Eliminating the Risk of Starting a Business by Pre-Selling Your Product Before it's Built - with Geordie Wardman

How did someone with zero sales in two years become the pre-sell expert and create an online business with recurring revenue?

Geordie Wardman is the founder of Guest Retain, a company that helps hotels and spas manage their online reputation to bring in more revenue. Before starting Guest Retain, he was stressed out and not sleeping because of his previous business.

In this interview you’ll learn...

  • 07:34  how to create business ideas out of thin air (idea extraction)
  • 10:09  how he makes product modifications based on customer needs
  • 14:07  why he had a successful business but wanted out
  • 32:46  the secret to pre-sales
  • 36:31  why his previous 2 online businesses failed, costing him $15,000+
  • 41:47  how to start a lifestyle business while raising a family & running another business that you’re stuck in.
  • 51:37  Andy shares specific patterns of successful people in the foundation


Show Notes

Podcast transcript:

Starting from Nothing – The Foundation Podcast
Guest Name Interview – Geordie Wardman
Introduction: Welcome to Starting from Nothing – The Foundation Podcast, the place where incredible
entrepreneur show you how they built their businesses entirely from scratch before they
knew what the heck they were doing. Now, here’s your host, Andy Drish.
Andy: Welcome everyone to another episode of Starting from Nothing, The Foundation Podcast.
Today, we have Geordie Wardman with us on the show.
Geordie is the founder of Guest Retain, a service that helps businesses improve their online
reputation by making it easier for happy customers to leave positive reviews and alerting
the business about unhappy customers before they leave negative reviews. He’s also a
graduate of last year’s Foundation class which is why I’m stoked to have him on the show
Geordie, welcome. Thanks for coming on man.
Geordie: Thank you, Andy. I’m really excited to do this. Let’s get it on.
Andy: Let’s do it, man. I’m super stoked that you’re here.
Your process in The Foundation was another one that was just made the most amount of
progress that we saw. Can you tell us, after six months of being in The Foundation, where
you went from and where you ended up at?
Geordie: Are you talking about before I started The Foundation?
Andy: Yeah. Before you started The Foundation, where were you? Did you have the idea? Did you
know what you would like? Tell me about that. And then at the end of six months what are
the results you saw?
Geordie: Sure.
Basically, last summer, it was pretty much around this time, the end of the summer, I
remember it really well because I was not sleeping. I was really stressed out. I had another
business that I still have. I started to get some business coaching that, actually, the
business coaching, a really good coach. I just want to mention his name, Tom Herman,
really cool guy; if anyone is looking for a business coach.
Anyway, I started with him and we started working on some things. One of the things I
realize is I was not talking to my customers at all. I was kind of hiding behind a sales team. I
have a couple of sales guys out there. I was like, “Okay, do this, do that,” but I never spoke
with customers. He sort of pointed me in the direction of talking to customers which really
- and then he was actually the first person that showed me Sam’s or Dane’s video on. I
think it was Dane’s pool guy video, which is excellent. I was just blown away by that. That
really started my - It was the pebble that starts the avalanche.
I started listening to that and it just really clicked I, resonated with what I wanted to do and
what I was really missing in my sales process.
Andy: If you haven’t heard the pool call - we’ll put that in the show notes. You need to listen to it
because all this - we talk about this idea extraction and it’s kind of convoluted but when
you listen to it in action, it all becomes crystal clear of how well it works.
Geordie: It’s totally like - you can’t really read a blog post on how to do idea extraction so that one,
where you’re actually listening to Dane, was really good at. Don’t you agree with me?
Andy: Oh, he’s incredible.
Geordie: He’s the guy because he just like - You can tell when he’s talking, he’s just so in. Like, “Wait
a second, wait a second, can you back up? What are you talking about?” I learned from
that one call those types of listening skills because it’s really just listening. It’s really like
hardcore listening like, “Okay” and understanding. Because in the idea extraction call you
really need to understand what the person is talking about because they’re talking about
their business that you don’t know or understand. In order to get inside the problems, you
really need to understand what that person is talking about to understand what the real
business problems are because they might not even know them themselves.
Andy: Yeah, totally.
That was what started it all for you. Tell me where you ended at the end of The
Foundation. And then we’ll go back.
Geordie: Obviously, the six months is just really - it was so much information packed into these six
months but I felt like it was really good. I’d almost call it like street knowledge. It’s like
street smart. You’re out actually doing this stuff. So you’re hustling and you’re talking to
people and it’s really sort of soft skills that you learn through the whole process by talking
to other people.
By the end of it, I felt like I had learned so many soft skills that had just combined into one
sort of really tangible package of skills that really became a hard skill set which is idea
extraction, copywriting, being able to sell, pre-sell, talk to development teams, and it all
combined into sort of being this software as a service entrepreneur. Which is now what I
feel like becoming pretty good at, obviously. I’ve got a long way to go but if I was to define
any part of my skill set right now is it’s sort of that area now which has sort of a lot of
broad skills, sharpened into focus.
Andy: At the end of the six months, after getting all these skills, what results did you see?
Geordie: Well, basically, I was able to - I have a business. I’ve got somewhere floating around
between 35 and 40 customers. A great relationship with all of those customers; I talk to
them every day. That’s a huge before and after like where I was last summer. Basically like
never talking to my customers, guessing what people wanted, going out into the
marketplace, having no idea how to develop real products. Now, having my customers
actually tell me what they need, and me just not injecting, my ideas are polluting what
their real wants are but by just learning the skills that you learn and say like that pool guy
extraction call, just listening to the customers, finding out what they really want, and then
bringing it to them and saying, “How about this, how about this, how about this?” Then,
asking the ones that will give you good feedback. It’s so great.
Andy: How much revenue did you generate before building your product?
Geordie: I had got a quote for about a month of development. I had two developers: one of them
was a little more expensive. I paid him to kind of guide me and set up my - basically the
technology. And then I had a junior developer who ended up taking over the project. I used
the sales that I made to basically pay off as I went.
I started, I probably pulled the trigger on - and I think I had $2,500 or $3,000. I worked out
a plan with my developer that I said, “I can only afford you this amount of money, but I can
guarantee you a certain revenue stream from the cash coming in from my sales.” That
worked out really well for me.
Andy: Beautiful. Total pre-sales. Where did those end up at?
Geordie: Probably $5,800, $6,000.
Andy: $5,800, $6,000 over the course of the six months that - six, seven?
Geordie: Yeah, exactly.
Andy: Perfect. Almost $6,000 revenue, 30 or 40 customers - is this the same business you had
before or is this a totally new one?
Geordie: This is the new one. The business I had before is doing Wi-Fi for hotels in Mexico, and I still
have that. Right now this is just a service of that. I could spin it into a company. I’m not
really sure what I’m going to do but I’m definitely marketing as a whole new service.
Andy: Cool. Let’s go back. You watch the pool guy call about almost a year ago right now. What
did you do after that?
Geordie: Basically, I was so interested in it. I went on a rampage and devoured every single piece of
free content that was out there from Dane, and Sam, and Mixergy. At that time, I think,
there was at least five, or six really good pieces of information that I watched. From that I
felt like I was able to go out and start making idea extraction calls. I went out. At that time,
I think it was September, there was maybe a month and a half before The Foundation
actually started. I think you guys posted a video of me talking yesterday at the graduation.
Andy: Yeah.
Geordie: But I think in that first month, I was just getting such bad results. It’s because I didn’t know
what I was doing. The problem was I was okay in idea extraction but I couldn’t get to the
people. That was one of the things. It was before I got into The Foundation, but I was still
just so determined because I had a couple of lucky calls with idea extraction whereas I
actually able to get at least one good idea and then I spent like a month trying to validate
Andy: Why do you want to start a whole new business?
Geordie: The big problem that I had solved with my current business last summer was I - is sort of a
more sophisticated sale where I close maybe two - In a good year, I’ll close four deals in a
year. Those deals are like three, sometimes up to five years. So they’re really big deals but I
hadn’t made a deal - I made one deal in two years. That’s why I was not sleeping at night.
I knew that I wanted a recurring revenue model because that’s the business that I have
now. I wanted to have a type of business where you’re making sort of small ticket item
sales and progress every week so that every week at the end of the week I could see,
“Okay, this is great. I made three sales,” or I made ten sales, or I made one sale. At least at
the end of the week I could see progress throughout my business. That’s what I was
looking for.
Andy: Got it. How do you stumble upon this niche? Well, actually, tell us about Guest Retain. Tell
us what Guest Retain does right now. A little more [unclear 00:11:27].
Geordie: Okay. Obviously, the hotel-Wi-Fi business is in hospitality. I’m in Mexico. I started with my
niche. I started first with some of my clients. I don’t have that many clients in the Wi-Fi
business, I have about 30. I moved through them and started expanding outside of Mexico,
and I went into South America, and I went into Florida, and was doing idea extraction with
the hoteliers.
I was consistently seeing them say the same problem about, “Well these reviews, I’m
getting killed by the reviews. My competitor down the street is able to charge $50 more
per room based on his reviews alone with the same sort of hotels. He’s getting 10% more
occupants because of his reviews.” That’s what they were attributing their problems and
frustrations too.
That’s essentially how I - I was consistently seeing that one pattern with my idea extraction
calls. That’s how I basically came to Guest Retain which works on hotel’s reputations. I’ve
actually expanded outside of hotels to now handle spas and salons because they are seeing
the same problems.
Andy: This is awesome. How does the product work?
Geordie: Basically, what it does is we make it easier for clients to get to the reviews. That’s the big
thing. For example --
Andy: Are you right by the ocean right now?
Geordie: Yeah, I am. That’s the waves.
Andy: The waves coming at you?
Geordie: Yeah. It’s distracting. I get that a lot actually on sales calls. “Wait, is that the ocean there?”
Andy: Beach right by you?
Geordie: Yeah. Sorry, I forgot. Okay, so my product.
Andy: Yeah.
Geordie: What we found is that the business owners like, the only people that leave reviews are the
guys that are angry or upset with some type of service that happened. What my product
does is we basically send thank you emails to every single client that comes through the
business and part of the thank you emails, “If you don’t mind, will you take this short
survey.” Its two questions survey that basically - we call it a filter survey, and it says, “How
was your experience at this business? Was it excellent? Was it okay? Was it bad?” If it’s
excellent we send them a thank you. It says, “Oh, that’s great. Do you mind going onto
Google or Yelp or TripAdvisor. Here’s what you said. Click this link and it’ll take you right
there.” That’s basically how that works.
When it’s negative, it sends you back - it sends the business owner an immediate
notification with their phone number so that they can contact the clients to basically make
it right so that they don’t go to TripAdvisor. If somebody says, “I had a really bad
experience. This receptionist did this to me and I was upset about it.” The owner then gets
notification, calls that client, and says, “Okay, let me figure it out.” We basically can fix the
client up so that -
Actually we’ve heard in certain circumstances, the client will actually take that with what
was a negative review and actually change their sentiment to be positive and maybe go on
leave a good review because of our system.
Andy: Beautiful. What do you charge for the system?
Geordie: I have different packages. I found like if I go to guest houses I can charge $50 a month, and
then I can go all the way up to $250 a month for some high-end hotels.
Andy: Beautiful. Okay, take me - we’ll go back to the process.
Foundation started in October of last year and you were doing idea extraction ahead of
time. At what point did you get clarity on like, “This idea has legs?”
Geordie: It’s probably by mid-November.
Andy: Mid-November?
Geordie: Yeah. Mid-November I would say I was doing validation. From probably September until
November, it was just pure idea extraction calls.
Andy: Wow!
Geordie: Maybe even I was probably still even doing idea extraction calls all the way up till
Christmas in other markets, just to see if there’s other thing. My first pre-sale was on
December 2nd or something.
Andy: Oh wow, really?
Geordie: Yes. I remember it was pretty - for some reason that day sticks in my head. Now the
interesting thing is my second pre-sale was like February 2nd.
Andy: Oh, interesting.
Geordie: Yeah. It’s like a long time between - And what happened there was I moved to cold calling
and it got just crushed.
Andy: Oh, man.
Geordie: Yeah.
Andy: That’s tough, dude.
You really started stuff in September, got the idea end of November-ish, first presale
beginning of December. What was like your first aha moment in The Foundation when the
course started?
Geordie: My first, to be honest, my first aha moment was really like when I saw the pool guy video.
Then I went from there literally, I think, it might even be the same day or something. I
contacted a freight forwarding guy that I do business with as I’m importing my exit points
and equipment to the hotels. I called them up and set up an idea extraction call. I’m
friendly with this guy so I said, “Listen, I just like to do this call with you. Do you mind
sometime when you have a moment.” And he was totally cool and he was like, “Sure, let’s
do it.”
I stayed on a call with him which probably lasted an hour and 20 minutes. I actually have
that call recorded. If anyone wants to listen to it, I’d be happy to throw in DropBox form.
But it was my first call so my idea extraction skills aren’t that great. But it was just a really
interesting call because by the end of it, I actually got an idea where he said, “Yeah, I would
pay you $200 a month to solve that problem.” And now it’s like - for me it was like, “Boom!
Done! This is what I’m doing.” That was the first idea extraction call that I had ever made
but it didn’t go like that after that. I was like -
Andy: Funny how that works. You get the taste of it and then you’re like, “What?”
Geordie: … where I got something like that. I mean, I’m not going to kid you. It’s a lot of work.
Andy: Yeah. It sounds like you definitely cut your teeth in the idea extraction phase for sure. Tell
me, you got this idea, what did you do after you got clarity on the idea?
Geordie: Then it was like moving to validation. The validation is a lot easier because, first of all, you
can start off by doing idea extraction. You start off - When I say validation, I mean it’s like,
“Okay, I’ve found some pain.” You can almost validate that pain by email. For example, if
you say your online reviews or something like that, or a bad review with your hotel. If you
put that in the subject line and you’re getting good open rates, then you know the people
reading those emails probably have that problem. That right there tells you that that’s a
form of quick validation. That’s the way to look at it.
When you get to validation, you’re getting to the point. I still don’t want to inject ideas, my
idea into the prospect’s minds, so I start off doing the same thing with idea extractions. If I
sense that they’re having the problem, I’ll kind of lead them that way.
Also, the nice thing about validation is instead of the calls going an hour, they can go 15
minutes because the guy might be like, “Listen, I don’t have much time.” And you’ll be like,
“Okay, well, what do you think about this if I did - If I had a product that did this, do you
have this problem? How much do you think it’s worth? Okay, tell me about that.” At this
point, you really sort of - you know what the pain is and so it’s faster and so you can kind of
throw it little bit faster, the calls.
Andy: Got it.
Geordie: It was a lot less sort of daunting to make those types of calls because you had an idea.
Andy: At what point did you have clarity and confidence that this idea was valid and that it was
something you wanted to move forward on?
Geordie: There was a moment when my - I’ve spoke to one of these prospects and he was defining
consistently that there was - that he was having, “this pain was $2,500 a month, this pain
was $3000 a month, or this one was $1,500.” When I heard it from four, five people, I
knew it was a serious pain for these guys.
Andy: Got it. When you got to that point, what was your next step? You’re like, “Alright, this is
clearly an issue multiple people have. I’ve heard it over and over.” What did you - You
knew the pain and the problem but you didn’t necessarily have the solution for it, or did
Geordie: No, I did not have a solution, I had an idea. I think, at that point, I tried to make up an
information package. I was following your guy's process. I believe the next step was create
an info pack. I did do that. I’m pretty sure that I did an info pack and then I tried to make
pre-sales. I remember it clearly that I didn’t make a UI. So I had made a pre-sale before I
even made my UI, my user interface. The information pack really helped me define my sort
of what I was going to do to solve this problem.
I went in as many face-to-face meetings with prospects that I could get. I found this really
helpful because I was better face-to-face. The prospects are a lot calmer when you’re faceto-face.
If the phone rings or something and you’re in a meeting, they can take the call and
just be like, “No problem, just hang out.” It’s not like you’re interrupting, they could still
kind of do stuff.
That really help with the face-to-face meetings and then, “Okay, here’s my UI” or “Here’s
my info pack. What do you think if we did this and we did that?” That really helps.
Face-to-face was really good for me to make my information pack because you can imagine
trying to do that over the phone or email. Just go in and talk to them and say, “Listen, I’d
like to do this, I’d like to this. What do you think?” You’ll get so much good information
from your prospective clients.
Andy: Beautiful. Tell me about your first sale that you got.
Geordie: It was face-to-face and it was a local hotel. Literally, I could ride my bike down to talk to
them. I’d actually tried to get them to pay totally upfront for my development. I first came
to them and I said, “What do you think about if I charge -” they were like, “How much will
this cost?” and then I was like, kind of like, “My development’s going to be about $4,500.
How about $4,000?” That’s kind of what I said. I kind of just threw it out there to see what
they said and they kind of looked at me and was like, “Hmm. That sounds a little
expensive.” So I came back and I was like, “Okay, well, let me think about some things with
different scenarios.”
I came back to them the next day and they said, “Well, how about six months upfront?”
and I was like, “Well, how much does that going to be?” I think it was 900 or something.
They were like, “Okay.” And I was like, “Yes!” You can imagine it’s your first sale and it was
a big sale. Yeah, it was really - That was it. I was like - Then I really knew. I was like, “Okay
this is a real pain. This person’s willing to pay a thousand dollars.” Yeah, it was a really good
feeling. So that got me started.
From there it was just like - I tried to recreate that same formula as much as I could and
then I ended up having to bring down the price a lot because I wasn’t able to sell the whole
development package. I decided to sell two or three months at a time and that was easier
to sell.
Andy: What happened between December and February?
Geordie: That’s a really good question. Someone said, “Well, you got to find out in your market what
percentage of your market is finding this pain.” He said “The best way to do that is talk to
them.” I basically hit the phones. I remember specifically it was - I actually was -
There was definitely some time where I was still improving my info pack so I stopped
selling. I had a couple of face-to-face meetings. One guy said, “I’ll do this with you but I
want to see your UI.” That was sort of the trigger to make my UI. I spent a week doing the
UI, the user interface. Then I hit the phones. It was about right after Christmas. I remember
specifically, I got 40 rejection calls in a row.
Andy: Oh, no.
Geordie: Yeah. I don’t know if people - I’m sure a lot of people that do cold calls can handle that but
for me it was like, “I’m not doing this. I can’t handle this.” Then I went back to email and I
started to figure out an email sequence. It started to work. Then the email to phone call,
that combo really worked for me. Let’s say I worked on my metrics on everything and said,
“Okay for 70 emails I can get five sales calls” and then I tweak the conversions to get it up
to seven and then to eight. Tracking everything was really important.
Once I got those phone calls, those were really sort of qualified leads. I knew that people
were interested in those. “What do you think of this? How much will you pay this?” Getting
back to getting really comfortable talking about money. When you talk about money, that’s
really how you - that’s quantifying pain. Somebody’s saying, “Yes, I’ll pay you $500 for
this.” That’s over two months. You know, that’s real pain.
Andy: Especially if there’s no product.
Geordie: Yeah, exactly.
Andy: After you went through that process, pre-selling became really natural for you it sounded
like. Geordie, if you haven’t seen this yet, Geordie just taught a class on Mixergy, a master
class around the art of the pre-sell. Can you give us a little bit of the high-level overview or
bullet points from that? For people who are familiar - Here’s what I get. I get a lot of people
who are like, “How do you sell something that doesn’t exist? That doesn’t make sense to
me. How do you actually go about it? Why would somebody pay you for something that
doesn’t exist?” Walk them through kind of the process do you take people through.
Geordie: The biggest thing that I find speaking to other people about pre-sales is that you really
need to have an offer that is just bulletproof. When I say that offers it’s like when you
come to your prospects and you say, “Here’s what I’m going to give you. We’ve already
identified that you have that problem. I’m going to solve this problem for you and it’s going
to cost, say - If the pain for you is you’re losing a $1000 a month, we’ll price that out. The
solution to fix that at 10%,” which is a formula that I got through The Foundation.
It’s such a no-brainer that says, “Well, okay. I’m losing - I’ve already told him, we’ve already
done the math on this problem that I’m losing $1000 a month on this; either my time or
lost sales or whatever. This guy’s going to give me three months to solve that. So that’s
$3000 and he’s asking for $300.” And then always I’ve say, “I’ll give you your money back if
you’re not satisfied. Because this product doesn’t exist yet and I’m saying that I’m going to
solve the pain. If I don’t, I’m going to give you your money back.”
What that really does is it really encourages you to over-deliver on this; all the money in
escrow. I wasn’t going to do anything with development until I worked out with my
developer. I need X amount of money. I do all my pre-sales up to that point.
That money was basically - It’s important that you collect that money. You obviously just
have it in escrow so you’re not spending it or doing anything like that. If anything happens
and you can’t feel like you can deliver because your product - Your dev guy comes back and
says, “We can’t really do this at that cost.” You can give the sales back if you need to. Of
course, you’ll never let it get to that point.
Andy: Well, let’s go farther. So you ended up with eight or eleven pre-sales? Is that what you
said, before you started development?
Geordie: Yeah.
Andy: About eight pre-sales, $3000 or so.
Geordie: The problem is I had 15 and then I committed to development, and then a big deal fell
through, but I still had enough to move forward. But I had committed to development.
Andy: Yeah. What happened there?
Geordie: I had a really big business owner that I was talking to and he said, “Okay, I’ll do this for six
of my spas.” I gotten three months upfront from him for six spas. It was a big chunk of
money. Then he was like, “You know what, I’ve got too much going on right now. I’m not
going to do this.” This is like he’d already signed the contract and stuff and pulled out. My
dev guys were already going. I had to kind of come back and start going out to sell again to
make up that shortfall.
At this point, I was actually okay with the pre-sales. I knew pretty well how to sell it.
Basically, through development, I was able to still continue selling so that development is
Andy: Have you developed anything before?
Geordie: Yes, but not successfully.
Andy: What did you develop?
Geordie: I had a virtual concierge that I developed for my hotel clients and it was a classic example
of like, “This is what your client should want.” It was me saying, “You guys should want
this.” That was basically a total flop.
Everyone loved it, the hotel loved it, and we gave it away for free. What we’d use that was
a tool to get the Wi-Fi deals. Here’s your thing. But the problem is you stuck it out on the
internet in the hotel and the hotels wouldn’t use it so we were like, “Okay, your guests can
come in and they could chat with you and do all these cool stuff.” The hotels just put it out
there. They wouldn’t do anything with it.
Andy: Got it.
Geordie: It was a total disaster.
That I did the daily deal site, which I explained in Mixergy, was a total flop. I spent $15,000
on that. It was okay. When I closed it down it was breakeven, but I was having a lot of sales
problems and I was like, “This is a pain. I’m not going to do this.” I shut that down.
Andy: How did you hire your developer? How did you find them?
Geordie: That was a really big thing for me because I had really bad experience with some
developers before in the past. Going on oDesk, “Oh, this guy has five stars and he’s got a
1000 hours, this must mean he’s good.” No, it doesn’t work that way.
I went out through my networks. Basically kind of asking around, going on forums. Went on
LinkedIn and joined Django groups, Ruby groups, and was started reaching out. Luckily, a
guy in my town that I live, and is a friend of mine, he’s one of the top Django developers in
the country. He goes and gives conferences at these Django … whatever. The guy’s off the
chart. He’s like Django specialist.
He was like, “Here’s what you should do. Here’s what you should look for.” He actually
gave me, he spoon-fed me, a really good development firm that was in South America
which is a firm that I use now for everything. These guys are great. And he basically gave
me these guys.
He worked with them. His lead developer who’s like a $200 an hour guy checked out his
code and said, “This guy’s really good. I can’t believe you’re getting such a good deal.” And
I was just like, “Okay, I’m done.” That’s how I found. I really did it by networking.
Andy: Cool.
Geordie: Take a really crack developer that you know and trust, and take that, and have them grade
more junior guy that you can afford. In that way you can sleep at night because you can’t
just - I don’t know anything. A guy could send me code and I have no idea what I’m looking
Andy: That’s like looking at a foreign language.
Geordie: Yeah, exactly.
Andy: Yeah, man.
Tell me what was the hardest part about The Foundation for you?
Geordie: I would say probably - I think just getting over the whole cold calling. If I would go back, I’ll
be honest with you right now. The thought of going back through that whole process is
pretty terrifying. “I don’t know how to start it again.” When I hear guys, I have so much
respect for the guys that I hear right now that are still on The Foundation. Let’s say, I
wasn’t able to validate. I’m going to go back and I’m going to start idea extraction again.
I’m just like, “Yes!” that you are going to make it.
I think that was the hardest part and I still to the - now, even though I know I could do it, it
would be hard for me to do it. I would do it because I know I can and it’s just I want it.
Something if you wanted so bad, you’ll do it. I’m not going to lie, it never gets easier really.
Always just getting on the phone. It gets more natural and you can get it to a routine in a
flow. I just haven’t done it for a while. I would say that challenge doesn’t go away.
Andy: Yeah. It never gets to a point where you’re like, “Yes! I can’t wake up to cold call people
Geordie: Yeah, exactly.
Andy: Is there something going on in the back there?
Geordie: Yeah. Hey guys? Can you not do that?
Andy: Yeah. What’s really cool is - You’ve got little kids running around. I see so many people that
- especially parents, that just feel like they don’t have the time to do something like this.
You’re running your business, you’ve got your family, how do you find the time to do this
Geordie: Honestly, you got to make time. I’ll literally be on a call, on a sales call, my little son is
coming up to me pulling my shirt. I was like, “No.” You just got to do it.
The routine for me was I’ll fall asleep exhausted at 9:30 at night and I would wake up at
5:30 and that would be my email. Setting up emails, sending out the emails to set up the
idea extraction calls the next day. And then around - whenever I could do it, I would just
set up one to two hours a day religiously for idea extraction.
There are so many guys in The Foundation that have full-time jobs like Carl at Tesla, Daniel
Hicks. I can’t remember what he was doing but those guys - I thought I had it hard but
those guys had full-time 60-hour a week jobs, and those guys did great. There’s a lot of
examples of guys that did it.
It definitely is doable. I think you just need to be really routine about setting up your daily
routine. Say two hours, 45 minutes a day or whatever, that you do it and you can - You’d
be surprised how much you can do in an hour or two hours one day. Maybe it’s a Saturday
morning and you set four hours. It’s worth it.
I really think if you’re in a place, if you’re in an office job right now and you’re thinking
about, “Oh, I can’t do this.” But think about that. How good it is. Look at me, I’m at home
now. It’s so worth it. Just being able to write your whole day, you wake up in the morning.
You know how it is. Do whatever you want.
Andy: Yeah. You just sit by the beach all day.
Geordie: I’m not to that point yet.
Andy: Wow! What was the stuff that helped you the most in The Foundation?
Geordie: Really the people, being able to reach out, and even just offline. If you connect with
someone - the perspective Foundation students that are coming in now, there’s going to
be a lot of people. You might find - I don’t know how you guys going to do it but there’s
some kind of communication tool where you can chat with people, connect with people
offline and people that you resonate with that are in your same time zone and stuff. Just
kind of connect with them. It really helps having that accountability group, or a partner.
We have little group of four of us that did masterminds every Monday and it was basically
just accountability.
You get on a call two weeks in a row and you’re like, “Okay, what did you do this week?”
Somebody on the call is like, “Well, to be honest, I didn’t really do anything.” You’re like,
“Why? You’re wasting my time.” You know, to be honest. “Why are you doing that?” And
they would be like, “Yeah, you’re right.” Those knowing that, “Okay, I got this call on
Monday, I better have done something.” That really helps you to get - just kind of make
sure that you’re doing what you say you’re going to do. Now I’ve got a couple of them,
actually. A couple of these sort of accountability groups, and each one of them gets a little
bit more and more sophisticated and they’re brilliant tools.
For me, I don’t speak with anyone, I just hangout. I have no accountability. These groups
really help me have some kind of accountability system so that - and I even niche it down
to - I need specific help with this one item. It could be like a sprint. I need three weeks of
an accountability partner to do this and we help each other. It’s all give and take. You’re all
helping each other. People are very open to doing these. It’s not hard to do or set up at all.
Andy: I think it’s so important to have the community because so often we get so lonely just kind
of doing our own thing, and having a group of people who, not only are in a similar position
as you but they’re going through the exact same battles that you are, like mentally and
emotionally. I find this super valuable.
Geordie: Yeah, exactly.
Andy: Awesome. What else? Anything else we should know?
Geordie: I don’t know. How do you guys feel about the upcoming launch? Let’s talk about that.
Andy: Oh man. It’s going to be incredible, dude. We’re making quite a few changes this year. We
had 300 people last year, we’re shooting for a 1000 this year which means we’re bringing
people like Geordie, and Carl, and Sam, and a handful, and Ed. A handful of other people to
come in as coaches and as - Geordie taught the class on pre-selling for Mixergy, he’ll be in
The Foundation coaching and mentoring people. We just got someone. We’re hiring Peter
Shallard this year.
Geordie: Okay.
Andy: Do you know Peter?
Geordie: I don’t.
Andy: Peter is the shrink for entrepreneurs. Forbes just did a big piece on him. He’s a coach to
really, really high-level people. He’s actually building a coaching certification program for
us. I don’t know if you know this shit, Geordie, but we’re going to be putting you guys
through lot of hours of training so that you grasp all of the mindset understandings of the
mental word blocks that people have so that you’ll be trained on all of that. So look for an
email [unclear 00:43:55].
Geordie: Nice.
Andy: Yeah, because I find that so important. Did you find the mindset and the emotional
awareness piece to have a significant impact on you?
Geordie: Yeah, definitely. One of the first tests that I took was the Enneagram. I think that’s what
you call it, right, the Enneagram?
Andy: Enneagram, yeah.
Geordie: Yeah. I tested out to be the investigator. Once I had found that I was just like, “Oh my God,
this all makes sense now.” [Unclear 00:44:26]. I found that hugely helpful.
Anyone that is interested in doing that, I think the test is like $10 or something. I really
found out a lot about myself by taking that test. Hugely rewarding and valuable for that
information. It tells you like, “Here’s what you should be good at and here’s the stuff that
you like to do.” And I was like, “Yes! That’s totally me.”
Andy: Yeah, it’s so interesting understanding that stuff. We have everybody take that test in the
beginning. It’s the best $10 you can spend, I think.
And then when coaching with people, you coach people differently based off of their
personality type. With Geordie being an investigator, that means he wants to know how
everything works and he wants to question everything and see everything in the process.
You want to know every detail of how everything fits together. Which is very different
from, say, I’m a seven which is enthusiast, which is I just want to be excited. I want to go do
crazy stuff. I’ll jump from idea to idea to idea because I get excited by the beginning startup
phase. But then when it gets hard I’m like, “This is boring. I want to do something else.”
Geordie: Totally. Think about that. That’s totally you, right?
Andy: Yeah, to a T.
Geordie: Yeah. It’s so true. What you realize it’s like “Now I understand. This is the way I should be
shaping my sort of career or my future” you know. It really helps.
Andy: Yeah.
Geordie: I’ve said stuff too. It was huge. Everyone deals with it. I deal with it every day still. This
person, this customer does not going to want to renew. You just call them up and you’re
like, “No, things are great.” And you’re like “Oh.” It’s just this stuff never goes away.
One of the really important things that you guys taught me was the limiting beliefs
reversal. I did actually post that on my blog. I write them down and I’m very public about
them and I’m very open. Right now I’m going through a conversion problem in my business
and I write that down and said, “I’m worried that my product is going to fail because of this
one specific problem.” I write down the reversal that says, “If you do these things, you will
rationally or logically be able to figure out the problem. By doing that, you can think about
the problem and how it’s structured rationally and logically work through it.” It reverses
that problem.
Anytime I’m having it, I’ll just go right back to that written in. It’s important that you write
it down then you can look at it and reverse that. I know Carl Mattiola was really good at
that. John Ndege was another one that I use their example. It’s not good enough to say,
“Yes, I have this” and talk about it. You need to write it down. And even going one step
further, posting it publicly on your wall or … I did it in on my blog.
Andy: It’ so fun interviewing you guys because I’m starting to see the trends of the most
successful students. There’s very specific patterns that all of you are doing.
Geordie: What would you say those are?
Andy: Oh, there’s a handful of things.
One, you implement really quick - I’ve been writing them down as we do this. You
implement fast. You started implementing before the course even began. You’re searching
for multiple ideas. Carl had eight ideas he was choosing from. You were even in December
still looking for ideas because not just - I think a lot of people will try and find one idea and
attach to the one idea but you have this abundance of it. Having some sort of like, “That’s
it. This is the last straw. I’m doing this.” Like when you had that first call with the guy who
said, “I’ll pay you $200 a month for this.” It created this sense of knowing, I think.
Geordie: It’s like the desire. Basically there’s no way I’m not doing this.
Andy: Yeah, there’s no other choice. There’s no other option. This is it.
A routine, first thing in the morning, working for one to two hours. You and Carl both did
this, almost every day; making it the priority, the number one priority. And then a big focus
on personal awareness, awareness of yourself and how you function, and then
understanding - awareness of your mindset and the beliefs that you have that are affecting
you. These are the things that I’ve gotten so far.
Geordie: Yeah. That would be a great blog post.
Andy: Yeah. I think I’m going to put a PDF on it and we might use it for launch or for just the
people who first come into The Foundation. We’ll probably do a lesson on it.
Geordie: Yeah.
Andy: Good stuff, man.
Last thing, if somebody’s sitting here, listening to your interview and they’re kind of where
you were a year ago, if you can imagine yourself because I - there’s so much stuff online
that makes people really skeptical. What would you tell that person that’s kind of sitting
here and being like, “Ah, is this really true? Does this really work?” What would you tell
Geordie: It definitely works. I’m not saying that you need to go through The Foundation, I’m saying
that The Foundation worked for me. For my personality type, I needed that structure and I
needed the accountability, I needed the motivation. All of those things, and the guidance,
and the whole sort of - other people going through the exact same things that you’re going
through, I knew the personality type that I have, I needed that. I was competitive, too. For
me it was like [unclear 00:50:21] like, “I’m going to go and be out front.” It was like a
competition too. I also knew that about my personality. If I do this by myself, I’m not
competing against anyone.
For me, specifically, putting myself into an arena where I’m actually competing, that really
helped drive me. That’s why this structure helped me. I would really attribute, obviously, a
lot of my success specifically for going through this program. Looking back on it, it’s the
best thing that I’ve ever done. I honestly can say that. I had zero problem pumping and
selling what you guys do because it really was life-changing for me.
Now, all of the friends in the networks that I have, contacts that I have from it, it’s night
and day. I’ll have that the rest of my life. If nothing else at the end, you’ve got these
contacts and these soft skills that you can apply. If you come out at the end and you still
don’t have a software as a service company, I guarantee you, you’ll have friends, you’ll
have networks, you’ll have soft skills that you can - you have mindset change that you can
use towards other aspects in your business or even in your job. For me, it was lifechanging.
Andy: Beautiful, man. If people want to reach out to you and if they have any questions for you,
where can they find you or reach you at?
Geordie: I’ve got a blog, Geordie Wardman. I’m sure you’ll post the link.
Andy: Yup. That will all be in the show notes.
Geordie: Yeah. It’s got my Twitter. I’m pretty active on Twitter. My email geordie@gemm.tv and I
answer emails. I’ve already started doing some work with some prospective Foundation
people. I obviously can’t get flooded but I space it out so I try and help people as the
request come in. I’ve already met a couple of guys. I’ll tell you about this guy, Vincent, in
Singapore and this guy, Jack, who looks like in The Netherlands. You got to accept these
guys. They’re already doing IE calls. These guys are going to blow it out.
Andy: Oh, man. Every year. The first year, Sam. Sam went through - he was making $2,000 to
$3,000 a month at the end of it and you guys just blew - I remember being in Vegas and
Sam just being in awe of - You guys crushed it compared to where he’s at. It’s just going to
be so fun to see next year if we're in Vegas or wherever we’re at together.
Geordie: Carl wrote me yesterday and he’s like, “I think I just landed a $2,000 a month deal.”
Andy: That’s what he told me too.
Geordie: I was like, “Wait a second. He’s going to be beating me.” Alright, I got to go back out and
start selling.
Andy: Oh, it’s so awesome, man. It’s so cool.
Dude, we’ll wrap up this up. Thank you so much for coming on and doing this. I’m sure
you’ll get some people reaching out to you. All of your information on the show notes.
Yeah man, thank you.
Geordie: Alright, my pleasure, Andy.
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.