10 episodes

The Founder Mindset Podcast with Kevin Graham has interviews with successful entrepreneurs about what it took to start and grow their businesses, and what it's really like in the day-to-day of their business with a focus on online and location independent businesses.

Founder Mindset with Kevin Graham FounderMindset.com

    • Entrepreneurship

The Founder Mindset Podcast with Kevin Graham has interviews with successful entrepreneurs about what it took to start and grow their businesses, and what it's really like in the day-to-day of their business with a focus on online and location independent businesses.

    Episode 13 – Doug Cunnington – Applying Project Management to Niche Sites

    Episode 13 – Doug Cunnington – Applying Project Management to Niche Sites

    For the final episode of Season 1, I sat down with Doug Cunnington to discuss all things Amazon Affiliate and niche sites, as well as the case study that he’s running on his site at the moment, where he’s bought an aged site and all of the work on this site is being outsourced.
    Sites and Resources Mentioned:

    Niche Site Project
    Doug.Show Podcast
    Doug’s YouTube Channel
    Human Proof Designs
    Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg
    The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg


    Kevin Graham: Hey guys, Kevin Graham here and today on the podcast I have with me Doug Cunnington. Doug is a blogger who writes about building and operating online businesses. I first discovered him and his blog back in 2013 when he got a link from Niche Pursuits, who I was following very closely at the time when I was learning how to get started with making money online myself. So I'm super excited to have him on the show today and have a chat with him. Please welcome Doug Cunnington.
    Doug Cunnington: Hey Kevin, it is a pleasure to be here and I hope the coffee is going to be kicking in here pretty soon. It's a little early in the morning, but I'm pumped to talk to you.
    Kevin Graham: Yeah. I mean it's almost 9:00 at night here on my side. I've just had a massively long day. I've got like a whiskey and Coke and a bunch of water here, so I'm excited to just push through, get this amazing interview recorded and share it with our listeners next week.
    Doug Cunnington: Yeah, the whiskey and Coke sounds ... It's early enough where that doesn't even sound good to me right now.
    Kevin Graham: So for the listeners who might not know about you and your history and background, can you give us a brief rundown on who you are and what you do?
    Doug Cunnington: Sure. Right now, I have a blog, a podcast, a YouTube channel all around, Amazon affiliate marketing and some SEO. It's called Niche Site Project, if people want to check it out. And I kind of stumbled my way into making money online and internet marketing and that sort of thing. It was smart passive income. It's like the gateway drug podcast for a lot of people.
    Doug Cunnington: And I accidentally found smart passive income, listened to a bunch of episodes and within, I don't know, like a month I had like a couple of terrible sites launched that completely failed. But it was a good sort of like side hobby. I wasn't making any money at the time, but it was a good, interesting sort of technical thing for me to get into outside of my day job, which at the time was management consulting.
    Doug Cunnington: I did IT project management and it was a fine job through all external views. It's successful, but I don't know. It was one of the soul sucking sort of jobs that you hear about typical worker be, long hours, under appreciated and that sort of thing.
    Doug Cunnington: So this online marketing stuff was a great outlet. And then over time, I sort of figured out what worked, figured out what wasn't working so well. And in 2015, I got laid off from my job and at that point I was like, "This is a chance to really try, really put effort into this online marketing stuff. And that was four years ago. So I'm doing well now and really enjoy it.
    Kevin Graham: Yeah. And I was getting started around that same time of following a bunch of the stuff that Pat Flynn was talking about. He had a couple of case studies on his site as well as the stuff that Spencer from Niche Pursuits was putting out as his case studies. I had some probably equally as horrible sites. Yeah, I remember that time quite fondly. So at what point do you think it started to break through and you started to make more cash? Was that after you were laid off and went full time?
    Doug Cunnington: So I had, I guess, a typical story for a lot of Internet marketers back in the da

    • 40 min
    Episode 12 – Dan Norris – Serial Entrepreneur

    Episode 12 – Dan Norris – Serial Entrepreneur

    This week, I sat down with Dan Norris. Dan’s a serial entrepreneur from Australia’s Gold Coast and has started a number of businesses over the years. He was the founder of WP Curve, and more recently has been working on Black Hops Brewing, a craft brewery, with his two co-founders.
    In this chat, we talk about the ups and downs of running a brewery, and Dan’s career in entrepreneurship – starting a lot of businesses, closing a lot of them down (some, too early according to his peers), before eventually starting WP Curve.
    Sites and Resources Mentioned:

    Dan’s web site
    Black Hops Brewing
    Operation Brewery Podcast
    Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
    This is the Answer by Dan Norris


    Kevin Graham: Hey guys, Kevin Graham here. And today on the podcast, I have Dan Norris with me. Dan is a serial entrepreneur who's started many businesses, including WP Curve and more recently, a craft brewery in the Gold Coast in Australia called Black Hops. But to tell you a bit more about him and his story across these multiple businesses, please welcome to the show Dan Norris.
    Dan Norris: Thanks for having me, mate.
    Kevin Graham: It's good to have you on. So for the listeners who might not know about you and your current business, can you give us a brief rundown on who you are and what you're working on today?
    Dan Norris: Yeah. Well, so these days I work in a brewery called Black Hops. But most of the things I've worked on, I guess from 2006 until now, I've had my own businesses and I didn't really have any ... I guess no one has any experience as an entrepreneur before they become an entrepreneur, but I just went straight from a government job to running my own businesses and just had years and years of ups and downs. I mean, that's 13 years ago now. So over the course of 13 years, probably I'd say three things have gone well and hundreds of things have not gone well.
    Dan Norris: But yeah, the brewery has been my full-time job and life for the last three years, and that keeps me very busy now. Before then, I was sort of into online marketing and websites and that kind of stuff, which is still what I do for the brewery. But yeah, it's turned into a whole beast of a thing. It's a big local ... not a big business, but it's a business that employs 30, 40 people and is pretty full on job. My old ways of building 35 businesses at once and working out what's going to work have sort of gone away. But yeah, I'm in a happy spot right now.
    Kevin Graham: Yeah. And I would imagine that for a lot of guys, starting their own brewery is one of those projects that everyone always talks about. It would be great if we could start a brewery, but you actually went and did it. So can you tell me a bit about how that process started of starting a brewery?
    Dan Norris: Yeah, I mean it is, it's every guy's dream. To be honest, a lot of very fortunate events followed by other fortunate events. I had a business called WP Curve, which again was successful, in some ways, successful enough to sell and do quite well with it. I got to the point with that business where we had someone who was interested in buying it and while that was happening, we'd sort of built that business, me and Alex, in a way that enabled us to do other things. It was a very good business in hindsight in that respect. It sort of let us do other things.
    Dan Norris: And so I was playing around with a few other projects and so was he, and one which was probably the most unlikely for me to actually focus on was a couple of mates of mine, Eddie and Govs, were playing around with home brew and we brewed a beer that Eddie invented called the eggnog stout. And this happened towards the end of 2014, but over the course of the next few years ... I think I ended up selling the business at the end of 2016 .

    • 37 min
    Episode 11 – Adam Anderson – The Four Stages of Entrepreneurship

    Episode 11 – Adam Anderson – The Four Stages of Entrepreneurship

    On this week’s show, I sit down with Adam Anderson to talk about the 19 companies he’s started, 14 of them which have turned into what he describes as “nonprofits” (ie, companies that he lost money in).
    We discuss the four stages of entrepreneurship, some of the businesses he’s started in the past including a failed gaming cafe, as well as his new business, Hook Security.
    Sites and Resources Mentioned:

    Adam Anderson
    Adam’s Books
    Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss
    Eating the IT Elephant by Richard Hopkins
    Ready, Fire, Aim by Michael Masterson
    Built to Sell by John Warrillow


    Kevin Graham: Please welcome to the show, Adam Anderson.
    Adam Anderson: Thanks, Kevin. I'm really, really thrilled to be here. I really appreciate you giving me the opportunity to chat and share some of my stories with your community.
    Kevin Graham: For the listeners who might not know about you. Can you give us a brief rundown on who you are and what you've done across the years?
    Adam Anderson: Yeah, absolutely. So again, I'm Adam Anderson. I'm a Virgo. I like long walks on the beach. But as I'm in my 40s now, those blocks are shorter. And it's more like sitting on the beach, and having people bring me beverages. But I'm sure that's not exactly what you were talking about. The entrepreneurial journey I've taken was very unintentional. I never really planned on being one. But I always did plan on being my own boss. So I didn't know what that was when I was thinking of that. And so, I'll jump to the end of the story. At this time, I've had 19 companies, 14 of those have turned into nonprofits, meaning many failed, and I guess my primary charity I donated to were marketing people who promised me they can get me customers if only I would spend $25,000 on a marketing plan and $5,000 a month for them to launch ads for me.
    Adam Anderson: I feel like I single handedly supported the marketing community for the last 10 years. But the 14 companies that failed, that there are a couple more that didn't. I sold one cybersecurity company successfully, and I've taken that money and I have started a fund. So I have a fund called the [inaudible 00:01:30] Group Fund. I am basing my investments off of all the things I learned from Virgin Unite, hanging out with Richard Branson, and the President of Columbia, President Santos, Prime Minister [inaudible 00:01:44] and just how they have envisioned the future of the world is how I want to invest into my companies. And so, I felt the best way to put a dent in the world going forward is to create a fund that supports entrepreneurs who are thinking profit, people and planet.
    Kevin Graham: One of the things we were talking about before we hit record was that in your current selection of businesses that you're working with, rather than an owner operator model, you're doing a model where there's a CEO that's in charge of that business unit, and the CEOs report back to you. So can you tell me a bit more about that and how that all works?
    Adam Anderson: Yeah, so I had an executive coach that I hired, and he helped me think bigger and said, "What do you want to accomplish?" And I said, "Well, I want to be one of the guys who is responsible for space exploration. I want to build a space hotel." And he said, "Cool, how are you going to do that?" I said, "Well, I probably need to generate about a billion dollars a year." He said, "All right. How are you going to do that?" Well, in my mind, building that kind of company is really, really hard. But building a million dollar company is pretty easy for me. So what if I just built thousands of million dollar companies by coming up with a system that launches other companies. And so at this stage, what I'm doing is trying to discover how to scalably launch companies where I am not the

    • 42 min
    Episode 10 – Kerry Staite – Developing Products without a Formal Education

    Episode 10 – Kerry Staite – Developing Products without a Formal Education

    This week, I sat down with Kerry Staite from kLite to talk about how he developed his product, a dynamo powered light and charging system for bicycles and appearing on Shark Tank Australia.
    In the interview, we discuss:

    the challenges he’s faced with producing products while running as a lean, bootstrapped company
    redesigning the product from being battery powered to dynamo powered because of restrictions imposed by Australia Post
    dealing with copycat products
    the reasons for his decision to keep manufacturing his product in Australia
    his experience with appearing on Shark Tank Australia
    being a self taught electrical engineer with no formal training

    I hope you enjoy the episode!
    Sites and Resources Mentioned:

    Shark Tank Australia
    Silk Road Mountain Race


    Kevin Graham: Hey guys, Kevin Graham here, and today on the podcast I have Kerry Staite. Kerry's an inventor from Newcastle in Australia who invented the brightest dynamo powered bicycle light in the world. He appeared on the first season of Shark Tank, where he was trying to get an investment to bring this product to market. To tell you a bit more about the product and his story, please welcome Kerry Staite.
    Kerry Staite: Hey, I'm Kerry From K-Lite, and thank you so much Kevin for having me on. It's a pleasure to be here, and I'm really excited to tell you all about my story.
    Kevin Graham: Awesome. For the listeners who might not know about you and your current business, can you give us a brief rundown on who you are and what your company does?
    Kerry Staite: I was, for about 25 years, a professional bicycle mechanic. Part of the bicycle mechanic-ness-ship is servicing every aspect of the bike, and lot of guys ride quite far, and I got into building my own lights. Long story short, they really took off, so I started building them for friends. It got so busy I needed to start K-Lite. K-Lite got heaps busy, and I was getting so busy that I couldn't actually keep up. So I thought, hey, Shark Tank is what I should be doing.
    Kerry Staite: Long story short, I make dynamo lights for bicycles, and USB recharge systems now, and these guys ride across the country in big bike races, and I went onto Shark Tank to seek investment to move to the next step. It was a pretty amazing thing to do, a pretty amazing experience. But that's basically my quick story.
    Kevin Graham: Cool. Now, I understand what dynamo is, but maybe not all of our listeners do, so can you explain what a dynamo is and why this is an important component of this lighting and USB charging system?
    Kerry Staite: Sure. Correctly called a magneto, to be technically correct, a dynamo is in a car as well and it simply charges a battery as you move along, or as the motor moves. It is unfeasible to carry the amount of storage that we need to run our devices on a bicycle, and also on a car, so these dynamos or magnetos use the power of forward movement, or the power of your motor turning, to create power for the systems. In our case, we hide the dynamo or magento in the front hub of the bicycle. Most people wouldn't actually know it's there. It provides unlimited power, as long as you're moving, to run your lights and USB recharge.
    Kevin Graham: Right, so it's generating electricity off of the movement of the bike?
    Kerry Staite: Yeah, that's exactly right. It's quite green and quite efficient, and the systems will generally last about 10 to 20 years in life before they need to be serviced or have bearings replaced.
    Kevin Graham: Right. Now, the type of dynamo I'd only ever seen before you appeared on Shark Tank were the little ones that attach to the tire, and they really seem to suck a bunch of power out of the bike.
    Kerry Staite: Oh, I know, right? Yeah. I mean, we've always seen that Simpson cartoon when he's trying t

    • 29 min
    Episode 9 – Rachel Mazza – Shutting Down a Profitable Agency

    Episode 9 – Rachel Mazza – Shutting Down a Profitable Agency

    On this week’s episode, I’m joined by Rachel Mazza. Rachel is a copywriter who made the difficult decision in 2018 to shut down a profitable content agency that she had built, which offered a productized service that provided content designed to convert visitors into customers for affiliate sites.
    In this episode, Rachel discusses the importance of having rules of engagement for creative services like copywriting, the difficult decision she faced with shutting down the SEO Conversion Content agency and the problems of working with “lottery ticket clients”.
    Sites, Books and Resources Mentioned:

    Business of Writing Podcast
    Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson
    The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks
    Profit First by Mike Michalowicz
    Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss


    Kevin Graham: Hey, guys. Kevin Graham here, and today, on the podcast, I have a good friend of mine, Rachel Mazza. Rachel and I first met in 2014 in Chiang Mai in Thailand. We spent a bunch of time hanging out in what she likes to describe as a mosquito-ridden dive bar with puppies, so I'm super excited to have her on the show to talk about her trajectory through running a business. Please welcome Rachel Mazza.
    Rachel Mazza: Thanks for having me.
    Kevin Graham: It's my pleasure. So for the listeners who might not know about you and the business that we're going to talk about today, can you give us a brief rundown on who you are and what your company did?
    Rachel Mazza: Yes, so I am a direct response copywriter, which is just a complicated way of saying that I write words that sell stuff. Direct response is pretty self-explanatory. You drive traffic to sales copy that's specifically designed to target a particular audience, and then you get to see the direct response of those readers engaging with that copy. What I do is I work with media buyers and publishers to create long-form sales pages that we drive traffic to, and then I also work with business owners and entrepreneurs to convert higher off of their cold traffic funnels.
    Kevin Graham: Right, so your core focus these days is online businesses and online business owners. Is that right?
    Rachel Mazza: Yeah, so mostly information publishers, and then I've recently started doing direct mail, which is super fun because it's like stepping back into the '60s and '70s, which is where I originally studied all the sales copy from that time. Big famous copywriters like Gary Halbert or Gary Bencivenga, they had a copy in newspapers or things that you would mail physically to someone's house, and I'm working with some publishers in the UK that do direct mail. That's very new to me, but up until probably a month ago, it's been 100% online.
    Kevin Graham: Right, and just as a little side note as well, you actually run a podcast about this as well, so do you want to drop a quick little pitch for that in, and then we'll continue on with the interview?
    Rachel Mazza: Yeah, definitely. That's called The Business of Writing Podcast, and I host that with my cohost, Laura, who is a ghost writer. She brings the craft side of things, and I bring the sales copy side of things, and we talk about how to get paid really well as a professional writer, so that's been a lot of fun too.
    Kevin Graham: Cool, so can you tell me about how you got started in your entrepreneurial journey?
    Rachel Mazza: Yeah, so I've been working for myself now for six or seven years. Actually, before we started recording, we were trying to figure out exactly how long it's been because it's been a while now, but I got started after leaving my job. At the time, I was living in Australia and taking what I thought was a vacation to Thailand before heading home to the USA, and that's where I met you, Kevin.
    Rachel Mazza: While living in Australia, I was

    • 30 min
    Episode 8 – Alex McClafferty – Selling his Company to GoDaddy

    Episode 8 – Alex McClafferty – Selling his Company to GoDaddy

    This week, I sat down for a chat with Alex McClafferty, the co-founder of WP Curve, a subscription-based productized service that helps WordPress site owners to fix and improve their sites with unlimited 30 minute tasks, all for one low monthly fee.
    In 2016, GoDaddy acquired WP Curve and Alex joined GoDaddy to help them integrate the WP Curve service into their range of service offerings. He’s since left the company and now works as a full time coach with other founders, and is about to launch his Consultant to CEO program.
    Sites and Resources Mentioned:

    WP Curve
    Alex’s interview on Fox
    Theme Forest
    Alex’s Instagram account
    Rich Dad’s Cashflow Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaski
    The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss
    The Misbehavior of Markets by Benoit Mandelbrot and Richard Hudson


    Kevin Graham: Hey guys, Kevin Graham here and today on the podcast I have Alex McClafferty with me. Alex is a CEO coach who works with people building businesses around productized services. He was formally the co-founder of WP Curve and now blogs over at productize.co. But to tell you a bit more about him and what he's done in the past and what he's up to now, please welcome Alex McClafferty.
    Alex McClafferty: Hey, what's up man? How are you doing?
    Kevin Graham: Good. It's always good when I can have another fellow Australian on the podcast.
    Alex McClafferty: Well, where I'm at in the US I probably get asked where I'm from maybe three or four times a day. I'll tell them that I'm originally from near Sydney and then I'll get some random questions about kangaroos or my favorite beach. It's good to reconnect to the motherland. It's nice.
    Kevin Graham: Right. So now that we've had that little diversion, the listeners who might not know about you and what you've done in the past and now, can you give us a brief rundown on who you are and your background story?
    Alex McClafferty: Sure. I co-founded a company called WP Curve in 2013 and we did 24/7 WordPress support. It was one of the early popular products to our service businesses. In 2016, I worked on the acquisition of the company across to GoDaddy. So that was a five month process. And then I took the company across there, scaled that out for a couple of years. And these days I help other founders do similar things, which is either scale their company, sell their company, build a productized service, or just navigate the ins and outs of the daily woes that can be entrepreneurship.
    Kevin Graham: Yeah. And on that timeline from being founded in 2013 to completing an acquisition in 2016, that's a very short timeline for a company.
    Alex McClafferty: It felt like a lifetime. But as I look back on it, it was like a blink. It was really just like a wrinkle in time. So when you're in it, every day feels, you know, when the days are long and sometimes tough, it feels like it's never going to end, and now I look back on it and I was like, “Wow, that was only three and a half years from starting from absolutely just about nothing to having a really significant financial outcome and getting to go across to a listed company.”
    Kevin Graham: Yeah, and I mean, especially when a lot of the other entrepreneurs I've spoken with previously on the show, like some of the ones who've done physical products or been on Shark Tank Australia, et cetera. They've had long periods of five or seven years of just, from coming up with the idea through getting all the patents and trademarks and beginning the process of working with factories in China and all of that. So to be started and finished in three and a half years is quite an interesting and short little journey there.
    Alex McClafferty: Yeah, and I'll tell you none of it was, I guess, conscious, as in when I look back at all of the different things th

    • 38 min

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