$36,000 In Pre-sales From Scratch - How A Consultant Found Freedom – with Chris Stevens

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Chris Stevens was ready to give up on his work in IT Consultancy. It was only after he joined The Foundation course that he understood his ‘why’, and gave himself permission to stick in the industry and build his software company, Data Patrol. Chris managed over $25K of pre-sales and is now happier than ever, with his business going from strength to strength.

In This Interview You’ll Learn…

  • 02:02  Chris’s back story and why and how he wanted to get out of the IT industry
  • 10:20  The importance of a ‘why’
  • 17:30  How Chris got his opportunity through idea extraction
  • 25:15  How Chris got his idea for his software company
  • 32:00  Fear and self-sabotage – what happened after the first pre-sale
  • 40:50  Why Chris doesn’t build his own software even though he knows how to code
  • 42:39  How the world is different now for Chris than 9 months ago
  • 48:07  What the Chris of now would say to the Chris before The Foundation

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Show Notes

Podcast transcript

Starting from Nothing – The Foundation Podcast Guest Name Interview – Chris Wackerman 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. Guys, welcome. Thank you for listening. Today we have with us Chris Wackerman. Chris is one of the top students, from last year’s class, in The Foundation. He presold over $25,000 worth of revenue for his software company, Data Patrol. Also booked another $20,000, or more, in consulting while his time at The Foundation. What we’re going to share with you today is a little bit of the nitty-gritty about step-by-step how he did it. But also, we’re going to share how he went to one conference, before he joined The Foundation, and left it feeling like there was no opportunity in consulting, like he wanted to get out of it entirely, to going back to that exact same conference a few months later and going back to it a second time and having that conference being responsible for over — almost $50,000 in sales that he got during his time at The Foundation. So, Chris, dude, welcome to the show. Thank you for coming back on with us. I appreciate … Chris: Yeah. Thanks, Andy. Yeah. It’s great to be here. Andy: And why I say “back on with us,” Chris and I did a hangout last Friday at about 7PMmy time slash 3AM his time over in Europe. So, yeah, dude. Thanks for coming on and sharing your story in the podcast. Chris: Yeah, no problem. I prefer this to the hanging. Andy: Yeah, 11 … Chris: It’s a lot better just talking with you. Andy: 11PM is a little bit better for you. (Laughs) Chris: Yeah, yeah. Andy: So, dude, tell me — we know that you did an incredible job with your six months in The Foundation, take me back to the conference that you were at. Tell me a little bit about what the conference was and what your experience like it was. Experience out it was. Chris: Okay. Yeah. The conference was a pretty big deal for me because I viewed it as — It was supposed to save me from this crisis that I was going through. I had been doing IT consulting for associations for about ten years. I’ve been doing really well; I was making really good money. I mean if you just look at it, it doesn’t sound that bad but it’s kind of hard to describe what it was like for me. Andy: Try and describe it. Chris: Yeah. If you look at it, the business is great because I had kind of location independence. I couldn’t completely set my own schedule when I could. I wasn’t tied to a desk or to a job. I had a handful of clients but they’re big clients and they are very loyal so I didn’t have problems with cash flow or anything like that — what consultants normally run into or freelancers. Just looking at it it was great but, like, one day around August, I just woke up and I just didn’t want to do it anymore. It was kind of a scary thing for me because it kind of came out of nowhere. It was so debilitating. I would wake up and work that used to be really easy for me was really difficult and I could just barely get through it. The clients that I loved and enjoyed working with, they kind of started to annoy me. If they would call and ask for something, I would almost get angry. They’re like saying, “Hey Chris, we need your help. We want to pay you for it,” but I’m just like, “Why are you bothering me?” Probably the most troubling thing was just the lack of energy. My days just drained me completely. And it’s weird because it wasn’t really the work, it was like something around the work that started to wear me down. So I would get home at 6 o’clock, 5 or 6 o’clock and just not really be able to pay attention to my kids really, my boys, or play with them. I would just try to get them into bed so I could just kind of zone out. It was scary. My solution was I need more clients and I need more money. In my mind I was like, hey, that’s crazy, right? I’m like give me exactly more of the thing. Give me exactly what I have and that will solve it. Anyway, I registered for this conference and it’s a big one. It’s the biggest in my industry and it has to do with a certain type of software that most associations use. It sounds weird but I had never been to a conference in my entire ten years of doing business because I had never needed to. I’d always gotten business from referrals or word of mouth. So I didn’t really know what to expect but I went prepared. I spent a lot of time preparing, I got my [unclear 00:05:12] just right, I had a designer design business cards, I had them printed out on, like, the best stock you could find. They were so heavy and just beautiful. I printed out like 500 of these cards and my plan was just to go there, network the hell out of the event, pick up some new business. I’ll never forget the first day, I got there in the morning, I went in to sign in, it was like a big registration hall and I walked in. At one end there’s a table where they have all the badges and everything. But the rest of the room was filled with tables too. I was like, “Oh, what’s going on here?” I started looking around and, like, on these tables were, like, these beautiful brochures in displays and there’s all the swag everywhere, like, stress balls and whatever kind of stuff people hand out. I was like “What is this?” I look behind and it was just full of other consultants just like me. I knew there would be competition there but it just crushed me in that moment. So I remember feeling this is not me. If I have to go and stand behind one of those tables, I don’t want to do it. It’s just not who I am. I had a lot of feelings. I don’t belong here, they’re better than me. The most troubling feeling was that I didn’t want to do it. At that time I didn’t really accept that thought because it would mean I have to give up what I am doing and that was just a scary thing for me. Yeah, that was at conference. When that happened I went up to my room, I took my website down, I threw all my business cards in the trash. I went back down and kind of suffered through a couple of days; went away from that with nothing really. I met maybe two people while I was there. I think I maybe — yeah, just two contacts and I came out of that with those two contacts and just the program guide for the conference is what I walked away with. Andy: When was this? What year is this? Chris: That was last year in October. Andy: October. So, right as we’re getting started. We started in November. Chris: Yeah, yeah. So I was, like, gearing up. I knew about The Foundation then but I don’t remember the exact timeline. But I don’t think I really fully applied until I got back from that conference. Yeah. Yeah. I just walked away and I felt hopeless. I thought there’s no way out of this situation. I can’t quit because I had a family and I couldn’t just start over, I couldn’t go back to school. Not that I wanted to but I couldn’t really just give up and start something new. I gotten hooked on the money I was making which was good. It’s kind of hard to downgrade your income. Andy: Yeah. Chris: Also, just a thought. Really the thought of throwing away ten years worth of work was really depressing. So that’s where I was when I came back and I think that’s when I heard Carl’s podcast on Smart Passive Income and that’s when I jumped in The Foundation. Andy: How many kids do you have? Chris: I have two. Andy: Two? Chris: I have a four-year old boy, Alex, and a two-year old, Dylan. Andy: Badass. Chris: Yeah. Yeah. Andy: Awesome. Chris: Yeah. Andy: That’s awesome. It definitely makes it more challenging. Chris: Yeah, yeah. It brings up all of these weird thoughts that I never had. That may have been part of what hit me is that you start to think about: one, what kind of legacy am I going to leave behind for my boys. But not only that, I started to get concerned with what they saw me. Like what model as a father am I giving them just by coming home at 5 o’clock and not having any energy; just constantly complaining about my work. Andy: Oh, wow. Chris: I started to become really aware of that and worried about it. Andy: Wow! So this is October of last year. What happens next? Chris: I started looking for quick ways out. That involves, like, a lot of the — looking for how to make money online. But like I said, I ran into the podcast with Carl and when I heard Carl tell his story — I knew about The Foundation already but I kind of filed it away. It didn’t really seem like something I needed to do. But when I heard Carl tell his story, I just thought The Foundation is real. I can do it and I can also take a lot of the skills that I had picked up doing IT work for ten years and kind of put that in The Foundation. So my plan was I’m going to use the Foundation to force me to build a SaaS product in six months. At the end I’ll drop my consulting business off a cliff and I’ll just have that to start me down a new path. Yeah, I just had no idea what I was in store for. So that was my plan. Andy: Nice. So that was the plan. What actually happened? Chris: So it opened with the mindset module. I didn’t really know what to expect in there. I went into it kind of excited. I don’t know. That module is just loaded with so many different things that jumped out. What’s neat about it is I think there’s a lot of things that speak to different people. To me, like, you started talking about this green glasses concept where when you start to look around there’s really opportunity everywhere. That kind of started to shift my thinking about my situation a little bit. I went to the limiting beliefs exercises but it didn’t really speak to me that much. I either kind of, like, rephrased what other people had said or wrote down limiting beliefs that were kind of actually true. But then I hit on the — it was called Discovering Your Why webinars. It’s called a lot of different things: Definite Major Purpose or Your Purpose or Your Why or Your Life’s Task, that thing. But it was about that and that just totally grabs me. When I pushed play on that, my little world around me just stopped. Because I realized that that was the reason — I was hearing them tell me the reason why I had gone through sort of this breaking point a few months before and the reason was this. So this why, this definite major purpose, like it’s this — this force that lives inside all of us and it’s what makes it … Well, actually, have you ever heard of Robert Greene? He wrote a book called Mastery. Andy: Yeah. And 48 Laws of Power. Chris: Yeah, 33 Strategies of War. He actually talks about why in his book Mastery but he calls it something different. He calls it a life’s task. I like the way he describes it because he says that we’re a 100% unique. Our DNA, and who we are, our abilities, what makes us strange and weird and what we like, it’s completely unique to us. It kind of determines what we’re drawn to as children. Some kids like to do puzzles or whatever and some kids [unclear 00:12:50] art. As we grow up, we’re slowly removed from this uniqueness. We’re told “Hey, you need to do this in school. Maybe you’re good at drawing but you need to do this instead.” Our parents start to say, “Hey, you’ll never make a living drawing.” We’re slowly kind of separated from who we are actually and what our purpose is and that’s exactly what had happened to me. I had to start working when I was 16 part-time just to kind of have money for my car and stuff like that. From a very early age, like my focus became about making money. So when I graduated from college, started my business and had been focusing on that. Ten years later I was starting to feel that something wasn’t right. In the mindset module, by working well with Peter and Nicola who — they were in there — I was able to kind of go back to my childhood and figure out what I was like before I got kind of separated from that. And then use that as a tool to figure out kind of, like, what my purposes and what my life’s task is. Like what I’m supposed to focus on and do. Andy: So, how does this apply to you making money? Here’s what I imagined. Here’s what I imagine that if I’m listening. I’m like, “Oh, that sounds all great. But I want to build a company.” How does it tie in? Isn’t that just a bunch of, like, just woo-woo feel goodness? How does that affect what you want to create? Chris: Yeah, yeah. So that’s a great question. That’s what it sounds like. Well, the first thing that happened is when I discovered my why, my purpose, that — So I realize that my why is to transform confusion into clarity. That’s what I’m supposed to do. The thing that I like so much about this definite major purpose thing is that it doesn’t, like, lock you in to doing one thing. You know what I mean? Not like you get a job as an engineer and you have to do that the rest of your life? Andy: Yeah. Chris: It’s like you can find different ways to align with it and make it happen as you grow as a person. That’s really exciting about it. When I found that, I looked back over the last ten years and I realized that the times that I was the most happiest, the most engaged with my work was when I was doing that; when I was creating that moment of confusion and clarity for my clients. In doing IT, there’s a lot of opportunities to do that. People get confused about technology stuff all the time and I remember calls with clients where in five minutes they had completely understood something that they were totally confused and stressed about. So I realized that actually consulting is the right thing for me because I can — I have so many different opportunities and ways to do that, it’s just that I need to focus on that and not focus on just the money part. When you just focus on the money, you just tend to take any project that comes to the door whether you care about it or not and you end up in all kinds of trouble, right? Andy: Yeah. Chris: Yeah. So the first thing is that for my business, it helped me understand I don’t have to start over. That I can actually go back to what I was doing although with sort of this new perspective of — that I need to approach it this way and I need to pay close attention to when I sort of get out of alignment with that purpose, right? So if I start to feel that energy be drained again or something doesn’t feel right, I need to focus back on it. I don’t want to say it’s magical but it was. It just made things so much easier. I started to see opportunities where I didn’t see them before. When I joined The Foundation, like I said, my plan was really to start from nothing. Just go in, pick an industry like real estate agents or whatever and just completely go from the beginning. But what I got in the mindset module is like I got permission to kind of take a good look at what I have and realize that, hey, you’re not starting from nothing, you’re starting with something. You’re actually starting with a lot. Pick up what’s right for you and then move forward from there. Yeah, I don’t know. Andy: What’s an opportunity that came after you had the shift? What’s something that came up for you even if it seems like magic? Chris: Yeah, so the first — let’s see. The first opportunity. It became really easy for me to do kind of get into idea extraction and to get reach out to people because I decided that it’s okay for me to go through The Foundation in my industry that I had already been working in and that I didn’t have to start over like kind of leverage. So I decided to stick with the industry that I’ve been doing IT consulting for and that helped me a lot because I was a little bit known, I had a reputation, and I could kind of leverage that and it kind of got me going fast. Andy: Just to chime in really quickly. If you’re listening right now, I notice it’s even a pattern with me is that when I get off, when I get disconnected from purpose or when I get disconnected from our customers or I get disconnected from my actual why of what we’re doing, I start looking for other businesses. I was like, “Man, The Foundation is great but, man, if I had a t-shirt company, that would …” My friend was building a t-shirt company with [RF 00:19:10] and I loved it. I was like, “Man, I would really like to do that.” But it’s actually what I’m realizing it’s a symptom of being off of purpose. So if you’re listening, you can hear in Chris’ story of, like, you know, he thought he wanted to go to a totally different industry and start from scratch but it was actually just a disconnection from why. When he tied that back together, all of the opportunities started showing up again. Chris: Oh man, that is so true. Like even recently I got kind of misaligned a little bit and was doing some, like, busy work project. Andy: Yeah. Chris: I found myself googling how to do e-books or just all this weird stuff. Andy: Yeah. Chris: It’s like you want to make that money or something, just to do something different. Yeah. Andy: Totally. Chris: Yeah, it’s totally true. Yeah. Yeah. I guess when I kind of got figured out that I could just sort of be who I was and then … Another thing I needed, and my coach Marco helped me with this, is that I really needed permission to stick with my industry. Because going into The Foundation, there’s a lot of this starting from nothing thing and Dane warns against doing idea extraction just in something that you’re in because you don’t want to just do what feels comfortable to you, right? So I struggled with that a little bit. I sort of felt like I wasn’t allowed to go through The Foundation in what I was already part of. Marco was like, “What are you talking about? You can do that.” He was like, “It’s okay for you to do that as long as you don’t just stick in your comfort zone,” right? So he encouraged me to do things that kind of pushed me outside of my comfort area. What I did is, you know, that conference where I felt that there was no opportunity, I walked away with that with the program guide which had the contact information for all of the people who were there. So I had a list of 350 people that I had been at the conference too and I started doing emailing them and asking them to setup the idea extraction calls. I guess another way that opportunities came up is that before I would do the calls, I would just sort of center myself around my purpose a little bit. Just think about a little bit. My purpose is to transform confusion into clarity. I don’t know how but it really set the tone for the calls. I don’t know if it’s an energy that they felt or just put me in the right state of mind but the calls were good. So, in one call, we were talking through some projects that this woman I was talking to — projects that she had lined up for the year. She started talking about one project that she was very stressed about. She said it was due April 30th and she didn’t know if it could be done by then and she was very confused about the whole thing. It just happened to be a project that I had gone a similar — I had been through similar projects a couple times. So I just kind of put idea extraction aside and I spent an hour or so just helping her as much as I could; answering every question she had about that. At the end of the call she offered to pay me for the call. I was like, “Wow! That was amazing.” I told her no, she owed me an idea extraction. That’s the call that turned into $20,000 worth of consulting. Before The Foundation, I had not had a new client in about five years. Andy: Whoa! Chris: Yeah. I had just been working with the same people over and over again. I was so amazed by it because I didn’t — and proud, too, because I didn’t go to the conference and print my name on a stress ball and say, “Hey, I’m Chris Wackerman and I do these services.” I reached out to someone and sort of the spirit of idea extraction, I sort of connected with her around my why and then it resulted in this amazing opportunity. For me, that’s a clear example of opportunity that came … Andy: Wow! Chris: …through alignment. Yeah. Andy: So it was really just following that, like, ping of like, “Alright, I’m going to email people and …” Like you’re feeling her in pain and just, like, helping her, you know, without any sort of “This is what I want in return” or anything like that. It’s like “Here, I’m just going to give first and see what happens.” Chris: Yeah. And it’s also — kind of it just says how powerful idea extraction can be. So, I didn’t do a lot of idea extraction calls because I didn’t have to. But my experience with idea extraction in my industry is that no one had reached out to my industry in the spirit of, “Hey, I want to understand what you’re struggling with and help you.” The response I got to that — the little response I did was huge. They were just not used to being reached out to in that way. The way I described it to myself it’s like — Yeah, I reached out to them in kind of the spirit of helping them, they could sense that, and it also kind of taught me or showed me that the result of idea extraction is not always a software product, right? The problems that come up cannot always be solved by SaaS which creates this amazing opportunity for all these other things like consulting. I don’t know. For other people, its other things like an e-book opportunity or info product, I don’t know. It is incredible how powerful idea extraction can be. So, yup. Andy: Beautiful, man. It’s so true. It’s so true. How did you get the idea for the software product? Chris: Okay. So that one on my second idea extraction call which was — So my first two idea extraction calls were not very good, the second one was not good because the call was late at night. About five minutes into the call, my son was in the other room, he started to cry because he had an ear infection. He was sick. My wife’s back there trying to quiet him down and he cried for an hour. Okay? Ear infections are painful so she could not calm him down. So I basically have my thumb over the receiver the whole time so he couldn’t hear. The guy just thought I was an amazing listener because I just like, “Yup, yup. Oh, wow, that’s …” He really unloaded because we were talking about that software that the associations used and he had a lot to complain about. But during that call, he brought up how he and his staff had spent, like, a hundred hours on data quality issues in the last three months or a certain number of months. As soon as I heard that, my radar went off because one of the sessions that I went to at that conference was about poor data quality. It was just a packed session. If I could just give one advice to people listening is that when you pick an industry to go into, try to go to a conference in that industry or try to find a conference that’s held for that industry because the sessions usually revolve around what that industry is struggling with. You can also make contacts and you can get pain idea. So, anyway, when he said that I was like, “Hey, I was in that session. It was packed. I felt like they did a really good job of kind of describing the problem but they didn’t really have any solution for it.” So when I heard him say that I thought, “Well, this is interesting. I know a little bit about data quality. I know about data bases. I’ve been working with them for a long time and I had some ideas on what the problem was.” What I did is I immediately tried to start validating that idea. The way that I did that is that when I started to do — send out emails after that — I experimented a little bit and instead of just saying, “Hey, do you want to chat about problems that you’re facing maybe with a chance for me to build a solution?” I actually mentioned data quality as a problem. I thought if somebody response to that, that’s like a little validation that that’s a problem, right? So it’s like a little step up of validation. I also did other things. I did the Survey Monkey survey where I sent that out asking about data quality just to gauge, like, if anybody — Yeah, if anybody would respond to it and they did. Another thing I did to validate the idea is I did this for kind of, like, thought leaders in my industry. I found a blog by another consultant who had been doing this blog for about ten years — no. The last seven years, he had done an industry survey which is one question which was what’s the biggest problem that your association is facing? He had the results for the last seven years posted on his blog. And every year, number one and number two was data quality. On the one hand, I was super excited because I thought, “Okay, I’m on to something,” but on the other hand I was like, “I’ve only really done a couple of idea extraction calls. I don’t really know if this thing is real or not.” I think I ended up doing about seven idea extraction calls total. All kind of revolving — After that second call, all of them revolving around this data quality issue. And then I didn’t really know where to go from there. So I had another call, my coach Marco, and I told him. I was like, “You know, I have this client that I’ve been working with for a long time; we have a great relationship. I know that he is facing this problem. I think if I called him and asked him for a presale tomorrow he would say yes.” And so Marco’s like “Do it. Why aren’t you doing it?” He is like, “Dane went to his uncle to get his first presale,” so he’s like “There’s nothing wrong with doing that.” So I did. I called him the next day. I explained the problem. Or I hadn’t talk about the problem and kind of my idea for the solution and I got a $6500 presale. Andy: Damn! Chris: Yeah. It was awesome. You would think as me being a consultant for so long I would be used to asking for money, but not really, because I’ve been working with the same clients. It’s kind of different when you do a consulting project because they’re asking for you to solve very specific problem and they’re happy to pay you. Andy: Yeah. Chris: But with software, it’s a little different plus it had been built and I did it. He asked me how much it was during the call — I didn’t have an info pack or anything yet — and I said $199 a month and he goes “Okay, I’ll do one year.” And I was like, “No, it’s not really what I want.” I was like “I want you to do two years and I want you to pay me 6500.” He kind of was like “I don’t really know.” And I said, “What if I throw four hours of consulting for you personally? Meaning that whatever you want, I’ll consult you on. It doesn’t have to be for your company where you work.” And he said, “Done.” I ended up teaching him how to use WordPress — that was four hours. Yeah. So that was pretty awesome. That was my first presale. That was in January. That was about seven weeks after everything really started. Andy: Beautiful, man. Seven weeks. Chris: Yeah. Andy: What’s so fun, I think, guys listening is that what happens is there’s, like, progress and then there’s fear, and progress and fear, and progress and fear, and it tends to be a pattern. There’s like the progress of getting the idea and in the fear of like, “Oh, it’s data quality, everybody has this. I don’t know if this is right or wrong.” And there’s progress of getting your first sale. And then generally what happens if it’s somebody that’s close to you, the fear that comes up it’s like, “Well, he just did it because he liked me and he knows me and like I don’t know if I can actually do this.” So you got your first sale, what happened next for you? Chris: Yeah. So I will say though, I remember clearly the moment after that sale. It was, like, a ball of energy from my stomach radiated out through my whole body. I just felt, like, my body chemistry changed at that moment. It was so awesome. Andy: Yeah. Chris: Because I was like “This works. This works.” That’s what I was just kept saying to myself. Andy: It’s so true. It’s like “Holy cow! This is incredible.” Chris: Because you hear the stories but when it happens, it’s different. Andy: Yeah, very much. Chris: Yeah. So I posted to Facebook, The Foundation group, and everybody responded. I was, like, on top of the world. And then a couple of days later, exactly what you said, I thought this is not real. Andy: Yeah. Chris: It’s like “Shit! He did it because he felt he owed me a favor. Because I had gone over and above for him for many years in different ways; that he just is doing it because of that.” And then other things started to creep in like, “Oh no, this is not a real problem. I haven’t validated it enough. The solution I came up with is not really either.” Yeah, that hit me pretty hard. That was in February and February was a dark month because it was — So I had this great thing in the mindset module where I was aligned. It was when I found my purpose and kind of aligned with it. And then I had this idea, and then I had the presale, and then in February, it was just complete — being stuck. No real progress. At that point, I think, the module was system design or sketching the solution. I don’t know what it’s called. Andy: Yeah. Chris: Yeah. So I thought, “Okay, I have to do this 100%.” I told myself, “I’m going to sketch out every label. Every piece of text in my solution, I’m going to get it all down on paper,” right? And it would have taken forever. It was taking forever. Plus, I didn’t really want to do it at that point. So, on the one hand I said I’m making progress but really I was not. So I was just not really moving forward. At the end of the month, I had my call with Marco and he asked me how things were going. I was honest with him, I didn’t really know what’s happening to me but I said “I’m stuck.” He’s like, “Well, why aren’t you pre-selling?” and I just started — I still can, like, hear my own voice answering that question. I just started whining. I was like, “I don’t really know what to do. I don’t understand.” Andy: (Laughs) Yeah. Chris: I was like, “I don’t know who to call.” And he was like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa.” He’s like, “It sounds a little, like, self-sabotage.” He’s like, “Really, what’s going on? Why aren’t you making the calls?” I just immediately answered I was like “Because I’m afraid I’m going to get another presale.” It’s so weird because it just didn’t occur to me until I talked to him. I couldn’t see it. There’s no way for me to understand what was happening. So, I was afraid I would get another presale because then it would make it real. Up until then I could use the excuse, that presale was just because the guy knew me. Second presale, if it’s real, it means it’s a real problem, a real solution, and I’ll have to build it and my life will change. What was so bizarre is that that’s exactly what I wanted but I just was, like, not letting myself have it. Andy: Guys, it’s so interesting if you’re listening. Chris, I’m so wrapped up into your story right now because it’s — It’s so interesting because there’s patterns that we see in the stories but you don’t know it until you actually live it and you actually go through it and you experience it. One common pattern that we see is that we tend to procrastinate on stuff where we have some sort of unconscious limiting belief that’s holding us back. And unless you have accountability in your life either, like, a mastermind or a coach or somebody who can actually see where you’re going and what’s stopping you, you don’t have the reflections to see what you need to see and then you just keep procrastinating not being able to see what it is that’s actually holding you back. So props to Marco for — well, props to you for bringing it to him and then for him for pointing it out and calling it out the way that he see in it. That’s awesome. Chris: Yeah. Yeah, it was amazing. Before I joined The Foundation, I listened to every podcast I could with Dane and he did one with Jaime Tardy from Eventual Millionaire. Andy: Yeah. Chris: I think this was during the second year. Andy: Yup. Chris: She made a comment about how tired he looked and he was like explaining why. And he said there are six modules in The Foundation and there’s 250, how many ever, entrepreneurs going through it and they get stuck on every module. When he said that I was like, “No, that’s not going to happen to me, right? I’m going to go through the modules. I’m not going to need any help.” Yeah, sure enough, every module I got stuck on something. (Laughs) Andy: (Laughs) Beautiful. It’s so cool. I think it’s so neat. It’s meant to be that way because what happens is once you go through it once, like, dude, you do the entire Foundation again in a fraction of the time because you have the emotional understanding of it. You’ve been through it, you know what it’s like, you know where the sabotage is holding you back. It’s awesome. Chris: Yeah. And another key thing that I learn, like, a subtle shift that I didn’t realize at the time is that — In The foundation, you learn how to reach out for help. That’s something I know how to do now. I didn’t know that before. I didn’t really know how to reach out for help and I was stuck. I think that’s another reason why now things go so much smoother for me is because if I get stuck I can say “Hey, I’m stuck. I need to reach out to someone.” Yeah, after Marco kind of brought that up and we said it, there was another kind of fear. So I had all these consulting agreements and I had to make kind of important call to make sure that one of my biggest clients was okay with me kind of building this product. I don’t know why I had that fear but he told me to get on and schedule the call. Again, I did it the next day. I sort of got that permission that I needed to move forward. And so I jumped into preselling and it was incredible. So through March and half of April, I just went through like a whirlwind presale thing and I presold an additional 19,000 and it was like one of the best times. It was so much fun. Compared to idea extraction, pre-selling is amazing. What really helped me the most — and that was actually Josh Isaak’s pre-selling report. Andy: Yeah. Chris: It wasn’t clear to me how to get the info pack together and how to include the pricing and ask for the money. Those are a lot of things that I think people stress over and it kind of holds them back. But reading his report, looking at the other sample info packs, I figured it out. What I learned from him, basically, it was just key, like, a mindset shift was that you’re not really asking for money, you’re just asking for feedback. Getting money is like the highest form of feedback. He also said like, “It might take you up to three calls to close a presale with a person.” In some cases, it did for me. But just knowing that just set my expectation and how to approach it. Yeah, it was awesome. Andy: Beautiful. So March, April, focus [unclear 00:40:20] and pre-selling. Foundation ends in end of May. When did you start building? Chris: Well, so that I started building — after the live event. Andy: Yeah? Chris: Yeah, yeah, yeah. What’s that? Andy: Our live event was in June for listeners. So pre-selling, March and April, and then started building end of June. Chris: Yeah, yeah. Andy: Cool. How’s that been? Chris: That’s been good. That’s also challenging just because — I know how to build software and the temptation is just to do it all myself. Actually, the live event help me a lot with that because I met people who kind of — Before the live event, I went in telling myself, “I’m going to build this whole thing myself 100%,” and then I met people at the live event who were like, “No, no, no. You don’t want to do that.” And so I came away from that. So, yeah, it’s in development right now. It’s going well. It’s going to launch September 23rd. Andy: There’s a giant fear at The Foundation of like, “Oh, I don’t know software. It’s not for me.” Why aren’t you developing it yourself? What’s the rationale or reasoning?” Chris: Why wouldn’t I build up myself? Andy: Yeah. Because you know how to. Chris: Yeah, I know how. So I would always say it’s better to know not how to code. That it’s an advantage to not have the knowledge because it takes time, it just takes time. No matter how simple the solution is, it just takes hours and hours of getting it right. And so diving in and doing it myself, that would be all I would be doing. That’s not really aligned with who I am. I don’t churn out code anymore and that’s not what makes me happy. Andy: It’s so cool. It’s so cool, like, how that mindset shift is so natural for you and for some people that’s such a giant — like they’ll hear that and be like, “What? How is that possible? To have a software company and not know how to write code, how is that an advantage?” But it really is. Chris: Yeah, yeah. Because it just forces you to learn how to do that. I would say learning how to manage a developer and a project, such a valuable skill. Andy: Totally. Chris: It’s way more valuable than knowing how to code. Andy: Totally. Totally, totally. It’s August now. October, we started November nine months ago. What’s the different in the way that you see the world? How is it different for you nine months later? Chris: Yeah, that’s a really good question. It’s funny because some people have been contacting me who were thinking about applying for Foundation, this August class. Andy: Yup. Chris: Well, for one thing, it’s like hard to remember who I was. I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced that but when you go through big shifts, like you forget what you were like. Andy: Yeah. Chris: Talking to these people who — the questions that they’re asking and things that they’re thinking about, like, just is a good marker for me like how far I’ve come, right? Andy: Yeah. Do you have any example that stands out? Chris: Well, there’s a lot of questions about — Oh, yeah. So what was one? So I was chatting with a guy actually, I think, on Monday — Sorry, I’m drawing a blank. So his question was why do you think so few people were successful? Why do you think that you were successful but so few were? That just seem like a weird … I wanted to tell him that the metric that you’re using in The Foundation for success, like, one paying customer and all that, it doesn’t fully capture everything that happens or what might be success for some people. Does that make sense? Anyway, it’s just the focus on am I going to — Here it is, here it is. It’s the focus on am I going to have all of these things when I end The Foundation? Am I going to have a business? Am I going to have a customer? Am I going to have this or that? I think my focus more is now a little bit more on the being part of things which results in more having. I don’t know. Andy: So interesting, right? Chris: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. That’s a really big shift for me. Myself, nine months ago, I didn’t know how to reach out and connect with anyone, now I know how to do that. I didn’t believe that there’s any opportunity for me anywhere. Now I really believe that — If I just had to start over from, like, literally start from nothing, then I could. So I’ve seen idea extraction work and I know that it would be a hustle, it would be hard work, but I could make it happen. That’s just given me a freedom that I have not had in a long time. I worry I’ve been in business for myself for ten years, my biggest fear is what happens if my consulting folds and I have to get a job. How am I going to support my family? I don’t really have those fears anymore. It used to be constantly on my mind, like a lot. I’m still a work in progress, right? This stuff takes work. Yeah. Constantly, kind of fall back into old ways. Andy: It’s so fascinating because — What happens, if you’re listening, the shifts that you make in The Foundation are shifts that you’re core. They’re shifts that the identity base level which is even — you’re beliefs are just — The beliefs that you have about the world or about yourself are just, like, thoughts that you thought over and over. They get engrained in you which is where identity comes from. When you make shifts to that depth of, like, that deep of a level it just takes time, you know? I love what you said about when you become a different person, you actually forget who you were and how you used to think about things, and then you’ll interact with somebody who is operating kind of at the level you’re operating. You’re like “Oh my God! I used to do this.” Chris: Yeah, yeah. Andy: It’s so fascinating working with coaches or coaching people for a long time because what will happen is they won’t even remember where they started, you know? It will be, like, three months ago they’ll be a completely different person but they won’t be able to relate to it because they’ll have forgot. It’s actually, like, it comes out of your conscious mind. Everything is engrained at your subconscious and you just can’t tell anymore. Chris: Yeah. Andy: If you’re listening, it’s August when we’re recording this. We opened The Foundation up for a day and sold out all 120 spots in 24 hours so we won’t be opening again for a while. It won’t be a year this time, like last time. We’ll probably do something towards the end of this year, beginning of next year. If you’re interested in being part of that, go to thefoundation.com/apply and apply and we’ll have somebody get back to you and let you know when that actually happens. Last question. If you’re talking to somebody who is thinking about it, or even talking to yourself a year ago, what do you think you needed to hear a year ago that you know now that you didn’t know then? Chris: One thing that I needed to hear. Andy: Yeah. Something you know now that in hindsight you’re like, “Man, I wish I really would have known that nine months ago.” Chris: Yeah. Well, the biggest thing that I needed to hear, just because of where I was at that point in my life, is that it’s not about the money. It’s just absolutely not about the money. That’s easy for me to say because I was 36 and I had many years of making money. That might not be what someone who has no money needs to hear but — Well, maybe it is. It is actually. The money will come when you’re right and with yourself. So, yeah, that’s what I needed to hear. Andy: Beautifully put, man. Chris: Yeah. Andy: If people want to reach out to you and if they have questions or anything they want to follow up on, where can they get a hold of you? Chris: Yeah, just email. So, chris.wackerman@gmail.com. Andy: Chris.wackerman@gmail.com. We’ll put that in the show notes if any of you are listening. Show notes are just at thefoundationpodcast.com. Chris, dude, thank you so much, man. Thank you for doing the hangout last Friday at 3 in the morning. Thank you for coming on at 11 o’clock at night or midnight now and doing this. Your story is absolutely incredible. I think a lot of people are going to benefit from it. So, thank you. Chris: Great. Yeah, thanks Andy. That was fun. Andy: Yeah. And if you guys liked it, please shoot email to Chris. Let him know what you liked. With that, we are out. Catch you guys next time. Closing: Thank you for joining us. 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