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7 Steps To Getting Through Difficult Business Challenges

By | Motivation, Personal, Strategy | No Comments

Imagine this…

Our startup Flowtown was exploding, we’ve got thousands of customers, we’re growing at 30%+ month over month and we decide to raise our next round of funding.

We start meeting with VC’s doing the Sand Hill Road shuffle, and they’re going great.

Then one day as we sit in the parking lot of one of Silicon Valley’s biggest firms, we get an email from someone on our team telling us we should read the cover of the New York Times.

It turns out there’s an expose on how certain Facebook Apps are using users data to sell to advertising networks.

Why did this matter to us?

Well, we relied heavily on Facebook’s data to help our users discover which social networks their customers were spending time on, online.

Due to a handful of nefarious apps, it looked like Facebook might have to shut down their API that allowed our secret sauce to work.

So we did what any founder would do… Read More

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5 Ways To Protect Your Confidence As An Entrepreneur

By | Motivation, Personal, Startups | 9 Comments

Over the years I’ve had some pinch-me-is-this-really-happening kinds of moments.

From spending a week with Richard Branson, to having Mitch Kapor (inventor of Lotus Notes / spreadsheet) invest in my company, Flowtown.

One of those moments happened in 2009 when somehow we got introduced to Gail, the CEO of ConstantContact – the FIRST publicly traded SaaS (Software as a Service) company in the world.

We met at our offices and she started asking questions about the product, how we came up with it, where we were at, etc..

… then she smiled and she said something I’ll never forget. Read More

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Dealing With The Big Guys: 5 Strategies To Conquer Your Market

By | Growth Engine, Marketing, Strategy | 11 Comments

I LOVE competition.

It fires me up.

A few years ago while I was building Clarity.fm, Google suddenly announced that they were launching a competing product. (read till the end to see what happened)

I can’t tell you how many friends messaged me with the link sharing their condolences…

… as if it was game over???

RIP Clarity.fm

Umm.. not so fast.

F-that!

Here’s the question I ask myself every time I discover competition in my space: Read More

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The Best Strategy For Sending Your Customer a Thank You Video

By | Education, Marketing, Sales | 14 Comments

Do you have a business coach that pushes you to do things outside of your comfort zone?

If not, you should.

Recently one of my good friends was brainstorming new strategies for generating sales within the next 30 days.

We sat down, brainstormed ideas for quantity THEN ranked based on effort and impact.

(Side note: always separate the idea generation from the idea quality filter, it will help you come up with better strategies).

At the end of this process, one of the clear winners was to send past customers quick videos thanking them for their business and asking if there’s anything else we could do to help them.  

We called it the Customer Re-Engagement Video strategy. Read More

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The 4 Roles of a Sales Team

By | Marketing, Metrics, Sales | 2 Comments

If you think “sales” is a dirty word, then you’re going to hate today’s video.

But if you believe that it’s not just your right, but your flat out responsibility to share your product / service / program with as many people who can benefit from it as possible…

… then read this carefully.

Implementing this strategy could be the main difference maker between mediocre (but unenviable) success…

… and building a rockstar company that customers line up to buy from (and Silicon Valley suitors line up to invest in)

The dirty secret? Read More

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5 Important Elements of a Financial Business Model

By | Financial, Growth Engine, Metrics | 4 Comments

Have you ever felt stupid?

I have.

For pretty much my entire teenage existence I felt like I didn’t understand the world around me.

When I got into business at 17 it was no different.

I’d watch these “businessmen” talk and I had no clue what they were saying….

… but over time I decided to learn.

I put in the time to study books on marketing, finance, leadership, design, etc..

After a while, I could understand what they were saying and actually challenge some of their views.

Once you learn business, it’s really not that complicated.

It comes down to 5 core elements that need to be understood. Read More

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The Way Richard Branson Manufactures Time

By | Leadership, Productivity, Strategy | 4 Comments

Reading time: 10 minutes
Hours it will save you in 2017: 1,000+
Return-on-reading time: Infinite.

Only read if:

Your business is doing over $250K in revenue.

Must read now if:

You’re a busy, growth-minded founder of a quickly-scaling company with too many tabs open on their browser (yes, I can see you on your computer).

Download for later if:

You’re thinking of starting a business, don’t make any money, or spend all your time going to events.

On April 2014, I was invited to spend a week with Richard Branson at his lodge in Verbier, Switzerland, for the work I was doing to support entrepreneurship at a global level through my startup, Clarity.fm.

To say I was excited would be an understatement…up until I saw Richard walk into the living room for breakfast, I didn’t think the meeting was actually going to happen.

Over the next seven days, I got to spend time with some incredible entrepreneurs like Tim Ferris (4 Hour Work Week), Bryan Johnson (Founder of Braintree / Sold to PayPal for $850M), and Randy Reddig (Co-Founder of Square) just to name a few.
Read More

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The Ultimate Strategy To Drafting Your Business Growth

By | Growth Engine, Marketing, Startups | 4 Comments

The best aspect of sharing everything you know is that others will share back.

A few months ago I was in NYC shooting a Facebook Live video on how to draft on other people’s success.

Simple concept: high tides rise all boats.

Afterwards I check my email, and Mike from London emails me recommending a book.

Rising Star by Rich Koch.

I hadn’t read it, but knew the name … he wrote The 80/20 Principle which I had read 10 years prior.

So I bought the book on my kindle, and realized we share some of the same strategies for picking investments and markets to build companies in… Read More

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The Top 5 SaaS Metrics

By | Financial, Metrics, Startups | 8 Comments

Are you a SaaS entrepreneur?

If not, probably best to skip this blog…

… but don’t worry, next week I’m going to share a killer strategy on how ANY business owner can grow their company by “drafting” on other people’s hard work.

Simple strategy, but powerful results.

However, if you ARE a SaaS entrepreneur, then let’s talk numbers.

Every day I get someone asking:

“What are the key metrics I should be monitoring in my startup?”

Even though it’s a loaded question, when it really comes down to it… Read More

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5 Questions You Should Never Ask Your Mentor

By | Leadership, Motivation, Strategy | 6 Comments

A few weeks ago I was asked by an old high-school friend for business advice.

He was just starting off and was wondering if he should go to the bank and take out a $10K loan to get started.

Fearing a series of bad decisions on his part, I invited him to a Founder’s Dinner so he could meet successful entrepreneurs and learn from real world experience…

… not what the people down at the “Business Center” in my hometown were telling him.

During that lunch, he sat quietly and listened super attentively.

Then, with little warning, he broke his silence to ask a dangerous question to one of the entrepreneurs. Read More

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