Clinic Metrics: Building a Web Business in 6 Months and Leaving Corporate America for Good - with Carl Mattiola

Carl Mattiola is one of the most successful members in the Foundation of last year’s class. You’re going to hear today how he went from having no idea for a business to quitting his job at Tesla Motors. And it's all because he took action (just 2 hours a day!) and followed the process of the Foundation.

His company, Clinic Metrics is killing it and we're going to show you how he got there.

In this interview you'll learn...

  • 03:09  Got his first job with Johnson & Johnson in a leadership rotational type program.
  •  04:45  His first business was a sports bar with his dad.
  • 05:36  Talks about all of the businesses he tried at and failed.
  •  07:38  I almost gave up on running an internet business because I couldn't find any online businesses that bring value to the world.
  •  09:40  Discovered the Foundation & his desire to run an internet business on his 45-min commute to Tesla through Pat Flynn's podcast.
  •  10:40  What his mindset was coming into the Foundation
  •  12:28  His experience in the first month of the foundation.
  •  13:27  Talks about his struggles in the beggining. Nervous, uncomfortable.
  •  13:51  How he overcame the uncomfortable things happening in the beginning.
  •  16:33  How he had his first breakthrough, began making progress and taking tons of action. *Action Guide* what limiting beliefs do you have? How can you get over them and begin taking action?
  •  20:43  How he came up with his idea for his business.
  •  23:56  How to find good people to talk to and extract ideas from
  •  25:44  How he was able to find more great people to interview.
  •  26:51  What his business is. Clinic Metrics Business intelligence for physical therapists. Helps them see exactly what's going on in their business through dashboards and snapshots.
  •  27:14  How he found a pain that people were willing to pay for.
  •  30:00  Why he chose the idea that he did.
  •  34:36  Tactics he used to push himself through development.
  •  37:26  How he pre-sold his product without any previous sales experience
  •  38:48  How it felt when he closed his first sale. He also explains how he made his first offer.
  •  41:55  He got his first check for $2600 for a product that didn't even exist.
  •  43:55  Had $3,800 in presales (end of January or February) before he started development.
  •  45:57  How he found his developer and negotiated pay. (10% of revenue)
  •  50:11  Talks about some of the limiting beliefs he had and how he overcame them.
  •  54:18  Where the Foundation helped him the most: reversing limiting beliefs & mental blocks.
  •  55:32  Why he decided to quit his job


Show Notes

Podcast transcript:

Andy: Welcome everyone to another episode of Starting
from Nothing – the Foundation podcast. Today, I have with me none
other than Carl Mattiola. Carl, I’m super stoked to have you on the
show. Carl’s one of the most successful members in the Foundation
of last year’s class. You’re going to hear today how he went from …
in November of last year having no idea of what to build to recently,
last month, quitting his job at Tesla Motors because of the software
company that he had started on the side. Pretty much working two
hours a day max.Carl, welcome to the show man.
Carl: Thanks man. It’s awesome to be here.
Andy: Oh, it’s really
awesome to have you here. Let’s get started. Let’s start with just
your background. Who are you? How old are you? What kind of
jobs you got in the past?
Carl: Cool. I’m 32, grew up in
Philadelphia area, went to school at La Salle University and played
football there and studied Integrated Science, Business and
Technology. It’s a weird major and also Business. I was looking to
buy a [trucking 00:01:35] business. Graduated and got a job with
Johnson & Johnson in a leadership, like, rotational type program.
Like the one you were in.
Andy: Yeah.
Carl: But it was focused on IT.
I started off as a programmer working on … working with
manufacturing systems and they rotated me around the different
places. Ended up in San Francisco then got … left J&J to work for a
software company that made products to help basic [inaudible
00:02:12] any type of science. I help them build chemical search
engine there. I was kind of managing developers there.
Got into product management there and then left there and spent
some time in Panama just surfing and hanging out. Came back and
got recruited by Tesla to basically be the Product Manager on their
website. I did some other stuff for them too but that’s the main thing
I was doing for them is working for Tesla Motors and defining
everything they do digitally and primarily help other sales process
works online.
Andy: Have you started a business before? Have you tried
starting stuff?
Carl: Yeah. I’ve tried a bunch of random little things that
didn’t work.
Andy: What was the first thing you tried?
Carl: My first thing was … okay, I guess. I worked with
my dad and we built a sports bar and that went pretty well for
Andy: A sports bar?
Carl: Yeah. Yeah. But after that, the stuff that I did really
own my own, man. Usually, it was just like ideas or something that I
worked on at Johnson & Johnson that we wanted to try to take
bigger with other people. Things always happen where everybody
had a different idea the way things should go and I never really got
anywhere. I try like niche sites. I tried to build a community for
home-brewers. I used to brew beer now I don’t drink it anymore.
What else did I do? Stand up desks, venture random shit. (Laughs)
Andy: (Laughs)
Carl: Venture random stuff. Yeah.
Andy: So, you tried all these stuff. When was the first time
you started trying business ideas outside your job? Like right after
Carl: Yeah. Probably a year or two after college, like, I’d
say 2004 or so.
Andy: Why were you trying things?
Carl: I knew I always wanted to do that. I always knew I
wanted to do something on my own and be my own boss. I kind of
have that feeling that that’s where I want to end up. But I took the
job probably more because of social pressure than anything else.
Andy: What do you mean?
Carl: Don’t get me wrong, I was excited about it when I
first got the job at Johnson & Johnson and all these other places. I
knew I want to do something on my own but everybody say it was
better for me to get a good job with a company to learn some things
first. You know, maybe that’s true. Maybe it’s not. Knowing what I
do now, I wouldn’t have done that.
Andy: What would you have done?
Carl: I would have just done what I did in the last nine
months instead, immediately.
Andy: So, you’ve always known that you’ve wanted to do
your own thing; try a handful of things. Did you ever give up hope
in the process when you’re starting stuff?
Carl: [Inaudible 00:05:39].
Andy: After you try so many things, eventually, did it ever
get to a point where you’re like, damn!
Carl: That was really close like just before I got into the …
just before I got into starting the Foundation. After I was done with
… after I got back from Panama … I had tried a few things out that
I just was going to even like … I thought I wasn’t really even happy
with. I thought the only way to do things like that online was to do
… in a lot of cases was to do things that I didn’t feel comfortable
with. I almost gave up. I was pretty close to giving up then.
Andy: Like what wouldn’t you feel comfortable with?
Carl: I don’t know. It was stupid niche sites and things like
that that just ruin the internet.
Andy: (Laughs)
Carl: Yeah. Just stuff like that. I wasn’t excited about it
because it didn’t really bring value to the world. Yeah. That really
got me discouraged when I actually started doing that and then I
realize what I was doing. I was like, this is so stupid.
Andy: You feel like your soul is being tainted.
Carl: Yeah. Exactly.
Andy: I’ve been there, man. So, what shifted? Tell me how
you found out about the Foundation.
Carl: Yeah. It’s a great transition.
I was driving to Tesla. Tesla is a cool company, they have great
stuff but I just kind of … When I started my job after taking a break
in Panama, I thought I was going to be super stoked starting there
but ended up just not being that way. And it would be a [inaudible
00:07:29] because I just didn’t like being in the environment of
working for somebody else everyday and working on somebody
else’s goals. There’s probably no better place to work, in my
opinion. It’s a really awesome place and my team was amazing and
everything was awesome. It’s just … I was really not happy when I
started there. I didn’t know why. I was even getting really anxious
and just upset. I felt that feeling and started to look in to other
I found Pat Flynn’s podcast because I had a 45-minute commute
each way every day. I really liked him. I kind of … I had only
listened to a couple of them before I found Dane’s podcast. I
remember listening to just one or two of his and how open and
honest he was. He kind of changed my perception of how you can
do certain things online and keep integrity and do what you want.
After listening to a couple of his podcast, I came across Dane’s. It
was just a really similar … listening to that, it was a similar process
to kind of a way I built stuff for people in my jobs and I really like
… that resonated for me. I immediately signed up and was ready to
go there.
Andy: Beautiful man. You’re one of the people in the
Foundation that made the most progress of … pretty much anyone.
What was your mindset when you signed up? What was the
mentality that you had going into the course?
Carl: Well, I set some rules for myself. I don’t remember
them a 100% right now but … I looked at what I had done in the
past and I said I was going to try to just stop doing everything that I
had done in the past. Some of those things were to consume too
much content. I was only going to consume content that came from
the Foundation while I did it. I said to myself that this was my last
try and I wasn’t going to try again if it didn’t work. Yeah. Those
were the main things. My mindset was like, this is it. That was my
mindset when I started. Just to be totally open to new things and
trying things in different ways than I would normally.
Andy: So, no messing around like this is the last straw I’m
Carl: Yeah. Yeah.
Andy: Tell me about your experience the first month. Where
do you … you are working 40, 50, 60-hour week at times?
Carl: Yeah, I was working a lot. I was working a lot; the
typical hours and then some at night too. At Tesla to do releases and
stuff. Yeah, I was doing that. I would work on the Foundation in the
morning basically and work on my project there by waking up at
5:30 or so and working from 6:00am to 8:00am and then leaving to
go to work. Mostly two hours a day in the morning. Sometimes
more, sometimes less. It just depended on the day.
Andy: Got it. Tell me about your experience in the first
Carl: Okay. My first week was crazy because I was totally
freaked out. I remember getting in and meeting some people and
seeing some people doing things right away. None of the content
had even been released or anything. I saw them taking action right
away. I guess I’m pretty competitive so I just … I was like, fuck
that. I need to do something too.
I moved right into trying out idea extraction on dog daycare and
used car dealerships. I remember I was like, “Ah, screw it! I’m just
going to walk right into one and try it out.” I walked into a dog
daycare business nearby, introduced myself and said, “Can you talk
to me about your business? Any problems in your business?” and it
worked. Yeah. I kind of broke the ice that way but …
Yeah, the first week I was totally freaked out. I wasn’t sleeping a
lot. I was doing all kinds of things to try to get myself to sleep. I was
just super nervous and uncomfortable. Yeah. That all changed when
I started going through some of the mindset content.
Andy: What changed?
Carl: Well, I kind of … because that had been something I
hadn’t even considered to pay attention to and ended up being what
I … the most I got out of the whole process was awareness. Being
aware of what you’re feeling and what you’re going through. Yeah,
just paying attention to that. If you pay attention to it, you can do
things that will help you to let it go and get over it.
I remember learning that through some of the content and
immediately starting to feel better and then learning to reverse and
beliefs that I had that were negative, in order to make myself a lot
more effective in the two hours that I had in the morning. Just
making sure that if these are the things that I have to do today, it’s
getting me closer to my goals, it’s getting me closer to creating my
product. What are the things that are making me hesitate to move
forward and just trying to address those one by one. Learning to do
that was the biggest thing I’ve done out of the whole thing.
Andy: Do you remember the first ‘aha’ that you had that
created that awareness for you? What was the thing? Make it really
concrete for people who are listening who might not understand the
content to the level that you do.
Carl: I think the very first thing was … I was on my lunch
break at Tesla, I had this weird feeling in my stomach, pretty much
the whole first part of the Foundation. I had a feeling because I
thought that this could be a scam and I could be not … I could have
just been wasting my time and my energy and my money on it. I
was really worried about that. I was also concerned about making
calls to strangers and asking them questions. Every morning kind of
freaked me out.
Andy: Uh-huh.
Carl: Other people, I didn’t want to be annoying. Those
were the things that were bothering me.
Because of that, you know, if any of the people listening, like try to
make a call or try to do something or they’re nervous about
something, they have that feeling. For different people, it feels
differently. But for me it was, like … it’s weird in my stomach, I
don’t eat a lot and I lose sleep over it. That’s how I was feeling.
I noticed it and what I … the ‘aha’ moment was just basically
hearing you and Dane talking about how bad is normal and if you
pay attention to it and focus on why it’s there. Why it’s there is
basically because you’re trying to protect yourself from … maybe a
bad experience you have in the past or something like that. So, just
focusing on it. For me and then waiting five minutes, made it
completely go away. The feeling went away. I’ve never experience
that before. That was pretty great.
Andy: Oh, wow.
Carl: Yeah.
Andy: That was like the first big ‘aha’ for you. When did
you first start making progress?
Carl: Right after that. That was the first thing I did. I hadn’t
reversed any limiting beliefs or anything at that point. Right after
that I started just taking way more action because I wasn’t as scared
to do it.
Andy: Hmm.
Carl: I was emailing a lot of people. I was cold calling
people, like an animal. I was just … I didn’t even care. I was still
not on the Physical Therapy market; I was still on used car
dealerships which I dropped eventually but it was kind of practice
for me. Yeah. I just remember having lists and going through
making 20 or even 50 cold calls in a morning until somebody would
talk to me. Yeah. That was where things started to shift. I just was
able to just go at that point.
Andy: Because that feeling was removed. That like …
Carl: It wasn’t completely removed but at least I knew
what was there and why it was there and that made me feel better
about it.
Andy: Got it. Got it. So, you still had the feeling. You still
had that (crosstalk)
Carl: [Inaudible 00:17:17] let’s say it was reduced.
Andy: Cool.
Carl: Yeah.
Andy: Cool.
Carl: Feel like it’s always [inaudible 00:17:22], you know.
Andy: Why didn’t you stick … How many niches did you
go through?
Carl: Four.
Andy: When you switched niches, why did you switch?
Carl: The first two I looked at is practice. I had no
intention of keeping them because [Inaudible 00:17:45] I hadn’t
deliberately selected them. I just picked them out of the blue. The
next couple that I chose, we’re kind of using the framework taught
in the Foundation plus some other rules I made up for myself. So, it
was a much more calculated decision when I chose the second two
which were [inaudible 00:18:04] and Physical Therapy practices.
Andy: Got it. What month in the Foundation are you right
now? Month one, month …
Carl: When I did that?
Andy: Yeah.
Carl: That was still in the first month.
Andy: So, you went through all four niches in the first
Carl: Yeah. The first two I went through them like two
Andy: Yup.
Carl: Maybe less. In the next two I tried for maybe one
more week and then … Once I talked to a couple of physical therapy
practice owners, it was just like … I knew that’s what I wanted to be
doing so I stuck with …
Andy: How did you know?
Carl: I mean … I had an experience with them in the past. I
had an experience with Physical Therapy getting over an injury
when I was younger. It was a great experience talking to them. It
mattered to me. I really liked what they were doing. I clicked with
them. We had the same interests in some cases so it made it easier
for me to talk to them and I just really enjoyed talking to them. I
think they’re good people that have a good amount of stuff in
common with me. That’s why I stuck with them.
Andy: Got it. How did you come across the idea for
Carl: Basically I was doing idea extraction. I had come
across a slew of ideas. I don’t remember which call it was or how
many calls in it was. It was probably maybe 15 calls in or so, maybe
eight. I don’t know. When I first heard this idea, somebody talking
about it, I do remember the first time I heard somebody bring it up. I
didn’t really understand it. When I had more and more people bring
it up, I realize that it was … something viable.
Andy: (Crosstalk) Go ahead.
Carl: Go ahead.
Andy: No, you go ahead.
Carl: Yeah. I heard one idea which was a better electronic
medical record system. It’s something that there are a lot of are
ready and … I didn’t even want to choose something right away. I
wanted to do a lot of calls and figure out … and find a lot of ideas.
Once I got good at it, over … after probably the first five to six calls
I was pretty good at … at idea extraction. By the time I was done I
had eight validated ideas and I chose this one.
Andy: Wow. That’s so fascinating to me going from …
because so many people have a hard time coming up with ideas to
having a point where you had eight to choose from.
Carl: Yeah. I don’t know. I found a few things that helped
me get there. Yeah. I think one of the main things for me was
talking … I kind of was able to figure out who the right people to
talk to and who the wrong people were. I kind of just dismissed
people altogether that were just not the right people to talk to
because I didn’t want to waste their time.
Andy: Who are the right people to talk to?
Carl: The best people in the industry, those are the ones
you want to talk to. I had several calls with people who are just kind
of … getting by and wanted to run their … to see patients and stuff.
You can tell who they are by hearing things like them complaining
about stuff that they can’t control. Things like that. The other end of
the spectrum is people in the industry that are wanting to make the
entire industry better and have planned ideas as to how to do that. If
you get a couple of those people, they will tell you three, five ideas
on one 30-minute call. Because they know everything that’s going
on and they’re focused on improvement.
Andy: How do you find them?
Carl: It took me a while to figure that. You can find them
randomly by just calling people but … what I found was the people
that are doing more than just running a physical therapy practice,
tend to be those types of people. If they were speakers, if they were
in a seminar company, if they sold anything else, they tended to be a
pretty good business person so they were awesome people to talk to.
Plus, they’re all friends with each other. Once you find one you
usually find three or four.
Andy: Funny how that works.
Carl: Yeah.
Andy: Tell me about the person you found and how they
helped you.
Carl: I found a few. I found a few of those people. The first
one was … he’s name was Chad Madden. He’s in Harrisburg,
Pennsylvania. Near where I grew up, sort of. Yeah. I found him
randomly. And he introduced me to a lot of really cool people.
Andy: How do you find them randomly? Just calling?
Carl: No, I was emailing. I had a VA gathering emails for
me over … just basically searching Google maps for a Physical
Therapy practices, gathering emails. I was emailing people that way.
That’s how I found them. That one is totally random and then he
introduced me to ten people. Those ten people were all awesome.
Andy: Why did he introduce you to ten people?
Carl: I’m not a 100% sure. At first I didn’t know why but I
think he did that because … going into the calls I always put people
first. I really try to help them in any way that I can. I try to find out
what they’re trying to do and what their problems are in their
business. If I had any way to help people through stuff immediately
when I was able to talk to them on the phone, I would tell them and
they really appreciated that. I was brutally honest about what I was
trying to do and they got a kick out of it. I even told them … Oh
yeah, I hired somebody in India to scrape emails to find you, that’s
how I found you.
Andy: (Laughs)
Carl: They would crack up and they … we would have a
good relationship from then on out. Chad is an awesome guy. I talk
to him regularly still. Yeah.
Andy: You met Chad via email. At what point did …
[inaudible 00:25:26] what ClinicMetrics does. Can you just give us
like the quick little two second overview for people who don’t
Carl: Yeah. Essentially it’s business intelligence for
physical therapy practices. It helps them manage their business
metrics so that they can see exactly what’s going on in their
business in dashboards and reports really quickly and easily.
Andy: How did you end up with this idea? What questions
were you asking or how did the conversation evolve?
Carl: How did I find this problem?
Andy: Yeah, this pain.
Carl: I’m pretty sure the first person that told me about it
didn’t call it anything. He had no name for it. He said something
about practice management. I was digging in and just kind of like …
why is it a problem. He was like, “Well, I don’t have any way to see
what’s going on in my business. I don’t know what’s going on in
my business. I don’t know which of my clinicians or employees are
doing a good job and which ones aren’t. I don’t know exactly what
my cost per patient is so I can’t negotiate rates. I don’t know which
of my marketing efforts are working and which ones aren’t. I asked
them how he was tracking things now in Excel. Sending Excel
spreadsheets around and using some other really old crappy tools. I
just kind of immediately realized at that point that there was a better
way to do it. Yeah.
Andy: How far are you in the Foundation when you get the
Carl: Month two probably.
Andy: December or November.
Carl: Maybe. November.
Andy: November?
Carl: Yeah.
Andy: Cool. See, at month one, month two. Right at that
cost. Cool. If I give you this idea and then what?
Carl: I had that idea and I didn’t choose it right away. I
didn’t choose it right away because at the time I wasn’t sure if it was
valid or if enough people needed it for me to want to build it. I
needed to make sure it was a good idea.
I basically … I took things a little differently than everybody else. A
lot of people find one idea and then they try to validate that idea by
focusing on it. For me, I just basically kept things wide open when I
talk to everybody. Get as many ideas as I can. If they happen to
bring that one up again, great. That’s why I kept going till like 32
calls before I chose this idea.
Andy: Wow. I don’t know you had that many. So, you’re
gathering all the ideas. Why did you choose this one?
Carl: It was a smaller amount of scope so it was pretty easy
to build. I thought it was … the price point was going to be pretty
good for it. That was another reason. But the main thing is …
Andy: (Crosstalk)
Carl: … a $120 a month per location. Most of these people
have … most of my target has several locations. Generally five or
I didn’t exactly know that at the time when I chose this but the main
reason I chose it was I saw the biggest problems in the industry and
the biggest things that the people … maybe the people that aren’t
the experts giving me the idea but the other people in the market …
the main things they complained about were … that their
reimbursements were falling and … they had no way to fix that. The
reason they complain about that is because they don’t know how to
make things more efficient in their business. They don’t know a
whole lot about their business. This tool, to me, really meant a way
to help them stay in business and eventually thrive. I thought that
was really awesome. I know it’s …
It’s really a first to market-type product. There’s not really anything
out there like it. I wasn’t attracted to that. Honestly, that makes it
harder on me but I just really thought it was cool to be able to help
out people and make them run a better business.
Andy: Yeah. Not doing niche sites.
Carl: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, exactly.
Andy: So you get the idea. Well, you have a list of ideas.
You decide on this one. What do you do after that?
Carl: I chose this one and immediately moved forward
with designing the interface and creating some information on it.
We call the Foundation like a little information packet which is kind
of like a sales packet to show to people, so that I can pre-sell them.
Yeah, designing the interface went well for me and it was pretty
easy for me because that’s my background in general, right?
Andy: Mm-hmm.
Carl: I did that pretty quickly and I showed it to my … not
my customers but the people that were asking for it, I showed it to
them. Got feedback and then kept iterating it until I felt like I had it
nailed pretty good. I used that to get my first sale.
Andy: How many people were interested?
Carl: Initially?
Andy: Yeah.
Carl: Before I … I don’t know. Five or so? Maybe three to
five before I started designing it.
Andy: How many iterations did you go through before you
got your first pre-sell?
Carl: Three, I think.
Andy: Three?
Tell me about the process. Basically, so far, we’ve spent a lot of
time cold calling, cold emailing; met some influential people, got a
list of ideas, chose the idea that’s going to have the most impact and
probably most income potential for you. Mocked up what the
software would actually look like. You didn’t write any code, you
did this in keynote, is that right?
Carl: Yeah, keynote. Keynotopia.
Andy: Use [inaudible 00:32:33] Keynotopia and built rough
mock-ups of how it will function. Showed it to people, started
getting feedback, now it’s time to ask for money. Tell me about that
Carl: Yeah. This happened … I designed the interface
about the first version and what [inaudible 00:32:54] a couple of
days, maybe less and then … I refined it over maybe a week or two.
It was December, towards the end of December when I created a
new information pack which kind of figured out my pricing and
stuff to get ready for my first sales call. I basically set out my sales
call to kind of push myself to get this stuff together before. Just to
give myself a deadline. I worked on it over Christmas break and
came back. That call was like in the beginning of January.
What did I do? I learned about all the reasons that … all the pains
that the customers were experiencing or the prospects were
experiencing that were related to my product. I mapped them
through to the features that were going to help solve those pains and
the benefits that these people were going to have if they use the
product. I kind of did that. I also …
Andy: Can you give me an example before you move on?
Can you tie that to like … like what’s one fear or frustration people
had and what’s the feature and benefit?
Carl: Yeah, sure.
An easy one is … I don’t know which employees are doing a good
job and which ones aren’t. I don’t know how to … which ones need
help and which ones I should give a high-five or give some credit.
That’s the pain. The feature that’s addressing it is basically sort of a
reporter dashboard that shows the metrics broken down by each
employee that are important to this person. They can exactly see
what’s going on with each person. They can see it together and then
work towards goals. That’s one example.
Yeah, it was … it was both costing them money because they could
be wasting visits and it’s also bad for the patient because the
patients may not be given as much attention as they can if the
employee isn’t paying attention to certain things. All of that put
together just builds up a lot of frustration in practice center’s mind.
Yeah. That’s one example.
Andy: Beautiful. Beautiful. Mocked it all up, map the pains
that the customer is experiencing to each feature and benefit of the
software that you’re building. Then you go to sell it.
Carl: Yeah. When I went to sell it, this was first time. This
is another big moment for me, getting to sell this. The first time I’ve
ever really sold anything in my life. Craigslist and it was … For
some reason I like to choose like the biggest people right away so I
went for the biggest customer with ten locations. Yeah. I went
through the process to sell it to him by talking him through what it
did, showing it to him. Reiterating the reasons that he mentioned he
was interested in the first place. Walking him through the benefits
and price anchoring which is basically saying how much money that
this is costing them in hours or in patients that didn’t show up or
things like that. You’re able to kind of list all those things out and
show them how much it’s really going to save them.
I went through this long … what seemed like to me was an
extremely awkward phone call. To me it felt that way. Because I
was relentless to go through every single thing that I had written
down in terms of all the reasons it was going to help him before I let
him do anything else. In the end, he said he appreciated that and I
was shocked and it worked out. I remember I was so freaking
excited. I was calling a bunch of my friends on my way. This is
before I went to Tesla in the morning.
Andy: Like 7:00am.
Carl: Yeah, exactly. I’m super pumped driving to work and
calling my friends and telling them what I did. Yeah, it was
Andy: Walk me through … Well, first, tell me about …
what was the offer that you did? You didn’t have a product till this
point. There is no software that was built. What was the offer that
you gave him?
Carl: It was pretty straightforward. I have a better way of
doing it now but it was pretty straight forward. I basically said, this
software isn’t ready yet but this is the pricing that I’m going to have.
I showed him the pricing and how much it would cost him and then
I showed him that. If you sign up early, you’re going to get 20% off
for life. All I need from you is three months payment in advance. I
had him pay me what I would be for him for three months in
advance and it’s all going … the product would be ready in May.
Yeah. That was basically the offer. You have to pay three months in
advance and for that I’m going to give you 20% off of that price you
just saw which is going to be my ultimate pricing.
Andy: Was there any resistance to that?
Carl: Yeah. He said it seemed high but then he just said
yes. (Laughs)
Andy: (Laughs) What did you do when he said it seems
Carl: Huh?
Andy: What did you do when he said it seemed high?
Carl: Nothing. I just sat there.
Andy: You didn’t say anything?
Carl: No.
Andy: And so he said, “I think it seems high,” and you just
sat there and I’m sure there was this long awkward just …
Carl: Yeah. I think I was thinking about something to say
and then he just said, you know, that I appreciate the way you went
through all this. You’re really detailed and you remembered it was
my daughter’s birthday or something.
Andy: Oh really.
Carl: Yeah.
Andy: Oh wow.
Carl: He said those things and he said, “Yeah, let’s do it.”
But before we do it, I have to make sure you’re a real person so you
have to meet this person I know in San Diego which was really
weird. But that happened and that was kind of cool.
Andy: Oh. So he was like, “Okay, I need to know you’re not
some scam artist that …”
Carl: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
Andy: How much was he writing you a check for?
Carl: Twenty-six hundred bucks I think.
Andy: Twenty-six hundred.
Carl: Yeah, 2600.
Andy: Twenty-six hundred for a product that doesn’t exist.
This is incredible, man. I can only imagine how incredible … how
crazy you felt going to work that day. What did you do next?
Carl: Sold it to more people. Same way. Decided that once
I got … I decided once I got three people to pay me, it was going to
be worth it. Yeah, over the course of the next month or so, I sold it
to three people and then I pulled the trigger on development.
Andy: How were the other three conversations?
Carl: The second one was even faster. You know how I
said the first one was long and awkward, the second one was going
to be long and awkward and the guy just cut me off and was like, “I
want it.” Yeah. And then the last one was also … [inaudible
00:41:50] actually that guy I met in [inaudible 00:41:52]. Had a
conference which I went to to get my picture to send to the first
presale. You know what I was saying, like meet somebody I know.
Andy: Yeah.
Carl: One of the people I met through this whole process
calling and talking to people when I was at the conference was just
walking me around, introducing me to loads of people and
introduced me to somebody that just wanted it immediately. Yeah.
That got my presale that day. Yeah.
Andy: Three customers and how much was your total in
Carl: I think 3800 before I started building.
Andy: Thirty-eight hundred before you started building.
What month was that? When you had 3800?
Carl: I think it was the end of January, something like that.
Andy: End of January?
Carl: Maybe February. I can’t remember. It was either the
end of January or February, some [inaudible 00:43:00].
Andy: Let’s say February. I mean, still that’s like … going
from November with no idea; December, getting the idea, mocking
stuff up and then having the sales by February. You’re just cruising
Carl: I could do it all in two weeks right now.
Andy: Really?
Carl: I think so.
Andy: I love hearing that. I love hearing that. So, February,
so you’ve got $3800 in presales, three customers, now what?
Carl: So, I pulled the trigger on development. I started
building it and … while I was building I continued working on
getting a few sales.
Andy: Yeah, but you’re working full time. How do you find
somebody to … did you find … who built it for you?
Carl: The developer is a friend. Like I said, I kind of
managed developers for a living. I have a lot of … and I’m in San
Francisco, I have a lot of very talented friends. I picked a guy who
I’m really good friends with and work with and I should talk to him
about the idea and he was psyched about it. We ended up deciding
to do … I preferred to pay him in cash so that anyone thinks it got
weird but he was really [inaudible 00:44:31]. That’s what we ended
up doing. I didn’t have to pay for development at all out of pocket.
Andy: What was the terms you ended up with?
Carl: Essentially 10% of revenue.
Andy: Nice.
Carl: Yeah.
Andy: It’s so awesome being in a position where you
presale stuff in advance. Because developers just get really excited
about it, it seems like.
Carl: Yeah, I mean, I was going … climbing, rock
climbing heading into our gym. As he’s climbing the wall I was just
telling him what I was working on and it was hilarious. He was just
really excited about it. That was before I even got the sales and then
a few weeks later I was like, “Okay, I’m ready to go. Let’s do it.”
Andy: Let’s say that starts February or March or so. You’re
still focusing on selling, he’s developing. What do you spend the
next two months doing?
Carl: Well, I mean, when you wireframe a product just to
sell it to somebody, it’s probably not going to have everything it
needs in terms of … it’s not going to be ready to be developed. You
have to do some more work. I spent a lot of that time focused on
managing that and communicating the progress with the customers.
As we were building, getting feedback from the customers, I spend a
little bit more time doing some selling but I really didn’t … hardly
spend any time doing that.
At that period, things got really busy for me at Tesla. I kind of was
really only able to focus on development a little bit more of preselling.
Andy: When did [inaudible 00:46:41] go live?
Carl: We went live like April 15th.
Andy: Got it. Any hiccups? How did it go?
Carl: Honestly, I’ve done … I don’t know how many
product launches I’ve done. More than ten and this was the
smoothest I’ve ever had. It’s probably because it’s the most recent
and because I cared about it the most because it was mine.
Andy: Yeah.
Carl: But I’ll never forget like … releasing to the first
customer, it being my own product was like such a big day for me
and in my developer. We sat together and did it and then we went
out for a celebration dinner. It was awesome.
Andy: And that was April 15th. Incredible, man.
For you, I know you reversed the whole bunch of beliefs for all of
these to happen. Tell me about that.
Carl: Yes. So that happened … I’d say that happened right
before I started … right before I chose the idea or maybe right after
I chose the idea to move forward. I notice … we had limiting belief,
reversal content. It was pretty basic. I didn’t think much of it and
just didn’t do any of that right away until I started noticing in some
calls that Dane or you would pay close attention to really how
people were feeling first. Ninety percent of the time is when people
had problems. It was really because it was a mental block. I was
like, man, this stuff is really important so I’m going to sit down and
see what my mental blocks are and reverse them all. Literally that
day, I think I reversed seven in many hours. It was like a weekend
[inaudible 00:48:38]. Man, there was a lot of them.
Andy: Yeah.
Carl: I can give you a few examples.
Andy: Yeah, please do.
Carl: Yeah. Some that were more tactical which was … I
felt like I was being an annoying sales … like an annoying sales guy
on the phone and people were annoyed by me. I was able to get over
that and when I got over that, my calls went even better. How I was
able to get over that was … if you really think … like is that really
true? I thought back on some of the good calls that I had. Those
people are really excited to talk to me. It was because I was trying to
help them and they believed that.
That was when I reversed. Another more personal one was like …
that I was really afraid of not failing but having other people see me
fail. I would … maybe not do certain things because I was afraid of
other people seeing me fail or I wouldn’t share things and kind of
created this weird world where I was doing all these work.
Andy: Yeah.
Carl: Like undercover. (Laughs)
Andy: (Laughs)
Carl: Without telling anybody. Getting over that made me
feel good and I told my friends about it. They were really supportive
and it was awesome.
But then the biggest one, I’d say, like in the most obvious was like
… say you start to build a product like I did this metrics [inaudible
00:50:08]. I came across this guy that I wanted to get in contact with
that I felt might be able to help me sell the product because he has
consulting business and it’s actually a pretty big company. They
said that they …
What happened was I didn’t know the person and I tried to get in
contact with him and he wouldn’t answer me. A friend of mine
knew him so they went to see him, Chad Madden. He met the guy
and told him about me. The guy said, “Oh, the reason I’m not
getting back to him is we’re going to build that on our own
Before being able to reverse beliefs like this, I probably would have
just said, “Oh, I can’t do this. There’s somebody with a way bigger
reach than me and way more money … and a way bigger business
that could just build this and just dominate.” What I was able to do
was think more about … is that really true? Is that what’s going to
happen if I build this? What it made me realize was … Instead of
just giving up, I realize that, hey, I’m going to build better software
than this person because I’m good at software and this person knows
nothing about it. Even if they do create awesome software, there’s
still plenty of room for me in the market.
Last, I just realized that … man, how bad would have that been for
me to just stop at that point, right?
Andy: Yeah.
Carl: But instead I was able to get over that. That’s what
really … that moment … And I felt good about it too and that
moment made me kind of realize that this is really important. Till
this day I still pay really close attention to that stuff.
Andy: Hmm. So cool man. Yeah. At this point … you just
begin to realize that if there’s competition, it’s a good thing. It’s just
more validation that the idea needs to be built.
Carl: Yeah. Isn’t that hilarious? It’s like … most people
you talk to they’ll find something. It’d be like, “Oh, that’s already
been done.” Now, your whole mindset’s changed toward, “Man,
what a good thing.” I came across this [inaudible 00:52:33] I was
about build it and this guy, who’s been in the market forever, said
he’s going to build it too. Like, wow! That means there’s a market
for this, right?
Andy: Yeah. Let’s talk about …
Carl: (Crosstalk).
Andy: Go ahead. What’s that?
Carl: Now … do is beat them.
Andy: (Laughs) Let’s talk about … Where do you think the
Foundation helped you most?
Carl: Right with what we just talked about. I feel like the
process was great, however, getting over these mental blocks for me
made me so much more effective and so much more clear in what I
wanted to do. Why I was doing it. Just got everything else out of the
way so that I could get done what I wanted to get done, done and I
did it. Yeah. By far that’s what the most I got out of it. That and …
meeting really awesome people. Those are the two biggest things
I’ve gotten out of it and the process is probably third. Yeah,
Andy: I love you’re in that actually. (Laughs) Let’s
[inaudible 00:53:56] the block thing a little bit more. Let’s talk
about you quitting your job. Most people thought, and probably at
some level might still, that you’re insane.
Carl: Yeah. They thought I was insane. I don’t know. That
was the big deal.
Andy: Just kind of.
Carl: Yeah. That was a really big deal.
Yeah. At that point I had already had product up and running. I had
people using it; they were liking it. I was at the biggest experience. I
had planned … I had this vision in my head that, yeah, I’m going to
work at Tesla until October or something like that. For some reason
I had this mind in October I think it was because was when I would
have invested half of my stock to leave and go on this thing full
time. However, I was really unhappy. I was more and more
Well, I was in the middle of Foundation, I was pretty excited, I was
doing something new. I was focused and then all of a sudden,
something changed to where … well, I have this product and now
I’m in the middle of building it and that’s all I want to focus on. All
Tesla was doing is taking me away from that. So I resented it and it
made me do worse work at Tesla and worse work on my product. It
just made everything bad. Yeah. I was in a pretty bad spot.
And then I went to Vegas. We had … you and I had a really
amazing talk about it that caught me thinking about things
differently. That was definitely a life changing conversation.
Andy: What clicked where you started thinking about it
differently? What made you go from … Because what happened for
the people that aren’t … Carl and I basically … well, you were on
your hot seat is when it all started. He had an incredible hot seat and
everybody just kind of blown away because Carl has made so much
progress. I don’t know if you remember this but the last question I
asked you, right as time was up, I was like, “So, when are you going
to quit your job?” and then everybody kind of laughed and he just
went off the stage. Then later, we kind of sat down and we’re like,
“No, but seriously?”
Carl: It’s true. Honestly, I totally forgot about that.
Andy: (Laughs) So, we have this. We talk for 45 minutes or
so and then at the end of it, Carl came out and announced to
everyone in the room, in that moment, that in four weeks he’s
leaving Tesla and everyone will hold him to it.
What shifted so greatly for you to go from October, whenever, to …
okay, now?
Carl: Man, so … there were a few things that did but, like,
there is one thing that I remember really clearly about the
conversation that was like … I was there, we were having a good
time talking. I was meeting … we were all hanging out. The whole
weekend was really great and I had to leave early because I needed
to get back to work. Right before I was about to leave is when we
had this conversation.
When we were talking, you said, “Think about yourself a year from
today. You’re back here in Vegas with the next class and you’re still
working at Tesla and you’re still doing the same things. Everything
is the same. How do you feel?” I imagined myself in that position a
year from then without having left and still being there. It felt awful.
Thinking about that felt awful because … I knew how it felt for me
now and that wasn’t going to change for that long period of time and
looking back on it, like having to experience that for another full
year. All of the things that I would have … All of the things that I
could have done over that year if I had left that I couldn’t get done
because I was still there and it was still eating up my time and I was
still just not in a very good mood and not happy. All of those things
put together and that feeling building up just made it so … so
obviously that it was the right choice despite having money being
left on the table because I had options that have invested and things
like that. It didn’t really matter.
What really came down to us, my time, is worth more than anything
else. It’s worth more than anything. Even if I didn’t have a product
or anything else, I probably … I think I still would have left. Yeah. I
think I would have still left. Because I was … I felt confident that I
knew I could probably … even if everything were taken away from
me, I could probably rebuild something again. What’s the worst
thing that could happen is really … I spent an awesome year
learning a lot and I fail and start over. Yeah. It really changed
everything. Yeah.
Andy: Yeah. It was so fun. When we did this, at the end of
the conversation, Carl was clear, “Okay, I’m going to quit my job.”
I was like, “Okay, when?” “Four weeks or June 15th or something.
Carl: Yeah.
Andy: June 15th or something. I’ll put my two weeks in that
day.” I was like, “Okay. Let’s try something [inaudible 01:00:20].” I
brought up my email and I was like, “Hey, just … write an email to
your boss as if you’re resigning.” So, he puts his boss’s email like
resigning. It was funny because it was like two sentences. “Hey,
thanks for letting me work here but this is my two weeks …” very
simple and straight to the point. I was like, “Okay, great.” I saved it
in my drafts folder and I was like, “Okay, great. If you don’t quit
your job on June 15th, on June 16th your boss is going to get this
email from me.” And then Carl went and announced it to everybody
in the room and it totally anchored it. Like in that moment there was
no going back for you.
Carl: No, there wasn’t. When I got home I was like, “Man
… maybe this was a rash decision. Maybe it wasn’t the right
decision. Maybe I should think about it some more.” What I did was
I sat down and did the whole … went through my whole process
that I learned of reversing beliefs. I kind of thought about things
rationally again on my own and on, probably, two sheets of paper
when I had finished.
The craziest thing was … when I looked at at myself after I got back
I was even more clear. Because I looked it all, I have all my
direction, my direction in life written on a piece of paper in the first
thing. If you read the whole thing, it’s all about wanting to be on my
own and being able to do things freely for myself. To be able to
spend my time with people I like and to help people. It just made it
so obvious that it was like, what the hell was I doing there to begin
Honestly, I came back, I worried a little bit and then I got over even
more and then I was just ready. I almost didn’t want to wait the
whole time. I think I ended up being one day earlier or something.
Andy: Yeah.
Carl: But not early. I was trying to get some health
insurance before I started. Yeah, it was crazy. [Inaudible 01:02:33]
on me too really like, “So, the excitement probably wear off. How
are you feeling now?”
Andy: Yeah. Like the holy-shit-what-did-I-just-do feeling.
When you make a decision in a peak state it’s like … you always
have to come down afterwards.
Dude, this interview has been incredible. It’s just so fun to see step
by step exactly what you did and how it all worked for you. I love
hearing how much … we’re starting to write copy again. One thing
that’s coming up is like if you see people who make exponential
growth, it has nothing to do with strategies and tactics. It’s all the
internal shifts that happen first. I love how you made all of the
internal shifts in November and the ripple effect that it’s caused for
you ever since then.
Carl: Yeah, and it’s still going. It’s still going.
Andy: Four people [inaudible 01:03:38] … we got a handful
of people on here; quite a bit actually. If they have any interest in
joining the Foundation, what would you tell them?
Carl: Well, I think if they are people who are serious about
wanting to make a change and they’re dedicated to putting the time
in and having an open mind while they’re there. Not shutting things
off. Open to trying … open to opening themselves up, there’s no
better thing that they could do. There really isn’t. It’s an amazing
This has been one of the best years in my life. All the things that
have changed and really getting to the point where I’m doing what I
want to do with my life. Yeah. Anybody can do that too. I hope that
what I’ve shared can help people realize that. Help them either just
do it on their own or join out then and be a part of it.
Andy: Beautiful man. If people want to get in touch with
you, where can they do that at?
Carl: Well, I’ll put a website up at, and they can reach me from there. Or I’m on
Twitter @cmattiola. Basically, everything, C-M-A-T-T-I-O … shit.
C-M-A-T-T-I-O-L-A. For Twitter it’s that, for Gmail it’s that, for
everything it’s that. They can reach out to me that way. I’m totally
open to talk to anybody that has any interest in talking about this.
Andy: Beautiful. So if you have questions or anything, feel
free to reach out to Carl. I’ll put all of that information in the show
notes at Carl, thank you so much man.
This has been amazing.
Carl: Yeah. Thank you.
Speaker 1: Thank you for joining us. We’ve taken this interview
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