Introducing "Starting from Nothing" - The Foundation Podcast
Download the First Four Episodes
LIVE EPISODES: To get started, we released three killer episodes with people who've built businesses from nothing. Check 'em out:
Episode 2: Uncover Your Psychological Roadblocks And Launch Your Ideas - With Peter Shallard, The Shrink for Entrepreneurs
Episode 3: How To Start A Business Without Ever Feeling Fear - With Hiten Shah, founder of KissMetrics and CrazyEgg
Episode 4: Starting a Business? Stop Wasting Your Time Coming Up With A Unique Idea And Strategy - With Derek Halpern, Founder of Social Triggers
(Let us know what you like and what you don't like so we can modify future episodes to help you the most.)
Win A $10,000 Ticket To Eben Pagan's "Accelerate" Event
CONTEST DETAILS: On Thursday of this week, we will be announcing a contest for you to win a $10,000 ticket to Eben Pagan's high end Accelerate conference at the end of the summer.
To enter early, all you have to do is subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, leave us an honest review after watching an episode or two and then email firstname.lastname@example.org letting us know you completed both.
We'll verify those actions were taken and one lucky winner will be chosen on July 3rd. Good luck!!
Subscribing to and Commenting on Podcasts in iTunes
Enter to win a ticket to Eben Pagan’s event (worth $10,000) in Nine Steps
- Open iTunes on your computer - if you don’t have iTunes you can download it here
- Once iTunes is open, click the button in the upper right corner (just below the search bar) that says “iTunes Store”. Make sure you sign in using your Apple ID and password. The “Sign In” button is in the upper left corner.
(If you don’t have an Apple ID, you’ll see the option to create one after clicking “Sign In”.)
3. Next, click the search bar in the upper right corner and type in “Starting from Nothing” - then press enter.
4. Click the large Starting from Nothing logo in the middle of the page under the heading “Podcasts”.
5. Click the “Subscribe” button on the left. A box will display asking if you really want to subscribe. To confirm, click “subscribe” again. Congratulations you just subscribed to our show!
6. To leave a review, click “Ratings and Reviews” in the middle of the show’s page. It’s in between “Details” and “Related”.
7. Click the “Write a Review” button halfway down the page under Customer Reviews.
8. Enter a title for your review, select the number of stars for your rating then write your review.
9. FINALLY - email email@example.com with the subject “Eben Pagan Contest” and let us know you subscribed and left a review in iTunes.
Starting from Nothing – The Foundation Podcast
Andy: What’s up everyone, Andy Drish and Dane Maxwell coming at you from
Boulder, Colorado and Des Moines, Iowa.
Dane: Des Moines, Iowa.
Andy: Des Moines, Iowa. Still living it up out there. This is the first episode of The
Starting from Nothing Podcast where we’re going to profile incredible
entrepreneurs who have built their businesses entirely starting from scratch.
Meaning generally no money, no credibility, no background in the businesses
they went into.
Dane: Yeah, just like us.
Andy: Just like us. We’re building this because this is the podcast we wish we
could’ve listened to a couple years ago.
Dane: Yeah. We don’t want to listen to the interviews from the Facebooks and the
Twitters, the billion dollar companies. We want to hear the guys just like us
that are doing stuff just like us.
Andy: Yeah, and we spent a lot of time talking about this. The general conclusion
we came up with is that our media system – the media coverage of
entrepreneurs is broken. People don’t share the stories of the person who’s
making $5,000 a month on their side business, or the person who just quit
their job, or the person who just raised $100,000 on Kickstarter before they
ever built a product.
We wrote a little bit about this in the blog post on Friday, but what happens
when the media profiles the stories of Twitter and Instagram to sell for a
billion dollars is that we begin to believe that we need to do that to be
successful, or we need to raise a lot of money, or we need all of these things
to start a business. The truth is you don’t need any of those. Especially if you
just want to build a business that’s making five to ten grand a month, quit
your job, and live a fun lifestyle with it.
Dane: I got nothing to add. You said it pretty well.
Dane: I remember being at the airport when I was 22 just starting the zanee.com
recruiting website. I had my first ten customers, and I wasn’t raising money,
and I wasn’t valued at millions of dollars, I was making a grand a month,
maybe two grand a month. I saw this article with Zuckerberg on there when
he turned down the offer for a billion dollars from Yahoo. I don’t know if you
remember that but Zuckerberg at one point turned a billion dollars down
from Yahoo and I was like “What is Zuckerberg thinking? A billion dollars.
Why would he turn that down?”
But then what was going on in the back of my head was why can’t I think of a
big idea like Facebook, why can’t I risk everything like Facebook? I even
started to doubt my own very lucrative, very profitable path that was
working very well for me.
Going back and seeing Fast Company article with not Mark Zuckerberg but
this guy who’s working out of his parent’s basement making two grand a
month just getting started, just getting traction, I would’ve just flipped out if I
could’ve read that article.
Andy: Here’s one of the biggest things we took away from – We posted it on Friday
– well, today, and we’re reading through some of your comments. What
generally happens is the most important people, the people who are going to
impact your life, are the people who are not the Mark Zuckerbergs of the
world but the people who are just one or two steps ahead of where you're at.
Reading through the comments, one of our students is Josh Isaak and he’s
got about 80 paying customers right now. His comment was “I’d like to see
businesses who scale from 100 customers up to 1000 customers” because
that’s where he’s at in his life cycle.
We heard a bunch of comments from people who really want to focus on
that going from nothing to $10,000 a month space. Because so many people
can relate to what that’s like and the struggles of what it takes to get there.
The coolest part about that is I think getting your first thousand dollars per
month in recurring revenue is the hardest thing to do. Going from zero to a
thousand is much harder than going from $1,000 up to $10,000.
Dane: It feels impossible.
Dane: It feels literally impossible to go how in the world do you go from zero to a
thousand when you don’t have an idea, you don’t have money, you're
working a full-time job, or you're a part time dad, or you're working two jobs,
or whatever your circumstance is. It literally feels impossible to go from zero
to a thousand.
I remember on myxergy.com, Andrew Warner’s most popular interviews, in
terms of comments that I see, are the smaller guys like me. The guys that are
the bigger ones, they have typically fewer comments. I think it’s just because
people could relate to me more because I'm smaller than Facebook.
Andy: Totally. There’s a disconnect that happens. When that disconnect happens,
the stuff they teach isn’t as powerful because you can’t relate with where
that person is at in their business.
When I put my two weeks in Principal, my corporate job, I went to South by
Southwest for the weekend. I talk Principal into sending me there as a
corporate thing. I hung out with all these 24, 25-year olds, I think I was 23 at
Dane: How did you talk Principal into doing that?
Andy: We were giving – At the time I was giving a ton of presentations around social
media. I tallied up all of the – I’ve given like 40 or 50 presentations internally
from groups of 800 people to a small group of our international CIO’s. I tallied
all the people who went through our presentations which was a couple
thousand, and I put a time value on it. I was like “We spoke into something
between 2,000 and 3,000 people in the last nine months. If you think their
average salary is worth $25 an hour, Principal has spent between 50 and 75
grand or something just on people listening to what we’re talking about. I
was like South by Southwest is the best place to go for new information
about that. That’s how I talked them into it. It was awesome.
Dane: That’s amazing. I didn’t know you did that.
Andy: Yeah, I was really excited.
Then I went down there and I hung out with all these cool, cool people
especially in the lifestyle design space. They were making honestly not a
whole lot of money. Some people were doing multiple six-figures, but most
of them were making a few thousand dollars a month, between $5,000 and
$10,000. I came home from that and I was like “What the hell? These people
are awesome and they’re not any smarter than I am and they’re doing it.”
They’re traveling, they’re running these businesses, why can’t I?
I came back from South by Southwest and the first thing on Monday morning
is I went to my boss and I was like, “Hey, I want to cut my hours back to three
days a week so I can focus on building something on the side.” Having no idea
what that would be at the time. But it goes back to that idea. The people who
are most important are the people who are just two steps ahead of you.
That’s where you're going to see the biggest shift in your life and in your
Dane: Wow! You're so right.
I'm thinking about when Carl was at Las Vegas – Carl Mattiola, one of our
successful students in The Foundation. Andy coached him through quitting
his job at Tesla. He’s making a very, very good income at Tesla, and he quit.
He went into the room to announce that to the other 35 people. I’d say half
the room still has a job. Now, Carl’s announcing that he’s quitting Tesla. He’s
now one step ahead of half the people in that room.
Do you remember everyone that had a job in the room, how badly all of a
sudden all wanted to quit their job and they were all super inspired because
they saw Carl one step ahead?
Andy: Totally. They saw him making a leap.
Dane: The vast majority of the world is still stuck at the “I don’t know how to start”
phase. There are millions and millions and millions. Something like eight out
of ten Americans, supposedly, from things I’ve read or heard, want to start a
job but they don’t know where to start. That’s eight out of ten people that
we want to reach with this podcast by showing them the people that are just
one step ahead of them.
The beginning, the first couple of episode, we’ve got a handful of pretty big
name people coming on which is really, really cool. But we’re going to focus
more so on the beginning of their businesses. We’ve got Derek Halpern
coming on. You’ll hear before he ever did Social Triggers how he started his
business in college and what he did to go from absolutely nothing to making
his first $20,000 a month and how it took him 11 months to do it. How his
roommate who was working with him at the time, gave up after three
months and thought he was crazy.
You’ll hear stories like that or Peter Shallard, the shrink for entrepreneurs,
who opened up his therapy practice and rented a place, and opened his
doors, and then nobody showed up. That was his first business. And what he
did after that to go from having a business where nobody’s walking in the
door to coaching some of the best entrepreneurs in the world.
You’ll hear stories like that, stories that you can completely relate to because
that’s what we would really want if we were in that position still.
Dane: Well, what about Eben Pagan?
Andy: Yeah. The other really big exciting thing is we’re going to be running a contest
giving away a $10,000 ticket to Eben’s event. This Thursday is when the
contest will start. All you have to do is subscribe and leave us comments in
iTunes to enter into that.
The reason we wanted to profile Eben is he’s had a crazy successful career.
When he was 25 years old, he was in a Christian heavy metal rock band. I
don’t know what that is. He was in a Christian heavy metal rock band, had
never started a business before, and now his business, which is incredibly
automated, generates something like $25 million a month. And you get to
hear the story of how do you go from starting at that, like living in literally a
trailer, to growing a business at that scale.
We really want to balance listening from really, really seasoned, experienced
people who have valuable information like that with the people like Carl who
just quit their job and put their two week’s notice in.
Dane: I think you said $25 million a month, you might’ve meant per year.
Andy: Oh, $25 million a year. That’s what I meant.
Dane: Yeah. He’s not there yet, but he probably will get there.
At a podcast, I don’t know what it is but they like to try to get the biggest
people on the podcast because they know that feels good and exciting.
What I’ve seen in the podcast space, the Myxergy space, and The Rise to the
Top space, and a lot of these bigger podcasts is they go for the biggest guys in
the space. They go for the big names because they think that’s what’s going
to draw the bigger audience. While we will have big names from time to
time, we want to focus on the guys you’ve never heard of, the guys that are
making the $5,000 or $10,000 a month.
If we do bring the big names on, we want to talk about the stories about
before they ever got into business. Like when Eben was 25 in a Christian rock
band. What? I did not know that. We want to focus on when people started
from nothing. We feel like there’s a massive gap in this space of focusing on
what happened before you got your first sale and beyond that; whereas we
see a lot of people in the space trying to go up to the bigger names. If we
have those guys, great, but what we’re really after are the guys you can
relate to that are still crushing it.
Our ultimate vision with The Foundation is we see business as a way of
making a cultural shift in the world. What we want to make absurd is we
want to make it absurd that people in 10 years they don’t start a business
because they think they need idea, or credibility, or money to get started. We
want people to know that if they want to start a business, they can do that,
and they don’t need any of those things to do it.
The playground that we’re playing in is we want to help a million people get
their first customer because once you get your first customer, everything
shifts. Once you get the first person paying you and make that first $1,000 a
month, everything becomes easier.
Dane: Dude, amen. I just want to interrupt you and throw my hands in the air and
say “Hallelujah. Why wasn’t anybody there to tell me this when I was getting
started” That’s why we’re doing this. I just want to walk around to everybody
in the world and grab them on the shoulders and shake them, the people
that want to start businesses. Shake them. You don’t stop, you don’t need it.
I was getting my teeth – I had cavities – and I was getting my cavities filled.
The lady next to me says she went through five different majors, and now
she’s doing a dental thing. I said, “Well, if you had $10 million in the bank and
you didn’t have to work for money, what would you do tomorrow? She said,
“I’d start a dance studio.” None of those things are anywhere close to
nursing, or dental hygienist. I didn’t say that but I'm thinking that in my head.
I was like, “Well, what’s stopping you from starting?” She’s like, “Oh, I need
I just started walking her through how she could get a hundred students
paying in advance and start out of a basement. She’s like, “Oh my gosh! Holy
crap! Maybe I can do this right now. It’s not that far off.” The girls like her, I
want to shake them by the shoulders like you could have what you want right
now. We want to make that absurd. It’s absolutely absurd.
Andy: Totally. It still is. And it’s cool seeing that shift starting to happen right now.
With the Kickstarter’s popping up and people realizing they don’t need to
start with a bunch of money or raise a bunch of money even to start a
business. It’s really effective just by doing baby steps. Even on the side if
you’ve got a full-time job.
Carl who just quit Tesla Motors, he worked only maximum two hours a day.
He spent two hours a day maximum, and he was working probably 50 to 60
hours a week working at Tesla. At one point, he was working directly under
Elon Musk which sounded really challenging.
Dane: I believe, Andy. Well, we believe at The Foundation that the world would be a
better place if there are more entrepreneurs in it. The more entrepreneurs in
this world, the better the world is. We believe that there’d be more
entrepreneurs if they saw how truly simple it is to get started without an
idea, without money, without credibility. We believe that entrepreneurs will
save the world. There’s some ridiculous entrepreneurs that they’re saving the
world. When I wake up every morning, I feel amazing to be a part of this
cultural shift that we’re making absurd.
For those of you that aren’t waking up and putting your feet – when you get
out of bed and you put your feet in the floor in the morning, if you aren’t
excited about what you're waking up to, you're living a waste of life. If you’d
like to join this group of entrepreneurs who wake up excited to change the
world every day, that you’re working on something meaningful, we’d love to
have you be a part of that program, we’d love to have the podcast. Can you
hear Winny barking in the background?
Andy: I can totally hear Winny.
Dane: Welcome, Winny, to the podcast.
Andy: Yeah, awesome stuff. We’re really excited.
The big thing is that stories like this aren’t stories that get shared because
they’re not news worthy because people – It’s shocking to hear that
Instagram got sold for a billion dollars. We really just want to create – just
cultivate a really passionate community who is really interested in learning.
We’re super excited that you want to be a part of that.
Dane: What should people be keeping in mind as they listen to the podcast moving
forward? What can they expect? What can they not expect? Anything that
you could do to shape their perspective a little bit? I just want to commend
you, Andy, for heading up and starting this podcast. I have absolutely – I have
5% to do with this podcast. Andy is designing it, heading it up, running it,
interviewing everyone. This is Andy’s baby. Thank you for inviting me onto
this first one.
Andy: Yeah, totally, man.
We’re really going to shift everything that we do based on the feedback we
get. We’ve interviewed some bigger names starting out. The first feedback
we got from you guys is that you want to focus on the zero to $10,000 a
month space. So keep the feedback coming and we’ll keep shifting based off
To start one of the most exciting things is sometimes it’s hard to listen to all
the podcasts so we’ve hired a produce, Chris Mason, who’s an absolute rock
star. He’s really done most of the work …
Dane: Chris, what’s up, yo?
Andy: … to get this off the ground. He’s building action guides for every single
As you know at The Foundation, we’re very much about taking action quickly.
He’s building an action guide so at the end of every episode, you’ll get a five
or seven step action guide so you know exactly what you need to implement.
If you don’t have enough time to listen to the podcast, you could just
download the action guide and see what to do. I think that’s really, really
Dane: I bet Andrew Warner’s going to get that idea and use it. And I hope he does
because it would be awesome to see 700 action guides from all of the
interviews he’s done.
Andy: I think that’s wrapping it up for the first episode. We don’t want to ramble
too long, 25 minutes right now. We’re really, really excited about this, guys.
We’re excited for you to be a part of this, we’re excited to create this and just
put it out into the world because it’s absolutely something we wish we
would’ve had, and it’s fun building stuff like that.
Dane: Yeah. Thank you for doing this, Andy.
Andy: Yeah. Thank you, guys. We’ll see you soon. Look for us Thursday. Look for the
Closing: Thank you for joining us. We’ve taken this interview and created a custom
action guide so you know exactly what action steps to take to grow your
business. Just head over to thefoundationpodcast.com to download it for
free. Thanks for listening and we’ll see you next week.