SFN181: How Allen Brouwer & Cathryn Lavery raised 20x of their Kickstarter goal in 28 hours

SFN181: How Allen Brouwer & Cathryn Lavery raised 20x of their Kickstarter goal in 28 hours


Today’s guests are Cathryn Lavery and Allen Brouwer, the Founders of BestSelfCo. Cat and Allen met in The Foundation as accountability buddies when they were starting their companies, and two years later they won the Shopify Build-a-Business competition as business partners. They earned the amazing prize of spending a few days with inspirations like Tim Ferriss, Tony Robbins, Marie Forleo, Daymond John, Russell Simmons – and they got to ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange.


In This Interview I Ask:

  • 3:30 - What was the Shopify Build-A-Business competition and what was it like to go to the winners’ event?
  • 7:10 - What was it like with Russell Simmons and Tony Robbins? Any key takeaways from being with them?
  • 10:00 - When did you two meet?
  • 11:30 - What were you two pursuing when you came to The Foundation?
  • 14:00 - How did you two meet?
  • 17:00 - How did the first business that you two launched as partners work out?
  • 20:05 - How did you two get so much traction with your Kickstarter?
  • 27:00 - Looking back, what would you do differently?
  • 30:30 - Do you have to go through a period of pushing yourself beyond what you’re comfortable with?
  • 33:00 - How did you two go from successful product launch to being burnt out? What were the next phases for you in growing into a company, and not just a successfully launched product?
  • 35:40 - What does Cat mean when she says, “Over the past six months, we have been crafting the company more as a company and not as a reaction to the success of the business?”
  • 36:30 - How are you two getting sales and stuff right now? Where is traffic coming from?
  • 38:10 - Have you two thought about doing any higher-priced products?
  • 39:45 - What has been the hardest part of this whole process for both of you? The most challenging? Where do you feel stretched the most?
  • 41:10 - What advice do you have for people who are starting the process of launching a product or business, or for people who are doing a class at The Foundation?
  • 43:45 - Is there anything I should be asking you that I haven’t asked yet?
  • 46:15 - Can you tell me more about the personal development that both of you went through? What does that mean to you?


Takeaways From The Winners’ Event

  • Russell Simmons – Take your own path, do the right thing and don’t worry about what everybody else is doing as long as you are comfortable in your seat.
  • Tony Robbins – Tony really cares. He wanted to know where the winners were and what they were working on so that he could help them grow. He was only supposed to stay there for an hour, but he ended up staying there for three.


Success on Kickstarter

  • Cat and Allen’s first business was going well, but they were working on too many things at once. They decided to focus on launching a Kickstarter for The Self Journal.
  • They chose Kickstarter because it allowed them to validate the product before producing it, and they were able to apply marketing skills they mastered in their Amazon business.
  • The Self Journal were funded in 28 hours. The public goal goal $15,000 and their personal goal was $200,000 – they received $322,695 in backer support.


After Kickstarter

  • They dealt with product fulfillment for three months.
  • They clearly defined the target audience. They were able to look at the people who Kickstarted the product and see who they are, what they really wanted and what their pain points were.
  • They crafted messaging to solve those pain points, and found more people with that pain.
  • They are experimenting with different and higher-priced products. They recently had a soft launch of The BestSelf Inner Circle and they are in the process of finalizing The Self-Mastery Academy.






Production & Development for Starting From Nothing by Podcast Masters