenching The World’s Thirst With Scott Harrison Thu, 11 Oct 2018 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,character,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,lessons,small business,startup A story of personal redemption and a mission to bring clean water to people in desperate need.

Scott Harrison has lived more lives than most. He’s been a successful club promoter, an international photojournalist, a struggling self-starter, and he is currently the CEO of one of the world’s most recognized and productive charities.

Scott is the founder of charity: water, a non-profit organization aimed at ending the world’s water crisis. Twelve years in, charity: water has raised $320 million, delivering clean water to 8.5 million people in 26 nations. On this week’s episode of  The StartupCamp Podcast, Scott discusses his new book, Thirst, detailing his tumultuous beginning, his journey from moral bankruptcy to social entrepreneur, and how he’s maintained a wildly successful charity in an era of cynicism. Though he works in the world of non-profits, his experience and wisdom can be applied to any industry—big or small.


Scott is an exceptional promoter, marketer, and communicator, but the process of launching charity: water was far from simple. In this episode, he shares wisdom and advice that can relate to any social or business venture. We learn about balancing success and morals, personal transformations, and why innovation is the key to social success.

We’ll also hear his thoughts on:

  • The power of inspirational branding.
  • The importance of “going deep” in your industry.
  • Finding mentors in unlikely places.
  • How transforming yourself can transform your business.

If you’re looking to change yourself, your business, or your world, Scott’s got stories you’ll want to hear. Pick up a copy Thirst and listen to this week’s episode.

clean no 53:52:00 Chris Graebe
Overcoming Fear With Adam Kirk Smith Thu, 27 Sep 2018 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,fear,small business,startup Become The Bravest You

Fear is almost inherent in building a new business, and the odds seem stacked against us. Our world of constant comparison and warnings to “play it safe” leaves little room for envisioning success. Unfortunately, this is where most dreams end. Right at the beginning.

Adam Kirk Smith is all too familiar with this idea. He’s a small business owner, coach, consultant, and author of  The Bravest You: Five Steps to Fight Your Biggest Fears, Find Your Passion, and Unlock Your Extraordinary Life. But most important of all, Adam is genuinely happy with the work he does.

On this week’s The StartupCamp Podcast episode, Adam shares how he found success through perseverance and pursuit of his passions, what it means to have your own version of success.


In this deeply honest episode, Adam tells personal stories of motivation, intent, and selflessness. He takes us through the hard lessons he learned while struggling to gain more than 10 monthly readers, and how doubling down on his true passions turned his blogging hobby into a business with over 70,000 followers. As Seth Godin puts in, Smith turns on a light and helps us see exactly what’s been holding us back.”

In this podcast episode, you’ll also learn:

  • How Adam grew his following from 10’s — to 10’s of thousands.
  • Leadership qualities that will help you stay inspired.
  • What stands in the way of finding your own, true version of success.
  • The benefits of pursuing multiple passions at the same time.

Whether you’re looking to launch a new business, develop a new product, or simply start a new hobby, Adam’s wisdom and advice will help you tackle your fears, follow your passion, and become The Bravest You.

clean no 40:05:00 Chris Graebe
Finding Your Calling With Jordan Raynor Thu, 13 Sep 2018 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Graebe Read More...

business,create,creativity,entrepreneur,entrepreneurship,small business,startup,strengths,success You know you are being called for something bigger.

The only question is, when?

This was the question Jordan Raynor asked himself after working in the White House. His answer? He had an incredible experience serving his country, but he needed a different path. He left politics and co-founded a tech startup, Citizinvestor, aimed at improving people’s relationship with the government.

Now, Jordan is the CEO of tech startup Threshold 360, a Google Fellow, and the author of Called to Create: A Biblical Invitation to Create, Innovate, and Risk, a national bestseller. He’s also our guest on this episode of The StartupCamp Podcast.

Jordan is sharing his knowledge about what it takes to start a profitable business, the traits that help leaders excel, and how faith and business can work in harmony. He’s also telling some of his favorite stories from Called to Create of great business leaders who made serving others—and serving God—their priority.

We know you’ll find this conversation interesting—and it might just change the way you think about following your passion. Listen here:


Do you see your career simply as an avenue to make money? Are your spiritual and professional lives disconnected? Jordan has some advice to help you think differently about what it means to be an entrepreneur and a creator in the modern world.

On this week’s episode, you’ll discover:

  • Jordan’s 3 biggest takeaways for running a business
  • What it means to be “customer-obsessed” (and why your business should be)
  • The single most important trait that a leader can have
  • When it’s time to “take the leap”
  • The incredible story of Arthur Guinness, an entrepreneur who built a brewery to glorify God and serve his people
  • What it really means to find your own calling – and why simply following your passion might not be enough
  • And more

Jordan is a unique leader who has brought together his faith with his entrepreneurship. He has some pretty inspiring (and unusual) thoughts about how we can make a difference in the world. He also has a special offer for StartupCamp listeners. Tune in to the episode to learn what it is.

clean no 37:49:00 Chris Graebe