The Founders Mentality
MEET THE HOST
My current business SalesReach.io was formed in 2017 and is a SaaS based sales acceleration and enablement tool for business development representatives. I was able to raise $275k pre-product, pre-revenue to fund the initial growth and closed our Seed round 12 months later at a 5M valuation bringing in another 625K to accelerate development efforts for integrations.
Entrepreneurship is my life blood. I hope this series encourages others that have been considering taking the plunge to go for it. It's an incredible experience every time.
This series was inspired by my own journey of building my current business. In an effort to minimize risk, I decided to reach out to inspiring local business leaders for informal meetings in the hopes of learning the things I didn't know. What I found was a wealth of knowledge that has made every difference for me personally. I hope that all listeners can find the same answers and inspiration that I found through the shows.
Founder of SalesReach.io | Host of ``The Founders Mentality``
Taking the Hard Way (Sometimes the Best Way)
In Episode 20 “Taking the Hard Way (Sometimes the Right Way)” Josh is joined by Charlie Youakim, Co-Founder of Sezzle.
A two-time founder, Charlie discusses what he learned from some of the hardships of his first business and how he applied that knowledge when launching his new company Sezzle.
Additionally, Josh and Charlie discuss the importance in giving your team the ability to access shares to help fund future growth in Minnesota, their epic growth at Sezzle including a recent IPO in Australia and what the future of the company looks like. Spoiler, the future is looking good on this one.
Get ready to learn from one of the FinTech future giants helping to put MN Tech on the map.
When the Idea Hits (Courage, Ambition & Crazy)
Jesse Okiror & Simon Okiror
In Episode 19 “When the Idea Hits” Josh is joined by brothers Jesse & Simon Okiror, the co-founders of Suprabook.
As a litigation attorney, Jesse identified a challenge that not most, but all other litigation attorneys were struggling with. Proper document storage and distribution during cases. The current process requires printing and sorting in multiples of case relevant materials for every case to be prepared in physical binders. This is not only tedious, but incredibly unnecessary in our current digital world.
The only thing standing in the way was the lack of an actual digital tool purpose built for this need. That’s when the idea hit.
Jesse reached out to his brother Simon for marketing assistance, which quickly turned into the decision by them both to take the plunge into entrepreneurship together.
Suprabook has quickly made waves in the legal tech space securing not only their first clients but also attracting investors and now a third member to help grow this rocket ship.
Listen to their story, these are two good guys on the verge of something great.
Finding Your Window
Meredith Kathleen Neumann, MS, LMFT
In Episode 18 “Finding Your Window” Josh is joined by the founder of Scaling Within, Meredith Kathleen Neumann, MS, LMFT.
As a licensed therapist with 10 years experience, Meredith helps entrepreneurs and business leaders identify and overcome barriers, access their inner potential and turn challenges into opportunities for success.
Josh and Kathleen discuss the creation story around her business, as well as the learnings she has from her work with a myriad of “kings of industry”.
This is the perfect episode to remind all of us Founders/CEO’s that we are not alone (even though we may feel that way many times).
In Episode 17 “Supernova CEO” Josh is joined by Jon Pearce of Zipnosis.
Do you know yourself?
One key trait both Jon and I share is the belief in owning your strengths and weaknesses and the importance in surrounding yourself with people that are capable in ways that you are not.
My personal favorite part of this episode is when Jon discusses leadership styles and the difference between a “black hole” and “Supernova” leader. Simply put, a black hole leader is great at pulling people in, but a Supernova leader creates stars.
We should all aspire to be Supernova leaders to our teams.
Listen to the end when we give a shout to some of our favorite local founder inspirations.
More Than One Way
In Episode 16 “More Than One Way” Josh is joined by Shayla Christine of YouTube fame for her Living on a One Way series. Since 2015, Shayla has been traveling full-time, posting videos of her travels every Wednesday. Today she is helping others develop their YouTube & social strategy and looking for what’s next in her career.
One thing I see many entrepreneurs struggle with is the feeling of losing ones identity when in transition. But change is something we all need to learn to embrace. At some point, we all transition away from the businesses we have built. It might be after a successful sale, a catastrophic loss of revenue, retirement or just simply because it’s time for something new. Shayla is currently in the “what’s next” process of her life, but after speaking with her I am confident that the next thing will be epic.
This is not a story of getting rich as a YouTube celebrity. This is a story of living the life you want to live. And isn’t that what we all want?
Leaving The Corporate Treadmill
The Long & Lonely Journey
In Episode 14.5 “The Long & Lonely Journey” Josh is joined by Terence Steinberg of United World Challenge who is gearing up to row a 23-foot boat 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean by himself. This journey – the United World Challenge – is his attempt to show that with the right preparation and attitude, anything is possible, even crossing an ocean using just the power and inspiration gifted to us as human beings.
The parallels between launching and running a business were immediately obvious. How many of us feel all alone in the middle of the ocean at least once a week?
Let’s help support him in his mission by donating to his GoFundMe campaign in the link below!
Rally Around Your Co-Founder
Kate Moss & Liz Wheaton
Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone
In Episode 13 “Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone” Nick & Josh catch up as Nick passes through Minnesota at the mid-way point of his 12-month world tour supporting Founders Live. Founders Live started in 2016 in Seattle to give startup founders a platform to share the businesses they are building and seek the support they need to grow. Their 99 second pitch events have become a favorite format of founders across the world ever since.
After a life change in late 2018, Nick decided to hit the road in a deliberate 12 month hiatus from his normal life to learn more about what his company has become in states and places in the world he has never been. Not previously a world traveler, this has been an incredible lesson for him both physically and mentally as he continues working towards as far-off lands as Africa on his tour schedule.
Talk about jumping off a cliff and building a plane on the way down!
Equity, Standardization & Vesting
In episode 12 “Equity, Standardization & Vesting” Chris & Josh dive into some of the legal considerations and fundraising mechanisms startups can consider while incorporating, launching and raising during their business growth. One of the big takeaways is planning for the future in every decision from day 1. Chris has been practicing for 18 years and works exclusively in startup and emerging technology for the oldest law firm in Minnesota. His resume is impressive to say the least and the knowledge shared in this 30 minutes is invaluable.
Conviction in your Strategy
In episode 11 “Conviction in your Strategy” Reed & Josh talk about accelerators, the Minnesota startup scene, startup week, building your team and losing a co-founder. Reed has had a front-row seat for the last 5 years to the Minnesota startup scene. He is a wealth of knowledge in this space and it was an absolute pleasure having him in the studio.
In episode 10 “Feeling Accountable is not Being Accountable” Kara & Josh dive into the process Kara employed to get here technology vetted and built, where her passion for helping employees/employers find the right fit came from and how personal hardships can be the fuel you need to push through and reach your goals. Kara is one serious badass with an incredible amount of strength. Her story is proof that nothing can get in your way when you have a dream and keep a laser focus on the destination.
The Sales Entrepreneur
In episode 9 “The Sales Entrepreneur” Mickeli & Josh discuss (among other things) becoming a media outlet and the impact that can have on your personal branding and sales efforts. Building trust is the number one job of any sales professional. Providing value, being seen as a thought leader and/or a credible resource to your prospects by building a media outlet around yourself is just one of the many ways to advance the sale and build your pipeline in todays environment.
In episode 8 “Be Intentional” Josh welcomes guest Clarence Bethea of Upsie. Since participating in Techstars in 2017, Upsie has been a rocket securing the customers and funding needed to disrupt the warranty industry. A beacon of grace, humility, humanity and inspiration, Clarence walks listeners through his journey from lightbulb moment to growing business and discusses what helped him get there.
I highly recommend that you watch Clarence on his Coffee & Closers episode with Mickeli Bedore first before watching this episode.
In “Growth Mindset”, the 7th Episode of The Founders Mentality, Josh and guest Garrio Harrison of Forage discuss the importance in providing mentorship to the entrepreneurial community, lessons learned from other local founders, a key trait that successful founders share (A Growth Mindset) and the lifelong pursuit of education.
It's Not All Glamorous
In “It’s Not All Glamorous”, Tyler and Josh discuss new ways to build wealth leveraging the sharing economy, the importance in building thought leadership and speaking engagements to build awareness and credibility for your business and the life long pursuit that is known as entrepreneurship. The title is a little tongue-in-cheek, but this is a seriously good conversation with a local startup legend.
Mapping Out The Process
In “Mapping Out The Process”, Thompson and Josh discuss the process of creating your minimum viable product (MVP) leveraging existing technologies, starting a business in a heavily regulated industry and being intentional with your time.
This is a perfect episode for anyone looking to leave their corporate role and chase greatness. In “Copper Bullets”, Parker and Josh will discuss where ideas come from, leaving corporate America, establishing domain expertise, building digital products and the importance of balancing family in your startup.
Muhammad Abdurrahman, PH.D.
In Episode 3 “Ideation”, Josh & Muhammad focus the discussion on ideation. Launching a business can be tough, what you do in the early days of ideation, formation and creation of your product or company is important. We’ll also talk about the personal background that lead to some of the companies Muhammad has been a part of.
In “CEO Sales”, Mitch and Josh discuss the process of raising investments, building your first team and what it should look like and your first sales as a company.
In “Testing Resilience”, Jennifer and Josh will touch upon the struggles that exist in getting your company started, imposter syndrome, knowing when to launch and the importance in giving back.