6 episodes

The next generation of successful entrepreneurs will be both founders & creators, leveraging their own audience to launch, build, and scale multiple companies into millions based on their own personal hobbies & passions. This is the 'Personal Holding Company' philosophy. It's a lifestyle business on steroids: no venture capital investors, work whenever & wherever you want, turning your hobbies into businesses. First Class Founders explores this PHC philosophy with tactical tips & strategies from today's top content creators and world-class company operators who are pioneers in this new wave of entrepreneurship. The future of entrepreneurship is here. Listen & Follow! 

First Class Founders: Creators | Solopreneurs | Personal HoldCo Yong-Soo Chung

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 56 Ratings

The next generation of successful entrepreneurs will be both founders & creators, leveraging their own audience to launch, build, and scale multiple companies into millions based on their own personal hobbies & passions. This is the 'Personal Holding Company' philosophy. It's a lifestyle business on steroids: no venture capital investors, work whenever & wherever you want, turning your hobbies into businesses. First Class Founders explores this PHC philosophy with tactical tips & strategies from today's top content creators and world-class company operators who are pioneers in this new wave of entrepreneurship. The future of entrepreneurship is here. Listen & Follow! 

    How to Build Your HoldCo with Michael Girdley

    How to Build Your HoldCo with Michael Girdley

    E75: Michael Girdley (@girdley) needs no introduction. He's a HoldCo legend.

    Today, host Yong-Soo (@YongSooChung) sits down with Michael to discuss how he has built a successful HoldCo. We talk about Michael's "Right People, Right Structure, Right Mission" framework, which he uses to build all of his businesses. Michael shares how to find the best people, set up your business the right way, and get everyone excited about the same goal.
    On today’s episode, you’ll learn:

    - PHC Organization Structure
    - How to Propel the Business into Gear
    - How to Build Your Own Holdco of Multiple Businesses
    - 'Right People, Right Structure, Right Mission' Framework

    ***
    SPONSORS:

    Riverside - If you have a podcast, do yourself a favor and check out Riverside. It's 100% free to start. Get 20% off using code FIRSTCLASS.

    Spotted by Humphrey - If you have a dog, sniff out the DEAL$ and wag-worthy finds at Spotted by Humphrey. Use code FIRSTCLASS15 to get 15% off your next order.

    ***
    EXCERPTS:

    The Journey: "And what I really discovered was that there's this interesting inflection points in people's lives to when they should sign up to be CEOs of different types of businesses." — Michael Girdley (06:24)

    Joyful Career: "I think what people should be doing is thinking about the life they wanna live and the things they wanna be doing, and then build companies around that... joy comes from getting to do things that you really love. So build your business around things that give you joy that you get to do." — Michael Girdley (36:40)

    ***
    LINKS:

    How to Hire the Best Operators for Your Personal HoldCo

    HoldCo Masterclass



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    ***
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    First Class Founders is a show for indie hackers, bootstrapped founders, CEOs, solopreneurs, content creators, startup entrepreneurs, and SaaS startups covering topics like build in public, audience growth, product marketing, scaling up, side hustles, holding company, etc.

    Past guests include Arvid Kahl, Tyler Denk, Noah Kagan, Clint Murphy, Jay Abraham, Andrew Gazdecki, Matt McGarry, Nick Huber, Khe Hy, and more.

    Episode you might like:

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    From Zero to 100K Subscribers: How to Grow Your Newsletter like a Pro with Newsletter Growth Expert Matt McGarry

    ...

    • 40 min
    Breaking Down the Personal HoldCo of Tim Stoddart of Copyblogger

    Breaking Down the Personal HoldCo of Tim Stoddart of Copyblogger

    E74: Have you ever wondered how a person can flip their life's script from constant struggles to having a multi-million dollar business?

    Today, host Yong-Soo (@YongSooChung) has a rich conversation with successful entrepreneur Tim Stoddart (@TimStodz), the proud owner of Copyblogger Media.  He discusses his incredible transition from a troubled youth in Philadelphia to a sober entrepreneur with a multi-million dollar Personal HoldCo portfolio.
    On today’s episode, you’ll learn:

    - How to Find Your Purpose
    - How to Effectively Write Online
    - Three Criteria for Choosing Businesses
    - How to Replicate Models to Build and Scale Businesses

    ***
    SPONSORS:

    Riverside - If you have a podcast, do yourself a favor and check out Riverside. It's 100% free to start. Get 20% off using code FIRSTCLASS.

    Spotted by Humphrey - If you have a dog, sniff out the DEAL$ and wag-worthy finds at Spotted by Humphrey. Use code FIRSTCLASS15 to get 15% off your next order.

    ***
    EXCERPTS:

    Foundation: "I write and I delegate. I write because I think being a good writer is the most valuable skill that you could ever really have. And I delegate because I've learned that as you grow a company, it's the most foundational thing you could ever do." — Tim Stoddart (04:03)

    Wealth Creation: "Here's where my head goes. I'm not bored at all. And there's a part of me that thinks you want to get out before you get bored. Right. Because then like you have leverage that you don't need to sell. Like I never want to get in a position where I need to sell something." — Tim Stoddart (21:45)

    ***
    LINKS:

    Copyblogger

    Timstodz.com

    stodzyinternetmarketing.com

    JOIN: First Class Founders Premium Membership

    DOWNLOAD: Hyper-Visuals For Our Episodes (Free)

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    ***
    First Class Founders is a show for indie hackers, bootstrapped founders, CEOs, solopreneurs, content creators, startup entrepreneurs, and SaaS startups covering topics like build in public, audience growth, product marketing, scaling up, side hustles, holding company, etc.

    Past guests include Arvid Kahl, Tyler Denk, Noah Kagan, Clint Murphy, Jay Abraham, Andrew Gazdecki, Matt McGarry, Nick Huber, Khe Hy, and more.

    Episode you might like:

    Future of Newsletters with Tyler Denk, Founder & CEO at Beehiiv

    From Zero to 100K Subscribers: How to Grow Your Newsletter like a Pro with Newsletter Growth Expert Matt McGarry

    ...

    • 31 min
    8 Unconventional Truths I Learned in 8 Years of Entrepreneurship

    8 Unconventional Truths I Learned in 8 Years of Entrepreneurship

    E73: Not many know it, but a lot of aspiring business owners run the risk of making expensive mistakes that could put their goals on hold before they ever take off.

    So, today, host Yong-Soo Chung  (@YongSooChung) shares eight important things he learned over eight years of building three businesses from the ground up. He shares how to have an exponential growth mindset, hire carefully, know when to switch between growth and preservation modes and build a strong environment for your company.

    On today’s episode, you’ll learn:

    - Growth vs. Preservation
    - 8 Truths About Entrepreneurship
    - The Impact of Hiring the Right People

    This episode distills down many years of entrepreneurial experience into one short episode. Don't miss it!

    ***
    SPONSORS:
    Riverside - If you have a podcast, do yourself a favor and check out Riverside. It's 100% free to start. Get 20% off using code FIRSTCLASS.

    Spotted by Humphrey - If you have a dog, sniff out the DEAL$ and wag-worthy finds at Spotted by Humphrey. Use code FIRSTCLASS15 to get 15% off your next order.

    ***
    EXCERPTS:

    Business Ecosystem: "Your business exists to serve three different stakeholders, vendors, employees, and customers. These there are the critical components of your business ecosystem. And the most ideal scenario is when all three of them win." — Yong-Soo Chung (13:15)

    Business Growth Mindsets: "You can think of business growth as either incremental or exponential." — Yong-Soo Chung (14:46)

    ***
    LINKS:

    How to Hire the Best Operators for Your Personal HoldCo

    I – We – They Framework: How I Scale My Personal HoldCo

    JOIN: First Class Founders Premium Membership

    DOWNLOAD: Hyper-Visuals For Our Episodes (Free)

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    CONNECT W/ YONG-SOO:

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    ***
    First Class Founders is a show for indie hackers, bootstrapped founders, CEOs, solopreneurs, content creators, startup entrepreneurs, and SaaS startups covering topics like build in public, audience growth, product marketing, scaling up, side hustles, holding company, etc.

    Past guests include Arvid Kahl, Tyler Denk, Noah Kagan, Clint Murphy, Jay Abraham, Andrew Gazdecki, Matt McGarry, Nick Huber, Khe Hy, and more.

    Episode you might like:

    Future of Newsletters with Tyler Denk, Founder & CEO at Beehiiv

    From Zero to 100K Subscribers: How to Grow Your Newsletter like a Pro with Newsletter Growth Expert Matt McGarry

    ...

    • 25 min
    How to Build and Sell a Startup with Andrew Gazdecki, Founder and CEO of Acquire.com

    How to Build and Sell a Startup with Andrew Gazdecki, Founder and CEO of Acquire.com

    E72: When is the right time to exit a business? Sounds like a simple question, but the answer... isn't as simple.

    Today, host Yong-Soo (@YongSooChung) sits down with accomplished entrepreneur Andrew Gazdecki (@agazdecki), the Founder and CEO of Acquire.com.  Andrew discusses the strategies behind successful exits and how to position your company to be sold for the highest valuation. He also discussed how startups can be bought in as few as 30 days. 
    On today’s episode, you’ll learn:

    - How to Structure Your Deals
    - Strategic Buyer vs. Financial Buyer
    - How to Get Ready to Sell Your Business
    - How to Find the Right Buyer for Your Business

    Let's get down to business!

    ***
    SPONSORS:

    Riverside - If you have a podcast, do yourself a favor and check out Riverside. It's 100% free to start. Get 20% off using code FIRSTCLASS.

    Spotted by Humphrey - If you have a dog, sniff out the DEAL$ and wag-worthy finds at Spotted by Humphrey. Use code FIRSTCLASS15 to get 15% off your next order.

    ***
    EXCERPTS:

    Startup Valuations: "You can sell it for whatever you want. You can sell it whenever you want. You can sell for $10,000,000, all cash to a private equity firm with 90-day transition period, you're out, and then you just get to do whatever you want with your life. " — Andrew Gazdecki (05:51)

    Understanding Business Acquisitions: "So if you can structure, you know, an acquisition with favorable terms like that, that's the way to go. And that I'd say that's probably the most common is cash in close with some component of,  maybe a little bit of seller financing at the end, 80% cash in close, 20% seller financing with 3 to 6 month transition depending on the size of the business." — Andrew Gazdecki (19:14)

    ***
    LINKS:

    From Bankruptcy to Millionaire in 2 Years: How Tibo Louis-Lucas Built and Sold TweetHunter & Taplio for Multi-Millions

    Acquire.com



    JOIN: First Class Founders Premium Membership

    DOWNLOAD: Hyper-Visuals For Our Episodes (Free)

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    CONNECT W/ YONG-SOO:

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    ***
    First Class Founders is a show for indie hackers, bootstrapped founders, CEOs, solopreneurs, content creators, startup entrepreneurs, and SaaS startups covering topics like build in public, audience growth, product marketing, scaling up, side hustles, holding company, etc.

    Past guests include Arvid Kahl, Tyler Denk, Noah Kagan, Clint Murphy, Jay Abraham, Andrew Gazdecki, Matt McGarry, Nick Huber, Khe Hy, and more.

    Episode you might like:

    Future of Newsletters with Tyler Denk, Founder & CEO at Beehiiv

    From Zero to 100K Subscribers: How to Grow Your Newsletter like a Pro with Newsletter Growth Expert Matt McGarry

    ...

    • 36 min
    Don't Make These Design Mistakes: How to Build Your Brand Identity with Nate Kadlac

    Don't Make These Design Mistakes: How to Build Your Brand Identity with Nate Kadlac

    E71: How do you design a personal brand that truly reflects you, stands out, and captivates your audience?

    Do you find yourself lost in the sea of design choices? Not sure how to align your website elements with your personal brand values?

    Today, host Yong-Soo (@YongSooChung) is joined by talented designer, Nate Kadlac (@kadlac). Nate will guide us through the crucial elements of your personal brand identity: Logo, Font, Color, Elements & Motifs, and Visual Layout. Nate will also tell us how to make key design decisions that align with our brand values for each of these elements.
    On today’s episode, you’ll learn:

    - The Four Key Elements
    - The G.E.O.S. Framework
    - How to Make Key Design Decisions
    - How to Design a Great Personal Brand Website

    Let's get down to business!

    ***
    SPONSORS:

    Riverside - If you have a podcast, do yourself a favor and check out Riverside. It's 100% free to start. Get 20% off using code FIRSTCLASS.

    Spotted by Humphrey - If you have a dog, sniff out the DEAL$ and wag-worthy finds at Spotted by Humphrey. Use code FIRSTCLASS15 to get 15% off your next order.

    ***
    EXCERPTS:

    Choosing Fonts for Personal Branding: "They don't have to be the same. I think it's it's really about what appeals to you, what speaks to you. It's just one thing to kind of know about these things that people will feel a certain way. Not that you need to make a choice based on what people feel." — Nate Kadlac (19:04)

    Design Tips from Experts: "A designer's secret is that most of us never use pure black or pure white. Our eyes read better like text that's just slightly off that black end is is a little bit more readable because it's not high contrast. High contrast tires our eyes out and we want to use it for design to kind of like grab attention." — Nate Kadlac (28:31)

    ***
    LINKS:

    Don't Make The Same Mistakes I Did — What I Wish I Knew About Content Creation and Personal Branding

    ApproachableDesign.

    JOIN: First Class Founders Premium Membership

    DOWNLOAD: Hyper-Visuals For Our Episodes (Free)

    ***
    FOLLOW / REVIEW:
    - Follow
    - Leave 5-star review

    ***
    CONNECT W/ YONG-SOO:

    - X
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    ***
    First Class Founders is a show for indie hackers, bootstrapped founders, CEOs, solopreneurs, content creators, startup entrepreneurs, and SaaS startups covering topics like build in public, audience growth, product marketing, scaling up, side hustles, holding company, etc.

    Past guests include Arvid Kahl, Tyler Denk, Noah Kagan, Clint Murphy, Jay Abraham, Andrew Gazdecki, Matt McGarry, Nick Huber, Khe Hy, and more.

    Episode you might like:

    Future of Newsletters with Tyler Denk, Founder & CEO at Beehiiv

    From Zero to 100K Subscribers: How to Grow Your Newsletter like a Pro with Newsletter Growth Expert Matt McGarry

    ...

    • 41 min
    How to Get A Free PR for Your Business with Christina Nicholson

    How to Get A Free PR for Your Business with Christina Nicholson

    E70: Who doesn't like free or cheap stuff? Imagine getting more customers without spending money.

    Today, host Yong-Soo (@YongSooChung) is joined by an expert in PR and earned media, Christina Nicholson (@ChristinaAllDay), an award-winning journalist.  Christina will discuss why small businesses should start with local media and why earned media's credibility is its most powerful asset. She also discusses how to obtain free (or affordable) PR and how to pitch the media to get coverage.
    On today’s episode, you’ll learn:

    - How To Do Effective PR for Free
    - The Power of PR for Businesses
    - How to Spot Scammy PR Pitches
    - How to Pitch the Media to Get Coverage

    Don't miss out on this game-changing episode that could redefine your approach to marketing!

    ***
    SPONSORS:

    Spotted by Humphrey - If you have a dog, sniff out the DEAL$ and wag-worthy finds at Spotted by Humphrey. Use code FIRSTCLASS15 to get 15% off your next order.

    ***
    EXCERPTS:

    Strategic Business Approach: "You need to be patient, and you need to trust the process, and you need to be very focused on who your audience is and what you're putting out there, and then be ready to turn that publicity into profit because a lot of people think it just ends with the publicity." — Christina Nicholson (18:01)

    Monetizing Influence: "If you are somebody who is of influence and you wanna start charging to make money, there's nothing wrong with that. You just have to tell people why you're charging what you're charging when you do offer that to them." — Christina Nicholson (27:33)

    ***
    LINKS:

    The Art of Storytelling: How Parker Worth Went from Broke to a $22,000 Course Launch

    Become a Media Maven Podcast

    JOIN: First Class Founders Premium Membership

    DOWNLOAD: Hyper-Visuals For Our Episodes (Free)

    ***
    FOLLOW / REVIEW:
    - Follow
    - Leave 5-star review

    ***
    CONNECT W/ YONG-SOO:

    - X
    - Threads
    - LinkedIn
    - Newsletter

    ***
    First Class Founders is a show for indie hackers, bootstrapped founders, CEOs, solopreneurs, content creators, startup entrepreneurs, and SaaS startups covering topics like build in public, audience growth, product marketing, scaling up, side hustles, holding company, etc.

    Past guests include Arvid Kahl, Tyler Denk, Noah Kagan, Clint Murphy, Jay Abraham, Andrew Gazdecki, Matt McGarry, Nick Huber, Khe Hy, and more.

    Episode you might like:

    Future of Newsletters with Tyler Denk, Founder & CEO at Beehiiv

    From Zero to 100K Subscribers: How to Grow Your Newsletter like a Pro with Newsletter Growth Expert Matt McGarry

    ...

    • 33 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
56 Ratings

56 Ratings

ArlieLP ,

Ready to soar? ✈️

First Class Founders is by far the most energizing entrepreneurship show I’ve ever encountered! Not only does Yong-Soo connect listeners with incredible guests and explore his own personal insights, but he does so in a fast-paced, beautifully produced package. It’s such an engaging and impactful listen - genuinely cannot recommend this show enough!

mvelasco07 ,

Highly recommend!

First Class Founders has quickly become a standout favorite of mine! I’m consistently impressed with the insightful content and actionable tips shared in each episode. I truly learn something new every time I tune in. Thank you Yong-Soo, for putting out such an incredible podcast — keep up the great work!

texasblum ,

Great content and production

I’ve been binging these podcasts. Thank you for putting all these together, and for the quality of the production. Makes them enjoyable to listen to.

I listen while walking, and then have to get back to my desk and write down copious notes. Loving it.

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